Amp for Paradgim Studio 100

Just upgraded from Paradigm mini-monitors to Studio 100's. Now I'd like to get a great amp to match these great speakers. I have an Arcam 72T Cd player which is very revealing and forward which when combined with the metal tweeter can sound a bit bright at time. Been thinking of getting the Musical Fidelity A300cr amp or Odyssey monoblocks. Which one would be better? Looking for something to tame the 100's as well. Do these amps have a warm but detailed sound to them?
Click on (or copy to address line)to get some ideas in the five channel world that could apply:
For two channel, the Musical Fidelity does get great reviews! Another option is to go with the Sierra Whitney which can be configured as a stereo power amp or a differential mono amp (sounds a bit better in mono mode). You should be able to buy it new for under the $3,500 list and it is a first class amp (in stereo mode 120w into 8ohms and 240w into 4 ohms). You might be able to get it new on a trial basis. Very smooth high end and killer bass -- smooth over the whole range, actually. Start with one and add another later as the budget allows. Nothing listed on Audiogon right now, but I recall the used prices in the typical 55-65% range. You have lots of great options. Good luck.
I had great results using an Electrocompaniet 120 amplifier with a pair of Paradigm 100's, arcam fmj 23 cd player, and the Electromcompaniet 4.6 pre amplifier. The EC did a great job of masking some of the 100's faults and made for a very balanced presentation that imaged outside of the boxes. I know a dealer that has one for sale (used) at a good price. No, I am not that dealer! I like my setup now but I still miss the air moved by the 100s with that amplifier.
I have used Maratnz MA 500s (biamped) on the 100s and am currently using an Anthem Amp 2 which I just love. The Anthem SE version sells for under 1K used. I've also demoed Levinson 333 which rocked (of course). I have seen people use mid-fi recievers to push the 100s, but I have yet seen one have enough juice to push em.
I'm running Paradigm 100v2s with a Parasound 1500A in my HT setup and getting very satisfactory results. I'm not sure just what "faults" in the 100s that Celery is talking about. The most common problems I've heard with them have been caused by dynamic compression from amps that are too wimpy to drive them properly. Also, Paradigms are not the ideal choice for "background listening." They definitely are at their best--especially in the midrange--when played at moderate to high levels.
I agree Bish...Paradigm makes some solid speakers. I own the version 1 so I do hear some faults in the speakers, but thats why Paradigm made the v.2, however at "moderate to high" volumes, those speakers shine.
Agree about the 100's. I failed to note that I own the 100 v2 and really enjoy them -- using a Sunfire amp (which provides lots of power) and that is a very nice combination, though a bit less detailed than I prefer. I owned lots of Brystons and they are also a very solid product with great sound and detail -- I do prefer the sound of the Sierra's, which is why I would recommend you give them a listen if that's within your price range.
Oz...did you like the Sunfire over Bryston? I used to own a Carver amp, which had tons of power, but really fell short on detail, especially in the upper ranges. I admit I am prejudice against Sunfire due to my experience with Carver, and am curious if you think the Sunfire is a better amp than Bryston.
I think the Sunfire is a fine amp for movies / surround sound. It is not overly colored -- a bit warm maybe. It is very good with vocals (i.e., dialog). But, I would not recommend it over the Bryston for sheer audio enjoyment. The Brystons (I've owned the 3B-ST, 4B-ST and 7B-ST's) are far more detailed and pack a solid low end punch. I also believe the Brystons do a very nice job handling the harmonics -- there is more space to the music, especially in the midrange. You need to be a bit carful with matching (always true) since the Brystons will help bring the worst out of a bright speaker. That can be tamed with, for example, MIT speaker cables. The 20 yr warranty on the Bryston is great!
thanks Oz
How about pairing a Bryston 4B-ST with the Paradigm 100's. A good match?
The "faults" of the 100's are a pretty hot treble. Let's not kid ourselves and think the 100's are perfect. They are a great speaker at their price point.
The EC tamed the hot treble and did a great job of letting the music extend out from the cabinets. Again, your mileage may vary. Go to some local dealers and listen. Ask for an in home demo. Good luck.
I have the 80 V-1's.
same tweeter as the 100's
yep,they can sound hot alright.
even with a tube pre and a smoooooooth aleph-3 they were still a bit bright.
I found the only way to tame them was agressive room treatment.
A used Levinson amp with Audioquest cables might do the trick. Both are neutral throught the bass and mids with a slight roll-off of the highs. Or, you could try tubes.
