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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if anyone out there has had time to hear both of these, but I will be soon upgrading my speakers and these two are both on my list. My dealer is getting some S8's in this week so I will hear them soon (I have been impressed with the S2's so far). I have also heard the VR-4's a while back and was impressed with them as well. I do not have any place local to demo the VR-4's so I am interested in hearing what other people think of them vs. the new Paradigm Signature line.


Any input would be welcome.
 

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The Vr-4mk3 is a very good speaker for both ht and music .You will very happy with it .Have not herd the new Paradigm.
 

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John -


The new Paradigm Signatures are flat-out THE best speakers (from top to bottom) I have had in my home. I've been on a mad search for the perfect speaker for the last year. During that time I have owned and sold (or returned) the Vienna Acoustics Mozarts, Aerial Acoustics 7B, Martin Logan Aeon i, KEF Reference 203's, and Dynaudio S5.4's and the S3.4's. I have also listened to every speaker avaialable in my area in the showroom, including B&W, JM Lab, Revel, Monitor Audio, Energy, Sonus Faber, Audio Physics and Wharfdale.


The Paradigm S8's and all of the Signature line for that matter, have the most neutral, expansive sound I have ever heard. And when I say exspansive, I mean they have soundstage on their soundstage. If the recording has any ambience captured (or created) on it, the sound literally wraps around you. The only speaker that was close to it in this area was, funny enough, the Energy Veritas. The Veritas was a little light in the bass compared to the S8 and the S8's beat the Veritas in build quality and aesthetics. Sure, the S8's cost a bit more, but it definitely shows.


The S8's have extended high-frequency response with broad dispersion, so you will want to make sure you don't have too many exposed hard surfaces around them. However, in my standard sheetrocked, carpeted, furnished living room they sound vivid and detailed without sounding etched or glaring.


One of the things I've found in many speakers is a tendency to boost, by varying degrees, the upper midrange and lower treble to make the speaker sound more detailed. This can be fine and produce the desired effect on top-shelf recordings or in an overdamped room, but if you listen to pop, rock or any other music made for radio, you'll find these recordings sound too bright and fatiguing. The S8's don't tame this area, but they don't boost it either, which comes back to my impression that they sound nuetral.


The only speaker that sounded better in the upper midrange / lower treble was the Vienna Mozart. BUT, this speaker has a deliberate dip in that area, which just happens to tame most of the boost in pop recordings. This did come at the expense of vocal intelligibility though. Pick your evil. I know with a little more attention to the acoustics of my room I can get the S8's to sound just right in this area.


Even with four 7" woofers in each of the S8 speakers, they don't have subwoofer bass extension, but they are close and far better than anything in their price range. You will have to try a few positions in your room find the right spot to get smooth bass response, but that applies to all speakers that are full range and many that aren't.


In the end, the Signature line has put an end to what I thought was the impossible search for the perfect speaker.


Disclaimer: What is considered to be "the perfect speaker" is of course, a highly subjective matter--a matter of preference.


Cheers.
 

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Yep, most people are happy with the speakers they own.


Having spent time with both, I would choose the Von Schweikerts. They are phase coherent, time aligned, and sound very, very good. Albert Von Schweikert uses a Spectron amp to voice his speakers although they sound great on most high powered amps as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. I will be auditioning the S8's soon. But I might not get to hear the VR-4's again. The last listen was a while ago, but I do remember I really liked them.
 
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