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  1. #1
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    downsizing my speakers is better

    I recently downsized my Paradigm studio monitors, which were the top of the line large floor standing speaker circa 1994, to the Paradigm Studio 20 bookshelf speaker.

    The main reason for this was I wanted to get my 60in TV speakers and components built into an entertainment center and this would not work with the large floor standing speakers.

    I was concerned that "downgrading" to bookshelve speakers would degrade the sonic quality but I was mistaken, In fact my system sounds much better now with the smaller speakers. I attribute this to the quality of the Studio 20's, they sound great. The imaging is fantastic and they have a "high end" sound and also they sound great at low volume, which my large speakers never did. You can read more on my speaker review.

    anyone wanting to do the same, get rid of the large speakers you bought before the kid arrived do not worry, just get a good quality bookshelf and you will be happy.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lomarica

    anyone wanting to do the same, get rid of the large speakers you bought before the kid arrived do not worry, just get a good quality bookshelf and you will be happy.

    I am in the same boat. I had a small tv cart for my tv and components, and
    my mains (optimus lx8) were on stands on either side.

    As I baby-proofing measure, we got an entertainment center to contain
    everything, however the designated speaker cabinet/shelf will not
    hold the lx8s, which is ok, as I want to replace them anyway.

    So now, I'm looking for a good 'bookshelf' speaker for mains.
    I need to replace my crappy Celestion Centre 2 with something, too.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lomarica
    anyone wanting to do the same, get rid of the large speakers you bought before the kid arrived do not worry, just get a good quality bookshelf and you will be happy.
    BS. I'd rather put floor standing speakers up on something and secure the speaker grills so a two year old can't pull them off vs *downgrade* to a mini-speaker.

    The studio 20's are nice speakers, but Paradigm is in the same mid-fi class with JBL and a few in others in that the bigger the speaker they build, the worse it seems to sound. It's interesting that several of my friends have gone through the same speaker cycle and convinced themselves that a book shelf or sat was just as good as their older floor standers. As soon as the baby learned to leave the hi-fi stuff alone, they suddenly felt this urge to go back to their old 3-way floor standers and take a stand with their significant other. Fortunatley my fiance likes big speakers.

    Like I said, I won't knock the 20's, but small speakers have small sound - period.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstracta
    BS. I'd rather put floor standing speakers up on something and secure the speaker grills so a two year old can't pull them off vs *downgrade* to a mini-speaker.

    The studio 20's are nice speakers, but Paradigm is in the same mid-fi class with JBL and a few in others in that the bigger the speaker they build, the worse it seems to sound. It's interesting that several of my friends have gone through the same speaker cycle and convinced themselves that a book shelf or sat was just as good as their older floor standers. As soon as the baby learned to leave the hi-fi stuff alone, they suddenly felt this urge to go back to their old 3-way floor standers and take a stand with their significant other. Fortunatley my fiance likes big speakers.

    Like I said, I won't knock the 20's, but small speakers have small sound - period.

    BS. Since you don't have a toddler running around, how can you know
    what you're talking about???
    Put floor standing speakers UP on something??? Aren't they supposed to
    be 'floor standing'???
    Just because a speaker is BIG, doesn't mean it has GOOD sound.
    It may have BIG sound, but who cares???

  5. #5
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    Wow, I just realized another reason to try Ohm MicroWalsh Talls. Just take off the grille/bonnet on the top and you're baby proof. The canister-shaped grille that houses the drivers is very sturdy, so the drivers aren't exposed!

    Anyway, the best part is that with the Ohms you're getting the imaging/soundstaging abilities of a mini-monitor, and bass/lower mids of a (high quality) floorstander.

    BTW I agree about the Pardigms only being mid-fi. The 20 is the best speaker of the Studio series. Spend any more money, especially for a floorstander, and it's time to try another brand.

  6. #6
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanc0500
    BS. Since you don't have a toddler running around, how can you know
    what you're talking about???
    Put floor standing speakers UP on something??? Aren't they supposed to
    be 'floor standing'???
    Just because a speaker is BIG, doesn't mean it has GOOD sound.
    It may have BIG sound, but who cares???
    My B&W 603's are on stands. They are floor standers.
    Look & Listen

  7. #7
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstracta
    BS. I'd rather put floor standing speakers up on something and secure the speaker grills so a two year old can't pull them off vs *downgrade* to a mini-speaker.

    The studio 20's are nice speakers, but Paradigm is in the same mid-fi class with JBL and a few in others in that the bigger the speaker they build, the worse it seems to sound. It's interesting that several of my friends have gone through the same speaker cycle and convinced themselves that a book shelf or sat was just as good as their older floor standers. As soon as the baby learned to leave the hi-fi stuff alone, they suddenly felt this urge to go back to their old 3-way floor standers and take a stand with their significant other. Fortunatley my fiance likes big speakers.

