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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone -


In my quest to downsize my system a bit (smaller standmount speakers is the goal) I am thinking about replacing my Paradigm Reference v2 system with a v3 system but I have a few questions and concerns. Currenty I have a Paradigm Studio 100, CC, 20 setup. I like the bass reproduction of the 100's and I like the imaging of the Paradigms it is quite good for the money. Having said that, the upper midrange can be a bit too revealing but I blame poor recording quality as all my audiophile recordings sound great. I had a chance to listen to some new v3 40's and 20's but they had 1 hour of use and so any comparison is not useful. Here were my thoughts:


1. Bass is much faster and tighter but does not seem to go as deep


2. Imaging - room was poor so I have no idea


3. Midrange maybe was a bit cleaner, but it needs to break in to be sure


4. Construction. This is where I have mixed feelings. the appearance is a bit better but the speakers are much lighter probably due to less internal bracing. This concerns me as the cabinet resonances affect the sound generally in a bad way. I suspect they used better drivers (maybe) or better quality crossovers (maybe) and cut costs on the cabinet to make the pricing similar to the v2? It just seems that they took a step backwards in cabinet quality maybe to make the Signature line more appealing? Other things that concerned me were the grilles as they will probably affect the sound more than the v2's as they have this plastic frame that masks the drivers. I only hope the improvements in the drivers and or crossovers makes up for the cabinets and the new grille.


Has anyone had a chance to listen to a broken-in pair of v3's to compare with the v2 line?


Thanks,


-Bob
 

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Bob,


If you do a search you should find the information you are looking for. There was a thread about just this topic I believe.


Based on all the posts I've seen on this topic (here and else where), I think your observations are right on based on other reviews. Most people think the v3 is a little better (a few people a lot better and a few people no difference) in exactly the areas you point out. (Note: I don't recall anyone posting about the imaging)


As far as construction goes, they had to cut corners some where to keep costs down and unfortunately I believe it was this area. Does it effect the sound? Probably, but if overall the speaker sounds better, then I don't think it's that big a deal to be honest...disappointing in my mind, but it wouldn't keep me from upgrading if I was looking to.
 

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Bob53.


Don't exchange them! There is no reason to do it! I just exchange my Studio-40, 20 and CC all v2 for v3 (went for the CC-570), but I KEPT my Studio-100 with the veneer. I use them since 2 weeks now, and they mix incredibly well (I mean the Studio-100v2 with the 570v3). Call me crazy, but I don't hear any mismatch...


Why did I kept the 100v2? Because I think that the veneer and the internal bracing of the 100v2 give me a better sound then the v3. IMHO, after extensive listening session with a Bryston 4BSST, in my listening room.


My dealer did the exchange from the v2 to v3 for FREE, and I refused the 100v3! (BTW, he told me that in Canada the cost for the v2 and the v3 is around the same for him... just to let you know...so why are they charging you more for them?... think about it).


I went with the 570 for multichannel listening, and the 40v3 and 20v3 because I needed front port.


I really think there is no reason at all for a satisfied v2 owner to go with the v3. The difference in price is far from reflecting the difference in sound and sonic qualities. Spend the money elsewhere.


I use all my Paradigms with a Bryston 4BSST (2x350w) and a Rotel RMB-1095(5x200w). And I did the exchange only because it was for free.


If you like your v2, keep them. Don't fall for the upgradatis acutis. It's not because it is new and cost more, that it is necessarily better...


Speakers are not pre/pro, the technology is the same since over 20 years!
 

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I actually just bought 40 and 20 v3s and did have a chance to compare them to v2s. I did feel the v3s exhibited a tighter bass and better imaging like most people have.


As far as the construction goes, the laminate looks pretty much the same as the v2s and yes they are lighter. I'm not sure that they cut corners on the internal bracing as much as people think. For one, the grilles are no longer made with MDF, they are a fibrous plastic material. Some may argue here about which is better, but I have seen this kind of plastic before on car parts and it is very durable and is very difficult to break. MDF, on the other hand, is breakable. And obviously, MDF weighs a lot more than plastic, so right there you are shedding some pounds (maybe 2-3 lbs).


