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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I am doing my main speaker upgrade and I keep seeing people run down the Paradigm Studio 80's? I listened to a set a couple years ago and liked them enough to be considering them now since I am upgrading. What has changed about them? Why are the Studio 60's seemingly more popular is it just the price difference. Just kinda curious not wanting a slam fest so let me know what you guys think.


Thanx JP
 

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I have heard people bag on them because the midrange is a different size than the center and surrounds. The 100s and 60s have the same mirange. I have the 100s and love them. I think you should save more boxtops and get them.
 

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The different size drivers made me choose between the 60's and 100's. I ended up picking the 100's. I wanted morefull range ability that the 100's have over the 60's. My dealer didn't have the 80's in stock, so I wasn't going to take a chance on it not matching as well to the Studio CC.
 

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Hello everyone:


Apart from what has been said about studio 80 there is also some criticism about the studio center speakers. This has caused me a some concern because if it is true, there is really no choice except to switch to another brand and it took me so long to come this far. It is wearing me out.


I was planning to get studio 40 as the front LR pair with a studio center and studio 20 as rear surround in a 5.1 set-up with a Shiva 12" sub. Application 65% music; 35%HT. Probably with a Denon 3803 AVR.


Your views would be much appreciated.


Perry
 

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I have the 20s and cc....I really do like the mix. I have thought about jumping up to the 80s, but am a'little worried due to posts here.


I have listened to Polks, B&Ws and (a friend that bought his over the internet...some internet speaker co), and really still like my cc.


Now, i have mine bi-amped with an Acurus amp....probably more then most run to a cc, but it sounds great.


It is clear, detailed and presents a wide soundstage(especially considering mine are in a false wall installation).


I think center speakers have a tuff time in general....they have to prodcue all the effects and clear dialogue. Now granted the L&R etc do effects, but the center takes all the noise too.


I am sure that there are speakers that can do it better, but.....is'nt that always the case. If I could not upgrade, I might as well die!


Upgrade makes the world go-round
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I have the boxtops for the 100's but I have the Wife Acceptance Factor to deal with. Thats why I was looking to the 80's and I didnt think they sounded bad.
 

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The studio 80's may sound good to you but if it were me, i'd want my drivers to match across the board. The 80's would be out.
 

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Ask the wife if spending that kind of money on something you kinda like and possibly regretting it trumps a slightly bigger speaker. I have the cc and like it. I have always wondered if a studio40 would sound alot better.
 

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I'm using 5 Studio 40's. I like using the same speakers across the front. In my previous theater I used Studio 100's and an older Paradigm cabinet that had 100's drivers installed, but the 40's sound great and 5 Studio 100's won't fit in the new roon.
 

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A few words from a Paradigm owner.


First, I have yet to hear negative comments about the Paradigm CC when compared to center channels of the same price level. It is a fantastic center channel for the price. Yes, I could get better performance than the CC, if I wanted to spend more money. (The B&W HTM1 and HTM2 are fantastic, but 50 to 250% more price).


Second, I have experimented with various crossover settings with my layout (60's front, CC center, ADP surrounds, SA-10R in-ceiling rears, Velo HGS-18 sub) and the 80 Hz crossover for all the speakers sounds the best for HT and SACD / DVD-A. (I have an upgraded Denon 5800 with the adjustable crossover).


The reason I bring this up is that I have found with the combination of 60's and the CC that for HT playing the 60's as "Large" and the rest of the speakers as "Small" does not produce as cohesive of a front soundstage as setting all the speakers to "Small". There is a noticable difference in sound between the 60's and the CC when the 60's are set to "Large". When set to "Small" it is very difficult to pick out the speakers during active front soundstage pans - the sound just moves around.


This would probably be a more defined difference using the 80's with the CC, more with the "Large" setting than the "Small" setting. I would also be concerned about underpowering the 80's or the 100's. A Denon 3803 will have problems getting the best out of 100's, and will have some problems with 80's. The 60's would be borderline. My 5800 drives the 60's with ease, but when I hooked up some 100's I was wanting more power.


