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B & W 685 or Paradigm studio 10 v5

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Basically I was able to listen to the B W 685 in the show room but the local Paradigm dealer doesn't stock any of the studio or the sign. series speakers. I seen some mixed reviews on the Paradigm v5s compared to the v4s. I also seen to different reviews of the B W 685 from the 602s. I be using this as a add surround to a setup I already have. I have a 26' by 13' room I can putting this into. I liked the B W 685s but when I heard them at the showroom. Knowing that I have one point of reference how are the paradigm studio 10v5s going to differ from it. I going to use this set for 60% and 40% movies. But personally the movies are the second importance as the surrounds aren't used too much in movies and have quality music is where it is at with me.

Or if there is another set of speakers say in the Sub 1K point point I am all hears.

Thanks,

-Chris

B & W 685


Paradigm Studio 10s
post #2 of 29
I've heard them both and they both sounded wonderful. If you want more style go for the Studio 10, if you want more low end go for the 685. Ultimatly, get the one you like the best.
post #3 of 29
I can only vouch for the B&W's since I've never heard Paradigm (visually the look of Paradigm is a little too over the top and too flashy for me). I currently use the 685's for rear surrounds but I have played with them as front mains plenty of times just for fun to hear what they can do. I have to say, they will literally drop your jaw when they're setup properly. They sound way better than they look, that's for sure. They sound pretty damned full range without a sub, but crossing over to a good quality sub is the icing on the cake and how I would run them for music. Great clarity, detail, imaging, natural sounding, and good power handling. I would of loved to go with bookshelf speakers all the way around, but sadly that damned FST midrange driver in the bigger B&W's was too much of a performance increase to not stick with them for front mains... I liked the idea of the system visually disappearing more with the smaller speakers, but after having the 683's and now the 804S's in home, I could never go back to non-FST driven speakers for hardcore 2-channel music listening. They're too damned good.

Do yourself a huge favor and DON'T listen to the 683's! Pretend there's no such thing!
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
thanks anyone one else who has listened to both the studio 10.v5 and 685s?
post #5 of 29
I've listened to both of them. Based on looks, the Studio 10 is vastly superior with the grills on but off, the 685's take it. Sonically, the Studio 10's have a very punchy, lively sound that is better suited for rock, power pop, and movies when blended with a decent sub. The 685 is a smoother speaker that may be slightly more neutral and better with acoustic music, vocals, and perhaps jazz.

Both are quite good depending on your taste in music but keep in mind that if this system is going to be used for movies at all, the B&W 600 series centers are absolutely horrendous while the Studio centers are very good for the money.
post #6 of 29
Since you want to add these as surrounds to an existing setup, and since you are most concerned about music. I'd try to match your existing fronts as best as possible.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gchanjam View Post

I've listened to both of them. Based on looks, the Studio 10 is vastly superior with the grills on but off, the 685's take it. Sonically, the Studio 10's have a very punchy, lively sound that is better suited for rock, power pop, and movies when blended with a decent sub. The 685 is a smoother speaker that may be slightly more neutral and better with acoustic music, vocals, and perhaps jazz.

Both are quite good depending on your taste in music but keep in mind that if this system is going to be used for movies at all, the B&W 600 series centers are absolutely horrendous while the Studio centers are very good for the money.

I had heard some talk that the paradigm v5s were a side step from the v4s. But then I heard from some that the v5s were comparable to the 800 series from B & W. So just wasn't sure. The version 5s havent been out that long and there aren't many comparisons of the two. I also step up into the studio 20s there are a little more but I am guessing have better bass extension.
post #8 of 29
I heard both the Paradigm Studio 10s and 20s side by side at my local dealer and the 10s were better sounding but the 20s were louder. This was using a Yamaha surround amp...nothing fancy. I think it was around 50W per channel.
post #9 of 29
If I b u, I wood git the 685s. Yes, the Studio 10s look like a set reject from the Terminator movies.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio View Post

If I b u, I wood git the 685s. Yes, the Studio 10s look like a set reject from the Terminator movies.

haha OUCH!!! but yeah if you are making a decision solely based on the speakers looks without the grills I would go with the B&W as well. But doesnt performance play a more important factor?

