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Paradigm Signiture Speakers

 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Listened to these new offerings from Paradigm while vacationing on the Mainland last month. Not sure of the model, but they retailed for $1995.00/pair.
In comparing them to the Ref studio 20's, the bass was more detailed, mids smoother and highs more extended. The imaging seemed pretty much the same. Although they sounded ok, they did not draw me in musically.......like the Sonus Faber's I heard earlier that day. The problem, in my humble opinion, is in the x-over. The ONLY way to do a crossover right, again in my opinion, is a first order x-over. Vocals seemed somewhat recessed in the image, not up front like they should be. Bass was not really very musical. Cymbals sounded sort of fake....like a drum machine, if you know what that sounds like....not soft....could not distinguish the drummer using brushes on one recording...something that was very audable on the Sonus Faber's. Associated equipment was Sony top of the line SACD player and top of the line Sony digital amp. I also listened to some Monitor Audio's but was totally un-impressed. The Harbeth's (same price range)were pretty nice.....much better than Paradigm musically, but again not as inviting as the Sonus Faber. Every other speaker I heard did nothing for me at all. Lots of mediocre stuff out there guys.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gio

Post Number: 29
Registered: Jun-04
First time I read such negative comments about the Signature Series from Paradigm, anywhere. Kind of surprised me at first. Then I looked up and saw who wrote the "review".
Yeah right. Only the 2 or 3 brands that you're obsessed with sound right.

P.S. Next time you want to "review" a set of high end set of speakers, please do us the favor to use an amp that will do some justice to the product. Most higher end Paradigm speakers require more juice to sound right, than what Sonys can deliver.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Gio, I, like other consumers am limited by what the shop has to power the speakers with. The Sonus Fabers I listened to were being driven by Arcam electronics. I didn't say the Paradigms were bad, I said they didn't draw me into the music like a great speaker should. The Sonus Fabers were much nicer everywhere except the low bass. There was plenty of low end, but I coudn't follow the bass guitar riffs on any recording they played...and I heard at least 10 different cd's on them. Could have been a room problem. I was expecting more from the Paradigm's, quite frankly as there used to be a dealer on Maui for them and I always liked their sound for a mass market product. I have always preferred lower order x-overs and planer speakers. My ears are more sensitive to phase irregularities than most and I hear them very quickly in a speaker or in electronics. I couldn't stand listening to a cd player until they reached 4x oversampling. The original ones were horrible. Getting back to the speakers, the Sonus Faber's easily produced a much warmer, deeper soundstage. Again, not saying the Paradigms were bad, just less than I expected from a $2K monitor.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 40
Registered: Oct-04
And he was saying a Sony receiver doesn't do a good set of speakers justice. Especially next to an Arcam receiver. I'm sure the Sonus Fabers would not sound as good hooked up to that same Sony amplifier.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gio

Post Number: 30
Registered: Jun-04
I guess I could have written my reply in a more friendly way, my apologies.

However, I just can't help but think that one cannot reasonably expect to post something about a serious set of speakers fed by an amp that everybody knows is in a sub-class, without getting serious objections.

Moreover, higher end series from Paradigm (Reference and Signature) are not exactly what I would call "mass market products". Both series had great reviews from serious listeners since their introduction.

The conclusion I'm drawing from your listening and report is that the amp was bad, not the speakers. I just can't figure out how a person with your experience and knowledge would come to a different conclusion, - and dare to post it !
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Hmmmm.....have not heard bad reviews myself on the upper line Sony ES products. This was a pretty expensive amp, not your basic Sony home theatre piece. I probably wouldn't buy it, but many have. I have also heard the entire Paradigm line prior to this experience on various electronics from Arcam to Edge. I personally think the Paradigms should sound and work fine on the mega buck Sony amp. Can someone give me something concrete that says the big Sony ES Digital amp is junk?
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
It appears i'm not the only one who found these high priced offerings from Paradigm dissapointing. Consider the following from Audiogon:
06-28-04: S7horton
I heard it at my local dealer while they were demoing it to decided if they wanted to include the signature line in their inventory. I am a huge fan of paradigm speakers and have owned multiple pairs. I thought the signature line sucked. They were way too bright, had no bottom end, and didn't image the way I'm used to Paradigm speakers imaging. They were powered by my own Musical Fidelity A308 integrated and also the brand new classe amp and pre amp. (About 7500 dollars worth of equipment) With both sets of electronics, it sounded bad. It sounded better with the classe, but still not good. I know that both electronics and speakers were broken in. I had great hope for this line and was interested in trying it out until I heard these. Quite a let down.
Ok guys.......anyone gonna argue that Musical Fidelity sucks like you all did with the Sony ES digital amp? Stereophile LOVES their stuff (MF that is) Maybe the Paradigms are picky about amplification. If so, that would bring up a red flag that they may have some phase issues, again lending credence to my statement about the x-over being off somehow. Anyone got anything to add?
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 795
Registered: Dec-03
Home Theatre's October issue has a review of the Signature 8 system and gives it a 95 overall and 97 for performance. "Among the best I've heard anywhere near it's price and are potent and dynamic yet warm, musical, and composed with source material of any variety".
Speakers are subjective and generally not worth arguing about anyway. I have not heard the Signature's myself but can't believe they aren't very good just like all Paradigm's but they are so expensive and there are many excellent speakers at that exalted price point that I can't justify buying so I'm in no hurry to drive the 50 miles it takes for me to hear them assuming my two dealers stock them which in this economy is very doubtful anyway.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 56
Registered: Oct-04
I auditioned the Signature series today and those are some crazy looking speakers! Truly have to be seen in person to be believed. The centre channel almost covers the entire top of a big screen TV and the subwoofer looks like it could double as a coffee table.

Amazing sound although the room wasn't big enough to get the speakers really going.


Also saw the new Martin Logan Montauges, very impressive for the price! Really well detailed and excellent bass response.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Perhaps it depends on what your listening FOR? I thought they were detailed enough, bass was pretty good, mids and highs were fine. Tonally, they were fine. What they were missing, again my opinion only, was the ability to draw me into the music emotionally. They failed miserably at that. They were not un-pleasant to listen to, just not what i'd expect from a $2K monitor. Do a side by side listen if possible to some monitors that DO draw you in emotionally to hear for yourself. There are a few out there folks. Here are some others comments about the Paradigms from audiogon:

Personally, the Sig 4 were not my cup of tea and I knew it immediately. I was listening to them in comparsion to Linn Espek and JM Lab 927. I prefered the Linn's and JM Labs to the Paradigms.

In my opinion, the Paradigm's looked great & did well in individual areas, but failed to have a cohesive sound. It was hard to described, but it just didn't work for me. Of the three speakers mentioned, I found the JM Lab 927 to be the most enjoyeable. They were very dynamic with a great mid range. The Espeks were very nice & probably a great speaker if you want a more forgiving setup.

The best advice is to go hear them & trust your own ears. If you like them at the dealer, try to audition them at home. I also questioned something mentioned above ...it bothers me that someone indicates he is going out listening to various speakers & later states about great values on line. If you are using dealers to hear their products, ethically you should be buying from one of these dealers.
Macct (Threads | Answers)


11-04-04: Ehoehn
I agree with Macct assesment. They were wonderful at certain things, but were not as musical to my ears. They were wonderful at the things they did well like detail, neutrality etc.
Ehoehn (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers)
Again, I feel the ability to relate the artists musical intent is screwed up by the vast majority of speakers sold today. And I firlmy believe it's phase errors doing it via the crossover network.
Smear the phase you smear the time. Timing in music is pretty important. Getting a crossover to NOT smear the phase is quite difficult indeed. Perhaps the sinlge hardest thing a speaker designer has to deal with. Thats why there are very few true time/phase aligned speakers out there. Simply stated, the math is too hard for most designers. Find one that is time/phase coherent then compare others to it.....you'll hear what i'm talking about then.
 

New member
Username: Inert

Post Number: 5
Registered: Oct-04
I have to agree with Maui, i recently auditioned the Martin Logans and the Sonus Faber Concertino's and was simply drawn into the music by the Sonus Faber's. I am currently trying to decide and what equipment to put into a large home theatre as well. Thinking high end Anthem preamp right now. I liked the MBL sound but 45K is way to pricey for speakers. Any comments on the Maggie Mg 20.1?
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Travis, have a listen to Edge amplifiers. They are very very nice indeed. Pricy, but worth every cent.
 

