Set of Paradigm questions

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by William_Gravem, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I'm brand new to the wonderful world of home audio, and I am trying to learn as much as I can before I make my first time purchases, so I hope nobody will be upset if I post 2 or 3 naïve questions. Please excuse me if these posts are too lengthy.

    I bought an Onkyo 601 receiver (6.1, 85 watts per channel) and now am trying to find speakers within my budget for a 5.1 system. I listened to the Paradigm Ref. Studio 40's and I loved the way they sounded. Paradigm seems to have great speakers per dollar. The salesman at the store, however, warned that I may not have enough power for them with my receiver. Is this true?

    Also, the only place I can put rears (more like sides in this case) in this far-from-ideal room is about 2-3 feet behind, and fairly high on the wall. The back of the room opens into a dining room. Is it true that the ADP's would be a poor choice for rears because of this, and I would be better off with a pair of Atom's that I can aim with the wall-brackets?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    ---Bill
     
  2. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    If you have no back wall, the ADPs might be problematic. As for your receiver's power and the speakers, while you would benefit from more power, your speakers won't suddenly sound like crap because they're not hooked up to some monstrous power amp. Besides (I could be wrong), I believe your receiver has pre-outs so you could add outboard amps later without busting your budget now (that's what I plan to do eventually--sshh, don't tell my wife[​IMG] ). I've listened to the Paradigm Studios with a mainstream Yamaha receiver with no more power than your receiver and they sounded great (nearly bought them, but got a better deal on something else I liked a touch better--would have been quite happy with the Studios, though, great speakers). If you were looking at the 60s or 100s, then I'd be more concerned about power. All of this is dependent on your listening habits, of course. If you intend to listen at 90 dB spl, then the receiver is not up to the task, IMO. But if you're like most people and listen at real world levels, I think you'll be fine.

    P.S. No question is too naive, that's what these fora are for. And believe me, your post in no way qualifies as lengthy (as a short trip through this site will reveal). Welcome aboard.
     
  3. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you.

    Sounds like paradigm Atoms for the rears would work well b/c I could angle them appropriately w/ the wall brackets. Now, if I had Studio 40's up front and Atoms in the back, is that a bad balance?
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 601 does not have pre-outs, the 701 and up do.

    I have to agree with the salesperson, this receiver will not be sufficient to drive these speakers adequately in a decent sized room. These speakers, while 8Ohm nominal or "compatible" as Paradigm calls them, actually drop to very low impedances and will push most amps quite hard. The result can be damage to the speakers in short order. At average levels it will work, but I would really worry about sudden bursts when watching movies, because these speakers are not inexpensive and you would be running near the edge of this receiver's capabilities, IMO. It's not a bad receiver, I just don't think it's power will be sufficient for 40s and a CC470. 20s might be more appropriate with this receiver to start off with.

    The 60s use the exact same drivers as the 40s and will draw exactly the same amount of current - the only difference is the cabinet. The 100s would not be happy at all with this receiver.

    Studios up front with Performance out back is not an ideal situation, but it will work for now, especially if you do mostly movie viewing.
     
  5. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I agree with the suggestion for the 20's. I have a bunch of Paradigm speakers from all the different lines, so I can help answere question that you may have.

    I have the 20's and a Studio-CC up front running on my Denon 3803. The Denon has 110 watts/ch and can power the 20s fine. But for a month I had to use an old JVC receiver while my Denon was in the shop. The JVC was rated at 100 watts, but was in reality no where close. But even at that, I could not reach near as loud of volumes as I am used to. The 85 watt Onkyo should be fine, but the Studios perform better with more power.
    I also ran the 60s (as said, same drivers as the 40s) off of my 3803 for awhile. I could hear the limitations with my Denon. The 60s (and 40s) definalty like more power. I now have a pair of 125 watt monoblocks driving the 60s and they have open up a lot.

    Another reason to get the 20s now is that when you upgrade receivers/amps and get the 40s, 60s, or even 100s up front the 20s can be moved to the rear are surround back (if you want dipole sides). The 20s make a great rear speaker.

    FYI I have the following Paradigm speakers:
    Studio Line (all v.2):
    60s
    Studio-CC
    20s
    Montior Line:
    Mini Monitors
    CC-370
    Performance Line:
    Titans
    Subs:
    PS-1000
     
  6. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    I don't mean to hijack this thread william! Just a quick question along the same lines.

    I have a Yamaha RXV-530 and was considering the Paradigm Studio 40's. My receiver is rated at 75w...would this not be enough power for the 40's??
    Thanks for the help,

    Chris
     
  7. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for all of the advice! I just bought the Onkyo a week ago, so I don't see myself upgrading all that soon... it might be hard for me to picture upgrading when I haven't bought the speakers yet.

    Maybe I'm not ready for the studio line and a pair of Monitor 5's would be a better choice.
     
  8. ernie.bin

    ernie.bin Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm running my studio60s and CC with an 80W denon 1802 and have found that it still sounds great. While I think more power would be useful, if you're not pushing it too hard, lower powered receivers can still do a pretty good job with the studios.
     
  9. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I used to think that too, but after several upgrades I realized that it was hopless. Upgradeitis is a disease, and I have it very bad. I have learned that if I plan ahead now, it makes it easier down the road.

    Hi, my name is Brian, and I have upgraditis.

    And ernie.bin is right, the Onkyo will power the speakers, but I just want to make sure you realize the limitations and get the best that you can.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If you are looking at speakers of this level, then an upgrade in receiver will almost be necessary. At the very least, swap out the 601 for a 701 so that you will have the preamp outputs to add amps if needed in the future.