I own the Studio 10s and never take the grills off but have been very curious about the 685s lately and would like to know if they are a better match for my Cambridge Audio 840A V2...anyone have input on this? Neither speaker is overly sensitive and on paper they seem to be fairly similar.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gchanjam View Post

I've listened to both of them. Based on looks, the Studio 10 is vastly superior with the grills on but off, the 685's take it. Sonically, the Studio 10's have a very punchy, lively sound that is better suited for rock, power pop, and movies when blended with a decent sub. The 685 is a smoother speaker that may be slightly more neutral and better with acoustic music, vocals, and perhaps jazz.

Both are quite good depending on your taste in music but keep in mind that if this system is going to be used for movies at all, the B&W 600 series centers are absolutely horrendous while the Studio centers are very good for the money.

I would agree, listened to both and bought the Studio 10's.
post #12 of 29
Sorry about my last post. I was more making fun of the OPs command of the English language. Sorry Chris.
post #13 of 29
They are both very good, I hope you are able to listen to the 'digms. gchanjam did a pretty good job of describing my take on the two, though I haven't heard either center channel, might be worth going back to the B&W dealer to listen to the center.

I would add era D5 to the list to auditon, for my money (really, I bought them) they compare to the B&W CM5 which I loved. Also, check out Dali, KEF and Monitor Audio RS1/RX1 in your price points.

Good luck & have fun!

Ron
post #14 of 29
Hey Ron, what do you think of KEF? They look cool if not a little querky. No one within 400 miles of me sells them so I don't know how they compare.
post #15 of 29
I was really surprised withe the Studio 10 when we brought them in. I wasn't expecting a whole lot from them because of their size and driver size, but I was really impressed with their bass extension (for such a small bookshelf). I personally like the Paradigm sound compared to the B&W sound, I like a fuller midrange. I find the B&W's to have a very dry and recessed sound (Vocals sound like someone is singing through a sock). I also don't care for the looks of the 600 series, they look like they are the poster child for speakers made in China. Everyone hears differently though, I would match your rears to your front's for timbre matching, and buy whatever sounds best to you.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio View Post

Hey Ron, what do you think of KEF? They look cool if not a little querky. No one within 400 miles of me sells them so I don't know how they compare.

KEF has a version of the traditional British sound, I like them (I like all the speakers I suggest), the tweeter in the center of the woofer is a cool idea. They aren't necessarily value leaders but either is B&W.

Ron
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldoCombs View Post

KEF has a version of the traditional British sound, I like them (I like all the speakers I suggest), the tweeter in the center of the woofer is a cool idea. They aren't necessarily value leaders but either is B&W.

Ron

Thanks. I thought that was the tweeter in there on the IQs. Neat!
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisfromalbany View Post

I had heard some talk that the paradigm v5s were a side step from the v4s. But then I heard from some that the v5s were comparable to the 800 series from B & W. So just wasn't sure. The version 5s havent been out that long and there aren't many comparisons of the two. I also step up into the studio 20s there are a little more but I am guessing have better bass extension.

What are you using for your LCR?
post #19 of 29
I have both these speakers in my home right now for a demo...paired up with my Cambridge Audio 840A V2.

and so far what you guys have said basically rings true...B&W 685 is lacking midrange, the build feels cheap compared to the Paradigm Studios, and what shocked me the most appearance and feel wise was how light the B&W were compared to the studio 10s. I mean they tower over the Paradigms but must weight a few pounds less a piece! weird. BIG bookshelf speakers for sure...maybe too big! Funny how that picture above shows these 2 speakers as the same size. not even close


so far it seem B&Ws are more suited for instrumentals, jazz and Jack Johnson. while the Paradigms seem to enjoy the more up tempo, challenging, rock and roll type music (No Doubt, Chilli Peppers, Tool and Queensryche). Dont laugh Queensryche "Empire" is actually a decent album for seeing what a speaker can do.

Why oh why cant there be a speaker that can handle it all?
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiodaze74 View Post

I have both these speakers in my home right now for a demo...paired up with my Cambridge Audio 840A V2.

and so far what you guys have said basically rings true...B&W 685 is lacking midrange, the build feels cheap compared to the Paradigm Studios, and what shocked me the most appearance and feel wise was how light the B&W were compared to the studio 10s. I mean they tower over the Paradigms but must weight a few pounds less a piece! weird. BIG bookshelf speakers for sure...maybe too big! Funny how that picture above shows these 2 speakers as the same size. not even close


so far it seem B&Ws are more suited for instrumentals, jazz and Jack Johnson. while the Paradigms seem to enjoy the more up tempo, challenging, rock and roll type music (No Doubt, Chilli Peppers, Tool and Queensryche). Dont laugh Queensryche "Empire" is actually a decent album for seeing what a speaker can do.

