New 2020 JBL HDI Speakers vs. Paradigm Premier - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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New 2020 JBL HDI Speakers vs. Paradigm Premier

Hey all,

So after some bouncing around of ideas and with the prospect of moving my Funk 21.0L subwoofer to a behind the seat position, which would allow me to fit tower speakers upfront instead of my current wall mounted PSA MT-110surrounds, I have narrowed down a possible change of speakers to either the new JBL HDI line or the Paradigm Presitge line.

JBL = (2) 3600's and (1) 4500 center
Paradigm = (2) 700F's and (1) 600C

Pricing difference isn't a concern, just want the better of the two.
MLP is 10ft away. Speakers are powered by an Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2. Usage is mainly movies around -15dB level. Room is moderately treated.

I have used Paradigm before and know what to expect but have never heard a high-end consumer model JBL speaker (only ever had experience with professional 3677's behind an AT screen). I wouldn't be able to audition the JBL's before ordering.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
Hey all,

So after some bouncing around of ideas and with the prospect of moving my Funk 21.0L subwoofer to a behind the seat position, which would allow me to fit tower speakers upfront instead of my current wall mounted PSA MT-110surrounds, I have narrowed down a possible change of speakers to either the new JBL HDI line or the Paradigm Presitge line.

JBL = (2) 3600's and (1) 4500 center
Paradigm = (2) 700F's and (1) 600C

Pricing would be only a $500 difference between the Paradigms and the JBL's due to an insane price break I am being offered on the JBL's.
MLP is 10ft away. Speakers are powered by an Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2. Usage is mainly movies around -15dB level. Room is moderately treated.

I have used Paradigm before and know what to expect but have never heard a high-end consumer model JBL speaker (only ever had experience with professional 3677's behind an AT screen). I wouldn't be able to audition the JBL's before ordering.

Thoughts?
Why not the PSA towers as they use a compression driver as well at a much lower price.

Unless something is missing from the PSA sound for you.

For others who may not have hears of the new JBLs.

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-speaker-range

Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 02:15 PM
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You may not be interested, but you can get some excellent pricing on the JBL Studio 580's or 590's. The Studio 5 series is being discontinued and "replaced" with the HDI series.

I've had experience with both JBL and Paradigm, but not the HDI or Premier models, so I'm of little help.

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post #4 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Why not the PSA towers as they use a compression driver as well at a much lower price.

Unless something is missing from the PSA sound for you.

For others who may not have hears of the new JBLs.

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-speaker-range
I don't know how to describe it but I guess the one thing with the PSA's is they don't have "personality". And that's a loaded description that isn't meant to mean they stink or anything. For listening loud, they are hard to beat for the price. I never finish watching a movie thinking "meh" in terms of sound.

But it just seems like something is missing. And after reading some threads it might be the lack of playing low from the PSA's that is the issue, as they only crossover down to 90Hz based on Dirac measurement. I've been told a deeper digging speaker would better go with my Funk (such as something capable of a 60Hz crossover) and that kind of makes sense to what I may feel like I am missing as I don't find the PSAs to be too great at music listening (even with the sub engaged).

I read in the JBL thread that the 708's, while not having as high of an output as the PSAs, have cleaner/clearer output and the HF section is noticeably better.
But I don't know where the new HDIs compare to the 708s as JBL consumer lines are new to me, as stated.
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post #5 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
I don't know how to describe it but I guess the one thing with the PSA's is they don't have "personality". And that's a loaded description that isn't meant to mean they stink or anything. For listening loud, they are hard to beat for the price. I never finish watching a movie thinking "meh" in terms of sound.

But it just seems like something is missing. And after reading some threads it might be the lack of playing low from the PSA's that is the issue, as they only crossover down to 90Hz based on Dirac measurement. I've been told a deeper digging speaker would better go with my Funk (such as something capable of a 60Hz crossover) and that kind of makes sense to what I may feel like I am missing as I don't find the PSAs to be too great at music listening (even with the sub engaged).

I read in the JBL thread that the 708's, while not having as high of an output as the PSAs, have cleaner/clearer output and the HF section is noticeably better.
But I don't know where the new HDIs compare to the 708s as JBL consumer lines are new to me, as stated.
Interesting as that is the second time in two week or so here on AVS I have hear that about PSAs.

