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Speakerquest (so far...) - Page 3

post #61 of 2203
Funkmonkey, you are doing an excellent job with this thread. I really look forward to reading your posts. I'm so glad you started this because I am also looking for the best set of speakers for around $2000. Keep up the good work. Also are you going to be using the speakers you choose for just music or movies also?
post #62 of 2203
Funk they were the f32's i believe but the price was more than i was willing to go.
I believe they were close to 4g's the pair.
post #63 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Funkmonkey, you are doing an excellent job with this thread. I really look forward to reading your posts. I'm so glad you started this because I am also looking for the best set of speakers for around $2000. Keep up the good work. Also are you going to be using the speakers you choose for just music or movies also?

Thanks AVKIK, have you been auditioning? If so, I would like to hear your thoughts/impressions too. If you are posting them somewhere let me (us) know, or post them here if you wish. I think that some discussion about the speakers in this price range could be beneficial, for me and anyone else who is trying to sort out their options. Plus, you may find something that I haven't had a chance to listen to, or can't find.

To answer your question, I will be using them for both music and movies. I think that music is the more difficult to reproduce though, and that a speaker that sounds great with music is going to perform well with movies, but not necessarily the reverse. Eventually I would like to build a 5.1 system around the fronts, but they IMO are the most important.

good luck in your quest,
-Greg
post #64 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Funk they were the f32's i believe but the price was more than i was willing to go.
I believe they were close to 4g's the pair.

That is out of my range, but who knows at the rate I am going they may seem reasonable in another few weeks! When I started looking/listening I was thinking $1500 should get me what I want -PSYCH- It seems that IF I want the bass I am looking for in one package I have to spend over $2G's. If I go with a sub right out of the gate I think that I could be happy with something around $1500... What did you end up getting, Oz?
post #65 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

That is out of my range, but who knows at the rate I am going they may seem reasonable in another few weeks! When I started looking/listening I was thinking $1500 should get me what I want -PSYCH- It seems that IF I want the bass I am looking for in one package I have to spend over $2G's. If I go with a sub right out of the gate I think that I could be happy with something around $1500... What did you end up getting, Oz?

paradigm's studio 100's mated to a velodyne sub crossed at 60hz but before
the year is up hope to move to a svs pb ultra 13.
LL
post #66 of 2203
I am really glad I went used from Audiogon....

I just got my Paradigm S4's in Rosewood, the box was never opened from the factory, original wrapping, the speakers are brand new... perfect. I fired them up last night, and they are fantastic of course mated with a sub... $2K Got a matching C3 for $750 all from audiogon. So far I have been thrilled with it... just need an amp now for them...

You could easily get a set of speakers for what your looking at spending, with low end support from a good sub...

Find the speaker you like the most, and have patience on the used market...

Don't forget, there is also Videogon also... I have found stuff on there that wasn't on Audiogon...
post #67 of 2203
Sounds like the weekend is shaping up well for you!
post #68 of 2203
Yeah cschang.... I was really happy with how all the stars lined up for me on the move over from the SVS's just went so smoothly, like it was meant to be...

I posted more on the Sigs in my GTG thread... I won't bother y'all with that here...
post #69 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Round 7

I was hoping to get down to Cerritos today to listen to some speakers made by "Audia Sound Labs" that the manager of a store there thought I might like, but due to time constraints I was unable to make it. (sorry Mike) Hopefully I can get there next week. I did however have about an hour to get to my absolute nearest dealer and compare the Dynaudio Focus 220's with these:

Paradigm Studio 100:(≈$2600)

I brought a couple of different CD's with me, but mostly the same. One of the new ones was Quincy Jones "Big Band Bossa Nova." I am sure everybody knows the first track on it as it was used to death in the Austin Powers movies... much of the disk is a bit cheesy, but it is recorded well. The second track, however, is great, very dynamic, lots of sounds, truly a BIG band. As soon as it started playing on the 100's I thought "nice... definitely a wall of sound." I could hear the bells, saxophones, trumpets, drums, guitars... all distinct and separate. Saxophones and muted trumpets both had a nice tone. everything was very clear, very dynamic.

