Paradigm Upgrade, Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Schofield, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I currently have Paradigm Monitor 7's, no center, no surrounds, no subwoofer. The dealer that I bought them from offers "free" trade-up, where I get full retail value of my speakers when buying a new set, within 1 year of original purchase (150% minimum trade-up, though). I started with Monitor 3's two years ago and then went to the 7's.

    My question is: what do I upgrade at this point? My tax refund is coming and I still have time to trade-in the 7's...

    As I see it:

    Option A - Keep the 7's, buy surrounds (ADP-370)

    Option B - Keep the 7's, buy a subwoofer (another question arises then, which to buy?)

    Option C - Trade-in the 7's, get 9's and surrounds (dealer doesn't like this option, but I can talk him into it)

    Option D - Trade-in the 7's, get 11's (dealers "best bet")

    If I don't buy Paradigm surrounds I have a pair of cheap speakers that I can use for surrounds, as I have in the past. Not a good solution, but it is better than no surrounds at all. At best a temporary fix. One reason I don't have a center channel and don't intend on getting one is that my receiver (Yamaha 495) doesn't have good posts (its got the old spring clip style) for the center channel or surrounds, whereas the L and R posts accept Bananas/etc... It seems to me that the center channel is going to be at a disadvantage from the start.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  2. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, if you never intend on getting a center channel speaker because of your receiver I suggest not buying any speakers and getting a better receiver. You're missing out on a lot without the center channel.

    If you're set on keeping the receiver, keep the Monitor 7's and get yourself an SVS sub. You can't beat their intro prices for the new PCi line.
     
  3. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Boy do you have choices to make.
    First, start be deciding what you want to use this for. Music or HT.
    For music, get the bigger towers. For HT, get the surrounds. As far as getting a sub, the 7's or 9's should be just fine for music without a sub. But for HT, get a sub and surrounds.
    Have you thought about the 90P powered tower? It would give you a bigger tower and a subwoffer. I know most people prefer a seperate sub, but it sounds like you are just running the 2 speakers anyway, and they solve a couple problems in one.
     
  4. Duane_T

    Duane_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Instead of the ADP surrounds, have you thought about direct surrounds (Mini Monitors). I don't remember the prices, but I think you could get the CC-370 and Mini Monitors for about the price of the ADPs (I could be wrong, maybe someone here will be able to let you know).

    If you are going for a sub, I think the Monitor 7s will do you fine. Personally, I like them better than the 9s (I have the 7s, CC-350, and 4 Mini Mons for surrounds).
     
  5. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here is my recommendation:

    Keep the 7's.

    Buy a new receiver like a denon 3802 (ideally)

    Buy a center CC370

    Buy surrounds: either mini monitors or ADP's

    Buy woofer either: SVS PCi/CS+, PW-2200, HSU VTF2

    If you are intent on upgrading the 7's, skip the 9's and go straight to the 11's though.

    Let me emphasize though, if you are using the setup for home theatre, I strongly recommend not upgrading and adding a better receiver + more speakers
     
  6. Shane G

    Shane G Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dave;

    It's not really clear why you want to upgrade your speakers.

    Are you unhappy with their sound quality/characteristics? Or just don't want to miss out on the dealers chance to upgrade.

    IMO there is not that big a jump from the 7's to the 9's, the 11's will definetly give you more bass, and maybe a more defined midrange (but your 7's should be ok in the mids as well). The 11's will also require more power.

    I own a pair of Monitor 70P's, which are true 3-way speakers, I liked the midrange on this model, so you also have the option as Brian suggested to get the 90P's, the powered subs put out tons of bass, and they won't strain your receiver to power them.

    Maybe you be looking at moving up to the Paradigm Reference Series something like the Studio 60's. Definely try them out, next time your at your dealer, they shouldn't be much more $ than the Monitor 11's. That way you won't be wondering if you should have upgraded to the Reference Series next time around.

    If you are happy with the 7's but want more bass, check the Paradigm PW2200, you should be able to listen to them at your dealer along with your 7's.

    Chances are in the long run, you will end up getting a subwoofer anyways, to complete you home theater.

    Alex also has a valid point, that maybe its time to upgrade the receiver.
     
  7. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Shane makes a good point:

    The 11's put you in studio 60 territory so you might as well consider them too. I can also vouch for the PW 2200 as I own one myself.
     