Quite the leap of faith on the JBLs though, no?

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post #6 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Interesting as that is the second time in two week or so here on AVS I have hear that about PSAs.

Quite the leap of faith on the JBLs though, no?
Yea. But so far, outside the forums at least, everyone I've talked to recommends the new JBLs after hearing them at CEDIA.

But definitely a leap. Though so was buying the PSAs I suppose.
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post #7 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mocs123 View Post
You may not be interested, but you can get some excellent pricing on the JBL Studio 580's or 590's. The Studio 5 series is being discontinued and "replaced" with the HDI series.



I've had experience with both JBL and Paradigm, but not the HDI or Premier models, so I'm of little help.


I second this, why don’t you also try the 590, they are dirt cheap and honestly they put out a great sound, they are musical ( atleast to my ears ) since you don’t play loud (-15 dB ) they should more than suffice. JBL has free returns too, nothing to lose right ?


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post #8 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I second this, why don’️t you also try the 590, they are dirt cheap and honestly they put out a great sound, they are musical ( atleast to my ears ) since you don’️t play loud (-15 dB ) they should more than suffice. JBL has free returns too, nothing to lose right ?


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Mainly because of the discount I'm being offered on the new HDI's but it's a one time, use it by the end of the week type offer before my dealer has to extend it to another customer...
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post #9 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 03:26 PM
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Although this is certainly a bit of conjecture, I think it is fairly safe to say the HDI series would sound different and possibly better......the waveguide is trickle down technology from the M2.

I think using surround speakers(for mains) with limited extension isn't helping matters any for you, and using the full size bookshelf or tower speakers from PSA would likely be more satisfying for you. Because of this, a switch to the HDI speakers are likely to be a step up in sound quality imo(as would the PSA towers), but you have the *potential* for an additional step up in sound quality due to the wave-guide. I'm not super impressed with the sensitivity of the new HDI speakers for a dedicated home theater type design(90 and 92 dB for 6.5" and 8" towers), but that's the price you pay for trying to play full range with small woofers....something that is entirely unnecessary for anyone interested in high fidelity sound, as all speakers should be crossed to multiple subs for optimal sound quality. Its tough for manufacturers to make a better speaker (one with less extension and higher sensitivity designed to be crossed to subs) as there are so many that wouldn't buy the speaker if it didn't attempt to play full range.

The other option is to get away from a controlled directivity speaker all together and go with a wide dispersion design i.e. non horn loaded. If going this route, I wouldn't give the slightest consideration to a speaker that did not have detailed on and off axis measurements available.....wide dispersion can be beneficial but far off axis performance becomes much more important imo as reflections will be greatly increased. Its important that these reflections are a close match to the direct sound for good sound quality. Some feel this can create a more spacious, open sound. This is perhaps somewhat supported by the JBL M2 vs Revel Salon 2 shootout that took place on the forums here. Although hardly rigorously scientific, a decent handful of folks(6-8) preferred the Salon 2 over the M2 in a blind listening test. They both measure superbly and have great extension, so the main difference between the two was wide dispersion(Salon 2) vs controlled directivity(M2).

So I see three good options for you to consider:

Upgrade to full size PSA speakers....MT110's or MT210's
Upgrade to the JBL HDI speakers
Upgrade to a wide dispersion design with good sensitivity of 90 dB or higher(this is what I did recently as I found my usage to be 95%+ music, and films rarely if ever close to reference level)

I wouldn't buy Paradigm blind i.e. without detailed measurements available....some of their speakers measure(and therefore sound) fantastic, but others seem quite poor. So no way to know for sure what your getting.

I'd look at Revel before Paradigm personally as all their speakers have good measurement data available, and not one of them measures anything short of excellent.

Focal makes some pretty good stuff with decent sensitivity as well.

Last edited by bear123; 01-06-2020 at 03:37 PM.
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post #10 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Not doubting, but the waveguide can really make that huge of a difference? I guess I always assumed they were all the same angle/function (90x90, 90x60, etc)
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post #11 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 03:51 PM
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The JBL HDI speakers are amazing. Be aware, the compression driver and horn will have a different (narrower) dispersion pattern and sound than the Revel tweeter/wave guide. Both are Harman engineering and meet their goals of neutral on and off axis frequency response. Paradigm speakers are not designed that way and the measurements and sound are noticeably different than a neutral speaker.


