View Full Version : PIONEER CS-99 v.s. CS-99A Review

07-19-2003, 08:14 PM
Comparison of the PIONEER CS-99 and CS-99A

The question has been raised here more then once before.What are the differences between the PIONEER CS-99 and CS-99A?
Well below is a visual cosmetic and sound review of them both.

The regular or earlier standard CS series of the CS-77,CS-88,CS-99 speakers have matte black speaker baffles.CS had small almost hidden screws to attach the grills and 'A' series had velcro at each corner of the grill so it could easly removed to showoff the 'Free Beating' drivers and veneered baffle.

Drivers in the older standard series also have a matte black color.Drivers are different and are usually arranged in different configuration and placement.I believe Alnico drivers on the standard series PIONEER's own on the 'A'.Standard CS had regular dark black foam and rubber like surrounds.The 'A' series had non rotting cloth surrounds.Earlier CS series had lower wattage ratings whereas the 'A' upgraded newer series could handle more power.
In the case of a standard CS-99 at 80 watts capability and the CS-99A at 100 watts capability.
CS-88 standard at 60 watts and CS-88A at 80 watts.Unfortunately I do not have specs on the CS-77's.
Drivers are rear installed on the baffle in the case of the regular CS and front loaded on the 'A' series.

In a nutshell PIONEER upgraded the CS speaker line with a nicer veneered front baffle and came up with new 'Free Beating' drivers to improve sound wattage capability and looks and just added an 'A' at the end of the model.The crossovers may be different and improved also?

"F.B."('Free Beating')PROCESS CONE PAPER.
The brown cone paper is different from conventional cone papers.It is composed of long and short,thick and thin fibers,that are beaten,not cut.The pulp itself is made from specially selected plant and animal fibers,(so those woofers really DO BARK! LOL)then processed through PIONEER's Free Beating System.The result of this new technology is a cone paper that is lighter,stronger than any other.It provides a rich,powerful bass tone,clear mids,improved damping,lower distortion and the ability to handle high input signals.
(taken from PIONEER CS-99A Brochure)
Wonder what ever happened to this 'F.B.' 'New Technology' it went away with this series?

The SOUND difference?
Sound really good.Good for ROCK,POP,maybe Country but not my forte.Not for everyone but a good set of speakers.Full well balanced sound even with the super tweeters.Not overwhelming highs just right.Great mids.And of course more than adequate bass response.Although I prefer the sound of my MACH I's or my CS-99A's these are still some rockin' speakers.
Well there is defintely a sound difference between the two.Although they both sound very good the 'A' series really shines thru.The sound is fuller probably due to the bigger mid drivers and of course the 'F.B.' cones.With the wattage capability higher on the 'A' you can really get them pounding.
But I have to tell you if I did not have a pair of 'A' series to compare to I would still love the older standard set.They are closely matched in sound quality but the 'A' series edges up to the finish line to take the GOLD medal a little better and the regular CS gets the SILVER medal.You cannot go wrong with either series if the price is nice!
Besides these I have only heard a pair of CS-88A's and they sound great! I cannot vouch for the regular CS-77,CS-77A,or the CS-88 because I have never had a chance to hear them.

As I have seen the 'A' series is more sought after and brings higher prices then the standard series but do not let that sway you from grabbing a pair if the price is right! Just ask Wardsweb!

07-19-2003, 08:17 PM
The Visual Difference

PIONEER CS-99A on the left a CS-99 on the right

07-19-2003, 08:21 PM
Top Shot!

07-19-2003, 08:25 PM
Fully Dressed!

CS-99A grill is saran cloth with a dark olive tint held in place by velcro in the middle and at each corner
and the CS-99 grill held by four screws in each corner has a woven thread material orange and brown tint even though the camera has trouble picking up the hues.

07-20-2003, 02:15 PM
the CS-88A!
There's a post here that shows a advertising sheet for the CS-99A. A lot of opinionated folks were impressed by the sound of the CS-99A, both when driven by my old SX-828 and later by the JR-S501.
Nothing "kabuki" about the sound of those speaker systems!
Great picture of the cast-frame woofer, BTW.

07-22-2003, 10:21 PM
so bully I take it you miss those 99A's?:cry:
Then again you have a slew of speakers to keep anyone happy and then some!:rockon:

07-23-2003, 08:13 AM
Mad ..

I have both pairs and love them the same. I agree with you about the look (especially when the grill is off) which favors the A series but on the sound I can't really tell the difference. Perhaps I don't normally listen to a high volume to take advantage of the higher wattage rating of the A series. Good comparision, though!

07-23-2003, 08:35 AM
As most of you all know I have the 99A's, and had a pair many years ago too.

Also have a pair of worn out 88A's. Never had the 99's

I guess my affection for the 99A's is nostaglic in nature.

They're just a perfect example of the 70's era "consumer" speaker, of all wood cabinet , wood grille, multi speaker cabinet.

HOT items in the 1970's stereo stores!!:D

07-24-2003, 01:40 AM
I feel ya Brother! I have grown very attached to those CS-99A's!!
Just the way they look alone impresses me!

Thanx for the compliment!

07-24-2003, 10:11 PM
Reading about the CS-99A's makes me miss my pair from 30 years ago even more. I guess they would have required some repairs by now anyway but I remember they had a very impressive sound. I replaced them with ESS "Rock Monitors" which I still own but I sure miss those Pioneers!


07-24-2003, 10:37 PM
Yup, I think a lot of people that had 'em and don't anymore miss 'em!
Mine are still in use with my niece and nephew-in-law.

07-26-2003, 06:56 PM
Hi Bully,

I'm happy to hear that in 2003 the old Pioneers are still in use! Are they original or have they been reconed?


07-27-2003, 10:58 AM
The woofers use a cloth surround, so should not rot like foam.
AFAIK, they are still original. About 8 or so years ago, when my older nephew went off to college, I gave him a BIG stereo set.
The big JVC JR-S501 (very nice receiver, 120 big wpc) was KIA by "someone" spilling a beer or drink into.
I got those speakers in my last year at college, so they saw two generations at KU Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Haven't seen them since before my niece and her husband took 'em off to Austin. Probably well-worn by now.

08-07-2004, 01:09 AM
Maybe cost alot

08-07-2004, 03:07 PM
Good post. Thanks. Nicely done synopsis, and nice photos. Need more like these.

02-10-2005, 01:12 PM
Anyone got a spair mid for the CS-88A to let me have?

02-10-2005, 07:14 PM
Anybody done (or found) the surrounds on the CS-99 4" (roughly) mids?

Mine are powder and the surround looks very narrow.

03-17-2013, 01:31 AM
How come I can't see the speakers? Logged in, but all I see is the Pioneer logo on a blue background.:no:

03-17-2013, 04:38 AM
AK crashed a number of years ago (...Don't ask me when). All, and I mean ALL of the photos were lost.