Paradigm Mini vs Atoms for surrounds w/studio fronts, v3

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by JonathanOh, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. JonathanOh

    JonathanOh Agent

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    Hi,

    I never heard the Minis but I assume most people like them better than the Atoms for what I read here. I will try to go have a listen at the local dealer.

    I am thinking of upgrading my surrounds. Unfortunately, in my situation, they will have to be on short stands, pointing up towards the ceiling. They will practically be on the floor with only a couple of inches of space to allow air to get to the rear port. Originally I got the Atoms (in white) to place on the side walls but that plan did not work out. Now I am stuck with them on the floor.

    Does anyone think that going up to Minis will make any difference? Also, does anyone have any insight on if v3 or v2 Minis will mesh better with my Studio 20s with 470 in front (v3)?

    Thanks
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Minis are better than Atoms without question. v3 is a little cleaner than v2, but more or less sound the same, so either will work fine for surround duty. I was using Minis as surrounds for a while, but I tried out my Titans and they sounded good enough that I left them and put the Minis in another system.

    If you are going to Bay Area Audio, let me know, I can probably get you a small discount.
     
  3. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Well, I had Minis up front with Titan rears for a while. The Titans (and Atoms) do just fine for surround duty. But then I moved my 20's (v.2) with a Studio CC to my main theater and the Mini's moved back. For multi-channel music the Mini's hold up much better. But for movies, I did not initially notice a big improvement. The big thing for my was the ability to move to a 60 hz crossover. Even though it is a little bit of a stretch for the Minis, (the 20's perform beautifully down past 60 hz) it added so much depth and bass response to both the front and rear soundstage. The action in the rears is much more alive because less of it is directed to the sub in the front corner of the room. The Mini's also hold up better at near reference volumes.

    So, while the Atoms are adequate for surround duty, the Minis are much more versitale and offer you more options to improve the sound.
     
  4. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    The Minis are not an exact match to the Studio series, but would be closer than the Atoms. I am using Minis with my Montitor 7s and am very pleased.
     
  5. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahhh - the neverending upgrade quest. John's right in that Mini's are better than Atoms when A/B'd. And I'm using them as surrounds in a room w/ a 470 center and think they sound fine (heck - they're often quite good when used alone so they'd better be OK in a less-demanding surround role). As Marty said, mini's aren't supposed to be an exact match for Studios ('cause then why would you spend $$$ for Studios?) but they are close enough for our room.

    But, will they make things for your particular configuration all that much better??? Sorry, but I don't think any of us can say for sure. Standard placebo effect should kick in if you spend the money on them so of course things should seem better, but there are soooo many variables (including your source material, etc. etc.) that your best bet might be to get an in-home trial if possible.
     
  6. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys,

    I have a pair of Atoms. I'm very happy with it. Anyways, why didn't you mention ADP-170 for the surrounds? From my understanding, ADPs are really for surround sounds.

    Let me know. [​IMG]

    Ronneil
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I prefer monopoles for surround, because I prefer their sound over the diffuse effect of bi/dipoles, but my room setup also would not work well with bi-dipoles. For ~2x the cost, the ADPs don't really sound much better. The 170s don't match the Studio series either.

    20s or Studio ADPs would be the best match, but it doesn't sound like that is the way he is leaning, or the Atoms wouldn't even have been mentioned. IMO, of the speakers mentioned, the Minis will be the best compromise. My Titans don't match my GR Research A/V-2s, but even for MC SACDs, I am still pleased with their performance.

    I agree with Brian that the Atoms cannot handle near referenfce levels without some break up, and I found that even the Minis (v2) were not happy at this level (Titans as well). Moving to Monitor 5s up front made my front stage more effortless. While they did not yeild much improvement in bass extension, their higher sensitivity made them a much better main, and the same applies to the 40s vs 20s. Before I sold the 5s, I swapped them in for surround duty, and I was VERY impressed having a larger speaker back there. The 20s actually have as good or better extension than the 5s, so they will make excellent surrounds.
     
  8. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I have a friend with the exact same set-up, studio 20's cc470 and 4 atoms for surrounds (7.1). It sounds excellent for HT. We listened a great deal to the Minis and the whole monitor line. I will probably get blasted on this but I would not bother upgrading to the Minis. There is NOT a huge difference between Minis and Atoms. Yes you wil hear a bit more detail with the Minis but not enough in my opinion to warant an upgrade. I would save my pennies for the studio 60's and put the 20's in the rear. Not a lot of detailed info comes out of the rears in H/T so the diiference between atoms and minis will be negligable. If you wil be going into SACD then it may be worth it but at that point I would still wait until I could put studios in the rears. Good luck
     
  9. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Evan makes a good point. Are you listening to primarily HT or mostly music? And, are you 5.1 or 7.1?

