Originally Posted by dlfromcanada
What's your opinion on the beryllium tweeter ? S2 money gets you alot of speaker nowadays, what did you compare them to outside Paradigm?
Unfortunately, we are not in a city that gives us much of an opportunity to demo many hi-end speakers. We can get them, but usually have to order them in because the stores will not carry them as regular stock. The store did have a pair of S2 V1's, Monitor Audio RS6, Paradigm Studio 40 V4 and Studio 60 V3 (which is what I was looking to replace)
The RS6 and new Studio 40's were very impressive. I could have lived with either of these. The new Studio 40's sound so much better than the V3 60's. The 60's were not in the same league as any of them, which convinced me more that I should replace mine. (This is not to say the 60's were bad, but in comparison, they have a much darker, laid back sound) Overall, the S2 V1's provided more detail and the soundstaging appeared much better and more realistic. Imaging is phenomenal, which is to be expected from a small cabinet. However, they also provided a very full sound from such a small cabinet. Quite impressive.
I was able to bring the S2 V1's home do demo in my own environment, so once again, I tried them compared to the 60's. No question, the S2's are much better all round with the exception of a bit more bass from the 60's, but surprisingly, it didn't seem like that much more.
Now, I also own a pair of B&W 804's which are set up in a different system. In comparing the S2's to the 804's, the S2's are the first speaker that I've heard that I think I prefer to the 804's. (I think) Both are phenomenal sounding, but each have their own characteristic sound. It's hard to determine. That being said, you have to consider the size difference and cost difference, and the fact that I would have a hard time picking one over the other says something for the S2's. I then hooked the S2's up with my sub, which is how I will be using them anyway since they are part of a HT system. WOW, this just added the little bit of fullness in the bottom end that they needed.
So, I then pondered whether I should keep the V1's or order the new V2's which have the beryllium tweeters. I figured if I didn't get the new ones, I would probably regret it, so the order was placed for a pair of S2's and a C3 in piano black. I was a bit worried not having heard the V2's, but Paradigm is known for continually improving their lineup, so I wasn't overly concerned.
I hung onto the V1's until the V2's came in which gave me a chance to compare these two. Keep in mind that the V2's were not broken in at the time of the comparison where the V1's were. The first noticeable difference was that the V1's played louder because they are slightly more efficient, which immediately gave me the notion of sounding better, until I started doing some critical listening. The sound is very similar, however, the V2's are a bit smoother. They also seem to provide a bit wider soundstage, probably due partly to the new aluminum mid/bass. They also seem to be quicker. Some details within the music popped out more while listening. These were things that I didn't remember hearing previously, so going back to the V1's, these same sounds were there, but definitely not as prominent. This is probably due to the extremely high frequency response capable from the beryllium, although I'm sure I probably don't hear anything much above 16,000 Hz, if that. However, I think even within my hearing range, the beryllium tweeters possess the ability to let more of the recording through. One thing I have noticed is that our cat's ears perk up a whole lot more with the V2's. That does tell me that the beryllium is producing some higher frequencies than what was possible with the V1's.
So, in summary, the S2 V2's appear smoother, quicker with a wider soundstage and a bit more detailed. All in all, a phenomenal speaker. I didn't even get into the sound of the C3 and the system for movies, but I can tell you, so far, I am very, very impressed. Paradigm has once again improved a speaker that was already phenomenal.