5 Paradigm Atoms or..

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul cbc, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,

    I'm putting together my first HT setup and am considering using 5 Paradigm Atom speakers. I currently have 1 pair of Atoms from another system. Subwoofer will be the Hsu vtf-2.
    Am also considering NHT superones and a couple kits-Parts Express Dayton BR-1 & GR research av-1/1+. Budget is not set(uh-oh), and I'm pretty open to ideas. Not looking to spend a ton of dough though-hence the five atoms idea. Would like to incorporate the two atoms I have just sitting around in the new 5.1 setup. Anyone using 5 atoms and care to share their experiences? Other thoughts?

    Many thanks for your replies,
    paul
     
  2. Jeff-Watson

    Jeff-Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Paul,

    I recently returned five atoms to a friend who loaned them to me for a demo. I chose Polk speakers instead but the Atoms did produce a nice sound for their size. Remember your ear is the best judge, not opinions. If you like your
    atoms then go for it. Since you already have two and the Atoms are well respected here I say add a few more atoms and you are set. But buy according to your ears.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Unless you are building the enclosures, AV1/1+ are quite a bit more expensive than Atoms, though they are also a completely different level of performance as well. You will be hard pressed to find many speakers that are as good as the AV1 in it's price range.

    I have Atoms in a small system in my room, and they do perfect for casual music listening, but when it comes time for decent lows, they need a sub. For mains in a respectable HT, Atoms would not be my choice, I would look at Titans or the Focus.

    In this price range, I will have to recommend Axiom as well. M3Tis and a VP100 should work quite well, without breaking the bank.
     
  4. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    How about running Ascend 170s across the front and use the Atom as surrounds? I did this for a few days before I had time to take the Atoms down from the wall brackets and put the Ascends up. I never tried any of the music 5.1 DSP with it but I didn't have any problems in movies.
     
  5. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff, John, Chris,

    Thank you all for your replies.[​IMG]
    I guess when I start adding some of this up my horizon shrinks a bit. That said, I do plan on getting a dvd/sacd player with rudimentary bass management-sony ns755p. This is why I'm thinking about the NHT superones as they have a bit more bass response 57hz-25khz(for 2-channel purposes). Also these will be located within 12" of a back wall and I believe the NHT are sealed enclosures as opposed to rear ported.
    Any thoughts? NHT users?

    My thanks,
    paul
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'll give another vote to the Titans as mains. I purchased Titans for my side surrounds and Atoms for my back surrounds. While I was waiting for my 3SE MK3s to arrive for the front, I used my Titans as mains, and they did a surprisingly great job. The imaging and sound stage was spectacular. When paired with a good sub, they make great mains.

    Once my 3SE MK3s arrived (predecessor to the Monitor 3s), they sounded noticeably better than the Titans in direct comparison, but if I had been paying retail, the price difference would not have merited the performance increase. The biggest increase was in frequency response. I actually prefer the mids of the Titans (a bit more defined), but overall they just barely couldn't keep up with the 3SE MK3s. I was also lucky enough to find 3 matched 3SE MK3s for about 40% less than a new PAIR of Monitor 3s, so I have a completely matched front sound stage and very capable surrounds and back surrounds, all for about half what I would have payed for the current retail models.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen,

    Thanks it does help. I do like the Paradigm sound, as well as the idea of running the same three speakers across the front. What is the reason you chose this as opposed to say 1 pair of 3se's and a cc center? Also, how did you get the matched 3se's, & were they consecutive serial #'s? Could a person, with the aid of and authorized Paradigm dealer order three(matched)Titans?

    Thanks again,
    paul
     
  8. Asim

    Asim Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul...go make sure and listen to the NHTs...everyone told
    me they were great and all...i went to the dealer and to me they sounded almost like listening to AM radio. Their upper lines were nice, but the SB1s TO ME seemed wayyy overrrated. And if i remember correctly, they were being driven by decent amplification, a Rotel or NAD integrated.
    - asim
     
  9. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Asim,

    Thanks for the tip. Not sure I can demo the NHT's locally, if so I probably won't buy them. Can listen to the Titans and already have the atoms, so..

    Thanks for your help,
    paul
     
  10. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    I own 3 NHT SuperOnes and a Hsu VTF-2 and love the combination. Because the NHTs are sealed, I can place them close to the wall and not worry too much about boomy response. Plus, I love the finish of the Ones. Black gloss all away. They have a much different sound than the Paradigm Atoms, though. The Atoms will sound like they have more bass because they have a slight bass boost at 100 Hz. In comparison, NHT speakers sound really thin. But that's the "analytical" sound you pay for. Harder to convince people that accurate (flat frequency response) speakers sound better than not-so-flat speakers. Nobody cares so much that a speaker can do 20 kHz. With subs, it's easier to do, because flat frequency response means it can do 20 Hz because that sensation is much more elusive and impressive. If you plan on getting a subwoofer, the differences between speakers (especially in their bass response) becomes nill. In that case, get the sub first, then compare different bookshelf speakers. Choose the one that sounds best to you based on midrange and treble performance.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I did not like the SB1 at all, but the SB2 and SB3 were MUCH more impressive, though not at the MSRP price.

    I completely agree with Phuong's assesment of the SuperOnes compared to the Atoms. The NHTs tend not to impress as much, because they lack usable bass, but that is made up for in accuracy/clarity, IMO. This is almost unilateral as well - accuracy at the expense of bass or less clarity for more bass. The NHTs tend to be on the bright side, but I find them to be very satisfying for music. Tight and controlled, but lacking bottom. Don't overlook these speakers.

    I feel the Titans and the Atoms are a bit sloppy in the midrange, but as surrounds, they do just fine. I only bought the Atoms because they were offered to me for 40% off. I don't turn it up, so they more than fit the bill.
     
  12. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I chose 3 matched 3SE MK3s because they were available together to me at the time. Paradigm's non-studio speakers are not sold individually and if I hadn't stumbled across this deal I probably would have ended up w/ Titans and a CC-170 or the older Phantom bookshelves and a CC-270.

    The only way to get a matched Titan front stage would be to buy 3 pairs and either use the extra as a back surround, or not use it all together. Also, if you plan on using the Titan as a center on a tube TV, make sure you order the video-shielded Titans for at least one pair.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  13. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Phuong,John,Stepehn,

    Thanks for your replies. Interesting stuff. I already have an Hsu vtf-2 which I use in my 2 channel set up, and plan to move to my HT. As mentioned before I plan to locate these close to a back wall, so sealed enclosures do appeal to me. I also plan on doing some sacd listening-dvd/sacd player. With all the talk I am piqued to audition the NHT's. One thought is to buy a pair of the NHT's and compare them to the Atoms. Then move whichever pair I prefer to the front and add one more.
    Thanks again, and any more thoughts would be great.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    paul
     
  14. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, goes to show when you look around...

    Went downtown today to the local Hifi shop and they had both paradigm and NHT. A/B'd atoms and titans. Derinitely more bass in the titans but preferred the atoms midrange. In another romm A/B'd NHT superzeros and a small pair of B&W surrounds(don't know the #). The B&W's were much brighter-more detail on cymbals, etc. I actually preferred and like the superzeros. Seemed very flat.

    So now I am thinking about running the atoms up front with either a third atom as center or a paradigm cc. Superzeros in the rear. One consideration for this is I believe the superzeros are mountable(sp?) with wall brackets-it's a smaller space, and they are sealed enclosures. Sub will be HSU vtf-2.
    Any thought on this setup?

    Thanks, and sorry for the ramblings,[​IMG]
    paul
     

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