Why oh why cant there be a speaker that can handle it all?

Empire is a great album but seems to be a little bright, maybe harsh? Idk, overall it sounds good but maybe not reference quality...
However, u really need to test speakers with music YOU will listen to, not the demos that were recorded, mixed, and mastered to sound good on the speakers from the company!

I use the following albums to demo, which I think (to my ears anyway) are all recorded well and sound great...
Joe Satriani - Surfing with the Alien
Sarah Mclachlan - Mirrorball
Alice in Chains - Jar of flies
Chris Botti - several albums
Eiji Que - Rachmaninoff Symphonies

I recently tested the B&W 685's with these and I think they sound wonderful, good balance of mid and bass!
post #21 of 29
I can't speak to the B&W but I have the Paradgim Studio 10 v5 driven by a 2 channel Anthem amp and they sound pretty darn good. My previous speakers were Von Schweikert VR1 monitors and I would say the Von Schweikerts had a slightly bigger sound stage and were more laid back. The Studio 10s are little quicker and very accurate without ever becoming fatiguing. I have been very impressed with them so far for their price range.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post

I can't speak to the B&W but I have the Paradgim Studio 10 v5 driven by a 2 channel Anthem amp and they sound pretty darn good. My previous speakers were Von Schweikert VR1 monitors and I would say the Von Schweikerts had a slightly bigger sound stage and were more laid back. The Studio 10s are little quicker and very accurate without ever becoming fatiguing. I have been very impressed with them so far for their price range.


i hear that!!! I just sold my Paradigm Studio 10 V.5s to try a pair of KEF iQ30s for a change.... wow talk about night and day! these KEFs are alot bigger like the B&W 685s and just like the 685s less bass, cheap build and poor veneer quality! oh well less learned the hard way, Paradigm is far better quality in almost every way compared to both the B&W and KEFs
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiodaze74 View Post

i hear that!!! I just sold my Paradigm Studio 10 V.5s to try a pair of KEF iQ30s for a change.... wow talk about night and day! these KEFs are alot bigger like the B&W 685s and just like the 685s less bass, cheap build and poor veneer quality! oh well less learned the hard way, Paradigm is far better quality in almost every way compared to both the B&W and KEFs

Sorry to hear about your experience with the other speakers. I have a thing for Paradigm speakers and Anthem amps(same company). This is my 3rd pair of Paradigm speakers going back 15 years. Well built products that offer bang for the buck. Stick with what works
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiodaze74 View Post

i hear that!!! I just sold my Paradigm Studio 10 V.5s to try a pair of KEF iQ30s for a change.... wow talk about night and day! these KEFs are alot bigger like the B&W 685s and just like the 685s less bass, cheap build and poor veneer quality! oh well less learned the hard way, Paradigm is far better quality in almost every way compared to both the B&W and KEFs

I love all three of these brands and agree that Paradigm starts in with great veneer much sooner than the Brits, a little surprised by the bass comment as that's not how it seemed to me, and both KEF & B&W measure lower?

Not arguing with what you heard, just curious.

Regardless, it does suck to replace speakers you love with speakers you think less of, I've done it too and agree: LESSON LEARNED...

Ron
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldoCombs View Post

I love all three of these brands and agree that Paradigm starts in with great veneer much sooner than the Brits, a little surprised by the bass comment as that's not how it seemed to me, and both KEF & B&W measure lower?

Not arguing with what you heard, just curious.

Regardless, it does suck to replace speakers you love with speakers you think less of, I've done it too and agree: LESSON LEARNED...

Ron

well both the B&W and KEF (havent put the foam plugs in yet) seemed more "boomy" and the Paradigm was maybe a little less bass but definitely tighter and had more punch IMO. My listening room has crappy acoustics so maybe the Studio 10s were just more forgiving. Even if the B&W 685s, which i really tried to love were better sounding i still couldnt get over the cheap build quality compared to the 10's. it wasnt even close! However both the iQ30's and 685's were louder speakers and did better at higher volumes

the KEFs seem to be opening up a bit now after a days worth of listening
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldoCombs View Post


Regardless, it does suck to replace speakers you love with speakers you think less of, I've done it too and agree: LESSON LEARNED...

