Paradigm studio's and Sony ES...Will I be sorry?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Barnesky, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. Brian Barnesky

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    Have a couple quick questions regarding my amp and Paradigm speakers. I have listened to several lines of speakers (Dynamo, B&W, energy, BA's....etc) and have basically decided that for the price I can get paradigm for in Vancouver, BC (I'm in Seattle), I wan't to upgrade with the Studio line.

    I have just purchased a Toshiba 57HDX82 last week so upgrading my amp or purchasing separates is a little way's away....esp after speakers! (My bro-in-law works for Sony so I was able to purchase a STR-V444ES VERY cheap last year. Power = 120w X 5.)

    I really didn't care for the sound of the monitor line. Kinda harsh on the high end...too me at least. I listened to the 60's and then LOVED the way the 100's sounded. A nice blend of several characteristics that appealed to me from many different brands. The 60's soundstage didn't seem as wide/open to me with music. Supposedly the salesmen used a receiver similar power wise to mine. I have read that I may be sorry as the Sony won't match that well with the studio line. I hate to do speakers injustice but I don't want to match speakers to my amp only too upgrade the amp next year? If I went with the 100's could my amp even get by for a while or will I be disappointed?

    I really like the studio cc as well. I was surprised how good the vocals during a film scene were presented and will match with that. I've been living with dialog hell through a JBL cc350 for WAY too long.

    Any opinions / advice would be just great! I'm looking to head up there in the next week or two.

    Thanks
    b
     
  2. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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    That 444 isn't going to be able to do the 100's justice IMO. They need some more juice!
     
  3. Brian Barnesky

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    thanks for the input Patrick.......

    Any suggestions or advice regarding my situation?

    B
     
  4. Daniel Martin

    Daniel Martin Auditioning

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    Brian,

    From the reading on this board, the Studio 100 are very nice speakers, but are power hungry.

    Although the Sony 444ES looks like a nice receiver, I think most people here would recommend mating them with an external amp.

    IMO if you like the Studio 100, don't hesitate to buy them. For me, an amplifier upgrade is very easy compared to finding the 'right' speakers.

    As a temporary solution, if you have pre-out, would be to pick up a used 2 or 3 channels amp for powering the front stage.

    Daniel.
     
  5. Brian Barnesky

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    Good idea Daniel. Yes my receiver does have pre-outs for all speakers. I thought about something like that as well.

    Does anyone have any threads or suggestions to help a "separate newbie" out in buying a separate amp to power the 100's? Does that bypass any characteristics
    that the sony will leave?

    Also.....suggesting brands / watts / channels...etc and what to look for as well as trying to stay a bit budget conscious and even as far as picking up something that will be around in my theater setup for a while to come?

    Thanks again ......
    b
     
  6. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Well I have a marantz sr-7000 and upgraded to an anthem mca-2 for my front channels(paradigm studio40's). It is 200x2 and a little much for my speakers but made a very noticable diffrence. Specifically in the bass. The reciever just wasn't enough. The highs and vocals improved but to a slightly lesser degree. I also recently aquired a rotel 5ch amp for the rest of my speakers and it too made a huge difference and it was rated at 100watts. You should be fine for now and if you don't listen too loud I am sure you could live with the reciever just fine.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Brian, I'm in seattle too, looking to buy Paradigm, and altough I enjoy dealing with Definitive Audio, the only dealer around here, I'm a student and tight on cash. Where were you looking at Paradigm up in Vancouver? If I can get quite a substantial improvement in speakers for about the same price, I might be willing to spend a day going to canada.

    Oh, and I think that yeah, sticking with sony won't be doing the studios justice, BUT I have a WAY worse sony, that is rated at like 40 watts or something, which means it prolly puts out much less, that is mated with some titans. Sure, titans aren't studios, but it's a similar situation. I would say that temporarily you'd be fine using the sony, I'm sure it will sound excellent, it seems like a fine receiver. I do think that once you save up you should upgrade. I am quite happy with my mystery sony cd player, which doesn't play half the time, and an OLD pro-logic unit, who's chip amps are about two square inches together. Sound quite fine with the titans. But I can't wait for the monitor 5's and Marantz sr5300...droool.
     
