My evaluation of Paradigm Atoms versus Titans.

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Justin Ward, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    After asking so many questions on HTF I've decided to actually contribute some content. It seems like a pretty common question here on HTF is if the Titans are worth the extra money over the Atoms. Since I own both models I decided to do a little comparison. First a disclaimer: I’m not an audiophile. Up until about a year ago I thought a giga-tube mini-system was hi-fi! I am using mostly low-fi stuff but did my best to ensure consistency in testing.

    The equipment used was the following:
    Paradigm Atoms v3
    Paradigm Titans v2
    My DIY stands
    SBB4 Tempest Subwoofer crossed over at 100hz
    Pioneer VSX-D510
    RCA 5240P DVD player(probably the weak link of the system)
    Speakers were connected using 16 gauge Radio Shack speaker wire

    The receiver was set to source direct mode for testing. The speakers were placed in a triangle in which the distance between them was roughly ¾ the length of the distance to my listening position, which is recommended in the Paradigm manual. They were about 16 inches from the wall. Both models were tested in the exact same spot toed in on stands that put the tweeter almost exactly at ear height.

    So anyway, here is what I found:

    Movies: In HT use there was almost no discernible difference. In fact I honestly couldn’t tell a difference except at loud levels. At near reference levels the Titans just seemed slightly cleaner.

    Music: Now, in music some differences did become more apparent. I tested with and without the subwoofer.

    Without the subwoofer there was no comparison. The Titans were considerably better. The larger enclosure and mid-woofer allow for considerably better bass quality and extension. The Titans certainly sound much larger than the Atoms. The bass from the Titans was actually adequate for many types of music without a sub. The Atoms weren’t poor by any means. They sounded very clear but they had no authority in the bass department.
    With the subwoofer the two became harder to differentiate but there were still some differences. At low volumes there was little to no difference. At louder levels some differences were noticed though. Like in HT use, the Titans sounded less strained at loud levels. The other thing I noticed is a little harder to explain:
    At loud levels, it seemed that with the Atoms it was more noticeable that a sub was being used. I think this is because the Titans can hit the notes below the crossover with more authority thereby fooling your ears into thinking it is the source of deep bass.

    My conclusion: The Atoms are very good when used only for HT and when space is small. However, the extra money invested in Titans is well worth it, in my opinion. If you aren’t using a sub, the decision is easy, just get the Titans.




    My only concern about my testing is the v2 vs v3 issue. I'm not sure if this would have a significant effect.
    Any comments?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    I’m very happy to see your evaluation, Justin. I’ve been looking at the Atoms as potential computer speakers. I noticed the Titans were also reasonably priced, but I think they’re a little too big for my application. It’s nice to see that for my needs I’ll be giving up little if anything with the Atoms, especially if I add a small sub to them.

    Now – if I can just find some used ones for a reasonable price somewhere!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    P.S. Great speaker stands! I can't figure out what's holding it all together - a piece of all-thread, perhaps? One thing I definitely would have done is make sure they had provisions to hide the speaker wire by running it down through the center.
     
  3. Kevin_Wadsworth

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    I didn't do as extensive of an evaluation, but I reached pretty much the same comclusions as you did. Nice to hear someone else agree with me!

    I'd also second Wayne's comment - nice stands. Wish I would have thought of building my own stands for my Titans (used as rear speakers). Would have saved some $$.

    - Kevin
     
  4. DavidES

    DavidES Stunt Coordinator

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    Well the website is still down to confirm power-handling, but I think the straining of the Atoms maybe due to their low-power handling. Only about 50 watts. Titans were not that much more, 60. You might have been pushing the Atoms a little too far.

    Edited the correct PW handling.

    Just a thought,
     
  5. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the input.

     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I did pretty extensive comparisons between the Titans and Atoms, and came to exactly the same conclusion. There is one drawback I found with the Titans however when pushing them, and that was a bit of bloat at their bottom when driven hard. The Atoms do not have this because they do not extend as low. I believe this is why so many feel the Atoms sound better, but for typical use crossed over, I would take the Titans every time.

    I compared the Titans to the M3Ti, which are not that much more expensive than the Titans ($275), and I would have to say money is better spent on the Axioms. I have not heard the M2Ti, but I would expect it to outperform the Atoms as well.

    For $250, I got some Mordaunt Short 902s that embarrass the Titans...

    I DEFINITELY wouldn't run the speaker wire through the center of the stands. I would fill them with sand, and be done with them. Nice job.
     
  7. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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