Need the right Amp for Paradigm Studio 60's V.3


New member
Username: Mightyburner

Bronxville, NY

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-04
As the infamous "they" say,,,a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. So true for this hobby and especially in my case. This is actually a second post. The original was in the Speakers thread.

To start, many thanks to Steven, Hawk and therealelitefan! As many of you know I've acquired the Paradigm Studio 60's for my fronts, the 470CC center and Studio 20's for the rears. My system is primarily used 65/35 for music (mostly classic jazz and R&B)and HT, repectively. My room is size is approximately 26(L)x12(W)x8(H)and has three open entrances.

My search or holy quest is to now upgrade my HK 320 receiver. My options as I see it is to obtain an amp and then a pre/pro or just get a high end receiver and call it a day.

1) Anthem PVA 7 and AV 20. I can get the PVA for $1,100 and the AVM 20 for $3,200 at my local dealer. The PVA seems to be the logical choice considering it's part of the Paradigm family. However, the AVM 20 seems way over my head with a million features of which most I would not use. Remember I'm a Noob. I don't need multi-zone nor do I understand balanced inputs, blah, blah, blah. But the fact that I would have virtually everything as I learn seems like a good move too!

2) Rotel. Either the RSX 1067 receiver or the Rmb 1075 and RSM 1068 pre/pro. Or if I want to lose my mind, the 1098. I figure I can get a piece at a time and add a 2 channel amp later. I only need 5 amps but if figure I'll want 7 in the future so get it now. Another dealer is pushing the Rotel product. I believe I would get much better support from this dealer but not price.

3) Pioneer VSX55ti. A much cheaper option that would technically meet my needs. I like the auto calibration feature as well. I know you SPL guys are cringing now. Yes, I have an SPL and I think I know how to use it correctly. The VSX59ti is a $4,500 option as well. Steven,,,what kind of Elite do you have?

4) NAD. I don't know enough about them. I do know that people who have it are either very happy or have problems. I've been reading the various posts and they are all over the place. Hawk,,,the only reason NAD is still in the running is because you sing praises onto them.

5) Outlaw is out. I know several of you will rip me over this but I just can't get comfortable with something I can't see or hear unless I order. I know about the 30 day guarantee but still.

6) Adcom. This seemed like a reasonable entry level way to get into separates but the dealer dogged the heck out of Adcom and pushed the Pioneer Elite. Recent reviews are good. Opinions?

7) Parasound. Out of my league unless I sell both kids and the wife. (God knows I would miss the kids.) In my opinion the Halo C52 would be overkill. I just love the way it sounds and looks. My dealer had it hooked up to the Paradigm 100's and I was blown away.

As you guys can see, I'm a mess right now. I'm just looking to have something that I can be satisfied with for a good while. Given the $$ involved I need to make an informed decision. Thanks for reading such a long post and I would appreciate any input! (Now if I can only get the right sub.)

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 277
Registered: Dec-03
Even though I am the biggest PE supporter on this board I would not recommend you get the PE55 with your Paradigm's. The best option IM you mentioned is the Adcom. Why any salesman would push you to the 55 over Adcom seperates with Paradigm Studio's is a mystery to me. The next choice is the NAD line. NAD and Paradigm is a great combination and the NAD 763 would be a perfect match. The Rotel is also a very good choice but Rotel is more expensive than NAD and IMO not better sounding. I am going to dog you a bit about the Outlaw's because they to are worth a try since you can send them back. In fact if it was me that would be what I would do first.

New member
Username: Skelter

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-04
I have not heard anything better sounding than Nad in the price range.
I vote Nad. I have the T163/973 separates and it's perfect for me.

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 413
Registered: Dec-03
MM Miles:

I think all of your choices are good gear, although some are not particularly the best for Paradigm speakers. As much as I like and respect Pioneer Elite equipment, I have to agree with elitefan that the PE is not the best choice for Paradigm speakers (dynamite combo with JMlabs Cobalt speakers, however!).

If you love the Anthem pair (and I certainly do), you will be blown away by the sound of the new NAD separates. I think the 163 pre/pro is a great unit, fully functional, but very intuitive to use, as well. I had the incredible opportunity to compare the Anthem and NAD pairs at a local dealer, before they retired the Anthem pair from display in favor of the NAD 973/163. There is no problem with the Anthems, but the dealer explained to me that he cannot keep the Anthem pair of the floor when the NAD separates sound every bit as good but cost considerably less. I auditioned both of them them and I believe the NAD pair sounds better to my ears. The soundstage was a bit more focused and the sound was a bit warmer with the NAD pair. I was absolutely blown away. I cannot afford them, but it costs about half what you cite as the cost for the Anthem pair. The MSRP of the NAD pair is $3500, but I have priced them at $2700 from Kiefs (wishful thinking on my part!).

I agree with you about the Parasound gear (which I heard at the very same dealer, too)--I love it but I have a hard time justifying the cost of their pre/pro when there are so many other units that are as good for less cost (very few look as good, however). Now, Adcom is very nice gear, and I do not understand your dealer's attitude. Obviously, I think you should hear them before you consider buying the Adcoms, but I have heard the current units and I think they are very competitive with anything mentioned in this thread. The Adcom amps are very warm sounding, and a tad forward, not much different from either the NAD or Anthem separates.

You have ruled out the Outlaws, but I would suggest you seek out a local Sherbourne dealer. I think Brian Mitchell posted a review of the Sherbourne separates here (the thread is still available) and you should read it as the Sherbourne pre/pro is identical to the Outlaw 950. They are made in the same factory on the same assembly line--the only difference is that the Sherbourne is black and the Outlaw is grey. I know the Outlaw amps (755 and 770) are made by ATI, but I have not heard who makes the 7100. I do not like the 7100 as I think it is somewhat cool and a bit clinical sounding, but the bigger amps (755 and 770) are really nice sounding amps that would be a great choice for your Paradigms. Good prices, too.

Anyways, just a few of my thoughts . . .Good luck!
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