    I owned the Monitor 5s for a few years (as well as Minis, Titans, Atoms...), and I was always happy with them, but the Studios are a decent step up from the Monitors. IMO, the 5s will fill a larger room better than the 20s, but the 20s will still sound better.

    If you are considering stepping down to the Monitors, you might also then want to consider Axiom. I'd put them about half way between the Monitors and Studios, and almost the same price as the Monitor line.
     
  11. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you. I haven't considered Axiom yet b/c the dealerships that I've been to don't seem to carry them.

    What's the best way to trade-up a never before used Onkyo 601 for a 701?

    (now, a touch of upgradeitis before I ever used the equipment... that's got to be weird.)
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Scary as it may seem, I wouldn't call that weird at all. Seems to be common here on HTF...[​IMG] Caution: this hobby is addicting [​IMG]

    Did you order the 601 online? If you picked it up locally, call them and ask if you can simply return it and pay the difference for a 701. If you got it online, you might ask them the same thing, but then you'll most likely have to pay return shipping, depending on the place.

    Axioms tend to be difficult to locate for auditions because they are a less common brand, but if you ask around here, you will get plenty of good feedback. They also have a 30 day return policy for you to try them out (+shipping and possibly a small restocking fee I think).
     
  13. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    If you are going to consider the Monitor series, I suggest you listen to the Monitor 7s. I have been very happy with version 1s for over 6 years. The Monitor 7s are now in the 3rd version and sound even better. For surrounds you might consider the Mini-Monitors.
     
  14. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    William - is the room you're planning on using the speakers in a large room? How loud do you listen to music? FYI - the 20s and the 40s sound very similar. Once you add a good sub and set the crossover at 80 or 100 hz. I can't imagine that you won't be happy with the 20s. I have a studio v3 40, 470, 20 setup that I was powering with a Denon 3803. I added two Outlaw M200 amps thinking it would make a big difference, but it really didn't since I don't listen to music at high levels. It did make a difference at higher volumes, and of course I now listen to music louder than I used to [​IMG] . My girlfriend doesn't care for this much, but... All that said. In a small room at lower listening levels, you should be fine. However, in a large room at high volume levels you'll need more power, and having preamp outs is a good thing. Food for thought. Finally, there are some good articles on Audioholics that discuss a room's effect on sound.
     
  15. James^Brian

    James^Brian Agent

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    Ok, tell me if I'm crazy but isnt the 40's easier to drive and more efficient than the 20's. I think power is overrated and you would do fine with either choice. I have the 60's/cc/adp with Pioneer 45-tx and just love it. Very sweet sound to my ears.
     
  16. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Find a dealer that carries both brands and do an audition. Then you'll know better than us sitting here and guessing. What I will say though is that if you do listen to music, you're probably not going to be happy with that combo. And although I can't speak about the new Yamahas, the somewhat older 730 put out a wimpy 38 watts per channel with all channels driven in a Sound and Vision review a while back. Not spectacular, and something tells me that the lack of power will not really reveal what the Studio 40s will do. My thoughts are my thoughs. YMMV.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Power is absolutely not overrated. There is certainly a point of overkill, but it doesn't sound like you've even heard what a system running off quality amps sounds like or you wouldn't make such a comment. What you have always sounds great...and then you hear something better [​IMG] I went from 125wpc of my receiver to 180wpc of my monoblocks - the difference is quite noticable.

    40s are more efficient yes, because of the extra driver, but it still draws more current.
     
  18. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    There was an interesting discussion of power and it's importance and other issue relating to amplifies and speakers here:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=207887

    I believe the information I posted there to be correct since I have not yet been corrected. I'd rather just paste the link than to rewrite what I've (recently) already written.

    I'll agree with John on power not being overrated. Moving from a Pioneer Elite receiver (7x100) to a Rotel 1075 amp (5x125) produced obvious improvements in sound. Reasoning and further commentary have already been provided in the link I posted above.
     
  19. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Whether power is overrated depends on the situation. Paradigm speakers (at least v2) are known for having a difficult to drive impedence load over various frequences. They may be rated at 8 ohms, but IIRC, at some frequences can drop as low as 2 ohms. So when you play music, the speaker impedence is constantly varying between 8 ohms and 2 ohms.

    The effect is that an amplifier which can sustain a nice constant ouput voltage (or impedence) while driving the speakers with music playing will sound better than one which varies voltage (or impedence) under such difficult loads.

    So a really well designed 25 WPC amplifier with huge toroids etc will be able to drive Studio 40's better than a crappy 100 WPC which can't handle the constantly changing speaker impedence.

    Now the difference between a 25WPC and a 100WPC is theoretically going to be 6 dB. Of if you consider a 91 dB SPL (1 W/1 M) such as the 40's at 10 feet somewhat near a wall, the difference is a peak output of 101 dB vs. a 107 dB. Either will make your ears bleed after a few minutes. [​IMG]

    Ref: http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html

    Having said that, it is generally true that amps with larger true output watts can handle difficult loads better, just because they are generally designed and built better. Of course, this isn't always tue. So the rule of thumb that more power works out OK, but not for the reason most people believe.

    FYI: I have a pair of Studio 20's V2 being driven by a NAD C320BEE which is rated at a (albeit conservative) 50Wpc and it goes louder than I can handle. The power section of the NAD is very middle of the road, but it sounds great regardless.

    Martin.
     
  20. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    Interestingly, I went back to my dealership last night, and the regular guy I talk to wasn't in. Instead I met with another salesmen who told me that I wouldn't have enough power w/ my 85 watts to drive the studio 40's or 20's and recommended I go with Klipsch. Then he proceeded to lecture me about how I shouldn't expect to get the same output out of a $300.00 receiver as I do out of a $1,500.00 receiver... the whole thing was fairly unpleasent.
     

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