Paradigm vs internet companies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Holadem, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I belive it is safe to say that Paradigm is the most popular speaker brand in the HT community. Whether it is justified or not is a topic for another thread.

    Why then are comparisons with the more exotic stuff so rare? I would think a lot of nOrh (or Diva or Rocket) owners have heard Paradigm before, or even owned them.

    In most reviews, you will hear Paradigm mentioned... except with these internet companies reviews.

    Woulkd anyone point me to what I am looking for?

    --
    Holadem
     
  2. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Holadem,
    I have followed the Diva saga since the beginning, and now the Rockets. I have seen many fine comparisons to the Paradigm speakers. I think at this point you will have to do a search through the giant Diva threads on AVS. You can search by keyword I think. Try just putting in Parqadigm. Sorry I don't know much about Nohr. They are very popular on Harmonic Discord, but that site doesn't seem very professional.
     
  3. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    I have and love the norh 4.0s. Only briefly auditioned Paradigm Titans, Mini-Monitors and Monitor 3's when I was shopping. The Paradigms were good and I probably would have been happy with them. But after auditioning the norhs at a fellow HTF member's place I was hooked. I haven't heard the Paradigm Reference series but I know they are very much respected.
    There are a few other norh owners here. And some of them might be able to give you a good comparison. But most of the norh hype does live on the harmonic discord site (and the norh site itself). And I don't really enjoy harmonic discord either though I'm not really sure why.
    Norh speakers are sonically very good but they're also a love 'em or hate 'em thing. If you don't like their appearance you won't be happy with them in the end. The reviews on www.cheaphometheater.com are a good example of this. If they are pleasing to your eyes then its worth it to try to find a local owner who'll let you hear them. If you were nearby I'd invite you over.
     
  5. Harvey S

    Harvey S Extra

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    I auditioned Paradigm Studio series 20 and 40s and then ordered Axiom M22ti's. I never had the two brands side by side but did listen to the same music on each, several times. The paradigm's were excellent but in my opinion the Axiom M22Ti is better and at $400 a pair including shipping the savings are enough to buy a decent center speaker as well.
     
  6. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    Why should anyone compare Paradigm with the internet companies? They're in totally different leagues, and I'm not referring to sound quality. The internet companies mentioned seem to produce high quality speakers that also have aesthetic appeal as well. Paradigms are marketed for people whose first priority is great sound. Paradigm is a huge company that designs and manufactures its speakers in-house. Most internet companies outsource their drivers from Vifa or other companies. I own Paradigm and I can say that looks aren't the company's greatest asset. Even their top of the line speakers can't compete with a $200 pair of NHT SuperZeroes when it comes to looks. Paradigms are designed to compete with the big hifi companies, for people who want top sound without paying top price, and the first thing they sacrifice for sound quality is aesthetics. And with their track record, Paradigm can afford to make average-looking speakers. Of course the internet companies, without any history, status or reputation of their own, HAVE to exploit the aesthetics of their speakers and the advantages of state-of-the-art CAD in the marketing process. Not to discount the internet companies, but their niche is not the same as Paradigm's.
     
  7. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Phuong,

    I am sorry but I don't agree with your theory. Paradigm IS a huge speaker manufacturer with tremendous overhead. Many of the Internet direct manufacturers have much smaller overhead and can afford to put more money into the product. That may be in the form of really nice cabinets (Rocket / Diva / Aperion) or alternatively using truly high quality parts (Ascend / Axiom)

    It is for cost savings that Paradigm produces their own drivers and don't think for a second that their technology and capabilities is even close to the likes of Harman (Audax) Vifa, Morel or Focul. Paradigm must have a higher profit margin (high overhead) so they can't afford to outsource parts from such companies.. Think about it, what kind of tires does a top of the line Mercedes or Ferrari come with? Definitely NOT Ferrari or Mercedes brand tires..

