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Class/Jazz Music mostly: B&W603 vs Par Ref60 & Outlaw vs Marantz 6200

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BobPeck, Oct 7, 2001.

  1. BobPeck

    BobPeck Agent

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    I needed to get some advice on speakers and receivers. I want to trust my ear, and take my own advice. However, I've been auditioning speakers, but they haven't been ideal conditions (at different stores for B&W and Paradigm) in the middle of a showroom, played really loudly, with a really hi-end amp/pre-amp I can't afford, etc.)
    I listen to mostly Classical and Jazz music. So, especially for jazz music, Staging/Imagery are very important to me. I am looking for a "warm" sound. I don't mean muddy or not dynamic, but warm.
    While I'm mainly into music, I'm starting to get into HT (Tosh 50H81 should arrive Friday!) [​IMG]
    First things first, Speakers:
    I have been looking at B&W 603S2's and Paradigm Reference Studio/60's. Both sounded really good (but, as I stated, conditions were not side-by-side, apples-to apples) B&W's are slightly cheaper(~$200), but I'm worried that I have to turn the volume up for them to sound good (re:audioreview.com reviews.) Since I live in a Condo, this is important. The Paradigms are nice, but all around (especially centers) would cost a little more. And I've been told Paradigm's been upping their prices unecessarily, since they can (well, then again, that was the B&W salesman. . . .) Are the CM 4's any improvement?
    Second, I need a new Receiver (Curtis Mathes(Pioneer, really) won't cut it, I don't think):
    Either the Outlaw 1050 or the Marantz 6200. I've heard rave reviews about the Outlaw. But what about my specific aplication of Class/Jazz first, HT second?
    Thanks for any advice,
    Bob
    Oh, this is bad. . . . 16:9 RPTV today, Speakers and AVR tomorrow, I can already see the order for the next fifteen things!
     
  2. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    i have recently heard the Paradigms and B&W's. i'd say for classical and jazz, stick to B&W. the jazz i heard through them was so clear and so precise, i could close my eyes and envision myself sitting amongst the musicians. total bliss! the Paradigms are great, but for classical and jazz, B&W is the way to go.
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    -Thomas
    My HT
     
  3. Trent Tunstell

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  4. Mike Main

    Mike Main Stunt Coordinator

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    Its funny I just listened to both those speakers on Sat. I found the paradigm midrange much brighter. You heard the difference. It really stood out at u. If ur comfortable with this and u believe the BW's volume to be cranked up b/c of the apt--then choose the paradigm-- The BW were nice- they were $1100 a pair i cant remember the paradigm. The music I sampled was the a disc from the JVC jazz fest-- so no sampled or doctored music just striaght lyrics and acoustic guitar. I also heard the 604 S2 which were $1500 or $1600 for the pair. The difference from my ears wasnt too much.
    Just my 2 cents
    Mike
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  5. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    well, i'm going to recommend the paradigms. the b&w's sound excellent for chamber music, or few instrument pieces - but i found them lacking in orchestral music, soundstage mostly.
     
  6. Frank_K

    Frank_K Auditioning

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    For the warm sound, I highly recommend the Marantz receiver.
    I have the SR7000 (newer model is SR7200) and I love the sound - it is super clean, and naturally warm.
    As far as speakers, that's very personal, but in terms of your listening preferences I think you're on the right track. I personally did not care for any of the B&W's - I found them to be unnatural in the midrange - lots of coloration.
    The Paradigm Ref 60's were on the top of my list, until I auditioned them side by side with the PSB Stratus Bronze.
    These 2 speakers are almost identical in size, and close in price (the PSB's might have been slightly cheaper), but after listening for some time with a variety of CDs, I chose the PSBs and never looked back.
    The PSBs to me were the most natural sounding of all the speakers I heard. The Para Ref 60 in comparison were a little too bright in the high end (for me) and had a slight honkiness in the midrange, which I wouldn't have noticed unless auditioned side by side with a speaker that didn't possess these characteristics (the PSB Bronze).
    I've had these speakers for a little over a year now, it took them a couple of months to open up fully, and I am totally satisfied. They sound like speakers costing much more.
    Cheers, Frank
     
  7. Frank_K

    Frank_K Auditioning

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    Just to add to my previous post:
    The Marantz 7000 (100 watts per channel) drives the PSBs with plenty of power to spare.
    The BEST speakers I have heard are the PSB Stratus Gold, their top of the line - these were much more expensive than the Bronze's and would have required larger dedicated power amps to drive them properly.
    Frank
     

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