A second place where pounds might be being shed may be the use of the ISM/Shock-Mount system. The v2 specs make no mention of this system, however, v3 clearly specifies the use of this system. So, perhaps this system just weighs less than their old mounts but accomplishes the same thing. I can also tell you that when you knock your hand on the side of the v3 speakers, it's dead. So, the bracing is still just as excellent.


I actually prefer a bookshelf speaker as opposed to a floor-stander. I feel that the midrange comes out more in the bookshelf. You may hear the same result. If you want to do a true comparison with your old system, I'd recommend listening to the Studio 100 v3 with your Studio 100 v2. Ask your dealer if you can take home the floor sample.


Hope this helps.


--Rexxe
 

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The cabinetry is more akin to the monitor line, unfortunately, however, the sound is SIGNIFICANTLY improved over the V2s. And sound is what matters anyway. My disclaimer is that i haven't gone head-to head V2 vs V3, but i was immediately impressed with the V3s, and even the long gap between listening to the two lines the difference was very significant. The improvement matches the increase in price if not more.
 

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How can you say that the sound is "significantly" improved if you didn't compare them in the same room with the same listening conditions and equipment, like I did... Do you compare the sound by "memory"?


I did compare them in my listening room, side by side, and the price difference between the v2 and the v3 doesn't reflect the improvement in sound...


But this is only my humble opinion...


BTW, dealer cost in canada is around the same for the v2 and the v3... so why did they sell them for more money? Think about it...
 

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"How can you say that the sound is "significantly" improved if you didn't compare them in the same room with the same listening conditions and equipment, like I did... Do you compare the sound by "memory"?"


Yes. Which is why I included that disclaimer in my post. The difference was still significant enough for me that I immediately thought that detail was improved over the V2s, and the bass was tighter, in broad general comparisons. Obviously I can't give anything more then a broad "gee this sounds quite improved over what I remember hearing," but that was my reaction. Furthermore, I was a little fatigued by the V3s (not by the V2s), which is a negative personally for me, but the room electronics were pretty foreign, so I'm not going to draw judgement until I hear them at my local dealer in a somewhat more familiar environment.


That all being said, I take your listening experiences (with V2s and V3s in your same room) very seriously, and given the discrepancies, people saying they are very similar, or the V3's are better, it makes me want to go in and listen side-by side and see if my impressions change. I'm just providing a little input on my reactions.
 

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I pretty much came to the same conclusion that you did when I did a listening to the Studio 40 v.3 a few weeks ago. I own a pair of the v.2 versions, so I did make note of some interesting differences. Anyway, my original post is below...




Dropped by my local audio dealer today to pick up some of their homemade cone footers ($5 each, which is a bargain compared to some other options out there). I also took the opp to get an extended listening with the Studio 40 v.3s, and I brought my usual battery of evaluation discs with me. Everything from live-to-two-track acoustic jazz to triphop to dance remixes to classical. Since I recently completed my five speaker Studio v.2 setup, obviously I was curious to hear how the v.3 series compares.


The dealer did not have any v.2 demos left to compare with, so I could not do any direct A/B comparisons. Basically, my impression was that the Studio 40 v.3 is an overall improvement over the v.2 version. I sat with the v.3s for about 90 minutes, and went through six different test discs. The front end rig at the dealer's demo room consisted of an Arcam integrated amp and CD player wired together with Transparent Audio cabling, which is a step up from the Yamaha receiver that I use at home, at least for two-channel playback.


Even though a lot has been made of the new tweeter design and positioning in the v.3 series, I'd have to say that the biggest difference that I could detect with the v.3 is in the lower frequencies. The Studio 40 v.2s that I have at home seem to extend lower, but the v.3 has better differentiation between different low frequency sounds. Subjectively, it has a noticeably tighter and more even bass. The dealer told me that the difference with the bass is even more pronounced with the floorstanding 60 and 100 v.3s.


