• 05-13-2005, 03:06 PM
    oddeoowphil38
    Extensive Listening................
    Hello my fellow members. Just got home from going to my local Paradigm dealer and doing some extensive listening. Here is what I found for those of you whom are interested. Lets just say I got to listen to everything from the Atom, Titan, Mini Monitor, Monitor 3, Monitor 7, Monitor 11, cc-170, cc-370, and of course the Studio 20 and 40. The equippment used was a Yamaha RX-V2400 and a Mitsubishi cd player in thier sound room. The speaker that impressed me the most was the Studio 20. It is unbelievable just how much sound that speaker can produce. The Studio 40 added a larger sound stage but thats about all. The 20 was so open and spacious as well as remaining very precise. The tweeter was just amazing providing an excellent upper presence not sounding rolled-off. The midrange/midbass was tight and not over done while remaining exremely controlled. The next to really get my attention was the Monitor 3. To me is sounded very close to the Studio 20 but listening close I could hear that the mids were not quite as clear but excellent nevertheless. The monitor 3 was a bit more forward which did not surprise me considering it has an 8" driver vs. the 6.5" on the Studio 20. It was amazing that the Studio 20 was able to keep up with the monitor 3 eventhough the 20 has a smaller driver. The monitor 7 and 11 did not do much for me. What I mean is they did not add anything that was already there when compared to the monitor 3. I always thought a tower would do just that but not in this case. The mini was also awesome. Again, the mini provided a somewhat large sound stage but was not quite as detailed as the monitor 3 and the studio 20. There was a sense of strain while demoing using the same exact volume levels. However, the mini was a significant improvement over the Titan and the Atom. Don;t take me wrong both were nice speakers but were a lil more harsh in the mid area, not as controlled in the midbass, and a bit rolled off in the upper frequencies. For the money, the Titan and the Atom are GOOD speakers. For a little more the Minis made a significant difference in offering bang for the buck. I could not justify spening more money on a tower such as the monitor 7 or 9 when the monitor 3 to me actually sounded much better. Now the only other two I have not touched much upon are the cc-170 and the cc-370. Well, all I can say is there is a HUGE difference between the two. Sure there is in cost but there is also in performance. In fact, for the money I have yet to hear such an awesome center speaker. Paradigm has created the perfect balance of value and performance with the cc-370. The cc-170 has a small bit of boxiness to it and it sounded rolled off in the upper registers. Dialogue is not nearly as clear as it is with the 370. I now know which center I plan on upgrading to. Anyways, just thought I could offer this to other members and hope it is useful. I am by no means an expert but I been around long enough to pay attention to the finest yet smallest of details. If anyone feels like chiming in feel free in doing so. Thanks.
    Phil
  • 05-13-2005, 08:28 PM
    Wireworm5
    It just so happened that I upgraded my HT system yesterday with Studio 20 v3 and the 470 cc.. I pretty much knew I was going to buy the Studio 20's but I thought I would listen to them anyways. Beside them were the Signature 2's, an almost identical speaker in appearance to the 20's but considerably more money. I listened to them both but I had to use recall memory to compare them. Although I thought the Sigs where slightly better in midrange I detected simbilance as well which I knew would be irratating over time, this may not have been the fault of the speaker, but the mp3 disc the saleman used for demo. The equipment was all good stuff, Denon dvd player Bryston pre-amp and 4B sst.
    However, if I was a first time buyer of Paradigm I don't think I would have been impressed by the demo of either of the two speakers. I think this was due to the room and possibly the mp3 disc. At home my Paradigms are a much different story. They easily out perform what I heard in the dealers show room. Probably because of better room acoustics,a universal sacd player and I crank the volume.
    In my opinion the only way to know if a speakers is for you is at home in your own room. It may take months,numerous tweaks, upgrades to become satisfied with them. And if none of this acheives the desired sound its time for different speakers.
  • 05-14-2005, 03:17 AM
    kexodusc
    I've never been a fan of the 8" woofer in the Monitor 3. It doesn't sound forward to me at all, just the opposite. Not as smooth in the midrange as the smaller woofer, no surprise. For use with a subwoofer, I see no benefit to paying even $10 more for it. The added bass isn't much IMO.
    My favorite from the Monitor line is the Mini...tremendous value, then the Monitor 5. I really dislike the Monitor 7 and larger ones. Bad buys in my opinion, although for some setups I think they could work well or match tastes.
    I found my Studio 20's v.2 a good upgrade from the Mini. The new Studio 20's are a bit better still. Haven't heard the v.4 mini, so I can't comment. The v.3 was nice. I can't answer if the Studio 20 is worth double and then some of the Mini Monitor. Probably not, at least not IMO, but it is a better speaker all around...you'll have to decide that for yourself.
    If you like Paradigm, I would suggest you look for Energy speakers as well. The Connoisseur line offers some very similar sounding models IMO, with some different strengths and price points. Might be a good alternative for you, some people prefer them to the Monitor line, some don't.
  • 05-14-2005, 07:20 AM
    oddeoowphil38
    Kex, I was very suspicious of the 8" driver just as you are BUT after listening to the Monitor 3 IMHO they are at least to me better sounding. True the midrange was a lil tighter and more controlled on the mini but not by much. The mini sounded a lil strained listening to the same material at the same volume level and in the same environment. I went back a forth all afternoon yesterday doing several A/B comparisons. The monitor 3 presented a much larger sound stage and remained very well behaved. It was the closest to the Studio 20 that I have heard to this point. Sure the 20 was better in every respect especially imaging but what amazed me more was it being a smaller speaker than the monitor 3 yet still outperformed it. As you know I am no expert but I was extremely impressed with both the studio 20 and the monitor 3. Have never heard the monitor 5 so have no opinion either way. To me, the towers did not offer any significant advantages over the monitor 3 other than a little bass extension. Guess I prefer a bookshelf type of speaker over towers---too bad I am discovering this now......lol. Anyways, thanks for the input.
    Phil
  • 05-14-2005, 03:28 PM
    cam
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by oddeoowphil38
    Kex, I was very suspicious of the 8" driver just as you are BUT after listening to the Monitor 3 IMHO they are at least to me better sounding. True the midrange was a lil tighter and more controlled on the mini but not by much. The mini sounded a lil strained listening to the same material at the same volume level and in the same environment. I went back a forth all afternoon yesterday doing several A/B comparisons. The monitor 3 presented a much larger sound stage and remained very well behaved. It was the closest to the Studio 20 that I have heard to this point. Sure the 20 was better in every respect especially imaging but what amazed me more was it being a smaller speaker than the monitor 3 yet still outperformed it. As you know I am no expert but I was extremely impressed with both the studio 20 and the monitor 3. Have never heard the monitor 5 so have no opinion either way. To me, the towers did not offer any significant advantages over the monitor 3 other than a little bass extension. Guess I prefer a bookshelf type of speaker over towers---too bad I am discovering this now......lol. Anyways, thanks for the input.
    Phil

