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  1. #1
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    Cool Paradigm Signature S2 vs. Studio 20 v3

    How much better is the Signature S2 than the Studio 20v3 ? Is it such a big difference that can justify the big difference in price? What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    This might not be very popular of me to say, but I'm not a big fan of the S2's at all.
    They do provide a bit more resolution, detail, etc over the Studio 20's, I think they're a step up in imaging and soudnstage too. They are a better speaker. However, I personally feel they are only very tiny improvment on all the things that Studio 20 owners like about the 20's. Definitely NOT worth the extra money IMO.
    I think Paradigm made a name for themselves by making quality, affordable speakers that held up favorably against the competitions much more expensive models.
    With the S2, I feel Paradigm just made an expensive model. It's a nice sounding speaker, but for $1900 I'd be looking elsewhere.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by audiomaker1
    How much better is the Signature S2 than the Studio 20v3 ? Is it such a big difference that can justify the big difference in price? What do you all think?
    Well, I would prefer the Paradigm Signature S2. The Studio 20 is a pretty good little speaker and a good value, however it and the other Reference Studio Series have some mild upper midrange coloration which the Signature Series do not. This is more easily heard on complex music such as choral and orchestral music. The Signature S2 is one of the smoothest, least colored speakers I have ever heard. For what it's worth, Stereophile magazine considers it to be a Class A speaker.

    You will have to decide whether it is worth the extra money. Try some of your favorite music and some less familiar music on them and see what you think. Also, I would strongly suggest a home trial before buying any speaker.

    The B & W 705 is in between in price and is a very nice speaker, too, very smooth and neutral. However, it does have less bass extension than the other two, though it is not bad. While most small speakers benefit from a subwoofer, I would definitely need one with the 705 (and of course, I do have a big sub).

    On the other hand, you might try the PSB Stratus Minis, which are somewhat less expensive than the 705. I prefer to the PSB Stratus Series to current Paradigm Reference Series and like my Stratus Minis at least as much as the 705. I have not managed to do a comparison with the Signature S2, so I'm not really sure whether I would prefer it or not, though I'm sure I could live happily with them. However, the Stratus Minis are so very good I'm not in that much of a hurry to replace them. They are more laid back than the others. They are moderatelt efficient, somewhat current hungry speakers but your Rotel amp should have no trouble at all driving them.

    People here can only offer suggestions. You are the one that has to live with the speakers.
    Last edited by Pat D; 10-05-2005 at 02:24 AM.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  4. #4
    meteo man Registered Member
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    Gloss Rosewood S2 speakers on sale

    For what it is worth Spearit Sound (www.spearitsound.com/Paradigm/paradigmhome.htm) is selling brand new S2 gloss rosewood speakers at over a 30% discount. It is factory authorized and they are allowed to sell it by mail. They are absolutely beautiful and they sound great. You get seven days to audition them. I bought a pair for $1500 dollars instead of the MSRP $2200. In this way they are only double the price of the studio 20's instead of triple. This much reduced price might justify the purchasing of them. I am sorry I hope I am not violating rules by letting you know this. I have no connections to Spearit Sound or Paradigm I am just a satisfied customer who would not have purchased them if I had to pay full price. They are worth it at $1500 to me and not worth it at $2200!!
    meteo man

    Adcom GFA-5400 amp
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    Toshiba SD2700 DVD player
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    Paradigm Signature S2 speakers
    Velodyne SPL-800R subwoofer
    Adcom ACE-615 AC line conditioner
    Straightwire Stage speaker wires
    Straightwire Chorus cable interconnects

  5. #5
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    The S2 by Paradigm's own admission is from a "statement" series. "Statement" as in you are making a statement about your self/your money/your priorities/your taste/ect. by your choice of purchase. Why own a Monte Blanc when a Bic writes just as well? With a statement product you are not always buying increased performance, rather you are "expressing yourself through commerce." Just look at Paradigm's website and they almost blatantly admit that the statement series is for current owners of Paradigm products who now have more money than they did ten years ago. "Gee, I really like my Monitors, but they just don't look as upscale or refined as I want." It's the same in the car industry: Nissan has Lexus, Honda has Acura, VW has Audi. You get your VW GTI when you graduate college, move up to the Audi A4 when you move out of "cube city" to an office with a door and a window, and round it out with the A8L when you make partner.

    That being said. As with many statement products, if you have the money, its often worth it. Money is for saving and spending, the yin and the yang. To paraphrase Danny Devito, "You can always get more of it, that's why they call it money."

