Paradigm Signature S8 V3's - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry to make a thread about this, I know there are others, one of which I posted in but was very old. There doesn't seem to be much love here for the Paradigm S8's as well as Paradigm in general and many are saying they seem to sound small with weak bass, not the greatest separation or imaging etc. and that there is a lot better for the money. What speaker that costs roughly the same would you say out performs the S8's sound quality? In terms of accuracy, clarity etc? I haven't heard the S8's yet, but am trying to.
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 09:22 AM
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I do not own Paradigms so have not read many posts re Paradigm. The ones I remember were all positive. I heard some s8's a few years back and thought they sounded fantastic. I have also read some very positive professional reviews.

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post #3 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I have heard the same as well which is why what I read today threw me for a loop. Multiple people saying people either love or hate Paradigms, that they're mostly good for their mid range speakers, and that their imagiing isn't so great, they have a small sound stage, aren't very musically fast/dynamic, seperation isn't as good as it should be etc. But I've also read other reviews that stated the opposite. I figured the people that had all these negative things to say about the S8's were comparing them to far more expensive speakers, but then they said the value for the money isn't so great with the Paradigms and you can do much better for the price or even less. I'd like some input on all of this that heard the S8's compared other speakers in this price range.
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post #4 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 09:45 AM
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I have the S8 v.2's and find them to be very accurate, capable of huge dynamic swings, and superbly built.

I agree, I don't recall reading anything like that about the S8's. ..The inference I draw from your comments is that Paradigm doesn't command as much respect from audiophiles as other brands.

I think the primary reason Paradigms doesn't enjoy favored status with audiophiles is due to their association with home theater and the fact they are a popular, successful speaker company with products ranging from the very affordable up to the merely "moderately" expensive (ie., the S8's). Plus, they tend to be sold by chains rather than by tiny audio boutiques.

But considering that most audiophiles believe in the magic of expensive speaker cables, interconnects, power conditioners, HUGE differences b/w DACs and CD players, component break-in, etc...(and all other things unproven by even the most basic of validity-tests) I'm not at all bothered when they don't give Paradigm speakers their stamp of approval. ..And I've had other "audiophile" brands like Vandersteen, Spica, etc.. And to my ears (which measure well and have a keen sense of musical nuance honed by years of playing an instrument and listening to live music) my Paradigms sound more like real music.
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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My Paradigms were bought in a small audio boutique lol. I didn't know large chains sold them until 6th avenue came along.

It pleases me to hear this from a real musician that truly knows what live music sounds like. And I'm still impressed with my monitor 7's clarity and always fool people that come over with the imaging. I say "listen carefully and tell me what speaker the vocals are coming through." They always point to the center. Then I tell them to go up to the center speaker and they look bewildered when they find out the center isn't even being used lol.

I'm sure the S8's certainly have to be a significant step up from my old monitor 7 v3's. I've been reading that the new V3 series Sigs blows away the previous version (according to hometheaterreview.com) I guess most of those audiophile's like you mentioned tend to be a bit snobby and let that get between the sound and their ears.
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post #6 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 10:24 AM
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Hi there; I don't normally post, but felt motivated to respond here.

In WA State, I'm not aware of any chain stores that sell Paradigm, and I'm one of those folks that also bought from a (snobby) boutique...hahaha.

Unless things have changed as we speak, I've been lurking on this forum for awhile now, and I don't think there is lack of love for Paradigm in general. There's always going to be owners/non-owners that have something to say about some brand - this applies beyond speakers of course.

It's been awhile since I looked at the Sig line up close. When I bought my Studio60v3 years ago, I remember having very good impressions on the Sig line. Of course that too is all subjective, but they seem to be built like a tank and sounded great to my ears (I compared with other lines the boutique had as well).
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post #7 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

Sorry to make a thread about this, I know there are others, one of which I posted in but was very old. There doesn't seem to be much love here for the Paradigm S8's as well as Paradigm in general and many are saying they seem to sound small with weak bass, not the greatest separation or imaging etc. and that there is a lot better for the money. What speaker that costs roughly the same would you say out performs the S8's sound quality? In terms of accuracy, clarity etc? I haven't heard the S8's yet, but am trying to.

