Paradigm Studio 20 (v4) vs NHT Classic three - I would love your opinion! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-17-2014, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Paradigm Studio 20 (v4) vs NHT Classic three - I would love your opinion!

To start out, I own both of these speakers. I have owned the Paradigm Studio 20's (v4) for a while, and I just recently bought a used pair of NHT Classic three's.

I bought the NHT Classic three's because I really enjoy a rich midrange (like the NHT superzero's produce) and I reasoned the Classic three's would be similar in resolution and detail to the Studio 20's but with a bolder midrange.

Upon listening to the speakers (going back and forth between the two pairs) it sounded like the Classic three's had a slightly warmer midrange, however the soundstage, imaging and detail of the Studio 20's was much better. All in all the Studio 20's sounded a lot better to me.

From everything I have read about the Classic three's, they should be as good or better than the Studio 20's in every important department (soundstage, imaging, detail, speed), but this is not what I experienced.

So, I have two conclusions.
1) The Studio 20's really are superior speakers.
2) The amplifier I am using is not bringing the Classic three's to life. (my amp is a 20 wpc Furman SP-20. It as a high quality studio amp, and although it is a low wattage amp it gets pretty loud and sounds quite good to me powering my superzero's or Studio 20's.)

I would love your opinions regarding these speakers. What would be most helpful is if someone else has (or has heard) both of these speakers and can give me their opinion.

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post #2 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 01:41 PM
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My NHT's need lots of power so if you don't want to buy a more powerful amp, just keep the Paradigms.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mnc View Post
My NHT's need lots of power so if you don't want to buy a more powerful amp, just keep the Paradigms.
I don't mind purchasing a better (and more powerful) amp, if that will drastically enhance the sound of the Classic Three's. My current amp has enough power to get the Classic Three quite loud, so if I purchased another amp it would be for the sole purpose of improving the quality of sound from the NHT's.
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
I don't mind purchasing a better (and more powerful) amp, if that will drastically enhance the sound of the Classic Three's. My current amp has enough power to get the Classic Three quite loud, so if I purchased another amp it would be for the sole purpose of improving the quality of sound from the NHT's.
IMO if you don't like how they sound with your current amp, they won't sound any different with a more powerful amp, just louder.

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post #5 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 07:29 PM
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I have Paradigm Studio 20 v3 and they sounded really bad with a Yamaha receiver. Although they filled the room with sound it was just... Well... Bad.

I put them in a listening room and got an Emotiva Mini-X amp (just the small mini one 25 watts per channel) and they're amazing... I couldn't imagine being more satisfied with a speaker for the price I got them. To me, now that I have a chance to love them on reasonable equipment, they're better than Monitor Audio RX-1's and Cambridge Audio S30's. I couldn't really see much competing with them for my ears.
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post
I have Paradigm Studio 20 v3 and they sounded really bad with a Yamaha receiver. Although they filled the room with sound it was just... Well... Bad.

I put them in a listening room and got an Emotiva Mini-X amp (just the small mini one 25 watts per channel) and they're amazing... I couldn't imagine being more satisfied with a speaker for the price I got them. To me, now that I have a chance to love them on reasonable equipment, they're better than Monitor Audio RX-1's and Cambridge Audio S30's. I couldn't really see much competing with them for my ears.
What a coincidence you should say that, because the Emotiva Mini-X is the amp I have been thinking about upgrading to. Both the Mini-X and my amp (Furman SP-20) utilize toroidal transformers, and from what I have read on the subject, toroidal transformers are only used in higher-end amplifiers. So, I am still not sure how the Mini-X compares with my current Furman SP-20 amp.

But my initial question still remains, is the Studio 20 (v4) a better sounding speaker than the Classic Three, or is my amplifier holding the Classic Three's back from competing with (or surpassing) the Studio 20's?
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-19-2014, 12:01 PM
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I believe a more powerful amp will make the NHTs sound better (NOT just LOUDER) but I have no idea if they will sound better to you than the Paradigms. A more powerful amp has almost nothing to do with playing louder. Even an entry level receiver will play VERY loud! It's all about a cleaner, more dynamic and lifelike sound.
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-25-2014, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there anyone at all who has heard both of these speakers (Paradigm Studio 20 v4 & NHT Classic three) who can comment on how these speakers compare???
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-21-2014, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
To start out, I own both of these speakers. I have owned the Paradigm Studio 20's (v4) for a while, and I just recently bought a used pair of NHT Classic three's.

I bought the NHT Classic three's because I really enjoy a rich midrange (like the NHT superzero's produce) and I reasoned the Classic three's would be similar in resolution and detail to the Studio 20's but with a bolder midrange.

Upon listening to the speakers (going back and forth between the two pairs) it sounded like the Classic three's had a slightly warmer midrange, however the soundstage, imaging and detail of the Studio 20's was much better. All in all the Studio 20's sounded a lot better to me.

From everything I have read about the Classic three's, they should be as good or better than the Studio 20's in every important department (soundstage, imaging, detail, speed), but this is not what I experienced.

So, I have two conclusions.
1) The Studio 20's really are superior speakers.
2) The amplifier I am using is not bringing the Classic three's to life. (my amp is a 20 wpc Furman SP-20. It as a high quality studio amp, and although it is a low wattage amp it gets pretty loud and sounds quite good to me powering my superzero's or Studio 20's.)