The Beatles "Come Together" had a full, warm, smooth bassline. Guitars and vocals were in balance and equally as full as the bass. I skipped forward to "The End," and the Paradigms sounded great. Vocals were nice and clear. Guitars were crunchy and I could hear the decay on the amp in-between the chords. Drums were good, but I failed to note anything about them. That is unusual for me, because it is the drums that I like best about that song, I guess I was too busy listening to all the other sounds going on... Cymbals, were very distinct.

Erykah Badu showed very nice bass impact from the Studio 100's. Rim shots sounded great. This set of Paradigms brought the vocals more forward with this music, and seemed to strip away some of the lushness of them. There is a definite edge to their sound.

Fela Kuti was handled well, another dynamic recording, on a dynamic speaker. Actually, I think that is the best way to describe the Paradigm Studio 100's. "Dynamic." They have a very nice separation of sound with this music, nothing gets muddled together. Horns have a definite edge to them, coming across a little bright. I think that along with the upper mid push that seems to run through the Studio line, that the 100's have a mid bass push too. I like the impact that it creates. I actually feel the bass lines with these speakers. Though, they do not move enough air to let me feel the kick drum like you would at a live show.

The second "new" disk I brought today was Stanton Moore "All Kooked Out." He is the drummer (one of the best out there right now, IMO) for the band Galactic and tends more toward jazz with his solo releases. On this one he is accompanied by Charlie Hunter who plays an 8(I think) string bass/guitar. He gets some great sounds going with his custom instrument and has an instantly recognizable style... (wait a minute I am supposed to be writing about the speakers! Sorry about the digression, I am a music junky... "Funkmonkey, the music junky." Man, sometimes I crack myself up ) The 100's actually sounded great with this recording. Nice full bass (again), highs are crisp, sax sounds true, and drums are solid. I don't notice any accents with this music.

Fu Manchu- guitars sound a little too edgy, bass has nice impact and fullness... I am feeling it again. Overall they sound good with hard rock but maybe a bit too crisp.

I get the impression that the Paradigm Studio 100's would make an outstanding set of fronts for home-theater/movies, especially with the way that they treat vocals. I really love their bass impact, and the depth that they reach with out sounding flabby. If I took these home I would have to use an EQ to tone down the upper mids/highs a bit because I ultimately feel that they are a bit out of balance. If the top end of these were more smooth, like the Dynaudio's, or the Usher Be's, I would buy them. I still may, as they are certainly in my top four.

I should also add that these are physically the largest speakers I have listened to, the Martin Logans stand taller, but the Paradigms have a bigger footprint and take up the most volume of space. They are also distinctive in their styling, especially with the grills off. Eight drivers and two tweeters can be pretty imposing to look at, for one pair of speakers.

I managed to do a quick comparison to the Dynaudio Focus 220's, as the place I went had both....

Dynaudio Focus 220(revisited)
Overall I thought that the Focus 220's were a much smoother sounding speaker than the Studio 100's. Less punchy in the bass and less crisp in the highs. That is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just a difference in sound from one speaker to the next, and each would have advantages with different kinds of music. For example, I liked trumpets better on the Dynaudios, but saxophones better on the Paradigms. Erykah Badu rattled the grill covers on the Dynaudio's today, and we had to remove them to listen. The sloppy bass issues I had the other day were gone, they sounded deep lush and defined. But, next to the Studio 100's the Focus 220's did not go quite as low. Overall I preferred the sound of Erykah Badu on the Dynaudio's, though I would want to supplement their bottom end with a sub. Quincy Jones had a bit less sparkle on the Focus 220's, but everything was still distinct and clear, just less forward. The same thing can be said about Stanton Moore, and Fu Manchu: less forward; in your face; not as crisp, or punchy as the Studio 100's. I still really like the sound of the Dynaudio Focus 220's, they seem to be content to blend into the background and let you enjoy the music. More refined and understated, in both looks and sound, than the "I am going to ROCK your face off" attitude of the Studio 100's.