    But to directly answer your question, I think your purchase, at least in this case, should be dictated by whether you are comfortable spending the money, not whether there will be a perceptable improvement in performance.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    The only person who can answer the question is you. I would not rely on Stereophile -- the 705 is a big piece of caca and that rag loves it butit's easy to spend other people's hard earned money than their own - which would change the reivewes you read considerably me thinks.

    If you like the Paradigm sound then perhaps you'll get more of the same in which case you may like them and feel they're worth the money. Take a set home and listen to them against the 20's. There are other brands too -- I suggest trying ones from smaller companies -- maybe take a trip to the CES in Vegas in January and basically you'll have access to every company.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    I did an A-B comparison a while ago, and in that listening, the S2 did not outperform the Studio 20 v.3 by a wide enough margin for me to consider them. (In some facets, the Studio 20 actually outperformed the S2 during my listening) The S2 was hinting at great things, but fell short. Supposedly, those demo units were fairly new out of the box, so who knows if additional break in time would have changed my impressions (my own experience with the Studio v.2 series is that they do sound somewhat harsh and congested out of the box, but it does not take much time for them to settle in).

    I've listened to the Studio 20 v.3s a couple of times since then, and they consistently impress, even more so when you consider the price on those speakers. I have not had a chance to try the Signature series since then, but definitely want to give them another listen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I did an A-B comparison a while ago, and in that listening, the S2 did not outperform the Studio 20 v.3 by a wide enough margin for me to consider them. (In some facets, the Studio 20 actually outperformed the S2 during my listening) The S2 was hinting at great things, but fell short. Supposedly, those demo units were fairly new out of the box, so who knows if additional break in time would have changed my impressions (my own experience with the Studio v.2 series is that they do sound somewhat harsh and congested out of the box, but it does not take much time for them to settle in).

    I've listened to the Studio 20 v.3s a couple of times since then, and they consistently impress, even more so when you consider the price on those speakers. I have not had a chance to try the Signature series since then, but definitely want to give them another listen.
    Having heard the Signature and Studio series, there's really only a couple of differences. The Signature series provides a bit better fine detail than the Studio series equivalents, and their power handling is considerably higher. Unless you're really finnicky about small details, you'll be well off enough with the Studio series, as long as you have enough power from your amplifier to drive them. They're fairly efficient, but ideally you want about 130w per channel or so to drive them.

    Of course, if you've got the cheddar to blow, the Signature S2 will not disappoint, they are marvelous speakers.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    It's been a couple of years, but my listening impression of the S2 wasn't all that overwhelmingly positive either. Generally a good speaker with a good refinement and tonal balance overall, but with some audible ringing in the highs. I had the sense that there was a better speaker lurking somewhere, but I wasn't quite hearing it. My dealer pointed out that those S2 demo units I heard did not have a lot of playing time on them, so it might have needed a few more hours of break-in. Based on my listening impression, I did not feel that they were worth the money.

    The Studio 20 v.3 did almost everything that the S2 did, but for $800 a pair instead of $1,900. And I did not pick up any significant ringing in the highs. The S2 probably has better refinement in the midrange, but the Studio 20 was every bit as good with the imaging coherency and soundstage depth, and a standout among the speakers I've heard in that price class.

    You should give the S2 a listen for yourself. I keep telling myself that I need to get out and listen to the Signature series again, since the last time I heard a brand new demo unit, and my experience with the Studio series has been that they will sound better after a few hours of playing time when they're new out of the box.

  10. #10
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    Wooch - to be fair, a lot of higher end Paradigms do require fairly extravagant break-in time, and once fully broken in with a good cable to match, they sound phenomenal. Maybe not phenomenal enough to warrant their price tag, but they do sound great. As long as you have a good setup and 200 - 250 watts powering them, they're great. Try to find a fully broken in pair and hear them, you'll be amazed.

  11. #11
    RGA
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    It's interesting that some of the paradigm supporters are not overly enthused by the speakers in terms of bang for buck. My dealer, a BIG Paradigm dealer brought the S8 in for several weeks or a few months and ended up just sending them back to Paradigm -- oddly people got on my case for even "mentioning it" as it is RGA anti-paradigm stance which of course makes no sense because the freaking dealer was selling them. The "straight" answer I got was that they carry Paradigm because of the good for the money rocker -- the S8 clocks in a 4 times the price of the then good 100V2 and the dealer after those months of trying everything concluded in side by side A/B that it was a repackaged very marginally different(though they would not pin down saying better) sound than the 100V2. And the 4 times the price S8 was the nicer veneered version -- they sent the line back. IMO there should not be ANY question in any ANY ANY sonic way that the more expensive upgraded product does not totally better in EVERY conceivable way the lower line, especially not from die hard fans of the speaker company, that the new and improved 4 times more expensive models don't totally pound the crap out of the lower version --- and from reading some of the posts here -- the speaker may not even be as good as the lower line??? I can attest that the 100V3 is not better -- some have argued the bass quality has improved but at the expense of bass depth -- thus it is not an upgrade -- an upgrade is to keep everything the 100V2 does and do all of it better and then some not trade off an octave for a little more tunefullness -- And from what I heard it adds a lot of echoey colouration and loses the bass and you pay more for it.

