Originally Posted by cmarkmyers
Not to offend Paradigm owners but they are not in the same league as Vandersteens. ...Well, I guess I will offend Paradigm owners, as to me they are barely a step up from the 'premium' speakers at big box stores.
As a previous owner of Vandersteen 3A Sigs (for 5 yrs) - and a current owner of Paradigm S8 v.2's - I think this is nonsense.
While I will always remember my Vandys fondly they were far from perfect. They were easily driven to the point of sounding congested (probably the result of using a 1st order cross-over design), they were fussy to place (needed to be so far from the walls - in our room, anyway - that they intruded into our living space), and they would be quite difficult to service if you ever had a problem with a driver (the "sock" that is used in lieu of a grill has to be removed which is nearly impossible to do without damaging the wood endcaps). Also, they they had a very small sweet spot in which to enjoy the "time-aligned, phase coherent sound" that is the hallmark of the brand. When away from that sweet-spot they could sound veiled or even slightly muffled.
By comparison the Paradigm S8's I have now rival the Vandys in terms of smoothness, and tonal accuracy while at the same time they can play at concert-like sound levels without the slightest hint of strain. Plus, they sound wayyy better off-axis than the Vandy's ever did. ..I am a lifelong fan of live (and very often acoustic) music. ..I know what real instruments sound like - be it guitars, flutes, violins, viola's, piano, etc. - and to my ears Paradigm speakers are very accurate.
Granted, the Paradigm name isn't one that confers "elite audiophile" upon it's owners the way Vandersteen might, but it's a great company whose large scale success allow them to make tremendous speakers that punch way above their weight class.