Paradigm to PSB... Up, Down, or Lateral Move??

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Stephen Hopkins, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    A little background info... About 4 months ago I upgraded from a JBL Northridge setup to some older Paradigms. I have a 7.1 setup consisting of 5SE MK3 mains, 3SE MK3 surrounds, Mini MK3 back surrounds, and a 3SE MK3 for the center. They are matched w/ an EBS Shiva sub and are powered by a Sony 4ES. While i'm at home for the summer i'm in a room measuring 15' x 19' w/ 9ft ceilings. When i go back to school in the fall my system will be in an apartment living room measuring 11' x 13' w/ 9ft ceilings. I'll also most likely cut back to 5.1 while i'm at school because the rear surrounds would be directly behind my couch and wouldn't help the rear sound field any being only 1ft from my primary listening position.

    Now for my Paradigm/PSB question. I like my paradigms alot, but they are older and probably only a 7/10 at the best in cosmetics. I don't have any grilles for my center or side surrounds. My mains are oak vinyl (looked good in the picture, but BLAH when i got them) and the rest are black oak. I really don't think my ear is that discriminating and my listening is 99.9% HT. I don't think the step up to Paradigm Studios would be worth it given my room size and lack of critical musical listening.

    My main goal is to make an upward or lateral move while spending only slightly ($100 - $200) more on a new 5.1 setup than what i can get out of my old 7.1 system.

    I am considering selling my paradigm setup and moving to an PSB Image 5.1 setup. I listened to them in a small local HT store and they sounded great, but I haven't compared them directly to my own speakers yet. I'm mostly interested in the Image 4T mains, 8C center, and 1B surrounds. I would also consider 3LR mains since I have a sub i like alot and don't do any 2ch listening w/out it. Maybe by the time i get back home next summer i can add another pair of 1Bs for the back surrounds.

    I'm hoping to get enough out of my Paradigm 7.1 setup to cover the PSB 5.1 setup. Assuming i like the sound when side by side with my own speakers, i'll probably go this direction. I'm really looking for opinions on whether this would be a move up, down, or lateral in sound quality. I wouldn't mind a lateral move since aesthetics are a concern and the PSB 4Ts have a smaller footprint than my current 5SE MK3s. I also know my listening habits don't showcase the quality of any speakers I would end up with.

    One last comment, I might also be interested in a PSB Alpha system consisting of Alpha T mains, Alpha C center, and Alpha B surrounds. Any comments on whether this setup would be a move up, down, or lateral would also be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. Nick V

    Nick V Second Unit

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    The Images would be a lateral move. The Alpha's would be a downgrade.

    Keep whichever ones sound better to you. They do have a significantly different sound IMO. I opted for some Paradigm Monitor's when I was shopping, but your mileage may vary.
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    How did the Image's compare to the Monitors? The Monitors and SE series that i currently have are VERY similar w/ the Monitors being slightly brighter than the SEs because of their titanium tweeter as opposed to the TTD tweeter found in the SEs. An Image/Monitor comparrison would be almost as helpful to me as an Image/SE comparrison would be.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     

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