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

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post #1 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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B&W or Paradigm choice

I have an incredible itch to buy something audio ...

Im not even sure where I'm gonna use it but probable locations are right beside a CRT tv or as computer speakers (but with LCD monitor).

I was ready to buy the B&W 602 Series 3 bookshelves - enough to buy it solely based on looks. (although I have listened to it and it sounds great to me)

I would then like to ask if anyone has compared the above speaker to a Paradigm Monitor 5 (same price) and/or a Paradigm Studio 20 (same specs but higher price)

which in your opinions sound better?

I cant demo both at the same place or time (and my acoustic memory is about 20 seconds)
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post #2 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 03:15 AM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

When evaluating speakers, you really can't look at the specs. To an extent, they're important, but it really won't tell you if the speakers sound good or sound bad.

Of your choices, I'm partial to the Paradigm Studio 20's. I think that they're the best of breed at their price level.

But speakers are so subjective, that I always try and stress the fact that it's MY opinion, and that you should be making that decision after auditioning.

Now, it is hard to find a dealer that is selling both speakers you're interested in, and remembering how they sound with any accuracy is tough if you have to go to a different listening room, much less a new store. I have two alternatives..

1) bring them home for a home audition. This to me is a must if I'm spending this kind of green. If you're going to be doing an A/B comparision, make sure that the speakers are set at the same db level. If one is louder than the other, your instinct is to choose the louder speaker. Note, most stores that sell these brands are used to this practice. If they don't, I'd find another store.

2) to narrow down the selection of speakers for a home audition, or, if needed, to decide what speakers to buy without a home audtioin, I would do the following:
  • Take notes.. very important because you won't remember squat without them
  • Listen to the same songs in the same order with every set of speakers that you listen to.
  • Choose songs that you're familiar with from a wide range of music styles. Naturally, use more from your favored genre. Also, bring a spoken word cd. I've heard that hearing the flaws in a speaker is easier with the spoken word.
When you're all done, let us know what you choose and why. Enquiring minds wanna know!

Good luck.

JCD
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post #3 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 06:58 AM
 
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

Totally agree with JCD - and would also add that system synergy is also imortant. A speaker can sound completely different depending on the source and amplifier being used.
This also supports getting a home trial, and also factoring in any potential future upgrades.
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post #4 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 08:41 AM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

I bought B&W 704s and like them very much, but I listened to other speakers I liked also. The problem is you are listening in different locations with different receivers and there is no way to make a tru listening decision. The in home test would be best with your equipment but is not always possible. I just made a call because my wife was getting mad that I would drag her around to listen to speakers. I would have probably been just as happy in my home if I had selected a different quality speaker. Also remember in your home you are not going to be A'Bing the speakers after you buy them.


Hey I heard the B&W 802Ds and they make my speakers sound sad, try not to listen to far out of your price range.
post #5 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 08:53 AM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

Another thing to consider is breakin period. When listening to speakers in a store, it's common that the speakers wil not have finished their breakin period. Believe me, this is important as the overall tone, brightness and sound of the speaker is influenced by that. It is very likely that the speakers will change after a few hundred hours of listening. Remember that!
post #6 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 11:20 AM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

Quote:
haver wrote:
Another thing to consider is breakin period. When listening to speakers in a store, it's common that the speakers wil not have finished their breakin period. Believe me, this is important as the overall tone, brightness and sound of the speaker is influenced by that. It is very likely that the speakers will change after a few hundred hours of listening. Remember that!

I agree, but wouldn't purchase speakers thinking that they would change enough in sound after break in if I wasn't completely satisfied up front. They will change, but their basic sonic signature will remain the same.

I would also say, be careful when A/Bing speakers that you aren't picking out features of speakers that stand out to you in an initial evaluation that may bug you down the road. I did this with my previous M&K speakers. I heard an amazing amount of detail compared to other speakers I was listening to. Ultimately they wound up being a little too bright for me. This time around, I tried not to be too analytical in my listening and go with which speakers that emotionally involved me the most, and allowed me to get lost in the music.
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post #7 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 03:02 PM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

Quote:
GregBe wrote:
I agree, but wouldn't purchase speakers thinking that they would change enough in sound after break in if I wasn't completely satisfied up front. They will change, but their basic sonic signature will remain the same.

I would also say, be careful when A/Bing speakers that you aren't picking out features of speakers that stand out to you in an initial evaluation that may bug you down the road. I did this with my previous M&K speakers. I heard an amazing amount of detail compared to other speakers I was listening to. Ultimately they wound up being a little too bright for me. This time around, I tried not to be too analytical in my listening and go with which speakers that emotionally involved me the most, and allowed me to get lost in the music.
I think your bringing a good point. What I believe is that it's important to consider breakin as part of the evaluation, another point to take into account, not necessarily the most important aspect of speaker choice.
post #8 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

unfortunately, there's no such thing as bringing home speakers here (unless you buy them)
fortunately, the 602's and the digms are in the same mall, in stores right beside each other.

but of course, they use different sources ...
the rotel uses musical fidelity
the digms (not sure yet)
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post #9 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 10:18 PM
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

Well, I have a different take on them. I am the service manager for a dealer. I used to work at a shop that sold both B&W and Paradigm. That was a while back so the sonic comparison today is invalid, but at the time I used to have to repair a lot more Paradigms. I currently work where we sell only the B&W and can tell you that in the two decades of selling them, I have had to change very very few parts in B&W speakers and have found the quality to be exceptional. I can't comment on the current Paradigm product in this regard, only those a few years back.

As for the sound, I think the 601 is a better value than the 602, at least in an A/V system with a sub and center channel.



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post #10 of 33 Old 05-19-06, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: B&W or Paradigm choice

I was comparing the 601 and 602 but found that the 100bucks difference between the 2 was pretty negligible.

I even have a cardboard mock up of the 601 set on my computer table to see if it was "too big"

I couldnt find cardboard that was 19" long for the 602
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