Jump to Round 8
post #70 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpdrv View Post

I am really glad I went used from Audiogon....

I just got my Paradigm S4's in Rosewood, the box was never opened from the factory, original wrapping, the speakers are brand new... perfect. I fired them up last night, and they are fantastic of course mated with a sub... $2K Got a matching C3 for $750 all from audiogon. So far I have been thrilled with it... just need an amp now for them...

You could easily get a set of speakers for what your looking at spending, with low end support from a good sub...

Find the speaker you like the most, and have patience on the used market...

Don't forget, there is also Videogon also... I have found stuff on there that wasn't on Audiogon...

Cool, nice find on the unopened, in box deal. I just listened to the Studio 100's today and can totally see why you like Paradigm so much, and why you "adjust" them a little... Congratulations on your sweet deal! and thanks for the tip about Videogon, I will keep an eye on both.
post #71 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

paradigm's studio 100's mated to a velodyne sub crossed at 60hz but before
the year is up hope to move to a svs pb ultra 13.

Tight set up there Oz, very nice!
post #72 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Tight set up there Oz, very nice!

Thanks the backs are 20's just did not snap another pic.
post #73 of 2203
Funmonkey, great description of the Studio 100's. I have been researching these speakers for some time, in hopes of purchasing them next year. Like you I am also open to other options in the same price range, I may even go up to $3000 for the fronts if I have to stretch. Like I told Warpdrv before, there is something about those Paradigms that are pulling me too them...can't figure it out, and I haven't even heard them yet.

oztech, are you using the CC-690 for the center, or the smaller one? If you are using the larger one, how is the shelf on your TV stand dealing with the weight?

Great thread, keep it up!
post #74 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamageMcRamage View Post

Funmonkey, great description of the Studio 100's. I have been researching these speakers for some time, in hopes of purchasing them next year. Like you I am also open to other options in the same price range, I may even go up to $3000 for the fronts if I have to stretch. Like I told Warpdrv before, there is something about those Paradigms that are pulling me too them...can't figure it out, and I haven't even heard them yet.

Damage-
Thanks for the support, I am leaning heavily on the $3000 mark already. Hawks, Usher Be-718, Dynaudio Focus 220, Paradigm Studio 100 all weigh in at more than $2400 and range up to a solid $3g's with the 220's. Those are my top four right there. Every one of them a good bit more than $2000. I am really thinking more about going to the used market, and want to listen to some higher end speakers. Seems like preowned they sell for about 50% of msrp, a little more if they are barely used, and in great condition...

Bottom line: Get out there and LISTEN. You will be surprised at the differences you hear, some subtle some not so subtle.
Cheers,
Funk
post #75 of 2203
Funkmonkey, sorry about asking you if you are going to use these speakers for movies,I just reread your first post and saw that you've answered that. Anyway, I have not been out auditioning lately, I recentaly bought a pair of paradigm studio 100 v4. To make a long story short I ordered them a few weeks ago and they arrived damaged (tweeter and other things). The dealer than had to order a new pair which also arrived damaged ( nasty groove in the cabinet ,which he tried to blend in with a marker) the dealer than told me he can order a new speaker but it might take up to a month to get. I waited a week and still no speakers so I canceled my order. This really sucked because I had been wanting these speakers for years, ever since I auditioned the studio 100 v3. now I don't know if I should try again with another paradigm dealer ( the marker trick freaked me out) or go with a totaly different speaker company. The condition that they arrived in kind of scared me. Everyone else who has ordered paradigm seems to have gotten their speakers in perfect condition though. On another note I did manage to listen to the studio 100 v4 for five days in my house and they sounded good concidering the one rubber surround on the tweeter had a little hole in it. But I absoultely agree with your review on them. They are a little to crisp and the midrange is way forward. In my house with wood floors they were a little too bright and I wish they were a little smoother. Sorry for rambling on. I do have a very important question though. Other than the low bass did you notice any other differences between the studio 100 and the studio 60? I have not been able to audition the 60's, no one seems to have them. I'm thinking about maybe going with the cheaper 60's and a good sub. Good luck with your hunt. I will be getting soon and auditioning a little more. Great thread. Thanks Avkik
post #76 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Damage-
Thanks for the support, I am leaning heavily on the $3000 mark already. Hawks, Usher Be-718, Dynaudio Focus 220, Paradigm Studio 100 all weigh in at more than $2400 and range up to a solid $3g's with the 220's. Those are my top four right there. Every one of them a good bit more than $2000. I am really thinking more about going to the used market, and want to listen to some higher end speakers. Seems like preowned they sell for about 50% of msrp, a little more if they are barely used, and in great condition...

