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  1. #1
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Paradigm Goes Mass Market With New Active Speaker and Headphone Lines

    News out of CES - Paradigm will introduce a new mass market product line that they've dubbed Paradigm Shift. Unlike Paradigm's current product lineup that's only available through brick-and-mortar specialty retailers, the new Paradigm Shift line will be sold through Paradigm's website, Amazon, and other mass market vendors.

    http://www.cepro.com/article/paradig...rs_headphones/

    The first products will be an active version of the Atom bookshelf speakers, and a new line of headphones.

    Active Atom A2
    Paradigm already tried their hand at active speakers a decade ago with powered versions of the Studio 20 and 40 v.2. By most accounts, those were excellent speakers, but they just could not find a place in a market not yet ready for active speakers.



    With the growth in iPod docks, computer audio, and wireless streaming, active speakers very well could find a new niche, as the market continues to move away from traditional audio components.

    The Atom A2 will come with 100W biamplification and a wireless Airport Express port for streaming with iTunes. The recent iOS update added the new AirPlay feature that allows for an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to wirelessly send and control music directly to AirPlay-compatible speakers. List price is $249 each.

    Headphones and Earbuds
    With the new Paradigm Shift line, Paradigm is also introducing a lineup of headphones and earbuds. The article seems to indicate that this lineup aims directly at Monster Cable's Dr. Dre Beats line. Pricing will range from $79 to $499.
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  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Yeah, the Paradigm site has alluded to the Shift series for a few weeks ...The article Wooch referes to mentions the old active Studio 20 and there was also an active Studio 40 -- they had excellent specs and reviews back in the day.

    Rationally, self-powered speakers with custom, active crossovers and amps is the way to go. That is, if your goal is an accurate transducer. This is one reason actives are so popular among pro speakers. But of course audiophiles like to indulge there own whims and fancies when it comes to amplifiers, so active has never been big in the 'phile market.

  3. #3
    Ajani
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    Headphones and Active monitors (replacing the stock ear-buds and cheesy active computer monitors) are clearly the way to appeal to younger generations.... The time is right for such a move... I'm really pleased to see more and more legitimate HiFi brands getting with the times...

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Well that's a bit different I guess. Not really surprised by it either. Don't think they offer anything I'd buy but I suspect they'll reach a lot more people through this channel.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Yeah, the Paradigm site has alluded to the Shift series for a few weeks ...


    Very slick (although I HATE Flash websites!). Looks like they've done their marketing homework for their target audience. The marketing message is all about lifestyle and how you "play" (I notice that their product lineup will also include gaming headsets).

    The article I linked also mentioned that the Paradigm Shift rollout will include an ad campaign with a paid endorser (wonder who that will be?). It would be great to see someone counter the incessant marketing for the overpriced Bose and Dr. Dre Beats headphones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    The article Wooch referes to mentions the old active Studio 20 and there was also an active Studio 40 -- they had excellent specs and reviews back in the day.
    Yeah, they were mighty tempting and did sound great. But, like many others in the market at that time, I had already bought a home theater receiver. It didn't make any sense for me to essentially use that receiver as a preamp and pay an extra ~$400 for each pair of speakers, especially since my room configuration required 20' speaker cable runs (interconnects are a lot more expensive).

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Rationally, self-powered speakers with custom, active crossovers and amps is the way to go. That is, if your goal is an accurate transducer. This is one reason actives are so popular among pro speakers. But of course audiophiles like to indulge there own whims and fancies when it comes to amplifiers, so active has never been big in the 'phile market.
    Totally agree with you on this. Paradigm got it right with how they designed the active Studio 20/40 models -- active crossovers and biamping with higher powered amps driving the woofers. Active speakers never caught on in the home audio market because there is so much investment already made in amplification.

    If you buy a receiver or integrated amp, you'd be paying for amplification that you're not using, while concurrently paying more for the speakers. Otherwise, they make a lot of sense because a speaker manufacturer can optimize the active amplification specifically to each driver. Plus, there's the higher cost for running interconnects instead of speaker wires.

    With computer audio and wireless streaming, there is no sunk cost in amplifiers, so active speakers suddenly make a lot of sense. We've had some online brands already selling to that market, so it's nice to see an established brand like Paradigm reentering that market. This time it might work out better.
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  6. #6
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    If they sound like the house sound, they will sound great. I've always been impressed by the sound of their home speakers. Solid bass at low volume.

    Curious to hear their hps.
    d HC b

  7. #7
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    I am not sure what you mean by "Active".

    In the Music world "Active" means there is feedback from the transducer (cone) which is compared to the cone-amp's intended input, generating a correction to the cone-amp's input. Think Velodyne servo subs.

    This is where Mackie rules. And "Active" dynamic speakers are a huge step above non-active dynamics, but active speakers are usually found at Musician's Friend, Music123, zZounds and the like, not at audio dealers.

    An interesting trick you can carefully play with an active speaker is to tap the large cone lightly with your finger without any power to that speaker. Continue tapping as you power up the speaker and notice the rise in sound pitch from your finger taps.

    If the Para-D speakers have transducer feedback correction they may be very interesting. The marketing risk is "Would they pull sales from Para-D's more expensive lines?"

  8. #8
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    I think the reference of "active" is in context to the speakers having amps built into the speaker cabinet.
    d HC b

  9. #9
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    Amps built into the speaker cabinet only produces powered speakers.

    Active means an ongoing process, and here, correcting the speaker's audio output to the preamp input in real time.

