Poor experience auditioning paradigm

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nathan Hamstra, Sep 27, 2001.

  1. Nathan Hamstra

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    I was in the market for a pair of bookshelf speakers, and I A/B'ed the paradigm monitor 3's (I think that was what they were- $400 retail) vs. the NHT SB-2 (the superone replacement). I was expecting great things from both of them, seeing as high their reputations are here. However, the monitor 3 just plain stunk. The bass was really muddy; I couldn't even make an opinion on the midrange and treble. However, the nht's lived up to their rep (beautiful piano finish too, by the way), so I'm reasonably happy.
    They were set up with a sony SB series receiver (which is what I have in my home theater, though these were going in my music system, which consists of adcom separates) and a pioneer elite cd player.
    So, my question is, do I just have bad ears, or was their system royally screwed up (even though they were just swapping cables)? Has anyone else had a similar experience with the monitor 3's? Should I have checked out the mini-monitors?
    Thanks all
     
  2. Duane_T

    Duane_T Stunt Coordinator

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    I felt the same way about the 3s. I do like the Minis though (I have Monitor 7s for mains on the main system and Minis for mains in the bedroom). Give the Minis a try, you might like them.
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    it sounds like you did a fair test. all they did was swap speakers, correct? they didn't change anything else, including the volume level? as long as it was a fair comparison, then your ears and your perception are all that matters.
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  4. John D

    John D Auditioning

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    The 3's are about the worst speakers in the Monitor series, I listened to them and the rest of the monitor line, I liked the Minis, Fives and Sevens in assending order of sweetness.
    According to everything i've heard the threes just don't hold a candle to any of the others.
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  5. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    I think this is an excellent example of why you have to audition the speakers for yourself instead of relying on other people's opinions. Some people like one sounds - others like a different sound. And room acoustics have a great deal of effect on the sound, so even if they sounded good at the dealer, they still might not sound good in your listening room.
    Aaron
     
  6. Dan Da Silva

    Dan Da Silva Stunt Coordinator

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    Well Nathan, I know exactly what you mean about the Monitor 3's. On monday I decided on buying either the Monitor 3's or the Mini Monitors. Before I went to me dealer I stopped by 6th Ave Electronics to hear what these two speakers sounded like in there showroom and I came away with the same thing you did the Monitor 3's sound very muddy and they weren't what I expected, meanwhile the Minis sounded great. So I left 6th Ave and went to my dealer and I asked him if I could audition both of these two speakers and he told me I could only audition the Mini Monitors because he doesn't sell the Monitor 3's. So I asked him why and he said because, he only sells products that they like and they do not like the the Monitor 3 at all. His reason they are way to muddy and can't compare to the Mini Monitors eventhough the 3's are a higher model. Needless to say I walked out of the store with a pair of Mini's and I love them.
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  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I have noticed a lot of people seem to really dislike the Monitor 3... and yet my experience was exactly the opposite of what people report. My dealer took me through the atoms, titans, minis etc... I could barely distinguish between them... until I heard the Monitor 3 which was a whole other dimension. It was night and day for me (I know how this term is overused, but that is how I felt). I think I commented here that the difference between the Mini's and the M3 was surprisingly greater than that between the Performance line and the minis. For me, the monitor line starts with the 3's.
    I know I am probably the only one to think that way, oh well... [​IMG]
    --
    Holadem
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I agree with John D - The best of the bunch for the monitor line would have to be the 7s. I like the 5s better than the 3s, but I didn't find that the 3s were all that bad. They have better bass extension than the Mini (thanks to the 8" driver), though the Mini is much more accurate and "punchy", IMO. I would take Minis over 3s for HT, and 5s or 7s for music.
    I would tend to agree that the SB2 is an excellent speaker. The primary difference being that NHTs are all sealed. And, yes, BEAUTIFUL enclosures, some of the nicest I've seen! Very, very accurate, but I am not impressed with the bass response at elevated volumes.
    I think a more direct comparison to the Monitor 3 would be the NHT SB3, which has tighter bass that extends even a bit lower than the Mini, however it tends to fall off quickly at the low end. Only drawback is the MSRP. If you can get them for less than is being asked for them, I'd say this is one of the best small speakers out right now.
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on September 27, 2001 at 02:51 PM]
     
  9. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Holadem's comments really reinforces the idea that choosing speakers is a matter of personal preferences and there is no right or wrong speaker, except maybe BOSE. [​IMG]
    If it sounds good to you, then this is the best speaker for you. FWIW, I am a huge Paradigm fan and own the Monitor 7s for mains and Mini's for surrounds.
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I like all the Paradigm Monitor speakers that have the 6 1/2 inch woofers. The Mini's and 7's are in that group. I don't care for the sound of the 3's and 9's with the 8 inch woofers. Their big woofers have more bass but they seem slow and muddy to me. Give me the little, quick woofs any day of the week! Oh, I have 7's and Mini's in my system. Best wishes and good luck on your new speakers, whichever you get.
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  11. Mike L-field

    Mike L-field Agent

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    I don't have an opion on the monitor 3's, but I can say that NHT makes excellent speakers throughout their line. When I was auditioning speakers I always likefd the NHT's, and even though I'm now a Paradigm Reference kind of guy, I could never fault anyone for preferring the NHTs. Your ears are fine [​IMG] Enjoy. BTW, if you ever get to apoint of considering towers you might try to find a p[air of NHT 2.9 or 3.3 to audition; they are OUTSTANDING!
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  12. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

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    Rachael's comments exactly mirror my opinions and I also have 7's and Mini's.
    At my dealer I watched the drivers of the 7's and 3's for a few moments with the grills off. I noted that the 7's drivers seemed to move very precisely while the larger driver on the 3's seemed to have quite a bit of side-to-side wobble in addition to the expected in-and-out motion. I don't know if that's an indication of a speakers accuracy but I thought it was worth noting at the time.
    Gotta love the piano finish on the NHTs though! Really nice touch and I wish that Paradigm offered that finish.
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