Hey guys, it's the PSB X2T vs. Paradigm Monitor 11 guy again, this time with some actually answerable questions if I could borrow another moment of your time! So I just went and auditioned both of the speakers, and I'm glad that I'm able to actually comprehend a notable difference between the two. Like I expected, the Paradigms had a brighter tone, to the point where some songs just barely began to sound sibilant. The PSBs had a slightly more laid back midrange which prevented a lot of that sibilance, and to my great surprise, had significantly stronger bass.
There were some very significant variations in the auditioning rooms, though, and I'd be super grateful if you guys could help me understand how these differences may have affected the sound.
The most major difference was the size; the Paradigm auditioning room was a quite large (300+ sq foot) room, whereas the PSB room was probably a little over a third of the size. Also, the large Paradigm room had pretty much all bare walls, and was pretty sparse other than more speakers in the corners, while the PSB room was very actively covered in carpets, rugs, and "sound dampener" walls in the corners (like those in lecture halls?).
The amps used were also quite different; the Paradigms were on some model number Pioneer 7.2 150W receiver, and the PSBs were on the NAD 356BEE that I'm going to be using.
There are a couple reasons for my suspicions that the room differences are making my comparison a little less accurate. The most surprising thing about my auditions was that the PSBs had a MUCH more powerful bass response than the Paradigms, which confuses me greatly since the PSB has 1 whole less subwoofer than the Paradigms. The more that I've thought about this, the more I feel like the room and amp played a big part in making the PSBs way bassier than the Paradigms. Am I right that a smaller and more sound-treated room will have a warmer, bassier sound? And a bare room would push towards a brighter sound? And, most importantly, would the PSBs likely sound less almost overbearingly bassy if I were to put them in a 300 sq foot room (like the room they're going in in my house)?
I also have a slight suspicion that the NAD amp is bassier than the Pioneer receiver, but I don't have a clue what the sound signature of Pioneer amps is like. If anyone happens to know, that'd help me out a lot. Googling hasn't yielded me much.
Unfortunately, the small size of the PSB room didn't give me a chance to test out the X2T's off-axis frequency response, which was one of my biggest concerns given its unfavorable data: Paradigm claims an off-axis by 30 degrees FR of +-2 DB 42 Hz - 18 KHz, while the PSBs supposedly have a poor-looking off-axis FR of +- 1 1/2 DB 45 Hz - 10 KHz. From these numbers is it just safe for me to assume that the PSBs will sound worse off-axis than the Paradigms?
I'm at the point where I understand the general tone of each speaker, but I really need to figure out what is and what isn't a valid assessment of the speaker, and I really need to understand how that sound is going to change when it comes into my large, bare walls living room. It'd be awesome if I could tone down the brightness of the Paradigms with the NAD amp, but I don't know if that's how it actually works. I'd love the X2T sound but only if the bass was toned down a bit from how I heard it in that small room.
If you guys could help me with even one of these questions it would make this really stressful decision a lot easier for me.
TL;DR: big room bare walls brighter sound? Small room sound-treated walls very bassy and warm sound? Pioneer receiver sound signature? Off-axis frequency response?
Last edited by Dimentio; 09-11-2014 at 08:37 PM.