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Monitor Silver Series / Paradigm Studio Series???

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mitch_T, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. Mitch_T

    Mitch_T Auditioning

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    Alright, first of all, this is my first post, so please be gentle.

    I, along with half the people here, are coming from an extensive car audio background and zero HT knowledge. I have a P.O.S hodgepodge mix of "HT" equipment and now finally have the money to upgrade it all.

    First off, I am looking at getting a Pioneer VSX-1014 AVR. From what I have read, it seems to be the best bang for the buck. I am trying to stay around the $500 price range with that. Lowest I can get it is $375 shipped online.

    Now, I am looking at mains. Kind of narrowed it down in theory to Monitor Audio, series to be determined upon demo and Paradigm Studio series. I have spent the past few hours researching Monitor and Paradigm threads and really haven't found a distinguished winner.

    I know it depends on the person and their personal tastes, so I know I have a local Monitor dealer, will have to check on Paradigm.

    They will be going in a 15x18 living room, with an open kitchen on one end. Any thoughts or comments???

    Also, if I were to step up from the 1014, what would be the next consideration? The local Monitor dealer carried Integra and tried pushing that, but $1000 seemed too steep for me for a bunch of extras I won't use for a long, long time. I have a Magnavox HTIB setup that is like 5 years old w/10% THD, so anything will be a huge upgrade. Just wanted to know if there is anything better than the 1014, that is slightly more expensive.

    Budget for the mains is around $1000-1200 or so. Is there a brand I might be missing that would fit into this category? Don't forget that I am a COMPLETE noob here!

    My listening consists of: 80% HT / 20% Music

    I like ALOT of bass, so I will definitely have a sub. But I also like nice, crisp, clean mids and highs, so I don't have to turn the bass way down to hear what people are saying, or turn the volume way up.

    I guess that's it for now. I apologize for the extremely long thread. I really do appreciate everyone's info and advice and patience with the new guy.

    Thanks.......
     
  2. Rokzi

    Rokzi Stunt Coordinator

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    Axiom speakers also seem popular here. However, you might not find them at you local dealers since you can buy them only online.

    axiomaudio.com

    I'm also looking at those two brands you mentioned but so far I've only heard the Bronze series B2 bookshelves.
    I think they sound better than my JBL N24IIs.

    for subs, I own an SVS cylinder. HSU is also another popular brand for the buyer on a budget.
     
  3. Mitch_T

    Mitch_T Auditioning

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    Rokzi,

    Thanks for the info. I checked them out and w/o having time to research here and only on there website, it seems like the M60 and M80 floors would also be thrown into the mix. They seem like alot of speaker for the price, but I will have to do some more researching on here to hear reviews on them, since it would be difficult to try and find some somewhere and demo them.

    Appreciate it........
     
  4. Rokzi

    Rokzi Stunt Coordinator

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    No prob.

    How do you like the Monitor Audio? I don't see much comparison between Monitor Audio & Paradigms so it would be nice if you can post your comparison of the two when you get the chance.
     
  5. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Mitch:
    I'm not sure what part of Atlanta you are in, but if you can make a trip up 400 to Alpharetta there is a dealer who has both Monitor Audio and Paradigm. They are great guys to deal with and will treat you the same whether you drop $100 or $100k.

    I used to own Monitor Audio speakers a while back....I loved them. I've always loved their bookshelf speakers, but not as enthusiastic about their floorstanders. The new v.3 Paradigm Studios are superb. Given your budget, I'd recommend the Studio/40. Considering your room size, you could probably get away with the 20s if you're adding a sub, but the 40s are a superior speaker.

    I used to own Studio/100s (with 20s for surrounds) combined with an SVS PB12-ISD/2 subwoofer. I used to demo the system with Saving Private Ryan, LOTR, and chapter 9 from 'The Haunting'. If I had a dime for every jaw that hit the floor I'd be rich [​IMG]

    Anyway, good luck......if you want the name of the dealer I mentioned, send me a PM.

    -AJZ
     
  6. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    I was considering Monitor Audio S10's and Paradigm Monitor 11's as the final two contestants for my speaker selection about 2 years ago. For some reason at the time, Studios were off the radar because of the price of towers, but I don't remember the S10 being that cheap, so my reasoning escapes me now. I would venture to say that many would say the Digms weren't a worthy competitor, but I did. I had the dealer set the two up side by side and my wife and I compared with music for about an hour. I remember we both agreed the 11's just had a more airy sound and went much deeper in the bass. I went with 11's and they happened to be the cheapest of all the speakers I had compared. Comparing the Monitors now to Studios I can note the tighter bass of the Studios(v.3), but they seem flat to me compared to the Monitor series. I wonder sometimes if I just didn't know enough back then to recognize good sound, but I bought what I liked at the time and I still do, but I am more aware of the 11's flaws. Eventually, I got to hear some Studio v.2's and I love them. I plan on getting some v.2 100's, center and surrounds. Well just my thoughts on my comparison, good luck.
     