    And before I get attacked for not actually hearing the speakers myself --- I'm not remoptely saying that I have. But I do note a pattern of events since the 20 and 100v2 sound better than their new V3 lines - and people here seem to be indicating not full total absolute in every way improvement over the regular lines.

  12. #12
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    RGA - I don't disagree with what you say, the Signature series certainly is better than the Studio series in terms of overall quality, no question about that. My point is that, for the more casual listener, when trying to compare the Studio lines to their Signature line equivalents, the price difference between the two lines is too high to justify the difference in sound quality. If you're really critical about your overall sound quality, you're a full out audiophile and have the cash to blow, you'll definitely want the Signature series. However, for those more budget-minded, the Studio line is more than adequate for almost any purpose.

    Think of it like this... when comparing speaker cables, take a decent cable, such as the AudioQuest Gibraltar, and compare it to the Nordost Valhalla. By all rights, the Valhalla should absolutely kick the crap out of the Gibraltar, and in almost every sense, it does.... BUT, at a cost differential between the two of about $70,000 for a 10ft pair, just HOW much better will the Valhalla sound than the Gibraltar to justify spending $70k more? I know it's kind of an apples and oranges comparison, but you get the idea with the speakers too.

    I'm totally not disagreeing with you at all, you make an absolutely valid point, and there's absolutely no question that Paradigm makes some of the best speakers on the planet for the money compared to offerings from other companies... it's just that when comparing their own lines, 2 - 3x the price does not get you 2 - 3x the sound quality. The same could be said for most speaker companies really when you think about it.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    It's interesting that some of the paradigm supporters are not overly enthused by the speakers in terms of bang for buck. My dealer, a BIG Paradigm dealer brought the S8 in for several weeks or a few months and ended up just sending them back to Paradigm -- oddly people got on my case for even "mentioning it" as it is RGA anti-paradigm stance which of course makes no sense because the freaking dealer was selling them. The "straight" answer I got was that they carry Paradigm because of the good for the money rocker -- the S8 clocks in a 4 times the price of the then good 100V2 and the dealer after those months of trying everything concluded in side by side A/B that it was a repackaged very marginally different(though they would not pin down saying better) sound than the 100V2. And the 4 times the price S8 was the nicer veneered version -- they sent the line back. IMO there should not be ANY question in any ANY ANY sonic way that the more expensive upgraded product does not totally better in EVERY conceivable way the lower line, especially not from die hard fans of the speaker company, that the new and improved 4 times more expensive models don't totally pound the crap out of the lower version --- and from reading some of the posts here -- the speaker may not even be as good as the lower line??? I can attest that the 100V3 is not better -- some have argued the bass quality has improved but at the expense of bass depth -- thus it is not an upgrade -- an upgrade is to keep everything the 100V2 does and do all of it better and then some not trade off an octave for a little more tunefullness -- And from what I heard it adds a lot of echoey colouration and loses the bass and you pay more for it.

    And before I get attacked for not actually hearing the speakers myself --- I'm not remoptely saying that I have. But I do note a pattern of events since the 20 and 100v2 sound better than their new V3 lines - and people here seem to be indicating not full total absolute in every way improvement over the regular lines.
    Ah yes, RGA turning yet another Paradigm thread into a treatise about himself and his dealer, and twisting the topic to discuss the discontinued v.2 line.

    You've only heard the Studio 100 v.3, so what does that have to do the actual subject of this thread, which is comparing the Studio 20 with the Signature S2? Maybe just another opportunity to blather out more hearsay about what one dealer did with their demo units. Yeah, Soundhounds returned their demo units, so therefore they must suck.

    FYI, the bass QUALITY of the v.3 lineup is a step up from the v.2 series across the board. It trades off some of the extension of the bass for greater linearity, clearer articulation, and more accuracy in the lower frequencies. Add to that the significant improvement in the soundstage depth and imaging precision. Yet, you claim it's not an upgrade. Your obsessive focus on one aspect of the speaker's performance, and trying to turn it into another backhanded attack on the Studio lineup is pretty laughable.

    I look at speakers in terms of what they do OVERALL. Is the Studio 20 v.3 a better speaker OVERALL than the Studio 20 v.2? IMO, it is and by a notable margin. So, how is that "not an upgrade"? Oh, just because Paradigm set the tuned port frequency a few Hz higher means that the new version is nothing more than a parallel trade off, despite the audible improvement in every other performance category.

