Pioneer HPM 100 Speaker Review, Specs and Price

Pioneer HPM 100 Speaker Review
Pioneer HPM 100
Pioneer´s HPM Speaker Series
The Pioneer HPM 100 is, similar to the bigger HPM 150 one of the more popular classic vintage speakers. The HPM 100 is the standard variation of its series, with less expensive versions available, such as the HPM 60 or 40. The speaker, despite being produced for only three years from 1976 to 79 is still widely available and frequently in surprisingly good shape.

The HPM-100
The speaker is a 4-way bass-reflex system. It uses the same “High Polymer Molecular” supertweeter technology, as all speakers of the HPM series. Frequently, new owners of used HPM series´ speakers will test the supertweeter and come to the conclusion that they are not working, as they don´t seem to produce sounds. However, in most cases they work! If you encounter similar issues or are wondering why you cannot hear your supertweeters, check audiokarma.org or click here . In most cases they work just fine, but the high frequency they do cover can hardly be heard by the human ear.

To cover the midrange it uses a 4 inch cone with a bigger sized magnet. The HPM 100´s woofer is 12 inch carbon fiber cone. Using carbon fiber as a cone material was new at the time and considered a breakthrough in speaker technology. The woofer size of the HPM 100 can cause difficulties as it refers to the actual cone size. Therefore it does not fit into common 12 inch enclosures. Instead the diameter of the woofer is closer to 13 inches.
Reviewing the quality of the HPM 100, it has to be said that it is did not come close to the bigger HPM 150. They are overall decent household speakers, but have weaknesses in producing depths and a smooth soundstage. It is commonly claimed that the speakers have a coherency problem, which caused the drivers to not work smoothly with each other, which could however be attributed to “wrong” gear. An interesting discussion and collection of critiques can be viewed here.
The value for a pair of decent HPM 100 does usually not exceed $700. It is possible to find a pair for about $300 to $600 with a bit of luck. In most cases the price will be around $500, if the cabinets and drivers are in good shape.

Pioneer HPM 100 Price: $400-700
(Depending on overall condition)


 Pioneer HPM-100 Service Manual Link to Service Manual at audiokarma.org

8 comments:

  1. The pricing estimate on these is extremely low. Your upper end price is not the very bottom of the scale for these. I would say pricing is 350 - 800 now depending on condition.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, I increased the suggested prices. The article was published in 2012 and based on my experience with 2 pairs of HPM 100s I acquired in 2008/10. I agree with what you say. It is interesting to see how the prices of old equipment continuously increases year by year. I had to update some price estimates of Acoustic Research speakers multiple times within the past 3 years.

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  3. Other flaws you didn't mention of the HP-100. The crossovers are crude and barely do much at all. As a result the drivers overlap in their response a great deal. In addition the mids are crossed over very high at treble frequencies, the thing is not a mid but more like a 5 inch tweeter. Because of the primitive crossover there is also no high filter on the mid driver and it operates well into it's breakup zone. You get a nice juicy peak at 5.2 kHz and loads of ringing and stored energy thanks to the resonant dust cap that buzzes like a ping pong ball. The woofer runs straight out to about 3 to 4 kHz and it covers midrange frequencies you'd expect to be emanating from the 5 inch midrange but doesn't. The woofer sounds reticent at mid frequencies and cardboard in the upper bass. Overall response of the speaker is not smooth and is marred by stored energy at many frequencies. Sound staging and sense of depth is almost non-existent. Worst of all is the standing distortion is so high that it produces listener fatigue in short order. For me all it took was a few hours and I knew I had to get rid of them. They do offer wide dynamic range, wide frequency response and wide dispersion so they are not bad as party speakers. But for critical listening? Yecchh, I'll never understand the unwarranted hype the HPM 100 gets, don't people have ears to hear with? can't they hear all the ringing and store energy? It's measurable and it's audible.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, I have to think you either had a bad pair or simply your tastes are completely out of whack with just about everyone I have come over and audition these classic speakers. Some of my YouTube hits have garnered over 40,000 views with nary a bad comment. What type of music do you listen to?

      https://youtu.be/hMiMa0GDZYU

      Check some of my other posts as well....

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  4. I would agree based on powering with a modern cheap receiver in a bad listening room. After treating my room with the necessary sound absorbers and such, and driving with a 1977 refurbished receiver, I now love them. No fatigue! Smooth musical bass, clear mids, pleasant highs, wide stage (maybe not as deep as could be) what's not to like? I guess my old ears a too easily entertained.

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  5. I do know what Joe Bigliogo is talking about, with enough watts it's plain to pick up, my "Liquid Cooled Acoustic Monitor DBIV Speakers" are much better with more power, the HPM"s sound better with 150 watts or so, put 600 watts to the DBIV"s & rattle my neighbors false teeth,,, in his mouth, so he told the police lol!!! But I love my HPM 100's, I've had them since 76 or 77 in the Army in Germany, they still blast!!!

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    Replies
    1. I have had mine since 77 and they still will blow your ass out of the water!!

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  6. There are two versions of the HPM-100. The HPM-100B is the 200-watt version, and you can distinguish it by the ring around the woofer port. The 100-watt version is the HPM-100A, and it doesn't have the ring.

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