    While I have listened to MANY Paradigm models over the years, they are definitely NOT "top sound" as you say. Many are overly bright and others I have heard sound like mud. In fact, I took apart my old set of monitor 5's and I could not believe how cheap the parts were, let alone a particle board cabinet as opposed to MDF.

    Paradigm offers decent value for the money, but there is MUCH better out there.
     
  8. Ed Haze

    Ed Haze Agent

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    I have to disagree with your logic Randy concerning Paradigm having a higher overhead than internet companies. This is the way I see it from an economic standpoint. Based on economic theory, Price = Marginal Costs, and does not rely on Fixed Costs(R&D, rents, equipment). So basically, the price should be a function of the main variable costs in speaker production which are Parts & Labor. As a general rule, as production increases, variable costs decrease thus Paradigm producing exponentially more than the Internet Direct companies can produce at a lower per unit cost. HOWEVER, the final price a consumer sees for Paradigm products gets magnified in the US because of the mark-up by retailers. Paradigm may set a floor price at which retailers may not sell below that point, but that floor must be awfully low. Why is Paradigm so much cheaper in Canada? Because they sell more of the product, and thus require a smaller margin.

    Here is better real life example: A bottle of wine you buy at a Restaurant is usually marked-up by 2-3 times. I know because I worked in the restaurant biz for some time as a bar manager. That same bottle of wine cost about 1/2 as much at the Grocery Store. Economies of scale, the store probably sells 50 bottles a week while the small Bistro hopes to sell 5.

    What is the point in my rambling? Nothing really, but I think Internet Direct Companies can(and are) very successful because they cut out the person who jacks up the price. Are they a bargain, hell yeah. Are they for everyone, no. Some people cannot go off others thoughts alone, but need a visual and audible presence before they buy. After weeks of perusing threads about the Rockets, I was torn but ended up buying Studio 40s b/c I could audition them and know their reputation is stellar. Not to mention I can drive 2 hours to Canada to buy them for 60% of what a US retailer wants.

    Sorry for the rant.
     
  9. Mike_T_

    Mike_T_ Stunt Coordinator

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    Paradigm is in control of everything in house. They research, test, produce etc. It's rare for a speaker company to do this and an advantage for Paradigm. They don't do it simply to save money so they can put cheaper parts into their speakers. They built a very good reputation based on satisfied customers. I've ONLY owned the Studio 100's and haven't heard any other Paradigm speakers so I can't comment on your experiences with them, however the 100's are rock solid speakers that I purchased for $1700. Great value, and equally great components and performance.
     
  10. KeithBR

    KeithBR Agent

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    Randy, I own the Paradigm Studio HT setup (CC, 100's and 40's).Paradigm makes a fine speaker for the money, which seems to go hand in hand while talking about Paradigm products. I do agree with you there is better to be had even within their price range but I am more than satisfied with them, although it took some time to get there. I do agree with you that they are forward/bright. If you do your homework you can all but eliminate most of the brightness with the right hardware, speaker location and room treatments.

    Some of the internet companies make some pretty damn good quality products like SVS & Hsu. Example: these subs cost 33 to 50%+ less than a Paradigm Servo 15 and IMO are every bit as good if not better than the PS15.
     
  11. Ed Haze

    Ed Haze Agent

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    I guess everything is relative, and much is based on location. At US prices, I would definitely look at options other than Paradigm, but at Canadian Prices they go toe to toe with any direct company. In Canada, I'm sure they see Rockets, Hsu, etc in a different light because they pay more for them.
     
  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Another factor to consider when comparing Paradigm and internet-based speaker manufacturers is dealer markup. Paradigm has an extensive dealer network and does not sell online. When you purchase a Paradigm product you're seeing a good percentage of your purchase price going into the dealer's pocket. Manufacturers like AV123, nOrh, SVS, etc. who sell direct bypass all of that and, theoretically, are able to put the money that would go to the dealer in Paradigm's business model directly into better components/design/build quality at any given price-point. This is one of their advantages if they choose to go that route - better value for dollars spent. Theoretically, buying direct from the manufacturer enables you to buy higher quality speakers for the same money.