New member
Username: Inert

Post Number: 8
Registered: Oct-04
are they available in a multichannel format, pref 7.1? BTW my "benchmark" audition cd is Steely Dan's Aja.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Travis.....hmmmm.....not sure. They do have home theatre amps.......check the website:
http://www.edgeamp.com/
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 52
Registered: Jun-04
Maui says that his ears are sensitive to phase irregularities. The truth of the matter is, I think a lot of listeners are - time coherence is an important factor.

Companies like Pardigm and psb make amazing entry level speakers. If you're getting into the 1K and above class, however, the doors really open to some really great designs that a lot of these mass producers just don't offer.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Cornelius.......right on. Anyone still qustioning the audability of phase errors need look no further than, oh say, a tape deck who's head is slightly out of alignment. 1/10th of one degree out of alignment is all thats needed to hear something is very wrong. Or, listen to a JVC amplifier. Most any JVC will suffice.(before the flames start, I just picked JVC as an example. Could have said Kenwood, Pioneer, Yamaha, Technics, Sansui, etc etc ok) They have massive global negative feedback loops that lower THD but increase transient related distortions. That also smears time/phase. or have a long listen to any of the original 44.1k cd players (Yamaha comes to mind). Those nasty brick wall filters at 22.05k added tons of audable phase shift....and consequently anyone with ears hated the sound. Speakers smear time/phase thru the crossover betwork primarily. Unfortunately....Paradigm.....as popular as they are.......are guilty of this.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 52
Registered: May-04
mauimusicman is full of crappola
thinks he knows everything
if the lord himself created a pair of speakers he would find fault in them.
find something else to do man.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Joe, Care to point out exactly what I said that was crappola? I don't come in here spewing purple prowse and non factual statements. So, please point out to everyone what I said that was in your words "crappola"
And just to set the record straight I don't think I know everything. I do think what I know can and is used to try to help people from making mistakes when purchasing/up-grading audio equipment. Just because you and I have a difference of opinion does not necessarily make me full of crappola.
My credentials:
30 years musician/audiophile
10 years retail hi-end audio sales
20 years with my nose burried in every possible audio book/magazine/article I could find
Pretty hard to do something for 10 to 30 years and not get resonably good at it.
A lifetime researching why and what makes certian audio components sound/perform better than others.
Do I have all the answers? No. But I have some of them. People like you come here questioning my knowledge and proclaiming i'm full of crappola. All this really succeeds in doing is blinding the forum users that need the help most. So please Joe, tell me what I said (that you can prove with third party testimony) that was wrong.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 53
Registered: May-04
Who cares about your silly credentials. It's alway the braggers that talk the most "CRAPPOLA" that know the least. You live on this site! When do you even have the time to use those superman, harmonically balanced, auto tuning ears of yours? I'll bet anyone here that given a blind test you would not be able to tell the difference between a Martin logan and a realistic. what's a realistic rich boy? A radio shack special. tell me are they too bright?
soundstage sucks?
what are the other buzzwords.
take some time off telling everyone about all this knowledge and all your credentials and listen to that damn equipment you bought. this Guy knows Sh*t. !!!!!!!
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Joe, you digress. I asked you specifically to point out what I said that you can prove is wrong. So far, you have nothing. You say "I'll bet anyone here that given a blind test you would not be able to tell the difference between a Martin logan and a realistic" Ummmm...Joe? You'd lose that bet every time. But, for grins and giggles, whatcha willing to bet? Tell me what I said that was a flat out lie or shut up. Deal?
Ya see Joe I believe that if people are going to call me out, you'd best have at very least a leg to stand on or, better still, some hard facts. You have neither. And herin lies the problem. Why? Because, as a "Bronze member" people can and probably have been led down the wrong path by you for audio satisfaction. They assume you know what your talking about. So Joe, show the good folks here i'm wrong. Just point out one thing I have said that you can prove is wrong. I'll wait. Talk is cheap Joe. Lets have some proof, k?
 

jim keller
Unregistered guest
I would have to back up therealelitefan on this.
many/many/many people love Paradigm speakers and their designs!

And the xover thing maui keeps mentioning is not followed by many
well known speaker builders. Some actually prefer high order xovers
and would not build anything less into their systems.

So their are probably just as many designs out their as their are
people who prefer a certain sound or signature in their speaker!
Because one believes a speaker should be built a certain way for them
does not apply to everyone!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 53
Registered: Jun-04
The reason why many builders don't design a 1st order X/O is because it's hard to do. Just because a lot of people like a certain brand doesn't mean it's great - just look at all of the Bose buyers.

Just go to Meadowlarkaudio's website, Pat describes it quite well
http://www.meadowlarkaudio.com/TC1.htm

http://www.meadowlarkaudio.com/pow/Pat_McGinty_interview.htm
 

Mike Driest
Unregistered guest
Did you read what Jim Wrote!

"not followed by many
well known speaker builders. Some actually prefer high order xovers "


"Because one believes a speaker should be built a certain way for them
does not apply to everyone!"

Yes their are benefits "and drawbacks" to all xovers.
Just depends on what your priorities are!
And high order xovers are considered better By some!
Not because it's to hard to build a low order "even though it can be more difficult"
but because they "PREFER" high order!
Read up on all xover designs not just what one manufacturer has to say.
Of course they are going to premote the positives!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 54
Registered: May-04
show me one thing loser that you can "PROVE" right.
it's all your silly worthless opinion!
what a loser dork!
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Jim, your right....there are speaker manufacturers that won't/can't use first order designs. Why is that? There are a plethora of reasons among them being first order systems are very very difficult to implement. You have to use the finest drivers available and they are quite costly, making them virtually impossible to use in low cost systems. Also, the cabinet has to be completely free of resonance. Finally, time domain math is among the most difficult in all of physics. Think of it this way: The speaker is over there....you can see it, but thats not the sound you hear at your ear. What you hear is pressure changes in the hairs lining the ear. To keep constant time/phase at the ear when the speaker may be 8-10 feet away is indeed VERY difficult. Thats the main reason most designers use higher order x-overs. However, one thing remains factual: ONLY a first order x-over can be time/phase coherent. Period. Now, when you smear the time and phase of the music, you also smear the artists intent. You somehow cannot "connect with the music" Thats what seperates the great speakers from the rest: the ability to draw you in emotionally. I never said Paradigms were bad speakers. I said they did not draw me into the music like the Sonus Fabers or Green Mountain speakers do. Perhaps instead of arguing and trying to prove me wrong, Joe should have a listen to some of the products I refer to. Listen to a pair of Sonus Fabers next to the Paradigms or a pair of Green Mountain speakers next to them. It doesn't take golden ears to hear the difference. it's striking and immediate.
Oh Joe? Here's a link to a review of Green Mountain speakers. Notice his reference to one Paradigm brand. Now is it still just my "opinion"?
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/frank05.htm
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Joe, read that review yet? Here's another audio expert that just happens to share my views:
http://www.audioperfectionist.com/pages/watchdog2.html
I know your not interested in admitting your wrong about my views being just my opinion and not shared by others in the industry so i'll quote for you:
"In order to accurately replicate the input signal a multi-element, dynamic loudspeaker must have its individual drive units physically aligned to correct arrival times and must use first-order acoustic crossover slopes to integrate these drivers. You can debate the audible benefits of this fact, but not the fact itself which is easily demonstrated" He continues:
"Maintaining the proper relationship between the fundamentals and harmonics that make up each musical note allows time- and phase-accurate speakers to more faithfully reproduce the input signal and thus sound more transparent and less colored. Transparent loudspeakers allow the listener to hear more about the recording and, obviously, more about the sound of the preceding components--particularly the amplifier"
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 55
Registered: May-04
i know thats where you get all your opinions is from crap you read.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Joe, here's a little something from a guy that knows a thing or two about speaker design, Jim Thiel:
"First order crossovers are the only crossovers that do not introduce phase distortions into the reproduction of the signal. In my experience, most speaker engineers agree, but they sometimes treat phase distortion like a tradeoff. 'It's not that a big a deal,' they say. And they see the dynamic requirements on the tweeter and the so-called lobing problems as downsides that don't justify the phase coherence. My feeling is that it is far more important than they realize -- possibly because they've never experienced it! Phase coherence's advantages can only be appreciated when you have a speaker that is very clear -- and phase distortion can also mask other problems in the speaker design, such as cabinet diffraction problems."

