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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, after asking a couple of initial questions on my Paradigm Seismic12, NAD Query & dumb query tread, I ultimately auditioned the 20s, 40s and 60s.....and the reality is I'm even more confused now.


I thought the mid-range and highs were fantastic on the 20s and 40s (wasn't able to really audition the 60s well b/c they were hooked up to a crappy Sony receiver which made them sound really muddy). I will say I was not impressed with the low-end on either the 20s or 40s.....my general takeaway was that the bass response was very good.....for a bookshelf. I really think a musical sub is needed to enjoy music with these speakers i.e they are not full range. What was, however, truly amazing was how well they just kept on taking the power......I kept cranking the volume on the Yammy receiver and the 20s and 40s just kept delivering.....no distortion. Clarity was superb as well. Did I mention the midrange and highs were awesome?


From an asthetics perspective, I was really hoping to get either the 20s or the 40s on stands, but now I'm really leaning towards the 60s.....I really feel I need the lower end extension that the 40s and 20s don't have. Before pulling the trigger on the 60s, I plan listen to all of them again (on the same setup) to see what I'm giving up with the 60s, in exchange for the improvement in the low-end. I just feel that the 20s are too small for my room (20x18 with an open kitchen area beside) and don't put out the power/volume that I like.


One thing I did learn was that providing clean power to these speakers is very important.....I mentioned that the 20s and 40s sounded sooooooo much better than the 60s b/c of the crappy receiver. Which lead me to my next dilemma......the amplification. I was really leaning towards picking up the Arcam AVR300 (even though my local Arcam dealer won't come off retail at all). The Paradigm dealer however really encouraged me to take a look at the new Yamaha RX-V4600. On paper the receiver looks great (all the doo dads.....HDMI, 130w per channel in 7.1, THX Select2 etc ) and is $200 less than the Arcam. The 2 channel Yammy that was hooked up to the 20s and 40s....really made them shine.


- What are your reactions to my comments on the 20s, 40s, 60s? Am I giving up a lot by going with the 60s for their improved low-end?


- Thoughts on the Arcam AVR300 vs. the Yammy RX-V4600?


- Dealer is willing to let me audition the 60s and 40s at home to make the final decision, but he wants to have my own receiver. So now I have to decide between the Arcam and the Yammy. I can listen to the new Yammy at the paradigm dealer, however, I will not be able to audition the Arcam piece with the Paradigms (only whatever speakers the Arcam dealer has)......so I'll be buying the AVR300 completely blind (at full price) without the HDMI and all the other gizmos. Frankly, if the Arcam is truly sonically better, I don't mind giving up all the toys on the Yammy (and supposedly stronger amplification per channel). I've read some really favorable comments from folks on the forum on the AVR300 (especially the one from the poster that indicated that he had lost something when switching from 2 channel to multichannel until he found the Arcam), but there hasn't been much talk on the Yammy (given that its relatively newer). The Arcam has to be ordered and hence, I doubt I'll be able to return it if I am somehow able to hear the Yammy and feel that it is sonically as good.


- Last questions, I would love to get some thoughts from folks on the PW-2100 sub



Thanks much everyone. Your input is invaluable and much appreciated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLPKID
So, after asking a couple of initial questions on my Paradigm Seismic12, NAD Query & dumb query tread, I ultimately auditioned the 20s, 40s and 60s.....and the reality is I'm even more confused now.


I thought the mid-range and highs were fantastic on the 20s and 40s (wasn't able to really audition the 60s well b/c they were hooked up to a crappy Sony receiver which made them sound really muddy). I will say I was not impressed with the low-end on either the 20s or 40s.....my general takeaway was that the bass response was very good.....for a bookshelf. I really think a musical sub is needed to enjoy music with these speakers i.e they are not full range. What was, however, truly amazing was how well they just kept on taking the power......I kept cranking the volume on the Yammy receiver and the 20s and 40s just kept delivering.....no distortion. Clarity was superb as well. Did I mention the midrange and highs were awesome?


From an asthetics perspective, I was really hoping to get either the 20s or the 40s on stands, but now I'm really leaning towards the 60s.....I really feel I need the lower end extension that the 40s and 20s don't have. Before pulling the trigger on the 60s, I plan listen to all of them again (on the same setup) to see what I'm giving up with the 60s, in exchange for the improvement in the low-end. I just feel that the 20s are too small for my room (20x18 with an open kitchen area beside) and don't put out the power/volume that I like.


