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Polk Audio Vs Paradigm


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28 replies to this topic

#1 of 29 OFFLINE   RonaldMc

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Posted July 04 2004 - 02:36 PM

hello my name is Roger Mcormic and i recently tought of purcahsing polk audio for my home tehater but i heard many sugestiosn about Paradigm can you guys tel me wich one beter in your opinion? for hometheter dvd watching

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Joey_V

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Posted July 04 2004 - 02:42 PM

well, it depends on how much you are willing to spend and which series you are talking about within both companies. i feel that the Polk LSI speakers are very musical (especially the LSI7 and the LSI9), and sound even more phenomenal if powered with separates (the lsi are 4ohm speakers). however, i feel that the paradigms really show true finnesse and audio excellence with the Reference Studio series.

the paradigm monitors are very good for HT purposes from what i heard. i have heard the Paradigm signatures and reference studios - as well as the Polk RTi (HT is its forte, especially with the RTi12) and the Polk LSi (music is its forte, but performs HT extremely well still).

of course, these are all my personal opinions - you have to listen to the speakers yourself and make your own judgements.

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#3 of 29 OFFLINE   RonaldMc

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Posted July 04 2004 - 03:02 PM

i apreaciate your opinion i value it very much and il consider that i was thinking of a Stuwart screen for my home tehater ( i plan spend around 3k on speakers )

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Bob*S

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Posted July 04 2004 - 04:18 PM

Roger-

I've been auditioning speakers for some time but have been unable to find something I really liked without hitting really expensive speakers. That was until yesterday when, by chance, I listened to some Paradigm Reference Studio 20s.

I had previously listened to Paradigm MiniMonitors and Monitor 3s but never felt that I could give them the breathing room they would really need (they are rear-ported). They were good speakers but seemed to bloom a bit in the lower midrange.

The Studio 20s are front-ported and so are more forgiving in their placement. They are a very musical speaker with an uncolored midrange and a nice top end that never seemed bright to me. They also have plenty of punch and reasonable bass extension but like all small monitors really need the foundation a subwoofer provides at the bottom end. This is especially true for home theater.

There are many good speakers out there but I highly recommend giving the Paradigm Studios a listen.

Bob

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   RonaldMc

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Posted July 04 2004 - 05:02 PM

thank you very much bob but are these speakers good for dvd watching? wil they rumble the room or is that just with music?

#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Bob*S

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Posted July 04 2004 - 05:32 PM

Roger-

They will not rumble the room but few speakers will. I'd suggest that you add a subwoofer if you really want a visceral bass. There are many threads here recommending both the Hsu and SVS subs. They are factory-direct but both brands are well-regarded and a sub is really a must-have even with most floor-standing speakers. This is true with both the Paradigms and the Polks if you really want clean deep bass.

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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 04 2004 - 06:00 PM

Quote:
They are a very musical speaker with an uncolored midrange and a nice top end that never seemed bright to me.

Different people hear different things, so you need to go listen to them. I have been a Paradigm fan for years, but the Studios just didn't do it for me when upgrade time came around. I find the upper midrange quite bright and somewhat colored, and they have a similar bloom to the Monitor Series, but are far more controlled and detailed. The highs are more crisp than the Monitors, and I like this about them.

The Minis are rear ported, but the v3 M3s are front ported. You don't really need much room behind them, as little as a foot is enough.

To me, the LSIs are less forward than the Studios, but their midrange is not as clear and they should not be competing in a similar price category. The ring radiator tweeter is very nice sounding, not harsh at all, and with plenty of airy feel to it. A softer sound than the Studios. The midrange has a lot of punch, but still sounds like the RT line of speakers to me. Build quality is better than the RT line, and approaches the quality of the Studios. I am not a fan of the RT line.

Polk's subs are less than spectacular, but Paradigm has some decent offerings. I completely agree with the HSU and SVS recommendation, can't go wrong there.

