Boston Acoustics VS Paradigm

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Anton Check, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. Anton Check

    Anton Check Auditioning

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    I've never joined any chat or forum before but my research on speakers has led me to this site. I've read the communications regarding "speakers" but I am still undecided. I need opinions from people who have used both of these brands. Here is my issue.

    I am upgrading my old HK and Celestion stereo system with a basic 5.1 surround system. I plan to purchase the Denon 2803 but I am in a dead heat between Boston Acoustics and Paradigm speakers. I've decided on certain models from both brands based on price and size so please try to comment only on these specific models. This is important because I know that performance between models can vary.

    Boston:
    CR75 fronts, CRC center, micro 110x rears, PV700 sub

    versus

    Paradigm:
    Mini monitor fronts, CC170 center, mini rears, 12" sub

    I cannot decide which to go with. I know....go listen. I have several times. The Bostons sounded richer and warmer. The Paradigms sounded a bit noisier but the listening conditions were not apples to apples. The Bostons were in a much larger sound room and played off of a Denon 3803. I heard the Paradigms in a soundroom half the size played on a Denon 1803. I would just go with what I feel sounded better but I see so much discussion on the Paradimgs among people who are probably more discerning than I. The Paradigms seem to be very popular among the members of this forum. I have hardly seen Bostons discussed. Maybe the listening conditions favored the Bostons. ONE MORE POINT. Musical listening is more important to me than home theater. Opinions please.

    Thanks,
    Anton
     
  2. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Well, I'll chime in and give a vote for Boston. You are right, they are not spoken of a lot around here but DO NOT let that factor in your decision. Boston is a great, reputable brand that has been around for a LONG time. Paradigm is also a fantastic speaker company so I do not envy your choice.
    Boston Cr series has a silk dome tweeter. This tweeter is known to be very smooth an does not add a lot of "color" to the sound. It will not give you those real high high's but will offer a sound that is neutral yet layed back just a bit. (When you hear someone say a speaker plays neutral or is natural it usualyy applies to speakers that sound "lively". A lot of people think the oposite however if you think about it, when hearing a live sound it is never warm but usualy punchy and more up front.) The micro 110 rears will not match the cr line as I think they have an aluminum dome tweeter. One that is in the Vr line (the next step up). They are good surrounds and will offer a lot of good detailed sound. The Pv 700 sub is very good as well. It will go down as far as you will really need a sub in this price range to go and stays clean. You might want to look at some on-line brands though as they will offer a lot more bang for the buck. This goes for Paradigm as well.

    I like the Mini Monitors a lot but I found them to be a bit thin sounding and punchy for mains. They make excellent surrounds however. The cc170 is not the matching center for the Minis. The cc370 is. That is a great center for the money and matches the "lower" monitor line very well. If it were me I would move up the mains to monitor 5's and move the surrounds down to Atoms. It will be much more money though especially with the addition of the 370. Paradigm is an excellent speaker company and does offer a lot of speaker for the money. They also make a TON of speakers so upgrading always has a lot of options.

    With all of that said you really have to go by your ears. You will not be let down by either choice and either company. They are both top-notch and have great customer service. They are both known as great "bang for you buck" speaker companies. Denon 2803 is a great choice by the way for the receiver with either speaker. I am a Yamaha fan but Denon has always been my second choice.
     
  3. douglas-b

    douglas-b Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the Denon 1804 with a pair of Paradigm "phantoms" up front. A "CC-170" for my center and a "CC-70" for my rear surround, with two "Atoms" rounding out the rear.(PDR-12 for my sub.) I am still being amazed how good it all sounds together. I couldn't be happier.
     
  4. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Anton,

    I can't add much to Evan's post other than to say that even though Paradigm is the current favorite (for good reason -- they're great speakers) on a lot of the boards, BA also makes great products. Personally, the Bostons beat out the Paradigms for a spot in my theater. Having said that, though, I was comparing respective top of the line models, so I can't comment on the specific models you're looking at. Again, you've got to listen for yourself and go with what sounds the most pleasing to you, or most closely matches your goals (personally, I try for the most "accurate" sound).

    -Robb
     
  5. Leigh_M

    Leigh_M Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife is a music teacher and uses Paradigm in her music room. We have the Boston CRs in two systems at home. I asked her what her preference was, and without hesitation she said Boston Acoustics. BA don't get a lot of press on these forums, but they are great speakers!
     