One thing I did learn was that providing clean power to these speakers is very important.....I mentioned that the 20s and 40s sounded sooooooo much better than the 60s b/c of the crappy receiver. Which lead me to my next dilemma......the amplification. I was really leaning towards picking up the Arcam AVR300 (even though my local Arcam dealer won't come off retail at all). The Paradigm dealer however really encouraged me to take a look at the new Yamaha RX-V4600. On paper the receiver looks great (all the doo dads.....HDMI, 130w per channel in 7.1, THX Select2 etc ) and is $200 less than the Arcam. The 2 channel Yammy that was hooked up to the 20s and 40s....really made them shine.


- What are your reactions to my comments on the 20s, 40s, 60s? Am I giving up a lot by going with the 60s for their improved low-end?


- Thoughts on the Arcam AVR300 vs. the Yammy RX-V4600?


- Dealer is willing to let me audition the 60s and 40s at home to make the final decision, but he wants to have my own receiver. So now I have to decide between the Arcam and the Yammy. I can listen to the new Yammy at the paradigm dealer, however, I will not be able to audition the Arcam piece with the Paradigms (only whatever speakers the Arcam dealer has)......so I'll be buying the AVR300 completely blind (at full price) without the HDMI and all the other gizmos. Frankly, if the Arcam is truly sonically better, I don't mind giving up all the toys on the Yammy (and supposedly stronger amplification per channel). I've read some really favorable comments from folks on the forum on the AVR300 (especially the one from the poster that indicated that he had lost something when switching from 2 channel to multichannel until he found the Arcam), but there hasn't been much talk on the Yammy (given that its relatively newer). The Arcam has to be ordered and hence, I doubt I'll be able to return it if I am somehow able to hear the Yammy and feel that it is sonically as good.


- Last questions, I would love to get some thoughts from folks on the PW-2100 sub



Thanks much everyone. Your input is invaluable and much appreciated.


I had a Yamaha receiver on my 40s for awhile, and really enjoyed it. Plus, having sold both for quite awhile the Yammie's reliability is far better. Arcam owners flame away, but the amount of service we've taken in on Arcam is far more than it should be, especially if that dealer demands full pop.
 

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I have Studio 20s for my mains, with an Arcam 250. No question that the Studio 20s need a clean source. This is not just amplification, but whatever you have feeding it.


In the store I found 60s far superior in bass. I would probably get them if I had space, but I don't. At home I have no complaints about the 20s, for classical music. I get pretty good results to just below 40 Hz, which is fine except for occasional organ pedal notes, and even with organ music I don't actually feel any lack. I don't doubt that 60s would sound different. Despite the way things look in frequency response curves, I think large speakers just have a different "feel" to them.


I haven't listened to multiple receivers in situations that let me comment knowledgeably. I made a sort of attempt to compare the 250 with an equivalent Rotel and thought I preferred the 250, but I wouldn't place a very high confidence on it. I'm happy with the Arcam 250, but I might be happy with Yamaha as well. Incidentally I'm bi-amplifying the 20s. The Arcam makes it easy to do, and the manual that comes with the 20s claims it make a big difference. I'm frankly sceptical, but it was easy enough to do that I thought I'd try it. I haven't tried to do an A/B test to see whether it makes any difference.


Arcams are often considered fairly reliable. However it appears that they had problems with early 300s. I'd be curious whether that continues with current production. I'm guessing not.
 

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I bought 20's for my mains and use a tasty sub for the bottom end. The Studio series all share the same mid and tweet. In my opinion if you are doing the home theater thing you WILL need a sub. You will more then likely cross your mains over at 80 or 60hz anyway. If you run a tasty sub you won't miss the bottom end on the 60's. If you are doing a 2 channel set-up then by all means spend the money and get floor standers that go down deeper. Before I bought my 20s I listened to the 40s and 60s and still took home the 20s. Price wasn't the issue but size kind of was(WAF). I will probably end up with a pair of 40s for a Christmas present to myself just because I do still listen to just 2 channel, but that would be the only reason. I feed them with a Parasound, they do enjoy the clean power!! If your in Az send me a PM and I'll show you what a pair of 20s and a SVS PCU will do for you! :D
 

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You can't go too far wrong with the Yamaha. It would formidable even just as a pre-pro. It has a fantastic feature set. You can add outboard power if you feel the need down the road. I have the i-Link on my Z9 and it is an exceptional signal transfer. Save the $300 on the Arcam, use it on getting a better sub or for that matter if you're going with floor standers, why not go for the "creme de la creme" of the line Studio 100's...... ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. I'm starting to lean towards the Yammy.......partially b/c the studio line-up sounded great with the 2 channel Yammy piece that I was using to audition them.


