Help! Speaker bewildered…testing Paradigm and M&K. What’s imaging?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by JonathanOh, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. JonathanOh

    JonathanOh Agent

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    Hi,

    I am curious what people mean when they describe speakers with good “imaging.”

    Background:
    I am auditioning speakers (down to M&K K7s and Paradigm Studio 20s v3) for HT. Music is not at all important but I am using music in addition to movies to audition with. Basically, I like both and the M&Ks are much cheaper. I concluded that I do not have sophisticated ears but I can tell a difference. Unfortunately, I am not sure which “difference” I am going to like best long term. Both are much better than what I had and were good for movies however I thougth that the Paradigms need to be played louder to keep the dialog intelligible. Maybe this was due to room dynamics, the center was below the screen.

    While auditioning using CDs, the Paradigms were more revealing and detailed at the high end that I could also say made them harder to listen to for pop. I believe I understand what the term “bright” now means for speakers. IMO, they absolutely excelled at Sarah Brighton and Andrea Bocelli but sounded thin with Kid Rock and Shania Twain. Sarah uses orchestra vs the techno gizmos I am sure most pop signers use. If you are not familiar with Sarah, she does what I call opera pop. The M&Ks sounded good on Sarah and better at Kid and Shania. Both sounded good with the Jurassic Park soundtrack, the CD not the movie—Paradigms just a tad bit better.

    I was hoping the much more expensive Paradigms would floor me. They did with Sarah but not the other stuff. I really liked the M&Ks as well.

    So…now I am in a quandary. Price is a factor but not the deciding factor.

    I was at the shop with M&Ks this morning and felt that while I liked the sound for music, I could tell where the speakers were in the room and I tried several listening positions. For the Paradigms, I do not remember being able to do that but I may also have been playing it louder. Definitely in stereo, the 20s disappeared. Is this imaging? Room dynamics play a big role so I am not sure if I can write this “difference” off to the room and nothing more. Also, the Paradigms were in a higher end shop and thus hooked up to better electronics—Krell and then a huge Marantz receiver--while the M&Ks were hooked up to nearly the same receiver I own (Pioneer 41tx and Denon 2803 while I have a Pioneer 45tx).

    I am going back tomorrow to test the Paradigms yet again. After writing this up and describing my experiences, I am now leaning towards the Paradigms. Since I ended up using words to describe the Paradigm such as “detailed” and “disappeared” they must be good. Seems like what most people use to describe what they feel are good speakers.

    Anyone else have a similar experience and what did you end up doing?

    p.s. one addendum, I would have to use Paradigm Atoms for the surround, anything else would be too big. The M&K K5s or K4s would be used if I go M&K thus the M&Ks would be a closer tonal match all round.
     
  2. Douglas Pe

    Douglas Pe Extra

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    Hey, just a suggestion but if the M&K and Paradigms are close to your ears and the M&K is much cheaper and being used on equipment similar to your own then why not go with the M&K. The Paradigm's probably won't sound as good if you are not using equipment on the level of what they are using.
     
  3. JonathanOh

    JonathanOh Agent

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    Hi Douglas,

    Yes, that would be the logical thing to do wouldn't it. That is probably what I will do. I am going to check out the Paradigms again tomorrow.

    That said, I did not say they sounded the same or even close, only that I liked both sounds. The Paradigms seemed to capture what I am calling "accuracy." I thought I could hear the first puff of air hit the mike on my Sarah B. CD. Never heard that before and I am not sure if I like it.

    I guess the best answer is to go listen some more.

    Tough decision but in the end, I know I like both so I will be happy. Thanks.
     
  4. Douglas Pe

    Douglas Pe Extra

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    yeah sorry my phrasing was bad i meant they both seem to pretty close as far as how you listed the pros and cons of them to your ears; while they both sound different it seems like they are pretty even to you when you average out what they have to offer.
     

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