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Paradigm Monitor 5 vs Reference Studio 40...what's the difference?

 

mouser
Unregistered guest
I'm wondering what the difference between the Monitor 5 and Studio 40's are (apart from the price)

Is there a noticeable difference in sound quality? On paper they seem almost identical at least in specs. Do the Studio 40's sound much better or just a little. The difference in price is almost $500CDN

I've been looking for comparisons but can't really find any
 

Bronze Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 57
Registered: Feb-05
Having owned them both I can tell you that the Studio 40's sound better. Better resolution and soundstaging. I sold my studio 40's and went into the world of Magnepan (big mistake)and have now come to my sense and am rebuilding dynamic speaker system. I now own Monitor 5v4's and they are truly wonderful. I had the Studio 40v2 which was only marginally better than my Monitor 5's, but the new Studio 40's are considerably better. However to me they were not worth nearly twice the price. So in the end I'm not sure if I helped. I am very satisfied with my Monitor 5's. I will someday upgrade, but the upgrade will have to be better than the Studio 40's for me to feel good about the expenditure. Also to consider are questions such as; what are going to power them with? what are you using them for, music or movies?. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask as I have alot of experience with these speakers.
 

mouser
Unregistered guest
Well I've been considering wether to pick up the Monitor 5 v4 or the Studio 40 v3.

Like you said the studio 40 is almost double the price. I was just wondering if the sound differences were significant or just subtle. Is it really worth the $500 extra or just saving that for a better sub later
 

Silver Member
Username: Smitty

Canada

Post Number: 184
Registered: Dec-03
Arthur, do you mind if I ask what the big mistake was with the Magnepan speakers?

Thanks,
Smity
 

Silver Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 105
Registered: Jun-04
This thread substantiated my opinion that if you want to upgrade from Paradigm's Monitors series (which are nice), it's better to avoid the Studios series if you want to stick to dynamic driver design. At the Studio's price range there are so many other companies out there that just outperform them in every way.

I would also like to hear Arthur Kyle's response to Magnepan!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 59
Registered: Feb-05
With the Maggies the mistake was to be seduced by the uncanny there "in the roomness" of the sound. For some music Maggies are wonderful but for me (and my budget) they simply aren't versatile enough. I could have spent more on a sub than on any other piece of equipment and had greater versatility with Maggies but for me it isn't worth it for all of the loss of detail you suffer with them. I was in Seattle one day at Definitive Audio (look it up online) and had the pleasure of hearing well set up Wilson Watt/Puppies, Maggie 20.1's, Wilson Maxx 2's with Halcro amps and just a variety of dynamic designs all of which spanked the 20.1's in nearly every way. Then not long after I was shopping in Portland and happened along Stereotypes (another great audio store) and listened to ProAcs with Naim gear and again was impressed as they seemed able to do everything my Maggies could plus that which only dynamic designs can do. Finally I attend alot of live concerts. 2 nights ago I saw Tomasz Stanko at the Shedd in Eugene, Or. Last year the day after attending a Cassandra Wilson concert I compared my Cassandra CD's listening with Maggie 1.6's vs Vandersteen 2ce sigs and although at first the Maggies seemed more dynamic, it was obvious to me from the get go that Cassandra sounded far more like....well....Cassandra on the Vandy's. It was then that the Maggie spell was broken and reality hit. Any more specific questions, I would be happy to answer.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 60
Registered: Feb-05
Oh and don't let me discourage anyone fron buying Studio 40's they are great speakers and a very good buy, but as Cornelius said there are alot of great speakers out there at that price. Once you get to that price range you can begin to choose what kind of sound you want and buy quality in nearly every style. The Monitor 5v4's however define value for the money. I have not heard the Ascends but there is a poster on this site, edster22, who swears by them and from what I've read they could be good.
 

jimvm
Unregistered guest
If you like Paradigm and would like to stay in the Reference Studio series, why not give a listen to the Studio 20's. Before I bought speakers, I auditioned the 20's and the 40's and IMO the 20's sounded better than the 40's -- better imaging and better soundstaging.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> I have not heard the Ascends but there is a poster on this site, edster22, who swears by them and from what I've read they could be good.

LOL, if I could afford the kind of monster amp the Maggies require I'd probably swear by them too!

But seriously, I would never claim that the Ascends are the greatest speakers on the face of the planet because I never bothered to listen to speakers over $1400/pair and never seriously considered any speakers over $900/pair. At the $900 ceiling though I did not ever find a speaker that I liked better than the Ascend 340s I have now, which go for an amazing $560 shipped a pair.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 61
Registered: Feb-05
I have owned the Studio 20's, 40's, and 60's and for my taste the 40's are the cream of the Reference Series. I also believe the same about the Monitor 5's being the best of the Monitor Series.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Yeah, I'd agree that the Monitor 5 is a more accurate and less bright speaker than the larger Monitor towers.
 

mouser
Unregistered guest
I'm pretty set now that I'll be getting the Monitor 5 speakers instead of the Studio 40's. For the sound difference (from what I've read) the price isn't really justified. I can save the $500cdn and put that towards a better sub
 

Bronze Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 77
Registered: Feb-05
I hope you enjoy your Monitor 5's. I am enjoying mine as I write.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 78
Registered: Feb-05
Oh by the way the Paradigm PW2100 sub is a great match for the Monitor 5's.
 

RMS
Unregistered guest
If you can, be sure to listen to the studio series. I'm just about to place an order for the studio 100s after listening to the studio 60s, 100s and Monitor series (5s, 7s and 9s). Granted, you'll be nothing but happy with the 5s and frankly, had I never listened to the studio line I would have been as happy as a clam with a pair of Monitor 7s.

In the end, my budget was expanded (the theater stock fund did well) and I felt the difference in sound between the two lines was enough for me to spend the extra money. To my ears, the studios do everything a bit better. The imaging, open-ness, bass, etc all was more refined and sounded more like what I expect to hear if I was sitting in front of the band.

Don't listen to what I or other have to say, go give them a listen. It's all about what your ears tell you.
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