New Speakers: Paradigm or the New Divas by Swans???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg S, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. Greg S

    Greg S Supporting Actor

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    HELP!!!!!
    Well due to recent developments I am forced to purchase new speakers. I am currently using the following
    Denon 3801 (powers all the speakers except the SVS)
    Pinnacle Gold Classic Towers
    Pinnacle Gold Classic Center
    Pinnacle Gold Classic MiniMonitors (surround)
    JBL TLX CENTER1 (surround back)
    SVS 25-31
    Room size is 14ft X 20ft.
    Listening habits:
    10% Music (Radio and CD)
    50% Sattelite/Cable
    40% DVDs - this is increasing now that I have the Mits 46807
    The new speakers for the front must be "bookshelf" size speakers in order to go on a shelf mounted above my new Mits 46807 so no floor standing speaker suggestions.
    Naturally by replacing the front mains I will need to change over the center, surrounds, and surround back fro proper timbre matching.
    Everyone here seems to love the Paradigm Studios but I have never heard them (nor the DIVAS) and do not have a convenient way of checking them out. The nice thing on the DIVAS is that AV123 offers a 30 day trial so all I would be out is the shipping back to them. The DIVAS look awesome but who knows how they sound. I guess the setups should be viewed as follows.
    DIVA setup
    Diva 2.1 - MAIN - $399
    Diva Center - CENTER - shipping from AV123 July 1 - $499
    Diva Surround - SURROUNDS - shipping from AV123 July 1 - $599 each
    Diva Center - SURROUND BACK - $499
    Total cost around $1900
    There are no published specs on the Center and Surrounds yet but I have seen pics(another post on the forum) and they look like some bad a** speakers. The rosewood finish is not important to me, as a matter of fact black speakers would fit my decor better BUT if they sound great than np.
    Paradigm setup:
    Studio 40s - MAIN - price?
    Studio CC - Center - price?
    ?????? - Surrounds - price?
    ?????? - Surround Back (this can be 1 speaker or 2) - price?
    Total Cost ??????
    My BIGGEST WORRY is that either the Paradigms or the Divas will be TOO BRIGHT with my 3801 - Please advise particularly on this.
    Please help me as this is a tough choice.
    THANKS
    Greg
     
  2. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    I vote for the Paradigms, because you can demo them at your local dealer. I'm leary about buying speakers online.
     
  3. Lucas Hale

    Lucas Hale Agent

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    I'm really interested in the reviews of the Diva speakers also. I will probably order a pair later this month to audition. With a 30 day trial period it sounds like a pretty good proposition!
     
  4. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Greg,
    Looking at your mains, I would say they are out of proportion with the rest of your setup (for the Divas). Upgrade those to the 5.1SE and get another set of surrounds. I think you will be much happier with that setup. Neither setup should be bright, especially with the 3801 as the source. Enjoy!
     
  5. Greg S

    Greg S Supporting Actor

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    Bryan - I would love to the 5.1s but I have no space for a floor standing speaker (hence the reason I have to buy new speakers). It must be "bookshelf size" and fit on a shelf mounted on a wall just above my 46807.
    Mickey - the paradigms won't get much of a listen either as I have to drive about an hour and 1/2 to hear/buy them. So if I am going to spend that kind of time to hear them I need to be convinced I am gonna buy them also I am pretty sure the Paradigms are gonna cost me a fair bit more than the Divas - so the real question is ARE THEY WORTH IT???
    Greg
     
  6. Mike L-field

    Mike L-field Agent

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    First - I know NOTHING about the Divas. Second - the Paradigms are worth it definitely. Third - the Paradigm 40s are rear ported and BIG for a bookshelf (i.e. tall and heavy; better be a solid shelf). I have my studio 40s on stands with the rear of the speakers @ 25" from the wall behind them; they work fine at that distance. In my bedroom I have a pair of studio 20s on stands with the rear of the speaker @ 7.5" from the wall behind them. They also sound sweet, but the soundstage depth isn't as good as the 40s; I assume that's at least in part due to the distance from the wall. Anyway, I would not recommend putting the 40s on a shelf unless it would be a deeeep shelf. You can get port plugs from Paradigm, but that would compromise the bass extension. Hope this was helpful.
    ------------------
     
  7. Kelly Scott Rickards

    Kelly Scott Rickards Stunt Coordinator

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    I am sort of in the same situation.
    Paradigm Referance: Awesome reputation for sound but are so-so in the looks department. Also, while they are a great price for the quality of sound, they ain't cheap either.
    Swans Divas: Slightly cheaper than the Paradigms and god knows how they stack up to the canadian speakers but HOT DAMN they are easy on the eyes. If there are better looiking speakers at this price point, please show me.
    If the Divas are anywhere near the Paradigms sound quality-wise, I am SO THERE DOOOD! :bg
     