Bottom line: Get out there and LISTEN. You will be surprised at the differences you hear, some subtle some not so subtle.
Cheers,
Funk

Have you done any comparisons to the $1500 Salk Song Towers?
post #77 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Funkmonkey, sorry about asking you if you are going to use these speakers for movies,I just reread your first post and saw that you've answered that.

No worries, mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Anyway, I have not been out auditioning lately, I recentaly bought a pair of paradigm studio 100 v4. To make a long story short I ordered them a few weeks ago and they arrived damaged (tweeter and other things). The dealer than had to order a new pair which also arrived damaged ( nasty groove in the cabinet ,which he tried to blend in with a marker) the dealer than told me he can order a new speaker but it might take up to a month to get. I waited a week and still no speakers so I canceled my order. This really sucked because I had been wanting these speakers for years, ever since I auditioned the studio 100 v3. now I don't know if I should try again with another paradigm dealer ( the marker trick freaked me out) or go with a totaly different speaker company. The condition that they arrived in kind of scared me.

Man that sucks, I am really sorry to hear about that. It seems like there is a ton of damage that happens as a result of shipping. It makes me wonder if speaker companies put a little more money into their packing and shipping cartons wouldn't they save thousands in damage and return shipping costs, thereby lowering the price of the speakers???

As far as the marker trick, I would definitely not buy anything from that place again. If they are pulling that kind of crap who knows what else they are trying to get away with. I would even go as far as sending an e-mail, or calling, Paradigm directly to explain your experience with that dealer and ask them to recommend a better one. I am certain that they would be very interested in hearing what you have to say about how they are being represented. I am actually starting to wonder if the damage that the dealer "claims" to have happened during shipping didn't happen after delivery, during unloading or unpacking or moving them around in a backroom!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

...the one rubber surround on the tweeter had a little hole in it.

That's weird, and sounds like quality control issues with tweeter maker itself. I am not sure, but I don't think paradigm makes their own drivers.

Edit: Hifisponge corrected me on this one, Paradigm does make their drivers in-house (thanks)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Other than the low bass did you notice any other differences between the studio 100 and the studio 60?

Well, it's hard to say because I heard them a few weeks apart, in different rooms with different electronics driving them... Considering all that, I thought they sounded similar regarding the mids and highs, definitely in the same family. Paradigm did a good job at tone matching the speakers in the studio line (at least with the 20's, 60's, & 100's that I heard) each one seems to expand the sound progressively deeper and more full through the midrange. If you look at their product sheets (20,60, 100) you can see that they use some different drivers, and crossovers with each speaker. I am not going to even pretend to know the difference between a second, and third order crossover... I do know that they have a distinctive sound signature that carried through all three of the "Studio" speakers that I heard. I wish it was as easy as just saying "Yes, they sound the same, but with more low end," but I can't. Hope this helps ya, bud.

Best of luck getting your new babies home safe and sound (whatever you decide on).

Cheers,
Funk
post #78 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajieboy View Post

Have you done any comparisons to the $1500 Salk Song Towers?