On the highs, it does seem like the new v.3 tweeter has a slightly more rolled off high end compared to the v.2 models. But to me, the difference in the highs did not sound as pronounced as some other message board posts I've read would indicate. The high end is more refined, but subtlely so. The speaker still sounds like a Studio series model, and to me that's a very good thing.


The midrange on the Studio 40 v.3 is interesting. It sounds a little different from the v.2, but not by a huge margin. Again, it has subtle improvements in the differentiation between sounds and overall articulation, but the points of emphasis seem to have changed. Some songs I played through the v.3 sounded almost identcal in the midrange to the v.2, whereas with some others I noticed certain instruments either coming to the forefront or going slightly into the background compared to the v.2. This could have to do with the change in the crossover point and the switch from a 3rd-order crossover to a 2nd-order design.


Subjectively, the Studio 40 v.3 also makes some impressive strides in the imaging and soundstage. Those qualities were already strengths with the v.2, but I always felt that the Studio 20 v.2 did slightly better. The Studio 40 v.3 probably surpasses the Studio 20 v.2 in the overall imaging quality and wide soundstage. Even though the v.2 projects an impressively wide sound dispersion, the v.3 seems to project even wider and "disappear" better. Overall, the imaging and soundstage went from excellent to even better.


Other nice touches include the new front mounted ports and much improved binding posts in the back.


Paradigm definitely made some nice refinements to the Studio 40 that have improved the overall performance of the speaker. Is it perfect? No, but no other speaker in this price range is either.


Now for my misgivings about the v.3 series. As nice as the sound quality refinements are, it seems that Paradigm has gone on the cheap with the cabinet construction. All of the v.3 models weigh about 5 to 40 lbs. less than their v.2 predecessors. Weight alone does not say anything, but obviously there's less material being used in the cabinet and the bracing. Also, the flush mounted MDF framed grilles have been replaced by a lighter weight plastic framed grille that's pretty much identical to the grilles used in the Monitor v.3 series.


Paradigm has eliminated the veneer option, and the new laminate design just doesn't look as convincing or high in quality as the laminate used in the v.2 models. The new rubberized plastic material that covers the top of the speaker seems like a step backwards as well. It seems like it will scratch easily and take more effort to clean. With the Reference Signatures coming out in a matter of weeks, it's pretty clear that the Studios are no longer Paradigm's flagship models, and they've taken steps to make sure that the Signatures are clearly identifiable as the top of the line.


My verdict? The Studio 40 v.3 definitely represents a step up in performance over the v.2 version. But, I would not necessarily regard the improvement as big enough to justify trading in a Studio 40 v.2 for the v.3. I know that even after my demo today, I'm definitely keeping my v.2 setup! It seems that the more logical upgrade path would be to the Signature series. Even though the basic driver and crossover components are shared between the Studio v.3 and the Signature series, the Signature series makes some pretty radical modifications to the drivers (the dealer had a look at the driver units and he said that they are mounted in self contained compartments with outboard heatsinks and other modifications) and the cabinets. Supposedly though, the floorstanding 60 and 100 represent a bigger improvement over their v.2 predecessors, and very well might be worth consideration as an upgrade. And the new center speakers are supposed to voice match with the v.3 models better than the Studio CC v.2 did.