The only advantage I see of the 80's over the 60's would be in strict two-channel applications of "critical" listening without using a sub. If you typically are doing something else while you have music playing you are not going to notice a difference if you have a good quality sub with a pair of 60's versus a pair of 100's. Now - if you got the 100's and around 300 watts each of clean power for the front two channels - that would be a great 2-channel experience without a sub for "critical" listening applications.


I would take the money saved between the 60's and the 100's and put it towards a sub upgrade or an upgrade in amplification or processing.


Jut my $0.02 cents.


Mike
 

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Hi Bilk:


Your idea of using all studio 40s for multi-channel application is interesting.

But the Studio 40, I believe, is not a shielded speaker. How do you get around that? Is it really necessary to substitute the Studio Center with other speakers as you have done?


I would only be interested in using Studio center with the studio 40 as front speakers if there could be a seamless blend of these speakers.


Your views would be highly appreciated.


Perry
 

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You can get the 20/40/60/80/100 in their magna shield line just like the CC.
 

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I used to sell both Paradigm and PSB as well as B&W and they share interesting design concepts in this price range. Typically, you get a good bookshelf design in the $600 price range. And then a good tower design in the $2000 price range. ALL of the speakers in between are modifications of these two extremes. The ones above the bookshelf speaker are augmented with a woofer working in a 2.5 way crossover which doesn't improve quality as much as it squeaks some more bass out of them. Since there isn't a big budget for improvement, there's not much extra gained. The ones below the flagship are simply compromised versions of these flagships. I'm not a fan of ported speakers, but the Studio 20s, the Stratus Mini and DM602s are often considered to be BETTER than the models above them (for the money), while the Studio 100s, Stratus Golds and DM604s are definitely better than the ones below them for not much more money, so much so that one wonders why they bother with the intermediate models, except that they want to fill the pricepoints.


So, if you want to understand why speakers behave the way they do, consider my rules of thumb:


Two-way speakers should always be sealed. If not, when the time comes to add a sub, the port noise creates problems. It also preserves the clarity of the midrange


Parts quality being equal, three-ways are equal to or superior to two-ways, IF they use proportional speaker design.


2.5-way speakers make no sense and are are largely a waste of design and engineering. It's kind of like a 3-wheeled car. A 2.5 way drivers has the midrange trying to reproduce bass which makes it little better than a two way and often times, worse.


Proportional speaker design requires that the woofers are between 1.5 and 2 times the size of the midrange driver.


3" is too small for midrange. 8" is too big.


6" is too small for a bass/sub driver. 15" is too big.


If you are considering speakers that violate these rules, you're stepping into a danger zone. Speaker companies are willing to compromise models to achieve sales goals. After all, they're trying to make money. Pricepoint engineering is commonplace. As an aside/plug/example, we switched to NHT because, as a small audio dealer, they sell fewer models and simply skip over the compromised models and spend more energy on the ones they DO build. It's not unusual for speakers companies to have about 10 bookshelf models and 10 towers over a $2000 price range. NHT has 5 bookshelf models and 3 towers over a $4000 range. While this certainly makes it easier on dealers, in a way, it also helps the customers because it forces them into stretching to buy a less compromised model than they'd normally buy or allows them to buy the quality for which they were looking for less than they were planning. When we sold PSBs, we simply found that there were 4 models out of 12 that really resonated with customers. Same when I sold B&Ws. All models sold, but only a couple sold in great numbers because they were better than the other by a noticeable margin.


Unfortunately, pricepoint engineering isn't going anywhere, so you just have to be careful. The idea is to sell the Studio 100 as the desirable model in the press, then offer less expensive models so that those who can't afford the Studio 100s will spend whatever money they do have with the brand. Not unique at all to Paradigm. Mirages OM8s were just OM6s with smaller bass drivers, in fact, drivers too small to even be bass drivers. A deliberate compromising of the sound to fill a pricepoint. So, I wouldn't say the Studio 80s are "crap", just needlessly compromised. A three-way with a 4" mid and dual 6.5" bass drivers, a "mini-Studio 100" if you will, would have made more sense as a less expensive offering.
 

