Review of Paradigm Atom by CNET Labs.
Reviewed by Steve Guttenberg.
For our home-theater tests, we set up a complete Paradigm speaker ensemble: the Atoms, a PDR-10 subwoofer, a CC-170 center speaker, and ADP-170 surrounds. The first thing we noticed about the sound was how seamlessly those four Paradigm models worked together. We didn't have to fuss with positioning or experiment with the sub/sat blend--we completed our tweaks in less than 10 minutes. We then put our old, reliable test DVD, Fight Club, into service. This disc is particularly well recorded, and its soundtrack's realism was immediately clear over the Atoms. This Paradigm posse should be powerful enough to fill even rooms of up to 400 square feet.
Next, we queued up the American Beauty DVD. Interestingly, as the movie leads up to the demise of Kevin Spacey's character, it's raining during most of the scenes, and in each, the rain's character and "wetness" are different. Lesser speakers reduce the sound of rain to a generic whooshing noise, but it was tangible on the little Atoms--we heard a remarkable degree of nuance. These satellites are surprisingly subtle performers.
We next compared the Atoms with our reference NHT SB-1s, which are 50 percent costlier. The Atoms put up a valiant struggle, but while we wouldn't say that they embarrassed themselves, the SB-1s were clearly more detailed and alive-sounding, reproducing the palpable "fingers on the strings" effect on Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's all-acoustic self-titled CD. The Atoms couldn't follow suit. And the SB-1's slick, piano-black finish looks better.
However, the Atoms bounced back when we pitted them against the similarly priced Energy Take 5.2 satellites. The 7-inch-tall Energy sats didn't have as much, well, energy and full-bodied bass as the Atoms. Even after we'd added the Energy Take S8.2 subwoofer to fill out the bottom octaves, the Energy ensemble still sounded comparatively tiny. The Atoms also came across as cleaner and less distorted. Yes, folks, size still matters.
In the final analysis, the Atoms offer exceptional bass quality and quantity for speakers of such modest dimensions and price. They may get by without a sub as part of music-only systems in smaller rooms.
You don't happen to know how many days and or how many hours were spent with the Atoms by any chance would you? Did they listen JUST to the atoms all by themselves? Did they listen to music?
Home Cinema Choice recently reviewed in the October/November issue the Atom and it got 2.5 out of 5 bettering a set of Sony speakers and losing to about 15-20 other standmounts in the same price range. Interestingly the review was pulled from their listing in the December Issue. Oh well different strokes I guess.
Do you know who came in top spots in that report?
Originally Posted by RGA
I don't know how much time CNET spend with Atoms, but the testing seem to be brief as he used only couple of movies, and CDs (Jerry Garcia and David Grisman)
There were a couple that received 5 stars but I forget who. The Paradigm was not reviewed in that issue...it had been reviewed in some prior issue with a list of several brands on the page with their star rating.
A set of Tannoy and B&Ws had 4.5/5 as did Monitor Audio and a few brands not available here.
Paradigm's Subwoofer however received 5 stars.
I set up a HT system with Energy Encore system with its 8"sub before and I still prefer the sound of separate bookshelf speaker and center plus a sub. It was not full-bodied sound you may say. Probably it's less matter for relatively small room.
Originally Posted by Smokey
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)