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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a Yamaha HTR-5540 receiver and a pair of Paradigm Atom speakers a few days ago--total price for everything $500. But much to my suprise when I compare the Atoms to my Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers there is little difference in the sound quality. What is going on here? The Promedia cost only $180 a pair and are self powered. For their price they should not be able to compete with the Atoms, but so far they do.


I've tested DVDs, video games, CDs and MP3s. So far there is only a negible difference between the two. Both sets of speakers are about 8 feet apart and the subwoofer is turned all the way down on the Promedias to negate any effects it could have on the sound (I'm using the Atoms without a sub). The Atoms can play a little louder without distorting, but on the flipside they sound laid back when played at lower volumes, relative to the Promedias that can still punch you in the face at lower volumes.


I also seem to be able to localize the Promedias easier than the Atoms but this should be no suprise since the Atoms are nearly twice the size of the Promedias.


I have not had much time to break in the Atoms yet, could this be making the difference? I've had the Promedias for about three months while I've only had the Atoms for two days. Could the reciever not be giving enough juice to the Atoms? The Yamaha is rated at 75 watts per channel and I'm using Monster Cable 16 gauge wire from it to power the Atoms, so it should be providing enough power. But I don't know perhaps something else is wrong. I'm also playing the Atoms in Stereo mode from the recier to give them the maximum amount of juice posible.


Could it be that the Promedias can actually perform as well as Atoms? I could really use some help from those more knowledgable about recievers and speakers. Also, if any owners of Promedia systems could give me some comparisions between them and their home theater systems it would be greatly appreciated. I could use some more pointers for what to listen for. I only have a week to decide if I want to keep the Atoms, and the reciever, for that matter.
 

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PatrickHat, i've owned a set (total of 4 at different times actually) of promedia 4.1's before. While i was searching for a replacement for them, i auditioned a whole lot of speakers before deciding to get Paradigm Studio 20's. During the initial phase of my auditioning, the atoms were at the very top of my list. But when i was finally able to audition them, i couldn't justify spending more money for what i think is a 'lateral' improvement in sound. IMO, the sound of the atoms were marginally better than the satellites that came with the promedia 4.1's. The atoms had a a little bit better bass response but they still sounded boxed and a muffled. Initially i was a bit confused since i read all these glowing and rave reviews about them in www.audioreview.com (i don't read reviews from there anymore) but after a second audition, my initial impression wasn't swayed.


I went through a long a auditioning process and finally settled with a denon 3802, Paradigm STudio 20's and an SVS 20-39cs+. Leagues better than the klipsch promedia series but also tons more expensive.


With that said, for all intents and purposes i would have just stuck with my promedia 4.1's if it weren't for it quality control problems. I went through 4, that's FOUR defective sets. As you could see i was pretty persistent on getting a 'good' set but i should have stopped at 3, 4 in a span of about 6-8 months was just ridiculuous so i got a full refund.


Klipsch even offerred me a free upgrade to their brand spanking new (back then) 5.1 set as something of a compensation for all my troubles. I wrote them back a furiously toned letter and told them they could stick their 5.1's up their a$$, i want my money back!! If you check out the forums and www.klipsch.com you could see that even the 2.1, 4.1, 5.1 sets all have QC problems.

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Could it be that the Promedias can actually perform as well as Atoms?
I think it does.

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Also, if any owners of Promedia systems could give me some comparisions between them and their home theater systems it would be greatly appreciated
IMO, you got to move up the foodchain to get something significantly better than the promedias. I started noticing siginificant improvements when i started auditioning mini-monitors, mordaunt short 602's, b&w 602's, along those product lines. BUt something like the paradigm atom or b&w 303, no you won't see any significant improvment.

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I only have a week to decide if I want to keep the Atoms, and the reciever, for that matter.
Return it, buyers remorse is a very very hard thing to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your input Salvador. I ended up returning the Atoms. I'm currently looking into purchasing an Onkyo HT500 set of home theater speakers . It's only $300 for a 5.1 setup with sound that, I think, is superior to the Atoms.
 

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For less than that amount you might want to take a look here . They seem to offer incredible bargains. :D
 

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Can I stress USER ERROR enough? Patrick, it sounds like you forgot to do something critical called breaking them in! I hope you at least gave them 8-10 hours to break in before comparing them.


If brand new out of the box they sound as good as your Klipsch's that's got to be saying something :)
 

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I've listened to a LOT of speakers over the years, right up to $85,000 Dynaudio's. When I was buying a set of small speakers for my bedroom, I took the same demo CDs that I had used on more than a dozen $15,000+ speakers. I listened to low end PSB, NHT, Klipsch, B&W, JM Labs, Energy, and Paradigm.


I must say that I was very impressed with the Atoms. They captured more of the natural, higher-end sound through the midrange than any sub-$400/pr of speakers I've ever heard. Not that I would ever mistake them for high end, but after growing used to high-end speakers, the Atoms were the only inexpensive speaker that I found I would rather listen to than turn off. To me the differences between these speakers were quite profound, especially in the way they affected female voices and violins.


If I were to buy inexpensive speakers now, I would make sure to include Axiom and the new Polk "i" series.


I've heard the Onkyo HT500 set and while they are decent for the low dollars they are asking, to me they aren't even in the same league as the Atoms.


The Atoms aren't the most dynamic & sound strained at higher volume levels, they are a bit laidback, and while they have more bass than to be expected out of a small box, it still isn't a strong, deep bass by any means. But what they do well is present a smooth midrange, enough bass to add some body, & reasonable high-end detail without any harshness. It's a jewel.


Tom B.
 
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