Help! w/ Paradigm pricing and choices

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jon Musil, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    This is my first post here, although I've been reading and learning from all of you for a few days.

    Yesterday I purchased a 43TX that I got new for just $475 delivered. Even though the Pio Elite didn't seem to be mentioned with much regard or frequency on this board, I felt I couldn't go really wrong at that price.

    So, today I'm going speaker shopping with the likely focus on Paradigms, due in large part to the esteem they are held in on this forum.

    One difficulty I'm having is there is only one outlet, that I'm aware of, for Paradigms in the whole Phoenix metro area. I spoke with them yesterday and the guy seemed a little vague about pricing and highly unlikely to do anything other than asking price (list price ?) on the speakers. Is there a source for pricing that someone could point me to on Paradigms so I can at least know what is the suggested retail on them? Or, a possible alternate source for the Paradigms, given the restrictive sales policies that seem to influence the market?

    Additionally, if anyone has suggestions for other brands that have comparable quality and can be purchased in the same range of the Paradigms I would greatly appreciate the input.

    Now to the speaker details; It's likely I'm just going to get the mains and center channel this go round and make due with what I have (audio source in ceiling three way 8's) for the rears. I'm considering Monitor 5's for the mains although studio 40's would be great. I just don't know what the price difference is for the 40's and if it's justified given budget is a definite factor.

    For the center I would like the CC370 but my built in space is effectively 8" high and 19" wide. Would positioning the center vertically adversely effect its performance? I'd like to budget $800 but will go up to $1,200+ for the mains and center if the cost benefit is justifed.

    Lastly, given space restrictions of my built in entertainment wall/center I would like recommendations on a pair of speaker stands that are 12" or can be adjusted down to 12" as the space for my mains is 35" high by 11.5" wide and 25" deep. I would really appreciate some timely input as I'm beyond ready to pull the trigger! Thank you for reading this lengthy message and any input/assistance you may give.

    Jon
     
  2. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Jon,

    My experience with the store you are thinking of (in Mesa, right?) is that they won't sell anything below full retail, if not slightly above retail. If you experience anything different, let me know cuz they carry a ton of great stuff nobody else does, but I won't pay their prices.

    There are certainly other stores in the Phoenix area that carry great speakers. Showcase and Ultimate Electronics come to mind, and both have been known to negotiate deals. Paradigms are the current craze, and rightfully so as they sound fantastic for the money, but your ears need to be the judge. Listen to the Paradigms in Mesa, but check out other speakers at a few other stores as well.

    -Robb
     
  3. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    You got it right Robb, store is in Mesa. My impression was that he/they were a little vague on the retail price as they would try to get over retail like you mentioned!

    I did listen to Klipsch and Kef at Ultimate but haven't been to Showcase yet. Since I have slate (stone) floors throghout my home the horn of the Klipsch would probably be way to intense and fatiguing. The Kef's were nice but I wasn't wowed by them either. Thanks for the input Robb.

    I looked just a bit at B & W's this morning and now I'm going to do some research on Rockets. Anyone have any thoughts on how these brands compare in the value and price compared to the Paradigm's? My guess is that if either of these brands, or others, have a more friendly, competitive and flexible purchasing structure I could look for speakers with a higher list price. IMHO, the $64 question is would they still be as good a value as the Paradigms at list price seem to be? Thanks again!
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Recent pricing from my dealer:

    v3 Monitor 5: $519
    v3 CC370: $330
    v3 Studio 40s: $1100
    v3 CC470: $600

    I am currently running 5s with a CC370. I have been quite happy with them, but I am looking to upgrade. I was not totally blown away by the 40s, but they do sound somewhat better than the v2s to my ears.

    I agree with the comment on listening to as many other speakers as possible. Once you find something you like, bring them home and give them a listen in your system. I love Paradigm, but there are plenty of other great speakers out there.