I'm surprised that no one has stepped in to defend the AVR300......I felt that there were a lot of supporters.


One feature I did like on the AVR300 was the ability to bi-amp using the unused channels in a 5.1 setup (please....I don't want this to turn into the merits or bashing of bi-amping or bi-wiring). Folks have mentioned that the Paradigms have done well using this feature. Is this a possibility with the Yammy?


Thanks everyone for your feedback thus far.....its been helpful.


PS: Would like to step up to the 100s, but can't afford them this go around. The dealer does have a 12 month upgrade program.....could be a possibility in the future (assuming my wife doesn't kill me first). :eek:
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLPKID
PS: Would like to step up to the 100s, but can't afford them this go around. The dealer does have a 12 month upgrade program.....could be a possibility in the future (assuming my wife doesn't kill me first). :eek:
There's a funny thing about wives... they seem to have better ears than they let on. Mine nailed the differences between my v2 100's and the S4 Sigs' before I had even sat down in my chair.

One thing about my wife is she always encourages me to get the best right off the bat, "why settle for second?" is her motto. In the end I'm the one who usually makes the compromises. I can't shake the thought of the S8's, I should have listened to her......... :D
 

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Coming from a Yamaha DSP A-1 for the last 6 years, though a very solid dsp amp its not that close when it comes to music. And as far as I know, the AVR300 had some bugs like the fans coming on early but have been corrected. I've had both in my home, my Yamaha was the "king" here for my B&Ws but today Arcam holds the throne with the Paradigm Sigs. It's a very solid receiver and its more musical than the DSP A1 was. HT was great with the Yamaha, but I haven't used the Arcam yet for that because the Arcam has given me a much renewed interest in music, both multi-channel and 2-channel. Not a lick of a problem with all my Arcam gear, some of the very best I've owned as a matter of fact. I had all Yamaha gear before and had no problems with those either...but the edge goes to Arcam for music, no question about it ;)
 

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For me, the cost of the 40s & stands was similar to the 60s, and I liked the 60s better (though I'm somewhat biased toward floorstanders). I agree that good amplification (typically only from a separate amp) is necessary to have them realize their full potential. I don't have one yet as I'm upgrading other pieces, but it's definitely on my list.
 

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I agree with "ravingndrooling's" post. If you are thinkin of getting a sub, then save the extra bit and go with the 40's or 20's. The sub will fill in the rest.

On that note, I would try to step up to the pw2200 over the 2100 if you can.


The paradigms can handle the power as you found out and will excel with more.

Maybe consider a lesser receiver (with the features you want, one with good x-over options) and get a seperate 2 or 3 channel amp.


The Arcam dealer sounds like an snob for not letting demo it with the paradigms.

So much for customer service.


Are you sure the Yamaha doesn't have the ability to re-direct amplifier power so you could "bi-amp"? I know some of the Pioneers do.


Anyway, good luck and take your time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Once again.....thank you everyone for your input. Wanted to update you on my situation and ask a few more questions if I may.


RECEIVER:

After much agonizing, I ultimately listened to the Yammy RX-V4600 (at the local Paradigm dealer) and took the plunge. I did visit the Arcam dealer to get a taste for the AVR300, however, I could not audition it with the Studios.....the dealer had the receiver hooked up to a set of Monitor Audio towers and quite frankly that setup did not sound even 80% as good as the Studios hooked up to a 2-channel Yamaha RX-V777 receiver. Now to be absolutely fair, I really think that it was the Monitor Audios in combination with the AVR300 that could not hold a flame to the Studios as opposed to standalone receiver issue. Honestly, I would have loved to have tried the Arcam with the Studios, but I logistically could not get it done. To top it off, the Arcam dealer didn't seem like he was willing to come off retail. The whole interaction with the Arcam dealer didn't feel good (it was a more high-end custom sort of place without much of a retail presence and I honestly felt like a small fish). My gut feeling told me to walk and so I did.


