Paradigm for the untrained ear....

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by RyanJE, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Hi all. Ive been auditioning new speakers lately and had some questions about Paradigm. IM looking for opinions between the Atoms, Titans, and Mini Monitors. Ive listened to all three and can hear differences in stereo no Sub. But with the sub on I cant here to huge of a dif.. Maybe more presence in order I listed.

    I want to bring a set home and test them but Im not sure which I dont want to bring home multiple sets. I guess I havent trained my ears enough yet to hear then subtle differences. I am concerned with the centers that these match with. The monitor series only goes to 100hz =- 2db. I would be looking to start with only the 2 fronts. Then get another pair and use as rears until I get the third pair and use 1 as center and one as rear for a 6.1.

    What are your guy's experience using these primarily for HT. Did you notice any major differences?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Huh? Explain? Are you talking about the OW or the regular CC-370? The regular CC370 goes to 57Hz. Go by the DIN number listed, which is -3dB in room.

    With a sub, there isn't a ton of difference between the Atom and Titan, but the Titan can move more air and handles a bit more power. The Minis can handle quite a bit more power than the Performance line. Most will say the Atom is clearer than the Titan, but that is really only because it doesn't extend as low. IMO, the Titans are worth the extra ~$20/pr.

    I've owned all 3, and I would take the Minis every time. The CC-370 is a better center than either of the performance line centers too. I started with Titans + CC170 up front, Atoms out back. I wasn't happy with the Atoms, so I swapped them right away for another pair of Titans. Then I brought home some Minis to try out, and I ended up trading in my Titans to get them. Then I tried out the CC270 and ended up buying a 370 and moving the 170 to the back as a rear center. Finally, I replaced the Minis with Monitor 5s and I was done for a while.

    I have since upgraded and there are no more Paradigms in my setup, but they are definitely good for the $$.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    I'm not a big fan of the Atoms, they just don't seem right on dialog.

    I like the Titan's, I like the Mini-Monitors and I do think these sound a like myself.


    The one's I really love are the Montor 3's.
     
  4. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    John on the site it says

    Are you saying dont use this number? Should I use the DIN rating on the bookshelves as well? I would most likely use start with no center and work towards 4 minis for a 4.1 then 6 in a 6.1 setup. But that would take me a while.

    For HT is the extra $ for the Minis justifiable.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Over the Titan's? or the Atoms? The Titan's really seem the same in eveyr aspect to me. So I would say no, it would not be worth it. Over the Atoms, yes totaly worth it, especially if your going to eventually use one for the center channel.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    No, don't use that number. Go by the DIN.

    There's a guy selling a pair and a CC170 here, though no price is given.

    I've always thought the Monitor 3 should be dropped from the line [​IMG] It's always been too sloppy for my liking. I compared the Titans an Minis extensively - I had both in my posession for at least a year together, and did a number of back to backs. During critical listening it was obvious to me that the Minis were better speakers - clarity in both mids and highs, bass is tighter and deeper, just a better overall speaker - but I listen to a lot of music and you are going to use them mostly for HT, the Titans should work great.

    I'd also recommend you consider the Axiom M3Ti. A little less than the Minis, but as good or better than them. The M3s don't have as much bass extension and are a tad brighter.
     
  7. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    John S,

    So your saying the Titans are almost equal to the Mini's.

    John Garcia,
    You seem to be claiming the same if used for HT.

    Actually this is what my listening has led me to as well.(when speakers are paired with a sub)

    Ill think about giving the M3's ago as well since Im going to eventually give the HTD L3's a whirl. Thanks for the info so far!!
     
  8. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I have Titans and Minis. The Titans are probably the best value. They probably have 90% of the performance of the Minis, and arguable much better performance than other speakers in its price range.

    But, the Mini is a better speaker. The midrange is smoother and cleaner, and it can punch much harder. The Minis do not compress under high volumes, where the Titans can start to sound fatiqued. And the matching CC-370 is quite a big step over the performance line.

    Only you can decide if that is worth the extra money.
     
  9. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Brian are you using those Minis/Titans for Music, HT or a mixture?

    Knowing what you know now would you buy the Minis/Titans again or buy something else in the range.
     
  10. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Titans still sound a little better to me compared to Atoms even with a sub(I own both). In regards to Titan vs mini: The mini's sound bigger, with a better high-end IMO. They sound less boxy too. Not big differences.

    I've had my Titans for 2 years now and they've served me well, I'm upgrading to some $1000 CAD or so DIY speakers but I still like the Titans alot.
     
  11. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I have used them for everything. It is kind of a long upgrade story.

    I started with Minis and a CC-370 up front, and Titans in the rear (and a Paradigm sub). At the time, that was both my music and HT setup. (I am about 80% music, 20% HT). The combo worked great. HT was very solid, and the Minis had a great punch for music. They were able to fill a decent size room with ease.

    Next I moved into an apartment temporarly while a new house was being built. So in respect for my neighbors, I stored everything but the Minis. The Minis held their own beautifually in just stereo.

    So, in the new house I went back to where I was. Then I went to buy a pair of dedicated music speakers. I started looking at the 5s, but was convinced to listen to the Studio 20s. I immediatly fell in love with the Studio series for music. They have a much smoother midrange, but that was not your question (but, if you want to stretch the budget, look at the 20s, even if it only means stereo for now.)

