|Paradigm Focus / CC270 / ADP170 Speakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Bookshelf/Monitor Loudspeakers|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Thursday, 01 August 2002|
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Paradigm is known for building great-sounding speakers that entry-level music and home theater enthusiasts can actually afford and can definitely enjoy. Unlike most loudspeaker manufacturers, Paradigm actually makes, designs and tests their speakers without significant help from outside agencies. They have the largest anechoic chamber in North America at their testing facilities, along with enough engineers to start a "Star Trek" convention. Paradigm designs and makes their own drivers, cabinets, hardware and more. With this level of control over the design and manufacturing process, they are able to hold a top position in the highly competitive world of under $2,000 loudspeakers.
The Focus v.3 is the latest addition to Paradigm’s Performance Series, priced at $299. The newest Focus is a two-way, bookshelf or stand-mounted speaker, featuring a rear-firing port. The Focus has a 6.5-inch cone mid-woofer and a one-inch dome tweeter driver complement. The Focus’ mid-woofer utilizes an all-new metallescent, polymer cone material. The cone is mounted to Paradigm’s proprietary Ultra-Rigid GRIP chassis, which achieves lightweight stiffness with glass-reinforced injection molded polymer. All of this is a lot of technology for a $299 loudspeaker.
My review samples are finished in a laminate called Rosenut. There are other finishes including light cherry and black ash. These speakers have a traditional look and can be placed out in a room for audiophile-esque positioning or integrated into a more interior designer-friendly environment with ease. The Focus is a physically slender 14 inches high, seven inches wide and 10 inches deep, weighing 14 pounds. The back panel features oversize binding posts and a port that assists the relatively small Focus speakers in achieving a reported bottom end response of 44Hz.
I rounded out my Paradigm 5.1 system with the CC-270 center channel, priced at $279 each, and the $449 per pair Paradigm ADP-170 speakers used for surround speakers. I previously reviewed the ADP-170s with the Paradigm Phantoms and CC-170. The CC-270 is the big brother of the CC-170 and features two six-inch mid-woofers flanking a one-inch dome tweeter. The ADP-170s continue to utilize a dipole/bipole configuration designed to maximize sonic spaciousness without sacrificing lower frequency strength. The ADP-170s come with wall-mounting brackets. The backs of the cabinets are thoughtfully grooved for speaker cables, allowing the ADP-170s to mount flush on the wall.
Setup and Positioning
The best performance I could elicit from the Focus v.3s was achieved by positioning them almost six feet apart and exactly two feet from my front wall, with the CC-270 aligned perfectly in the middle. I placed the ADP-170s to the sides of my listening position and utilized Vantage Point stands to place the speakers at the desired height. The ADP-170s can also be flush-mounted to your side walls with hardware that is included with each pair.