    Like I said, I won't knock the 20's, but small speakers have small sound - period.

    Any speaker designer will tell you that there advantages/disadvantages to the floorstander/standmount decision. In many cases a bookshelf will sound better. Period. In others it won't. You add a few bottom Hz in a larger cabinet. But that's it. It doesn't change imaging or soundstage, and in many cases the maximum output is barely noticeable. Before you make irresponsible and factually wrong statements to members on this board you should consider truth over your biased personal opinions which appear to be based on anything but facts. Tiny home theater satellites are one thing, but a good bookshelf size speaker can do the trick easily.
    Go listen to Totem's Mani-2 compared to the B&W 703's. Not even close. The Mani whoops it in every aspect and is less than 1/2 the size.
    Size has absolutely nothing to do with sound.

    Funny, how you'd suggest a speaker with the same drivers and crossover as a larger volumed cabinet (which is usually ALL that changes) somehow makes the speaker better? Deeper bass maybe, but everything else should be identical. I'd almost always take a good standmount than larger floorstander at the same price. Most of the musical information exists above 35Hz well within a good bookshelf's range...below that you're paying double for what 6 unmusical notes? Big deal. I'd take a better midrange and high end anyday.

    As for Paradigm sounding mid-fi - so what? So do alot of speaker brands, B&W sells a ton of mid-fi stuff. Listen to the 700 series, no better than Paradigm's Studio line, yet they're pretty popular too. Mid-fi is all some people want or can afford. Nothing wrong with that.

  8. #8
    Audiophile Wireworm5's Avatar
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    If Paradigms are mid-fi I can't imagine how much better hi-fi would sound. In my system I think I could improve slightly on my rear speakers with a better amp. Other than that I doubt very much I could improve on the sound with any upgrade and be able to tell the difference. I think I have reached the point of diminishing returns. Of coarse I've said this before but this time I mean it.

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    And just what is "small sound?" Is that a technical audio term? Is the theory small speaker = small sound? And big speakers = big sound? Poppycock!

    I agree with kexodusc and seanc0500. Contrary to the suggestion made by abstracta, there is no absolute correlation between speaker size and sound quality. Or between speaker size and intelligible, undistorted loudness. With my Studio 20's vs. Studio 60's or 100's, I am giving up only the lowest notes of only a few instruments (see this). That's where a sub complements the mains. And they reproduce sound as loud as I can stand it. Moreover, when speaker shopping, I found that until you got up into the multi-thousand dollar floorstander range, most bookshelf speakers had superior clarity and better imaging.

    Whether or not Paradigm's Reference series are "mid-fi," I think it's all relative and personal. I auditioned a lot of speakers while shopping for mains, including speakers costing thousands more than the 20's. In my experience and to my ears, I found that there is a point of diminishing returns. Sure, there were "hi-fi" speakers that sounded marginally better than the 20's but in almost every case, they were at least twice as expensive. I guess if money was no object, I would've purchased a pair of B&W 800 series speakers or even something more expensive. But to me, and I suspect most on this board, money is important and we all want to get the best sound that our individual audio dollars can buy. For me that was Paradigm Reference Studio 20's. For many others, it is also a bookshelf speaker.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasmit
    And just what is "small sound?" Is that a technical audio term? Is the theory small speaker = small sound? And big speakers = big sound? Poppycock!
    .
    I think what I was trying to say was that big speakers tend to sound louder.
    But not necessarily better???
    I don't know. I was just trying to make the point that I don't think bigger
    is necessarily better, especially, as was pointed out, if a quality bookshelf
    is accompanied by a quality sub with a seamless crossover.

  11. #11
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanc0500
    I think what I was trying to say was that big speakers tend to sound louder.
    But not necessarily better???
    I don't know. I was just trying to make the point that I don't think bigger
    is necessarily better, especially, as was pointed out, if a quality bookshelf
    is accompanied by a quality sub with a seamless crossover.
    If i was buying new speakers,i'd go for some real nice bookshelfs,4 of them on some nice stands.
    Look & Listen

  12. #12
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    Why bookshelves/Standmounts? Why not?

    I personally prefer the bass that a larger floorstander can provide, but I also know that excellent sound can be provided by a smaller bookshelf speaker, otherwise I wouldn't have bought those AN/K Spe's this weekend. I actually own more standmount speakers than I do floorstanders, but in my larger room, the Extended bass from a larger speaker loads the room better, and gives the perception of "bigger" sound... it certainly sounds more impressive. Smaller speakers may sound "smaller" simply because they don't have the low end punch, but soundstage can be just as large and enveloping in my experience.

