B&W or Paradigm choice - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #31 of 33 Old 07-25-06, 02:42 PM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

I have auditioned all three of the speakers you are refering too and have come very close to purchasing a complete 7.0 set up based on the paradigm monitor series with the monitor 5's for mains and the b&W 600 series and I was really torn between the 601's 602's and even the 603's for my mains. I really had a hard time getting past the sheer beauty of the 600's and everytime I started to lean more to the paradigms I'd take one more look at the 600's and I would start to lean that way again. I really like the sound of the studio series paradigms but a whole system was over my budget so I stopped listening to them after a few seconds so as not to dislike the sound of the monitors in comparison. Granted these speakers are in different stores so I was never able to a side by side, but I heard both at 2 different locations each each powered by similar gear so I did the best I could. I really auditioned all of them about a dozen times each. I really liked the paradigm monitors and would have bought them if they were just a tad less expensive than the 600's. I finally decided I couldn't get past the looks of the 600 series and decided that was the way to go. I really do like the sound of the monitors, but they never really overly impressed me--they were just quality to me--kind of a blue collar work horse of speaker type, if that makes any sense. kind of like a chevy--not the best by any stretch but definately not a Daewoo--just good quality sound. The 600's never blew me away either but I felt they had just a bit more character to them, they somehow seemed to bring me into the music a bit more than the monitors. Of course as happy as I could I have been with either of these, both could easily be embarrassed and made to sound terrible by a simple flip of the switch at either shop, with many much better speakers on display. But for my budget I decided the 600's were the way to go. I did audition both the monitors and the 600's side by side with several other brands and did decide these were the two I liked best in my price range. With all of that said, once I moved, my theater room didn't lay out as I had anticipated with the new furniture, and I didn't end up getting the 600's. I am going the other way as far as looks go and am getting the ascend acoustics this fall. I have heard them at a friend's house and was really impressed. There were 2 other sets of similar (much higher priced) speakers there on hand for comparison and no way could I justify the higher prices (1 set was $1500, and the other was over $4000) There definatley were some very subtle dynamic and soundstage advantages for the $4000+ set but it was a toss up with the $1500 set. All of this is subject to change again if SVS steps up with their new plus series by then and throws another wrench into my plans, which will be fine. i have no issue sending them more of my money as the customer support on the sub I own from them has been astounding. now if my local utility companies could only take a lesson from them from a customer service standpoint, I might have TV, cable and internet back on by next week after the storm that shut down almost half of the area swept through last week, but that is a whole other story. Bottom line, as has been suggested, do your best to go listen to the speakers and decide which SOUNDS better to you. Sound is very subjective, as is looks, so go listen to them again and make a decision. Both are very good quality and you can't go wrong with either. I am sure you will be happy with either. Good luck.
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post #32 of 33 Old 08-04-06, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

last july, I A/Bed the B&W 602 s3 and Paradigm Studio 40 s3

I paired the 40 s3 with the B&W because only the studio 20 s1 was around
source and integrated amp was denon.

I am so glad I don't have a golden ear ... (again, it was the wife who noticed a big difference but mentioned "nevermind for that price" - she did not know which of the two speakers were running)

sure there was a difference between the two, but if I would assign ratings to the difference it would be paradigm 98% b&w 97-96%. the difference was in the soundstage, the vocals were "higher" or simply "louder" than the b&w.

you have to consider though that the B&W has one 7" driver doing all the work, while the studio 40 has two 7" drivers (one for the mids, one for the lows).

I'm thinking the cheaper floorstanding 603 b&w with separate mid and low drivers will be enough to match the studio 40. (or the 604 will be enough to beat it)
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post #33 of 33 Old 08-04-06, 02:29 PM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

My memory od the pricing is a bit rusty, but I think you should take a listen to these as well. The 700 series is really where you will notice B&W's finess kick in. I wouldn't worry too much about the lower octaves as that can be fufiled with a sub.

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