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Old 03-11-2008   #1
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Question $2500 for L/R/C speakers, what do I audition?

Well I'm ready to upgrade my Left/Right/Center speakers, my trusty Paradigm Mini MkII's & CC 200 have served me well for 15 years but I'm shopping for speakers for a standalone home theater that is currently in the planning stage.

I've understandably got a soft spot for Paradigm speakers, they have a huge "bang for the buck" factor so the top choice right now is the Paradigm studio 40 v4 for the Left/Right & the Paradigm studio CC-590 v4 as the center channel.
My dealer will sell them to me for $2250 which comes to just under $2500 with tax.
I considered the Paradigm Studio 60 v4 for the L/R but my dealer said the 40's had the same drivers & the only difference was the cabinets & they could put out slightly better bass because of the larger cabinets but since I'm going to get most all my bass from a sub woofer the 40's at $500 less for the pair were the better way to go.

I'm planning to get the Paradigm ADP-590 as the surrounds & will use the Mini MkII as the rear channels in a 7.1 system but those will have to wait because my current room is not set up for the ADP 590 so the Mini MkII will be the surrounds & the Atoms will be the rears until the standalone home theater gets built.


What else should I be auditioning?
What speakers can compete with the Paradigms for quality, sound & price?

I'm planning to buy the L/C/R speakers in May so I have almost 2 months to listen to other speakers so any advice you could give me would be a big help.
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Old 03-11-2008   #2
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Default Re: $2500 for L/R/C speakers, what do I audition?

First thing anyone should ask you first is, what are you using for your source? Reciever? Pre/Pro? What brand? Whats the main reason for the change? Sound not bright enough? No boom? Or are they just worn out?
Off the top of my head the first brands that come to mind NHT, Polk, maybe PSB or even Kef.
But like I tell everyone.....no two ears are the same. What sounds good to one person may not sound good to others. Mixing and matching is an art that takes alot of trial and error.
I have developed a taste of the Bipolar of which I have a Def Tech BP7004 surround set up. I have a Yamaha rec but wished I could have a Parasound Halo setup or even a McIntosh. The Yam is just a little to bright to be paired with the siblant Def Tech's. But I had already had the Yamaha before I got the DT's......someday.
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Old 03-12-2008   #3
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Default Re: $2500 for L/R/C speakers, what do I audition?

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Originally Posted by idahophil63 View Post
First thing anyone should ask you first is, what are you using for your source? Reciever? Pre/Pro? What brand? Whats the main reason for the change? Sound not bright enough? No boom? Or are they just worn out?
My source is a Denon 3808ci AVR, the reason for change is to upgrade my 15 year old entry level Paradigms (with a max power rating of 80 watts) for a higher quality set that will be getting a hell of a workout in a dedicated theater.
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Old 03-12-2008   #4
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Default Re: $2500 for L/R/C speakers, what do I audition?

If the sound is good for you and you just want to update and or make it louder, upgrading to the newer Paradigims would be a great fit. If you could find a decient A/V dealer who's willing to work with you, and let you try them at home first, but I dont think you would be dissapointed. But if you want to save a little you might look at the Def Tech Mythos http://www.avrev.com/equip/definitiv...thos_speakers/ I have personally heard these on a Denon AVR-5308, I think, in a Magnolia Hi-Fi room next to some Martin Logans and some Vienna Accoustic's and the DT totally blew me away! Granted the ones in the review are the top of the Mythos line, they do come in different price levels and the centers to match. But they also had my BP's in there to and I wouldn't trade my BP's for the Mythos, but I would like to use the Mythos for a 7.1 set up for the sides and rears! That would be amazing!
With most any of the speakers I've mentioned should do the trick, now its up to you to do the leg work, so to speak, and try, try, try! Just a suggestion also, take music you are really familiar with, stuff you know every sound and instrument, for demoing, youll be glad you did!
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Old 03-12-2008   #5
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Default Re: $2500 for L/R/C speakers, what do I audition?

Moose,

Having reviewed and lived with the Paradigm Studio system for several months I can tell you it's a great movie system, and you know you like the Paradigm sound, but I have to wonder if you might want to reconsider some things here.....

I understand wanting new L/C/R speakers, but..... What if you took that $2,500 and bought the 100's and kept your current center and moved the rest of the speakers around??? you could update the center later on as time and $$ permit and keep that eternal upgrade bug away for much longer knowing you got the top of the line fronts, and the bass these things put out is excellent. I know you'll have a sub, but full sized speakers really make an improvement in HT sound, hell, I even use them for surrounds!

As for the 40's vs 60's, that is not so easy. You will need stands for the 40's, adding to their price (unless you already have some) so this needs to be factored in as well, and again, I think full sized speakers really do make a significant difference, but you'll need to listen for yourself and see, this after all is the ultimate test and the rec to take your music and listen for yourself can't be stressed enough.

BTW It is not unreasonable to bring your current center in and see how it mates to the current Paradigms.... In case you want to consider the 100's (which I think you'd love that is why I'm suggesting this!)
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Old 03-12-2008   #6
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Default Re: $2500 for L/R/C speakers, what do I audition?

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Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
Moose,

Having reviewed and lived with the Paradigm Studio system for several months I can tell you it's a great movie system, and you know you like the Paradigm sound, but I have to wonder if you might want to reconsider some things here.....

I understand wanting new L/C/R speakers, but..... What if you took that $2,500 and bought the 100's and kept your current center and moved the rest of the speakers around??? you could update the center later on as time and $$ permit and keep that eternal upgrade bug away for much longer knowing you got the top of the line fronts, and the bass these things put out is excellent. I know you'll have a sub, but full sized speakers really make an improvement in HT sound, hell, I even use them for surrounds!

As for the 40's vs 60's, that is not so easy. You will need stands for the 40's, adding to their price (unless you already have some) so this needs to be factored in as well, and again, I think full sized speakers really do make a significant difference, but you'll need to listen for yourself and see, this after all is the ultimate test and the rec to take your music and listen for yourself can't be stressed enough.

BTW It is not unreasonable to bring your current center in and see how it mates to the current Paradigms.... In case you want to consider the 100's (which I think you'd love that is why I'm suggesting this!)
Yea I thought about the 100's and after reading your review I'm sure I would love them but really they would be overkill for me (I really would have liked the discount on those review models though! ).
I'm going to have a small (15'x24') theater & am looking at the JL Fathom as the sub so the 40's should be a good fit.
I do have stands already.

I also have a budget, I need to add on to my house & get all the gear for it on a Firefighters salary, I have to be realistic with my goals.
Look at it this way, the price difference between the 100's & a cc-590 & the 40's & a cc-590 is almost the price of a JL Fathom f112!

Don't get me wrong, I expect to have a killer system but besides building the actual theater I still need a couple of surrounds, an amp, a projector & screen as well as a couple of power centers & numerous bits & pieces I haven't even thought of yet so any thing I splurge on will take away from something else.
"Best bang for the buck" is the motto for this project!

Now once my theater is done & I start on my stereo room, full sized floor standers will be a must have there!
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