    I was not sold on the S2, but your post here is quite disingenuous in how you're paraphrasing and interpreting the listening impressions of others.

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Greekguy

    The problem is and again note tht I have not heard the Sig series -- is that many people here are suggesting that the sig line is not even as good as the much cheaper Studio series. IMO a 4 times more expensive speaker needs to be better in EVERY way - the new V3 series IMO does not even better the oklder V2 series and it costs more and sounds worse. But even if I accepted your example that the Sigs were a tinty bit better as you say and I agree with you that the price was too high -

    My problem and what WAS my dealer's problem is that the 100V2 was $2k the 100V3 was $2500.00 and the S8 was $8k -- The store carries $3k Speakers that imo are vastly superior to the Studio 100V3 -- and they carry other speakers that they felt easily beat the S8 for $3k as well (since they basically said the S8 was a "fancy packaged 100" --- that is why they sent it back because they felt nobody would buy them at the price when they A/B them against the competitors speakers they carry at $3-5k -- or for that matter against the 100. Most dealers don't carry the sheer number of products that soundhounds ( www.soundhounds.com ) carries - so many stores often have ONE premium line so they unfairly compare their 10K speakers against the competitors $2k ones or that companies' lower priced models -- people will hear a subtle improvement and say well yes they're better and worth it -- but a lot of smaller high end companies have no interest in the entry level home theater speaker lines and don't get the endless press or visibility. Thus when you own mainstream speaker line which very may well be the best speaker on the market at $200.00 it is natural to assume that gee they must be the best at $8k as well. The paradigm Atom is the best speaker I've heard under $200.00 the B&W 302 I bought and felt it was the best I had heard in it's price point but above $1k neither company makes a speaker I would want to own.

    IMO when you pay $8k it had better lay a world of hurt on $2k speakers and from what the other posters and two Paradigm dealers are saying (and i'm in Canada) that certainly is not very clear.

  15. #15
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Ah yes, RGA turning yet another Paradigm thread into a treatise about himself and his dealer, and twisting the topic to discuss the discontinued v.2 line.

    You've only heard the Studio 100 v.3, so what does that have to do the actual subject of this thread, which is comparing the Studio 20 with the Signature S2? Maybe just another opportunity to blather out more hearsay about what one dealer did with their demo units. Yeah, Soundhounds returned their demo units, so therefore they must suck.

    FYI, the bass QUALITY of the v.3 lineup is a step up from the v.2 series across the board. It trades off some of the extension of the bass for greater linearity, clearer articulation, and more accuracy in the lower frequencies. Add to that the significant improvement in the soundstage depth and imaging precision. Yet, you claim it's not an upgrade. Your obsessive focus on one aspect of the speaker's performance, and trying to turn it into another backhanded attack on the Studio lineup is pretty laughable.

    I look at speakers in terms of what they do OVERALL. Is the Studio 20 v.3 a better speaker OVERALL than the Studio 20 v.2? IMO, it is and by a notable margin. So, how is that "not an upgrade"? Oh, just because Paradigm set the tuned port frequency a few Hz higher means that the new version is nothing more than a parallel trade off, despite the audible improvement in every other performance category.

    I was not sold on the S2, but your post here is quite disingenuous in how you're paraphrasing and interpreting the listening impressions of others.
    No you are not alone in thinking the Studio 20 sounds better than the S2 -- I don't need to make the argument but posted the response from my Paradigm dealer who must obviously feel in some way the same way as some Studio owners -- the mere facyt that you throw everything out that they would say is solely based on the fact that they;re a dealer so of course they must be lying.

    I have heard the Studio 20and 100V3 and all of the speakers in the V2 series. The 100V3 is IMO much weaker speaker than the 100V2 -- it is audibly fake sounding compared to the relatively even midband of the 100V2 -- the 100V3 has less bass depth sounds as if the cabinet knocks under even reasonabe levels and with the companies' own Anthem amplifiers. I was not a fan of the 20 in either series but the V3 certainly doesn;t convince me it's any better in any regard - still has distinct driver sound analtyitical cold and not the least bit engaging on any music.

    Sorry but recognising an obvious TREND in a speaker line-up does have much to do with compairing speakers from the company. The trend is that a number of peiople feel that the Sig series is not even as good as the Studio series -- well gee neither is the Version 3 better than the version 2 -- you saying so does not make it so - and that isn;t going to be a proveable point -- what is is that the new Version 3 GIVES up something bass depth period to "gain" those things you say it gains (which from my session I just don;t hear those gains what I heard was a big expensive 100V3 not do what the the 100V2 did and rock loud and pretty deep without annoying me with weird anomoies. And then to pay 25$ more for this worse speaker and I'm shaking my head.