    Now, if you are going with Paradigm, to timbre match the rears, they also make matching in-wall and ceiling speakers to the Monitor and Studio lines, which you may want to consider.

    Rockets are another that I am considering as well.
     
  5. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    If you are willing to look at internet direct brands, I'd suggest auditioning Ascend Acoustics .

    When I was in the market for speakers, I did a lot of listening to Paradigms, up to the Studio 40 v2, along with several other brands.

    I came across internet direct brands and found out, since I was in the market for a subwoofer, that Hsu Research had some Ascend Acoustics. Since I'm only 40 minutes, I drove over for some listening.

    The Ascend CBM-170 was very impressive, sounded at least as good as the Studio 40 at a third of the cost. A tremendous value, I ended up buying them. and have been a advocate ever since.

    A great company to work with, and they have great reviews.

    Another internet company that can also recommend is Axiom.
     
  6. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    John, the local dealer told me that the 5's were $550/pr, CC370 was $350 and the ADP 320's were $800! When I mentioned that the 320's were much higher than I expected he said he would check the price. He then "adjusted" the list price to $698/pr, thus, my uneasiness with this outlets pricing.

    Is there a more clear cut way of getting list prices on individual Paradigm items then trying to solve the mystery of the recommended system total prices?

    Additionally, I had asked about the Esprit's and he said he hadn't seen any for years. This despite the fact that they are shown on Paradigm's web site!

    Curtis, thanks for the tips. I was going to look into subs from HSU and SVS so I'll be sure to check out Axiom and Ascend. I wasn't sure from your reply, does HSU make the Ascend Acoustics?

    A problem I have is the "test drive" of these internet direct offerings given I'm in Arizona but I will certainly check your recommendations out! Thanks!
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Ahhh....no Hsu does not make the Ascends.

    Ascend does offer Hsu subwoofers in their package deals.

    Hopefully you can find people close to you that have the internet direct products you want to listen to.
     
  8. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Jon,

    When you start your search for a subwoofer, feel free to PM me with your contact info if you want to hear an SVS subwoofer.

    -Robb
     
  9. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the generous offer Robb! I just may take you up on it.
    BTW, are you a Sun Devil fan?
     
  10. Terrance.J

    Terrance.J Auditioning

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    Jon,

    Greetings from Phoenix. Funny that you mention "that" dealer, as I am familiar with them.

    Yes, it is true, when I spoke to them 3 weeks ago concerning the Paradigm v.3's, they were not going to move on list price. They claimed that since it is a brand new version and since the market has Paradigm as one of the hottest brands going, they could get full asking price. I guess we can't argue with that stance.

    However, there is a something that will either get you a better deal, or at the very least, ruffle "that" dealer's feathers. There is an authorized dealer in Prescott Valley. I forget the name, but if you search with a Prescott zip code on Paradigm's web site, you will be able to get phone and location information.

    I do know for a fact that within the last 2-3 months when the v.2's were still available, “that” dealer had their standard discount set at 6%, which I thought was not very good. I called the Prescott Valley dealer and his discount on the v.2's was 20%! A little bit of a difference, huh?

    Anyway, try calling the other guy up north and go from there. You could at least try to see if "that" dealer would match the discount. But beware, this approach probably will irritate "that" dealer, so be persistent and if they don't like it, the guy up north will surely take the business.
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Just keep in mind... 'digms are worth every penny (and more)of list price, while many other brands are not. Don't buy a worse speaker just because you "got a good deal." Bose speakers at half price still suck. Paradigm at full retail is an incredible bargain. Still, the dealer shouldn't be charging MORE than retail, and should cut you a little deal if you're spending big bucks on a full setup. I judge dealers on knowledge and honesty, not on prices. IMO, if they are aholes just trying to make money, are unhelpful/unkowledgeable, overcharging, let paradigm know, and take the effort to find another dealer, even if it means taking a long drive.