    For HT the difference between Minis and Atoms is likely not going to be all that much - there just won't be that much distinct program back there. I used my Minis for 5.1 surrounds just 'cause I had them. We've added 7.1 electronics and Studio ADPs (both were dirt cheap - that's why) and it's really very, very good for HT.

    Music is a different matter. That's where you do want directs - I now (finally/after-the-fact) admit that 'cause I can sort-of A/B the difference. The Minis are better in back then, I'd bet 20s would be even better (but years of tuition payments says the Minis will stay put), and since I don't have Atoms I can't A/B to tell you how much more/less I like them. And it doesn't matter - what matters more is what you listen to and what you prefer.

    If you haven't heard Minis that should probably be done before you go any farther with this. And if you're mostly HT, then that trip can probably wait (quite) a while.
     
  10. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    So basically guys, you're recommending me not to get ADP-170. But instead, move my front ATOMS to become surround speakers and then purchase Studio 20s for my fronts. With this kind of setup, will I still feel the "enveloping sound" when I watch movies?

    And yes, I will be using this setup 80% waching movies and just 20% listening to music.

    My real plan was really to get pair of ADP-170, CC-170 for the center channel and PS-1000 for the the subs. After reading this whole mail thread, my plan was change to pair of Studio 20s, cc-170 and PS-1000 and also move atoms to become surrounds.

    Please comment. Thanks a lot.

    Ronneil
     
  11. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Don't put the CC-170 with the 20's. You want the front 3 to match. The CC-170 is a major mis-match for the 20's. If you get the 20s make sure you get the CC-470 like you were talking about in your original post.

    You could get a pair of ADP-170 or another pair of Atoms with the CC-170 and have a nice system. The 20s and CC-470 will be a big upgrade, and a big price increase. That decision is up to you.

    Also, you may want to reconsider the PS-1000. The PS-Series subs are boomy and you can find better subs for the price. If you want to stick with Paradigm look at the PDR-10 or the PW-2100/PW-2200.
     
  12. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    So what do you think about this setup

    studio 20 - fronts
    cc-470 - center
    atoms - surrounds
    pdr 12 - subs

    Thanks.

    Neil
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sounds like a good setup. You might want to do a little more research on the sub, since there are a number of excellent internet direct sub manufacturers that will give you a much better bang for your buck, such as HSU, SVS and Adire.
     
  14. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Looks good now.
     
  15. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry guys, what's not good about using ADP-170 as surrounds?

    Thanks.

    Ronneil
     
  16. Mike Workman

    Mike Workman Auditioning

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    I recommend listening to the PS-1000 before you rule it out as your sub. When it's not set up properly, it can sound boomy, but it's a great home theater sub when properly calibrated. I've had mine for close to five years, and couldn't be happier with it.
     
  17. JonathanOh

    JonathanOh Agent

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for the good input.

    There seems to be two slightly different threads here, one for Ronneil Camara who seems to have a similar question.

    For me, I already have 20s and 470 in front and really like them. I will upgrade to the 40s when we remodel in a few years.

    I originally got my Atoms in white for wall mounting. I choose them for WAF. It turns out that wall mounting did not work our after all so I now we want speakers in black to sit on the floor, hence my originally notion of upgrading to Minis rather than getting black Atoms or Titans. I can now go up a bit in size. I may even get some Studio 20s, v2, used. Alas, v3 are "too large" for the surrounds per my wife. Our current room is a bit restrictive so I see her point.

    Sounds like I will be getting the Minis unless I can find a good deal on some v2 Studios and convince the wife that the deal was too good to pass up.

    Thanks everyone.

    Also, note to Mr. Garcia, I have found your past posts very helpful in deciding on Paradigm just 6 months ago. I did go to Bay Area Audio and got 10% off list.
     
  18. JonathanOh

    JonathanOh Agent

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    Ronneil,

    I do not think anyone is saying there is anything wrong with the ADP-170s. I believe they use the same drivers as the Atoms so should sound similar.

    There are numurous threads over di/bi pole vs. direct radiating for the surrounds. There are champions on both sides so you should try out both to see which you like better.

    One caveat is that the ADPs, they are dipoles, are more sensitive to placement then direct radiating. If you do not have a good placement option for them, then the Atoms are probably a better investment at this time.

    Check out Paradigm's arguement in favor of dipoles for surround:
    http://www.paradigm.ca/Support/TechF...rConfusion.pdf
     
  19. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    This is my setup:

    Studio 20's front.
    CC-470 center (will upgrade to a 570 if I upgrade to the Studio 60's or 100's someday)
    4 Atoms for left,right,backleft,backright surrounds.
    PW-2200 sub. (The PDR-10 was good enough for me, the PW-2200 is mind boggling).

    For Home Theater, this setup rocks, in my opinion.
     

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