B&W Nauitlus 804 vs. Paradigm Studio Refernce 100's v2

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Elvick, May 19, 2002.

  1. James Elvick

    James Elvick Supporting Actor

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    Hello,

    Anybody audition or preferably listen to these two speakers in there home? The price difference aside, what did you feel were the important differnces in stereo lisening? Home theater?

    Thanks

    James Elvick
     
  2. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    Since so many people have viewed this and not answered I will tell ya what I have heard. I prefer the Paradigms over the N804's but your choice in electronics will seriously be a deciding factor in which YOU want. If you want to consider the Paradigms, make sure you drive them with plenty of power (300+watts) to make them shine. The N804's aren't as needy.

    I know you only mentioned these 2 speakers but I looked at the N804 and other's in this price range like the Aerial Acoustics 7B's and Revel F30's. My favorite speaker under $5K is the Revel F30's (yes I increased the price by alot) now another consideration would be look for a used paid of N803's...they can be had for the price of new N804's. To MY ears the N804's just don't warrant their price but this is MY opinion.

    Best of Luck

    Mike
     
  3. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    I prefer the 804s for the clearity, accuracy and soundstage, truely an amazing speaker. They do require a lot of good/clean power (>150wpc). Have fun.

    actually, don't the 100s compare more with the CDM7NT (at least when I was looking at speakers and ended up with the CDMs they did, goes to show you that I liked even the CDM7 over the 100s, so the 804s imho are in another league).
     
  4. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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  5. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    i don't think the paradigm 100s are in the same league as the BW 804s. My friend has the 804s and I have the studio 60s. The highs on the BW are a little too bright to me (probably because of his cineopro 2k) and my friend is going to get a tube amp for the highs. When I get an external amp I'll do a better comparison, but in the mid and mid bass area on the B&W wins hands down. My 60s are boomy to me right now. Hopefully the x-30 crossover would help it out.
     
  6. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    James,

    Have you ever listened to these speakers?

    If not, it's a must. They are completely different speakers in completely different budgets.

    Jeremy
     
  7. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    Not meaning to offend anyone, but the B&Ws are what you might graduate into after paying your dues with the Paradigms.
     
  8. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I own the Nautilus 804s and, of course, think they're wonderful.

    My wife and I listened to the Paradigm Reference 100s in a dealer's listening room for about an hour when we were shopping for new speakers. Although we both liked the sound of the Paradigms (great rock n' roll speakers), they didn't have the WOW factor (the speakers were hooked up to an all-Marantz system). That is, the sound coming from them didn't make our mouths drop open. The 804s, for us, definitely have the WOW factor.

    Of course, every person's listening experience is unique, and our experience could be quite different from others'. This is not a slam on Paradigm. In fact, I'm considering Paradigm bookshelf speakers for a bedroom system.
     
  9. James Elvick

    James Elvick Supporting Actor

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    I have the Paradigm 100's now powered by a Parasound HCA2200 mkII. The B&W speakers intrigue me and based on memory only were a great 2 channel speaker. I keep hearing that people think the 804's are bright, but many people feel that way about the Paradigm Studio speakers also. I will try this afternoon to listen to the 804's again. The reason I'm considering the 804 is strictly for better 2 channel performance, I'm happy with them otherwise.

    James
     
  10. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    KevinT,

    You are correct but I saying I have heard speakers in the $5K range and I still prefer the $3500.00 F30's. They are simply amazing speakers and IMO (And SGHT reviewer's opinion) compete with speakers priced considerably higher!

    My taste is for the Revel's over the B&W's (not by much...the N802's are amazing!!).

    Mike
     
  11. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    Since I have a pair of F-30s powered by a Rotel 1090 amp. I have to agree with Mike. It would be interesting to side by side by side the three speakers for comparison. To be honest I've never heard any of the Paradigm line of speakers. But I've read many people on the Forum who love them. I like B&W speakers and have heard them many times. But, their midrange just didn't sit as well with me compared to Revel or the Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers. If your looking at a $3500 price range I'd check those two out before I bought either the B&W or Paradigm.
    But, to each ears its own! [​IMG]
     
  12. Dave Camp

    Dave Camp Auditioning

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    If you just comparing the 804's and the 100 v.2's, my wife and I listened to both last week. It was at HiFi Sales in Cherry Hill, NJ. We listened to some classical music on a turntable with Carver equip. (didn't get info). 1st the 804- midrange was very good, especially liked the horn sounds, felt like I was right in there! Then a simple connection to the 100 v.2 Immediately more lower bass and almost similar sound. By almost, I mean, IMO, the 100 v.2 did not raise the little hairs on the back of my neck, but its bass was better. Their msrp for the 804 was $3500 and $2600 for the 100 v.2 So, listen to both side by side. Oh, almost forgot, my wife said she did not hear ANY difference! If that's the case, she would purchase the least expensive one. Just my .02. Hope this helps.
     
