Paradigm Studio 80 vs. 60

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  • 02-27-2006, 07:21 AM
    agidol
    Paradigm Studio 80 vs. 60
    I just recently entered the world of audio enthusiasts and this is quickly becoming an expensive hobby for a budget conscious guy like me. Anyway, I bought a used Paradigm studio 20s a while ago and while I was happy with their neutral sound I wasn't too happy with their output - I'm sure this is also due to my not so high end - Yammy RXV730 receiver with 75watts per channel. So what I did just yesterday was go out and buy a used pair of Paradigm studio 80s - and incredibly my wife approved!!...I love that woman. Now, I'm waiting for my speakers to arrive I have some more questions for Paradigm experts if you don't mind sparing some time to help this newbie -- I know, I act before I question...

    1. Although I read many rave reviews of 80s in this forum I saw that Paradigm dropped this model in V.3 line. Any particular reasons?

    2. How do they compare to 60s or 100s. I heard studio 60s at local dealer and man, they sounded so good..

    3. I know my receiver will be underpowered to drive them. what do you recommend as minimum wattage required to drive these monsters? Any recommendation for quality, yet budget receivers that can drive these things "reasonably" well? (hopefully around $500-600 range)?

    Thank you again for your kind advises.
  • 02-27-2006, 10:41 AM
    N. Abstentia
    Why not take that $500 and buy a nice outboard amp and use your reciever as a preamp? Do you just need those two channels or you do have a whole theater system?
  • 02-27-2006, 12:10 PM
    kexodusc
    Your receiver is amply powered for running those speakers. Even 5 of them. They are very easy speakers to drive. A cheap Sony receiver would have no problem unless you like rock concert levels for extended periods of time.
    If you're just looking for some added punch from your speakers, N. Abstentia's suggestion is a good one.
    I ran my old Studio 40's and 20's off an RX-V795a receiver with an external Rotel amp (and later Adcom amps) for quite some time. This really took a burden off my receiver's power supply when all 5 speakers were being powered. Didn't make a huge difference most of the time though.
    For stereo listening, the 40's did sound a bit better running off the Rotel. 80 watts was plenty.
    I use a 40 watt NAD amp to run the 40's every now and then when I'm in my office/computer room. Still more than enough power most of the time.

    I think the 80's were dropped just because they didn't appeal to enough people. The 60's and 100's cover it I guess. There's nothing wrong with the 80's though. I think they just cost too much more money compared to the 60's or even 40's at MSRP when new. Buying them used probably saved a small mint.
  • 02-27-2006, 01:24 PM
    Wireworm5
    I don't think its a question of watts but whether your receiver can handle a low impedance load. Although the Paradigms are 8 ohms from what I read they behave more like a 6 ohm speaker.. When I first got my Paradigm monitors I was using a Sony DE 975 av/receiver. Although the Sony could power them they didn't sound any better than my Cerwin Vegas that cost half as much. So that's when I replaced the Sony with my Yamaha 2200 and what a difference it made. These speakers opened up and then I knew why they cost $700 bucks. Then came my Studio 100's, The Yamaha could power these and I thought they sounded pretty good until I got a Bryston 3B to power them. Again these speakers opened up and my jaw hit the floor I was so impressed by how much better they sounded.
    So your receiver will power the 80's and with their own powered woofers you shouldn't have a problem. But hook Paradigms up to a seperate power amp and my guess is you'll discover a much better speaker than what you thought they're capable of.
    Just my $.02
  • 02-27-2006, 01:26 PM
    Woochifer
    Nothing wrong with the Studio 80, except that they were the slowest selling model in the Studio series and required two different 8" drivers, one of which was not used on any other models. With the v.1 and v.2 series, the Studio 80 shared an 8" woofer with the Studio 100, but required an 8" midrange driver that was not found on any other Studio model. All of the other Studio models used 6 1/2" midrange drivers and woofers.

    With the v.3 series, Paradigm went to 7" drivers across the board, which made the Studio 80 no longer feasible, since continuing to produce that speaker would require that Paradigm manufacture two dedicated drivers that would only be used for that speaker. With the Studio 80 already the slowest seller in the Studio lineup, it simply no longer had a place.

