Paradigm Mini Monitor -vs- Monitor 3

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Raymond_H, Aug 3, 2001.

  1. Raymond_H

    Raymond_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    I went to my local Paradigm dealer store ( Top Audio in Orange County, CA) and I've already decided to go with Paradigm speakers but can't decide which ones to go with.
    I first auditioned the Paradigm Atoms, and while they were really good (for the price) the Mini-Monitor and Monitor 3s seem to me to be on a different level.
    I already decided to go with the Center CC-370 but now the real question,
    Mini-Monitor or Monitor 3?
    The price difference is $50.00, with retail at $350.00 and $400.00. (The dealer is doing 20% off on all speakers)
    I listened to both, with a music CD with a Carver amp, and the Mini-Monitor seemed to be generally brighter while the Monitor 3 seemed warmer with the overall bass and sound.
    My listening breakdown is around 85% movies, 15% music. With a future upgrade to a Panny RP91, the percentage to music should increase. But the point is DVDs dominate my soundstage.
    $50.00 difference isn't a whole lot, but yet if the Mini-Monitors are good enough instead of the Monitor 3, I would rather save the $50.00 and put that towards accesories like the Paradigm stand.
    Any comments on these two products that will help me choose which one suits me.
    My current A/V reciever is a Kenwood VR-407, my listening room is rather large but I expect to be moving around alot, possibly to an apartment ( in a year or so).
    I also might be upgrading my reciever by the end of the year to a newer model with DPII, possibly the Denon 3802 or the like < $1000.00.
    Also, I could buy the Minis first along with the CC-370 and when cost permit, but the Monitor 3 and shuffle the minis to the back.
    The deals are as follows for those curious,
    - CC-370, Monitor 3s - $580.00
    - CC-370, Mini Monitor - $530.00
    The matching Paradigm stands are about $100.00.
    Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Raymond Higa
     
  2. ShaneH

    ShaneH Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you have a sub? If you have a good sub and movies are your main priority, then mini's would be fine since you would be setting them to small and routing bass to the sub. When i a/b listened to the mini's and 3's I found the mini's very slightly clearer than the 3's, but the 3's still sounded great. It's a tough call, and the 3's would sound a little better with music without a sub. In the end go with your ear, if you liked the 3's better, go for it ,at that price you cant go wrong.
     
  3. Raymond_H

    Raymond_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks ShaneH for the response,
    To answer your questions,
    I currently have an SOny SWMA-40 Subwoofer. Currently, I am very pleased with the Sony Sub, and I will probaly upgrade the sub to an SVS but that won't happen until next spring.
    I only spent a good 10-20 minutes listening to both the Mini-Monitor and Monitor 3s, I am a newbie and thus do not have alot of experience when listening to different speakers.
    Just by listening to the same CD, the Mini's seemed brighter but at times had a more vocal soundstage, while the Monitor 3's bass seemed very warm (BTW, no sub was included just the two fronts in the demo) but not bright on the highs and the soundstage seemed less vocal.
    I think I'm leaning towards buying the Mini Monitor with the Center, and if I am not pleased I could always when cost permits, to shuffle the Minis to the rear and then purchase the Monitor 3s.
    Again, any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Raymond Higa
     
  4. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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  5. GregoriusM

    GregoriusM Second Unit

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    The Mini Monitors have a 6.5 inch midrange/woofer while the Monitor 3's have an 8" midrange/woofer.
    I found the Monitor 3's not to be "warmer", but in fact, "muddier". Mind you, both speakers are excellent in their price range.
    These were being driven by quite high end equipment.
    I think the Mini's with a sub is definitely the way to go. The Mini's are more accurate with the smaller drivers, and yet will pack a punch!
    IMHO!
    ------------------
    .... "just me up on my pony on my boat".
     
  6. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    My experience matches that of GregoriusM. I spent a while deciding between the same two speakers (intended for my folks) and finally settled on the Mini's. I thought the midrange on the Monitor 3's just didn't sound as good as on the Mini's. You may want to check into it (I'm not 100% sure), the CC370 likely also has the 6.5" drivers in it. Mini monitor's should be a better timbral match for that center channel speaker in that case.
    End result was that I was super impressed by the mini monitor's when I got 'em home and had trouble giving them up for my folks!
    Andrej
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  7. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    If it were me, I would go with the minimonitors now. Because the Monitor 5's or monitor 7's are generally regarded as the best of the monitor line.
    You'd be best served with mini's now, then move them to the back when you are ready to upgrade. The monitor 5's are the same type of speaker as the Studio 40 that everyone here loves.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Another vote for the Minis. [​IMG]
    I was thinking about upgrading, and after listening to these and other speakers, I think it will be the Minis. They sound GREAT!
    ------------------
    All progress is based upon a universal, inate desire on the part of every organism, to live beyond it's income.
    ITRCA ** Honda/Acura Club ** Speedring (sorry, car guy)
     
