Paradigm Studio 20 v5 / B&W CM5 Dilemma - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-16-2014, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I now have an unexpected dilemma! To make a long story short, my woofer blew in my Original Version Studio 20 in my music room. So my immediate plan was to use this very convienient reason to buy the newer Paradigm Studio 20 v.5's. biggrin.gif So I started lookin at them online and reading tons of reviews, (inlcuding searching and readin in this forum) although I was already 99% sure this is what I was getting.

My wife and I happened to be driving 2 hours to an area (to see a concert) together, and I searched online and found a retailer that sells Parqadigm and a room where I can listen to the new 20's. By the time we got there, they were closing soon but I did get about 30 min to listen to them before I had to leave. However the store also had a pair of B&W CM5's there beside the Studio 20's. I was able to listen to both during my visit, and although I was really set on the Studio 20's on the way there, when they switched the music to the CM5's, I was shocked at how good they sounded (and different)!!

I had never heard them before and I have always owned Paradigm. Like i said I currently own an older pair of Studio 20's (and Mini Monitors, and Paradigm in-walls, and a Paradigm Subwoofer) and I have loved them. I wish I could have had more time to A/B the speakers again as the CM5 just sticks out to me for some reason.

The "high's" were "brighter" on the Studio 20's and the CM5's were more "laid back" and also had more bass extension to me. My wife (who doesn't really care) swears the CM5's had a subwoofer playing with them everytime we switched back to the CM5. I agree with the bass difference but what also stood out to me was the difference in the way the tweeters sounded. Not that I don't like the Studio 20's, I have really enjoyed my original version 20's and would not be changing at all if one of the woofers had not blown, but now I find myself in this situation smile.gif

The other variable is that I can get the Paradigm Studio 20's for about $300 cheaper than the CM5's (at least every place that I have checked so far). I am stuck with one Studio 20 speaker in my music room so I am wanting to get replacements soon!

I really am not sure which way I am going to go. There was no question on what I was buying before (the Studio 20's v5's) but then here come the CM5's and now I am stuck. I still may go with the 20's but I was hoping to get some thoughts from some other folks on here.

Any input is appreciated!!!

Thanks!!!

Kidd
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-16-2014, 06:48 PM
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Well my opinion here will obviously be biased but I will add my input..


The CM5's def give you that "really? theres no sub turned on?" vibe. They are def laid back but I prefer that.. I can't stand a harsh sound.. especially listening to anything with heavy guitar sounds.. it just makes me feel old as I cringe to turn it down.. I do hear some dip in the mid response in these and thats probably what makes them sound more "fun" to my ears.. I wasn't a fan of their centre 1 but was def happier with teh centre 2 but it sounds like you will be leaning more towards 2 channel listening.. These will give you that full range sound without struggling (unless its the deep deep lows that you are looking for that NO stand alone speaker will give you without a sub)

I feel B&W did well with this series even though they are manufactured in china (but really what isn't anymore)

The only thing I could see from other reviews around here is from the ascend sierra 1's giving them a run for the money but the B&W blow them away in the sexy factor..

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-17-2014, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. And yea I know your biased smile.gif
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-17-2014, 02:31 PM
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I think that the B & W CM5 speakers do not stand up well at all in comparison testing with several other speakers in the same size/price range. A couple of reviews I have read seem to imply the same thing.

My personal favorite is the Focal Chorus 807V. It is excellent in every respect. I think if you listen to a pair of those you will buy them in an instant.

They have great bass extension, and the sound is just plain seductive; very realistic without a trace of harshness or brightness.

Music Direct has marked them down from $1200/pair to $720/ pair. There may be a new line coming out; don't know for sure.

I can't stand the Paradigms; I find them impossibly bright.

The Monitor Audio Silver RX2 is another nice one. They go for $699/pair and also have nice sound and good bass.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input commsysman!

I did end up going with the CM5's. I really like them so far allthough it is early!!
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 01:26 PM
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The Paradigms are neutral.......not bright........this is false info.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKR1963 View Post

The Paradigms are neutral.......not bright........this is false info.

They (the Studio V5s) are fairly neutral on-axis but are bright/hot in the 5-10kHz region off-axis. So depending on the room acoustics, they may or may not be bright in-room.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-23-2014, 04:31 AM
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I demoed the Paradigm Studio v5s against the B&W CM series.

As part of my 9.2 home cinema set-up I have a set of Studio 20 v5s. Prior to being my front heigh left and right, they were tested on their own and for a time my rear left and right before making it to front heigh position. I find the sound to be nice and quite accurate, obviously not as much as my 60v5 and 100s v5. IMO they are not bright or colourful and I find them to be quite neutral. Bass is smooth and accurate and standard not overly punchy. I have turned the bass up on my set-up, but that's my personal preference.

The best advise that I can give is to get a set of each on test and have a listen at home. I find demo rooms to be inaccurate as the room is either acoustically tailored or really poor and made of plasterboard partitioned walls. One set my compliment your amp better than the other. If possible use your own or the same amp for the demo.

I listened to the following speakers before deciding.

B&W CM10 vs Studio 100s
B&W CM9 vs Studio 60s
B&W CM5 vs Studio 20s
B&W CM Centre 2 vs Studio 690

I had to use a demo room as they don't offer try before you buy from anywhere near me. In the demo room that I went into they all sounded shocking (included the sub that was with the set-up). I was told that the speakers were set-up perfectly by the sales guy doing the demo (who probably listed to PC speakers at home!). After realising that I would be there for a few hours, the salesman disappeared. I set to task adjusting the set-up to see if I could adjust to my preferences after all this was for me to listen to, and not the sales guy with his preferences (Your about to spend a bit of money so set the amp up for you). I first noted that the bass speaker was set-up completely out of phase and and switched to 180. After a bit I settled into listening. All amp tone and EQ settings were set to 0 for the initial tests. Bass was also switched off and full frequencies put to the speakers. The speakers were listened to in pairs of similar for comparison.