  8. David Scott

    David Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    I just ordered my Divas based on several positive reviews, I went with the 6.1's up front, but ordered the 2.1's as well for the rear. They're currently on sale (all the Diva's). The 2.1's are $399 and come with free stands until July 4th when the sale ends. This is quite a bit cheaper than going with the Paradigms, with stands I bet they're around $1000 or so. The Paradigm 40's are fine speakers, I was considering the 40's along with a Def. Tech. set-up. When I learned I could get the 6.1's on sale for the price of the Paradigm 40's my mind was made up. Good luck, let us know what you end up getting, like I said I think you'll be happy either way you go.
     
  9. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    I say be adventurous and go with the Divas, at least to check them out. Keep the packaging & just send them back if they sound bad. But I doubt you will send them back. Internet direct companies offer value that traditional B&M companies simply cannot match, as the very structure of their distribution model increases costs to the end user and deflates value. Even with "value" speakers like paradigm. I mean, how much cheaper would paradigms be if you could order them directly from paradigm & not have to pay any distribution costs or retail markup or salesperson's commision? A LOT less expensive. Now imagine they did not have that huge advertising budget & just passed all that savings on to you. . . . Well, that is what many internet direct companies do. Hell, look at SVS & what an astonishingly good product they sell for WAY less than what the competition can charge. It is them same with other companies. I have not heard the Diva's. but all my current speakers are from internet based companies and they all just spank other retail speakers that sell for the same $$. Since most of these online manufacturers offer a trial period and a no questions asked money back guarantee, I really don't see how you can lose. . . .
    ------------------
    "Remember Sammy Jenkins"
     
  10. Kelly Scott Rickards

    Kelly Scott Rickards Stunt Coordinator

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    Tyson brings up some good points....
    Go with the Divas, you have nothing to lose....
     
  11. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    Tyson has a good point about internet-only speaker company offerring very good values. Still, some speakers sound much better with some electronics/cables/cdplayers etc than others, so I would recommend trying out your new speakers with some different amps if you can. Good luck!
     
  12. Ben Henry

    Ben Henry Extra

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    Hi Fellows,
    Thought since you had questions about Swans Divas I might suggest the following link:http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/004801.html
    Besides several in depth reviews of the Diva line from those who have already purchased them, we have had the remarkable good fortune to have Mark Schifter giving us a lot of details and info. He is a co-founder of Perpetual Technologies and AV123.com. Perpetual is a company which has been praised for its new DSP speaker correction technology, and AV123.com is the company that is distributing the Swans Diva line in the U.S. He's the man, and if you have questions he has demonstrated he will answer them on AVS. Hope this is of benefit.
    Ben
    [Edited last by Ben Henry on July 23, 2001 at 11:50 PM]
     
  13. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Greg:
    I've had the 6.1 for a few days now and they are still being broken in by initially my ancient JVC receiver and now an Adcom CD changer & Citation amp combo (I call this my Ubid system [​IMG]) in my newly erected upstair music room. Granted one of the speakers has a defective bass driver which AV123 is to send me a replacement (they also give me $50 for the trouble and the option of swapping the whole set of speakers but I chose the easier way out FIRST), the Diva definitely beats my Def Tech BP 2000 (current HT use) esp in stereo music. In fact the Divas are to eventually replace the Def Tech's since I also have the center & surround on order. Keep in mind this is even before being completely broken in & with one bad driver the 6.1 is already giving me finer details, better image and slightly smoother sound than the Def Tech (granted the difference in room acoustics which is to the Def Tech's disadvantage).
    Yes, my reference music system does better than the Diva/Ubid combo in many ways with even more details/smoothness/bass, deeper soundstage & more stable imaging but we are talking about a more than ten times cost differential. Funny thing is I anticipate improvement in most areas if I add the P-1A/P-3A (currently in my reference system) after upgrading it with the 6.1 SOCS into the Diva/Ubid system. Is this expectation unrealistic? I don't know since I have not compare w/ & w/o the software but is anxious to find out and I hope Gifford or John may be able to drop me some hints. [​IMG]
    Talking about Paradigm, their most recent Stereophile ad was trashed by LP lovers when they posted a nice looking lady enjoying (presumingly analog) music from her Paradigm speakers while having her LP's scattered all over the floor. [​IMG]
    PF
    [Edited last by PomingF on July 24, 2001 at 03:46 AM]
     