This in the first hand is a unusual post. There is already a Paradigm owners thread with large number of posts, similar to B&W, JBL, Monitor Audio, Klipsch, Dynaudio, Polk, Definite Technology and so on threads in this part of AVSforum. You pick the most expensive Paradigm signature model the $8.5 k/pr sig 8 v3 to say it sounds small with weak bass, not greatest separation or imaging without looking online for reviews? Just comes across as odd. Normally you could just go google and do a search for sig8 review and presto here's one, oh look here's another. There are more reviews online. There are lots of speakers in that price range, but if your spending that much money you need to go audition them with your ears, or make some calls and listen to other lines of speakers to make a good decision.

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post #8 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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That's what seemed unusual to me also. I did an enormous amount of searching for the S8's and read many great reviews. I never said it sounded weak, with poor imaging etc, I was simply referencing what I read in that thread. The only place I read anything negative was on a thread on here comparing the S8's to the B&W 803D's, and I didn't notice anybody coming to Paradigms defense. There was more then one person who said this mind you, which is why I didn't complete dismiss it as one guys opinion. Believe me when I tell you, nearly all my free time is spent researching, which is how I found that thread. I actually found it through google.
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post #9 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

That's what seemed unusual to me also. I did an enormous amount of searching for the S8's and read many great reviews. I never said it sounded weak, with poor imaging etc, I was simply referencing what I read in that thread. The only place I read anything negative was on a thread on here comparing the S8's to the B&W 803D's, and I didn't notice anybody coming to Paradigms defense. There was more then one person who said this mind you, which is why I didn't complete dismiss it as one guys opinion. Believe me when I tell you, nearly all my free time is spent researching, which is how I found that thread. I actually found it through google.

What thread are you referencing so can relate to your OP better?
The tower design is not meant to be a heavy bass performer as Paradigm seems to want to pair a subwoofer with them for maximum effect, but against the rest of the parameters its up to your ears.

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post #10 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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And it will certainly be used with a sub. I am currently looking for a place to audition them. My local audio shop sells them, but has none to demo. I sent out a couple of e-mails already.

Here's a link to the thread I was talking about. Let me know if it works, I'm doing this on my phone right now lol.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=865009
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post #11 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I've been reading that the new V3 series Sigs blows away the previous version (according to hometheaterreview.com) I guess most of those audiophile's like you mentioned tend to be a bit snobby and let that get between the sound and their ears.

I don't see where they say it blows away the previous version. ..And the version they're referring to I'll bet is v.1 which features an aluminum tweeter. The v.2 has the much lauded Beryllium tweeter. With the third version they replaced the complex phase-plug mid-range driver of the v.2 and v.1 with a simpler (and probably less costly to make) driver with a traditional dust-cap. They also gave the woofers rippled surrounds on the v.3 with the goal of improving the S8's already stellar efficiency and power handling capability. And a subwoofer is no more necessary with the S8 than with any other 3-way speaker. ..If you plan on using the S8's to watch movies with special effects, then it may make sense. But if you plan to use them primarily for music, I can't fathom a reason why a subwoofer is necessary. I listen to Gorillaz and Moby at very loud levels and the bass depth is staggering. ..I personally would never spend more money just to further deepen extension (but thats me...).

And not to get on a soap-box, but I must admit I really dislike the phrase "blows away" that I so often read here and elsewhere. ..I've been in this hobby for decades and have very rarely heard any product from a credible mfg. that is 'blown away' by a competitors offering. When comparing apples to apples (for ex., the S8 to the 803d's) differences are generally subtle and which is better is apt to be quite subjective.
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post #12 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I know, I should have put quotes around "blows away." I'm mistaken, I apologize. The review was actually for the S6 v3's and the reviewer made that comparison to the older S8's. I don't think it was hometheaterreview either, I'm looking for it now.

The V2's used a beryllium tweeter also? I didn't know this. How does the SQ compare?
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post #13 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 12:46 PM
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The thread you Referred to in post number 10 is Almost 5 years old!
Both the Paradigms and B&Ws have gone thru numerous changes.

Looking At the Speaker threads here on AVS forum Paradigm has the
second most views and is third in posts.

I have not seen very many negative thoughts on the Sig series-especially
after they went to the Be tweeter.
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post #14 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I know, I should have put quotes around "blows away." I'm mistaken, I apologize. The review was actually for the S6 v3's and the reviewer made that comparison to the older S8's. I don't think it was hometheaterreview either, I'm looking for it now.

The V2's used a beryllium tweeter also? I didn't know this. How does the SQ compare?

..Definitely no need to apologize; perhaps I should apologize if I came across as condescending. I only mean to point out that the use of this phrase is pervasive and it's generally not apropos. This is a hobby of nuanced and highly subjective differences. So long as the comparison is fair, when A blows B away, it's often because of bias or because the comparison wasn't properly controlled.