  6. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    It doesn't matter which ones you get. They are both good. Trust ONLY your ears. It's true, Bostons do not get nearly the applause that they should on this forum.
     
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I also own Boston Acoustics. I agree with the richer/warmer opinion. And I would add to that they have a slightly "happy" high end but not in a grainy or irritating sense.

    Paradigms for me sound too analytical and dry. And some of their metal dome tweeters in their cheaper lines are too harsh sounding IMO.

    I think Boston doesn't get much love here because they have sort of a casual outlook on audio--by that I don't mean low quality or a minimal R&D budget, but that:

    * they don't use ostentatious rooms as a setting in their photos to advertise their products;

    * they make "regular" & competition-level car audio components (those noisy Civic-slammin' rock-n-roll punks!!);

    * they build sophisticated but still easy-to-use integrated home theater systems (an HTiB in name only) that don't require a B.S. in computer technology to operate (lots of tweaker features do not automatically equate to a high quality product);

    * they make computer speakers too but while IMHO they don't look too attractive, the systems I've listened to sounded very good for such tiny items;

    * in their ad copy they seem to want you to have fun (oh my! [​IMG] ) with their products--I can easily picture their engineers wearing Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops in their offices--compared to many other manufacturers that seem to advocate a solemn listening session where a cool & calculating attitude must be activated to fully absorb their product's glorious & near-religious sonic attributes [​IMG] ........and oh yea, try to listen to the music too if you have time.

    And Anton, because of the anonymity provided by the Internet, take all those posts for certain speakers with a big grain of salt, because you really don't know who is writing them and why.

    LJ
     
  8. Jim Rakowiecki

    Jim Rakowiecki Stunt Coordinator

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    It's good to see I'm not alone. I would go with the Bostons as well.
    It's good to see the Boston fans coming out of the closet on this one. I thought I was alone. I have owned Bostons in one form or another for over 15 years and have never been dissapointed but don't listen to me listen to the speakers and make you choice
     
  9. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    Ive had the Boston mini setup for 5 years and it has performed GREAT for its size. Im now moving up to floorstanding speakers, and am looking at the Paradigm monitor 9.
     
  10. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    "Its good to see the Boston fans coming out of the closet on this one." LOLOL......I was thinking that too. I was expecting me to be the first one to recommend Boston so I tried to slip in first before the 'Digm people [​IMG] .

    LJ, you bring up some excellent points as to why Boston may not be spoken of much around here. Especially the point of them making car speakers and computer speakers. I never really thought of that but other than Klipsch comuter speakers no other "well known" company delves into computer or car audio it seems. There may be other speakers out there that I don't know of but I can really care less how my computer sounds and weather my windows almost break in my car [​IMG].
    Maybe this thread will get noticed by people who were not originaly thinking about Boston and will convince them to at least listen to them. I think people would be pleasently suprised at what they hear.
     
  11. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    After seeing dozens of equipment lists on this forum, I was beginning to think I was the only one around here with Boston speakers.

    I've had my VR940s for about 5 years, and within the last year, I finally finished my 5.1 setup with a VR910 center, VR65 bookshelves for surrounds and a PV700 sub. I don't know why I waited so long to get a sub (it was the last part I bought), but everything sounds great now.

    I think Bostons are great speakers. I was quite happy for years with my stereo setup, and now the 5.1 surround experience is really paying off for me.
     
  12. Joe Mihok

    Joe Mihok Second Unit

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    I can't really contribute because I've never heard a pair of BA speakers. I can tell you though, that you should consider the Monitor 5 or 7 while auditioning. As well, the CC370 is a perfect match for any Monitor speaker. You won't be happy going for the CC170. Trust me on this one. I purchased a CC270 along with my Monitor 7's and after 2 weeks had to return the CC for a 370. Now it's a perfect sounding match. The mini's are indeed a bit thin and punchy as mentioned above. The M5 is a huge upgrade and I would suggest you listen to an M5 or M7 before making any purchase. Even though you might not be able to afford it, it might be wise to save your money for a little while and then upgrade ....

    Once again, I wish I could comment on the BA's but I simply can't. I've heard nothing but good things about BA's though ... in other forums and from friends.
     
  13. Anton Check

    Anton Check Auditioning

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    WOW! What a thrill to read all of your responses. I thank you all very much for answering my long question. I'm glad to see the support for Bostons. Since we are on the topic here are my final issues before making a decision.