  13. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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  14. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, so you're comparing a $2600 Paradigm Studio 100v2 with a $3500 B&W Nautilus 804... I understand you mentioned "price difference aside" but I suggest we make a more realistic comparison, that is, to the $2600 B&W CDM 9NT.

    Even in this case, I'm all for the B&W. Its midrange is just fantastic that no Paradigm can match it. Treble details are almost in the same amount, but the B&W "paints" these details more smoothly. Well, the B&W loses on the bass depth department, which is really a known Paradigm strength.

    Now the question is, given this option from B&W that is price-matched to the Paradigm, would you not get the speaker that is arguably more refined-sounding and looks much better at the same time? But it depends which one you think is that.
     
  15. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    I believe the Paradigm Reference Studio 100s compare more with the B&W CDM-NT series than their Nautilus series. Other speaker that compares with it are the PSB Stratus Silveri and the Stratus Goldi, which I prefer. The Nautilus are in a difference price range and league altogether. If you want to spend as much money as to get a N804, I strongly suggest you audition the Dynaudio Contour series speakers, they're the most remarkable speakers I've heard below $5K
     
  16. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    James,

    In all of my latest speaker testing (demoing), I had a chance to listen to the cdm9nt through Rotel's big receiver and their 804's through Rotel's 1066/1095 pre-pro/amp. That was in one store. The other store in town had 'digm 100v2 through Denon's 5800 (I think that's the model # of their flagship.) Anyways, my opinion is pretty cut and dried. For an HT use, the Paradigms are it. For Music (jazz/classical), I give the nod to the B&W. FWIW, the 804's beat the cdm9nt, but for 1k, I may think real hard about the cdm's.

    The hitch to my listening tests comes in when I was at store "A" waiting to hear the B&W's. The salesman put in Gladiator and just let me listen to the 1066 (I was sort of checking that new unit out.) The more I listened, the more amazed I was at what I was listening to. The speakers were incredible in their soundstage and imaging. When the salesman turned on the 804's, the presence of the sound seemed to shrink, as if being sucked back into the speaker. The fullness wasn't there. Articulation was right, mids good, bass just a hair less deep. Just not as "full". Catch was, I didn't recognize the speakers I was listening to. Then I found out. It was the Revel Performa F30's. Enough said. Digm's and B&W are awesome. Paradgim would be my preference for HT; B&W fo music/2ch. Best of both with a little extra=go Revel.

    Didn't mean to go into a long tirade about this one over another. The $1k difference in price between Paradigm and the B&Ws' is substantial. Normally, there will be a noticeable difference per $1k spent. Make sure you compare the best any manufacturer has-in that $$ category-against another maunfacturer in that $$ range. And as anyone here will tell you: specs are helpful to narrow the list down, but your ears must make the final decision.

    Best of luck,

    MM
     
  17. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    the B&Ws are a little weak in the bass (although I did just hear a pair of 804s with a 500wpc amp, and it was awesome, so maybe it has to do more with the amp?). I have heard the Revels a great speaker and If I weren't such a B&W fan, I would get them eventually, but I really really like the soundstage and openness of the B&Ws and the mids and highs are awesome, teh revels are also a very very good speaker with slightly differnt strengths and characteristics than the B&Ws, but the sound is fairly similar (usually a B&W fan will also like the sound of revels and vise versa). My uncle has the Salon/studio set up and it is awesome, but for some reason I still like the 802s more. I agree, if I were to spend $3500 on a pair of speaks, I would make sure that I listened and compared the Revels and 804s, it is a big investment and I would make sure they were set up the EXACT same in the SAME room, etc...

    btw, I am not sure how the revels got into the situation, i guess since the 804s are the same price? perhaps another one to though out there that have similar characteristics to B&W and revel is the new tower by Theil (part #?) it is getting great reviews and IIRC is under $3000.
     
  18. Peter Johnson

    Peter Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    IMO, the Nautilus 804 is a "high end" speaker.

    IMO the 100 is VERY good "midfi" speaker.

    Both are very good for the money (although I have other preferences at their repsective budgets), but the 804 is more expensive...and hence, in this case, a better speaker.

    FWIW, I own neither, and will never own either.
     
  19. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    I wouldn't even compare the two. The N804s are just many leagues beyond the Paradigms (in performance & price [​IMG]). But, that's just IMO.
     
  20. Mike_T_

    Mike_T_ Stunt Coordinator

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    I got my Studio 100's v2 for $1700, for that price no one can call them high end. No manufacturer would ever sell a high end set of speakers that cheap. I think they compare favorably to more expensive speaker IF driven with good components and enough power. I can't stress enough how much better they sound with a 200W+ amp. If you hear them in an audio store being driven by a receiver's amp, even a good receiver, you're still not hearing what they're capable of.
     

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