And what about the notorious downside? "I don't feel that you simply give up on a problem just because it's difficult," Thiel said. "So I have always gone out of my way to find tweeters that work with my crossover designs -- and now that we build our own, we have a tweeter that is more than capable of dealing with these difficulties."
Here's the link Joe:
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/thiel_cs72.htm

Guess what Joe? It's not just my opinion.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gio

Post Number: 31
Registered: Jun-04
Mauimusicman
I'll recall you a couple of things that you wrote that don't make too much sense to a lot of us :

first, your surprising evaluation and comparison of the Paradigm Signature speakers with some other speakers, based upon a "test" where amplification was totally diferent between the 2 sets of speakers, a Sony amp being used to drive the quite demanding Paradigms.

Secondly, your assumption that there's "lots of mediocre stuff out there guys", simply because some stuff isn't made like or doesn't sound the way you like your stuff to be made or sound. Different doesn't necessarily mean mediocre. What one doesn't like isn't necessarily mediocre.

Your first post was calling for fire. My opinion.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 11
Registered: Nov-04
i think this post has gone terribly off track partly mauimusicman's own fault. i wont challange any evaluations of speakers or recievers since i dont have the knowledge. but it seems that this post really had no other purpose than to provoke arguement. i thought that the point of this forum was to post questions, ask for suggestions, increase knowledge of the audio world. i dont see y people are getting so worked up over this post. just move on and read something else. nothing useful to take from this thread.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Gio, how many times do I have to tell you? I, like do not have the ablity to chose amplifiers in audio stores. First off, I was on vacation, so I couldn't realistically bring my home amp with me for the audition. Secondly, you or nobody else have provided me a poor test review of the several thousand dollar Sony Es amp. Lets set the record straight. The Arcam amp driving the Sonus Fabers was MUCH less expensive(1/2 the cost) of the Sony. Thirdly, the Paradigms should sound fine on mega dollar ancillary equipment, not just a certian brand or two that happen to have phase problems sympathetic to the Paradigms. My Green Mountain Europa's sound just fine on my sons Aiwa mini system(under $200.00). I also backed up my opinions with testimony from several other experienced audiophiles listening tests.....probably not all using Sony gear. Your arguments hold no water whatsover, though they are somewhat more intellegent than joe's. Do me a favor and re-read the thread and tell me whom attacked whom here?
Lastly, if you want to buy Paradigm speakers, your free to do so. This is, last time I checked, still America. I'm merely trying to point out superior audio equipment for the same money so some people who actually appreciate music can have a better sounding system, vs. entering into a popularity contest.
By mediocre I mean speaker systems using poor components, then trying to match them with crossover parts that smear phase and time in cabinets that are resonant in the audable range. There are many many many poorly built and designed speakers out there. Some of them are quite expensive. Apparently people in this forum are more into arguing with me than actually learning anything. Again, thats your choice. To this point, not one poster has been able to prove me wrong on any single statement I have made. Let the readers make up their own minds who's wrong and who's right. Unless you or anyone else can prove what i'm saying is wrong. People call me arrogant. I have two options here.
1) remain silent to all the false information posted here or
2) back up my statements with third party testimonial. I chose #2
Joe chose idiotic arguments with no fact base whatsoever. You chose to question me because what I tell you makes no sense to you. I had many customers tell me the same thing during my audio carreer. Here's one example of something that makes no sense but is true: Customer blows his tweeters with his 25 watt reciever. I suggest he purchase a more powerful amp. Customer says "Why, so I can blow them faster"? But lower powered amps blow speakers. Clipping is the culprit here. Again, makes no sense to many people, but when my customers increased power, I never seen them again for damaged tweeters. Lots of things in audio don't make sense at first glance. Phase issues are another. Research it some. Then reply.
I don't want anyone talking just my word for it. I urge you to compare the Paradigm Ref speakers at $2K to either the Sonus Fabers at $1500.00 or the GMA Europa's at $1K or half the price of the Paradigms. Then tell me what you hear.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 860
Registered: Dec-03
One problem with your proposal. Paradigm's are a commonly found speaker brand all over the United States while the Sonus Fabers are very rare and GMA has no dealer network to speak of at all. Comparing these speakers is virtually impossible. I have no doubt as to your overall point in this thread but I also know that the Paradigm's have gotten rave reviews in the audio press just like all their speakers do. It is senseless to argue over speakers anyway as we all hear differently. This arguement is not worth all this back and forth crap and just invites wacky reply's as we have seen from certain people.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 54
Registered: Jun-04
Actually, for some of you, this thread WILL provide an increase in knowledge of the audio world. Just read the links that I provided. Yes, this is info from a manufacturer, but it is interesting and will make you think of your speakers in a different way.
 

DAVE DUBROW!
Unregistered guest
1st-order Filters



Advantages: Can produce minimum phase response (Butterworth only) and a maximally flat amplitude response. Requires the fewest components.



Disadvantages: Its 6 dB/octave slope is often too shallow to prevent modulation distortion, especially at a tweeter's resonance frequency. Achieving minimum phase and a maximally flat amplitude response requires very careful driver alignment and only occurs when the listener is located at exactly the same distance from each driver. It has a 90 degree phase shift which can result in lobing and tilting of the coverage pattern.



Two-Way

1st-order Butterworth: Produces a -3 dB crossover point to achieve a maximally flat amplitude response, minimum phase response and flat power response that qualifies it as both an APC and CPC network. The 90 degree phase shift results in a -15degree tilt in the vertical coverage pattern if the tweeter and woofer are vertically separated by no more than one wavelength at the crossover frequency and if the acoustical depth of the tweeter and woofer are carefully aligned at the crossover frequency. The tilt will increase and lobing can become severe if the drivers are separated by a greater distance or are misaligned. These problems appear as a ripple in the amplitude response. Filter Q = 0.707.



Two-Way & Three-Way

1st-order Solen Split -6 dB: A custom version of the 1st-order Butterworth filter (twoway crossovers) or 1st-order APC filter (three-way crossovers) that uses a -6 dB crossover point to minimize the disadvantages of a crossover network with standard 1st-order Butterworth or APC filters.



Three-Way

Note. 1st-order filters are usually not recommended for three-way crossover networks because their shallow 6 dB/octave slopes do not provide adequate separation. 1st-order APC: Produces -3 dB crossover points to achieve a flat amplitude response.

1st-order CPC: (Seldom used.) Produces -3 dB crossover points to achieve a flat power response.





2nd-order Filters



Advantages: Can produce a maximally flat amplitude response. Requires relatively few components. Has a 180 degree phase shift which can often be accommodated by reversing the polarity of the tweeter and which produces minimal or no lobing or tilt in the coverage pattern. Is less sensitive to driver misalignment than 1st-order filters.



Disadvantages: Although the 12 dB/octave slope is better than a 1st-order filter, it may still be too shallow to minimize the modulation distortion of many drivers.





Two-Way

2nd-order Bessel: Produces a -5 dB crossover point to achieve a nearly flat (+1 dB) amplitude response. The summed group delay is flat. It has a low sensitivity to driver misalignment and resonance peaks. Filter Q = 0.58.



2nd-order Butterworth: Produces a -3 dB crossover point that sums to a +3 dB amplitude response and a flat power response that qualifies it as a CPC network. It has a medium sensitivity to driver misalignment and resonance peaks. Filter Q = 0.707.



2nd-order Chebychev: (Seldom used.) Produces a 0 dB crossover point to achieve a

+6 dB amplitude response with about ±2 dB of ripple. The summed group delay has a significant peak just below the crossover frequency. It has a medium sensitivity to driver misalignment and resonance peaks. Filter Q = 1 .0.



2nd-order Linkwitz-Riley: (Very popular.) Produces a -6 dB crossover point to achieve a maximally flat amplitude response that qualifies it as an APC network. It has a -3 dB dip in the power response. The summed group delay is flat. It has a medium sensitivity to driver misalignment and resonance peaks. Filter Q = 0.49.



Three-Way

2nd-order APC: Produces -6 dB crossover points to achieve a flat amplitude response but the power response will have approximately 3 dB of ripple.



2nd-order CPC: (Seldom used.) Produces -3 dB crossover points to achieve a flat power response but the amplitude response will have approximately 3 dB of ripple.





3rd-order Filters



Advantages: Can produce nearly flat amplitude response. With an 18 dB/octave slope, it is better able to minimize modulation distortion. Less sensitive to driver misalignment.



Disadvantages: Requires more components. Has a 270 degree phase shift which can result in lobing and tilting of the coverage pattern.