As for the SQ diff b/w v.2 and v.3 Paradigm Signatures, you'll find very little direct comparisons by reviewers. However, there are few posters here at AVS who have integrated both v2 and v3 into their 5.1 system (eg., a v.3 center speaker, and v.2 S8s) and have said they hear no differences at all. ..This could be good news for you if you are open to buying used. ..As the v.2 could be had for less than the v.3 on the used market.
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post #15 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I found the review I was referring to!

Here it is:

http://www.soundstagexperience.com/i...pment&Itemid=2

Apologies, he didn't say "blows away" he said they were "much better" and after reading more closely, he was comparing to the original S8's.

You certainly don't have to apologize syd, if anything I agree with you. While there is a sweet sound I prefer (those certain subtle nuances that do it for me), I'm fairly easy to please with sound. I won't hate a speaker because of a slight subtle nuance. As long as it's accurate, clear, precise to my liking, I'll be doing some happy listening. Some enjoy a "warm" sound, some enjoy a "crisp" sound, I prefer as natural and accurate as possible. Not to warm, not to bright, certainly not harsh, very detailed etc. But if a speaker sounds a bit warm, it doesn't bother me. If a speaker is a tad bright, it won't bother me really either, as long as it doesn't pierce my ears lol.

I'll considered the V2's. Only way I would buy used is if it's local and I can pick it up and audition the hell out of it first. I have had bad experiences buying anything used. A lot of the time, there is something wrong not so obvious that remains under wraps until the product is used for a certain amount of time, in a certain way, under certain conditions that the problem may eventually come out.
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post #16 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 01:52 PM
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For discussion and reference I've had both the Studio's and Sigs in my theater as well as auditioned the B&W 800 series.

I should preface this by stating I like bright, high definition sound with good, tight mid range and supplement my system with 2 F12SE's for good measure.

The Studio's are great speakers. I found the Al tweeters to be really nice but did hear the "sizzle" discussed with them. This seems to be a common problem with Al tweeters. If you want the metal tweeter sound without the premium cost, you have to put up with it.

Now, the Sig's, wow. Clear, crisp and no sizzle. Just wonderfully bright sound with surprisingly less fatigue to the ear. This is the biggest difference between the Sig's and the Studio's. All else can be EQ'ed out to compensate.

As for other brands, it depends what you want. First, if you like bright, detailed high's, you want metal or ribbon. If not, go for silk. If you want metal, go for the most you can afford. The Be, diamond or ribbon ones are the best.

I compared the Sig's to the B&W 802's and 800's (not that I could afford the 800's). I found the 803's didn't even compare and this was driven by Mac amps. The only other 800 I would put above the Sig's was the 800D. But, it's not even close to a cost equivalent and the amps used probably cost the same as the Sig's.

I'm not sure why you think there's no love, there's plenty. Most of us don't have the time or patience to post in these types of threads. We're busy rockin out and smiling.
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post #17 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianlsu View Post

For discussion and reference I've had both the Studio's and Sigs in my theater as well as auditioned the B&W 800 series.

I should preface this by stating I like bright, high definition sound with good, tight mid range and supplement my system with 2 F12SE's for good measure.

The Studio's are great speakers. I found the Al tweeters to be really nice but did hear the "sizzle" discussed with them. This seems to be a common problem with Al tweeters. If you want the metal tweeter sound without the premium cost, you have to put up with it.

Now, the Sig's, wow. Clear, crisp and no sizzle. Just wonderfully bright sound with surprisingly less fatigue to the ear. This is the biggest difference between the Sig's and the Studio's. All else can be EQ'ed out to compensate.

As for other brands, it depends what you want. First, if you like bright, detailed high's, you want metal or ribbon. If not, go for silk. If you want metal, go for the most you can afford. The Be, diamond or ribbon ones are the best.

I compared the Sig's to the B&W 802's and 800's (not that I could afford the 800's). I found the 803's didn't even compare and this was driven by Mac amps. The only other 800 I would put above the Sig's was the 800D. But, it's not even close to a cost equivalent and the amps used probably cost the same as the Sig's.

I'm not sure why you think there's no love, there's plenty. Most of us don't have the time or patience to post in these types of threads. We're busy rockin out and smiling.