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...nce-shows.html
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post #12 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
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Not doubting, but the waveguide can really make that huge of a difference? I guess I always assumed they were all the same angle/function (90x90, 90x60, etc)
Harman has spent an extraordinary amount of time engineering their wave guides and horns. Every new speaker has a new generation of waveguide (Performance BE series is now 5th generation).

The guys who work on this stuff are brilliant and have the most amazing test and measurement facilities I have seen-four anechoic chambers, Klippel analyzers etc. Huge amounts of money put into R&D.
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post #13 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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The JBL HDI speakers are amazing. Be aware, the compression driver and horn will have a different (narrower) dispersion pattern and sound than the Revel tweeter/wave guide. Both are Harman engineering and meet their goals of neutral on and off axis frequency response. Paradigm speakers are not designed that way and the measurements and sound are noticeably different than a neutral speaker.


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...nce-shows.html
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Harman has spent an extraordinary amount of time engineering their wave guides and horns. Every new speaker has a new generation of waveguide (Performance BE series is now 5th generation).

The guys who work on this stuff are brilliant and have the most amazing test and measurement facilities I have seen-four anechoic chambers, Klippel analyzers etc. Huge amounts of money put into R&D.

Thanks!

Regarding dispersion pattern, my MLP is dead center of the TV (equidistant between left and right speaker) and is the only seat that matters in the room, so no worries about a narrow pattern.



It really sounds like, for the price opportunity being offered to me, I should go with the HDI's.
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post #14 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 04:28 PM
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Mainly because of the discount I'm being offered on the new HDI's but it's a one time, use it by the end of the week type offer before my dealer has to extend it to another customer...


Well, I understand but can you return it if you don’t see 3x the value ?


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post #15 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I understand but can you return it if you don’t see 3x the value ?

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No, that's the caveat. Only returnable if there is an issue/damage. But I could sell them used at a good enough price to break even, maybe lose out on a couple hundred at most worst case.
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post #16 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 04:49 PM
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New 2020 JBL HDI Speakers vs. Paradigm Premier

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Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
No, that's the caveat. Only returnable if there is an issue/damage. But I could sell them used at a good enough price to break even, maybe lose out on a couple hundred at most worst case.


Well atleast you have a plan B, I think I know how you are feeling, heart is in one place but mind is saying something else, I have been in your shoes, 90% this kinda problem get solved by itself, where the amazing deal disappears by itself, lol, if you can afford it and you want to pamper yourself go ahead, since you have a plan B. I am sure you will keep it because it will be vast improvement from your tiny surround speakers, my only argument always has been is this best value ? Take a deep breath and decide and stick to it because in no time the deal will disappear how to know if it’s good deal vs best deal? Good deals, you move on in a week, best deal, you dwell over missed deal for a month or more..







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post #17 of 50 Old 01-06-2020, 07:25 PM
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Definitely report back if you get those JBLs. I’ve been wondering what they sound like since they came out bc they seem to be a great design. I bet they sound great.


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post #18 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 07:07 AM
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[QUOTE=BigCoolJesus;59057320]Hey all,

So after some bouncing around of ideas and with the prospect of moving my Funk 21.0L subwoofer to a behind the seat position, which would allow me to fit tower speakers upfront instead of my current wall mounted PSA MT-110surrounds, I have narrowed down a possible change of speakers to either the new JBL HDI line or the Paradigm Presitge line.

JBL = (2) 3600's and (1) 4500 center
Paradigm = (2) 700F's and (1) 600C

Pricing would be only a $500 difference between the Paradigms and the JBL's due to an insane price break I am being offered on the JBL's.
MLP is 10ft away. Speakers are powered by an Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2. Usage is mainly movies around -15dB level. Room is moderately treated.

I have used Paradigm before and know what to expect but have never heard a high-end consumer model JBL speaker (only ever had experience with professional 3677's behind an AT screen). I wouldn't be able to audition the JBL's before ordering.

