I spent 1 1/2hrs with some - v3 Studio 40s

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by John Garcia, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Last week my dealer told me they would be in, and sure enough they came in on Wed. (They've only had them for 3 days and have sold most of their current shipment) They had been running them in for 3 days, so they are not really broken in yet, but I thought I'd get an initial impression right away, and go listen to them again in a week or two. Gear: Marantz DV4300 and DV8400, Nordost interconnects (not sure which models), Marantz SR9300 in stereo, source direct. I used a variety of my own CDs.

    Cabinet: The new cabinets look OK, but I prefer the look of the v2s. These cabinets feel slightly better constructed to me however. They look better with the grilles off than the v2s, but I did/do all my listening with them in place.

    Sound: Right away, I felt the tweeters were an improvement. The combination of the new x-over and the redesigned tweeter make for a smooth, airy sound. The midbass drivers I don't think were broken in enough, and sounded a bit reserved, though I feel the midrange is much more controlled than the v2s. Right away I noticed that they do not extend as deep as the v2s, but they also do not have any bloat at the bottom. They sound even better when driven hard, and were very happy with 140wpc.

    With the Jazz I brought - 2 redbook CDs by Patricia Barber (I didn't bring the SACD version), they were very clear, particularly with instruments - plucked bass and bongos sounded natural, electric guitar was smooth and warm, and piano sounded just right. With some of her deeper vocals however, there was a bit of muddiness. The lack of extension also gave them no "kick" at the bottom. Next I tried out a short passage of techno that I often use as a reference, because it is right in the middle of the midrange and the synthesiser has a very particular sound to it, kind of like upper midrange vocals. I crank this ~2 min passage and listen for clarity and smoothness. I was not impressed with the results.

    Overall: Mixed feelings? While they are very good speakers, markedly improved from the v2s, I was not so taken with them that I felt I had to take a pair home with me. I was not as impressed as I suppose I would have liked to have been, but I will have to listen to them again after they have had more time breaking in, and see how they change. (remember this is just an opinion [​IMG] )
     
  2. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Thanks for the post John. I seem to remember from past postings that you have similar equipment brands (Marantz and Paradigm) and priorities (importance of music) as I do. What v2 versions did you compare the v3's to? Do you own v2's now? When you say "markedly improved from the v2s", what area(s) are improved the most?

    I bought v2 Studio 60s a couple of months ago, right before all the news started to leak out about the v3s. When the rumors started, my dealer contacted his rep and they denied that v3's were coming out and said that they weren't even talking about it yet (putting all of their energy into the Signature line). If my dealer would let me trade up, I'm wondering if it would be worth the extra money. I wouldn't want to lose any bass extension since I like the kick and forward nature of Paradigm, but improved soundstage and slightly tamed tweeter would be welcome.

    Chris
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I compared the v2 20s and 40s to the current 40s (all of their 20s are spoken for already). The v2 20s had about as much bass as the v3 40s. My dealer made sure they got all the v2s out the door before they put the v3s out, so no chance for a back to back compare. I have a friend with a similar setup (Marantz DVD, SR19, 40s) so I have a pretty good idea of how they sound. The 60s and 100s were there, but I did not listen to them, because I am interested in the 40s, though after hearing them, I may have to consider the 60s. That's a big jump in price though, I could get the 40s and CC470 for the about the price of 60s.

    In terms of improvement over the v2s, it is not so simple to define. The highs are not quite as bright, less in your face; they are softer, but in a good way. The midrange seems to still have the odd reservedness about it, but they seemed more clear and controlled (could be that less bass makes it seem that way), very similar to the way the v3 Monitors compared to the v2s. There is nothing "wrong" with the v2s of either, but there is a noticable difference between the two series. The Monitor series remain closely matched timbre wise, but the Studios may not be quite as close a match. At this time, if I had v2s, I would not say it is worth the upgrade to v3s.

    My dealer is supposed to get the SR8300 in next week so I can listen to it, and I will likely listen to the 60s at that time. I don't know anyone with 60s, so I won't really have anything to compare them to.
     

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