  7. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    WayneO, that's interesting you say that. I had actually purchased Monitor 11s just prior to coming into a little extra money, which allowed me to trade them in for the Studio/100s. The 11s are an amazing speaker! I definitely think that the step-up to the studio line is justified, but I felt similarly to you......when you factor in price, the 11s can more than hold their own against their more expensive bretheren.
     
  8. Mitch_T

    Mitch_T Auditioning

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    Well, I have been doing alot of research into Axiom and they seem, so far, so be the front runner. I would be looking at the M60ti's with the VP150 center for now and then later upgrade my surrounds and sub.

    I don't think I have come across anything negative to say about the M60ti. Here and there, I come across a few negative reviews / regrets about both Monitor and Paradigm. So, I am heavily leaning towards Axiom.

    Anyone have any comments / criticisms about this move?

    I live in Dallas, GA, which is NW of ATL. Going up 400 wouldn't be a big deal if I get very serious about wanting to hear the comparison side by side. I have a local dealer that carries Monitor, so I can pop in there and demo those. Only bad thing is I can't demo the Axioms. But since my HT speakers are so bad off right now, I believe any one of my choices will be 100x better than what I have now and that I will be completely satisfied with them, since I really have no good reference point to base them from.

    Thanks all for time and help.

    Safe to say that the 1014 is a good deal and that I should order it already or not and wait for some more advice?
     
  9. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Yep. You might want to make sure the seller is a authorized rep so that you actually have a warranty with it. Or the price is so good you're willing to forgo that. Personally, if I could get a better model from an unauthorized dealer over a cheaper one from an authorized dealer, I'd go with the better model. Most receiver's are pretty reliable.
     
  10. Mitch_T

    Mitch_T Auditioning

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    Thank you sir. Will be ordered by the end of the day.


    (yea, like I reallllllyyyy needed to be pushed into getting the 1014, lol)
     
  11. Mitch_T

    Mitch_T Auditioning

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    Well, I ordered the 1014 for $369 shipped to my door tonight. And now I am officially on the Axiom bandwagon. I am going to get the M60Ti mains with the VP150 center and wait awhile on upgrading the surrounds to probably QS8's.

    I went and listened to Monitor S8's today, b/c the store didn't have any S6's on display and realized that I had no idea what I was doing. I have never listened to a quality set of floors, so I didn't have any reference point going in and anything I listen to is going to sound good to me. So I decided to do more research and came up with Axiom on top. And after time w/the M60Ti's, I will finally have a reference point as to what good speakers should sound like, thus allowing me to demo other speakers and evaluate how they stand, compared to the Axiom's.

    I feel they are the most speaker for the dollar and have a large following that back up the quality and sound. Also, they fit my budget, look very nice and will fit where I need them to be. I have no doubt that they will be nothing short of exhilarating and that I will be completely satisfied. Well, at least until I hear something better...........

    Thanks all for input and advice. And I will report back with a follow-up review.

    Any last opinions or comments are still welcome, seeing as how I haven't purchased them yet.
     
  12. Mike^S

    Mike^S Stunt Coordinator

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    Axioms are very nice speakers. I used to have a set. Beware of some of the Axiom haters out there. Some of them just have an axe to grind with internet companies or they think that just because a speaker has a metal tweeter that it will sound tinny. Perhaps once you get them you can go out and listen to some Monitor Audios and Paradigms and compare. I'm definately not saying the Axioms are better than those two other brands. But I do think that Axiom offers a lot of quality for the price.
     
  13. Rokzi

    Rokzi Stunt Coordinator

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    Mitch: I'm interested as well with those two brands (Axiom & MA) and would like to know what you think after youve tried them both.

    When you get the chance to do that, try to use sounds that you are very familiar with (CDs or DVDs). Try to play CDs that you often play in your car. That way you'll be able to notice more what sound is missing or more pronounced between the two (or three including your car system).

    Good luck!

    Mike^S:
    What was the reason you replaced them and with what? Just curious.

    There are Axiom haters???
     
  14. Ray Tsui

    Ray Tsui Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I heard them and positive thought they were mediocre. And that's an honest answer. I have no personal vendenta of any sort except for the fact that I heard them side by side with some normally highly respected retail brands and they were positively lacking. While I won't generalize that for all their models, that does not make me want to take the chance on them no matter how nice they look or "what great value they are".

    If it doesn't sound good to my ears, that's what counts to me.

    I personally advise auditioning as many speakers as you can and forming your own opinion rather than trusting other people's ears.
     
  15. Rokzi

    Rokzi Stunt Coordinator

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    Good and True.
    However, preferences change as we gain more experience and knowledge. What we thought was good before may be mediocre now because we have "upgraded" our tastes.

    I don't read much negative feedback against Axioms, a few maybe but I can't really remember.