I wish... I really want to hear them, but as far as I know the nearest pair, that someone is willing to open their home up for an audition of, is in San Diego. You can check out my discussion with Nuance about them here starting with post #463. He does a review of them earlier in the same thread, I believe. Lots of info there, good thread. I am sure he would be able to compare them with something you are familiar with...
post #79 of 2203
Funkmonkey, thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it. AVKIK
post #80 of 2203
Funkmonkey -

Another great review on the Paradigms.

I owned the Paradigm Signature S4 V1's as part of a 5 channel package, and just after that the Monitor Audio GS's.

The one thing that stands out about your review of the Paradigm V4's is the sometimes "edgy" quality. The Paradigm Sigs that I owned used a mineral loaded plastic midrange driver and while they were a touch forward and a little bright, they were not edgy. The Monitor Audio's, which use all metal drivers, could be a little edgy. Seems to me that the new metal mid driver in the Paradigm's is the culprit for the edgy quality.

Not that it really matters why, I just find it interesting from an academic POV. The great thing about metal drivers is that they are stiff and light, but they also tend to ring just outside of there usable range. A steep crossover can reduce the audible effect of the ringing, but I think that some of that ringing can still be heard as an edge in the upper mids / lower treble.

BTW - Paradigm makes all of their drivers in-house. The only thing they don't make are the cabinets for the Signature series, which are made in Denmark.

Cheers,

- Tim
post #81 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Cool, thanks for the info Tim. I wasn't too sure about that...

Seems to me I like the Beryllium tweeter, more than other metal ones.
If I could Frankenstein a speaker together I would take the Be tweeter from the Usher, the upper mid to mid of the Focus 220, mid to mid bass of the Hawks, and the mid bass to low end of the Studio 100's... That would be a great speaker (for me).
Any suggestions?
post #82 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Cool, thanks for the info Tim. I wasn't too sure about that...

Seems to me I like the Beryllium tweeter, more than other metal ones.
If I could Frankenstein a speaker together I would take the Be tweeter from the Usher, the upper mid to mid of the Focus 220, mid to mid bass of the Hawks, and the mid bass to low end of the Studio 100's... That would be a great speaker (for me).
Any suggestions?

Hmmm? Well, I don't know of a speaker that would capture all of the different traits of those speakers in one, but there is one speaker that I can think of that I think is quite good that isn't on your list. And that is the ERA D14.

http://www.signalpathint.com/index.p...ign-14-Series/

They retail for $2200 a pair. They are a relatively new company, but the drivers were designed by Aerial Acoustics and the cabinetry is top notch. I find their sound to be somewhat warm and inviting, yet they also seem to give a good portrayal of detail. I would say that they are the most similar to the Dynaudios, but still have a character of their own.

For me, part of the reason I went with the Focal's is because they use the Be tweeter, but also because of the unique, very stiff and light mid and bass drivers. By creating a sandwich of glass / aerospace foam / glass they have a diaphragm that is lighter and stiffer than metal that doesn't ring out of band. What you end up with is a very clean articulate sound without the edgy side effects.



With that said, I still think you owe it to yourself to hear some Revels. They use all metal drivers but they have damped the ringing by coating the metal with a ceramic material.
post #83 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

... one speaker that I can think of that I think is quite good that isn't on your list. And that is the ERA D14.
http://www.signalpathint.com/index.p...ign-14-Series/
They retail for $2200 a pair.

Actually I did listen to that one but really owe it a second listen because I heard it right after the Dali's ribbon had numbed my ears.... I remember liking the D-14 much more than the D-10. And the cabinet was beautiful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

the drivers were designed by Aerial Acoustics

I didn't know that... interesting. I actually want to hear the Arial 7B, I have seen it used in my price range.




Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

With that said, I still think you owe it to yourself to hear some Revels. They use all metal drivers but they have damped the ringing by coating the metal with a ceramic material.

I'm tryin' bud, hopefully the rep will have located a pair, and will get back to me today.
post #84 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Actually I did listen to that one but really owe it a second listen because I heard it right after the Dali's ribbon had numbed my ears.... I remember liking the D-14 much more than the D-10. And the cabinet was beautiful.