Between the two, price aside, the Studios would get my nod. What is your approximate budget, these may both be beyond what you are looking to spend (likely $2K+ for a 5.1 setup)
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#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted July 04 2004 - 06:06 PM

I would take the LSI's over the Studios(unless you lived in Canada because they are a better value up there). They both need quality amplification to run them. The highs on the studios got a little shrill(Bright) and I'm more sensitive towards that.

Now if we are talking the Monitor vs RTI's, again I prefer the Rti's.

If we are talking about the upper end stuff, Polk really only has the LSI's and then Paradigm now has their Sigs which are outstanding.

However if I was going to drop 3k or so on speakers, I'd take a strong look at Monitor Audio as well on top of Paradigm and Polk LSI and I'd aslo look at the Energy Vertias line as well.

One question I have is Are the LSi's still around? I know they got discontinued at ridiculously low prices so I wasn't sure they were coming back but I don't know for certain.

I didn't have such a large budget but I did spend 3k on speakers recently including a sub(which is going on order soon). I went with Phase Technology's Velocity series(7 channels), and I'm going with an SVS Sub(the pb2+). For 3k, I find this combination hard to beat but not too many people have heard of Phase Tech.

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Bob*S

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Posted July 04 2004 - 06:24 PM

I'd second the Monitor Audio suggestion. I have been drawn to their Silver 2s but they are rear-ported.

It really all comes down to personal preference and, of course, each of us hears differently. My partner likes things brighter than me so it is always a struggle to find something we can agree on.

I had listened to the Paradigm Monitors previously and had basically dismissed them - not because they were not a good speaker but because they just didn't excite me. I happened on the Studio 20s mostly out of exasperation. I need to give them another couple of listens just to make sure but it was the first speaker that really grabbed me in a while.

Bob

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Joey_V

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Posted July 04 2004 - 06:26 PM

no no no... they werent discontinued... Frys simply had to sell the version 1 of the lsi... all the rest of the lsi, like the ones sold at tweeter, are version 2 lsi. the only difference is the cabinet.

the polk lsi are VERY much alive and KICKING a@@!!

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#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Wayde_R

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Posted July 05 2004 - 08:12 AM

I have to weigh in on the Paradigm side. I was at the shop recently auditioning speakers and had a chance to listen to some paradigm signature series. They were amazing, that centre speaker seemed to dominate anything else I heard that day. I don't even own Paradigm, but that center speaker has me thinking how lacking my own centre speaker seems.

Paradigm is a smaller company, I've heard about their engineering being from the ground up. They make all the parts used in their speakers themselves, it's near legendary status. Polk, they sell at Future Shop. I know it's a poor means by which to compare, I have a reflex reaction that believes the smaller company makes better speakers, larger company= mass produced = compromised quality and design. Perhaps that my own cross to bear. But I am willing to give any Polk a chance, it's how they sound that matters, that's all that matters. So, listen to them first, and when you audition speakers put them through a wide variety of sounds.
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#12 of 29 OFFLINE   mackie

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Posted July 05 2004 - 09:33 AM

They're both good speakers, so you have to decide which is best for you. I own Paradigm and love them. I've listened to Polks in the past, not Lsi, and they were good speakers. If you're mostly watching DVDs, check out Definitive Technology. They're Bipolar and have a powered sub in them. I would've bought them instead of Paradigm if movies were my #1 priority but my focus is more on music. A very nice warm speaker is the Vienna Acoustics Hayden, Boston Acoustics are good, Klipsch and JM Labs are good if you like bright speakers. Please listen to several different brands and decide what's best for you.

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Shiu

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Posted July 05 2004 - 12:23 PM

After listening to the Paradigm studio 60, 100, Signature S2, Mirage OM7, B&W 80X(forgot the number but its a two way speaker), KEF Q7, Energy C9, Energy Veritas 2.2i, 2.3i, RTi8,10,12, and the LSi15, I decided to go with the Veritas 2.3i. I listened to all of them with the same 2 CDs, but in different dealers.(except for the veritas & the B&W) It is impossible to do a fair comparison unless the same dealer has all these speaker. All I can say is that I like them all, with the exception of the LSi15.