P.S. One of my test discs was a 96/24 resolution compilation of Gershwin orchestral pieces, but the DVD player was not hooked up in the demo room with the Studio 40s, so I got to try it out in another demo room with a pair of Wilson Audio Sophias hooked up to a pair of Theta Citadel amplifiers. I wanted to be impressed, and the Wilson/Theta combo definitely had its impressive moments, but I thought that the overall presentation was just decent, not outstanding. At $12,000 a pair, I expected much more from those Wilson Sophias. At times, I even got a ringing sensation, which I do not expect at all from a speaker in that price range. That demo room was acoustically treated, so I don't think it was room induced. I immediately went home and played that same disc back on my so-called midfi system. The presentation was slightly more forward sounding and maybe a touch less refined in some areas, yet it seemed more visceral without the ringing. It would have been interesting to do an A/B between the 40s and the Sophias. Maybe the Sophias would win out overall, but for what it costs, the 40s are a much better value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses so far... Very different responses to be sure. Some say big difference, some no difference, and some say keep the 100's. Here is my problem - I am buying speakers for a 2 channel setup (probably Gershman Acoustics Avant Guards) and since the systems are currently in the same room, I do not want two floorstanders (Avant Guards, 100 v2) to be in the same room as it will just take up a lot of space IMO. When I move I plan on splitting my HT and music systems in two. For now, they have to coexist in the same space. As such, I want to downsize the HT speakers as a nice subwoofer (HSU or maybe an ACI Titan?) will make up for the LFE losses by switching to the 40's.


My system:


HT:

Source: Philips Q50AT

Preamp: Lexicon MC-8

Amp: sold off, looking at Anthem MCA-50/20 and drooling over Lexicon LX-7 :)

Speakers: Paradigm Studio 100, CC, 20 (Bose cubes for 7.1 - Yeah I know, I know...) :)

Display: Loewe Calida


Music:

Source: Jolida JD-100

Preamp: Anthem Pre2L tweaked

Amp: Anthem Amp2SE

Cables: MIT stuff, DIY stuff


Keep the opinions coming!


Thanks!


-Bob
 

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link about the changes, and how the new v3's incorporate a fair amount of the technology from the Signature series, which is what prompted the rollout.

http://www.soundstage.com/traveler/traveler200308.htm



From the people I talked to, the weight issue does not mean they went cheap on the cabinets, everything is different about the speakers, and they are basically a total redesign. Some of the componets are simply smaller and lighter, reducing the weight. If a componet does the job better and weighs less, it's only natural to end up with a lighter product. Additionally, as for comparissons to the Monitor series, the Monitor v3's are a newer series than the Stuido v2, and have already received some very basics in trickle down technology, which is why many dealers have felt the monitors were very close to the v2's, and a much better buy. My dealer recommended strongly the Monitor v3's over the Studio v2's, but have changed their tune with the v3's, and now have me waiting on my upgrades to arrive.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jd1319
From the people I talked to, the weight issue does not mean they went cheap on the cabinets, everything is different about the speakers, and they are basically a total redesign. Some of the componets are simply smaller and lighter, reducing the weight. If a componet does the job better and weighs less, it's only natural to end up with a lighter product. Additionally, as for comparissons to the Monitor series, the Monitor v3's are a newer series than the Stuido v2, and have already received some very basics in trickle down technology, which is why many dealers have felt the monitors were very close to the v2's, and a much better buy. My dealer recommended strongly the Monitor v3's over the Studio v2's, but have changed their tune with the v3's, and now have me waiting on my upgrades to arrive.
The most interesting thing about the weight issue with the v.3 Studios is that they basically weigh about the same as the v.1 Studios! Much was made when the v.2 versions added more crossbracing and separate enclosures for the woofers. Those changes added a lot of weight to the floorstanding speakers especially. It would be ironic if Paradigm removed the extra bracing from the v.3 Studios, but added similar bracing to the new Signature series.