Two-Way

3rd-order Butterworth: (Popular for some D'Appolito mid-tweeter-mid designs.) Produces a -3 dB crossover point to achieve a maximally flat amplitude response and flat power response that qualifies it as both an APC and CPC network. A 270 degree phase shift results in a + 15 degree tilt in the vertical coverage pattern if the tweeter is wired with normal polarity and a -15 degree tilt if the tweeter is wired with reverse polarity. (D'Appolito mid-tweeter-mid designs overcome much of this tilt problem and produce a more symmetrical coverage pattern.) It has better group delay than a 1st- and 2nd-order Butterworth network. Filter Q = 0.707.



Three-Way

3rd-order APC: Produces -3 dB crossover points to achieve a flat amplitude response but the power response will have a modest ripple (usually less then 1 dB) that increases slowly as the spread between the two crossover frequencies increases.

3rd-order CPC: (Seldom used.) Produces -3 dB crossover points to achieve a flat power response but the amplitude response will have a varying amount of ripple (typically 1 to 3 dB) depending on the spread between the two crossover frequencies.





4th-order Filters



Advantages: Can produce a maximally flat amplitude response. With a 24 dB/octave slope it provides the best isolation between drivers resulting in the least modulation distortion. Has a 360 degree phase shift which results in "in-phase" response and which promotes minimal or no lobing or tilt in the coverage pattern. Is the least sensitive to driver misalignment.



Disadvantages: Requires the most components. The increased number of inductors can result in substantial insertion loss because of inductor DCR.



Two-Way

4th-order Bessel: Produces a -7 ½ dB crossover point to achieve a nearly flat (-1 ½ dB) amplitude response. The summed group delay produces a moderate bump just below the crossover frequency. Filter Q = 0.58.



4th-order Butterworth: Produces a -3 dB crossover point that sums to a +3 dB amplitude response and flat power response that qualifies it as a CPC network. The summed group delay has a significant peak just below the crossover frequency. Filter Q = 0.707.


4th-order Gaussian: (A seldom used filter that is constructed with an asymmetrical filter topology.) Produces a -6 dB crossover point to achieve a nearly flat amplitude response with moderate ripple. The summed group delay produces a moderate bump just below the crossover frequency.



4th-order Legendre: (A seldom used filter that is constructed with an asymmetrical filter topology.) Produces a -1 dB crossover point that sums to a +5 dB amplitude response with minor ripple. The summed group delay has a significant peak just below the crossover frequency.



4th-order Linear-Phase: (A seldom used filter that is constructed with an asymmetrical filter topology.) Produces a -6 dB crossover point to achieve a nearly flat amplitude response with moderate ripple. The summed group delay produces a moderate bump just below the crossover frequency.



4th-order Linkwitz-Riley: (Very popular. Sometimes called a "squared Butterworth" filter. Also used for some D'Appolito mid-tweeter-mid designs.) Produces a -6 dB crossover point to achieve a maximally flat amplitude response that qualifies it as an APC network. It has a -3 dB dip in the power response. The summed group delay produces a moderate bump just below the crossover frequency. Filter Q = 0.49.



Three-Way

4th-order APC: Produces -6 dB crossover points to achieve a flat amplitude response but the power response will have approximately 3 dB of ripple.



4th-order CPC: (Seldom used.) Produces -3 dB crossover points to achieve a flat power response but the amplitude response will have approximately 3 dB of ripple.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 12
Registered: Nov-04
Cornelius i will admit that your link was very informative and has made me consider the crossover more in speakers. but that still doesnt change the fact that this thread has no real purpose. the original post was a bash on Paradigm speakers, not a discussion about crossovers which is what it has turned into. if u want to talk about crossovers make your own thread and stop contributing to this back and forth stuff. maui obviously loves talking about 1st order crossovers so let him talk. i see your point but it can be paralleled into any other field where the best may not be the most viable but doesnt discount the quality of other products. i agree with elitefan that this is a really dumb discussion and should end soon.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 55
Registered: Jun-04
I see what you mean.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Christopher, the original post was not a bash on Paradigm speakers in any way shape or form. It was simply my thoughts about them and some Sonus Fabers that I listened to on the same day while on vacation on the mainland. I did not "bash" the Paradigms, I simply pointed out what they did wrong in my opinion and why. I did not say they were bad speakers. They are fine. In fact, re-read my next post where I say "I was expecting more from the Paradigm's, quite frankly as there used to be a dealer on Maui for them and I always liked their sound for a mass market product" But lets be real here Christopher, for the asking price of $1995/pair( and not really discounted by the dealer network), they should be much better than the Studio Reference 20's for example. They should draw you into the music emotionally. They should sound fine on the Sony ES $3K amplifier they were being driven by. How many consumers that purchase the Paradigm Signiture's at $2k will be driving them with Edge amplification or Jeff Rowland electronics? Not many. And therein lies the problem. This is a speaker that will be driven by mid priced electronics in the vast majority of cases. The folks with the mega buck amplification probably would chose better speakers. The first response was from Gio who stated "P.S. Next time you want to "review" a set of high end set of speakers, please do us the favor to use an amp that will do some justice to the product. Most higher end Paradigm speakers require more juice to sound right, than what Sonys can deliver" I have the Paradigm literature in front of me as I type this. They recommend 15-225 watts as the suitable power range. The Sony was rated at over 200/per side, easily approaching the upper limit of the Paradigms power handeling capacity. Also, right off the lit, the impedence is listed as compatable with 8 ohms, making the S-2's a fairly easy load to drive. The point Gio made that he didn't even realise he was making is that when a speaker likes a certian amp/style of music etc that speaker more than likely has problems. Paradigm builds good speakers. They have a ways to go before they build great speakers. Again, thats not a bash on Paradigm. I also stated the Sonus Fabers had issues in the bass, and that I was unable to follow the bass riffs on any recording I listened to. Yet no one took that statement as Sonus Faber bashing. My point is, was and always will be this: For $2K a pair for a standmount's, the speakers better be more than just good. The Sonus Fabers were more musically involving than the Paradigms were. Simple as that. Listen to them both for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 56
Registered: May-04
paradigms are the best. you can not over power them. you could used a 600w per channel mcintosh and be fine. maui is a dick.
 

TWR
Unregistered guest
Maui, I feel your pain. I understand your point completely. If anyone who has been critical of your opinion would just take a minute to listen to a Vandersteen, Thiel or GMA, it would be immediately apparent why you feel the Signatures are not your cup of tea at their price point. First order designs sound quite different, and suit your desires for music reproduction. I fail to see why this information wouldn't inspire someone to seek out one of these designs to hear for themselves, rather than attack what they don't understand. Silly.

Let me just say that I am a Paradigm fan. Their products are all in-house creations that contain high quality components, thoughtful designs and very reasonable prices. In fact, I have three pairs of them sitting in my living room at this very moment. However, they are not what I would want for my primary 2 channel listening. They just won't give me what I want in my music only system. There are more musically satisfying designs out there at and below this price point as far as I'm concerned, and I've made my purchases accordingly. To suit myself.

Everything in this hobby is subjective. Everything. The point I'm trying to make is that we should all be sharing our knowledge and opinions to learn more about what we ultimately want out of our hobby, not arguing about personal preferences.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
TWR........Mahalo (thank you)
Finally a voice of reason in here. I agree, Paradigm speakers are fine. But they are not Maggies, Sonus Faber, GMA, Accoustat, etc. I suppose if you have never been exposed to better speakers, you'd be like ol' Joe. At some point in the future, when he is a tad more educated, Joe will look back on these posts and be totally embarrased. It's ok Joe. We were all there at some point in our audio career's. But once again I feel the need to correct you. Any speaker can be damaged severely by any amplifier.....all one need do is drive said amplifier into severe clipping. Perhaps Joe himself is suffering from severe clipping. The output signal appears to be considerably distorted when comparing it to the input signal. Knowledge in = garbage out.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 57
Registered: May-04
AUDIO CAREERS?

It's not a career dummy. its a damn hobby but people like you take all the joy out of it with your stupid buzzwords and total bullcrap. as i have said before you are nothing more than a wanna be. you resemble the statement "If you cant dazzle them with brilliance then baffle them with bullsh*t. Of course TRW is the voice of reason, he agrees with you. ha ha. poor guy. you know with all the money you spent on your big bad system you could have just went out and got you p*nis enlargement surgery. what a chump.
 