Ron

Yup! I have done this before, and I don't want to make that mistake again! I am glad I added the Studios to my list of speakers to audition before deciding on the B&W 685's
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiodaze74 View Post

I have both these speakers in my home right now for a demo...paired up with my Cambridge Audio 840A V2.

and so far what you guys have said basically rings true...B&W 685 is lacking midrange, the build feels cheap compared to the Paradigm Studios, and what shocked me the most appearance and feel wise was how light the B&W were compared to the studio 10s. I mean they tower over the Paradigms but must weight a few pounds less a piece! weird. BIG bookshelf speakers for sure...maybe too big! Funny how that picture above shows these 2 speakers as the same size. not even close


so far it seem B&Ws are more suited for instrumentals, jazz and Jack Johnson. while the Paradigms seem to enjoy the more up tempo, challenging, rock and roll type music (No Doubt, Chilli Peppers, Tool and Queensryche). Dont laugh Queensryche "Empire" is actually a decent album for seeing what a speaker can do.

Why oh why cant there be a speaker that can handle it all?

Your comment about Queensryche Empire is interesting. I made a post on the Dynaudio Forum on Saturday about that album. I was jamming hard with my Krell 300iL and Dynadio Contour 1.3 SEs. "Is there Anybody Listening?" was mind blowing!

It costs quite a lot of money to get a monitor to as you say do it all. None can do it all but some of the best can nearly pull this trick off. BUT, the cost starts rising to $2500.00 annd well north of there.

I have auditioned and briefly owned Paradigm (Monitor 100s) and B&W CMD 1(NTs?). I liked the Dyn monitors far better but I found good points to all of them. I have heard pretty decent comments on the Studio 10s but the ghastly looks turn me off. If they sound good enough though I suppose that they could grow on you.

Good luck with your decision.
post #28 of 29
Sorry for the late post on this thread but I was recently in the market for bookshelf speakers, a center channel, in-wall surrounds and a sub for a modest home theater for the family room in my new home (I have some space issues and something called a wife who was not too keen on a lot of hefty speakers in a newly built space--I'm sure you all understand).

I started looking at bookshelf speakers in the under $1,000/pr range and 2 of the candidates were obviously the B&W 685's and the Paradigm Reference Studio 10s. I demo'd them both quite extensively recently along with Monitor Audio's Gold GS10 (a little more expensive) and Silver RX1 all powered by a Rotel amp. Other potential candidates that I did not get to listen to were PSB Image B5, NHT Classic 3, and Usher S520.

For me, the Paradigm Studio 10s were the clear winner over the B&W 685s (and both offerings from Monitor Audio). Actually, it was not even close between just the Studio 10s and the 685s. I echo some of the other comments on here that the 685s look and feel kind of cheap. Of course, that does not mean much without listening to them, but deserves to be mentioned when we are comparing speakers of similar price. The Studio 10s look awesome and the build quality and fit and finish is top notch, especially at this price point. The Rosenut veneer is stunning, and you can get piano gloss black for a slight upcharge which looks pretty cool too. I saw all 4 finishes available for the Studio 10s and each one blows the plastic-looking 685s out of the water.

In terms of sound, there just was not much information, in my opinion, coming out of the 685s. I listened to all kinds of music and movies too and there was just stuff that did not come out of the 685s that came out of the other speakers, including the Studio 10s. Plus the low end of the 685 (not that I was expecting much from bookshelf speakers in the first place) just seemed absent when compared to the Studio 10s. Honestly, the Studio 10s with their 5 1/4" drivers (v. 6 1/2" for the 685s) handled bass unbelievably for a speaker its size. I think everyone in the demo area was trying to figure out how such a small speaker could produce the bass that these babies produce. It was downright impressive in my opinion and has been commented on in several expert reviews. Most people are probably going to add a sub to any bookshelf pair, especially if it is part of a home theater system. But you could legitimately get away with these on their own in a smaller room and I think their ability to handle bass would be very surprising to most.

Anyway, the Studio 10s also handled the mids and highs better -- much better actually. Mids and highs were crystal clear and, more importantly, balanced, while the 685s just had less information and maybe sounded a bit reserved overall, so to speak. I'm sure there are people who may prefer this, but I did not. I must add, however, that I hooked up some B&W CM1s (which are obviously more than double the price of the 685s), there was just a huge difference in sound quality over the 685s, and I mean huge. (But I was still liking the Studio 10s over the CM1s).