Thoughts?[/QUOTE

Sounds like you've narrowed things down.....space, placement, price, possible contenders. Here's my thoughts: I would expect the sonic nuances with music to be fairly different between these two. As always I recommend listening to both in your space and let your ears decide and I'd A/B compare the center speakers before I would make a decision based on the mains.
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post #19 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 08:15 AM
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The all new JBL HDI series loudspeaker line that was shown at the CEDIA Expo is due to arrive soon. ETA to the warehouse is mid February 2020. This new series comes in gloss black, walnut, and a white oak finish that looks great.

They use JBL D2 compression driver technology and are timbre matched to the Synthesis SCL in-wall series, so you can mix and match with SCL to create hybrid in-wall with in-room Synthesis systems.
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post #20 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I made a calculation error in my first post about the price difference between the Paradigms and HDI's. It would definitely be quite a bit more for the HDI's but as I edited, I wouldn't mind paying the extra if the performance is definitely worth it. Everything I am reading says it should be, but not being able to demo them is obviously a concern.



Regarding JBL's compression driver technology. Having used professional series 3677's that were manufactured in 2012, how much better/different has their technology for just the HF portion changed since then? That's the best comparison I can make. Obviously efficiency isn't the same due to the woofer differences.
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post #21 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
I made a calculation error in my first post about the price difference between the Paradigms and HDI's. It would definitely be quite a bit more for the HDI's but as I edited, I wouldn't mind paying the extra if the performance is definitely worth it. Everything I am reading says it should be, but not being able to demo them is obviously a concern. Regarding JBL's compression driver technology. Having used professional series 3677's that were manufactured in 2012, how much better/different has their technology for just the HF portion changed since then? That's the best comparison I can make. Obviously efficiency isn't the same due to the woofer differences.
A lot has transpired since the 3677 was introduced. We do not have specs on the new HDI compression driver yet, see my post: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post59032756

The 3677 vs the HDI is apples and oranges. The HDI series are an entirely new design and the wave guide is derived from the M2. Spec for the 3677 says Frequency response (± 3 dB): 45 Hz to 12 kHz. That means there can be as much as a 6 dB swing in the FR curve.

Frequency Response spec on the HDI is : 37Hz – 30kHz (-6dB). That means the 6 dB down points are 37 Hz and 30kHz! The FR is very flat on and off axis.

Specs on the HDI-3800 and HDI-3600 can be found here: https://www.jblsynthesis.com/product...-loudspeakers/

The JBL 2410H-2 compression driver benefits from the advanced research and applications derived from JBL Professional’s “D2” range of transducers. At the core of the new 2410H-2 device is a lightweight, polymer, annular diaphragm that improves high-frequency extension by reducing diaphragm mass. The V-shaped geometry of the annular diaphragm reduces breakup modes, eliminating time smear and reducing distortion. The result is incredible dynamics with accurate reproduction and a lack of power compression.

The dealer you are working with who wants to sell you the HDI speakers should be able to answer all of your questions. He should earn your business and take as much time as necessary tto give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 01-07-2020 at 10:21 AM.
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post #22 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
Hey all,

So after some bouncing around of ideas and with the prospect of moving my Funk 21.0L subwoofer to a behind the seat position, which would allow me to fit tower speakers upfront instead of my current wall mounted PSA MT-110surrounds, I have narrowed down a possible change of speakers to either the new JBL HDI line or the Paradigm Presitge line.

JBL = (2) 3600's and (1) 4500 center
Paradigm = (2) 700F's and (1) 600C

Pricing difference isn't a concern, just want the better of the two.
MLP is 10ft away. Speakers are powered by an Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2. Usage is mainly movies around -15dB level. Room is moderately treated.

I have used Paradigm before and know what to expect but have never heard a high-end consumer model JBL speaker (only ever had experience with professional 3677's behind an AT screen). I wouldn't be able to audition the JBL's before ordering.

Thoughts?
Well...The prestige 95/85f have good sensitivity ratings (94/[email protected] respectively ) so will get plenty loud and easily capable of a 60hz crossover. If you've heard and liked them it should be a pretty easy decision IMO. These are very good musically.

