Should I downsize my gear? Paradigm to ACI (or others?)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    OK folks, here is my dilemma...I will give you my current setup first.

    Anthem AVM-20 processor paired with Anthem MCA-5 Amp.
    Paradigm Refererence 40's, 20's and CC. The 40's and 20's are in Lt. Cherry Veneer. I have an ACI Titan II LE Subwoofer.

    Currently, I am in between permanent residences. I am planning to buy a house sometime in the next 4-6 months. Due to work and school considerations, the search for that house is slow going. Where I am staying currently I am unable to utilize my entire setup. In fact, I am currently running a 2.1 setup in a bedroom with just the 40's and the sub.

    Because of how busy I am these days and the fact that my bedroom setup is basically a two channel only rig these days, I am considering selling off some of my setup and revaluating assets.

    I am considering packaging my entire Paradigm setup and utilizing the cost of that sale to improve my two channel setup by purchasing a pair of GREAT speakers to replace my Paradigms. I may even sell my 5 channel amp and upgrade to a better two channel amp as well.

    When I finally buy the house (or condo), I will obviously need to repurchase a center channel and surround speakers as well as possibly acquiring additional amplification if I indeed sell off the amp.

    Seeing I got the Paradigm's in Canada, I can probably sell them for what I paid for them (maybe more).

    I'm sure this is simply a case of upgraditis setting in, but it really makes sense when you figure that I have 60% of my speakers sitting in boxes in storage. What do you guys think? I can get a pretty incredible set of speakers for $1600, and probably have some money left over. I am considering a pair of the new ACI 25th anniversary Sapphires as a focal point of my search.

    Is this simply irrational on my part?
     
  2. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    If you need the money to do some of the things needed in reference to school or the purchase of the house, by all means do what you need to do. But if you are only thinking about your enviroment prohibiting you from using a full set up, then don't do it. When you get your house you'll have a kick ass system at your fingertips, you can fashion the room to not only accept this system, you may be able to upgrade to 7.1 with an additional 2 channel amp etc.. I say keep it.
     
  3. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    I have the new Sapphires and love them. IMHO they are a huge step above the Studio 40s. Although I haven't compared them side-by-side, I am familiar with the 40s and prefer the 'ACI sound'. Here is my review (go down a few posts).
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Thanks guys...I thought this thread was going to fall on deaf ears.

    I appreciate the feedback...makes the decision that much harder. I really do like the sound that my Paradigm's produce, but for music, I feel like I could do better. From what I hear, the Sapphires sound like the ticket, but what I am wondering is how much detail they have. I have heard they are "warmer" than Paradigm, but I hope not at the lack of detail. I do feel that the top end in the digms is not quite as refined as I would like, but this is a benefit for HT. Just wondering what kind of improvement I would be looking at with these new monitors.

    Man, I wish I had someone close to me who owned these suckers or a disposable $1300 to give them a 30 day trial. Maybe in a month or two I can do an A/B and sell off the losers (if Paradigm) or return the losers (if ACI).

    Thanks again. Kevitra, I am VERY familiar with that thread on AVS...following it with much interest.
     
  5. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    The Sapphires (III or the new model) are *very* detailed, and yet not bright. I found the Studio line to be too bright for my taste. To you that brightness might be detail, and since the Sapphires are less 'bright' maybe they won't be as detailed for you. This is the hard part - determining what is detailed to me vs you.

    If you get a chance to hear them, be sure to let us know what you think. I am curious as to what others think of them.
     
  6. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    Evan,
    I recently sold my 40s and CC and am currently testing a Rocket200 center(which is way better than the Studio CC) and trolling the ACI threads at AVS.

    I'm moving away from the tweeter in the Digms.
    I doubt you'll send the ACI back.

    Good Luck!

    Eric
     
  7. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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  8. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Well, while not familiar with ACI, I did something similar last year. Discovered I care more about music reproduction than 5.1 sound and sold two subs and 5 Klipsch speakers to help afford a new pair of higher-end speakers (JM Reynaud Offrandes). Still using a good sub (Bag End Infra-18) and my HT processor (Theta CasaNova) as the hub of my system.

    I have not regretted it at all and now have doubts of ever feeling the need to return to 5.1. Maybe the day I can afford to really dedicate a room to it, but probably not before then.

    The difference in sound for my jump was amazingly large, even movies without surround sound are better than before. Everything from instruments, sound effects, and voices sound more 'real' and more 'you are there'.

    I am now a firm believer that if you have a limited budget spend it on two good channels and worry about the rest when you get a better paying job.[​IMG]

    If you do decide to switch, I would also encourage you to sell the amp and get a better two channel amp. I went with a Art Audio tube amp after selling my Bryston, and this was again a significant step forward for me. Not as much as the speakers, but still nice. Considering there are a total of 5 wanted ads for an MCA-5 right now you shouldn't have any problems selling it fast.
    If you wanted to go with tubes used Rogue M-120's, used VTL MB125's, used Cary V12,or used Music Reference RM-200 can all be found used right now for $1800-2400 which I am guessing might be what you could get for your amp? All of these designs pump out more than enough juice fo the Sapphire's.
     
  9. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Scott, thanks for the advice.

    Unfortunately, the Anthem was a great value amp when it made it's debut...to the tune of $1500 retail price. You could easily get it from a dealer with a decent discount for $1300 or so. Used ones typically go on Audiogon from anywhere from $800-$950...I doubt I could get much more than that. Because I am leaving the HT realm only temporarily, I will probably keep the amp. I can sell the speakers and get the Sapphires for less than I paid for the speaker package, but to significantly improve my amplification would take many more funds. That might be a challenge for another time.

    I am also probably going to wait until I can afford a pair of Sapphires on my own without selling off my current speakers. I want to take advantage of ACI's 30 day money back guarantee offer before making my assessment of what kind of improvement I am looking at here. As it stands, I only have about $400 more to save up before I get there. Then I can decide what direction I am going to go. Nothing can be determined without the in home demo of course.

    Thanks for the advice guys.
     
  10. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    :b Didn't know the retail price of the MCA-5, guessed it was closer to the cost of the processor.

    Still when (if) you do get the Sapphires, you still might want to investigate a new 2-channel amp to really bring out their best, like kevitra above. Maybe tote the speakers around to some local dealers?
     

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