Generally I found that the B&Ws had a fraction more bass and mid bass than the Paradigm and were fraction more colourful although very enjoyable to listen to (still made me smile when I cranked them up), there was something that was not quite right for me when compared to the Paradigm studio series (something that I don't think I can explain). I did find the Paradigm to be a bit more neutral and accurate. One thing i noticed was that the paradigm seemed to recreate high frequency a tad better. There were sounds from an orchestral triangle that I noticed from the Paradigm that was not as noticeable when I listened to the B&Ws. Sound separation seemed a tad better to me as well there seemed to be more instruments in the same track. Neither set of speakers were painful to listen to and seemed to recreate good sound at high and low volume.

After comparison I was able to alter the amps tone and EQ settings to see which speakers sounded better to me and my preferences. I have to be honest, they were close. However the Paradigm did it for me.

As a side note, I think that the finish is a tone nicer on the Paradigm speakers. I went for rosewood and am stupidly happy that I did!

Side note: (Latter addition to my set-up was 2 No. Paradigm Sub-1s as they were the only subs in the paradigm series that I felt truly and seamlessly blended to the other speakers in my set-up without )

Simply though. Only you can decide. Everyone is different!

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Paradigm Reference Studio 100 (F L+R)
Paradigm Reference Studio CC-690 (C)
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-25-2014, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiddocious View Post

Thanks for your input commsysman!

I did end up going with the CM5's. I really like them so far allthough it is early!!

Congrats on your new purchase! :) Those are great! :)Could you list your amplifier & cables & sources please... Cheers 

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-31-2014, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies!!!!!

I listened to the Paradigm Studio 20's vs. the CM5's back and forth and even though I went there initally for the 20's I ended up getting the CM5's. They are both fantastic speakers. I still have all Paradigm in my HT setup and really enjoy them!! But for my music room I had to go with what I felt sounded better to me and that was the CM5's.

I have Computer > USB DAC > Yamaha 2 Channel Amp > CM5's

And after Saturday it will be:

Computer > USB DAC > Yamaha 2 Channel Amp > CM5's / SVS SB12-NSD SUB

I can't wait to see how it sounds with the sub. I also have the option of crossing them over at 80hz with the sub, or continue to run them full range (which I do enjoy how they sound full range). So I will decide what sounds better to me and go from there.

Hope this sub gets here Saturday as Fed Ex predicts as there is still all this snow hanging around!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT monster View Post
I demoed the Paradigm Studio v5s against the B&W CM series.

As part of my 9.2 home cinema set-up I have a set of Studio 20 v5s. Prior to being my front heigh left and right, they were tested on their own and for a time my rear left and right before making it to front heigh position. I find the sound to be nice and quite accurate, obviously not as much as my 60v5 and 100s v5. IMO they are not bright or colourful and I find them to be quite neutral. Bass is smooth and accurate and standard not overly punchy. I have turned the bass up on my set-up, but that's my personal preference.

The best advise that I can give is to get a set of each on test and have a listen at home. I find demo rooms to be inaccurate as the room is either acoustically tailored or really poor and made of plasterboard partitioned walls. One set my compliment your amp better than the other. If possible use your own or the same amp for the demo.

I listened to the following speakers before deciding.

B&W CM10 vs Studio 100s
B&W CM9 vs Studio 60s
B&W CM5 vs Studio 20s
B&W CM Centre 2 vs Studio 690

I had to use a demo room as they don't offer try before you buy from anywhere near me. In the demo room that I went into they all sounded shocking (included the sub that was with the set-up). I was told that the speakers were set-up perfectly by the sales guy doing the demo (who probably listed to PC speakers at home!). After realising that I would be there for a few hours, the salesman disappeared. I set to task adjusting the set-up to see if I could adjust to my preferences after all this was for me to listen to, and not the sales guy with his preferences (Your about to spend a bit of money so set the amp up for you). I first noted that the bass speaker was set-up completely out of phase and and switched to 180. After a bit I settled into listening. All amp tone and EQ settings were set to 0 for the initial tests. Bass was also switched off and full frequencies put to the speakers. The speakers were listened to in pairs of similar for comparison.

Generally I found that the B&Ws had a fraction more bass and mid bass than the Paradigm and were fraction more colourful although very enjoyable to listen to (still made me smile when I cranked them up), there was something that was not quite right for me when compared to the Paradigm studio series (something that I don't think I can explain). I did find the Paradigm to be a bit more neutral and accurate. One thing i noticed was that the paradigm seemed to recreate high frequency a tad better. There were sounds from an orchestral triangle that I noticed from the Paradigm that was not as noticeable when I listened to the B&Ws. Sound separation seemed a tad better to me as well there seemed to be more instruments in the same track. Neither set of speakers were painful to listen to and seemed to recreate good sound at high and low volume.

After comparison I was able to alter the amps tone and EQ settings to see which speakers sounded better to me and my preferences. I have to be honest, they were close. However the Paradigm did it for me.

As a side note, I think that the finish is a tone nicer on the Paradigm speakers. I went for rosewood and am stupidly happy that I did!

Side note: (Latter addition to my set-up was 2 No. Paradigm Sub-1s as they were the only subs in the paradigm series that I felt truly and seamlessly blended to the other speakers in my set-up without )

Simply though. Only you can decide. Everyone is different!
i love paradigm studio 20s but magnolia carry CM5
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