  8. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here is what I would do in order of priority:

    1. Trade up to a pair of Studio 40's on stands, or a pair of Studio 60's.

    2. Pick up a good sub, like SVS, Adire Rava or Hsu VTF-2.

    3. Replace your receiver. You'll do fine with something like the new Onkyo 600 which will street at about ~$400.

    4. Add surrounds (either dipoles or monopoles). Titans or Atoms will do in a pinch.

    5. Add the Studio CC center.

    Any way you do it, it's going to cost you some coin, so do it in stages. Always better to upgrade in stages and get better stuff then upgrade all at once and get stuff that isn't as good.
     
  9. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Alex, I've heard many arguments both for and against the use of a center channel. From what I understand, if a central viewing/listening space is used (ie one couch in the "sweet spot" and not seats off axis) a center channel isn't necessary and at times actually diminishes the quality of the presentation.
    Brian, My setup is for mostly HT, I do listen to CDs quite a bit, but usually while doing something else and never in a "picky" way. The 90Ps are an option, though they run around $1600, at least from my dealer. They do seem like the less "confusing" option [​IMG]
    Duane, I have thought of this, and it is certainly an option. It would be cheaper, IIRC the Mini-Monitors are ~$300/pair, whereas the ADPs are quite a bit more, I can't remember exactly though.
    Tony, that receiver streets for roughly twice as much as I want to spend at this time, alone. I realize I should have posted my budget... This, obviously, is going to be a piecewise purchase. Regardless, would you go with a center channel before surrounds? and Why?
    Shane, you've hit it on the head. I'm quite happy with the Monitor 7's right now, but I know in a year I'll kick myself for not upgrading when I could have. Then I'll be stuck with a pair of 7's that can't really be used for surrounds [​IMG] In my listening session yesterday, I didn't notice much difference between the Monitor 11's and the Monitor 7's they had set up. However, they were setup in different rooms, one of which had treatments installed (the 7's were in an "exhibit room", while the 11's were in their general showroom).
    Eric, are the Titans/Atoms comparable to the Mini-Monitors? My dealer didn't have any of those in stock when I went in yesterday, I've heard good things about them.
    It sounds to me that, as a whole, your (everyone's) recommendations would be to:
    1. Stick with the Monitor 7's
    2. Buy Surrounds (Mini-Monitors)
    then later...
    3. Upgrade Receiver
    4. Buy Center Channel (CC-350)
    5. Upgrade Surrounds (ADPs)
    6. Buy Subwoofer
    7. Look for next money-grabber [​IMG]
    EDIT: I'm looking at receivers now, as Alex suggested, and have come across the Outlaw 1050. My question is, what is wrong with it? [​IMG] It seems too good to be true... Anyone have experince with Outlaw units (other than problems with new model delays, which seems prevalent)?
     
  10. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Eric, are the Titans/Atoms comparable to the Mini-Monitors? My dealer didn't have any of those in stock when I went in yesterday, I've heard good things about them."

    The Titans/Atoms are in the Performance series, not the Monitor series, and are a step down in price and quality from the Mini-Monitors. However, I doubt you will notice the sonic differences when using them in capacity as surround speakers. A pair of Titans would be a good option if you want to upgrade to more expensive dipoles in the future. Also, there are the adp-170's, which are dipoles in the same family as Titans. They run the same price as mini-monitors. If you want greater diffusion (envelopement) in the rear sound feel, dipoles are a good option.

    BTW, I suggested upgrading to the Reference series because I think it is the appropriate transition when moving up from the Monitor 7's. IMHO, additional dollars spent moving beyond the 7's in the Monitor line have *extremely* diminishing returns. Also IMHO, a $900 pair of Studio 40 bookshelf speakers when stacked up against a $1200 pair of Monitor 11's, easily beats the 11's for both music and HT. And with a good sub, it blows them away. If you upgrade, seriously consider an upgrade to the Reference line.

    PS: I don't own the Outlaw. It is considered a great unit, just slightly dated featurewise. Doesn't have Prologic II or all the 6.1 formats.
     
  11. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My roommate almost bought the Studio40's a year or so ago, he listened to them and said the blew the monitor series out of the water.

    I'm seriously considering the Mini-Monitors for surrounds. If I do that, when I upgrade my receiver I can just send the Minis with the old receiver into the bedroom and buy new dipoles.
     
  12. Shane G

    Shane G Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dave;

    I think what Eric and I are doing by recommending the Reference Series, is trying to prevent you from "upgradeitis" which you are already have with your 7's. Right now you have the option to trade in your monitors for references, with no loss in value. This gives you the option to upgrade before you buy matching surrounds and center.

    I am saying this through experience, as I have the monitor series and want to upgrade to Reference 100's. But that's another story.....

    and of course budget always comes in to play.

