Mark Henninger listened to the top model in Paradigm's Prestige speaker line and liked what he heard.
Paradigm launched its Prestige series speakers at CEDIA 2014
. During that show, I heard a 2-channel demo of the $4000/pair Prestige 85F towers. I liked a lot of what I heard when it came to clarity and dynamics—I noted that the tweeters were fantastic. However, I also criticized that demo for offering relatively limited (albeit precise) stereo imaging and for failing to involve me emotionally in the music.
At CES 2015, I heard the Prestige 95F towers in a 2.0 configuration, and that sounded much better than what I experienced with the 85Fs at CEDIA. The CES demo was essentially flawless, erasing any doubts I had about the quality of Paradigms latest offering. Every track—from classical music to Produk 29 to Aphex Twin—played with the clarity and intensity that audio enthusiasts associate with high-end speakers. During the classical piece, I noted "the tympani has just the right thwack to it."
Then the demo switched to full-on surround-sound home theater mode. A clip from The Maze Runner showed that the new Paradigms can handle AV soundtrack duties with ease. A Prestige 55C handled center channel duties, while Prestige 25S speakers handled surround-sound duties. The presentation was first-rate, it was easily one of the best I heard at CES this year.
Here's the complete Prestige line.
It may be that the 95F is that much better than the 85F. It is also possible the room at The Venetian possessed better acoustics than the room at CEDIA. Whatever the explanation for the superior-sounding demo, this time around I had no reservations about complimenting what I heard—it was excellent. At $5000 for a pair, the 95F is not exactly a speaker for audiophiles on a limited budget, but they may be worth an audition if you are looking for reference-quality sound.
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