    Next came an upgrade to Studio 60s for music, and moved the 20s to the front of the HT (with Studio-CC), the Minis to the rear, and the Titans to surround back.

    Next house, and things moved around. I put the CC-370 in the rear, and moved the Titans to the living room for speakers for the TV. So now I have the chance to really eveluate the Titans on their own. And since I love music, I often have them playing music in the house.

    It is very hard to describe the differences in speakers. If the price gap was closer, I would say Minis all the way. They are a better speaker. But, my I still use my Titans by themselves, and they sound good. I will have music playing on all 3 systems (60s, 20s, Titans), and when walking from room to room, you don't really notice a difference. You have to really sit down and concentrate to find the difference. But once you do, you appreciate the Minis/Studios even more. For the price of the Titans, they are always a good bet, especially if you will not seriously critique them.

    So you really have 2 options. You could always start with the Titans and keep rotating upgrading like I did. It makes things cheaper now, and can build with your system.
    The other option is to go all the way now. Pass right by the Minis, and go for the 20s, even if it is just stereo. I have lived in stereo (and still do a lot). The 20s are the biggest leap in performance, and even in stereo, will give the Titans a run. Then keep adding in the Studio line as funds become available. In the end, you will have a top notch system.
     
  12. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    John Garcia its interesting that you say that


    I was reading something about speaker design and I noticed the other day this was something you were getting into. The article I read stated something along the lines that it doesnt make any sense to make a 2-way speaker with a woofer greater than 6.5". Unfortunately I cant find the article. I wonder why such a reputable brand would do that.
     
  13. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    As much as I would love to do this I know it might bite me in the ass. Im very new to HT and this is my first Serious system. (I currently have a fluance set up) So based on my reaction to HT so far I have the strange feeling Ill be upgrading in the not so near future. See Im thinking about upgrading my upgrade before I even upgrade! Ive created a monster. [​IMG]
     
  14. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    Ryan,
    I see you are still considering options. [​IMG] Just wanted to mention that Paradigm is a very safe choice. You can pick anything from their lineup and have a good system.
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    In this price range, I don't really think it does make much sense. I think Paradigm did it because it gives better bass response than the 5s. The downside, and the main reason why 8" bookshelf speakers generally aren't a great idea, is because the drivers typically don't sound great in the upper midrange. That doesn't mean it can't be done, it just means it takes a little more work to get right.
     
  16. Ernie Estrella

    Ernie Estrella Stunt Coordinator

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    While I haven't had the luxury of trying different things out, I have Minis in the front with my CC-370 and I am a heavy HT user. Probably 90%/10% and I couldn't be happier. When I do actually play music, it sounds awesome and whether a film is in stereo or surround, you can't go wrong with the upgrade to the minis. For me it was the CC-370 that sold me, especially since it's the workhorse for HT. My wife liked the Minis even though I was originally going with the Titans. I only had once chance to do this as my wife wasn't going to fly with seasonal upgrades. I watch a LOT of dialogue driven movies and dramas so you can't go wrong with that set-up for HT.

    I have some cheapos in the rear but will probably plunk down that change this year. It hasn't ruined my HT experience for the past two years... I'll probably get at least titans for those or the wall mountable swivel rears (forgot model #)

    Treat yourself this one time and make the step up, and forget all the upgrading. Do it right the first time so you're constantly not thinking, "what if?"

    Go with the Minis and CC-370. That's just my two cents.
     
  17. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Yeah I've been looking into a lot of DIY designs and there are some really good DIY out there that involve 2-way designs using 8" drivers(among them is a 2-way MTM I plan on building). But the crossover and tweeter selection is critical to pull this off I think.
     
  18. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    I second Ernie's opinion. This is what I did too. Started with a pair of Minis and the CC370 up front, used some cheapos in the rear, and was very happy for about 2 years. Then when I put some scratch together this past Christmas, my present to myself was a pair of Monitor 7's, which I love. I'd just like to throw in that if you're watching a lot of movies, you'll want to go with mains and a CC to start, and don't skimp on the CC. It carries most of the movie, from dialogue to music to effects, and you don't want it sounding thin.

    Even if you start out with a CC370 and a pair of Titans, I bet you'd be pretty happy (you can use some $40 surrounds like I did for a while just to get some sound back there) and then at some point in the future you can decide to either get another pair of Titans, maybe the Minis, or maybe a tower, depending on how much money you have lying around.

    So basically, Minis + CC370 if you can swing it, otherwise my vote goes to Titans and CC370. $0.02 contributed.
     
  19. John S

    John S Producer

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    I will say.. My love for the monitor 3's, comes from how they sound with dialog more than anything else. I mean, they sound great on music to me too, but they handle dialog amazingly well and actually could be one of my favs period for handling dialog. I seem overly picky where dialog and speakers are concerned. So it certainly may not be applicable to everybodies tastes.

    I do tend to prefer 3 way 8" low end driver speakers in general over 2 way 8" low driver speakers. But I certainly never though M3's sounded sloppy to me by any means.

    See how subjective speakers are?????

    I no longer make suggestions for them in general, just to subjective. I'm pretty high on NHT SB3's these days as well in this price / quality range.
     
  20. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Really? Id imagine a 2-way design for about the same price would trounce the 3-way. I mean you've got the costs of building the speakers spread across more, lower quality components for a 3-way. But I guess that depends on a lot of things.
     

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