    Anyways, you've made progress, it sounds like you have decided to stay with the 7's and not be influenced by the trade-in value. A great choice.

    As far as surrounds go I feel the minis will suit you quite well, and an upgrade to ADP's will not be necessary. But that's for your ears to decide.

    Either way your on the way to a great little system.
     
  13. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I hate convincing anyone to part with their money, but I would rather have 1 PAIR of Studio 40's from the reference line than a 5.1 setup from the Monitor line. No offense to those Monitor lovers out there, because it's a fine speaker, but the Reference series is GREAT. I like my 40's, 20's and CC more and more every day. If you are looking for a speaker that truly maximizes value, meaning it sounds equally good for HT as well as music, you could do a HELL of a lot worse than the Paradigm Reference series.

    Get the 40's and never look back. Get the CC too. You can figure out what to do for the surround channels, but the front soundstage is imperitive.
     
  14. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    *Update*
    I've gone to my dealer twice this week working things out and I've come upon two *final* options:
    Option A - "Flush Out"
    • 1 pair Mini Monitors for surrounds ($350 - 10%* = $315)
    • 1 - CC-370 ($329 - 20%* = $263)
    • Total: $578 + tax
    Option B - "Move Up"
    • 1 pair Studio 60's (black - $1200)
    • trade-in Monitor 7's (-$650)
    • Total: $550 + tax
    * - My dealer has a sale on right now, 10% off most expensive item, 20% off second..., etc. Not applicable on trade-ins.
    If I were an audiophile, Option B would be my choice easily, as the Studio 60's are quite a set of speakers. However, I watch far more movies than I listen to CD's... And since the studio CC and surrounds are WAY beyond my price range...
    I guess what I'm really saying is that I need a little kick in the pants saying "You should go with Option A" to confirm my thoughts [​IMG]
    Secondly, has anyone used www.partsexpress.com ? They seem to have decent prices on spindles of 12 ga wire (0.30/ft in 100ft spindle) and banana clips (0.65 ea, screw type) but I've never heard of them before.
    Evan, my dealer doesn't carry the Studio 40's, and I don't blame him. With his markup he'd sell them for ~$900, and with matching stands that is pushing $1050. At that point, you'd might as well move up to the 60's
     
  15. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since you seem to have a terrible case of upgraditis. Do it, go for Option A.

    Although I've never used partsexpress.com, I have heard of them and they have a good reputation.
     
  16. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  17. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would only go with Option A if you can do the exact same upgrade program in one year's time. We all know you are going to want to upgrade sooner or later and if you go with option B, that's one less step you have to take.
    The Studio CC is an AWESOME center channel speaker. I think HTF member Steve Paul (who has more money in electronics than most on this forum) said the Studio CC was the best center channel speaker he's ever heard...besting the $1000 Monitor Audio Gold Reference center that he has in his home theater now.
    It's too bad you don't live closer to Canada. I got my 40's significantly cheaper than the prices you are quoting...and in the wood veneer too.
    Also, I don't believe you need $200 stands for bookshelves. Trust me, I believe in the differences in cabling and interconnects and room treatments. However, justifying $250 or more for stands over your simple hardwood $80 jobbers just doesn't make sense to me. I can see if you are looking for improved asthetics, but I can't think the difference can be possibly audible.
    Didn't mean to spark another debate here, but had to add my .02.[​IMG]
     
  18. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Upgrading is a great thing![​IMG] I'm just jealous because I can't seem to impress upon my wife just how good a thing upgrading is. Although, she did give the approval on the Mits big screen we recently bought.[​IMG] It's just killing me having the big screen without the rest of the theater.
    I can empathize with changing of your mind too. There's probably 4 or 5 systems that I'd be very happy with and I'm constantly waffling between them. When I finally get the WAF I'll have to figure it out and buy it before she changes her mind.
    BTW, the "flush out" system your putting together will be quite nice. Enjoy.[​IMG]
     
  19. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Evan, I'm sure I can get better prices on stands that my dealer offers, but the point was that I might as well go with the 60's and skip the stands (I'll have kids someday) if the difference is only a little. Whether it is $100 or $250 wouldn't really matter. And yes, I wish I was a little closer to Canada, I've heard great things about a few shops in Toronto.
    BTW, my dealer charges $300 more to move up to the wood-grained version... They're pretty, but not that pretty [​IMG]
     
  20. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The veneer is usually $200 more. Incidentally, my vote is for option B. You can phantom center for now and get the rest of it later. The 60's rock.
     

Share This Page