    What you heard in those 3's is exactly why I have been recommending them for a couple of years now. They are not as good as the 20's but for the best bang for the buck, the 3's stand up well. I almost bought the 3's two years ago. They performed extremely well in HT set to small crossed over at 80 hz. But I decided on buying the 7's. For HT the 7's were minimaly better at best then the 3's but for 2-channel music, they simply just play louder, cleaner and more detailed then the 3's. At medium to high volumes the 3's can do well against the 7's, but at very high volumes, the 7's leave the 3's behind. There is no replacement for displacement, the 7's with the dual 6.5's and a much bigger box then the 3's, well you can see where I'm going with this. But even though I was going back and forth on buying the 3's or 7's I knew I was getting a great speaker at a great price.
  • 05-14-2005, 03:49 PM
    oddeoowphil38
    Cam I agree the 3's are amazing for the money. However, I really did not hear that much improvement with respect to the monitor 7's or 11's. Sure they can play deeper and as a result need more power and thus can achieve higher volume levels. But, the 3's imaged much better and provided me with a very large soundstage. I do feel as though they were close to the Studio 20's overall. The 20's will out shine the 3's no doubt but IMHO the 3's are not too far behind.
    The minis are also very nice but were a bit strained while demoing at the same volume level and etc. I have narrowed things down quite a bit and if I can gather enough money the studio 20's will be my fronts and the cc-470 will be my center. My titans will serve rear duty until I can get another set of the 20's later on down the road. I also plan on adding another PS1000 10" sub for absorbing standing waves and for better balance. Just wished I could do it all at once but cant afford to right now. I also plan on purchasing a yammie rx-v2500 as well.
  • 05-14-2005, 03:59 PM
    kexodusc
    Phil:

    The Monitor 7's shouldn't need more power to play louder or deeper, in fact just the opposite. Counter-intuitive perhaps, but they should be more efficient.

    It's been said that bookshelf's generally image a bit better than their floorstanding equivalents - I've heard examples where this was true to a large extent, and not noticeable, so I think it matters.

    Adding a second PS1000 to "absorb standing waves" isn't a good idea. Subs don't actually absorb standing waves. You might get a smoother in room response.
    Let me ask you, do you have enough bass right now, both in terms of volume and low end? If so, I'd recommend a cheaper alternative to improving your bass response - a parametric EQ like the Behringer Feedback Destroyer for about $100. You'd be surprised at how well this little gadget can squeeze performance out a subwoofer.

    You might consider looking at the used market to build your system - good savings there.

    Good luck.
  • 05-14-2005, 05:45 PM
    oddeoowphil38
    Kex you got me again....lol. Please excuse my wording. What I meant to say was the towers could play louder at higher volume levels with less distortion than the monitor 3 or the minis. Also, I meant there would be less standing waves by using 2 subwoofers as well as adding somewhat better balance in my living room. However, the second sub is something I will tackle later. Right now I am focused on my front stage. My friend that I bought everything from is trying to get the "BOSS" to allow me to take the MTX towers, my cc-170, and maybe my Titans back and exchange them for the Monitor 3's v.3 and a cc-370 v.3 in their demo room. Then i am going to buy the mini's v.3 that is also in their demo room. They will also throw in a set of the Paradigm speakers stands for the monitor 3's. I will then put the mini's on my end tables on each side of my main couch until I can afford to get another set of stands. If I get to do this then I will have another PS1000 sub later in the Fall. I should know Monday or Tuesday of next week if the "Boss" is gonna let me do it. I think he will because John is a real nice guy. God I hope he does anyways........lol.