Most accurate comparison I've heard yet. I was in the same boat.. Either get the signatures or the studios. For me the decision came to what was being replaced.. Tv, avr, transport and speakers. I chose to goto the studio line to enable the ability to purchase everything in one shot, rather then just have a 5.1 based around S8s.

What I got out of listening to both the sig 8 and a studio 100 came down to exactly what you described. Sizzle. I like brights myself and th S8s were so brilliantly bright and smooth I fell in love. But I dropped down to the sizzle of the studio 100s so I can complete the project with no regret. Had I been in the boat of being a music only guy with a little tv/theater, I would of committed. Seeing that I spend equal time attending to both, the studios fit the bill fine enough that I can live with the sizzle.

S8s are damn fine speakers and easily walk on stuff double in price. My dealer sells more paradigms then b&w because of price to performance. The 800D are nice but that's a hell of price to pay when the S8s stand them just below them In performance.

There's plenty of love on AVS for paradigm but people do tend to be a bit snooty because how can a home theater speaker company create such a brilliant line like the signatures...
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post #18 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody, you all made me feel better lol. I'm definitely looking at the Signature Series. I'd like to audition both the S6 and S8. A sub will be used so there's a good chance the S6 would be plenty. I'm currently finishing my basement and making a home theater room in it. I probably listen to music more then I watch movies, but I'd say both are equally important. I'll definitely ask the guy in my local audio shop if anybody near by owns the Paradigm Signature speakers.
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post #19 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

Thanks everybody, you all made me feel better lol. I'm definitely looking at the Signature Series. I'd like to audition both the S6 and S8. A sub will be used so there's a good chance the S6 would be plenty. I'm currently finishing my basement and making a home theater room in it. I probably listen to music more then I watch movies, but I'd say both are equally important. I'll definitely ask the guy in my local audio shop if anybody near by owns the Paradigm Signature speakers.

Good to hear. And don't be ashamed if the studios surprise you... They are quite capable as well. But since music is your forte, the signatures will be calling you.

What kind of sub are you looking at getting?
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post #20 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I was looking at the Sub 25. I'd LOVE the Sub 2, but I just can't swing that, costing more then twice as much as the Sub 25. The basement theater I am making is going to have a dedicated 240 volt outlet for such a sub lol. From the review I have read, the Sub 25 is quite musical. I remember reviews saying that it "reveals the texture of the strings" etc.
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post #21 of 34 Old 02-21-2012, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I was looking at the Sub 25. I'd LOVE the Sub 2, but I just can't swing that, costing more then twice as much as the Sub 25. The basement theater I am making is going to have a dedicated 240 volt outlet for such a sub lol. From the review I have read, the Sub 25 is quite musical. I remember reviews saying that it "reveals the texture of the strings" etc.

I've heard it and it is quite beastly! Sounds like a hell of a setup in that basement. Good luck with it!
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post #22 of 34 Old 02-22-2012, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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lol nice thank you! I'll post some pics of basement when it comes closer to completion.
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post #23 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 05:52 AM
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Figured Id add my two cents.... I have a 7.2 system consisting of Signatures (S8-fronts, C5-center, S6-rears, ADP3-surrounds all of which are V3s. When I first got into this hobby after I graduated college in 2007 I had garbage speakers.... which at the time I thought were awesome. So i started building my first home theater.

After 3 years I had put together a system consisting of 2 pairs of studio 100 version 2s, a studio 690 v4 and a pair of studio 60 version 2s as my surrounds. I had heard the Paradigm Sig version 1 line at my local dealer (S8s, C5 and ADP3s). I thought they sounded very nice, but not all the much better than my studio line system. Around that same time there was a gentleman locally selling an entire B&W system (which included 800Ds as his fronts). I was very impressed with the sound of the 800Ds, they did sound better than the S8 version 1s that I had recently heard at the dealer. Then a little while later I decided to start on my signature upgrading. I first purchased the C5, then a little while later I purchased a pair of S8s eventually completed the system with the S6s and ADP3s. The version 3 line sounded far better than the version 1 line my dealer had in his showroom. They sounded notably more detailed and crisp, especially at or close to reference levels. The bass response was also much better. I would definitely suggest anyone who has the means to buy the signature line over the studio line to audition both lines. The signature line is considerably more expensive, but in my opinion well worth it. I now have 2 subs, each with 2 powered 18s. I use them when I watch movies and want to shake my house with 125+ spl, but when just listening to music I don't use the subs, the speakers have more than enough bass.

