|Paradigm Signature S8 v.2 Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Monday, 01 October 2007|
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While I consider the Paradigm Signature S8 v.2s to be remarkable speakers, I had issues with a few items. For starters, I didn’t much care for the recessed binding posts. The binding posts themselves were fine, but because they are recessed in such an odd oval shape and are located so close to the floor, they made getting larger cables, like my Transparent Reference speaker cables, in and out a bit of a chore. Also, making sure the posts were tight enough for a good connection was also tricky, due to their recessed design. Users with banana adapters or bare wire are most assuredly going to have an easier time.
While I left the grilles on for most of my review, which is what Paradigm recommends, there were a few instances where I had to remove them. Every time that I did, I felt as if I was going to actually break them. Paradigm is now using magnetized grilles in their less expensive speakers and I wish they’d used them here.
The Signature S8 v.2s are large speakers, requiring some special attention during the set-up process. Due to the rear-ported design, they perform best when given a fair amount of room to breathe between them and the front wall. Otherwise, the bass can become a bit overpowering at times. I recommend at least two feet, preferably three if you can swing it, between the back of the speaker and the front wall. If you cannot accommodate this, I would look into other speakers in the Signature line. The S2s, mated with the right subwoofer (like Paradigm’s own Signature Servo subwoofer), are capable of producing S8-like sound in a more compact and placement-friendly design.
At $6,699 per pair retail ($5,999 in standard Cherry), the Paradigm Signature S8 v.2s are simply amazing. While six grand and some change is hardly a small investment, when you factor in the Signature S8 v.2s’ performance and weigh that against the cost of the competition, even the stingiest of consumer can see the value. The beryllium tweeter is a revelation on the high end. The bass is rock solid and taut, thus leaving people asking the question, “Who needs a subwoofer if these can be used as audiophile speakers?” There are few speakers that can best the Signature S8 v.2s within $10,000 of the asking price of these speakers. Yes, they are that good a value.
The new Signature S8 v.2 represents the culmination of years of experience and design at Paradigm, and it shows. From the subtle lines of the cabinet to the purity and power of the sound, the Signature S8 v.2 is among the best there is at any price.