    Gershman Acoustics X-1/SW-1 / Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks / Edge Electronics Si-1m Preamplifier / Sony DVP-NC555ES Transport Modded Caps and Opamps / Pro-Ject Debut II with Shure M97xE / Carver TX-11 Tuner / SonoCable and Harmonic Tech Cabling / Monster Power HTS1000 MKII / Monster Power HTS3500 MKII / Audio Note AN-K/Spe / Radii MSKT88 Monoblocks / SonoSilence One / Akai Reference Master

  13. #13
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin99
    Why bookshelves/Standmounts? Why not?

    I personally prefer the bass that a larger floorstander can provide, but I also know that excellent sound can be provided by a smaller bookshelf speaker, otherwise I wouldn't have bought those AN/K Spe's this weekend. I actually own more standmount speakers than I do floorstanders, but in my larger room, the Extended bass from a larger speaker loads the room better, and gives the perception of "bigger" sound... it certainly sounds more impressive. Smaller speakers may sound "smaller" simply because they don't have the low end punch, but soundstage can be just as large and enveloping in my experience.
    They dont need to worry about low end,thats for my sub. They will work on hights and mids and you can get bookshelfs that will do 35Hz just fine.
    Look & Listen

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    They dont need to worry about low end,thats for my sub. They will work on hights and mids and you can get bookshelfs that will do 35Hz just fine.
    I do realize that there are many bookshelves that will do 35Hz just fine... I've heard many of them. Most of them sound great without a sub but I'm sure you will save the low end for you sub.

    Gershman Acoustics X-1/SW-1 / Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks / Edge Electronics Si-1m Preamplifier / Sony DVP-NC555ES Transport Modded Caps and Opamps / Pro-Ject Debut II with Shure M97xE / Carver TX-11 Tuner / SonoCable and Harmonic Tech Cabling / Monster Power HTS1000 MKII / Monster Power HTS3500 MKII / Audio Note AN-K/Spe / Radii MSKT88 Monoblocks / SonoSilence One / Akai Reference Master

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanc0500
    I think what I was trying to say was that big speakers tend to sound louder.
    But not necessarily better???
    I don't know. I was just trying to make the point that I don't think bigger
    is necessarily better, especially, as was pointed out, if a quality bookshelf
    is accompanied by a quality sub with a seamless crossover.
    Sean - your post was clear; I was replying to abstracta's post that said, ". . . but small speakers have small sound - period."

  16. #16
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Downsizing Speaker

    The studio 20's are nice speakers, but Paradigm is in the same mid-fi class with JBL and a few in others in that the bigger the speaker they build, the worse it seems to sound. It's interesting that several of my friends have gone through the same speaker cycle and convinced themselves that a book shelf or sat was just as good as their older floor standers. As soon as the baby learned to leave the hi-fi stuff alone, they suddenly felt this urge to go back to their old 3-way floor standers and take a stand with their significant other. Fortunatley my fiance likes big speakers.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dont know why your comparing Paradigm in the same class of Jbl ! Paradigm is in the same league with Energy .Paradigm have great reviews and also make great subwoofer.I have Paradigm ,Energy, Axiom,Dalhquist (all of these are Canadian made) Also have some Jbl and wont compare them to my Canadian speaker.Please list your speaker and I like to know what you own.As for the bookshelf there lots of great bookshelf speaker ,as long that nothing vibrates beside them and are no rear ported no problem.Pat.P

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    .As for the bookshelf there lots of great bookshelf speaker ,as long that nothing vibrates beside them and are no rear ported no problem.Pat.P
    What problem do yo see with a rear port?

    David

  18. #18
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    For the sake of keeping this thread accurate, I'll mention that JBL makes some extremely nice high-end speakers that you are not likely to see in the big box locations that would put entry level paradigms to shame and sound as good as if not better than Paradigm Signature stuff.

    Gershman Acoustics X-1/SW-1 / Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks / Edge Electronics Si-1m Preamplifier / Sony DVP-NC555ES Transport Modded Caps and Opamps / Pro-Ject Debut II with Shure M97xE / Carver TX-11 Tuner / SonoCable and Harmonic Tech Cabling / Monster Power HTS1000 MKII / Monster Power HTS3500 MKII / Audio Note AN-K/Spe / Radii MSKT88 Monoblocks / SonoSilence One / Akai Reference Master

  19. #19
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    Lightbulb downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by corwin99
    For the sake of keeping this thread accurate, I'll mention that JBL makes some extremely nice high-end speakers that you are not likely to see in the big box locations that would put entry level paradigms to shame and sound as good as if not better than Paradigm Signature stuff.
    When I said I would not compare Paradigm to the JBL in the same league I meant with the JBL at Future SHOP .The JBL PRO that they use at concert and in cinema is in a league of their own these are hard to beat to fill a room the size of a gym or concert hall .These would cost as much as my two houses and the amp for them also would cost a pretty $$ .Pat.P

  20. #20
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Dowsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman
    What problem do yo see with a rear port?