I just heard a lot more out of the Studio 10s on all sorts of material, but it was never "bright" or really in your face, but rather seemed to be perfectly balanced no matter what was coming through.

Of course, speakers are a matter of personal preference. That's why it is always best to listen to them as many on this and other forums suggest. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with higher-end speakers, sometimes it is just impossible to do this. Everyone just has different tastes in terms of what type of stuff they like to listen to and how they hear it. For me, the Paradigm Studio 10s fit the bill and I can't wait until they arrive and I set them up. I would venture to guess that if you ordered them even unheard, they would be very impressive and if you did not like them, at under $800/pr retail, you could sell them pretty easily and not be out a lot of money.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_ed_luc View Post

Sorry for the late post on this thread but I was recently in the market for bookshelf speakers, a center channel, in-wall surrounds and a sub for a modest home theater for the family room in my new home (I have some space issues and something called a wife who was not too keen on a lot of hefty speakers in a newly built space--I'm sure you all understand).

I started looking at bookshelf speakers in the under $1,000/pr range and 2 of the candidates were obviously the B&W 685's and the Paradigm Reference Studio 10s. I demo'd them both quite extensively recently along with Monitor Audio's Gold GS10 (a little more expensive) and Silver RX1 all powered by a Rotel amp. Other potential candidates that I did not get to listen to were PSB Image B5, NHT Classic 3, and Usher S520.

For me, the Paradigm Studio 10s were the clear winner over the B&W 685s (and both offerings from Monitor Audio). Actually, it was not even close between just the Studio 10s and the 685s. I echo some of the other comments on here that the 685s look and feel kind of cheap. Of course, that does not mean much without listening to them, but deserves to be mentioned when we are comparing speakers of similar price. The Studio 10s look awesome and the build quality and fit and finish is top notch, especially at this price point. The Rosenut veneer is stunning, and you can get piano gloss black for a slight upcharge which looks pretty cool too. I saw all 4 finishes available for the Studio 10s and each one blows the plastic-looking 685s out of the water.

In terms of sound, there just was not much information, in my opinion, coming out of the 685s. I listened to all kinds of music and movies too and there was just stuff that did not come out of the 685s that came out of the other speakers, including the Studio 10s. Plus the low end of the 685 (not that I was expecting much from bookshelf speakers in the first place) just seemed absent when compared to the Studio 10s. Honestly, the Studio 10s with their 5 1/4" drivers (v. 6 1/2" for the 685s) handled bass unbelievably for a speaker its size. I think everyone in the demo area was trying to figure out how such a small speaker could produce the bass that these babies produce. It was downright impressive in my opinion and has been commented on in several expert reviews. Most people are probably going to add a sub to any bookshelf pair, especially if it is part of a home theater system. But you could legitimately get away with these on their own in a smaller room and I think their ability to handle bass would be very surprising to most.

Anyway, the Studio 10s also handled the mids and highs better -- much better actually. Mids and highs were crystal clear and, more importantly, balanced, while the 685s just had less information and maybe sounded a bit reserved overall, so to speak. I'm sure there are people who may prefer this, but I did not. I must add, however, that I hooked up some B&W CM1s (which are obviously more than double the price of the 685s), there was just a huge difference in sound quality over the 685s, and I mean huge. (But I was still liking the Studio 10s over the CM1s).

I just heard a lot more out of the Studio 10s on all sorts of material, but it was never "bright" or really in your face, but rather seemed to be perfectly balanced no matter what was coming through.

Of course, speakers are a matter of personal preference. That's why it is always best to listen to them as many on this and other forums suggest. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with higher-end speakers, sometimes it is just impossible to do this. Everyone just has different tastes in terms of what type of stuff they like to listen to and how they hear it. For me, the Paradigm Studio 10s fit the bill and I can't wait until they arrive and I set them up. I would venture to guess that if you ordered them even unheard, they would be very impressive and if you did not like them, at under $800/pr retail, you could sell them pretty easily and not be out a lot of money.

When shopping in the Paradigm Studio/B&W 600 $$ range you should definitely listen to both, they are both class leaders (and I would argue equals) with different qualities. If you are listening with music you know and like I doubt it takes longer than 10 minutes to know which you prefer.

Ron
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