    Then you attack me for mentioning this as a "pattern" while you yourself note the lack of value for dollar in the Sig line insinuating that my dealer would be tone deaf runs at odds. They brought it in - if I had known I would have listened to them myself -- they sent it back simply due to the bang for buck.

    Sorry but when even the Paradigm worshippers don't like the sound or the sound for value of the Signature line - and certainly not all like the V3 over the V2 (entirely) then that is a "pattern" - but hey a number of others are doing that so maybe they are trying to skimp to improve market share of a very tight market.

    And before I get attacked for my paradigm stance my dealer ALSO said that he preferred the AX Two over the AX Two Signature which is almost double the price claiming that the basic cheaper version sounds considerably better while the Sig sounded rather banal - and he showed me the e-mails he sent to the owner wondering why the Sig version sounded so crappy compared to the basic one. So it can happen to any company and any line. This company got better results using Birch in their upper speakers and maybe assumed Birch would be better than ply in the cheaper one and did not do quite the homework listening to be sure. Then again maybe the dealer is looking at it from value for dollar perspective here as well.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    No you are not alone in thinking the Studio 20 sounds better than the S2 -- I don't need to make the argument but posted the response from my Paradigm dealer who must obviously feel in some way the same way as some Studio owners -- the mere facyt that you throw everything out that they would say is solely based on the fact that they;re a dealer so of course they must be lying.
    Where do I say that the Studio 20 sounds better than the S2? Again, you're doing a lot of twisting around and paraphrasing the opinions of others to frame the world around your agenda, which is basically to trash Paradigm at every opportunity. You've not heard the S2, so you go into this smarmy and backhanded way of trashing it.

    FYI, the opinions of the Studio 20 are always taking the cost into account. I personally don't know anyone who would take the Studio 20 straight up versus the S2. In my listening, the S2 was a more refined speaker overall, but it had some other issues that made the comparison murkier in my listening. With cost taken into consideration, it's a no brainer as to which speaker's the better value. With the cost factor taken out of consideration, then there are a lot more things to weigh because it's NOT clear cut as to which speaker is better.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I have heard the Studio 20and 100V3 and all of the speakers in the V2 series. The 100V3 is IMO much weaker speaker than the 100V2 -- it is audibly fake sounding compared to the relatively even midband of the 100V2 -- the 100V3 has less bass depth sounds as if the cabinet knocks under even reasonabe levels and with the companies' own Anthem amplifiers. I was not a fan of the 20 in either series but the V3 certainly doesn;t convince me it's any better in any regard - still has distinct driver sound analtyitical cold and not the least bit engaging on any music.
    And what does this have to do with the S2 and the rest of the Signature series? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Sorry but recognising an obvious TREND in a speaker line-up does have much to do with compairing speakers from the company. The trend is that a number of peiople feel that the Sig series is not even as good as the Studio series -- well gee neither is the Version 3 better than the version 2 -- you saying so does not make it so - and that isn;t going to be a proveable point -- what is is that the new Version 3 GIVES up something bass depth period to "gain" those things you say it gains (which from my session I just don;t hear those gains what I heard was a big expensive 100V3 not do what the the 100V2 did and rock loud and pretty deep without annoying me with weird anomoies. And then to pay 25$ more for this worse speaker and I'm shaking my head.
    As usual, using a generous dose of hearsay as a green light to go about trashing an entire company. You're using your opinions about the v.2 being better than the v.3 (and you're far from in the majority on that assessment) as an argument for a "pattern" emerging. Oh yeah, something occurs once and suddenly RGA observes a "pattern"! Flipping a coin and it turns up heads -- gosh, we got a "pattern" going here!

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Then you attack me for mentioning this as a "pattern" while you yourself note the lack of value for dollar in the Sig line insinuating that my dealer would be tone deaf runs at odds. They brought it in - if I had known I would have listened to them myself -- they sent it back simply due to the bang for buck.
    Or maybe, they no longer maintain those demo units simply because the line is not selling well. My local dealer likes the Signature series, but acknowledges that the Studio series is a better value and a better seller. Has it ever occurred to you that your dealer's decision was a BUSINESS decision?

    [QUOTE=RGA]Sorry but when even the Paradigm worshippers don't like the sound or the sound for value of the Signature line - and certainly not all like the V3 over the V2 (entirely) then that is a "pattern" - but hey a number of others are doing that so maybe they are trying to skimp to improve market share of a very tight market. ]/QUOTE]

    And which "Paradigm worshippers" don't like the sound of the Signature line?

