B&W 700 vs Paradigm Studio [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-07-2005, 12:04 AM
I am thinking of setting up a HT using the 2 setups below. I tend to put in more emphasis for music since I do that 70% of the time as compared to movies etc.


703 with 602 S3 for surround and HTM7 for center and ASW675 sub.


Studio 60 with studio 40 surround and CC 570 center and servo 15 sub.

The above setup are to be driven by either the Arcam avr 300 or the Rotel RSP1068/RMB1075.

Any suggestions to which would be the choice/better setup or other alternatives?

06-07-2005, 08:01 AM
what size is your room? are you planning on any acoustic treatments?

personally I would have studio 40s as mains with studio 20s for surrounds....of course, I use studio 40s as my mains, so you know I'm a fan.

I don't know much about the B&W 700s, but the 600 series seems pretty comparable in price/performance to paradigm. I think paradigm packs a little more wow factor (brightness) into their sound. it really depends on what is going to sound better in your room, not in the show room. ...the 600s may sound a little weak in a heavily damped room, while the studios could give you a headache in a reflective room.

I'm not sure how the ASW675 compares to the servo 15, but that may be a pretty big factor in your decision if you're building your system for music. it can be pretty difficult finding/setting up a sub that gives you a good musical sound.

06-07-2005, 03:52 PM

I would try the Energy C - Series -- it's less expensive and to me as good as these lines -- you may also find that you can system match better because you save money. If it is just for home theater movies or the bulk is the Energy's will do wonders I should think.

Really though you just need to listen all by yourself -- everyone here will promote stuff they own or stuff they read about in magazines.

06-07-2005, 04:30 PM
Some of the combinations that you've specified don't seem ideal. If you go with the B&W 703, it would make the most sense to go with the 705 or the bipolar DS7 as the surround speaker. From what I've been reading, the 700 series has different voice characteristics from the 600 series, so if you prefer the 700 series, you should try to timbre match the speakers all the way around. If you go with the DS7 as the surround, pay particular attention to how its voicing matches with the mains because B&W's bipolar speakers have been hit or miss.

If you plan to go with a subwoofer and budget is a concern, consider going with 705s all the way around (including the center channel if you use a wall mounted TV and don't need a horizontal speaker in the middle). Also, you don't need to go with a B&W subwoofer. Tonal matching is important with the mains, center, and surrounds, but not an issue with the sub because it covers an entirely different part of the frequency range.

With the Paradigm Studio series, the Studio 40 is probably too tall and heavy to use as a surround speaker. If you plan to use your system for both multichannel music and movies, then you need to raise the surrounds so that the speakers are at least 1' above ear level (Dolby recommends 2' above ear level). The Studio 20 gives you better placement options, and IMO it has better imaging capability than the Studio 40.

The Servo 15 is a formidable sub, and has much deeper bass extension than ASW675 (can go more than a half-octave lower than the ASW675 with a much larger driver and more powerful amp). If you can budget it, the Servo 15 can be paired with the B&Ws as well.

As I've mentioned many times on this board, don't be afraid to build your system gradually by starting with a partial speaker setup and add speakers as your budget allows. Also, read up on how to properly setup the subwoofer. Addressing the room acoustics will vastly improve the bass performance (minimizing extraneous echos will improve the overall audio quality as well). Proper placement, room treatments, and/or equalization all contribute, and the degree to which you need to use those remedies will depend on your room and setup.

06-07-2005, 08:07 PM
Thanks guys for the input. More info on my proposed placement and the characteristics of the room. The room is pretty long almost like a T shape. I am setting up the speakers in one corner of the room around 3.8m x 3.5m with one end open and the other side glass windows. The other 2 sides are hard wall. I have curtains over the glass windows which should improve the resonance etc. I would say overall the room characteristic is bright.

The reason why I am mixing the 700 with the 600 is due to budget constraints. I am putting more emphasis on the 2 fronts since these will be the most crucial in pure stereo modes i.e only front 2 will be used others will not be in play. I guess it would not be very ideal if I am using multichannel music such as sacd or dvd music etc.

Price wise the paradigm studio's are more reasonable but given the brightness of my room I am not sure how it will pan out. For now I do not have any intention of doing any special treatment for the room.

By the way any comments on either the avr300 or the rotel 1068/1075 combo to drive the units.