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  1. #1
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    paradigm monitor 3, 7, 9

    i was going to get the monitor 3's i really liked them and they would finish my system. but after getting my car stereo stolen i have an additional 415 dollars from the insurance i was wondering if it would be worth it to use that money and get floorstanders over the bookselfs. i have started to listen to more music but it's probably going to be 50/50. also are floorstanders easy to tip. a friend was drunk one night and went to the bathroom and tackled my bookselfs that i have now and scrapped them all up they still work but he never told me he did it had to learn through someone else. so basically the question is will the floorstanders have good clear mids and highs or would it be better to get the bookshelfs? stability of the floorstanders/advice on making bookshelfs more stable? and finally which would be better for 50/50 music/ht? thanks for any input.

    (wish i didn't have my stuff stolen i wouldn't have to make this dicission )

  2. #2
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    If music is your priority, use that extra money to step up to the Studio 20's and some nice stands. You'll be glad you did!

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    I agree w/ N.Absentia, give the Studio series an audition if your listening is moving more towards music. The Studio 20s cost about what the same as the Monitor 9s go for.

    As far as the Monitor series goes, the Monitor 5 might be the best overall model in that series. In general, the standmounted models have better imaging quality and overall balance, while the floorstanders lose some imaging and tonal balance in favor of better bass extension and more punch. The Monitor 5 is probably the best balance between overall tonal balance and punchiness. Floorstanders in that price range generally have problems with cabinet resonance and inconsistent tonal balance, and the Monitor series is no exception. They're a great value and definitely serve their purpose, but be aware of what their drawbacks are and if you're fine with that.

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    ok sounds like i should just spend a bit more and go with new stands and monitor 5's. (don't need more bass i really want mid and high accuracy). maybe i should take the leftover money and get an Xbox also one last thing. the monitor 5's are a lot taller than the 3's and the bookshelfs i have now what size stand should they be put on? right now i think mine are 30" stands which i know would be way to tall as i think they're a bit tall right now. thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lafferman
    ok sounds like i should just spend a bit more and go with new stands and monitor 5's. (don't need more bass i really want mid and high accuracy). maybe i should take the leftover money and get an Xbox also one last thing. the monitor 5's are a lot taller than the 3's and the bookshelfs i have now what size stand should they be put on? right now i think mine are 30" stands which i know would be way to tall as i think they're a bit tall right now. thanks for the advice.
    The Monitor 5s typically go with stands 18"-22" high. Anything taller and the tweeters will go well over your head.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    What other speaker makers have you auditioned? I would take the Monitor 9 over the Studio 20. The Studio 20 is better in the treble - but lacks bass and dynamic impact. If rock and rap and home theater is the main gig a slightly less refined but deeper fuller sounding speaker(even with some box resonance) isn't a bad trade. I personally feel the Monitor 5 is not a particularly good sounding speaker nor is it particularly bad. However I found with acoustic instruments it was overly lean and rather irritating quite quickly.

    At the very least do what I did and listen to these directly against eachother and other brands.

    With the right stands and attachment you should have little problem with stability.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    What other speaker makers have you auditioned? I would take the Monitor 9 over the Studio 20. The Studio 20 is better in the treble - but lacks bass and dynamic impact. If rock and rap and home theater is the main gig a slightly less refined but deeper fuller sounding speaker(even with some box resonance) isn't a bad trade. I personally feel the Monitor 5 is not a particularly good sounding speaker nor is it particularly bad. However I found with acoustic instruments it was overly lean and rather irritating quite quickly.

    At the very least do what I did and listen to these directly against eachother and other brands.