    So I hope Para-D's use of "Active" means that their speakers feature transducer feedback correction. If not- give your ears some exposure to the Mackie HR824 Mk2 and you will hear what I am aluding to.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I think they are just following the trend that the younger generation is headed towards or at least for now and with powered speakers for computer or mp3 player audio and headphones and earbud products which is right along with this trend. I have been a Paradigm fan for years and owned a pair of them for a long time before upgrading past their level or at least in my opinion and I think like a lot of audio companies they are feeling the economy and the shift of the way people listen to music media and the fact that better audio retailers are closing everywhere which Paradigm only sold their products through audio shops before but now that quite a few shops no longer exist they have to do something. B & W selling at best buy and Paradigm selling earbuds and powered speakers for computer audio and mp3 players is just the beginning of this sort of thing in my opinion.

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  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mash
    In the Music world "Active" means there is feedback from the transducer (cone) which is compared to the cone-amp's intended input, generating a correction to the cone-amp's input. Think Velodyne servo subs.
    ....
    Maybe, but I think the more general term for such feedback control, (pretty much only used for subwoofers), is "servo-controlled".

  12. #12
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Maybe, but I think the more general term for such feedback control, (pretty much only used for subwoofers), is "servo-controlled".
    The founder of ATC agrees with you (as do I). Read this.

    rw

  13. #13
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    "Servo-controlled" refers to the use of, say, an accelerometer

    mounted on the (usually a sub) woofer cone, said accelerometer running at a specified clock frequency, lets say 3600 Hz for a sub. If the sub inferred here operates UP TO 120 Hz then a 3600 Hz clock frequency is fine. But what if the driver in question operates up to, say, 1000 Hz. Then a much higher clock frequency would be required.

    There are other ways to achieve feedback control. In other words, all speaker servo-control systems are intended to provide feeback control, but not all feedback-control systems are servo-controlled.

    The Active Powered Mackie HR824 is NOT a sub but it does have feedback control....

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Camper
    I think the reference of "active" is in context to the speakers having amps built into the speaker cabinet.
    Yep, active is a very common usage for powered speakers, and it should be clear to anyone reading the article that this is what Paradigm is referring to.
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  15. #15
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    Then we have VERY different meanings for "Active"

    in Stereo/Hi Fi/Audiophile land versus the Musician's world...??

    In the Musicians world:

    "Powered" means the unit in question has transducers (cones), amplifier(s), various controls and when appropriate, a crossover.

    "Active Powered" means the unit in question has transducers (cones), amplifier(s), various controls, a crossover when appropriate, AND transducer feedback control.

    ........ So I cannot merely post that the Mackie HR824 is "Active Powered" and still convey that it has transducer feedback control.

  16. #16
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mash
    in Stereo/Hi Fi/Audiophile land versus the Musician's world...??
    Recording/monitoring vs. sound reinforcement. Along with ATC, Genelec is another supplier of professional monitors who also uses the term active just to indicate powered speakers with low level crossovers. Read their text which agrees with ATC and likely dozens of other similar suppliers.

    Feedback control is only needed for sound reinforcement. This website is not really geared towards sound reinforcement or PA applications.

    rw

  17. #17
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    Entertaining, E-Stat

    The Mackie HR824 is a recording studio monitor, you know, those places where performances are recorded, recordings are mixed if required, reviewed for production, and so forth. This speaker is NOT for sound reinforcement, and I was NOT posting about the sound reinforcement industry.

    Transducer feedback control IS very valuable in home music reproduction. This is why there are so many servo-controlled subs. But the advantages of transducer feedback control are NOT limited only to low frequencies.

    I think you should be more flexible.

  18. #18
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mash
    I think you should be more flexible.
    Gee, that's what I was thinking when you attempted to correct Feanor.

    rw

  19. #19
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Gee, that's what I was thinking when you attempted to correct Feanor.

    rw
    and there.......there...it...is....
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Maybe, but I think the more general term for such feedback control, (pretty much only used for subwoofers), is "servo-controlled".

    My Marsh amp uses 'Servo-Controlled' circuitry throughout.

    http://www.marshsounddesign.com/a400s.html
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  21. #21
    Ajani
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    Gentlemen are we really discussing whether active is the correct word to describe the Paradigm Speakers?

    I would be willing to bet that potential users of such speakers could care less whether they are called active or powered speakers...

  22. #22
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Gentlemen are we really discussing whether active is the correct word to describe the Paradigm Speakers?
    Paradigm thinks their bi-amped speakers are active.

    Here you find the description:

    "The new Paradigm Shift Active Atom (A2) is a bookshelf speaker, bi-amped with 100 watts of power per speaker."

    Using the same criteria, so does ATC and Genelec among others.

    rw

  23. #23
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Power on a chip, probably.
    Paradigm getting in touch with their inner Canadian.
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  24. #24
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    My Marsh amp uses 'Servo-Controlled' circuitry throughout.

    http://www.marshsounddesign.com/a400s.html
    Maybe, that sort of servo-control is more often called "feedback".

  25. #25
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Paradigm thinks their bi-amped speakers are active.

    Here you find the description:

    "The new Paradigm Shift Active Atom (A2) is a bookshelf speaker, bi-amped with 100 watts of power per speaker."

    Using the same criteria, so does ATC and Genelec among others.

    rw
    Active is the word I would have used as well, as it the one I'm more accustomed to hearing for speakers with internal amplification... However, I'm still at a loss as to why this is even an issue...

    It is pretty clear that Paradigm is referring to speakers with internal amplification... So why do we need a discussion of what the correct term is?

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