Studio 20 vs B&W 602, any thoughts... ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Reznik, May 24, 2002.

  1. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    I appologize if this combo has already been debated, but I couldn't find find it on the forum.

    I'm looking for a second set of speakers for a two-channel stereo setup in my living room. It will run using a Rotel pre/pro and Rotel 2x200 amp and I'm using a Tosh SD6200 as a transport.

    The B&W602 and the Paradigm Studio 20s are almost identical in price. I like the 20's a lot, but I would like to get a slightly different sound in my 2-channel set up vs. my HT (paradigm studio 100,20,CC). I have had paradigms for years and want to try something different.

    Do any of you have any thoughts on the 602s? Is is worth it? Should I just stick w/ the 20s?
     
  2. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen many many people on this forum that feel really strongly about both paradigm and b&w.

    I can't believe there hasn't been any takers on this topic yet!? I thought you guys would jump on this one.... ?
     
  3. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Here goes... [​IMG]
    I did an A/B comparison between the two. I ended up getting the Studio 40s (although I was using the 20s in the comparison with the 602s).
    But here's what I thought... when I went into the store I was expecting to fall in love with the B&Ws because friends of mine own them and highly recommend them. But when I listened to the 602s I didn't care for their laid back sound. The 20s were very forward sounding compared to the 602s. I guess I like that.
    The salesman I was dealing with was also pushing the 602s more then the 20s but in the end I decided that I liked the forward sound more. Sure the 602s filled the room, were very clean, sounded great, but they just had a different feel from the 20s. It's really a matter of taste I think. If you're used to the sound of Paradigm reference I think it might take a while to get used to the B&W sound. I'm sure the opposite is also true.
    From what I can tell they are both very well made. One advantage of the 602 bookshelves is that they are front ported.
    However, if you can afford it, the 40s are a wicked speaker and noticeably better then the 20s (imho). If you want something other then Paradigms but a similar sound, check out the Boston Acoustics reference series (I believe that's the VR-M series). They make a really nice bookshelve that I was also seriously considering. BA's are very underrated on these forums, but I feel they make a great speaker. Worth checking out!
    and of course I should also point out that the only real way to know for sure is if you go and listen to them! In-fact, that's the fun part about speaker shopping - no features to worry about just sound! [​IMG]
    - Mike
     
  4. Andrew Santos

    Andrew Santos Stunt Coordinator

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    i went and auditioned both the 20s and 40s, and for some reason i liked the sound of the 20s more. but perhaps that was due to the fact that the 40s might not have been broken in yet. but the 20s are quite a respectable speaker. i might upgrade to 40s if i decide i like them. i'd have to audition them again though.
     
  5. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    The B&W 602s are my favorite speaker in the line-up considering price/performance. I started with a pair of them 3 years ago and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

    Compared to the Paradigms, tough to say. They are totally and tonally different speakers. If you like the sound of B&W, it will grow into love once you add them to your system. If you don't care much for the B&W sound, forget them....you'll never be happy.



    Jeremy
     
  6. Tim Baldwin

    Tim Baldwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,
    You say you are looking for a different sound in your 2-ch rig. Can you elaborate on that? And the kind of music to which you listen? Maybe what you would want is something a little more striking than moving from one dynamic speaker to another, but rather to a planar, horn, or electrostatic. You've got plenty of power for anything.
     
  7. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim,

    That's a great question. Let me begin by saying that I love Paradigm speakers (especially the studio line). I am very happy with them, and I listen to them all the time in my HT (although mainly w/ movies).

    I've had Pradigm speakers for the last 6 years (starting with the 7seMK-III (pre monitor 7) and upgrading all the way up to the Studio 100s. And if I ever want to trully do some critical listening (grab a glass of wine, dim the lights, and turn up the stereo to the point of pissing off the neighbors down the street) I can do that by going down to my HT and cranking the 100s.

    I'm looking for something with a different sound b/c I'd like some variety. I've listend to B&W and they sound a little tighter more refigned than the Paradigm but not as, for lack of a better term "full bodied". I'd love to go with a pair of Thiel CS1.6 or even .5 or Martin Logan but they are considerably more expensive.

    My two channel set-up is in my living/family room and open to the kitchen and dining room. What I am looking to do is find a great set of speakers that I can listen to while relaxing/reading/eating/entertaining/etc... I hate to admit it but it's almost a pain in the a$$ to go down to the HT every time I want to listen to some music.

    I listen to pretty much everything from goo goo dolls & matchbox 20 to tool & mettalica to yo yo ma and harry conick jr. I have an extensive mp3 and cd collection.

    I guess after 6 years of a similar sound, I would just like to try something different... "variety is the spice of life" and for $600, if it doesn't work out I won't be too upset... so I guess I pretty much just answerd my own question. I will not be going with another pair of Paradigm Studio 20s. Thanks Tim! you helped me put it into perspective.