  14. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    I have Studio 40v2's, and can second (or is it 3rd) what someone earlier said about placement. Mine are also (coincidance?) stand mounted ~25" from the rear wall. Also, Toe-in is very important on how bright they sound. What worked for my St-140 was too bright for my Ref 4420 amp, but toeing them back out brought them back into (even better) balance. I haven't tried running them off my Denon internal amps, but Denon amps are traditionally described as "warm", not bright. My center 40 does run off the 3801 internal amp, and its not bright sounding, although placement is different from front L/R and I don't listen to multi-cahnnel as critically as stereo.
    I'm not sure how they would sound on a book shelf, since you are crossing over at 80HZ with your 3801 (like me), maybe the 20's would be better given your placement constraints?
    I made the point over on AVS forum, but if resale value is important the Divas and Paradigms probably cost ~ the same.
    ------------------
    http://www.sdiver.org
     
  15. Fletcher

    Fletcher Extra

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    Greg,
    If you go with the Divas, I highly recommend you pay the extra $200 (if you can still get the sale price) for the 4.1s as your mains instead of the 2.1s. Instead of buying the C3 for $499 for your center back, maybe you could downgrade this to the C2 or even a single 2.1 (if you want to keep the same tweeter) since not much would be coming out of there anyways.
    I recently purchased the 2.1s and the 4.1s and the 4.1s are so worth the extra $200 I payed for them over the 2.1s. I also found the 2.1s too bright but the 4.1s were great. I haven't heard anyone else say anything about the 2.1s being too bright so maybe it is just me or the pair of 2.1s I happened to get. In any event, I returned the 2.1s in favor of a pair of the Ascend Acoustic CBM-170s. Returning the speakers wasn't a problem for me since I live nearby the factory they ship them from. Otherwise I am sure it would have been more of a hassle to return the speakers. The shipping cost of the Divas is probably more than you would expect since they double box them and pad them so well. And these speakers are pretty heavy. Anyways, I love the 4.1s and still can't believe I only paid $600 for them. I also love the Ascend Acoustic CBM-170s.
    EDIT: I just noticed you can't get floorstanders. That's too bad. Another warning is those 2.1s are HEAVY and big. They definitely sound great except they just came off as too bright for me. It seems like such a big difference compared to other speakers I have listened to that I wonder if I got a bad pair. I am tempted to call up av123.com and ask them if they found anything wrong with the 2.1s I returned.
    Fletcher
    [Edited last by Fletcher on July 24, 2001 at 08:31 PM]
     
  16. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    PomingF, how did you set up your DT's? What were you using to drive them? Did you really find them lacking musically? Because after lots and lots of break in (playing some tracks with lots of high frequency energy in particular) and subtle repositioning, I have found them to be wonderfully musical.
     
  17. Mark_wH

    Mark_wH Stunt Coordinator

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    I received some 5.1s, a 2.1 for a center, and 2.1s for the rears.
    Mids and highs are excellent. The 2.1 center blends extremely well with the 5.1 mains. I agree with the advice to consider the 2.1s for the rear back speakers instead of the C3.
    I am powering the speakers with a denon 3801 receiver.
    Mark
     
  18. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Bob:
    My DT's are stuck deep inside my HT/audio heaven with very little room to move around. In b/w is a 50" RPTV and flanking their sides is another pair of >200 lb each floor standing speakers. They are o/w ~14" from the back wall and
     
  19. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the reply PomingF. I have my DT's next to an rptv with only four feet of space in between the speakers, but the speakers are a few inches forward in relation to the tv (if the speakers are placed at the same depth level as the front of the rptv, then they become a bit brighter). I have the subs firing outward and I use a very slight toe in, with about 2-3 feet for the rear drivers to fire (this helps them open up and gives them extra depth). But what I feel is really important is that I have no "obstructions" for the side firing subs...my speakers are in an "insert" of wall, and when placed too close to the wall they are boomier in the bass.
    What amp/receiver are you using? With a yamaha dspA1, they sound amazing (other good matches seem to be yamaha rx-v1, b&kavr307, high end Marantz, denon 5800). But I will admit it was after 1.5-2 years (!) before I felt everything was optimal...I probably didn't break them in well enough and you should play lots of material with crisp/bright highs to help them fully break in. Might want to give about 5-8 feet of space in between the speakers, with 1-3 feet for the rear drivers to fire, using a slight toe in (with subs probably firing outward). And if you haven't wired them "full range" in the bass, make sure to do so! One thing about these DT's is that, when you get them right for music then you are in great shape because they are always killer for HT!
    [Edited last by Bob_A on July 25, 2001 at 11:25 PM]
    [Edited last by Bob_A on July 25, 2001 at 11:28 PM]
     
  20. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    I guess it's personal preference, but I prefer the look of the Paradigms over the Swans, judging by the pictures.
     

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