    And what "pattern" are you observing here? The vast majority of posts that I've read about the v.2 vs v.3 series put the v.3 series as a better overall series. When is there EVER a unanimous observation that changes to a speaker series represents an improvement over the previous series? You're basically saying that there's a "pattern" just because not EVERY Paradigm fan feels that the Studio series improved when it changed over from the v.2 to the v.3 series, so therefore the Signature series sucks. I OWN the v.2 series speakers and feel it's not even a question as to the overall superiority of the v.3 series.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    And before I get attacked for my paradigm stance my dealer ALSO said that he preferred the AX Two over the AX Two Signature which is almost double the price claiming that the basic cheaper version sounds considerably better while the Sig sounded rather banal - and he showed me the e-mails he sent to the owner wondering why the Sig version sounded so crappy compared to the basic one. So it can happen to any company and any line. This company got better results using Birch in their upper speakers and maybe assumed Birch would be better than ply in the cheaper one and did not do quite the homework listening to be sure. Then again maybe the dealer is looking at it from value for dollar perspective here as well.
    And what does your dealer and Audio Note have to do with the topic of this thread? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Can you ever address the topic at hand in a substantive manner, or do you have to resort to inneuendo whenever you got nothing else to offer?

  17. #17
    RGA
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    Ahh did not know you felt the S2 was much better than the Studio 20 and that you felt it was "no brainer" as to which the better speaker was. From the toine of some of the posters - I got the sense that either some liked the speaker less some felt it was at best marginally better and I was supporting the latter with what my dealer noted seeing as how my dealer is probably the only person in this thread to have done a side by side comparison with the speakers for several weeks.

    While posting my dealers and a long standing very big paradigm dealer, opinion I may not be able to offer my direct experience with the speaker but then I didn't claim to and I said it was heresay. Woochifer, are you saying that nobody should ever say what another person thought? My dealer does not post on internet forums - people posting on a forum are looking to gather up information - this information is useful - I have some I pass it along - and people can check the veracity of those opinions by going to the dealer and asking them their views. And while it can be argued that their opinioj is "just their opinion" that is no different than asking people on internet forums. If my best friend bought the N801 and hated it for reason A, B and C and if asked I would say hey my buddy noted what some people on this forum have noted. My dealer noted what i perceived to be what people here were saying or not saying.

    I did not read from your post that the S2 was better - instead you seemed to down it -- something you never do with the Studio 20. Maybe I understand no negative comments about the Studio 20 because you believe it's a great value for the money while the S2 may be no worse and a smidge better but caught you as a slight dissapointment given the money.

    My dealer never said the Sig was worse than than the Studio series they returned them because they were not better enough over the Studio seires to warrant paying the in their words "ludicrous" premium for a repackaged speaker. I bring it up because it is so far the only dealer I have been to who does not just say "everything we sell is wonderful and whatever we don't sell is crap" or lines in the general ballpark. They call overpriced overpiriced crap crap and good good whether they carry it or not.

    I said this was heresay at the outset - if i misread people's comments and everyone absolutely believes that the Sigs just pund the snot out of the Studios and improves upon them in a substantial way and worth 4 times more money (S8 over the Studio 100) then I misread the comments.

    AND FYI I already stated that many people like the 100V3 over the 100V2 -- i was pointuing out that an upgrade should be total not partial or traded off. Though this hardly applies to just paradigm but probably most companies who have multiple lines -- I'm not a big fan of the notion of paying $2k for the B&W 604S3 which is a good speaker with decent bass depth a nice lively sound to trade in two octaves any competant semblence of dynamics for the $2400.00Cad B&W 705 which MAY very well have a better tweeter and a less coloured sound but I'm paying $400.00 more to fix two things and break 2-3 other things. that is not upgrading IMV. Granted it used to be my view that that was a good trade but no longer. For $400.00 more I would rather them put a better tweeter in the 604 and use real wood or other fix to reduce the colouration -- then I get a better sounding 604 and don;t lose bass and don't lose dynamics.

  18. #18
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    Perhaps the S2 is too uncoloured for some.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greekguy
    RGA - I don't disagree with what you say, the Signature series certainly is better than the Studio series in terms of overall quality, no question about that. My point is that, for the more casual listener, when trying to compare the Studio lines to their Signature line equivalents, the price difference between the two lines is too high to justify the difference in sound quality. If you're really critical about your overall sound quality, you're a full out audiophile and have the cash to blow, you'll definitely want the Signature series. However, for those more budget-minded, the Studio line is more than adequate for almost any purpose.