    If you do order the speakers, I would suggest that you try them with your current receiver. The Studio series is not especially demanding on amps, but if you found that the Studio 20s were lacking with your receiver, you could always try an outboard amp like Kex and NAbsentia suggested. If you're complaining about the output because you have to crank the volume up fairly high, remember that Yamaha uses a digitally regulated volume control. It's not like the old days with analog volume controls when the speakers would crank up to rock concert levels at the "10 o'clock" position. Wattage output is an issue only if you can detect audible changes to the tonal characteristics of the music or distortion before it reaches beyond your normal listening range. It's not about quantity, but more about quality.
  • 02-27-2006, 02:35 PM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wireworm5
    I don't think its a question of watts but whether your receiver can handle a low impedance load. Although the Paradigms are 8 ohms from what I read they behave more like a 6 ohm speaker..

    This really depends on the speaker. The larger ones are usually very impedance friendly, some of the smaller ones have a few tough spots, but can still be called 8 ohm speakers. Most Paradigms aren't bad when it comes to impedance though..
    Even most 4 ohm speakers aren't hard for modest receivers to drive. It's the borderline 4 ohm speakers that can fry your small receivers if pushed to hard.

    PSB is the only mainstream speaker company I know of that calls their speakers 6 ohms still.
    These days everyone seems to be adding zobel filters to their crossovers to ease the impedance profile anyway.
    I wouldn't pay much attention to the impedance rating. I wish manufacturers would disclose the degree of impedance swings. Not likely though.
  • 02-27-2006, 03:50 PM
    Pat D
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by agidol
    I just recently entered the world of audio enthusiasts and this is quickly becoming an expensive hobby for a budget conscious guy like me. Anyway, I bought a used Paradigm studio 20s a while ago and while I was happy with their neutral sound I wasn't too happy with their output - I'm sure this is also due to my not so high end - Yammy RXV730 receiver with 75watts per channel. So what I did just yesterday was go out and buy a used pair of Paradigm studio 80s - and incredibly my wife approved!!...I love that woman. Now, I'm waiting for my speakers to arrive I have some more questions for Paradigm experts if you don't mind sparing some time to help this newbie -- I know, I act before I question...

    1. Although I read many rave reviews of 80s in this forum I saw that Paradigm dropped this model in V.3 line. Any particular reasons?

    2. How do they compare to 60s or 100s. I heard studio 60s at local dealer and man, they sounded so good..

    3. I know my receiver will be underpowered to drive them. what do you recommend as minimum wattage required to drive these monsters? Any recommendation for quality, yet budget receivers that can drive these things "reasonably" well? (hopefully around $500-600 range)?

    Thank you again for your kind advises.

    You can find Andrew Marshall's review of the Studio 80 on the Paradigm site. He measured the minimum impedance at 4.5 ohms, which is not excessive, so a good receiver should have no problems with it. It all depends on how loudly you want to play them. The rated sensitivity was 89 dB, so they will play reasonably loud without taking much power. Mr. Marshall liked the speaker.

    http://www.paradigm.com/Website/Site...IGStudio80.pdf

    I've been trying out my insensitive, fairly low impedance monitor speakers (85 dB sensitivity, minimum impedance about 3.7 ohms) with a Yamaha RX-V630 receiver rated about the same power. We don't play even HT very loudly but so far it seems quite adequate to drive them. Many HT receivers have fairly capable amplifier sections if used in stereo.
  • 02-27-2006, 04:56 PM
    cam
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by agidol
    I just recently entered the world of audio enthusiasts and this is quickly becoming an expensive hobby for a budget conscious guy like me. Anyway, I bought a used Paradigm studio 20s a while ago and while I was happy with their neutral sound I wasn't too happy with their output - I'm sure this is also due to my not so high end - Yammy RXV730 receiver with 75watts per channel. So what I did just yesterday was go out and buy a used pair of Paradigm studio 80s - and incredibly my wife approved!!...I love that woman. Now, I'm waiting for my speakers to arrive I have some more questions for Paradigm experts if you don't mind sparing some time to help this newbie -- I know, I act before I question...

    1. Although I read many rave reviews of 80s in this forum I saw that Paradigm dropped this model in V.3 line. Any particular reasons?