    With the right stands and attachment you should have little problem with stability.
    Keep in mind that the poster is NOT looking for additional bass. Comparing the Monitor 9 and the Studio 20, IMO really the only advantage that the 9 has is in the bass extension and the low end punch (and even there, the Studio 20 better articulates and differentiates between different low frequency sounds). In every other facet -- the high end accuracy, midrange coherency, tonal balance, imaging, soundstage, freedom from resonance, dynamic range (not just the punchiness), and sense of realism from music and movies alike, the Studio 20 has a distinct advantage. The Monitor 9 is a good overall speaker, but it has many more tradeoffs than the Studio 20, which I regard as one of best imaging and most versatile speakers in its price range.

    While you regard the Monitor 5's rendering of acoustic instruments as lean and irritating (which I do not because I think the Monitor 5's midrange is very linear and well controlled), someone else might not favorably view the the type of box resonance that midlevel floorstanding speakers like the Monitor 9 frequently exhibit.

  8. #8
    cam
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    I had your dilemma once. I listened to the mini's and I thought they sounded very nice. Then I listened to the 3's sided by side and the 3's were very nice. The frequency range is the same as the mini yet the 3 sounded fuller, more complete. I really liked the sound of the 3's. Looks wise, the mini looked better on stands where the 3 looked a little fat. I then listened to the 5's along side the 3's and to my ears the 5's were a step in the wrong direction. Don't get me wrong, the 5's sound good by themselves but as soon as you audition them beside the 3's they don't have that full complete sound that I like. Same amp, same song, same room, the 3's sounded better to me then the mini's and 5's. I then sampled the 7's. From top to bottom the sound was very good. No apparent flaw in sound for what I was looking for in a speaker. I then listened to the 3 again and it all of a sudden didn't sound as good as it did before. It was still good sounding but the 3 and the 5 were not as good as the 7. I then listened to the 9 against the 7. At the time my sales guy was going to charge me $200 more for the 9's over the 7's. I had the money so money was not an issue but I prefered the tight and crisp sound from the 7's over the 9's. By now my ears couldn't take it anymore so just to make sure my ears were not becoming unreliable I went home and came back the next day with my money. I auditioned the mini, 3,5,7,9,and 11 very quickly and I prefered the tight, punchy,crisp sound from the 7's. I felt that paying more for the 9's or 11's was a waste and would be better used towards the next line up. I hope my experince helps

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    I had your dilemma once. I listened to the mini's and I thought they sounded very nice. Then I listened to the 3's sided by side and the 3's were very nice. The frequency range is the same as the mini yet the 3 sounded fuller, more complete. I really liked the sound of the 3's. Looks wise, the mini looked better on stands where the 3 looked a little fat. I then listened to the 5's along side the 3's and to my ears the 5's were a step in the wrong direction. Don't get me wrong, the 5's sound good by themselves but as soon as you audition them beside the 3's they don't have that full complete sound that I like. Same amp, same song, same room, the 3's sounded better to me then the mini's and 5's. I then sampled the 7's. From top to bottom the sound was very good. No apparent flaw in sound for what I was looking for in a speaker. I then listened to the 3 again and it all of a sudden didn't sound as good as it did before. It was still good sounding but the 3 and the 5 were not as good as the 7. I then listened to the 9 against the 7. At the time my sales guy was going to charge me $200 more for the 9's over the 7's. I had the money so money was not an issue but I prefered the tight and crisp sound from the 7's over the 9's. By now my ears couldn't take it anymore so just to make sure my ears were not becoming unreliable I went home and came back the next day with my money. I auditioned the mini, 3,5,7,9,and 11 very quickly and I prefered the tight, punchy,crisp sound from the 7's. I felt that paying more for the 9's or 11's was a waste and would be better used towards the next line up. I hope my experince helps
    Interesting observations because I listened to the 5, 7, and 9 side by side and found the 7 to be the odd man out. In my listening, it did not have the imaging coherency and snap in the midrange that the 5s had, and it did not have the forward sound and weightiness that the 9s had. And for whatever reason, I thought that the 7s had more issues with cabinet resonance than the 9s did. Have yet to hear the 3, so that would be an interesting comparison with both the Mini and the 5.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Interesting observations because I listened to the 5, 7, and 9 side by side and found the 7 to be the odd man out. In my listening, it did not have the imaging coherency and snap in the midrange that the 5s had, and it did not have the forward sound and weightiness that the 9s had. And for whatever reason, I thought that the 7s had more issues with cabinet resonance than the 9s did. Have yet to hear the 3, so that would be an interesting comparison with both the Mini and the 5.
    Just goes to show you, three different people, three different results. I liked the 3's and the 7's, RGA likes the 9's and I believe in previous threads he liked the 3's, and you like the 5's. And both me and RGA felt the 5's to be the weakest. Now with three different results I'm sure Lafferman can use our experiences and then compare ours to his to find out for himself which one he preferes.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    After all that, the Studio 20 is STILL the best choice.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    After all that, the Studio 20 is STILL the best choice.
    You are somewhat right. The 20's are sweet but when you put ACDC Hells Bells full out, which I did, the 7's outperformed the 20's in every way. I know ACDC is not the right music to base a speaker on. An orchestra performance or a good jazz track would show you that the 20's would smoke the 7's but, I listen to rock, alternative and some classic metal. If Lafferman listens to a 20 peice or bigger orchestra and alot of jazz ensembles then he should be looking at the 20's or bigger in the studio series. Since he was not even enquiring about the studios, only the monitors, I suggest the 7's or the 3's, Rga suggests the 9's, and the very informative Wooch suggests the 5's.