TWR
Unregistered guest
Blow it out your a$$, Joe. If you have nothing but willful ignorance to add to the conversation, then STFU.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 58
Registered: May-04
You both are borderline retarded.
If a speaker plays in the forest but you are not there to hear it - Does it make a sound?
Well I'm waiting

HA HA
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
We are trying to miss you Joe.......but ya gotta do your part.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 59
Registered: May-04
That makes more sense than anything else you said said to this point.
 

Unregistered guest
I'd like to know about purchasing some serious speakers and also purchasing a amp or a couple of amps. Im leaning towards bryston amps and paradigms or kefs or sonus faber ? please help me
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Antonio, Bryston makes very good amps. You mention 3 speakers. All three sound quite different from each other. The Sonus Fabers would be the closest to whats on the recording of the 3 brands mentioned. I've never been a huge Kef fan, and you can read my comments on Paradigm. For true hi end performance in my opinion you need a first order crossover speaker like older Quad's, GMA's, Most electrostatics, Meadowlark as well as a few others. Do some research on time/phase alignment in loudspeakers before you purchase. You'll be glad you did.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 60
Registered: May-04
Paradigms are the best of the three. solid bass.
great sound!
Kef's would be next. Listen and be the judge!
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 124
Registered: Dec-03
I do not think paradigms are in the same class as Sonus faber. Their Craftmenship and sound place the sonus fabers in a whole other league.
 

New member
Username: Antonio22

Dallas, Texas Usa

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-04
I just got back from listening to a set of signature series and they sounded AWESOME, but your not going to believe this? I tried a brand called JM LABS 926's and I'm HOOkED? LINE AND SINKER ! Their going to run me about $5000.00 for the pair. It took me about 20 min. to figure out which pair i wanted but i need to figure out which amp to purchase now. A brand called NAD "T-163" is the pre amp and "T-973" is the amp ? please give me some feed back on these products ? :-)Or should i stick with the Bryston ?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 61
Registered: May-04
Unless you have the perfect room and the sonas fabers expertly placed The sound is not nearly as good as the price would imply.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Claudermilk

Post Number: 60
Registered: Sep-04
I hate to jump into this flamefest, but I have to agree with Joe on Sonus Faber vs Paradigm. Having listened to both I prefer the Paradigms by far. While the fit & finish on the Sonus Fabers are spectacular, to my ears they sound horrible, very, very harsh artifical highs; but with that in mind my boss bought a set & loves them.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gio

Post Number: 32
Registered: Jun-04
Had Mauimusicman listened to the Paradigms with a different amp and an opened mind, he propably would think of them differently.

This whole thread is the result of his listening to a serious set of speakers with the wrong amp, period.

Although he sure seems to enjoy 1st order xovers and these endless debates a lot.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Gio, if the $3K Sony ES is the so called "Wrong amp" what, in your opinion is the "Right amp" for the Signitures? Again I say if a $2K/pair monitor cannot sound good on a $3K amp.......dude...SOMETHING is wrong with those speakers. You guys can buy them all day long. Again, My GMA Europa's sound awesome on EVERY amp i've played them thru from the $10K Edge amp to an old Citation 24 to a Arrogon amp and even my son's Aiwa portable mini system. They also sound great on ANY recording. The Paradigms did not do well on bad recordings. Why is that? THINK before you answer guys. They sounded ok on audiophile recordings but horrible on bad recordings. Someone here wanna take a stab at explaining why? I know the answer.....just wanna hear what you all have to say. Funny no-one from Paradigm has responded to this forum. Ohm rep's e-mailed me when I said their speakers were not time/phase aligned and they claimed they were. We shot a few e-mails back and forth then I hit them with the question "Do the drivers start AND stop at the same time"? They said yes. I said start and stop? They said "They start at the same time" I pointed out if they start at one time and stop at another, they cannot be time/phase coherent. Never heard from them again.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gio

Post Number: 33
Registered: Jun-04
Mauimusicman
I can't find anything on this particular amp from Sony (they only seem to make receivers nowadays in the ES series but I could be wrong), but if it is a fact that Sony makes great SACD players, as far as I know they probably haven't made one single really musical amp in years. A few years back when I last looked at their ES stuff it was ok, but certainly not great and even the dealer who sold that stuff didn't recommend it when he realized that I was serious about 2 channel stuff.

You claim that the GMAs would sound great on almost any amp. No way. They may be great speakers, and theres no doubt in my mind about this, but the truth of the fact is that no speaker can play great with all amps or all sources. And shi**y recordings sound shi**y on everything. Great components will often reveal even more defects, and don't necessarily guarantee a great listening xperience.

You seem to have some knowledge about X overs and that stuff, but the statement you made about the GMAs playing great on anything simply and clearly shows your biaise.

Secondly you keep coming back with the fact that a $3000.00 amp should necessarily be good. By now you certainly have realized that this is one funny statement.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 68
Registered: Jun-04
Hey don't pick on the Ohms, if they're claiming time coherence at least they're in the ballpark (that's more than you can say for 99% of the brands listeners are raving about here). I never heard of the stop together concept before. Starting together is easy to see on a step response graph, but I wasn't aware of the stopping.

As far as the Ohms, they have a simple, 1st order X/O and are mounted in a way to facilitate time coherence. They sound as good as Meadowlarks, Vandersteen, Sequerras, Thiel...and easily surpass the mass market brands.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 62
Registered: May-04
I owned a Sony es Reciever and it was the biggest mistake i ever made. Sony does make a high end amp for around 18k if i remember right but it is their very high end stuff and kinda hard to come by. My fav audio store can order it. Maui i think has claimed to own hundreds of different kinds of amps if you follow his crazy posts. I wonder if anything he says is made up? (pondering).
oh well he talks a fair game but most of what he says you can read by the audio geeks of stereophile magazine. no one likes to admit the sheer genius of the engineers at Paradigm. The speakers they have created easily match any at two to three times the price. those who CAN'T bring themselves to agree can pound rock salt

Late
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Cornelius, if the drivers start at the same time yet stop at different times, they cannot possibly be time/phase coherent. Whatever the difference is would be that difference out of phase with each other. Ohm designers did not question this. Not picking on them.
Gio, the amp I heard was a 225 to 250 watt/side digital ES amp priced at $3K. I've read nothing in recent years stating the sony es series are horrible. Besides, this was a digital amp....therefore not plagued by the typical problems facing class B solid state amps. I don't think it was the amp I was hearing. Also, the Sony amp is, i'm sure as good as most mass market Japanese amps many people are using. Just look at how many Yamaha amps are used by people in this forum. Sony ES digital is at least as good as Yamaha class A/B stuff. Again, i'd listened to Paradigms here and on the mainland with a plethora of amps, so I know their sound. And, as I stated in my first post, they DID sound BETTER than the Ref Studio 20's and 40's in a side by side comparison using the same Sony Digital ES amp. They just didn't draw me into the music like they should for the price. YMMV.
Joe, i'm thru replying to your idiotic posts until you can provide me something worthwhile to responing to.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Gio, sorry........almost forgot to reply to your claim that the GMA's cannot possibly sound good on cheap electronics. Your dead wrong. Sorry. The major breakthough that GMA came up with was just that. Design a crossover/bezel that allows the speaker to sound great on virtually ANY amp. Took them 30 years to design this x-over, but once you hear a pair....there's no mistake Roy got it right. With my old ADS 1290's and the Infinity IRS's, I had many many recordings that I simply would not listen to. They were just plain bad. Not so on the GMA's. Do a search on Audiogon and see how many people agree with me on this. I simply do not have a recording that I can make sound bad on the Europa's. Hope that answers your doubts. Listen to a pair.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gio

Post Number: 34
Registered: Jun-04
I had an Hafler amp a couple years ago. Supposed to be decent. Couldn't drive the Studio 60s I had at the time, nor a pair of Triangle Celius, decently. Lack of juice possibly, too much softness in the low freq dept., mushy sound. All amps aren't alike. Pricing and figures in watts (especially when rated by Sony, who's notoriously been fooling customers with "inflated" power ratings - power rated at 4 ohms instead of 8 for instance)aren't good indicators of how good an amp is.

A high figure in watts is not a reliable indicator of how much effective power or current is getting to the speakers. To support your point, are you not using fallacious arguments ond facts.

I firmly believe in complementarity of components. Some components do sound just plain better with some, and less with others.

