Paradigm Mini Monitor VS. B&W 602 S3

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by wilborn f, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    I am seriously considering either a Paradigm Mini Monitor or a B&W 602 S3. The B&W is a little expensive but if the improvement in sound is tremendous then the price difference is something that can be resolved.

    Both have excellent reviews from reputable magazines and organizations but i never encountered a review wherein the two speakers are pitted against each other

    I was able to audition the two separately but it would be ideal if done side by side considering the varying acoustic properties of the room where it was audioned and the different equipments used.

    Can anybody in this forum do a parallel comparison of the two or at least comment on the qualities or difference of the two?

    Btw, im using a denon receiver and a JM Lab Chorus centre speaker.
    Your comments will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    I can't speak to the difference between the mini-monitors and the B&Ws, but since you say you can swing the price difference for a nice improvement in sound, make sure you check out the v.3 Paradigm studio/20s. Generally, they are considered significantly better than the minis in addition to being a nice improvement over the v.2s.
     
  3. Mark Dill

    Mark Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    This is one comparison that I think you are going to have to let your ears decide. Paradigms and B&W have very fundamentally different sounds. Some people really really like the Paradigm sound and hate B&W and vice versa.

    I am a B&W guy, but here are my trying-to-be-unbiased opinions about the speakers. (I haven't actually listened to the mini-monitors, but I have listened to titans/atoms and studio series)

    Paradigms are a very energetic speaker. The music really will jump out and grab you. Very punchy, tight bass and clear mids and highs. Even at lower levels, Paradigms produce a full, rich sound that will really fill the room well.

    B&W is a much more laid back sound. You really don't get that "involved" feeling that you get with Paradigm until you turn the volume up near reference levels. But when you do MY OH MY will the B&W's shine. The imaging is amazing, the speaker locations disappear and you will swear there are speakers positioned all across your front wall to be able to create that amazing soundstage. The music still will not seem as dynamic as it sounds from the Paradigms, but you will feel that you are hearing the recording exactly as it was meant to be heard. Soooo accurate with a nice warm sound, like the performers are in the room with you.

    I have heard people call B&W speakers "bright" which is bizarre to me. The only way a B&W speaker could sound bright would be to hook it up to a terrible amp or receiver. With good electronics, I'd say they are a little on the "warm" side of neutral.

    I am a happy owner of a pair of B&W 602's, btw.
     
  4. Blaine_M

    Blaine_M Second Unit

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    I agree with Mark. I've heard both and like both, but I've also got a pair of 602's with a CC6 for a center. Audition them both and pick the one you like the best.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    As a former owner of Minis, I found the 602 to be more clear in the midrange and a much more accurate speaker, and between the two, I would choose the 602. If you can swing the Studio 20s, they would be an improvement over the 602s.

    I've listened to the 602s with nice Rotel gear and still found them to be on the bright side, if not a bit flat also. They have a very characteristic sound to them. I feel all the Paradigms except the Signatures are bright as well though.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Audition them!

    I auditioned between the 601s and the mini-monitors back in the day, and I thought the monitors were better.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The Minis have more bass, which gives them a more full sound to my ears, but the midrange, particularly with vocals, is not as clear with the Minis IMO. I got a better deal on the Minis though, and I was happy with them.

    Since you are looking at these two, there are a few internet direct speakers you might want to consider as well - the Axiom Audio M22 and Ascend Acoustics CMT340.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    "The Minis have more bass, which gives them a more full sound to my ears, but the midrange, particularly with vocals, is not as clear with the Minis, IMO. I got a better deal on the Minis though, and I was happy with them."

    John, I'm confused! [​IMG]
     
  9. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Looks like he's definitely talking about the Minis [​IMG]
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Oops! I was wrapped up in something else and skimmed through that and thought he was comparing one against the other. I get it!

    :b
     
  11. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    Thank you all for your valuable comments. Allow me to answer several points you have raised namely:

    1. The difference in price between a B&W 602 S3 and Paradigm Mini Monitor is about US$70. On the other hand the Studio 20 is retailed here at a price of the B&W and the Paradigm combined. That is why i have removed the Studio 20 as an option even i know its a terrific speaker.

    2. I used to own a floorstander and i was impressed by the size of the driver and actual unit of B&W. But again, my basis should be the quality of sound and not the heft of the speaker.

    3. I was initially impressed with the detail and clarity of the Minis but i was floored by the soundstage of the B&W. Btw, the bass section is somewhat addressed by my M&K THX sub.

    4. I have auditioned both separately but i can not do a parallel comparison (speaker A&B type of comparison) which will make it easier for me to decide.

    4. I am aware of the other good speakers online but this option is not acceptable to me due to the inefficiency of our postal service here in the Philippines.

    Btw, im currently using a denon receiver for HT and im planning to get a tube amp for audio listening.

    I hope my inputs will help you in addressing my concer.

    Thank you so much
     
  12. Max F

    Max F Second Unit

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    I think you've made your selection then.[​IMG] I would go for floored over impressed any day.
     
  13. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    Max F, floored was a strong word as compared to impressed. Let me just correct myself by saying equally impressed with B&W's soundstage. Sorry for the foul up.

    Again, im still confused because with a US$70 difference, i really wanted to get the better pair between the two.

    Thanks to all of you.
     
  14. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yeah, these are close, and I would really try to find a way to listen to them side by side. You won't be unhappy either way, but I think it might be worth your time to figure out a way to bring both pairs home and compare them side by side.
     
  15. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    Chris, unfortunately they wouldnt allow it here in the Philippines. Once you have made a deposit(usually 50% of the price) they will allow you to try the speakers at home but you are already bound to buy the unit or else they will just forfeit the deposit. Worst, the distributor of B&W here is different from the distributor of paradigm.

    Thanks for your comments
     
  16. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    Hi, can the moderators comment on this comparison.
     

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