  13. #13
    RGA
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    I briefly auditioned the 3's and I also felt that I would probably like them more than the 5's.

    I'm not particularly in love with inexpensive floorstanders but nor am I fan of spending a lot for a speaker which lacks microdynamics and exhibits a very unengaging bass response - so I would certainly lean to the problems of the 7 or 9 over the Studio 20 - which I think is an analog of the same problems I had witth the new 100V3. Given the price of the two lines I would be more comfortable with the Monitors - while it may be argued the Studio V3 line is better - given the price differential MORE oif an improvement can be had with other speakers in my view.

    Given the price of the monitor 3 (and note I would need a longer listen) I would tend to consider this one as a standmount in that line. The Monitor 5 I reviewed here - it's an average sound - I've heard better from Polk and Athena for less money, the Monitor 7 is similar but offers a bigger more room filling sound for very little more money - it suffers from a bit of box resonance - well true but it sounds better in spite of that than the 5 so I agree with you.

    The 20 is hardly a dynamic speaker - it is laid back in the treble but at the same time draws attention to itself and the midrange is thin and uninvolving period. It's a shame most of the competition of similar design is what most people have heard because those spekaers tend to have the exact same problems. The 20 could be worse - it could be priced at what the B&W 705 is priced at. And that speaker is embarrassingly overpriced when a few others I've heard between 30-60% of that price were easily better during my listening sessions. I like B&W but this was a let down - as was the 703 (which when you look at the price you really question why one would want to spend more than the Monitor 7). IMO it's not good enough any longer to pay 4, 5 and 6 times the money for subtle refinements in the treble and better imaging. For that much more I want a significant upgrade in eveyr area of the sonic spectrum and sense that there is significantly more scale to the event(which does not mean just adding a sub).

    My Wharfedale Vanguards were their flagship floorstanders and they are not free of problems - I was considering standmounts for a long time because they did certain things better - soundstaging, imaging a seemingly faster sound - traits of standmounts - BUT, everytime I considered buying like the B&W CDM 1NT, N805, and even the Reference 3a MM De Capo what held me back was that while those standmounts improved those areas none of them had the bass depth, dynamic prowess, tunefulness, room filling ability and out and out scale of the event. In other words with those standmounts I felt that I would have to buy a sub - and even then that would only help fix ONE of those aeas of weakness. An upgrade should upgrade ALL areas. If I had bought the CDM 1NT lets say then in a few months I would have missed the bass depth and power and in that speaker's case the low level resolution and shut in sense they produced(and this was my favorite sub $1500.00Standmount).