    Can anyone think of a good sounding speaker under $1000 that will have a great (but different) sound than the paradigm studio 20?
     
  8. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    For $1100 I would try the Sonus Faber Conertino Home or the Vienna Acoustics Haydn($995). Both VERY different from the Paradigm.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    B&W owners vs Paradigm Studio owners are two different camps. I like them both, but I prefer the CDM 1NT to the 602, though that is also a significant price jump. If you like the Studios, stick with them.
    I agree with the Sonus Fabers, and also Thiel PCS & Aerial Model 5. Not inexpensive stuff though...
     
  10. Arron H

    Arron H Second Unit

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    I agree with Mark on the Vienna Acoustics Haydn. I think that they would be great for 2 channel stereo. However, somewhat more expensive than the 602s or 20s. I prefer the 40s to the 20s but once again, the 40s are somewhat more expensive. Both the 602s or 20s would be great for 2 channel stereo. It boils down to personal preference.
     
  11. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Mike,
    I get the impression that it is almost, if not already, time for you to jump into a dedicated music system[​IMG]
    You have a decent budget there ($1000) and a hell of an HT set-up. Maybe you should do a bit more saving and step into a "true" audiophile, critical listening set-up that would work well for entertainment purposes too. If you are looking for monitor speakers for the listening room, and you don't mind used purchases...you would be able to pick up a pair of Nautilus 805s on audiogon for $1400-1600. I know you have a budget now, but if it is critical music listening, glass of wine and a cigar that you're after, you will quickly want to upgrade your speakers if you limit yourself to 602s or Studio 20s.
    I'm not sure what kind of brain power you have in the HT, but if multiple zone output is one of the capabilites, a good 2 channel amplifier and transport is all that is left[​IMG]
    It can get up there in price, but if you have a good plan and don't mind buying second hand audiophile gear, there are some smokin' deals to be had every day at audiogon. Not to mention, if you aren't satisfied with the sound or need money quickly, you should always be able to turn the gear around for at least 85-90% of your investment.
    Jeremy
     
  12. Tim Baldwin

    Tim Baldwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    I fully agree with Jeremy about the used market. Speakers easily can be had for 60% of list and below. If you exercise good judgement wrt the seller and transaction, you are unlikely to get burned.

    You've received some good suggestions. It seems your tastes may require something almost full-range, so a few more specific models I'd suggest are Vandersteen 2Ce and 3A (a little under and over your target range), NHT 2.5 and 2.9 (ditto), and Magnepan 1.6. Other well-regarded mfr to consider and watch for might include Soliloquoy, Spendor, Audio Physic, VMPS, Hales, Totem, Final, Linn. They've all got "strengths and weaknesses" or more appropriately varying degrees of "character".

    Have fun!
     
  13. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    The only thing that I still need for my two channel set-up is a pair of speakers. (since I already have the pre/pro, amp, transport, cd changer)

    I definately don't have a problem with used gear, in fact that was the first place I started to look. I have been checking out Audiogon and Ebay for several weeks now. The problem is it's not so easy to find a good deal if you're looking for something specific. Everyone wants to sell their speakers for 80-85% of their retail value... I can get close to that at my local dealer. I'm not saying that there aren't great deals out there... (and I'll continue to look) but I haven't found anything great within my price range yet. I think that is the problem. I think I should just wait a bit and save up to increase my budget. I will be happier in the long run.

    Tim, those are great suggestions for speakers, I've heard good things about some of them (a friend of mine swore by his Vandersteens). Unfortunatley there are not any stores in my area that carry them so I can't listen to them first.

    Thanks again for all of the great replies!
     
  14. Tim Baldwin

    Tim Baldwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,
    Originally you mentioned 2 monitor style models. Are you really looking at monitors or considering floorstanders as well? As we speak, there is a pair of Apogee Centaurus Minors and VMPS Towers on Agon for 675 and 650 respectively. Both use ribbons and will be a bit different than your Paradigms.
     
  15. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have any objections to towers... but they are generally more expensive.

    I'm open to any suggestions, but I wouldn't buy a speaker without hearing it first... and unfortunately I don't have any stores in my area that cary Apogee Centaurus Minors or VMPS Towers.
     
  16. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I believe you can't even compare the Paradigm Reference to the B&W 600s. The Reference, I believe, is in the same class as the B&W CDM series. I recommend listening to the B&W CDM1NTs bookshelf. You might be surprised. New list on them is $1,200.

    Going the used route, the B&W CDM1SEs, the predecessor to the NT line, sell used on audiogon and ebay for $600-$700. I use these speakers in my HT with Rotel gear and highly recommend them.
     
  17. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I think B&W is a good change of pace. I prefer Paradigm sound for HT, and B&W sound for music listening.
     

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