The Studio 40s are an amazing speaker. I have heard both the v2 and v3, in fact I own the v3s. $799 is ok, not great, considering I got my v3 40s for not that much more. I would offer them less and see if they take it. If you plan on using them mainly for HT then you should think about finding a Studio CC as well. It's important to have the center channel timbre-matched with the mains.
Whether or not it's a good deal depends on how much you like the speakers themselves. If you don't like the Studio series' sound, then they're a ripoff even at $100.
Personally, I love the v.2 Studio series and have a full 5.1 40/CC/20 configuration. To me, they're a high value even at list price. But, it sounds like you haven't even listened to the 40s yet, and IMO that would be a mistake to buy without listening, unless the store has a generous return policy (or if they're demo models, let you borrow them for home audition first).
I paid almost full price for my 40s a couple of years ago, but they still represented high value to me because they clearly stood out among all the other speakers in that price range that I looked at. Even if those other speakers were significantly lower in price, they would not have made the cut because the 40s met my needs and did it better than the others. And in the long-term, getting something that you're happy with has more lasting value than compromising what you want in favor of a larger discount. I always tell people that you're shopping for a speaker not a deal. It's nice to get both at the same time, but all too often people will jump at something based solely on how large a discount they can get.
Considering that the Studio 40 v.2s are discontinued, your dealer's offering is pretty much a take it or leave it proposition. The price you quoted is in line with the kinds of discounts that dealers have been offering to clear out the remaining v.2 inventory. I bought a pair of Studio 20 v.2s for about $500 a couple of months ago.
At $700 a pair, the 40s are a bargain for the kind of performance that they deliver. Keep in mind that the new Studio 40 v.3 lists for $1,100, and most Paradigm dealers will not deal down a huge amount unless you're packaging together multiple purchases. So, your relative price is a lot lower.
However, speakers are a totally subjective purchase. Just because I like them does not mean that everybody will share my opinion. Also, keep in mind that if you take the dive here, you'll also need to at some point get some matching surround speakers, and the only avenue by that time will be through the second hand market.
I'm surprised that your dealer even has any 40s and CCs left in stock. I'd heard that those models were among the first to completely clear out at the distributor after the v.2 series was discontinued back in July. My dealer's inventory and demo units pretty much cleared out by the end of July.
I actually did sit down and listen to them, and they sounded amazing. I 'm very impressed with both the sound and design of the speaker. The problem is even at the discount price, it was more than I wanted to spend. I really didn't know the MSRP of Paradigms, but now I know the dealer is being honest with me.
Now I just need to convince the wife in letting me spend more money than I originally planed.
Hey Korranator - have you thought of buying used? You can get the same speaker, mint, for close to $600. Audiogon.com is a great place for used gear. You'll save on the sales tax but will probably have to pay for shipping.
I also own a full Paradigm v2 Studio series set (100's, 20's, ADP's, CC, and Servos) See if you can work them down to $999 or less for the 3 speakers, they are a terrific value and the one comment I will make on their sound is that the PAL tweeter they use is so smooth, I never get listening fatigue, even at high volumes. They are a very flexible speaker that seem to like whatever kind of material you can throw at them. It is not unusual for me to listen to a Norah Jones DVD, then crank up a Metallica or Judas Priest disk right after, no tweaking or adjusting bass/treble, they just reproduce it all wonderfully.
Korranator, update your location. Paradigms are much cheaper in Canada (thanks to the exchange rate). I think Warren_G's post reflects that cheaper price! If you are within a days drive it may be worth the trip...
I went ahead and picked up the Studio 40s and Studio CC for $1049 today. Now I'm sitting here in my entertainment room like a little kid playing action heavy scenes from various movies to really test them out.
BTW I live in Nevada, so Canada is a looooooong drive.
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