I have since heard B&W 803Ds, and 801Ds at a dealer while I was on vacation. The 803Ds sounded fine, not anything that I would suggest buying over the S8s. The 801Ds were notably better however than the 803Ds. They had much better bass (deeper and more impactful) and sounded much smoother to me, but obviously they cost significantly more.

So that's my two cents. I have heard a lot of different speakers and I am very happy I decided to go with the signature line. But when you're spending a lot of money, or any money for that matter, on speakers you owe it to yourself to audition the speakers. You really cannot solely rely on what you read online, ESPECIALLY in forums. The forums are good to use as a reference to a point. But everything is extremely subjective and on the forums especially you mostly just run into brand bashing by others who are loyal to other brands, it goes both ways. Therefore the most important thing is listen to the speakers before making any decisions.
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post #24 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. That's the mission. To find places to audition these speakers. That has proven to be the absolutely hardest part of the whole process.
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post #25 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 07:14 AM
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I am a studio owner and am very pleased with them. I did listen to other speakers before the purchase, but in the end they are the ones that did it for me in that price range. I listened to the S6 last night and they were as smoothe as silk. Great sounding speakers but I could not afford them at this time. Paradigm has done so well for so long that I think people just get tired of always hearing paradigm. I remember a comment a couple years back saying "finally a conversation without paradigm". Sometimes people grow to dislike the big guy on the block for no other reason than that. They are one of the top producers of speakers in the world. So many times I've heard paradigm and what good value they are. Value means nothing if you are not producing a good product. I take reviews with a grain of salt, but for so many years they have received great reviews across the board. So many people today say go internet direct but to me it's almost a fad, its the in thing to do. If you took some of these internet direct companies and put them into the stores, they would struggle to survive. You have to take everyone here with a grain of salt myself included, as you are looking for the product that suits you best and are the best sounding to you. How many posts do you see when someone will ask what is best of 3 reputable speakers that they have chosen and the replies will be every other speaker out there then the one mentioned. Sales people will give bad advice and steer you in the wrong direction as will some people here. Its your money, your ears, and I'm sure you have read enough to know that paradigm is one of the top companies out there. Hopefull I did not get to off topic, Anyway happy hunting and enjoy the process and you will find the right speaker for you and your ears.
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I love Paradigm speakers and before I started looking on the computer at forums, I didn't even know they were that big a name. I liked them simply because they sounded good. I still love my Monitor 7 v3's and their clarity still puts a smile on my face after 6 years. They can be a bit harsh at times with certain recordings, but for 700 for the pair, I think I did pretty damn good.
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post #27 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 10:14 AM
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Signature V3s were whirling around in my head for over a week. I had to decide, walk out with a pair of S8s, C5, S2 and S1.. Then leave them in their boxes for a year before I could upgrade my avr and amp, or do it all at once with studios, avr, amp, subs and new tv?

I'm probably the most impatient person you would ever meet... But I realized one day I'll own signatures and I'll do so when I have my own dedicated theater and media room versus a living room.

Nonetheless, Paradigms line of speakers never cease to amaze me.
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post #28 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I found the review I was referring to!

Here it is:

http://www.soundstagexperience.com/i...pment&Itemid=2

That is a review of the S6's not the S8's, plus Roger is comparing v3's to v.1's so there's quite a few technological differences with the drivers regardless of the model.
I'm not sure that's a good comparator if you're trying to draw conclusions on the S8v.3's.
I've done the S4v.1 to S8v.3 upgrade, and I think where you get the difference in imaging is by having a bit more placement flexibility with the monitors. The S8's by virtue of having more bass drivers closer to the floor are bit more finicky to get right. The S6's have the same driver array as the S4's so it might be a contributing factor.
The Be tweeter upgrade from v.2 & up trumps any difference in imaging IMO, and I can't find anything wanting in the bass with my S8's.
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post #29 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

Thanks for the reply. That's the mission. To find places to audition these speakers. That has proven to be the absolutely hardest part of the whole process.

If you were closer to northern Jersey I would tell you to contact JS Audio. I know they have a pair of S6s on the floor. I heard them with 2 Studio 12 subs watching Tron 2. What I need to do is hear the S8s with my Sub 2 while watching Tron 2. I'm patiently waiting to replace all my speakers. Just not in the budget at the moment.
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post #30 of 34 Old 07-25-2012, 04:28 PM
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I have some Paradigm's S8 v2's and they are really satisfying and as far as my experience they are excellent in the $10,000 or less range. I have not been disappointed.smile.gif
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