My local dealer actually felt that the Monitor v.3 refined the sound of the v.2 version, but didn't really hear a huge difference between the two series. In comparing the Studios, he thought that the difference in the bass between the v.2 and v.3 is big.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bob53
Thanks for the responses so far... Very different responses to be sure. Some say big difference, some no difference, and some say keep the 100's. Here is my problem - I am buying speakers for a 2 channel setup (probably Gershman Acoustics Avant Guards) and since the systems are currently in the same room, I do not want two floorstanders (Avant Guards, 100 v2) to be in the same room as it will just take up a lot of space IMO. When I move I plan on splitting my HT and music systems in two. For now, they have to coexist in the same space. As such, I want to downsize the HT speakers as a nice subwoofer (HSU or maybe an ACI Titan?) will make up for the LFE losses by switching to the 40's.
The nice thing about using a subwoofer is that you can place it where the bass is optimal. Plus, it gives you the option of using a parametric equalizer to correct any room-induced peaking that can make the bass sound boomy. But, it does take some work to make sure that it properly integrates into the rest of your system. The integration with full-range speakers is not an issue, but the problem is that main speakers are not always situated where the bass is optimal, and you can't really use an equalizer with a full range main speaker in a home theatre setup.


The other frequently mentioned mail order subwoofers are SVS and Adire Audio. Both brands are highly recommended by their owners, and I can personally vouch for the $400 Adire Rava (they recently came out with the $600 Daeva, which is a 400 watt 15" sealed box design).


One other comment ... 7.1 with Bose cubes?! Are those used for the back surround channels? I would actually suggest trying your system with those channels turned off! I've always found that mismatched center speakers sound best when they're silent! At least you got a timbre matched 5.1 configuration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the responses so far...


Bose cubes - :) Yes I know, I know but my room floorplan does not make it easy to do 7.1 with large-ish speakers... Since I did not have the amplification but I wanted to hear soundtracks in 7.1 and Logic 7 (amazing might I add) I pulled my computer speakers (Acoustimass line - not the best but they work)... and use them as my sides... I am changing my amplification situation and so this will force me to get matching side speakers.


I'm not so sure re: cabinets and weight - sure the cabinets may even look better and the binding posts are much better but the cabinet felt more resonant. Maybe I was wrong but they had a 20 v2 next to a 20 v3 and the v2 was much more dead sounding when I knocked on the sides... Next time I go up for a listen I will bring my stethescope up for a true "listen".


Unfortunately, I think the removal of the bracing is a way of making the new signature line more appealing. The v2 crossover used ok stuff, custom wound inductors (some with ferrite cores), sand cast resistors, orange mylar capacitors and so maybe they sprung for better parts? Let remember the cost to build a speaker is probably 10%-20% of the MSRP.... The crossover on the v2's maybe cost 5 bucks for them to build... That's not a slam, but they way every company actually makes money...


-Bob
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bob53
Thanks for the responses so far...


Bose cubes - :) Yes I know, I know but my room floorplan does not make it easy to do 7.1 with large-ish speakers... Since I did not have the amplification but I wanted to hear soundtracks in 7.1 and Logic 7 (amazing might I add) I pulled my computer speakers (Acoustimass line - not the best but they work)... and use them as my sides... I am changing my amplification situation and so this will force me to get matching side speakers.


I'm not so sure re: cabinets and weight - sure the cabinets may even look better and the binding posts are much better but the cabinet felt more resonant. Maybe I was wrong but they had a 20 v2 next to a 20 v3 and the v2 was much more dead sounding when I knocked on the sides... Next time I go up for a listen I will bring my stethescope up for a true "listen".


Unfortunately, I think the removal of the bracing is a way of making the new signature line more appealing. The v2 crossover used ok stuff, custom wound inductors (some with ferrite cores), sand cast resistors, orange mylar capacitors and so maybe they sprung for better parts? Let remember the cost to build a speaker is probably 10%-20% of the MSRP.... The crossover on the v2's maybe cost 5 bucks for them to build... That's not a slam, but they way every company actually makes money...


-Bob
You might be more astounded as to how good your system sounds if you optimize the speaker placement, delay timing, and levels with your matched 5.1 setup. Just the simple switch on my system from a pair of Bose 301s to matching Studio 20 v.2s as the surrounds made an astounding difference in the overall sound quality, imaging, openness, soundstage, etc. And my system had already made a big step up in sound quality when I optimized the placement, delay timing, and levels with the Bose speakers.