With all due respect, your claim that GMA speakers would sound excellent when asociated with anything doesn't realistic to me. And I still believe that relying on some Sony crap to get a decent idea of how Paradigm's flagship speakers can sound, is extremely questionable : components with that amount of engineering deserve better fate.

Looks like you're perhaps not doing enough justice to the Paradigms, and too much to the GMA's (which I have no doubt are pretty good too).
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 63
Registered: May-04
but you continue to reply you fool
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 64
Registered: May-04
the Studio/20 is, by a wide margin, the finest speaker under $1000/pair I've ever heard--and currently there's quite a bit of competition. I would happily own them as a reference. Congratulations to the Paradigm design team, who have established a new benchmark for speaker performance at this price point.

This summary is by Robert J. Reina. He has been one of the top reviewers for Stereophile mag for as long as i can remember. OOOH but he probably doesnt know as much as maui!!!!!!
maui is superhuman
or a dog!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 65
Registered: May-04
The Studio/100 bass performance was also first-rate: extended and powerful, the quality of the bass approaching that of the $7995/pair Dunlavy SC-IV/A, which has dual 10" woofers in a much larger cabinet. The Studio/100 had no trouble coping with my usual bass test pieces. The synthesizer note at the beginning of track 7 of Mickey Hart's Planet Drum (Rykodisc RC-10206) energized the air most convincingly, and bass drums had proper weight.

reviewed by Robert Deutsch
Look him up
again inferior to maui though
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
From the Soundstage review of the preddessor of the Europa, the Continuum .5 at http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/frank05.htm "As much as I like the high-frequency reproduction of my Paradigm Reference Studio/100 speakers, I believe the Morel tweeter as implemented in the Continuums sounds even better. It is clearer, smoother, more detailed and more extended. I do not believe the difference is large, but when I listen to both speakers side by side, I have a clear preference for the upper-octave authority that the Continuums are able to demonstrate. High-hats, cymbals, and all genres of high-frequency percussion instruments are extremely well served. In comparison, the Paradigms are a bit more splashy and a bit less articulate. The midrange of these speakers seems very linear and does not exhibit the slightly recessed or darker character of the Paradigms in the crossover region"
"Well holy cow, folks, I have to tell you that I was just down in my listening room and Branford Marsalis was there wailing on the sax. He couldn't have been more "there" if he was here, and that's the truth. He was playing "Nearness Of You," which I recognized from his Trio Jeepy album, [Columbia CK 44199] and upon finishing that tune, he opened "Three Little Words" with a loud blast that nearly blew my head off. Yessiree, the little Continuums made a believer out of me. Not only was the timbre spot-on, but the dynamic contrasts -- macro and especially micro -- were delivered so convincingly that when I closed my eyes to listen, I had a very hard time not believing that Branford was actually there"
"These speakers are super clean, focused, and deliver ultra-fast transients -- accurately and without any hint of ringing, distortion, or rounding off. What that does, combined with the Continuum's very smooth and linear frequency response, is to let real acoustic instruments sound very authentic and distinct. Come to think of it, "distinct" is a very appropriate adjective to describe the sound of these speakers. Even with all kinds of instruments and sounds playing at once and at differing levels of volume, every sound remains clear, distinct, and identifiable"
"I found the speaker's ability to resolve low-level details to be unsurpassed in my own venue. It was uncanny how the Continuums allowed one to eavesdrop on the background conversations going on in live recordings such as the Ray Brown Trio's "The Real Blues," from Summer Wind [Concord Jazz CCD-4426]. At one point, I could hear the audience laughing at one of the band members poking fun at band leader. This was certainly hinted at with my other speakers, but it was plainly more discernible via the Green Mountain Continuums"
"What about imaging? To my ears these little honeys are the very model of precision when it comes to layering a soundstage. They are exacting, stable and very focused. They throw a very deep and respectably wide presentation that needs no apology. The electronically encoded four-channel effects on Madonna's Immaculate Collection album [Sire/Warner Bros. 9 26440-2] were exquisitely delivered. Sit down to listen to a cut like "Vogue" because you'll have Madonna whispering "vogue" right in your ear!"
"Orchestral fortissimos were impressive in their delivery, but I found that the speakers ability to deliver subtle gradations of micro-dynamics and low-level details to be exceptional. The reproduction of acoustic instruments as well as the human voice was startlingly authentic, and the treble frequencies were airy and extended. In fact, the treble quality was much clearer and more detailed than most other speakers I've heard. It was quite wonderful when paired with the Clayton M-70 monoblocks, which excel in their refined treble presentation"
"What I'm telling you is that if you're in the market for high-quality compact monitors for which you needn't apologize to even your most jaded audio-cronies, then you simply must have a serious look at and listen to the Green Mountain Continuum 0.5s. It almost scares me to think of the sonic splendor these potent pixies might achieve when properly mated to a good subwoofer!"
Now....the Europa is hands down night and day better in every aspect than the .5's were. Buy whatever you like. All i'm saying is if you DON'T listen to the GMA's, you did yourself a huge disservice.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 68
Registered: May-04
splashy and less articulate
thats a new one
how about gooey
or mucky
or gummy
or pooopy

your nuts maui
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 126
Registered: Dec-03
Christ, I have had it with coming back to this thread. Is it ever going to end? The abrasive GMA know it all and Joe the flame king, and both must get the last word in. Now I understand why Ohm stopped replying to Maui's emails. Didn't Maui make a dramatic "I am never posting here again" exit a few months back? If you two are going to be so freaking passionate about something you might try a more worthy cause than preaching about your favorite loudspeaker like it's the only one worth buying.
Sorry guys, you may be knowledgeable but you are both driving me nuts.

Ahh..now that felt good.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 69
Registered: May-04
bite me stoner
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 70
Registered: May-04
besides
I'm more smarterer than he is anyhow.
thurp
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 268
Registered: Oct-04
If you folks on this thread are as passionate for/against particular speakers - may I "ask" for your collective opinions?
Due to budget shortages, I have a pair of Polk RTi6 speakers - paired with an Onkyo 701 amp and a new Yamaha S1500 CD/DVD player which I like very much.
However, my wife complains about "fatigue" in listening to the Polks - or maybe it's the Onkyo amp?
We've tried all sorts of wire exchanges, and until we got the new Yamaha our CD-listening was minimal, due to the simply awful sound we were getting out of our old player.
Question then is - are these Polks as good at sound as they are in looks? The cabinetry is superb - real cherry wood. But - I'm looking into the Paradigm Studio 20s and the B & W 705s - even though they will simply break the bank.
Your thoughts, please, gentlemen - I need some facts and opinions to help me along.
I'm going into a shop late this week to audition both the B & W 705s and the P-studio 20s. The Signature line is just out of my price range - as are most of the "hi-end" speakers.

Thanks. . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 72
Registered: Jun-04
The fatique you experience is very common. The best way around it is time/phase coherent speakers. Around the $1000 range models become available. Try Green Mountain Audio, Ohm, Meadowlark Audio, Vandersteen.

I have a pair of Sequerra Met 7 MarkIV monitors that I work with every day. They are time/phase coherent and I can listen to them all day long without fatigue. The same goes for my Ohms at home.

I cannot say the same for Paradigm or B&W.
 

e
Unregistered guest
I simply would put my system head to head with anyone of you clowns. Blind folded it would be the most impresive sound you ever heard. It's one fool talking to another on these post. With the advent of the digital amps and proper set up, crossovers are a mute point, and with signal processing the room is removed and not a factor.
Makes for a hot topic, but a mute point. If you need to boast about who you are and what you've done......
your a bullshit artist....
 

e
Unregistered guest
I simply would put my system head to head with anyone of you clowns. Blind folded it would be the most impresive sound you've heard. It's one fool talking to another on these posts. With the advent of the digital amps and proper set up, crossovers are a mute point, and with signal processing the room is removed and not a factor.
Makes for a hot topic, but a mute point. If you need to boast about who you are and what you've done......
your a bullshit artist....
 

New member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 10
Registered: Nov-04
Anyone here remember Steve Martin's routine about his googolphonic stereo with the moon rock needle? (It was okay... for his car.)