    What speakers did you compare them to? I understand that even "mediocre" (or "bright", or "warm") is relative.

    When I read posts and feedbacks I use them as leads to which ones would be on my "top" list. And negative feedbacks are as precious as positive ones, if not more precious because they make you take a second look and check for yourself if they're really that bad or that good.

    There's always a reason why an item is popular and it's important to find that out and sometimes you can find it out by reading through peoples rants.

    When I have my list then maybe I can start auditioning. With speakers available at local dealers auditioning is not much a problem but with internet-only retailers shipping stuff back and forth can be a pain.

    I have both Axiom and Monitor Audio on my list. (Add Paradigm bookshelves to that). I liked MA's Bronze and Silver bookshelves but I would like to try them (and the others) at home rather than in-store.
     
  16. michael_mo

    michael_mo Stunt Coordinator

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    At that budget...you may want to consider B&W 601s. I am not sure you will get tower design paradigm studios in your range.. and IMHO, the bookshelf studios are not as impressive as the towers. Why? I dont know.. just going by me ears.
    A friend of mine was about to get Axioms, then agreed to demo the B&W 601s instead.. and bought them the next day.
     
  17. Mitch_T

    Mitch_T Auditioning

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    Well, it is a done deal now. I have ordered the Axiom M60Ti mains and the VP-150 center. Once I get them set-up, I will compare them to what I had already heard on the Monitor S8's. The drive to listen to the Paradigms would be over an hour, so unless I am completely unimpressed by the Axiom's, I probably won't go listen to them. So we shall see. And I really didn't have a tight budget. Just wanted to get the most out of my money. If I do go listen to the Paradigms, I would be looking at the Studio 60's.

    Now just hoping that my Pioneer 1014 arrives on or before the Axioms get here.

    Anyway, thanks again all for good info and advice. I really appreciate it.

    Will post results in alittle while.........
     
  18. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Mitch, congrats on your new rig [​IMG] I'm sure that you'll be very happy with the Axioms. There are a lot of good choices when it comes to speakers, and Axiom is clearly among them. You'll have to let us know how everything works out!
     
  19. Mitch_T

    Mitch_T Auditioning

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    Well, it has been a few days since I have set up my new HT system, consisting of: Pioneer 1014, Axiom M60ti Mains, Axiom VP150 Center, and a SVS PB-12ISD.

    All I can say is "Holy Sh!T"

    I have been missing way too much over the years. This system setup for me is absolutely mind-blowing. I can't even begin to describe how clear everything sounds, how tight and crisp and deep the bass is, how big the sound stage has become, just amazing.

    I have been so thoroughly and completely satisfied with these Axiom's, that I didn't even think about going out and trying to demo the Monitor S6's, (even though I already heard the S8's and wasn't that impressed with them, so why would I step down a level), or the Paradigm Studio 60's that I had been originally contemplating.

    So I give Axiom a HUGE thumbs up for their product and their super quick delivery and great customer service. I haven't heard any of the tinny or metallic highs coming from the aluminum speakers that few others have talked about. To me, the sound is very clear, crisp, and defined. And what impresses me the most is the VP150 center channel. It performs perfectly with the M60's.

    Now, keep in mind that this is my first "real" HT setup and I don't have the experience of listening to many different speaker brands and having that background to base my opinions from. But, I do have 10 years in car audio experience, so I do know what good sound is supposed to sound like. Again, I had a crappy Magnavox HTIB and anything I got to replace it would have sounded superior to it. But I never would have thought it would be this big of a difference.

    I have spent the entire weekend watching movies to test out the new system and it has passed with flying colors. The highest I will go comfortably is about -20 on the 1014, and even that is pretty darn loud, so the speakers put out some power and quality sound. My living room is 18x20x8 and opens into the kitchen of the same size and nothing is lost in the playback.

    I would definitely recommend Axioms to anyone. In my opinion, they are the best bang for the buck. I could not see someone being disappointed with these speakers. And when I get some extra money, I will be getting the QS8 surrounds to go with the rest of my system. And the speakers look very nice too. They flow right into the decor of the room and blend right in.

    I couldn't be more excited to have this setup, as you can tell by the book I have just written. Anyway, to wrap this up, they sound just awesome. Not one bad criticism of them yet, other than the fact that I wish I had gotten them sooner.

    I hope this will help some people in the future who plan on upgrading their HT. I spent less than I would have on either of my two other options, got more speakers in my towers than what the other two provided and had them shipped to me free, within 2-3 days of placing my order. You just can't beat that, combined with how well they perform and sound, it's just a win-win situation. And no, I don't work for Axiom, nor have they paid me in any way, just EXTREMELY happy with my decision.

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and for all the replies, it was much appreciated.
     
  20. Mike^S

    Mike^S Stunt Coordinator

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    Glad to hear it Mitch! What are you using for surrounds now? I hear the QS8s are awesome for HT.
     

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