The Pioneer CS G203s were very popular in their day. These speakers were a way to experience the sound that a set of large floorstanding speakers can provide. As such, many were sold back in the days when “big” sound really mattered to even the average person. Back in the days of the 1980s, your stereo system was a symbolism of how cool you were. This was especially true after the receiver wars of the 1970s. The Pioneer CS G203s were an entry point into Pioneer’s impressive line-up. Well today, they’re STILL a great entry point. Although hated by many, these Pioneers still get the job done. That is to give you that BIG floorstanding speaker sound that many have forgotten about.
Floorstanding VS Tower Speakers – The two are often mixed.
In case you didn’t know, the days of floorstanding speakers have faded away. Even a smaller set like the Pioneer CS G203s is too big for any surround sound use. This is why tower speakers essentially replaced floorstanding speakers. As such, many consider tower speakers floorstanding speakers. I do not however consider them to be floorstanding speakers. They look completely different to begin with and also provide you with a completely different type of sound.
The Pioneer CS G203s utilize 10″ woofers for their low end. These woofers appear to be well designed with transient lower mid-range in mind. One thing that surprised me on my set is that the foam surround is all original and has held up over the years. I keep thinking that it will disintegrate but Pioneer did something right here. The cabinets themselves are a ported design which I give credit to how well Pioneer tuned the ports. The mid-range drivers fill in around 2kHz while the woofers roll off around 1kHz. The tweeters are simple cone tweeters that although aren’t that loud, have that cone tweeter warmth in the treble when increasing the treble via an equalizer.
The Pioneer CS G203 Floorstanders Effortlessly Fill A Room.
Floorstanding speakers like the Pioneer CS G203s can easily fill a room with big, warm, and lush sound. Although the Pioneers aren’t the top dog, they’re easily the best speakers to experience large vintage sound on a budget. I bought my set for $17 from a garage sale. My set have no dented dust caps which was a plus as that can mess the sound up. You can find the Pioneer CS G203 and their brothers, the Pioneer CS G303 and Pioneer CS G403 on eBay for around $150-$300. The only difference between the three Pioneers is the size of the woofer. Although the larger Pioneers will have a better low end, I found my Pioneer CS-G203s perfectly capable of getting real loud without losing clarity. I’ve used my set to DJ many parties and events and they have never let my ears down.
The Pioneer CS G203s can sound both good and bad depending on how you set them up. I find that these Pioneers sound their best in a large open area such as a big room or even outside. They have excellent imaging and frequency response. The low end really shines when these Pioneers are placed near a wall and you’re on the other side of the room. No subwoofer is needed for these speakers. The mid-range drivers seam to handle the upper mid-range and mid-treble with ease. There is a good amount of transient response in the mid range as well. I found the sound to be very warm and lush. The only thing that these underrated 1980s Pioneers lacked is some good tweeters. I felt like the tweeters on the CS-G203s failed to be sensitive enough to be heard over the mid-range and woofer drivers. This can be solved with a good equalizer. When bringing up the treble (above 16Khz), the tweeters open up with a nice and warm top end that will compliment these Pioneers. One thing that impressed me with the Pioneer CS G203s was how sensitive they were. Even when I ran them off of my tiny Lepy 2020A amplifier, they put out just enough sound to fill a whole house with warm sound. These Pioneers really shined however when matching them with my Pioneer SA-1270 integrated amplifier. If there is one thing you should do with Pioneer speakers, that is to drive them with a Pioneer amplifier. These Pioneers sounded surprisingly better on this lower end Pioneer amplifier then they did on my Kenwood KR V126R.
In the end, nothing sounds like floorstanders.
Just as the title says, there is no category of speakers that can provide the warm sound of a set of floor standing speakers. The Pioneer CS G203s are an excellent model to experience the vintage floorstander sound without spending a lot of money. If you have a good equalizer, than you can rest well knowing that these underrated Pioneers will not disappoint you given that they’re all over the place and really don’t sound too bad for the price. Please feel free to comment and ask any questions that you might have. Thank you for reading this Sound Haven review!
6 thoughts on “Pioneer CS G203 Vintage Floorstanding Speakers – An Underestimated Set”
I just bought a set of G203. I believe part of them are blown how do I find replacement speakers
I have my CS-G203 about 30 years and still happy with ’em!
Mine still put a smile on my face. To this day… I’m going to replace the crossovers soon as they’re slowly losing their brightness that they had 5 years ago.
When did we get the time machine back to the early ’80s? A single word comes to my mind: Nostalgia. The kind of nostalgia that smells like Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and the Pet Shop Boys!
Audio quality either is not the same or I’m becoming hearing impaired. Big heavy speakers have been replaced by the plastic and some other stuff not adding any value to the experience.
Wood tells you something on every song. Audio quality has definitely been elevated, from the floor to the roof (but no more!).
Thanks for the free ticket to happier days on your post!
Much agreed! Wood does really tells you something on every song. Big heavy speakers are really the only way to playback a live performance. Thank you for reading!
The Pioneer CS G203s are an excellent model to experience the vintage floorstander sound without spending a lot of money. I hope you know that Pioneers sound their best in a large open area such as a big room or even outside. I learn from your post the Pioneers really shined however when matching them with my Pioneer SA-1270 integrated amplifier. Your guide is very helpful for all.