How will the sound of Paradigm 7 monitors v.4 change with break-in?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by John Pine, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Auditioned my first pair of Paradigm’s yesterday. I only have two dealers in my area and the dealer B is an "install only" kind of setup. Dealer A had them connected to a Marantz amp (135W) with no sub. The salesman emphasized several times, that they were fresh out of the box and will sound different when broken in. First I listened to 3 tracks from disc 1 of Satriani’s Anthology. This disc sounded awesome! The sound stage was 3-dimensional and detailed. I was a little surprised how good the bass response was. Joe sounded as if he was hanging in mid air, center stage, and playing just for me. Next I listened to several tracks from Sarah Brightman’s Eden. I was a little disappointed with what I heard. The vocals were too forward, almost super pronounced. I don’t want to use the word “harsh” but the sound approached that. My setup is used mainly for audio, so music reproduction is critical. How much will this sound change with 50 to 100 hours on them? Anyone have the version 4’s already?

    My 5.1 setup:

    Toshiba 35"
    harman/kardon AVR 525 (preamp)
    Parasound HCA-2003 (mains & center)
    harman/kardon PA 2000 (rears)
    Denon DVD-2900
    JBL S310-II's
    JBL S-Center II
    JBL S36-II's
    SVS PC-Ultra
    All Better Cable interconnects,
    Panamax MAX 4300
    18'x 23'x 12' vaulted ceiling (LxWxH)
     
  2. Eddie Horton

    Eddie Horton Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll probably get flamed for this from some, but I'd say the sound will change absolutely none to ever so slightly. That salesman is really making things hard on himself. Think about it....half of the folks who audition will love the way they sound and not want it to change a bit. The other half won't like them and will be hoping for a change. Speakers are electro-mechaninical devices and the suspension of the drivers may loosen up a tad, but to emphasize several times about how the speakers will sound different when broken in??? Nah.
     
  3. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Eddie point taken. Hey, I’m not a “troll” trying to start a "break-in" flame war. But I have heard and read that the upper-mid and highs on these speakers will mellow slightly with usage. I’m just looking for some owner feedback since the dealer network is so limited.
     
  4. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    I own M7s (version 3) and the upper mids and highs do not mellow in my opinion. I wouldn't buy M7s hoping that the sound will warm up in time because it won't.

    If you are serious about music demo the Studio 20s as well. The price difference isn't that much and you may get a better speaker for music. I have not heard them yet and I regret that I didn't demo a pair before I bought my 7s. In my opinion you need a sub with the m7s for music as I think they are way too thin sounding without a sub. This is why I say go listen to the 20s and let your sub handle the low end. However, I met a guy who owns 7s who cannot blend his sub in well enough for his tastes and will not listen to music with his sub on. To each his own!
     
  5. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Aaron: Thanks for the good feedback! Point taken about the M7’s not warming up, this is what I want to know. I don’t know if the Studio 20’s would be able to fill my space (18'x 23'x 12' vaulted ceiling). Course with the 20’s or 40’s I’d also have to account for the additional cost of the stands as well.

    Hmm….maybe I should consider a used pair of 60’s instead.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Speakers do break in, but it doesn't take more than a day or two of normal use typically. They won't change dramatically over hundreds of hours. Give them a few days and see how they sound to you, sometimes you need to get used to the sound of new speakers. I used to own 5s, 370 & Minis and I wasn't really pleased with their music performance, though movies seemed to sound great. The Studios are certainly an improvement in clarity, but they still exhibit much of the same forwardness IMHO, which is why I did not go with them when I upgraded.
     
  7. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    Used 60's would be awesome. Problem is the matching center is so much freaking money! I cannot remember if the studio line is any less bright than the monitor line. Paradigms are going to be brighter than your JBLs for sure. That detail is great for some music (jazz, vocals) but gets a bit rough for other types (rock). I personally love and hate it. I think I'd like the brightness of the 7s much more if they had a really rich smooth midrange to go with it. If the studio line can give you that, you'll be a happy man.
     
  8. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Aaron: Good point, I didn't think about having to find a matching center as well. Guess I couldn't keep my S-Center II. I wonder how far off they would be in timbre matching?

    John: Now, I certainly understand what you're talking about when you say that "Forward" sound. So what did you go with instead?
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I went with 3 GR Research A/V-2s up front and 2 A/V-1s out back. I requested an audition pair from them, and I ended up buying my own set. I got a good deal on both pairs so they cost me a lot less than Studios, but even at their MSRP fully built prices, they were already a bit less than the Studios. I've tried out Studio 20s (v2) and 40s(v3) in my setup too, but for the money, the GRs were simply better with music.

    If you went with 60s, you should be able to find a used Studio CC relatively cheap (less than a CC470), that will blend pretty well with them. They sell for around $300-$350 on Audiogon.
     
  10. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I own Monitor speakers, and Studio speakers. My Mini Monitors did seem to mellow out slightly after breaking in.
    When looking for music speakers, I had the same decision. I was looking at 5s and 7s, but them listened to the 20s. For music, there was no contest, the 20s win hands down. They have a much smoother and more natural midrange. I even used mine without a sub for awhile and they had sufficient bass. Now I have 60s (and I then added a sub to the 60s with other upgrades)

    And the 20s may be a small speaker, but they can pump out an amazing amount of aound with plenty of power (which you have). So definatly give them a chance.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 20s are small, but they do have quite a bit of bass, as do the Minis. The 20s are more dynamic and actually seem to extend as low or lower in room than the 5s do, especially when fed with a lot of power, but the 5s will still fill a larger room a bit better due to the additional sensitivity because it has the ability to move more air. I'd still take 20s over 5s.
     

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