Paradigm Recommendations Please!

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Sam Pat, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys,

    Currently my setup is as follows: Sony 595 Receiver, Energy Take 5.2 CC, Fronts and Surrounds (Small satellite speakers), and a Paradigm PS1200 sub.

    Since getting the Paradigm sub, I've been playing my movies louder and louder and not long ago I heard some very nasty tweeter distortion on LOTR ROTK. Of course, I've kept the volume down since then and they sound fine. I probably did a little damage to my little Energys and have been too paranoid to crank them up again.

    So I've been watching movies not experiencing the full dynamic range and I could be having more fun.

    So basically, I want to upgrade, starting with my mains. I'm going to stick to Paradigm because out here I can get a great deal on them. I got 27% off MSRP on my PS1200 and I know I should be able to haggle a similar deal on my next purchase.

    I don't know what to get. My priority is in HT, not music. I just want something that'll sound decent (I'm not an audiophile) and will have good dynamic ability. I want to keep my receiver for a while longer so you have to keep its meager abilities in mind (it's rated at 500W).

    I also would prefer a tower. I hate paying for stands!!

    I'm currently thinking Paradigm CC370 mated to Monitor 7s. Do I really need this much for HT?

    How about CC270 and Esprits?

    I did some searches and some recommended the Mini Monitor. However, will that have the power handling I'm looking for? I know, my receiver is weak and will probably clip at higher volumes so I want something robust, that will give me some headroom so I don't get into any nasty distortion situations again.

    Obviously, I should let me ears decide, but I want some advice based on my needs and on what you guys have experienced with the Paradigms.

    Thanks a million!!

    P.S. My receiver doesn't have a sub crossover adjustment and it doesn't state in the manual what it is. What do I do? I just set the crossover at 80Hz on my sub.
     
  2. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    I had the same receiver (strde595 right?) and I found it lacked power with my mini monitors, monitor 3s and CC370. I would worry about it clipping and damaging the tweeters. It would distort during loud scenes. So I upgraded to a 40W/channel Harman Kardon and it is way more powerful. I suggest getting a new receiver first, before spending big bucks on the speakers.
     
  3. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    That's the one.

    That's very disconcerting news. [​IMG] How loud were your loud scenes?
     
  4. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    I calibrated the system using the Sound and Vision test disc, so I listened at about -10 dB from reference. Also it would distort during music. The same thing happened with my old cheap Pioneer and Kenwood.
     
  5. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    Sam, even with the monitor floor standing speakers, you still should not crank the 595 up too much because it could damage those speakers when the amp clips. It may clip sooner than you expect in muli-channel materials. The 595's 100W rating is for each channel on its own.

    If you like, or can live with the SQ of the 595, you would probably like their ES receivers. The 10000ES should not cost much now and is much more powerful. By the way, I know you like to stick with the Paradign, but you can get the Energy C9 (top of the line C series) for a little over 1K. Relative to the Paradign, the Energy C series is priced in between the Paradign monitor and the studio series. The C9 will allow you to listen to music without the sub because of its excellent bass. For H.T., it won't make any difference because you already have the Paradign sub.
     
  6. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    Graham,

    Did you set your speakers to small or large? I plan on setting them to small so perhaps a.) that will be easier on the power and b.) I may not need Monitor 7s afterall?

    Shiu,

    Thanks for the advice. I'm an audio noob and I understand what clipping is, but I don't quite get the consequences. By the time clipping has occured and you hear distortion from it, does it mean it's already too late and your speakers have been damaged? Or does it mean if you turn it down, they will be fine?
     
  7. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    If you turn it down immediately, and it sounds normal after, then it is not damaged. Each time this happens, the life of the component would likely be reduced somewhat, though not "damaged".

    I lost the tweeter of one of my 16 years old Energy reference 22 Connoisseur speaker recently, shortly after I noticed some distortion when I cranked the volume of my 200W/C amp up past reference level. Energy's explanation was that for a speaker that old, the cooling fluid would likely have dried up, and cannot take as much heat as it should.

    By the way, I should take back what I said about Sony's DE receivers 5 ch driven power rating. If you read the current S&V issue, the DE897's 5 channel driven output at clipping was 76W per channel. That is quite respectable, so your DE595 may not be as bad as we think it is.
     
  8. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    I set them to small, it would still distort at high volumes as do most entry level receivers I have heard. They get harsh and thin sounding IMO. If you are going to upgrade to Monitors or other speakers in that class, you should look at the better receivers from Marantz, NAD, Onkyo, Denon, Harman Kardon etc.
     
  9. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys.

    Graham, "harsh and thin sounding", how obvious is this?

    If it isn't obviously making a vibrating, crackling noise, I'm not sure I will be able to tell cause my ears aren't as sensitive as yours.

    I just want to know what a clipping speaker would sound like, so in the future I know when it's happening.
     
  10. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    I am not sure what clipping sounds like for a tweeter. Here is a description of clipping and what will damage tweeters.

    As for the thin and harsh, you may not notice. I dont have golden ears but I am pretty picky. I just didnt feel that the Sony could drive the Monitors at the levels I liked without running out of steam.
     
  11. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    I read the link. Thanks. It makes me even more apprehensive, cause I fall into the realm of people who likely won't notice light or moderate clipping.

    When you're running the Mons at levels sounding "thin and harsh", is it damaging?
     

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