• 12-02-2003, 03:09 PM
    Jimmy C
    Heard the new Paradigm S2 today...
    ...which is the Studio 20 equivalent, ie., the smallest one. They were hooked up to monster Classe gear... CDP, preamp and amp in a large 10'x16'x24' room. Speakers on short wall facing straight ahead, well out into the room. We listened to "Minu Cinelu" a Jazz CD I have been diggin' on lately. This guy is pretty good - worked with Weather Report and a few other notables.

    This new series is definitely more transparent and open than the Studio series, which IMO is more closed-in and dark sounding. Soundstaging was very good - layered from the speaker to the back wall showing off whatever tricks the CD had. Very focused and realistic - nothing too big or too short.

    The S2 is a very easy to listen to speaker, with a fairly silky HF and a clean midrange. These took a moderate amount of volume in stride - stayed composed and no part of the spectrum stood out as the volume rose. No obvious colorations to male vocals (which were very good, by the way) or anywhere else.

    Problems? Well, there wasn't much bass. My M20s have one particular track of said disc pressurizing the room and tingling your innards... the S2s woofer didn't want any part of those low frequencies at higher volumes. To be fair, it WAS a pretty big room. Dynamics were average, IMO... again, no contest against the Revel.

    Yesterday, I said the N805s had the best looking cabinets in the $2K range - I think the Paradigms are better. The "post-production" (my dealer called it) model were a Bird's Eye Maple with a gloss coat - stunning. A bit of a lute shape to them as well (ala Sonus Faber).

    Not cheap - $1900 to start. Maybe in a smaller room the bass would be more obidient - the midrange and highs are quite good. I like 'em, but they ain't knockin' my M20s off their stands.

    Oh - by the way... I FINALLY bought a DVD player! Yay me! It's a 2 year-old Rotel demo... RDV-985... something like that. It sold for $699 at the time, I got it for $375. Since this digital thing is probably just a fad, I'm still holding onto my Betamax... ;^P
  • 12-02-2003, 04:22 PM
    TinHere
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jimmy C
    ...
    Oh - by the way... I FINALLY bought a DVD player! Yay me! It's a 2 year-old Rotel demo... RDV-985... something like that. It sold for $699 at the time, I got it for $375. Since this digital thing is probably just a fad, I'm still holding onto my Betamax... ;^P

    Congrats and welcome to the Digital Age. Can multi-channel music be far behind? Time for a universal DVD player. ;)

    Nice review. So you're saying speakers sound different?
  • 12-02-2003, 06:27 PM
    Woochifer
    Good review. From the sound of things, Paradigm achieved their initial objectives -- to create a speaker for the high end market. Something tells me that the S6 probably addresses the bass problems that you noted, but that's also a $6k speaker. My lingering question is whether these Signature speakers are worth more than double what the Studio series models cost, and how they compare soundwise to comparable models in their price class like the B&W N805. I guess I'll need to check in with my local dealer and see if the Sigs have come into their showroom yet.

    Mino Cinelu always makes for a good demo if you're into percussion.

    Just so you know, I heard that the cabinets used in the Signature series are made in Italy by the same woodworking outfit that supplies Sonus Faber, which might explain the family resemblance.
  • 12-03-2003, 05:17 AM
    Jimmy C
    No doubt the cabinet...
    ...contributes to a lot of the cost - especially if they come from Italy. This would certainly explain the resemblance.

    Are they worth more than twice the Studio series? Well, it certainly was a more musical and realistic sounding speaker. I don't view them as a KMart Blue-Light bargain, but in some ways, I liked these better than the N805. The B&W has better bass, but the Paradigms seemed more... well, "seemless" to me. The S2 was also a bit drier - but, bear in mind my short demo of the new speaker was in a big room, and the best N805 demo I had was in a tiny, super-damped room. The salesman at the Nautilus demo admitted the room was far too dead.

    I didn't want to make it sound like there was NO bass - there was some sort of LF foundation... it was just a bit shelved-back and unruley. I would have been much happier hearing these in a, maybe, 14'x20" room with standard height ceilings.

    Oh - and yes, Tin... speakers do indeed sound the same... they simply LOOK different... :*)
  • 12-03-2003, 06:42 AM
    3db
    Be interesting to see how they compare to PSB's
    new Platinum series.