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Paradigm SHIFT A2 Active Speakers Review  Print E-mail
Home Theater Loudspeakers Bookshelf/Monitor Loudspeakers
Written by Andre Marc   
Thursday, 05 July 2012
Article Index
Paradigm SHIFT A2 Active Speakers Review 
Listening Cont.
Conclusion

Conclusion:

At $279 each (standard finish), with onboard 50 watt amplifiers, multiple connection options, and a nice choice of premium finishes, I believe the Paradigm Shift A2 powered monitors are exactly what I have come to expect from Paradigm -- smartly engineered, attractively packaged and, most importantly, great sounding products. Otherwise, all the flexibility, connectivity, and looks would be of no value.

Paradigm’s A2 monitors are designed for real world use, eschewing unnecessary “pro” audio connections, questionable styling, and other oddities common with that market. A2s are designed to be used in the home, with a variety of possible sources, including computer, hand held device, DAC, tape deck, and even a traditional preamp.  Actually, any source with a 3.5 mm or RCA phono output is compatible. There is plenty of power available in the onboard amplifiers to provide satisfying, room filling sound with knock out bass and dynamics, and overall presentation has been voiced with great craft.

I easily recommend an audition of the A2. They will blend into any decor, with a choice of several attractive finishes. There are number of available accessories, including the BD 1 Bluetooth kit, that allow for wireless connections to handheld devices. You can also plug in a WiFi device like an Apple Airport Express into the A2's AC socket, or you can connect them via wires on stands, a desktop top, or on shelves. If I wanted for anything, it would be nice to have markings for volume level on the volume control wheel, or even a volume control on the front baffle.  Lastly, a digital input would have been pretty awesome. Other than that small wish list, the Paradigm SHIFT A2 is a fun and great sounding product.


Specifications


Paradigm SHIFT A2 Powered Monitors: $279 each.

Tweeter: 1" Anodized pure-aluminum dome
Woofer: 5-1/2" Satin-anodized pure-aluminum cone
Frequency Response: 55 Hz - 20 kHz (+/-2 dB)
Amplifier: S/N Ratio: >85 dB A-weighted, 2Vrms
Amplifier Power: Biamplified: 2 x 50 W RMS, 80W Dynamic
Peak Dynamic Power: 100 Watts Dynamic Peak, 50 Watts RMS
Low-Frequency Extension: 30 Hz
Power Requirements: 120V~60 Hz 2A*
Dimensions (H x W x D): 11" x 6-5/8" x 8-7/8"
Weight (unpacked): 11.6 lb
Warranty: 1-year limited

Review System 1


CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT, Unison Research Unico CDe
Server: Squeezebox Touch w/ CIA VDC-SB power supply
via Ethernet to MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate
external drives.
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box II
Headphones: Grado SR60
Preamp: Audio Research SP16
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Rogue Hydra
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids, Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC) Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs TosLink, DH Labs AES/EBU, Belkin Gold (USB) DH Labs (USB)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner,Salamander rack

Review System 2


CD Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch via Ethernet to
MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate external drives.
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Cables: Kimber Hero HB,  DH Labs White Lightning (IC),QED Genisis Silver Spiral (Speaker),PS Audio (AC), Pangea Audio (AC), DH Labs TosLink, Audioquest Forest USB, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold







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