Now's the part that is really going to boggle your mind. Here goes.....the 2 channel Yammy RX-V777 receiver actually sounded nicer than the new 4600 receiver with the Studios. I'm not talking huge differences here, but certainly noticable when A/B'ed. The 777 seemed to run the Studios a bit cleaner with a slightly better soundstage. I really do think there is something to be said about sonic losses when moving from pure 2-channel receivers to multi-channel units. That being said, the 4600 was still truly music to my ears and I have no regrets. Additionally, as I understand, electonics can get better after they have been "broken in". Plus the dealer worked with me in terms of pricing on the Yammy (more on this below).


SPEAKERS:

So after agonizing for a good bit (and several hours of listening to the 20s, 40s and 60s with all types of different material), I now have a pair of demo Studio 60s at home with a PW2100 sub and the RX-V4600 which I purchased. Here's whats on order:


- Studio 60s v3 in Rosenut

- CC470 in Rosenut

- PW2100 in Rosenut

- ADP470s in white.


.......now comes the interesting part.


DILEMMA:

Having spent all that time auditioning the Paradigms, I have really begun to realize how much I really really enjoy simple 2-channel mode without a sub and with the source (Denon DVD-2910) and receiver set to "Pure Direct" with no processing whatsover. Herein lies my dilemma....when listening in this manner, I find the 60s a bit lacking on the low-end of things (I'd say they're 85% of what I want). :eek:


I think the most natural response from everyone is going to be......"Well just augment the low-end with the sub". Well....the reality is that there is difference between a full range tower and a bookshelf+sub (at least I think so). I know this is going to create a ruckus.... but I really believe this is the case. Tried as I would, I just couldn't get the sub to blend in with the towers seamlessly. I played around with the crossover levels (80Hz, 60Hz....even 40Hz) and the sub volume and ultimately settled on 60Hz crossover point, however, I still felt that the sub was only picking up the real low stuff and that it was not "filling in" the gap between the missing low-end from the Studio 60's. The other issue is that because of the way my listening area is set up, I can only position the sub in the back right corner of the room, as such, when the subs kicks in at the low-end of things, I feel like there is localization of the sub b/c of its positioning and so it doesn't sound as seamless. I think when listening to multi-channel stuff, this is less of an issue b/c sound is eminating from all part of the listening space.


NOW.......I am currently toying (operative word being "toying") with the idea of potentially stepping up to the Studio 100s (.....did I mention my wife was ready to divorce when I told her that the 60s weren't enough :eek: ). Here are my questions:


- I've done some reading on the forums and I've heard that the 100s really need strong amplification to really do them justice. Unfortunately, my budget does not allow separates (such as Anthems). Will the RX-V4600 be able to drive the 100s well enough? My setup is a 5.1 (no rear surrounds). Here are the "official" power specs.


Minimum RMS Output Power (8 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.04% THD)

Front Channels 130W +130W

Center Channels 130W

Surround Channels 130W +130W

Surround Back Channels 130W +130W

High Dynamic Power, Low Impedance Drive Capability Yes

Dynamic Power/Channel 8 ohms 165 W

6 ohms 205 W

4 ohms 260 W

2 ohms 340 W

Linear Damping Yes

Damping Factor (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20kHz) 140 (speaker A)


Input Sensitivity/ Impedance Phono (MM) 3.5 mV/47 k-ohms

CD 200 mV/47 k-ohms


Frequency Response 10 Hz-100 kHz +0, -3dB


Total Harmonic Distortion (20Hz-20kHz)

CD (Front Sp Out) 0.04%


Signal to Noise Ratio (CD, 250 mV) 100dB


- How much lower do the 100s go vs. the 60s?


- Those that auditioned the 100s vs. the 60s.....how did they compare?


- Am I really being too picky and should just be happy and grateful with what I have on order?


PRICING:


The Paradigm dealer came 15% off of everything (including the Yammy). The store does have a 1 year trade is program, however the catch is that you can only apply what you've paid for on the piece that you're trading (in this case the 60s would be 15% discounted) against FULL RETAIL for what you're trading up to. This works out to a fairly meaningful difference vs. just buying the 100s now (I'm pretty certain the dealer will come off 15% on them as well.......they've been a real pleasure to deal with).



Sorry for the long drawn out post, however, since folks have taken the time to respond to my queries, I think an outcome reply is only fair.