I would love your opinions regarding these speakers. What would be most helpful is if someone else has (or has heard) both of these speakers and can give me their opinion.

Old thread...but hey...I might as well say something lol.

I've heard both, but not side by side and with different equipments, so it's hard to say. I personally didn't like the Paradigm much because I thought it was kinda bright and I like listening to medium-loud volume so I don't think I would ever buy Paradigm speakers (even if they're studios) because my ears would mostly get fatigue after listening to them for a while. Also the bass on the Paradigm was Lacking quite a lot (given its massive physical size). I really loved the Classic Three due to it being so neutral and produces clean, clean accurate sound and not bright at all. The only real advantage I see the Paradigm having over the Classic Three is its bigger woofer. I think you just have a taste for brighter sounding speakers, nothing wrong with that.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
Old thread...but hey...I might as well say something lol.

I've heard both, but not side by side and with different equipments, so it's hard to say. I personally didn't like the Paradigm much because I thought it was kinda bright and I like listening to medium-loud volume so I don't think I would ever buy Paradigm speakers (even if they're studios) because my ears would mostly get fatigue after listening to them for a while. Also the bass on the Paradigm was Lacking quite a lot (given its massive physical size). I really loved the Classic Three due to it being so neutral and produces clean, clean accurate sound and not bright at all. The only real advantage I see the Paradigm having over the Classic Three is its bigger woofer. I think you just have a taste for brighter sounding speakers, nothing wrong with that.
The Paradigm Studio 20 v4 actually have a pretty flat freq
Response...perhaps you don't prefer neutral speakers!

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Link to article:
http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/l...studio-20.html
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post
The Paradigm Studio 20 v4 actually have a pretty flat freq
Response...perhaps you don't prefer neutral speakers!

Attachment 324498

Link to article:
http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/l...studio-20.html
They're flat on-axis, but many Paradigm speakers have a "hump" in their off-axis response in the treble range, meaning they put out a lot of treble energy into the room. So if the room is reflective in this region, they can sound bright. The off-axis response of the NHT is wide but more controlled.
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post
The Paradigm Studio 20 v4 actually have a pretty flat freq
Response...perhaps you don't prefer neutral speakers!

Attachment 324498

Link to article:
http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/l...studio-20.html
I am very sure I like neutral speakers. It could have been the equipments and recording that made the Paradigm sounded somewhat bright, although the Paradigm definitely sounded neutral. From what I noticed though on the Paradigms is that the tone voices are more in your face type. They're not laid back at all. I like to listen to medium-loud volume so Paradigms wouldn't be a fit for me. I would imagine they are very good for night listening or at low volume due to their forward sound. Graphs are just graphs but realistically what you hear is what you like and don't like; everyone's ears are different after all.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
I am very sure I like neutral speakers. It could have been the equipments and recording that made the Paradigm sounded somewhat bright....
Most likely it was a combination of the speakers and the room acoustics, not the equipment.
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 09:28 PM
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Most likely it was a combination of the speakers and the room acoustics, not the equipment.
I agree. Very high possibility. Hard wood floor makes speakers sound brighter, correct?
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 09:35 PM
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Yeah, they can. Also bare walls (with no bookshelves or furniture along them) can be very reflective.
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post #16 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
I am very sure I like neutral speakers. It could have been the equipments and recording that made the Paradigm sounded somewhat bright, although the Paradigm definitely sounded neutral. From what I noticed though on the Paradigms is that the tone voices are more in your face type. They're not laid back at all. I like to listen to medium-loud volume so Paradigms wouldn't be a fit for me. I would imagine they are very good for night listening or at low volume due to their forward sound. Graphs are just graphs but realistically what you hear is what you like and don't like; everyone's ears are different after all.
Sabre... I think I know where you are coming from. And
You are right..looking a graphs is not the same as listening
To the speakers. We all hear different! You make a good point
About it being the source recording...there's a lot of garbage
Out there. You could have also been in a very reflective type
Room.

I orignally started out with Paradigms entry level speakers..
The Monitor series...they kicked butt for movie watching but
We're a bit harsh to me for my music. And they do measure
Pretty flat too! What I did was upgrade all my Monitor speakers
For their top of the line Signature series. No more harshness
Only "smooth" and at loud volumes too!

So...the next time you are out and about I want you to
Find and listen to some Paradigm Signatures! Let me know
How you feel about them at loud volumes!

Sorry for the thread derailment.
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-22-2014, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post
Sabre... I think I know where you are coming from. And
You are right..looking a graphs is not the same as listening
To the speakers. We all hear different! You make a good point
About it being the source recording...there's a lot of garbage
Out there. You could have also been in a very reflective type
Room.

I orignally started out with Paradigms entry level speakers..
The Monitor series...they kicked butt for movie watching but
We're a bit harsh to me for my music. And they do measure
Pretty flat too! What I did was upgrade all my Monitor speakers
For their top of the line Signature series. No more harshness
Only "smooth" and at loud volumes too!

So...the next time you are out and about I want you to
Find and listen to some Paradigm Signatures! Let me know
How you feel about them at loud volumes!

Sorry for the thread derailment.

mmmm...Paradigm Signatures, now those are speakers I wanna hear!! Too bad they're not sold in a Best Buy or electronics store..
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