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post #23 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 11:22 AM
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Agree with Rex. Your dealer is pulling a fast one, trying to force you into a quick decision, unheard. Don't allow him to force the issue. When spending that sort of money, he should be bending over backwards to give you all the info, including a demo and/or free in home testing. Never buy anything that can't be returned, if you haven't even had a test drive.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #24 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 11:43 AM
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Agree with Rex. Your dealer is pulling a fast one, trying to force you into a quick decision, unheard. Don't allow him to force the issue. When spending that sort of money, he should be bending over backwards to give you all the info, including a demo and/or free in home testing. Never buy anything that can't be returned, if you haven't even had a test drive.
Don't get me wrong, I bought lots of speakers without hearing them first, had too. I worked as a recording engineer for 34 years and was constantly trying new speakers. I think the question is really, would the OP prefer Revel vs JBL HDI? Tweeter with Acoustic Lens waveguide vs compression driver with the High-Definition Imaging (HDI™) waveguide?

Lots of good info here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...ever-made.html

We sell Paradigm speakers too but prefer the neutrality of Revel/JBL. Paradigm used to measure more neutral but changed a few years ago.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 01-07-2020 at 11:55 AM.
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post #25 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Both are Harman engineering and meet their goals of neutral on and off axis frequency response. Paradigm speakers are not designed that way and the measurements and sound are noticeably different than a neutral speaker.
This is the first time I've read that Paradigm doesn't design for a neutral frequency response. Paradigm speakers are definitely based on science, just like Harman Group. Can you please support your statement? If what you're stating is true, I'd like to know. I've always heard Paradigm in very high regard and I've seen nothing but good measurements of their speakers.

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post #26 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 11:58 AM
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https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57344732

Look at the spinorama data and compare the Revel F228Be vs the Paradigm Persona 3F. Google any Paradigm speaker and look at measurements if you can find them. I heard Paradigm many years ago and saw measurements that looked much more neutral than their current line. I'm not sure when or why they changed, but there is an obviously "voiced" sound to them now, much like B&W.

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post #27 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Don't get me wrong, I bought lots of speakers without hearing them first, had too. I worked as a recording engineer for 34 years and was constantly trying new speakers. I think the question is really, would the OP prefer Revel vs JBL HDI? Tweeter with Acoustic Lens waveguide vs compression driver with the High-Definition Imaging (HDI™) waveguide?

Lots of good info here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...ever-made.html

We sell Paradigm speakers too but prefer the neutrality of Revel/JBL. Paradigm used to measure more neutral but changed a few years ago.
However, if he's looking for a speaker with more "personality", then maybe the neutrality of the Harmon Group's products is not what he is looking to achieve? Only one way to truly know, and that is to listen. If you are not allowed to listen, then, the question has to be asked, why? If you are not allowed to do a return, again, why?

Yes, you had to purchase many speakers, but he has no such requirement. I don't like the pressure tactics of this dealer, and if it were me, I would tell him to take a hike with his phony expiration dates and lack of customer service. Can't even imagine the post sale support scenario, "You bought 'em and you can't return them, end of story".

I hope this is not the usual performance of Harmon "dealers".

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post #28 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I can confidently say the dealer I work with is very trustworthy and easy to work with. There is a reason for the no return policy on this purchase (again, that doesn't include if there is a defect or actual issue).

But by all means, if people want to give their input on the dealer, who they don't even know, and not give input on the question at hand, go for it I suppose.
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post #29 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
I can confidently say the dealer I work with is very trustworthy and easy to work with. There is a reason for the no return policy on this purchase (again, that doesn't include if there is a defect or actual issue).

But by all means, if people want to give their input on the dealer, who they don't even know, and not give input on the question at hand, go for it I suppose.
If you are satisfied with the situation, that's all that matters. Hope you have a good outcome, no matter what you decide.

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post #30 of 50 Old 01-07-2020, 12:41 PM
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My vote is JBL HDI. The 3800 would be killer if you can swing it. I own the JBL M2's as well as the 708i's. Incredible speakers, with the M2 being exceptional. The HDI line looks like it benefits from all the R&D that went into the M2, then the 7 series, SCL in walls etc, which are some of the best sounding speakers I've ever heard. From the D2 derived compression driver, to the waveguide. The SCL-2's use a D2 derived compression driver and they have great dispersion. A bit better than the M2 from what I've read. The goal of that waveguide that they put so much money in research and development was to achieve great, controlled dispersion across as much of the frequency range (that is produced by the CD) as possible. I wouldn't worry about a narrow "sweet spot" with a 1 inch CD, assuming the waveguide is up to par, which it probably is.
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