    Even when I found a standmount in the AN K/Spe that bottoms out at 36hz it didn;t have the power or scale of the Wharfedales - though I could live without that particular trait living in an apartment. I upgraded really due to a special closeout deal and a 100% trade-in policy. It's not solely about the seizmic bass depth but about not being a homgenious bass that IMO is exhbited by most boxed speakers I have heard. I didn't really miss this because for most of the last 14 years I didn't know there could be somehting better.

    If you get the chance one day try the Audio Note AX Two against the B&W 705 and Paradigm Studio 20V3 and 40V3. The AX Two is much cheaper than these - listen to acoustic instruments such as Piano, Guitar, Violin, Cello etc. Few small speakers I've heard truly manage to get ouside of sounding like a shut in nasal sounding box - the Epos speakers for more money for example sounded so muffled and lacking life that you shake your head.

    If people think subs will save everything then get the Atom and put more money into an even better sub - as much I like the Atom - adding subs doesn't do anything for the lower midrange through the treble. The studios are simply IMO not ENOUGH of an imporvement over the monitors as to make it make sense to stay with Paradigm.

    Though I respect those who have differeing oipinions - by all means I just mentioned to try something else in an A/B listening sessions such that i have done - you may or may not get the same listening session results but it does not hurt to try. Also consider the Dynaudio Audience 42 - it requires some more work to get right I found and it needs bigger clean power (Though I liked it better with Linn than with Bryston's front end curiously enough).

    And let's not forget the used market - one might be able to find a used Studio 100V2 or that ilk for around this budget.

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    You are somewhat right. The 20's are sweet but when you put ACDC Hells Bells full out, which I did, the 7's outperformed the 20's in every way. I know ACDC is not the right music to base a speaker on. An orchestra performance or a good jazz track would show you that the 20's would smoke the 7's but, I listen to rock, alternative and some classic metal. If Lafferman listens to a 20 peice or bigger orchestra and alot of jazz ensembles then he should be looking at the 20's or bigger in the studio series. Since he was not even enquiring about the studios, only the monitors, I suggest the 7's or the 3's, Rga suggests the 9's, and the very informative Wooch suggests the 5's.
    Actually you will get more bottom end info from a classical music than from AC/DC. I am certainly not convinced that the 20 will do an acoustic piano better than your Monitor 7 or the monitor 9. There is no question these are more coloured speakers that however isn't the ONLY factor to be considered in a loudspeaker - and just because the Monitor 7 and 9 are cheaper speakers - well price and quality don't always go hand in hand. Good speakers will do EVERYTHING better. The fact that your speaker does AC/DC better (and assuming you don't just mean louder - though that's important to a degree) may say more about the speaker's macrodynamics and midbass performance.

    All speakers make compromises so it's a weighing of the ones that will make music sound better that is in my view all important. Almost every speaker line I have heard in over a decade has rarely had me say that the TOP model in a given line is the BEST model in a given line. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about with music like AC/DC and don't let people bully you into feeling that just because some piddly weakling standmount has more supporters that you're view doesn't count - I would EASILY rather listen to Aerosmith, Motley Crue, AC/DC or Trance, RAP(well i don't like RAP but if I did), Hip/Hop/Progrssive I would rather the Monitor 7 and 9 than the Studio 20 or 40.

    And for classical, pop vocals, instrumental and Jazz - well in my view the studios don't do these well enough to warrant me sacrificing the other genres. I think the monitor 7 up here is $799.00Cdn or thereabouts and for that it's a decent to better buy.

  15. #15
    Audiophile Wireworm5's Avatar
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    I have both the 7 and 9 v 2 set up side by side in my room, so comparison for me is easy. On softer music like ambient music the differences are barely noticeable. However on rock type music the differences are more pronounced were the 7s exhibit a brighter leaner sound and punchy bass, the 9s a full tad laid back sound with solid bass.
    The 9's are also fairly big, but a staggering drunk can still knock one over if he falls directly against one.

