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Better than speakers costing 2x as much (a review)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Bergeron, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

    Oct 9, 2001
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    Ok I figured the title might catch some attention :).

    I have a pair of Paradigm Atom's and a pair of B&W 303's.

    The 303's are more than double the price of the atoms and they about double the size. I had some time to play around yesterday and here are my conclusions upon comparison.

    I used some songs with a lot of mid-range and deep bass and some good vocals as well to test, I used the exact same speaker placement (which could skew results but I wasn't about to move my stands and ruin my main config).

    Both of these speakers are rear ported but I did notice that plugging the rear port with my hand on the 303's did little to the sound where as on the Atoms it really muffled the highs.

    So are the paradigms as good as speakers 2x's the price??? Well maybe if you like more bass, maybe not if you want more class and mid-range.

    I found that the paradigms had TONS more bass. Clean deep bass which REALLY surprised me! I kept checking my sub (CHT-15) but nope I had switched it off. For the size of speaker it is amazing, but with this much bass output you must take a hit someplace on such a small speaker. And it is defintely the mid and some highs.

    Replaying the same song over and over, I noticed the B&Ws where MUCH better in the mid-range and actually played more information than the Paradigms. The 303's where more melow and less harsh on the upper end. The depth was better but imaging was fairly equal.

    Adding my sub back into the mix really made the B&Ws sound thunderous and gave them pressence. Adding the sub back in for the paradigms well kind of mudded up the sound. I'm not sure if it was bass cancelation or what but something just didn't sound right. It may have been the lack of mid-range it really seemed "too" bassy with the sub added in.

    Now I must admit I didn't play with placement or phase I simply "stuck" the speakers there and listened.

    I could live with the paradigms for casual listening they are a VERY good speaker. Most people would be perfectly happy with them but if you are more into critical listening the B&W's will bring out more of the music and are a joy to listen to.

    For HT I'm not sure which would win, as one would probably have a hard time to distinguish between speakers in a HT application.

    So the paradigms COULD be better than speakers costing 2x's the price, but that depends on the type of sound you enjoy!
  2. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 20, 2002
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    I think we get a discount because we live in Canada though.

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