I'll have to head over to the Home Theater Doctor to listen to the floorstanding Eras. The D4 and D5 impressed me.....so I expect good things out of the big brothers.

The Dalis really intrigue me though. I have heard the Ikon 1 and Helicon 300. While I can usually understand why people like a particular speaker/sound, the Dalis really stumped me.
post #85 of 2203
Funkmonkey,

Great post so far and very useful as I'm currently debating upgrading my Axioms for something around $3,000. This might be a lot of ask, but who knows maybe you'd enjoy doing it. Could you create a single post of what you've reviewed with a 1-10 rating and perhaps a small blurb? I was attempting to do this for you but didn't want to read into any of your comments and misrepresent your thoughts.

My demo list right now is
Studio 100
Dali Icon 6/7 /heli 400
MA GS60
B&W 703/683/CM7
post #86 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

The Dalis really intrigue me though. I have heard the Ikon 1 and Helicon 300. While I can usually understand why people like a particular speaker/sound, the Dalis really stumped me.

Would you care to elaborate? I would love to hear more on this. I am a Helicon 400 owner so maybe I could provide some different insight?
post #87 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Would you care to elaborate? I would love to hear more on this. I am a Helicon 400 owner so maybe I could provide some different insight?

No disrespect, but I felt the treble was "raspy" and artificial.
post #88 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

No disrespect, but I felt the treble was "raspy" and artificial.

No, no disrespect at all. I am not trying to take it personally, just curious what you thought? My findings on a daily basis do differ from yours. I am assuming you listened to everything in a decent environment with sufficient gear?
post #89 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

No, no disrespect at all. I am not trying to take it personally, just curious what you thought? My findings on a daily basis do differ from yours. I am assuming you listened to everything in a decent environment with sufficient gear?

Sufficient gear...yes, decent environment..no, not really to my liking, but we also heard other speakers on the same gear in the same environment.

Next time I am there, I will give them another listen.
post #90 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

Funkmonkey,

Great post so far and very useful as I'm currently debating upgrading my Axioms for something around $3,000. This might be a lot of ask, but who knows maybe you'd enjoy doing it. Could you create a single post of what you've reviewed with a 1-10 rating and perhaps a small blurb? I was attempting to do this for you but didn't want to read into any of your comments and misrepresent your thoughts.

My demo list right now is
Studio 100
Dali Icon 6/7 /heli 400
MA GS60
B&W 703/683/CM7

Thanks ChicagoTC, thats a good idea, I planned on doing a summary to help me narrow the field a bit, but I have a couple more to listen to before I do that. I am not sure if a 1-10 rating system would be fair though, because we all like different things in our sound. My 10 may be someone else's 2. A scale like that would also require a common standard, something that would be the "10," and something that would be the "1." I honestly haven't heard anything I would rank above an 8, and four of the speakers I have heard would be in a tie at "8," for very different reasons. All of these speakers have things that I like about them, and things that they lack, or over-do. For example "lack of low bass" (very common deficiency in this price range) could be easily solved by adding a subwoofer, which when considering that may take a "6" up to a "9"... do you see the problem? I think it would be more appropriate to rank their characteristics on a scale. (i.e.- highs:8, mids:7, bass:7, sub-bass:2, clarity:6, definition:7, soundstage:7...) but then where do you stop??? If you want to try and tackle something like that, be my guest, it would probably help me make a decision, too.

Before I go into a semi-final round, I plan to add manufacturers stats to my previous posts. Up to this point I really wanted my ears to decide what they liked, before I started comparing stats and clouding my head with claimed frequency response numbers, power handling, sensitivity... I think that information is useful, but (for me) only to help me decide between a few that my ears have picked out.

You have a good list going, I am anxious to hear what you think of the speakers that you audition. I still want to hear the Monitor Gold's, and B&W 700 series (both of which were above my original price range, but now would have some company) Let us know what you hear!
Cheers and good luck,
Funk
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