Kinda reminds me of this thread.

ps, 'e,' it's "moot."
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 273
Registered: Oct-04
Actually, Jim-Bob, crossovers can, indeed, be "mute" if they don't work! (grin)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 11
Registered: Nov-04
No, the speaker elements themselves would be mute if the x-overs didn't work. But this distinction is, well, moot. :-)

But if I'm one of those "clowns," and "e" put his system head-to-head with me (syntax humor), I'll bet I'd sound better: I'm someting of the Karaokeaste and play a mean kazoo, or so I'm told.
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 274
Registered: Oct-04
Jim-Bob - uh, yeah, points well taken, but I've lost track of what the points are supposed to be on this thread. . .and I no longer pay any attention to people who argue insanely on threads, and go nowhere. Sorta like a flushing sound.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 71
Registered: May-04
two new dorks
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 142
Registered: Oct-04
Time coherence has nothing to do with listener fatigue.

For the Rti6s you may want to try a different receiver if the Onkyo is too bright. I run the Polks with Harman Kardon and have to push the receiver very near reference level for an extended period to get any fatigue. Also Pioneer Elite seems even warmer than Harman Kardon to my ears so that's another option.

To change the speakers out, Paradigm has a warmer sound, the Studio 20s are great speakers.

Hey Joe, I don't see mauimusicman continually flaming this thread. Your arguments are baseless since you never mention ever hearing speakers that are time-phase coherant or whatever it is. I'll reserve judgement, maybe you should do the same.
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 276
Registered: Oct-04
Kano - thank you for your insight. Right now I'm pretty well stuck with the Onkyo (unless I win the Lotto!) but there is a chance I can borrow both a large HK and a NAD receiver for a few days. Will see. . .
So many people have posted that they like the Studio 20s - far more people seem to like them than the B & Ws. Cost factor? Probably.
I'll soon be auditioning both of the above speakers - so will get a fair shot at an overall sound from each.
Thank you again . . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 13
Registered: Nov-04
Don't worry, Joe, we won't displace the older dorks, like you. Matter of fact, there's a lot about dorkiness you could teach us.
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2033
Registered: Dec-03
Jim-Bob,
Did you get the Ascends, yet?

What do you have as far as Karaoke equipment?

Oh and you suck!:-)
yeah, thought I'd start my own war! You bitin'??
LOL
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 73
Registered: Jun-04
Time in-coherence DOES have to do with listener fatigue. When an out of balance design (tweeter hitting your ears earlier than other drivers) you're going to notice. It's unnatural.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 14
Registered: Nov-04
Haven't ordered the Ascends--prolly will early in the new year. Karaoke equipment? I drive an old Plymouth Fury police cruiser with a 300w PA system and roof-mounted piezo horns. I just cruise the neighborhood singing along to the AM radio, holding the mic CB style.... And for this, yes, I truly do suck.
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2035
Registered: Dec-03
What year Fury??
we're really getting off topic, huh!
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
From a purely electrical perspective, the time domain -- e.g. the mandate that all frequency components of a signal played back over a loudspeaker must reach the listener's ear coincidentally and at exactly the same time as they do in nature -- is treated as utterly negligible (even though were the same nonchalance applied to any other audio component, listeners and reviewers alike would call them broken and unfit for use). If wholesale disregard of this maxim weren't so widespread, we'd have far more Vandersteens, Thiels, Meadowlarks and Ascendos struggling hard to design to its requirements. It's become nearly a truism that despite solid reasons to the contrary, time coherence in loudspeakers is inaudible. But if that were a lie and time fidelity was audible, why does such mythinformation prosper and survive so successfully? Simple. To prove the audibility of time alignment requires that rare loudspeaker as we have in the adjustable GMA or Ascendo whose time-domain parameters can be altered without affecting anything else (such as a change in cabinet reflections).



You can't just waltz into a store and compare a B&W to a Vandersteen to determine anything of substance concerning time-domain fidelity. But you can deliberately screw up the adjustable time-domain performance of Green Mountain Audio's Continuum 3 to really compare apples to apples. If the coincident arrival of all frequencies launched by different drivers didn't matter as most all speaker designers go on claiming, you shouldn't hear a difference. Adjust the cast-composite minimum-diffraction two-way head unit of the three-way Continuum. Listen. There's a difference. If this difference didn't matter, you shouldn't be able to tell by ear when you've gotten the adjustment right. Guess what? It takes no golden ear to either hear the difference or hear when it's right. Time domain fidelity isn't audible? That's a bunch of smelly poppycock.


It turns out that many audio aberrations blamed on components and cables are functions of speaker timing errors such as a foreshortening of the depth perspective or transient hardness and emphasized sibilants. The latter is easy to understand. If the higher harmonics of a transient are generated by a tweeter but arrive at your ear before the fundamental because the midrange's arrival is delayed in time, things sound hard and strident. Once that tweeter is aligned properly, you retain speed and attack but the former zippiness is now counterbalanced by the midrange fundamental and tweeter harmonics arriving on time to sound natural rather than edgy. Proper timbre is another obvious beneficiary when the harmonic envelope that gives instruments and performers their sonic signature arrives in one piece rather than being discombobulated and scattered by phase rotations.

Note: The previous paragraphs were not my words, rather the words of a 6moons.com reviewer on the GMA Continuum speaker.
Still think time/phase coherence has nothing to do with listener fatigue, Kano?
Need more proof that it is? I got lots. Just ask.

 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 148
Registered: Oct-04
Seems the whole point is aimed at accuracy. In inaccurate speaker is not necessarily a fatigueing one. The materials used in the tweeters and drivers combined with the receiver driving them creates listener fatigue (ie ringing in the ears). Maybe our definition of listener fatigue differs.

Since the signal is bouncing off furniture and walls before it ever hits your ears, how are those milliseconds such a pinnacle to success. Also if sound travelled at the speed of light it would make a large difference, I don't see there being too great of a difference, definitely not "discombobulated and scattered."
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 74
Registered: Jun-04
The point Maui made about system synergy is a very good one. It's true that a lot of sonic problems aren't in your cables or other components. With a properly desgned (Time coherent) speaker everything else will fall into place.

Also, don't necessarily think about speakers as to whether they're accurate, ask yourself if they sound natural. Your ears can definitely hear very very small timing differences. Fatigue sets in when after a while your brain begins tell you "this feels wrong." That's what listeners often say that a speaker is "uninvolving." It just doesn't sound right, and your mind begins to wander. With a great sounding speaker, your attention is kept, not through over-hyped detail thrust at you, but with a presentation that sounds natural.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Kano, I hear your feedback on time alignment in speakers and appreciate where your coming from. It's confusing. In fact, time domain math is among the most difficult in all of physics. Let me inject the following: We know thats a speaker cause we hear it in our room. But the sound we hear isn't over there by the speaker, it's over here, at your ears. But it doesn't sound that way unless we close our eyes for awhile, because of what the recording engineer purposely does to the signal. Since it's the air right next to us that we're rsponding to, a speakers real job must be to create (from way over there) pressure variations way over here, wherever here might be in the living room, kitchen or in a stadium. Back to the engineer. A microphome hears only one dimension: distance. Like listening thru a hole in a fence, a mic hears only how near or how far something is, not from which direction. The engineers problem is where to put the mic....where a guitar for example sounds most clear is up close near the soundhole. This is not a vantage point any guitarist would ever let you listen from, but this up close signal has tonal balance, harmonic structure and transient signals far different from whats heard at any normal listening distance. This is called the raw signal and it may be accurate to the sound location, but it sure isn't natural. For an image to be truly realistic then, any performance improvements in audio gear will be revealed as more clarity of each mics individual pinpoint location, and therin lies the musicality. When we cannot hear clarity of the individual mics, it's the speakers that are most to blame-as they have the greatest potential to smear time arrivals we rely upon to seperate the different sounds. The math can be found in Lord Rayleigh's "Theory of sound"
Time/phase aligned speakers make room reflections easier to cope with.
Perhaps it's your furniture creating problems in your room? Leather furniture, for example, is not porous to mid bass frequencies. Stretched leather is used for drum heads.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 73
Registered: May-04
when is the last time you geeks sat back and actually just enjoyed the music you are listening to without over analyzing your equipment.
jeez
sit back crack a beer and enjoy
no time phase
not bright
not fatigueing
christ
have fun for a change
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 79
Registered: Jun-04
Actually, that's the whole thing about time coherent design. You find yourself actually listening to music, not your rig.
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 291
Registered: Oct-04
Joe, Cornelius, et al. My wife and I try - we really DO try to just sit back and listen to the music. But all of you on this forum must admit that, if your speakers "get in the way" of that pure enjoyment, something is amiss.
We have tried very hard NOT to settle on equipment as a topic of contention - but as we are both eager to get past electronics and just into the music, well, we do have a difficult time. Perhaps after I audition the B & W 705s and the Paradigm Studio 20s - and then compare them in-shop with my Polk RTi6s - maybe I'll be better able to sort out my problems.
If you, Joe, are in an enviable position where your equipment is so good that the music rules and the equipment takes a back seat - congratulations to you, sir.
Cornelius - you and others mention phrases about which I know nothing. But from the tone of your postings I gather that speakers having "time coherent" design are expensive. Very expensive.
When living on a retirement income, "very expensive" is out of the question. I'm trying to make the best of what I can afford.
Many years ago I was "into" electronics: as a kid I built Heath Kits, then some other kits, etc. Now, electronics have gone way beyond my pay grade, and I settle for just trying to understand the basics of stereo operation. So if I sound "naive," well, please forgive me.
Meanwhile, Joe, my wife and I will, indeed, sit back, open a nice bottle of wine, and find the best-sounding SACDs we have - just to enjoy!
 

bob gudenowe
Unregistered guest
The only problem with saying that you have time/phase coherent speakers.
Is that the room or objects in the room mess that all up.
Not all frequencies travel at the same speed or the same direction.
So anything in the room will change the timing or acoustics of your speakers.
So if they start out correct does not mean they reach there destination that way!
It's quite possable a speaker that is off to start with may interact better
with your room then the other!

