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Paradigm Studio 80 Loudspeakers Print E-mail
Monday, 01 May 2000
Article Index
Paradigm Studio 80 Loudspeakers
Page 2

The Downside
I reviewed the Paradigm Studio/80’s as a speaker that can be compared at many levels with the big boys, or at least many bigger boys. Yet several aspects of these speakers reminded me that although they can dance with the stars, they wouldn’t be there for the big show. I found frustration with the binding posts. The binding posts are 3/8-inch diameter threaded posts with pin and banana inputs. Pin inputs, are for the little league of cables, and banana plugs although preferred by many, are inferior to the high-end standard terminal lug connection. The problem lies in the fact that the most common diameter spade is 1/4 inch. I have AudioQuest Dragons terminated with 1/4 inch spades, and am using a set of Transparent Reference cables with the similar 1/4 inch spade terminations. This had me profoundly irritated having to screw five-dollar banana adapters into a $5,000 set of speaker cables. Also, the jumper plates that short the second set of inputs for bi-wire applications looked as if they were stamped out of material that was as thin as a soda can. If you are looking for the maximum performance from this speaker and using high quality speaker cable, you might try a reasonable set of jumper wires.

What we have here is a speaker that is very moderately priced at $1,800 considering that this is an industry that has no problem throwing a $70,000 price tag at us for a set of loudspeakers, yet they perform well enough to be considered in the high end class. In this review I was critical about aspects of his speaker that could be considered in some ways as a compliment because they were based on comparisons to higher priced speakers, and speakers that are considered to be without compromise in cost. I found the midrange to be good, but a bit dark and on the relaxed side of neutral. Other than that I found this fine speaker was a breath of fresh air in the effort to bring high performance into the average household.

I can honestly say that if you want performance characteristics such as soundstaging and solid dynamics, and have yet to win the lottery, check these speakers out. They are to be compared to many high priced speakers manufactured by companies that somehow forgot that some of us work hard for our money and care about value.

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