    Think of it like this... when comparing speaker cables, take a decent cable, such as the AudioQuest Gibraltar, and compare it to the Nordost Valhalla. By all rights, the Valhalla should absolutely kick the crap out of the Gibraltar, and in almost every sense, it does.... BUT, at a cost differential between the two of about $70,000 for a 10ft pair, just HOW much better will the Valhalla sound than the Gibraltar to justify spending $70k more? I know it's kind of an apples and oranges comparison, but you get the idea with the speakers too.

    I'm totally not disagreeing with you at all, you make an absolutely valid point, and there's absolutely no question that Paradigm makes some of the best speakers on the planet for the money compared to offerings from other companies... it's just that when comparing their own lines, 2 - 3x the price does not get you 2 - 3x the sound quality. The same could be said for most speaker companies really when you think about it.
    Neutrality can be offputting at first if one is not used to it. The Paradigm Signature S2 is very neutral and those expecting a little bit of extra upper midrange zing and so on may miss it. With the Signature Series, all you hear is the music. The S2 or perhaps the S4 are strong candidates for my next speaker upgrade.

    I find the v. 3 of Reference Series a bit more coloured than the v. 2, although the dispersion above the crossover has been improved. They do image quite well.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  19. #19
    3db
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    Thats a critism that was put against PSB's Platinum series

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    Neutrality can be offputting at first if one is not used to it. The Paradigm Signature S2 is very neutral and those expecting a little bit of extra upper midrange zing and so on may miss it. With the Signature Series, all you hear is the music. The S2 or perhaps the S4 are strong candidates for my next speaker upgrade.

    I find the v. 3 of Reference Series a bit more coloured than the v. 2, although the dispersion above the crossover has been improved. They do image quite well.

    They are so neutral sounding, so faithful to the music that it may actually put off some listeners. I can't imagine how accurate sound repoduction can put me off?

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    Well, I'll answer that...

    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    They are so neutral sounding, so faithful to the music that it may actually put off some listeners. I can't imagine how accurate sound repoduction can put me off?
    ...to the best of my experience. Some of us crave something to "latch on to"... some kind of warmth, some kind of "sweeteness"... whatever. If a transducer (speaker, cart) is more neutral, it will be perceived as "boring" or too bright, etc... simply reflecting the source/software. Now - the problem is, how can we have FUN listening, while the music is allowed to present itself as it should be?

    No one wants a tilted-up speaker,nor do you want one sugar-coated. I can eaily come up with examples of both, but that's another fight B*)

    If you haven't heard the S2 in a BIG room, driven by good (not esoteric) stuff, you'll never know what it can do. Some like to speculate, but I have never heard such a BIG wall of sound coming from a diminutive pair of speakers as I did with the S2. No, not too pinpointed like my Studio 60s, and, no, not too b-i-g like panels. Just an easy to listen to presentation. Period. Then again, I don't have a big room for my Paradigms. Also, I haven't listened to my bedroom Paradigms with Audio Research tubes :^)

    And, yes... I have heard the 20s in the same room... no comparison. The S2 is w-a-y better. It's just that they are picky about what is attached to them, as well as the room. These WILL sing. Is this good, or bad? You decide. IMO, you will be rewarded as one climbs the ladder...

    I know there are a few in here from New York. Check out "Audio Visions" is West Babylon for a killer demo of Paradigms... as well as Thiels and Logans. Steve or Bob will be willing to help.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    While posting my dealers and a long standing very big paradigm dealer, opinion I may not be able to offer my direct experience with the speaker but then I didn't claim to and I said it was heresay. Woochifer, are you saying that nobody should ever say what another person thought? My dealer does not post on internet forums - people posting on a forum are looking to gather up information - this information is useful - I have some I pass it along - and people can check the veracity of those opinions by going to the dealer and asking them their views. And while it can be argued that their opinioj is "just their opinion" that is no different than asking people on internet forums. If my best friend bought the N801 and hated it for reason A, B and C and if asked I would say hey my buddy noted what some people on this forum have noted. My dealer noted what i perceived to be what people here were saying or not saying.
    I'm making the point that if you're going to start paraphrasing and spinning a story based on what others have posted, then you need to at least get the story straight!