  16. #16
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireworm5
    The 9's are also fairly big, but a staggering drunk can still knock one over if he falls directly against one.
    LOL - it' time to get less alcoholic friends or smaller lighter ones.

  17. #17
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    I forgot to mention

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Actually you will get more bottom end info from a classical music than from AC/DC. I am certainly not convinced that the 20 will do an acoustic piano better than your Monitor 7 or the monitor 9. There is no question these are more coloured speakers that however isn't the ONLY factor to be considered in a loudspeaker - and just because the Monitor 7 and 9 are cheaper speakers - well price and quality don't always go hand in hand. Good speakers will do EVERYTHING better. The fact that your speaker does AC/DC better (and assuming you don't just mean louder - though that's important to a degree) may say more about the speaker's macrodynamics and midbass performance.

    All speakers make compromises so it's a weighing of the ones that will make music sound better that is in my view all important. Almost every speaker line I have heard in over a decade has rarely had me say that the TOP model in a given line is the BEST model in a given line. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about with music like AC/DC and don't let people bully you into feeling that just because some piddly weakling standmount has more supporters that you're view doesn't count - I would EASILY rather listen to Aerosmith, Motley Crue, AC/DC or Trance, RAP(well i don't like RAP but if I did), Hip/Hop/Progrssive I would rather the Monitor 7 and 9 than the Studio 20 or 40.

    And for classical, pop vocals, instrumental and Jazz - well in my view the studios don't do these well enough to warrant me sacrificing the other genres. I think the monitor 7 up here is $799.00Cdn or thereabouts and for that it's a decent to better buy.
    and the very, very informative RGA. $799 sounds about right for the 7's v3, I paid $693 plus tax 14 months ago. With the v4's about to be released Im sure the 7's will go for less then what I paid. Where in my area (Vancouver) could I audition the AN's.

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    lol yeah my friend is like 5'10" and about 230 lbs was a walkon football player at our university. i haven't yet listened to the 7's and the 9's so i'm thinking that will all of the different comments i should give them a listen expecially since i'm starting to use the stereo for more music. lots of rock metal and rap. i think i'll try to stop by today and take a listen the paradigm dealer is 2 blocks from my house but sometimes i get real lazy because the playstation is only 5 feet away . thanks for all your responses i'm going to take everyones input with me to the store.

  19. #19
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lafferman
    lol yeah my friend is like 5'10" and about 230 lbs was a walkon football player at our university. i haven't yet listened to the 7's and the 9's so i'm thinking that will all of the different comments i should give them a listen expecially since i'm starting to use the stereo for more music. lots of rock metal and rap. i think i'll try to stop by today and take a listen the paradigm dealer is 2 blocks from my house but sometimes i get real lazy because the playstation is only 5 feet away . thanks for all your responses i'm going to take everyones input with me to the store.
    hahah - you're gonna need a bigger boat - err speaker. B&W N801 that might stop a 230lb football player - MAYBE.

  20. #20
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    and the very, very informative RGA. $799 sounds about right for the 7's v3, I paid $693 plus tax 14 months ago. With the v4's about to be released Im sure the 7's will go for less then what I paid. Where in my area (Vancouver) could I audition the AN's.
    Unfortunately Cam Audio Note has certain requirements as to who can and who cannot carry them - for a start Audio Note requires that a retailer carry samples from the entire audio chain - including turntables. And this latter point is difficult as many high end dealers don;t want to carry MORE turntables - especially if they are already carrying Rega or other brand. Plus the dealer will have to be knowledgable on set-up of the turntable because they are not plug and play and they have to be able to replace tubes etc. They probably feel it's a tough sell to sell a 9 watt Single ended Tube amp, with no remote control in a black box with few inputs with all the SET myths out there to boot and then try and sell it for $4,000.00. When right beside it you can buy a Denon mega feature machine which will run 2 or more rooms have a remote can run 4 cd players has a radio built in does home theater can run a sub etc. From a sales point of view it's not hard to see why you'd want to sell that.