    David
    The problem I see with a rear port speaker in a inclosed wall unit (back inclosed ) is that the rear ported need to circulate the air in back , sound might vibrate if its inclosed .Pat.P

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    When I said I would not compare Paradigm to the JBL in the same league I meant with the JBL at Future SHOP .The JBL PRO that they use at concert and in cinema is in a league of their own these are hard to beat to fill a room the size of a gym or concert hall .These would cost as much as my two houses and the amp for them also would cost a pretty $$ .Pat.P
    I wasn't talking about the JBL Pro stuff either, but i wasn't talking about the JBL at futureshop. If you go to their site you will see 2 lines that I have heard.. the K2 and the TiK, both are excellent and meant for HOME USE. They are not the size of a Gym or a Concert Hall... and do not cost as much as your two houses either (unless your houses truly are POS).

    My problem is that classifying JBL as being "below" paradigm in some way simply because a couple of their speakers at Futureshop are nothing special is misleading, and incorrect.

    Gershman Acoustics X-1/SW-1 / Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks / Edge Electronics Si-1m Preamplifier / Sony DVP-NC555ES Transport Modded Caps and Opamps / Pro-Ject Debut II with Shure M97xE / Carver TX-11 Tuner / SonoCable and Harmonic Tech Cabling / Monster Power HTS1000 MKII / Monster Power HTS3500 MKII / Audio Note AN-K/Spe / Radii MSKT88 Monoblocks / SonoSilence One / Akai Reference Master

  22. #22
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    The problem I see with a rear port speaker in a inclosed wall unit (back inclosed ) is that the rear ported need to circulate the air in back , sound might vibrate if its inclosed .Pat.P
    Say whaaaa???

    I think you're referring to rear-ported speakers with the port hole against a back wall? Yeah, that would be problematic. But I would point out that a front ported speaker against a back wall is not going to sound much better in most cases - or any box speaker for that matter not specifically designed for wall mounting.

  23. #23
    Canuck!
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    Yep... any time you place any speaker really close to a back wall you will get funky reflections regardless of where the port is.. even if its not that close to the back wall you will certainly get some loss of focus. One of the single best upgrades I made to my system was installing curtains behind the speakers, and my speakers are quite a bit out from the rear wall. The rear port does need breathing room more so than sealed or front ported designs... but some people actually like that "boom" that happens when placing rear ported speakers against the wall...

    Gershman Acoustics X-1/SW-1 / Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks / Edge Electronics Si-1m Preamplifier / Sony DVP-NC555ES Transport Modded Caps and Opamps / Pro-Ject Debut II with Shure M97xE / Carver TX-11 Tuner / SonoCable and Harmonic Tech Cabling / Monster Power HTS1000 MKII / Monster Power HTS3500 MKII / Audio Note AN-K/Spe / Radii MSKT88 Monoblocks / SonoSilence One / Akai Reference Master

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin99
    Yep... any time you place any speaker really close to a back wall you will get funky reflections regardless of where the port is.. even if its not that close to the back wall you will certainly get some loss of focus. One of the single best upgrades I made to my system was installing curtains behind the speakers, and my speakers are quite a bit out from the rear wall. The rear port does need breathing room more so than sealed or front ported designs... but some people actually like that "boom" that happens when placing rear ported speakers against the wall...
    There are some variables with rear porting. There's no simplistic formula for how much room a given speaker needs. Call the company and they should have all the info you need. As mentioned earlier, putting a box speaker in an enclosed unit is generally a bad idea regardless of port. I've always asked the designer (or at least someone familiar with the aims of the designer) if how I'm setting up my speakers is acceptable. That was one of the many pluses of going with my current speakers. I got to speak directly with the owner/designer.

    David

  25. #25
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by corwin99
    I wasn't talking about the JBL Pro stuff either, but i wasn't talking about the JBL at futureshop. If you go to their site you will see 2 lines that I have heard.. the K2 and the TiK, both are excellent and meant for HOME USE. They are not the size of a Gym or a Concert Hall... and do not cost as much as your two houses either (unless your houses truly are POS).

    My problem is that classifying JBL as being "below" paradigm in some way simply because a couple of their speakers at Futureshop are nothing special is misleading, and incorrect.
    Ok I have to try these out and see for myself ,and no my two or not POS ,one a townhouse that I rent to my daugther and the other is a 45 feet 2 storey house near the water in Ottawa ,ont ( boyh double in value in 5 year) Pat.P

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