    2. How do they compare to 60s or 100s. I heard studio 60s at local dealer and man, they sounded so good..

    3. I know my receiver will be underpowered to drive them. what do you recommend as minimum wattage required to drive these monsters? Any recommendation for quality, yet budget receivers that can drive these things "reasonably" well? (hopefully around $500-600 range)?

    Thank you again for your kind advises.

    I do believe that if Paradigm had a standmount speaker with an 8 inch driver, the same as the studio 80's, just maybe the 80's would not have become extinct. Of course total sales is always the determining factor.

    The monitor series has both, a standmount with an 8 and a floorstander with 8's. I guess as long as they both sell at sufficient volumes, Paradigm will continue to make both. But in reality, Paradigm phased out all their 6.5 inch and 8 inch woofers within their studio line and replaced all of them with 7 inchers. From a production point of view, very smart. Maybe these 7 inch woofers will eventually trickle down to their other lines.

    Has far as power requirements for the 60's, 80's or 100's, I due believe Paradigm recommends a minimum of 15 watts, which will make them very loud.

    I have heard the 60's as well, very good sounding speaker. But for some reason I have never heard the 100's so I can not make a comparison. For the money difference I would get the 60's and use a portion of the money saved towards more power.

    If I had some studio speakers whether they were the 20's, 40's or 60's, I would be looking at a Yamah 1500 or higher or a Denon 2805 or higher. Just my opinion.
  • 02-28-2006, 10:40 AM
    agidol
    first, thank you very much for taking time to respond...I knew this is the forum to go to whenever I have an audio question, no matter how silly it is.

    second, I feel a lot more assured of my decision now that no one in this thread has knocked down on the Studio 80s so far. There's been a great deal of discussion around 20s and 60s but not so much on the 80s so I was a bit concerned.

    Third, a question on the receiver. I do 50/50 between HT and music and I generally don't play that loud because of 2 little ones in the family. So why do I complain about the output? As Wooch said I had to crank up the volume pretty high to get a decent output (at least compared to my old Bose towers that is) and I was wondering if this was a sign of speakers being underdriven. thankfully I don't hear any distortion in sound even when I do crank up to a pretty loud level so may be this is ok. Besides the volume output, I'm still wondering if my receiver is capable of "opening up" all the potentials of my speakers as the other gentleman described. thanks.
  • 02-28-2006, 09:37 PM
    Wireworm5
    With the 80's having their own powered woofers the power demands on your receiver will be significantly reduced. So it should have no problem powering the mid-range and tweeters. Even so I wouldn't discard your receiver right away. I would listen to your new speakers for two to three months and if after that time you think there is something lacking in the sound and you aren't happy with it, thats when you might want to consider an upgrade.
  • 03-01-2006, 05:04 PM
    cam
    The 80's do not have self powered subs, you are thinking about the 90p's.
  • 03-02-2006, 05:26 PM
    Wireworm5
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cam
    The 80's do not have self powered subs, you are thinking about the 90p's.

    . I tried to find info on the 80's but wasn't able to find anything, I thought they had a powered woofer. That being the case how are they differnet than the Studio 60's? Seems to me they are the same speaker.
  • 03-02-2006, 08:28 PM
    Pat D
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wireworm5
    . I tried to find info on the 80's but wasn't able to find anything, I thought they had a powered woofer. That being the case how are they differnet than the Studio 60's? Seems to me they are the same speaker.

    They are bigger than the Studio 60. Definitely not the same model.
  • 03-02-2006, 08:53 PM
    agidol
    Hi,
    I just set up my Paradigm studio 80s and man they are HUGE. My wife was having second thoughts about having this pair of refrigerators in the living room so I had to get down on knees and persuade her these 170 lbs monsters can not be returned.

    But once I played Jane Monheit and Diana Krall the smile was back on my face. The speakers were efficient and LOUD (my biggest complaint about 20s) yet so clean and tranparent. They sounded better than 20s in just about every aspect - treble, mid, and obviously bass. 20s were a little too dark and laid back for my taste but 80s had more punchy dynamic sound and still within Paradigm's neutrality.

    I really wonder why the 80s were discontinued because they sound so pleasing to my ears. They don't have built in sub though but has nice tight bass. I would like to know their technical specs but I couldn't find them in web anywhere. Does anyone know?