Cambridge Soundworks vs Paradigm vs NHT Surround speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gil D, Aug 6, 2001.

  1. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have Sonus faber upfront and B&W 600 series towers in the rear and right now it sounds great. I need back surrounds to run 6.1 with my Denon 3801 receiver. I would also eventually like to move the B&W towers elsewhere and pick up another pair (or similar) for the side surrounds – hopefully 5 channel stereo will not suffer as it sounds awesome right now.
    I can get the Surround 5.1 for $199/pr or the Newton Series™ S300 MultiPole® Surround Speaker for $299 (with the $150 off deal). Are the Cambridge really any good? They haven’t been my first choice in speakers as I like a lot of detail out of a speaker and the 4” woofers aren’t much of a woofer.
    I can also get 25% off Canadian list price for Paradigm models if I act quickly since an HT buddy is in Canada today. What do you guys recommend. I can’t seem to access the Paradigm site today for models,specs and prices. I do like the Reference Studio line but they were big bucks for the bipoles(dipole?) as I recall.
    Other options are the NHT SuperOne Xu or their surround speaker (model #?), or even the Blueroom Minipod but they are rated at a low 4ohms and the price has climbed at ecost.com
    What do you guys think will do justice and match my Sonus relatively welI. I don’t really want to spend more than $300/pair.
    Thanks
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Short Answer: Paradigm
    The Cambridge units have...well no reputation. I've not heard much praise (but also no complaints).
    The NHT speakers have a very good reputation. Very accurate and audiophile quality. That 4 ohm thing is common to better speakers, but it does make them a bit power-hungry. But the Super series is being discontinued (strange that the price is going up). So if you went with NHT, you should buy all of them you need now. Dont plan on being able to replace those B&W's with matching NHT's later.
    The Paradigm's...well people just love them. I sent a friend to audition a set and gave him a list of other brands as well. He walked out of the Paradigm dealers with a $2700 set of speakers. Very well reguarded. And you are likely to be able to buy more of the same models later.
     
  3. TalalS

    TalalS Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hi Gil
    i have four paradigm ADP-450's- surr ex setup
    i'll try to sum up my experince with them:
    1. exelent power handling, will take what ever your amp well give without strain
    2. wide frequincy range unlike dedcated surrounds they will not be shy reproducing a full range signal
    3. exelent bass
    4. very low sinsetivity almost 6 db lower than my fronts but my onkyo 989 seems to have no trouble in driving them to THX ref level
    5. if you like defuse sound- i do you'll like these speakers
    6. they need spsace to breath
    and at 25% off thier list- around $650 a killer value for the money IMHO
    thanks
    Talal
     
  4. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Talal,
    I auditioned the ADP 450 sometime ago and it was an excellent hybrid surround. I guess I'm not sure if I like diffuse surrounds over the directivity of monopoles. I would think that I might prefer diffuse surrounds for movies and direct radiators for music (important since I just added multichannel SACD capability).
    For about $600 I can get a pair of new Concertinos that would match my fronts, but then not sure what to use for the surround back(s). Does it make sense to use a center type of speaker for the surround back? I can get a used Piccolo for about $250.
    Does the rear surround back make that much of a difference?
    gil
     
  5. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 1999
    Messages:
    1,049
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My boss has the Cambridge Surround 5.1's... and trust me, you don't want them. They sound very thin, and the frequency response is horrible. To me, it was almost like they were putting a Pro-Logic speaker in a Dolby Digital application, and the result is very VERY disappointing. They do a pretty decent job of sounding diffuse in dipole mode, but it's a diffuse sound like it has been echoed into a metal garbage can and then compressed.
    In short: Go Paradigm. You'll be happier.
     
  6. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas
    Real Name:
    Thomas
    I have a CSW Ensemble IV system that i got for free for winning hifi.com's monthly giveaway. i use the 5 cubes with my SVS 25-31PC. the price (free) is the only reason i use them, since i cant really afford good speakers on a college budget.
    i say go for paradigm. the CSW's aren't bad, but they just aren't good. they are Bose-esque in that they're cubes and dont have woofers, but they do sound better than Bose speakers. i find the sound to be good enough to enjoy music and movies, but not what i'd want to have in my home. i've heard too much about the Paradigm line of speakers to advise you to take CSW over them.
    ------------------
    -Thomas
    Click here to visit my webpage.
     
  7. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 29, 1999
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've ran a pair of CSW The Surround 5.1 in my main system for a couple of years. I wanted rear speakers that I could switch between dipole and bipole. (I had earlier used a pair of Polk LS f/x switchable bi/dipoles and was disappointed that they weren't any different when you switched them bewteen modes.)
    I have been very pleased with the CSW rears. They have 3 drivers in them. The 4" baby woofer in front and two 2" high frequency drivers on the sides. They are not going to give you bass much lower than 100 Hz and the highs will not match units that have 1/2" or 1" dome tweeters. But, IMO, they get the important midrange right. And when you switch between dipole and bipole, they really do change their radiation pattern. Bipole is much, much more direct sounding and dipole mode gives the vague, hard to localize sound that it should.
    A few years ago, Home Theater Magazine gave The Surround 5.1 a rave review for speakers anywhere near it's price range (which at that time was around $400/pair or so.) Since I was unhappy with the Polks I had, I thought why not try the CSWs. I have not been tempted to upgrade or switch. Just great little speakers for the $$$.
    ------------------
     

Share This Page