    1. I've read on someone elses question that Paradigms are not shielded. Is this really important. I plan to put the mini monitors on book shelves right next to the TV. I have a Sony Wega flat screen.

    2. Are the Bostons made in the USA. I know the Paradigms are made in Canada.

    3. The Paradigms are on sale -20% until Saturday. The Bostons are not on sale and Tweeter will not budge on price. They say they do not offer package discounts on such a small purchase. I was kind of offended. I know these guys probably put together 10,000 HT systems but take the big with the small right? Every level of gear should have a negotiating margin unless we are talking about buying an AIWA boom box from Walmart. Is this normal? Should Tweeter be able to work on price?

    Thanks again for all of your great input. It has been fun.

    Regards,
    Anton
     
  14. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Another vote for BA here....I had the Boston CR8, the predecessor of the CR75, and these are unbelievably good. Boston Acoustics rarely get its dues, I think, because they never advertise in the so-called "high end" audiophile magazines. But as you can tell, owners of BA speakers are always more than satisfied with the performance of their speakers.

    I believe the CR series are now made in Malaysia. However, don't let the country of origin influence your choice....great sounding gear comes from many different countries. My current system include components from the likes of Cambridge Audio (UK), NHT (US), and Sony (Japan), but none of them are from their original place of design. Working toward my all Chinese-made system.
     
  15. Leigh_M

    Leigh_M Stunt Coordinator

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    My local Tweeter has a closeout on the CR95 (floor standing, may not be what you want) for $316. I also just picked up an open box PV600 for $233. If you hunt the closeouts, you can find some good prices.
     
  16. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    That's $316/pair for the CR95, Leigh?

    Great deal [​IMG]
     
  17. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Tweeter will budge a bit on their prices. If they do not they have a 90 day (or close to it) price guarantee. I am not sure if they are made in America or not, I know there headquarters are in Mass. and they have a huge factory there so I am sure a lot of there lines are made there. Speakers that are not magneticaly shielded can reak havok on a tv so be careful. I would keep anything not shielded at least 2 feet away from the tv. Others will say this is overkill but just because you can't see if it is interfering with the tv does not mean that it is not interfering. Best of luck to you.
     
  18. craig_curtis

    craig_curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    can you just buy each set and try it in your home for a better audition? that would be the only REAL way to make a perfect comparison.

    i have the denon 1803 and 'digm titans with a cc170 center. a bit lower end than what you are looking at, but sound great nonetheless. I do have to say that i didn't audition the BA because I'm not really sure where I can listen to them around my location...
     
  19. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    Evan M.:



    You don't care how your computer sounds because you haven't realized that computers are the next step in the technology revolution (either that or you haven't played Call of Duty and tried to figure out if the opponents are behind or in front of you, with surround sound, you can figure it out). They WILL replace TV's and home theater systems at some point. If your computer doesn't process DPLIIx yet, you will download a file and upgrade it.

    The reason that you don't see most speaker manufacturers designing computer speakers and components is because there is less profit margin in the computer industry. Mass audio manufacturers (Paradigm, Boston Acoustics, Klipsch, JBL, etc.) all have a HUGE markup on their pieces. That is why when you get into super high end audio, you pay more and more for less and less improvement, eg, there is more of a difference between $500 and $1000 speakers than there is between $1000 and $2000 speakers. Computer technology is a cutthroat business. Mass audio is easy. You could start designing speakers that cost you $200 to make and then turn around and sell them for $600 or more. Computer manufacturers have a much lower profit margin. That is one of the reasons why the Klipsch Promedia speakers are like $400, while competitive products that are made by typical computer manufacturers are much less money. You get MUCH more for your money when buying items from computer manufacturers. I'm going to go buy a 5.1 Logitech surround speaker setup for $60!!! Creative Labs is coming out with a Digital Audio Processor for just over $100.
     
  20. Anton Check

    Anton Check Auditioning

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    Thank you all again for your replies. I'm going with the Bostons. Now, if anyone is still reading this thread here is one last curiosity.

    I've decided on the Denon 2803 but what about Onkyo and Harmon/Kardon. I am partial to the HK because I own an old one it sounds awesone, but I have read some negative press on HK on Epinions. Anyone want to weigh in on this?
     

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