Paradigm SE3 best floors for $1000? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-30-2013, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I am new to this addiction but learning every day! Heres my boring/interesting story, but you can scroll to next paragraph to cut to the chase! A week ago i was looking at soundbars to improve tv and music capabilities. Then I heard a friends klipsch rf62s which sounded great, although it was just airplaying mp3s. Then i read about a paradigm millenia ct which for $700 supposedly destroys any soundbar sonically. I thought this was a good compromise without having to get a big receiver and floor speakers etc. So i go into a dealer inquiring about these. Of course he does not have them, but then proceeds to show me $500 bookshelfs (a canadian brand, i forget) which sounded awesome. Then for comparison he turns on the entry level paradigm floor speakers , and tells me they will sound fuller. Wow they definitely sounded better and fuler! All of a sudden I now have to get floor speakers (funny how my budget keeps expanding?!). Then he tells me he can cut me a deal on the older model SE 3s which are a step up from the model he just showed me. The SE3s look much nicer than the prior model. Of course these sounded amazing. On a CD he put in, the sound of a cymbal or drum from the left speaker in a bob dylan recording was incredible in terms of clarity and soundstage. I also like that the towers arent too tall...These 3 speakers i listened too all made the klipsch seem harsh/bright too. They also were better than anything i have ever heard at magnolia/bb.

Summary - Now that these SE3s are the best I have heard and i was blown away, but I notice that there a bunch of highly reviewed models for around 1k/pair. I hope to get your opinion on whether i should go for these SE3s or are there clearly better options out there for around 1k/pair (give or take a few hundred dollars)? In particular i have seen rave reviews on Psb image t5/6, golden ear triton seven, tekton, and polk a7. I do 50/50 tv and music, will try to get more into bluray. Now that i am older i am less into the in your face trebly, bright speakers. I listen to everything. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!!


TLDR Are the SE3s the best pair of floor speakers for around 1k?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 02:03 AM
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In general, beware of speakers that really put details "in your face'

That may sound great for a little while but it gets old in a hurry. I would put the SE3 in that category; IMO you can do a lot better.

I had the PSB Image T6 speakers for two years, and they are excellent. The T5 is also very good; just a bit less bass.

Both Stereophile and The Absolute sound rated the T6 the best in their class and selected them for "Recommended Systems" articles.

Another excellent speaker is the Focal Chorus 714V, which Music Direct has marked down from $1200 to $720.

The T6 speakers list for $1300, so if you want to stay under $1000, those 714V speakers would be my first choice.

Focal makes some really excellent well-balanced speakers; great sound quality without getting in your face.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 03:36 AM
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Take a look at the ARX A5's. They won a 1000 dollar speaker contest not too long ago.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 07:06 AM
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+1 for the Arx A5. Its a fantastic speaker. Compared to the Paradigm Monitor 9 the Arx is more of a natural sounding speaker. The Paradigm had much more high end sizzle in the treble than the Arx did.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 07:13 AM
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The article that kaiforce mentioned has a lot of really good info on a bunch of tower brands right at that price point. Its at home theater shack. They also did a similar $2.5k speaker roundup if your feeling flush smile.gif They focused specifically on their capability for stereo listening but a lot of that info will be applicable regardless of what the source material is. Lots of great info in that thread on many models.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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The reality is you have to listen, each speaker has its own characteristics and how they sound will vary depending on the room as well. If you are not going with subs than floor standers are great. If you plan to use a sub I'd go with better bookshelves as the sub will pick up the duty for the bass. For the same price you can usually go with higher end bookshelves than towers.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you for the link. i read the roundup, sounds like those A5s are legit!

ttinb, that is an interesting theory, and it does make sense. WHen i listened to the monitor 7s, they sounded much fuller and lusher , double the soundstage and atmosphere than the $500 bookshelves immediately before, without any low frequencies playing, which the sub would pick up. So i do think there is something else to it.

I went to best buy mangnolia today to listen to the ML motion 40s, whose previous model came in a close second place in the 1k speaker competition. It was a totally different room, different equipment, music etc, and it just sounded ...blah. Also listened to definitive supertowers which i thought were a little bit better, 4x more bass as well. I am convinced that the store that had the paradigm and bookshelf demos had a MUCH better setup. He was using a hi quality receiver and bluray player hooked up directly to the speakers. He also had a 2k media player that was streaming high quality songs to the first set of speakers. Best buy uses pioneer equipment and a wifi switcher to connect all the equipment together. Smaller , more cramped room also. Do you guys believe those factors make a big difference? The music on the cd in the paradigm store was a mix of expertly mastered tracks also. I am not convinced the paradigm monitor/SE3s were THAT much better than the ML and definitive technology speakers, which are 2k per pair.

I need to make a mix so i can compare these speakers apples to apples. do you guys know if i download songs and burn a cd from Itunes if it will be CD quality music? or will it be low bit rate mp3 quality put onto a cd?
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chkelly View Post

thank you for the link. i read the roundup, sounds like those A5s are legit!

ttinb, that is an interesting theory, and it does make sense. WHen i listened to the monitor 7s, they sounded much fuller and lusher , double the soundstage and atmosphere than the $500 bookshelves immediately before, without any low frequencies playing, which the sub would pick up. So i do think there is something else to it.

I went to best buy mangnolia today to listen to the ML motion 40s, whose previous model came in a close second place in the 1k speaker competition. It was a totally different room, different equipment, music etc, and it just sounded ...blah. Also listened to definitive supertowers which i thought were a little bit better, 4x more bass as well. I am convinced that the store that had the paradigm and bookshelf demos had a MUCH better setup. He was using a hi quality receiver and bluray player hooked up directly to the speakers. He also had a 2k media player that was streaming high quality songs to the first set of speakers. Best buy uses pioneer equipment and a wifi switcher to connect all the equipment together. Smaller , more cramped room also. Do you guys believe those factors make a big difference? The music on the cd in the paradigm store was a mix of expertly mastered tracks also. I am not convinced the paradigm monitor/SE3s were THAT much better than the ML and definitive technology speakers, which are 2k per pair.

I need to make a mix so i can compare these speakers apples to apples. do you guys know if i download songs and burn a cd from Itunes if it will be CD quality music? or will it be low bit rate mp3 quality put onto a cd?

Biggest factors in the sound we hear is dependent on:
1) the room
2) speakers
Everything else is minor in comparison.

I think the demo room at the dealer was probably set up much more
Carefully than Best Buy. I don't think it was the amps or the fancy media player.
The dealer is much more knowledgable about how to set up the equipment for maximum
Results. The dealers listening room may also have been "acoustically treated"

This is why it is so important to listen to speakers before you buy.
Do you know what is more important???

Listening to the speakers IN YOUR HOME! The room you put your
Speakers into might sound totally different than the dealer/Best Buys room!
It's not the speakers or the high end amp or the fancy media player or the hi-Rez music
Files. It is how YOUR room interacts with your speakers!

Hope this helps a little!
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-31-2013, 12:19 PM
 
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You should use material you are familiar with and if possible listen in your home. The room makes a big difference. Some of our local shops let you take home the speakers, they usually get your credit card info just in case you decide to keep them.
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