    As we all know, how speakers sound to any particular individual is an extremely subjective thing affected by many factors such as upstream equipment, room acoustics, hearing, etc. Personally, I've had the Paradigm Studio 40 v2 in my room along with the Axiom M60Ti, Diva 6.1 and Rocket RS750. The Paradigms were good speakers, but for me came in at at the bottom of this short list. Too bright and lacking in low-end for my equipment, my room and my taste. I ended up keeping the Rockets.
     
  13. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I would say that Paradigms, much like B&W and other well-respected speaker companies, get overly criticized because of their stature in the hi-fi world. I would say that in terms of the quality of the sound per dollar paid, Paradigms cannot compete with internet-direct companies, as retailers, the dreaded "middle man," tend to jack up the price to make a profit. But in terms of sond quality, empirically, they stand up to almost any other speaker company in the world. And some of the reasons why Paradigm are so much cheaper in the great white north than at mom-and-pop brick and mortar is because of the weak Canadien dollar, the fact that the factory is closer, thus cheaper shipping costs, and also because of pure sales volume. While a Canadien delaer might make $300 per pair profit and sell 100 pairs of Paradigms, an american dealer will have to make $400 profit a pair, as he or she might only sell 75 pairs.
     
  14. Ed Haze

    Ed Haze Agent

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    I think Doung hit it on the nose. However, I don't think the comparison is too fair with the exception of the Axioms. Both the Rocket 750s and Diva 6.1s cost well more than the $660(US dollars, and after tax, and $20 in Gas) I paid for Studio 40s in Rosenut Veneer a week ago, not too mention you compared them to floorstanders. Granted all are great products, and I know I would be happy with any of them. Am I the only person who DOESN'T think the Paradigm Studios are bright? I heard much brighter in my search, including B&W, Klipsch, Diva, and PSB(image line).
     
  15. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    Funny thing about dealer markup. I've never been to a dealer that pushed Paradigm on me. Even went to one who told me 9 out of 10 customers prefer the Mini-Monitors over the NHT Super Ones after auditioning, but that he prefers the more "accurate" sound of the NHTs. Had the same experience when auditioning Energy speakers. I bought NHT, but man, the pitch for NHT was super strong. Either the margins on NHT are higher or nationalism counts for a lot.

    (which is funny because NHTs are made in China).
     
  16. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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  18. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,
    That's true. I actually had the opposite experience when I first listened to them about 5 years ago when they had a slew of rave reviews. My salesman told me more people were buying Klipsch's (don't know the model) at the same price point than the NHT's. That surprised me.
     
  19. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Ed - I made it a point to audition all of the speakers on my list both full range AND crossed over at 80Hz with my SVS 25-31 PCi sub to level the playing field as much as possible. That said, I wasn't trying to accomplish a shoot-out of comparably priced speakers. My goal was to try out a short list of well reviewed, well regarded products in my price range and see which one I liked best. A better match for comparison from the Paradigm lineup would have been the Studio 60 or Studio 100. Still, you'll find many Paradigm owners here on HTF who feel that the 40 is the best speaker in the Reference Studio series.

    By the way, which Divas did you listen to? I've heard the 6.1 and the 2.1 and can't imagine that anyone would find them brighter than the Studio 40.
     
  20. Ed Haze

    Ed Haze Agent

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    Doug
    -Fair enough, it sounds like a level comparison with that disclosure. I auditioned the 4.1s, 2.1s. and CC in a someone's home. IMO, the 2.1s are definitely the best of what I heard(and they were surrounds in that application). Overall the Divas were nice, but not for me. Audio is all personal preference, and I did not like the 'eyeball' tweets on the divas. I did not care for the 4.1s, and yes, I found them on the bright side. Then again, it could have been due to the source(Yammy rec.).
     

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