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Ahh did not know you felt the S2 was much better than the Studio 20 and that you felt it was "no brainer" as to which the better speaker was. From the toine of some of the posters - I got the sense that either some liked the speaker less some felt it was at best marginally better and I was supporting the latter with what my dealer noted seeing as how my dealer is probably the only person in this thread to have done a side by side comparison with the speakers for several weeks.
    Go back and read what I posted. The "no brainer" comment referred to my preference for the Studio 20 IF price was taken into account. If price were not a factor, then it would be much dicier to pick which one was better because it was a better speaker overall but had notable issues that I picked up on.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I did not read from your post that the S2 was better - instead you seemed to down it -- something you never do with the Studio 20. Maybe I understand no negative comments about the Studio 20 because you believe it's a great value for the money while the S2 may be no worse and a smidge better but caught you as a slight dissapointment given the money.
    I was down on the S2 because I expected better for the price. The Studio 20 is IMO a bargain for the performance that it delivers for $800. In my listening, the Studio 20 surprised me because of how much it improved upon the previous version, whereas the S2 was a disappointment by comparison. You're probably right in that it was relative, since the Signature series basically uses modified versions of the Studio series drivers and the general characteristics of the speakers are somewhat similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    AND FYI I already stated that many people like the 100V3 over the 100V2 -- i was pointuing out that an upgrade should be total not partial or traded off. Though this hardly applies to just paradigm but probably most companies who have multiple lines -- I'm not a big fan of the notion of paying $2k for the B&W 604S3 which is a good speaker with decent bass depth a nice lively sound to trade in two octaves any competant semblence of dynamics for the $2400.00Cad B&W 705 which MAY very well have a better tweeter and a less coloured sound but I'm paying $400.00 more to fix two things and break 2-3 other things. that is not upgrading IMV. Granted it used to be my view that that was a good trade but no longer. For $400.00 more I would rather them put a better tweeter in the 604 and use real wood or other fix to reduce the colouration -- then I get a better sounding 604 and don;t lose bass and don't lose dynamics.
    And IMO, the v.3 series IS an upgrade specifically because it improves upon just about every performance facet. The only trade off is in the bass extension, and that's largely because the bass quality and accuracy is much improved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    They are so neutral sounding, so faithful to the music that it may actually put off some listeners. I can't imagine how accurate sound repoduction can put me off?
    "Some listeners" may not include you. However, I have seen this a number of times, that when two speakers are compared side by side, some people will prefer the more coloured one. They often stick out more than a neutral speaker. And some of us have heard stories of how various people liked a flashy speaker right off but found its colourations became tiresome after a while.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer

    And IMO, the v.3 series IS an upgrade specifically because it improves upon just about every performance facet. The only trade off is in the bass extension, and that's largely because the bass quality and accuracy is much improved.
    See I was just confused because I read Kex and your statmeents and it just seemed that you both were in the ballpark of what I have been told by two dealers. Value for dollar is always a tough decision because to some paying 4 times the price for a 2% improvement is veyr worth it and to others they would think it crazy. And alas not everyone is going to agree on speaker's sound -- I did not hear in my sessions with the 100V3 that it outperformed the 100V2 -- I may agree with the imaging but I don;t usually listen for imaging or soundstaging because I simply expect ALL loudspeakers to perform competantly or good and pretty much verything fromt he DM 302 up does. I place the premium on dynamics, resolution (clarity without grain or anomolies or lack of cohesion), and drivers not drawing attention to themselves (presumably some feel that this is dispersion, not beaming what have you. I noticed the sound of the box in the 100V3 very much more than I did from the 100V2 and thus we'll have to agree to disagree because to me the 100V2 I can say is worth buying it's a good speaker and I can;t say that about the V3. I was not a fan of either 20 and did not spend a ton of time with the 20V3.

    But alas it's subjective - the better value will probably be a used 100V2 - which could be had for way less than a new 100V3 and the build quality is well above average for the price range from what I can see so it's safe buy.

  24. #24
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    "Some listeners" may not include you. However, I have seen this a number of times, that when two speakers are compared side by side, some people will prefer the more coloured one. They often stick out more than a neutral speaker. And some of us have heard stories of how various people liked a flashy speaker right off but found its colourations became tiresome after a while.
    This is an interesting case that I have argued in the past numerous times. The problem is testing my theory. Very tough to do. I initially had the thought of trying to figure out speaker returns and the type of upgrade or lateral move and more importantly the reason for the trade in or return. Ie if customer is returning speaker because "it's bright" or "annoying." Sometimes they're returned because they can't work for the room.

    It's also interesting that my dealer stopped selling the B&W N801 and N802 because despite the recording studios "choice" of loudspeaker they had the SAME pair of speakers sold and returned three times. They got "sick of seeing it" come back -- especially when you consider the dollars involved the commision you think you have but don't. Some lines are pretty good to serve a dealer as a kind of bait and switch -- buy our less expensive brand and then in three months with a bit of saving you come back and go to their upper lines.

    Dealers have these answers - are they upgrading to improve their great sounding speaker and just want "more" of what it is doing or are they upgrading to "fix" somehting that is annoying them. One makes the hobby frustrating the other makes it fun.

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