PS: I could just live with what I have an buy a Philips Pronto instead :D
 

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If you don't buy the 100's you will always think back "what if"


Life is way too short so get the 100's. They will belnd alot better than the 60's and you will enjoy them allot more.
 

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Hey, congratulations on the system. Mine is very similar, except I have a Yamaha RX-V2400 and use Studio 20's for the rear.


I too found the bass lacking when running the full frequency output to the 60's. I use the sub now crossed over at 80 Hz and it sounds great (especially in Neo:6 Music) I'm surprised that you find a gap between the 60's and the sub when set to 80Hz cross-over. This is not the case with my setup at all. Do you have the Fronts set to Small? If you have the Fronts set to large, then the low frequencies (except the LFE) are going to the Fronts and not the sub, no matter what the cross-over setting.
 

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I have the 40's, ADP's and CC in V2 running with a Pioneer Elite 45TX.


The receiver sounds great in 2 channel. I do hear the receiver start to compress at volume levels over 100 db avg. I never listen that loud just tested and I added a 2 channel amp and could hear that compression go away and got to 102 db average before my ears couldn't take it.


I'd also recommend going with the 100's if you are doing it. I love the 40's and I also have a PW2200 which I think is very good (musical).. It is tight not boomy like some of the lower line SVS subs. But, the SVS does put out a little more sound.


I have the sub crossed over at the min set point and all the speakers set to large. Nice bass.


Mike
 

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Try this for two channel music;

Set your sub's crossover to 100+ and its' level to about 60- 75% and set your speakers crossovers to 80hz in the receiver. Run the YPAO in the "Low" mode so that it only corrects the low end frequencies then listen to your two channel music in the "straight" mode & see how you like it.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the YPAO sometimes gets the sub distance wrong, so run it just for distance, then manually enter the sub distance to your listening position. Having done that, run the YPAO again skipping the distance check.


The 4600 is not "under-powered" for the 100's, you'll still get great results. Running 5.1 with an 80hz crossover, should be a breeze for it.
 

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I agree that running the 4600 with the 100's at an 80 Hz crossover would be OK. But, then why buy the 100's?


One needs full range sound from those. Buy a 2 channel amp to drive the 100's and you'll be happier.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafgoose
If you don't buy the 100's you will always think back "what if"


Life is way too short so get the 100's. They will belnd alot better than the 60's and you will enjoy them allot more.
Haha.....its this post that actually pushed me over the edge. I ordered the 100s this morning. Truth be told, I would always be second guessing myself if I didn't.


I recognize that the 4600 may not be able to push the 100s to what they are truly capable of, but a decent 2-channel power amp could be the answer......down the road that is. :p


As always....everyones input is much appreciated. The beauty with music is that each one hears it slightly differently.....I think this will be truly music to mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRP
I agree that running the 4600 with the 100's at an 80 Hz crossover would be OK. But, then why buy the 100's?


One needs full range sound from those. Buy a 2 channel amp to drive the 100's and you'll be happier.


Mike
Point well taken. As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed listening to the receiver in Pure Direct mode where all processing is bypassed and all video is turned off (even the darn display goes black). A 2-channel amp in the future could augment this.


Did mention that I'm 20% over my original budget :eek:
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRP
I agree that running the 4600 with the 100's at an 80 Hz crossover would be OK. But, then why buy the 100's?


One needs full range sound from those. Buy a 2 channel amp to drive the 100's and you'll be happier.


Mike
Have to agree with Mike on this one. Even if you went with the 60's a dedicated 2 channel amp would do them more justice than the amps of the Yamaha. Maybe look at moving down to a lower model of the Yamaha's and use the extra money for the amp. It may not be the speakers, it maybe the unit powering them isn't producing enough power, or maybe has poor control of the drivers on the low end. As an example, I went from a Pioneer 56TXi/NAD S250 to a NAD T773 powering my Studio 40/ADP470/C570 setup, and the bass response of the speakers improved with the T773. You can really feel from the seating position. Try some better amplification and you may find the 40's fit your bill.
 

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Plenty of time for external amps down the road. You're maxing out at 5.1 and listening to 2 channel the 4600 will have plenty of reserves for that.

If you can bi-amp you mains it'll help a bit but not much. If you're running the 100's and a sub try what I suggested & let me know what you think.
 
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