  8. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Gonna write an essay here. Sorry for the length...
    I used to run my 100's with a Yamaha RX-V1000. The manufacturer claimed 100WPC, but the amp can really on do about 70WPC. How did it sound? Fantastic! Could it sound better? Yep. But it still sounded fantastic.
    It's commonly stated that the Studio line needs lots of watts, the 100's especially. A very black and white sort of claim. From my experience, it's not that simple.
    If you want to play movies like Jurassic Park at reference levels in a large room with no subwoofer, then perhaps yes, a high power amp is necessary.
    If you're like me, and use the speakers for music, peaking around 85dB, and movies around the same (except for the bass - subwoofer territory), then you don't need 300WPC to drive the 100's, although they'll easily work against such power.
    It's more an issue of the impedence of the speakers. They are nominally 8 ohms, but in reality, dip down near 3 ohms for some frequencies. So what you get is greatly varying impedence as amplified signal passes to them. This can have a negative effect on poorer amplifiers, which can deteriorate the sound. Some refer to it as the speakers driving the amplifier. Something you don't want.
    So, many people upgrading to Anthem, Parasound, Rotel or whatever perceive an immediate improvement in the sound. It's not because they were driving their amps to distortion (mostly anyway), it's because the amp is handling the load variations better.
    You could drive the 100's to decent volumes with great sound if you had the right 15WPC amp, or it could sound like crap with a poor 300WPC amp.
    Most receivers have mediocre amps. I don't know about your Sony. And there are exceptions, I'm sure.
    The bottom line: can you audition at home? I know it's across the border, but 30 days is 30 days. Or do you think you might move to a separate amp later? If so, then go for it.
    Good luck,
    Martin.
    EDIT: Try this calculator to see what kind of power you think you'll need: http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html
    For example, a 15 watt amplifier driving 2 100's near a wall and eight feet away will peak out at 101dB, which is what, 1 decibel off of reference volume?
     
  9. wayne p

    wayne p Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian, during my upgrade path I ran the 100's with a Pioneer VSX-D1 for about a year. This was an older pro-logic receiver rated at 135w in the front. It was very acceptable as I new it to be temporary. My next step was to add the Anthem MCA-5, using the Pioneer as a pre amp. This was a great step in the right direction. Last November I added the AVM 20 and now I am all set for years of music/movie enjoyment at a very high level of quality.

    The point is, as you indicate you are planning to upgrade from the Sony in time, plan for your future needs now rather then buying components that are simply adequate for the time being. If you develop a plan and stick to it you can assemble the system you want without breaking the bank.

    Wayne
     
  10. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    Watch the impedance, I know a Sony ES dealer and he also sells HK, guess what he puts on the Paridigm speakers he sells? I have seen some ES recievers (which I like) shut down trying to drive Paridigm speakers. He says they "demo" better with HK. Choose the amp with the highest "damping factor" (Adcom, Anthem HK recievers are "high current") the reality a 5 channel reciever rated at 100x5 (typical) only puts out about 30 watts per channel all channels driven. You can drive them with your HK watch the heat, if it starts getting hot turn it down or off. You can put a seperate amp on the HK, maybe the Sony, before buying the reciever check to see if you can do this.
    I havn't noticed much yet in this group but don't count out JBL they are easy to drive, effecient and can be set-up to soung great, especially with recievers.
     
  11. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    I have played my paradigm studio setup in 5ch stereo on my marantz reciever for hours without any problem. I even used them fullrange for 3months before I got my sub and found no problem. My reciever actually runs a little hotter now that I don't use the amps in the marantz.

    With the studio 100's where you will need the power is driving the low frequencies(low 30'hz) they are capable of. If you run a low crossover setting with a sub at say 50hz-ish It will relieve a lot of power requiremnts from the reciever.

    Also most speakers are rated for a certain spl at a certain frequency, usaully 1khz and may be less effecient in the lower hz area. so at 1khz they could be 90db at 1 watt one metre but at 30-40hz could only be 88db at 1 watt 1metre.
    A general rule to follow is a doubling the distance from the speaker results in a 3db decrease in spl. so at 2 meters you need 2watts to keep the 90db sensitivity rating.
     

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