help me decide..Paradigm/JBL/KEF/Boston

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by IssaraS, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. IssaraS

    IssaraS Extra

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    I'm trying to shop for front speakers and I'm not sure what to get. I can't listen to them side-by-side so it makes the decision that much harder..
    Here are the front-runners:
    - Paradigm Monitor 11
    - JBL S310 or S312 version II
    - KEF Q5
    - Boston Acoustics VR950
    What do you people think about any of these speakers? I don't think I'll necessarily go wrong by choosing any of these, but I just wanna get the best I can for the money.
    Thanks!
    Izzy
     
  2. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    I have the JBL 312's and I'm quite happy with them. I DID get them with an employee discount though, so that may be part of the reason I'm so happy with them.

    Soundwise, they sound great midway and up, but their bass seems a tad muddy.

    I'm new into this whole home theater thing, though, so take my post with a grain or two of salt.
     
  3. IssaraS

    IssaraS Extra

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    I can get a good discount on JBL as well. That's what keeps them in this comparison. [​IMG]
    But I don't know too much about KEF or Paradigm, so I wanna hear what other people have to say.
     
  4. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Issara:
    Quote the prices on the JBLs compared to the other speakers.... I think that will help you get a better comparison from other HTFers. [​IMG]
     
  5. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    Issara,
    I have the S26II's from JBL. While they're not NEARLY as large as the 310's/12's, I'm sure they'll deliver similar quality and clarity.
    I'm fairly new to home theater as well. I'm starting out with two pair of S26's and an S-Center anchored by a PB10. All of this is powered by a Denon 1802.
    My room is not large, so dB and power is simply not an issue. I've only had time to watch a few movies so far. After American Beauty and Meet the Parents, I knew I needed some action movies to really make use of my equipment. I threw in Swordfish. You fellas who've seen it know what I'm talking about. *Spoiler* There is an explosion in opening scene of the movie.
    Well well.. let me tell you. I've never had a larger grin on my face when that scene was over. I was absolutely blown away. The room was filled with sound and everything was still clear. I tell ya.. chest-pounding clarity. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Anyway, I also want to point out that I've never heard any of the other speakers you've listed. However, Paradigm monitors seem to be well respected. It's all possible that some of those speakers will sound better than JBL Studio line.. I don't know.
    But I do know that you probably will not be disappointed with JBL's. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Except you want a SVS PCi or something like that instead of that PB12

    JBL subwoofers fail to impress once you've heard the best*

    *note: I have not actually heard the SVS subs but I understand that for their price range they can't be beat.

    Also, from what I hear, KEF speakers are esoteric high quality. The Uni-Q design features coaxial time-aligned midrange and high-frequency transducers...
     
  7. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    I can't speak to the other speakers, but I love the sound of the BA 950's. Heared them at Harvey's once and they were sweet. Even if you can't compare them side by side- take your favorite tunes on disk and listen to each speaker if possible before buying. That's the only way to know for sure what you will be happy with...even then you may not know, but it's the best next thing. Good luck!
     
  8. Mike_Ch

    Mike_Ch Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Issara,

    I would rate the Kef's a fair bit higher than the Paradigm's IMHO. I have heard the older series Kef Q65's and these were quite outstanding for the price. The Uni-Q coaxial driver is very, very good at soundstaging/imaging (beacuse of time-alignment and dispersion charateristics). The Q5's with the new-generation Uni-Q driver are meant to be a substantial improvement over the older series. Sound-wise, the Q65's had a nice "British" midrange, which is to say that it sounds slightly warm, but voices always sound very realistic. The Q5's will most likely be even better in this regard. Paradigm's Monitor series to me sound a little bright. I have not heard the JBL's or Boston's.

    If you listen to more music than watching HT, the Kef's would be far and away the best choice IMO- instruments and voices sounds real and music comes alive, whereas the Paradigms (which are pretty good too) and Klipsches I have heard imparted an artifical sheen to the sound. However, the Paradigm's (and likely the JBL's and Boston's too) will sound more "exciting" (tipped up treble and midbass) for HT. The Kef will be more accurate though, and can be the centre-piece of a fairly high-end music system. Hi-Fi Choice magazine actually rated the Q7's higher than some much more expensive speakers in a recent group test- however, that speaker has the Racetrack bass driver. They also noted to get the best from this speaker, it would be best to make it the cheapest component in your system ie. get more expensive amps/source equipment. Needless to say, the Q65 I heard, run with a Marantz receiver, was truly excellent.

    Having said all this, you should at least listen to these speakers before you buy, preferably with the same equipment, even if its not side-by-side.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  9. IssaraS

    IssaraS Extra

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    Thanks for the info guys! I'll look more closely at the KEFs and bring along some music next time!
     
  10. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    That is a good selection you have there. You can't go wrong with any of them. But personally, I like the Paradigms. I have not heard the Kefs though.
     
  11. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    I A/B compared the Q5 and Monitor 11 (at least I think it was the 11, but it might have been the 9) and there was no doubt in my mind that I liked the KEF more. It's probably a personal taste, but the KEF sounded much more refined for music.
     
  12. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    I've got the Kef Q35s, and am extremely happy with them. Personally, (and I might get flamed for this) I would take them over the Paradigm Reference line, which are much more expensive.

    When I was originally auditioning, I didn't care for the Boston Acoustics that I listened to. Not sure of the model, but they would have been the large bookshelves that Tweeter carried at the time. They just didn't sound natural. I don't have an opinion on the JBLs, since I haven't heard them.
     

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