Hawk, what receiver was the Paradigms connected too??


Paul T
Hawk I took the hour ride again to hear the Paradigm Studio 20v3's today. Not surprising they didn't carry Yamaha products (which is what I have right now) so the dealer hooked up a very nice Parasound(Halo I believe) preamp/amp with a Marantz CD player and the speakers were placed pretty close to where I will have them in relationship to wall distances and he pulled up a nice comfy leather chair for me to sit in. I brought my own CD's and started with a little Peter Gabriel's So, the Studios were extremely smooth and clear, not nearly as bright as my B&W's and this was a plus for I seem to tire easily after listening to too bright of a speaker, by the third track I had my eyes closed and the soundstage was incredible, I really had the feeling I could have just stayed there all day and listened to them... very nice and very neutral but soo precise.. Ohh yes we kept all settings at dead center, no treble or bass added. I must have heard this CD hundreds of times on my B&W's and previous Polk SDA's but I heard things I never heard before with the Studios, little nuances I never knew were there.. Then for finishers I put on Roomful Of Blues new CD "that's Right" and went right to track 4 "How Long Will It Last? " which was not known to the dealer and he made a funny little joke about the cover but a minute into the song he came over and cranked it up, it just sounded incredible through the Studios 20's, the voice was as if he was right there center stage and the horns were right on... You would have swore these speakers were floor-standing towers with this track, although bass wasn't as deep as a tower would produce the mids and highs were the best I've heard from any speaker twice it's size.. Well guess you know I bought them, well ordered them, unfortunately they didn't have them in stock but he gave me a great price since I drove an hour to hear them and he is going to ship them to me when he receives them later this week or early next... can't wait!! But I was wondering Hawk when listened to them what receiver were they played through?? Not sure how my Yamaha RX-V480 will do but that's only temporary, plan on upgrading the receiver next :)... the Parasound Halo were very nice but out of my league money wise so probably look into NAD, Marantz, Outlaw or HK... question number 2 what would you recommend for the Studio 20v3's?? Again thank you for your time, you help and opinions are greatly appreciated here Hawk!


I was listening through a Yamaha RX-Z1 primarily, I believe. I know it was the top of the line Yamaha (but not the new RX-Z9, "the dumb blonde of receivers"). I did switch to an NAD 762 for some of the listening, however. What a wonderful combo.

I think you will find Paradigm is one of the few speakers that will help address your "fatigue factor." I have had a Yamaha in my house for a weekend (RX-V1300) to try it out and I suffered from the same problem. This is why I have been a bit critical of the Yamaha's brightness (an elevation of the 2-4Khz region of the audio spectrum). I try to warn people before they buy to take care to get the right speakers to go with a Yamaha. You combo of the B+Ws with your Yamaha is a good case in point. It can sound great in the audio store, but the sound can wear on you and lessen your enjoyment of the music. I do not know your specific model, so my comments are addressed to the current and recent past lineup. I will observe, however, that the RX-Z1 doesn't sound anything like the lower end Yamahas--it is far warmer and smoother.

Paradigms are a very balanced speaker and I love the deep soundstage that they present. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of a spekaer that presents a soundstage that is as depp, much less deeper. They also seem to do a great job of taming the brightness of the Yamaha, so I think it is a very good choice. Long-term, however, I still don't know if the Paradigm can solve the fatigue issue, but it can certainly help. Your new speaker is, I think, a real bargain. I have found very few speakers at that price that are as smooth and even sounding. I also don't think you can dismiss its low end extension because I thought they went very low for a single 6.5" mid/woofer. I would be estimating, of course, but I thought is sounded like it had usable bass below 50hz, which is really remarkable for that size speaker. I also compared it to the Studio 40s, which have an additional 6.5" woofer and the differences were very small. All in all, I think the Studio 20s are an exceptional speaker.

For a new receiver, I definitely recommend the NAD as I have heard the NAD driving Paradigms and it is a superb combo. The NAD has all of the clarity of the Yamaha receivers (clearly the Yamaha's greatest asset), but with a warmer and smoother sound. I don't think either the Marantz or especially the H/K would be a good combo. They are a bit too reserved for the Paradigms, which are already a bit on the reserved side. The Outlaw is closer to the NAD. If $500 is your limit, I would seriously consider it. However, I keep coming back to the NAD as even the 742 has that wonderful pre/pro that is incredibly clean and precise. I have never been anywhere where I could hear both head to head, so it is hard to quantify any differences.

Finally, congrats on the new speakers. I know they will give you years of enjoyment. One of the most beautiful finishes, too (I saw the Cherry finish which I think is new for version 3s).

Warmest regards.
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