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I would like to echo John's comments. Over the past six years, I have owned almost all of Paradigm's Reference Studio line, both version one and twos. To my 50 year old ears, the 100s were the best of the lot. I kept a pair of them (V.2) for about six months, until the WAF forced me to go smaller. Prior to the 100s, I had a pair of V.2 80s in rosenut veneer for over a year. When I made the change to the 100s, I could immediately hear a clarity in the mid range that was not apparent in the 80s. I dearly miss the 100s and would gladly buy another pair used.


On a side note, I might add that my speakers over the last two years has been the 40s in rosenut veneer. I recently sold them and stepped down to the 20s in black veneer. In my listening room (28'X31'), the 20s are fine at low to moderate listening levels, but strain if pushed.


My primary interest is home theater, so the 20s/CC/ADP/ Velodyne FSX-12 combination I have now works out great. If I were buying more as a music listener however, I would pay the extra for either the 60s (which I have not owned) or the 100s. My experience with the 80s midrange found it to be too big and less defined.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by John Ashman
6" is too small for a bass/sub driver. 15" is too big.
I'm really curious about this statement. What reasoning do you offer for a 15" being to "big" for a sub driver?
 

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Well, I suppose I should qualify this. 15" is too big for a fast, musically articulate speaker (for the most part). The one exception I've heard is the 15" servo unit from the Genesis APM-1/900, but even that is being ditched in favor of 12" servo drivers. 15" bass drivers will function IF you have a good 8" or 10" driver to do mid and upper bass. If you try and couple it with a 6" midrange, it's going to sound disconnected. 12" drivers now go into the low 20's, which is just about all music can provide. If you have full range speakers containing 12" drivers already, you may indeed want something as big as an 18" if you just can't get enough. I, however, would rather have more 12" drivers than a single 15" in my system. The reality is that most 15" drivers are too slow and ponderous to do well above 50Hz. You also get increasing amounts of cone flex in larger drivers. Since most 12" drivers go so low now, you are better off with 2 or 12" drivers than 1 15" driver.
 

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I'm sorry, but that reasoning just leaves me at a loss. What does surface area have to do with how "fast" a speaker is? That seems like a particularly outdated way of thinking about things. Maybe you're talking about mass, but so long as motor strength is proportionate to cone mass, the driver will be just as "fast" as any other. In fact, many of the newer quality 15" drivers on the market probably have superior power/mass ratios than many 8", 10", or 12" drivers you would consider to be superior.


Perhaps your "fast" and "musical" terms are intended to relate to group delay? If so, how do you relate that to cone area?


It is true that larger drivers typically have lower fs, which tends to limit upper frequency extension, but what does frequency response have to do with "fast" or "musical" in the useable bandwidth of the driver? If you need frequencies reproduced outside that range (above, in this case), then you certainly need a different driver... not a subbass, but a midbass driver. In that case, it's similar to your argument for three way vs. two way. Why force a driver to handle signals it's not designed to handle? A 6" driver should cover the range down to 100Hz, where a sub naturally takes over.


Besides, your number of 50Hz for the limit of large drivers "doing well" is very suspect. A quality 15" driver should reproduce frequencies up to 100Hz without a problem. Hell, and 18" shouldn't have a problem with that.


I'm just left a bit stunned after seeing a comment that a 15" driver is "too big" for musical bass reproduction.
 

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Getting back to the topic at hand (studio 80's)


I don't like any of Paradigm's 8" mid-range drivers, including the Monitor 3, monitor 9 and the studio 80.


When I listen to them, they just don't have the sweet mid-range that I like to listen to.


The female voice tend's to bring this out into view (if you will) Her voice will change before your ears.


To me it's got much less to do with matching the others in the set (CC, ADP etc...even if that is important) as it just doesn't sound as good to my ear.
 
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