Of course, if you have a problematic room, then maybe the jerryrigged 7.1 setup with those mismatched Bose cubes work best for your situation. However, I just can't imagine how a mismatch of that magnitude (a Bose AM cube versus a Studio 20) can possibly do anything other than detract from the imaging and sense of envelopment (not to mention, a seriously diminished tonal response with the Bose speakers). It doesn't matter how good the processing is, a wide difference in the timbral characteristics disrupts the soundfield and takes away from a more ideal surround effect. It's not as critical with most movie soundtracks since those are mixed with a lot of ambient sounds in the surrounds, but with multichannel music, it's really noticeable.


I think you're right that Paradigm's decontenting the Studio v.3s is one way to differentiate the status of the Signatures. (Eliminating the veneer option is another way of Paradigm stating very clearly that the Studios are no longer their flagship series.) But, the v.3s are a step up in sound quality, so there's not much to complain about when it comes to the bottom line. It very well might be the case that the new drivers and redesigned mounts already improve the performance to the point that those extra steps with the cabinet bracing are not necessary. Paradigm also made a major change to the crossover. They raised the crossover point from 1.5 kHz to 1.8 kHz, and the crossover design is now a second-order design rather than third-order. I also like redesigned mounting posts. But, the grille and cabinetry seem like steps backwards, and IMO hardly necessary since they increased the prices by at least 20%.
 

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For everyone who is complaining that the V3's are lighter than the V2', it might also be helpful to note that they are also SMALLER. With narrower cabinets due to smaller bass drivers, is it surprising that they are lighter?
 

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Well the V3's are also taller.


If I recall the weight correctly, the V2 100s came in at 240 lbs per pair, while the V3 come in at 162 lbs a pair. Slightly smaller does not account for this difference. If they had been within 5 lbs or so of each other, I doubt anyone would care...but this is a significant difference.
 

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After living with the new v3 (40, 20 and 570) for 3 weeks now, I can honestly say that the difference is really minimale compare to the v2... Except for the 570. It's really an improvement over the CCv2. particularly with female voices. DVD-A and SACD are a good step up for voice clarity and accuracy.
 

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Hi, I am looking at speakers for a new room that is nearly completed. I could go with all new v3's, but have a chance at a pair of 100's and a CC in v2's. My questions: would you go with the v2's that were demos and then use v3 ADP's with them(4 for 7.1)? I can get them at a good price and am considering it. I can also get a pair of v3 100's, also demos, but I like the v2 100's a lot (the good deal thing).

Would you go with demo speakers if the price was right? How about mixing a 470 or a 570 CC with the v2 100's?

I also would like to have 2 subs, I have a PW2200, should a get another 2200 or go to a Servo 15? The room is 14 1/2 by 23 1/2, if I use the 100's is 2 subs overkill?
 

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Jas,


I have the v2 setup and I am quite happy with it. I thought about trading up for the v3 when they first came out, but have since reconsidered. I just don't think the cost is worth the step-up. That said, it's hard for anyone to tell you which one to take since everyone has different priorities in selecting speakers, such as sound, cost, newness, etc.


What I would do would probably depend on the cost difference. If money was not the issue I would most likely go v3 since they are newer (and easier to get additional speakers if you want to replace the back surrounds or such) and in most opinions have at least a slightly better sound.


Now, if you like the v2 sound better then the v3, then by all means get them regardless (since the are cheaper), I see nothing wrong with picking up a set of demo speakers.
 

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I kept my Studio-100v2 and mixing them with the CC-570 with great results! They mix pretty well together, and are timbre-match.


But the best way to know for sure is for you to try them together, and if you like what you hear, then go for it.


It's not because it is ok for me that it will be ok for you. Different ears are hearing different things...


No matter I hard I try, I can't find any mismatch between the 100v2 and the cc-570.
 
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