Not to mention If you tend to listen to your music at louder volumes
a 1st order xover does not protect the drivers that well. So you'll end
up with drivers that may be beefier but loose
something in the musicality department. Or really expensive drivers!

So it all comes down to how do the speakers interact with your setup
and how you listen to your music that may lend a design to be benificial for "YOU"!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 80
Registered: Jun-04
Hi Larry, I have a pretty modest system (price-wise), so I'm never one to recommend expensive gear. The GMA Europas, Meadowlark Swift and Ohm Microwalshes are about $1000.00US.

I'm not an expert, I'm just going on what I read and listening - a lot. If you want to read up on the subject:
http://www.meadowlarkaudio.com/TC1.htm
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 295
Registered: Oct-04
Cornelius: Thanx for the post, and the link. Read it - and ALMOST understood it all! Which is unusual for this ole scribe!
Anyway - after reading and looking, why not just tip my speakers back a few degrees? That would seem to be what Meadowlark does - and if that's it - well, it's a cheap fix!
OK - I'm still learning, and listening and reading. Thanks - and I continue my journey.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 74
Registered: May-04
I'll bet you all download mp3's anyway so what differece does it make
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 297
Registered: Oct-04
Joe: sorry, but I don't know anything about "mp3's" - maybe you're referring to others on the forum?
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 130
Registered: Dec-03
I still am not completely sure what a mp3 is yet. Isn't it downloaded data that can be burned to a disc?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 43
Registered: Nov-04
its compressed music. it takes the more complicated music from say CDs and simplifies it to make the content comparitively less then compresses the music data to a differnt digital format. so if the original recording had a phone ringing in the background of heavy metal, the compressing software would ignore the data for the phone since it wouldnt be heard people. thats it in a nutshell.....but dont quote me on this.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 81
Registered: Jun-04
Larry, that's cool that you checked out the article. It's a little dry, but it is a good explanation and it definitely makes you look at speakers in a different way.
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 300
Registered: Oct-04
Cornelius et al: Yes sir, I try to learn as much as I can about all aspects of stereo - but I get easily confused! There are so many technical terms that I sorta lose direction!
At first, I rely on both professional and user reviews of a product - then try very hard to put the speaker, or whatever, to a personal test.
In the case of my Polk RTi6 speakers, I made a mistake in relying on reviews that were obviously written by people who listen to pop-type music, and not classical music. Then, I had my only "auditions" of the speakers in two listening areas - one "open" in Circuit City, the other "closed" in a "Sound Advice" store here in Naples.
The CC listening was too congested - and the SA listening was in a room so heavily padded that there was little "presence" to it. Sigh.
I made another mistake in ordering the speakers Online - and when, after a month-long listening process, I determined that there was "something wrong" with the speakers - it was too late to return them to the company. As the old saying goes: "Vee gets too soon olde,und too late schmart!" How true, how true.
Bottom line here, Cornelius - thank you for the link, and it did, indeed, help my understanding.
But I still don't use any "mp3" files!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 301
Registered: Oct-04
One more thought - please?
I read on this forum a lot about sound and equipment - and try to put myself in your shoes, so to speak. However - one very large difference would seem to be evident: the type of music being listened to by you all.
I'll bet (small bet only, please) that very few of you listen to classical and opera. That's not a criticism, just a statement of possible fact.
All the speakers-amps-players, etc. that I've auditioned have been auditioned with classical and opera.
Does this mean that I'm in a different world? Perhaps so, as I've found that my Polks sound a whole lot better with pop and jazz than with classical.
One other thought - in all my auditioning, I, personally, have never been able to tell the difference between, say, a Sony, a Yamaha and an Onkyo amplifier. Even auditioned once with a NAD, but it had a bad buzzing sound, so quit that one.
Back when I was earning a real living I had Carver amp/pre-amp - and thought the "sound" of it very open and clean - so in that case I DID hear an amp-difference. (used it with Kef 104.2 speakers) The MacIntosh is the only other amp I've heard where a sound-difference is quite obvious - and "better."
You obviously have better hearing - collectively - than I do!
I'm still trying to "get it right" - for my budget and my ears! Thanx for any and all help.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 131
Registered: Dec-03
Too bad you only had less than 30 days to get a feel for the speakers. Only reason I gave Ohm Acoustics (another direct seller) a shot was they allow a 120 day in home trial. I was able to bring home other speakers from local dealers during that time frame to compare. The micro walsh, Ohm center channel and satilites sound ended up being very nice for a 12x18 sized room H/T system.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 170
Registered: Oct-04
Larry R. You can only expect so much from a bookshelf with one driver/tweeter. For your listening purposes the Polk Lsi line would have been the much better choice. This speaker would be so much better for that type of music - Polk Lsi9
http://www.polkaudio.com/home/products.php?category=25&speaker=161
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 306
Registered: Oct-04
Kano - you are right, sir. I thought about the Lsi line - but right on the back of my Onkyo it says "do not run this amplifier with less than a 6-ohm load." The Lsi line are 4-ohm speakers, and when I called Onkyo the nice person said "don't do it." I didn't.
Now, of course, I'm sorry I didn't take more time and go farther afield. As I say - we gro too soon old, and too late smart.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 173
Registered: Oct-04
Those speakers are less efficient than the Rti line as well. But the performance is worth giving those power hungry speakers what they want.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Bob, I hear your argument about 1st order designs leaving the tweeter open for punishment other designs don't, however, the objective of the loudspeaker is to reproduce what is on the recording in the same time/phase alignment as it was recorded, something higher order designs simply are incapable of doing. Let me insert the following post from the 6moons.com review of the GMA Continuum3's:
"And to slay one of the dragons bedeviling public perceptions about 1st-order designs, these speaker can play ungodly loud. Roy demonstrated a live Tangerine Dream cut wherein, to thunderous audience applause, one guy whacks away at massive drums to such an extent as to make Japanese Kodo drummers envious. I'm talking bl**dy uncomfortably loud. I'm talking no compression, no nastiness, no falling apart, just properly scaled output levels. There are other misconceptions about this breed of speaker that I will address in the review proper"
Bob, even the entry level Europa at under $1K/pair will play at 105db with no compression, clipping or distortion. Feel free to read the entire review. Here's the link: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/gma/continuum3.html Believe your ears. Give them a listen. Musical enjoyment is what this hobby is all about no?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 77
Registered: May-04
How can you hear his argument - You are so far away. Wow you do have special hearing
i take back all the dirty things i say about you
i can only read his argument. Your GREAT!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 84
Registered: Jun-04
Ok, I finally got to hear a pair of Studio 60s. They pretty much sucked the life out of the music. They are the only speakers that I've ever heard that somehow took the amazing, live acoustic recordings on the Naim True Stereo CD (two mics, no overdubs, usually recorded in churches or halls), and somehow made it sound like a processed studio recording.

There was a pair of Meadowlark Kestrels (the original model) there for comparison. No comparison. The Studio 60s were simply out-classed in every way.

I guess I had really high expectations, because their budget lines are really great. They just couldn't hang with the more refined Meadowlarks. Oh, and the Paradigms were ugly - too much plastic.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Elite

Post Number: 78
Registered: May-04
silly rabbit Kestrels are for kids
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