  9. Ed_A

    Ed_A Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    I noticed you're in Santa Clara; I'm in San Jose. Where do you audition the Paradigm line in this area? Any dealers you can recommend?
    Thanks,
    Ed
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Hey, another South Bay person [​IMG]
    The only Paradigm dealer that I know of in San Jose is Bay Area Audio. Sorry, don't have their number off hand, but they are on DeAnza Blvd, just off Hwy 85. I think Paradigm is the lowest speaker line they carry...hehehe. They have Mirage, Theil, Sonus Faber, Ariel...etc...
    Good people, good gear.
    Make sure you check out their theater room(s). The one with the Mirages is sweet, but the one with the Ariels and Theta Amp(s) is just plain incredible.
    [​IMG]
    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 06, 2001 at 12:16 PM]
     
  11. Nate Thompson

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    On my last trip up north into Canada, I was set to buy a pair of Monitor 3s for my fronts, and Minis for the rears (in addition to a CC-370 for the center channel). I demoed both the models, and found the Monitor 3s to sound a bit muddy when compared to the overall sound from the Mini Monitors. The salesman (who was very helpful), suggested I take a listen to the Monitor 5s/7s to hear the difference. Needless to say, I ended up walking out with a set of 5s, a pair of mini-monitors, and the CC-370. My recomendation to you would be to look into the 5s if your budget can afford it for your front speakers, if not get the Mini-Monitors. Since you already have a sub, you should be fine.
    Let me know how that Sony sub sounds with whatever you end up getting. I've been interested in seeing how well they would work together as I was thinking of picking one up for myself.
    ------------------
    Nate Thompson
     
  12. Jay C

    Jay C Extra

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    Let me know how that Sony sub sounds with whatever you end up getting. I've been interested in seeing how well they would work together as I was thinking of picking one up for myself.

    I have this setup. Mini's for the fronts, cc-170 center and the Sony WM40 for the sub. I love the sound, but my experience is limited to my current setup and the Pioneer Prologic in a box set of speakers [​IMG] Still, on the favorite movies (Toy Story 2, Titan AE, etc...) the bass is plenty.
    Jay
    [Edited last by Jay C on August 06, 2001 at 01:29 PM]
     
  13. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Mini's all the way. Get a sub...PDR10, 12, PS1000, PW2200, with Mini's in the front and rear with the matching CC370 center and you will be laughing. I have gone through 2 sets of minis. First with mains and surrounds as Mini's then upgraded to M7's for front, and left a pair of mini's as rears.
    You simply can't go wrong with the Mini's...just such a fantastic speaker for the price.
    ------------------
    Oops, I dropped my eardrums.
    Could you pick them up for me?
     
  14. Raymond_H

    Raymond_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    Thanks guys for all your responses, I really appreciate it.
    Well...
    It looks like I'm going to buy the Mini-Monitors.
    I will put the extra money saved -vs- the Monitor 3s into proper stands. At the local dealer, that have the Paradigm made stands with the mini-monitors ranging from at least $100.00 (pretty average) to $160.00 (pretty good).
    Are there better "bang for your buck" speaker stands wether it is online or retail store that will be a perfect fit for the little mini-monitors?
    Also the speakers will be placed witin 1 1/2 - 2 ft from the television, should I pay the extra $15.00 to have them shielded?
    Now, with rears... Whats my best solution?
    Should I a) buy another pair of mini-monitors for the rear b) buy a better front mains, shuffle minis to the rear or c) buy Paradigm di-pole speakers like the ADP 170 or 350.
    Suggestions?
    Again, thanks for all your comments.
    Raymond
     
  15. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yes, I would recommend the sheilded ones, at least one pair for the mains. My main Titans are shielded, eventhough they are 2+ft. from my TV.
    I have the S30 stands, and they are not bad at all. Only thing is, they do not easily lend themselves to being filled.
    I am using Titans both as my mains and surrounds, and I am very pleased with the results. My recommendation would be to use another pair of Minis as the rears. I prefer the sound of all direct radiating, though I no longer point the rears directly into the listening area, I have them pointed toward eachother, near the back wall (about 3-4ft behind the listener). This setup gives a nice, diffused sound in the rear, but still allows the listener to place side to side effects.
    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 08, 2001 at 10:19 AM]
     
  17. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I would think that 1-1/2 to 2 feet away should be far enough for the main speakers. I have Monitor 7's and one speaker is less than 2 feet away from the TV. I don't have them shielded and have no problems. I suggest you demo the unshielded Mini's at home and test for yourself. You will know right away if there is a problem.
    One other suggestion, what is the price for Monitor 5's or 7's. Since these are floor-standing speakers, you would be saving the money needed for stands for Mini's.
     
  18. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    The monitor 5's are no longer floorstanding speakers. If you wanted to get floorstanding, you're looking at the monitor 7.
    I would get some nice stands, as they are really becoming furniture in your new house. If you ever upgrade to something in the Studio line (Studio 20's) then you won't need nicer stands.
    As far as the rears go, you might look at a pair of Atoms. I would stay away from the ADP's as they are quite expensive. If you ever go to 3 rear channels, you probably won't want them anyway(DiPoles that is.)
    If you go cheap Atoms on the rear (which are nice speakers btw, they started my love for Paradigm) then you won't feel so bad moving your minimonitors to the back when you eventually upgrade your front channels like you said you might do in a few years.
     

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