Originally Posted by drumminj
Hi folks. I asked this over in the Revel owners' thread, but wanted to get the perspective from folks who went with Paradigm instead....
I'm currently looking to update my speakers (currently have Paradigm Monitor 9v5s), and had assumed I'd upgrade to the Prestige 75f. Came here to do some research and have been intrigued by Revel, and am considering the f206 as an alternative to the 75f.
I'll leave my reply in this thread, because I have a better understanding of the Paradigm Prestige series than the Performa3 series. I haven't heard enough of the 75F and F206 in person to judge, but I have heard the 15B (I own a pair) and the M105 when I was looking for speakers in the middle of 2018. Seeing as how speakers within a series retain a certain type of sound, I would say my opinion could be helpful. This was a while ago, so my memory might be fuzzy. If anyone is certain I'm wrong, please forgive me. I do use manual PEQ settings in my room, so on-axis frequency response charts don't matter too much to me.
Both the Prestige and Performa3 series have very low distortion, but the Paradigm speakers had a slightly larger presence to my ear. They sounded bigger. This might not matter so much for tower speakers, because the better bass can trick your mind. Without manual PEQ, I don't actually like the Paradigm speakers as much as the Revel's, but they still do put out a bigger sound to my ear. Because I liked both of them so much, my decision came down to 3 things:
- Where were they built, and what do they cost?
- What kinds of center channel options were there?
- What do they look like?
Paradigm makes the Prestige series in Canada, and revel makes the Performa 3 speakers in China. The labor costs more, and at $800 vs $750 MSRP for the bookshelves, and I don't feel Revel is passing on significant savings to the customer there. However, you are looking at the F206 and comparing it to the 75F. The difference between these two is much larger at $1,750 vs $1,500. Paradigm's real direct competitor to the F206, is the 85F, and that comes in at $2,000. For a pair, that's another $500 on top of the F206. The smaller drivers in the 75F wouldn't matter much if you have a subwoofer or two, so you could save money there.
I wanted a 3-way center channel, and the 3-way option from Revel is the C208 at $2K, and the 3-way option from paradigm starts at $1,300 for the 45C, and goes up to $1,700 for the 55C. Because they aren't as tall as the option from revel, Paradigm has the better center channel form factor for real world rooms that have a TV above the speaker.
And looks are mostly up to the individual. Personally, I still think the Prestige speakers look better than any other speakers. You might think differently.
Now, the way I see it (3-way center channels are a must, and even Revel's scientific papers seem to agree.), is that you can get a pair of 75F's and a 55C for $4,700, or a pair of F206's and a C208 for $5,500. Personally, unless you regularly listen at reference volume levels or above (Which the vast majority of people don't.), I don't see the point in going for the 85F over the 75F if you have a subwoofer. Same sound, more bass. Where those larger drivers matter most, would be more than made up for with a subwoofer.
If I found myself in this exact position, I would be very tempted to get the Revel setup, but would still go with Paradigm 75F and 55C because of where they are made, what they look like, and how much I would save. HOWEVER, if I did not have the option to manually use a PEQ to change the sound to my taste, I would likely go with the Revel speakers.
Tl;dr: If I have access to manual PEQ, Paradigm. If I don't have access to manual PEQ, Revel. But that's just me.