paradigm cc170 or cc270 with 80W Denon AVR1603?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by ToddDI, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. ToddDI

    ToddDI Auditioning

    Mar 9, 2005
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    Should I get the cc170 or cc270 to run off my Denon AVR1603?

    I plan to set up a new HT when my wife and I move into a house or possibly a townhouse/condo. We have a long way to go in that process. I do not know what the room will be, but for sure it will not be a large room.

    Right now I have the Denon and I was lucky enough to pick up one of the Hsu STF-2 subs at Circuit City when I saw a flurry of posts on the forums. I need to get 5 speakers to complete the system. I have considered HTD level II or III at the low end of what I want to spend. I also considered a set up of 4 Ascend CBM170s with a CBM340C. This costs a bit more than I want to spend and I also worry that the 80W from my source might not be enough to get the full potential out of them.

    I was able to audition some paradigm Titans at a local store. They do not have much of a selection in stock and the source they use for power has a separate amp so it is a lot more clean power than my Denon will provide.

    I think I would like to splurge a bit up front so I plan to use a pair of Focus. I like the fact that the midrange drivers are made of the same MPC material as is used in the cc170 and cc270. I plan to use Titans as rears.

    Based on the drivers in the Focus which are a 1" tweeter and 6.5" midrange, the better match would be the cc270 which has the exact same drivers. The cc170 uses a 3/4" tweeter and 5.5" midranges.

    However, paradigm lists the "maximum input power" for the cc270 at 100W(15-160W amp). The cc170 says to use 80W(15-120W amp). So based on the rated power of my source the cc170 would be the better match.

    I am sure that the cc270 with 100W of power would sound better than the cc170 with 80W.

    I know that the center is the most important speaker in HT, but I'm wondering at 80W is bigger really the same as better?

    I wonder if I should spend the extra $100 on the cc270 if my source is slightly low.

    I can't listen to both centers at the dealer, and their source would be much more than 80W of clean power anyway.

    I know my question is subjective in nature but what do people think? With the cc170 I would not have to worry much about distortion and power clipping except at very high levels. Would the cc270 sound better at lower levels? With the cc270 there is the possibility of distortion at higher levels because of not enough power. Would the cc170 actually sound better at all levels because of the closer match in power?

    Any thoughts, opinions, or theories would be greatly appreciated, especially from anyone who has owned a cc170 or cc270.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Jun 24, 1999
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    I'd say it depends on the mains you get. If you get the Focus for mains, get the 270. If you get the Titans, go with the 170. I'd opt for the Focus/270 though. These guys are all pretty easy to drive, so I'd say the 1603 would be OK with them unless you have a big room or are wanting to listen at extreme levels.

    I've owned the 170, 270 and 370, with Titans as rears.

    Don't try to correlate your receiver's rated power with the max input power for the speaker, since they aren't referring to the same thing. Under average listening conditions, you won't be USING your receiver's max power.

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