    Add to this the high cost of Audio Note and that Peter wants his system be heard as a system and given the appearance and lack of name recognition and lack of home theater and feature priorities - then you can understand why it would take some "guts" to carry Audio Note. The retailer will have to be very serious about music as its main priority and not home theater. (Though interestingly they do very well for home theater if you have the sheer bucks to be able to do it).

    The only place in BC is Soundhounds on Pandora Avenue in Victoria. However the advantage of this outlet is that you can directly compare the B&W/Paradigms/Linns/Brystons/Musical Fidelity etc of the world directly against the Audio Notes. Interstingly you get to directly compare the some examples of some very UP THERE SS and modern designs versus gear in Audio Note that has roots from 30-60+ years ago. Despite all of the Audio Note disadvantages with regards to features, not being home theater, appearance and lack of name brand recognition - Audio Note is Soundhounds number one selling product for the last year or so to the point where they have dropped Totem and Martin Logan from carried stock. Considering the prices and NAME of B&W and Paradigm and considering lower priced gear usually sells better - Audio Note outsells it all at the dealers where it's carried. That's why they've lasted 20+ years with little to no advertising.

    E-mail Soundhounds or phone ahead of time and ask for them to set-up what you want to audition. The place is very very different than the the Vancouver hard sell dealerships. Soundhounds looks like an antique store or a used record shop with thousands of records along the walls. You will also see 5-8 turntables lined up and they do level matched comparisons with CD if you request it.

    There are some very eye opening things - not sure if CD players can make a big improvement?- let them set up their budget Audio note system which had a Rotel Integrated a nice Teac CD player and basic AN E/L speaker - then have them switch to the 3.1cd player. Unlike a lot of expensive cd players it is very noticably superior. Have them switch the SS amp to the AN OTO and again startling. One reason Terry the owner there likes the brand is that he can let people hear for themselves the major improvements from piece to the next which you can;t do from one MF amp to the ext or one Bryston to the next or one Paradigm or B&W to the next(at least not drastic improvements).

    Unfortunately they are expensive and they don;t look perty and they are not home theater friendly - and for some people who value these things very highly then frankly Audio Note is probably not the choice to make. And while I have ~200 DVD's and would rather listen on my speakers than a 7.1 B&W N805 surround system not everyone will.

    So if you have a vacation to Victoria in mind sometime you're set. There are a number of owners who live out in Victoria and might let you listen to it oin real world listening environments. This fellow has a pretty nice system http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?...70755&review=1

    I'd hold onto the Monitor series for a while - making side ways upgrades or marginal upgrades to me is not that great and costs lot's of money in the end. Hell it's not a bad idea to have an all Monoitor home theater system which pulls double duty for music - and then when you have more money start a separate two channel. I have toiled with buying 3 sets of AX Two's and then use a subwoofer for an all home theater system which also does wonders musically. The speakers I could probably get for $1800.00 buying three sets and the perhaps a ReL Sub - then a power amp to replace my Marantz power section. But don;t have the money for this at this time.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular psonic's Avatar
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    In that price range IMO you can get the most for your money used, have you ever heard Dynaudio? Here is a pair of Audience 50's at $500 US - an absolute steal for a world class speaker:

    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....oni&1101045909

    You will need an amp that is 4ohm compatible, and IMO at least 40-50wpc. Sometimes the floorstanding 62 (or the 82 if you really want to shake the house) become available there as well for just a bit more money. IMO though, you would be well served to shop around and listen to some high end stuff that retails for over $1k, then you know what kind of values are out there used like above. Take your time and keep auditioning.
    Dynaudio Audience 60
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