I read many good reviews about the LSi speakers, the only problem is after driving over 100 km to a dealer who has both the LSi9 & LSi15, I only got to listen to them driven by a little Sony DVD receiver combo. It did not sound good at all. In fact, my RTi38 sounds much better. I do believe the LSi will sound better with separates.

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Joey_V

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Posted July 05 2004 - 04:43 PM

ah well, if the lsi were driven by an all in one receiver... it wouldnt sound good at all. keep in mind that the lsi speakers are 4ohm speakers - the load it was putting on the receiver is insane.

there would be almost no dynamic, bass would be constrained and restricted.... movement of the woofers would be severely hampered (physically). you did not get a good listen with the lsi series speakers - not by a longshot.

the problem with klipsch speakers is that they are being sold in retail stores - however, they are trying to correct it by solely selling the higher end RTi and the highest end LSi at audio-only stores like Tweeter, here in the midwest. As a result of this, Circuit city has been ordered to sell all the remaining RTi because they can no longer sell the RTi line... perhaps the same will the happen to Futureshop.

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#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted July 06 2004 - 04:24 AM

The impedance of the LSi9 drops to 2.9 ohms at around 50 Hz. That's a tough nut to crack for most AVRs. The LSi will sound and perform the best with separate amplification.

Here's the impedance curve.
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#16 of 29 OFFLINE   paul clipsel

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Posted July 06 2004 - 06:33 AM

It depends on the price range but IMO most of the higher Monitor Audio models really shine above a lot of similar priced offerings as long as you have the right amp and subwoofer. The Paradigms are also well worth a listen (Sig's are great). One thing that became very obvious in me trying to find the best speakers was that different dealer rooms can mislead you as to what sounds best. Now the hard bit is to try and find a dealer with both brands and then try to get it all set up in the same room. The results of listening in different demo rooms are extremely variable. Finally no matter what you chose a great subwoofer like my VTF-3MK2 is really needed if your into movies with their deep bass.

PC

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   greggor

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Posted July 06 2004 - 01:52 PM

I actually had the oppurtuntity to hear the Polks and the studio 40's side by side a few years ago with the same amplification, volume, and source material. I was a current Paradigm monitor owner looking to upgrade to a better sounding speaker here's what I noticed as I was switching back and fourth; The Polk LSI's sounded outstanding , and as I listened to them first I was convinced that they would be the clear winner in my comaparison with the 40's. They sounded warm and had a nice airy uncompressed sound to them. I was very impressed. When we swithced over to the 40's though I was even more blown away!!! I could here more and the sound was more open, more natural as the recording sounded like it was meant to sound. The top end was a bit revealing, but not harsh. Not perfect either, but I felt they sounded better overall and offered a more realistic transfer of the recording. Over the course of the next hour or so I switched back and fourth between speakers with different genres of music and although I thought the LSI's sounded great in some areas the end result was that the Paradigms sounded that much better to me. I ended up purchasing the 60's because they were floor standers and had slightly better bass extension and are front ported for just a few extra dollars. Sound wise there is little difference between the 40's and the 60's. I hope this helps. This is just my opinion of course so you will have to audition both speakers and form your own conclusion as to which one sounds better. Good Luck. BTW both tests were done with out the use a sub as to here the sound of the speakers with ne distractions from added componenets. With a sub the 40's/60's are phenomenal as they were intended to be used with a sub woofer. I do find myself listening to the 60's in 2 channel stereo set to large without the sub quite often and am very pleased with their bass extension.

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 06 2004 - 03:15 PM

Quote:
I ended up purchasing the 60's because they were floor standers and had slightly better bass extension and are front ported for just a few extra dollars.

Are you talking about V2s? The V3 40s are front ported.
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#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Joey_V

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Posted July 06 2004 - 04:09 PM

no question the paradigm studios have an open soundstage... but i just did not like the highs... i prefer the sound of the vifa. however, the paradigm studio and up (sigs) are great great speakers.

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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 06 2004 - 06:19 PM

I like the crispness of the Studios, but they can get harsh when listening to brighter material. I spent about 1 1/2 weeks with the Studio 40s, for hours on end, and I did not end up buying them for that reason.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
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Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 






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