    If they are very helpful, knowledgeable, but don't bargain, they should provide you that great service that comes along with not budging too much from list price. Just keep in mind that 'digms are ALWAYS a bargain at full retail, IMO.
     
  12. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    The info about that Prescott Valley dealer is great to know. I just wasn't comfortable with the Phx valley dealer so I decided I wasn't even going to go listen to the Paradigm's there.

    For my money, if the dealer in Prescott is going to represent the list price accurately that would be enough for me to seriously consider a Paradigm purchase. However, I wouldn't even bother with the Mesa dealer on a price match, but rather just give the business to the "other" more "honest" dealer.

    In my case, living in Cave Creek, it isn't to much further to go to Prescott and it's a nicer drive! Thanks Terrance!

    Now I've got to decide between the speaker finalists. [​IMG]
     
  13. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I'm going to rebut what Chris said about Paradigms being worth every penny. I also thought they were one of the cost/performance leaders until I heard Ascends and Axioms.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My dealer had v2s on 30% discount for new, and 50% off for demo models.

    I'd have to agree that with the budget and speakers you are looking at, you might be better off with 2 Axiom M22Tis, 2 M3Tis (or QS8s) and a VP150. Total price will be just a bit less than the Monitor package and the Axioms are quite impressive for their price. They lack the low end of the Monitors, but they make up for that with very clear midrange. They are however, a bit brighter than the Monitor line.

    I have an HSU VTF-2, and this thing is quite amazing for the price (and I paid a lot less than MSRP [​IMG] ). I'm kind of glad I didn't go with a VTF-3, because the VTF-2 is already more than enough for my needs.

    I have also heard the SVS 25-31PCi, which pounds out an astounding amount of bass (a bit too much for my room).
     
  15. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Jon,

    No, not really a Sun Devil fan. I'm a University of California at Santa Cruz graduate, so college sports was never that big a deal for me. Go banana slugs?! Just doesn't have a very good ring to it, does it? My organization is associated with ASU, and I work with a lot of ASU professors, but I can't help but continue to joke that ASU put the A in erudition. Some of them even get it. [​IMG]

    Seriously, when you're ready to purchase a sub, and want to hear an SVS, let me know.

    TerranceJ, thanks for the info on the Prescott store! I'll have to look into them. I'm not in the market for speakers, and won't be for a long time, but they could be a great source for other items.

    -Robb
     
  16. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    It's likely I've bumped myself into the $2K range for mains, cc, sub and surrounds.

    The pkg's from Rocket, Axiom and Paradigm could all probably get me a pretty decent system for the allocated budget. Also Curtis' tip about Ascends is intriguing. I like Ascends "delayed" package pricing but they're not much to look at in my opinion. I know, I know... speakers are to be heard and ideally not seen at all!

    The Rockets are like eye candy compared to the other speakers I'm considering, so if it was solely based on looks the decision would be far simpler.

    Hey John, my bride of 3+ months would prefer a tower that would fit into the 35"h x 11.5"w x 25"d built in spaces I have for the mains which has me leaning to the M 40's in the Axioms.

    If I could request further advice based on this input, the Rocket 550's are 1/4" taller than my mains built in space and therefore likely about 3/4" of an inch too tall practically speaking. However, if I could remove the footing spikes they would likely fit, albeit very snuggly! I've emailed Rocket to see if removing the spikes would create a problem and whether they would fit without them.

    So, my question is, would I get better sound with a bookshelf size speaker on a 12" stand from that space or a snuglly fitting floor/tower speaker??? Thanks again everyone. I'm sorry my learning curve is so steep and my posts so lengthy.
     
  17. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Jon,

    A rear ported speaker inside a cabinet would not be a good idea.

    If you need to put the speaker inside a cabinet, I would go with a sealed (acoustic suspension) speaker.

    curtis
     
  18. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    Curtis, even a bookshelf if it's on a stand in the enclosure? Thx
     

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