Thanks for the clarification, Celery. I certainly do not see the 100s as the be all and end all of reproducers, though I'm very happy with them in my HT setup. I find that many folks who accuse them of having a hot top end really are hearing a rather laid back midrange that doesn't come forward and join the band until the speakers are played at medium to high levels. Just my opinion, of course. I also think that some folks, remembering the early efforts of tweeter manufacturers, learn that the 100 uses a metal dome tweeter and just assume it's going to be hot.
With the version 2's, I haven't noticed any real brightness -- my understanding is that the v2's are a big improvement over the originals in overall smoothness of response. My room is pretty "padded" -- lots of carpet and acoustic tile in the ceiling -- so I could be missing brightness if it's there. I think the Bryston 4B-ST would be a good match (though, if you can swing it, I'd still opt for the Sierra if you are using this as a primary audio system).
How about the Bel Canto Evo2 or Evo4. They have been getting rave reviews. Has anyone heard them? How would they sound with the Paradgims? Also what about the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista M3 integrated amplifier?
Has no one heard the Bel Canto amps???
Or how about the McCormack DNA 225?
My 100s have McIntosh amp and preamp (MC7100 and C712) for the best sound I have heard from these speakers. I had Krell KSA100 and Classe 150 on them, each for a long time, and found the McIntoshes to be magical on these speakers. The Krell was too bright and thin, and the Classe was missing some of the emotion that the McIntoshes manage to bring out. With the Macs, the highs are like crystal but never with an edge, deep tight bass, spine-tingling mids, and pure smoothness all around. I just love my current setup. BTW, Im also using MIT T2 balanced and unbalanced, and biwired, Sony ES changer.
How do the Macs compare with the McCormack? Are they similar sounding?
I have only listened to one McCormack and frankly I dont remember the model. It was not especially memorable apparently. McIntosh, BAT, and Classe in general catch my attention musically (in somewhat that order).
I am running an Anthem MCA-20 (225Wpc) through my 100v2's and am very happy with it. It is inexpensive compared to the Brystons and Bel Canto's but decent nonetheless. I am using an Onkyo 747 A/V receiver as preamp for the time being and while not perfect, I don't find the sound hot in the treb. Some bad recordings can sound that way of course but on the whole I am happy with the high frequency. There is better certainly, but at what price? Well matched speaker cable could be important for the overall sound of the 100's in the high end. I am using Harmonic Tech Pro 11's at the moment in a single run configuration hooked to the lower terminals. Am on the hunt for better jumpers. I think the important thing is to try a quality name brand amp and see what you get. Anthem is owned by the same folks as Paradigm.
I have the 100 v.2 teamed with a Mark Levinson #23 its 200 watts minimum make these 100's shine, extremely detailed and powerful thru all the octaves,very clean and tight bass,perfect mids and those extended highs,all dead quiet when changing a CD,incredible sound, very well matched setup and the Mark Levinson #23 can be bought used at around 2k .This is a perfect match in my home and can rock the entire neighborhood effortlessly and without one iota of distortion or fatigue....Good luck in your quest
I ran my Studio 100 v2's with a Classe CAP-151 solid state amplifier with good results.
As I said earlier (kzx0v6) I am running the Anthem MCA-20 and am reasonable happy with it. Would I prefer a Bryston or Bel Canto or some such - certainly but I've run out of cash. I found cabling made a huge difference for the better on my system. I bought the Virtual Dynamics Audition package ( )which includes 3 PC's, 2 IC's, and speaker cable. I upgraded to a biwire cable with banana ends. A Musical Fidelity A3CD and a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 flesh out the rest of the two channel system.

Two things:

1) I don't find my system bright at all set up the way I am at this time. I have thought it bright in the past with different configurations. Sound is rich and full from top to bottom.

2) My system sounds fine at moderate volume with no large hole in the midrange. Does it sound a little better when you spank the volume? Yes, but I live in an apartment and do so at my own risk as to where I live.

When I bought my CDP I auditioned the Arcam 72T and liked it a lot. I prefered the Musical Fidelity to the 72T though. I was able to A/B them at my dealer. I did not think the Arcam bright in any way. I thought it had just a bit better bass than the MF A3CD. Where the A3CD excelled was sounding a little closer to analog with much better soundstaging.

I strongly suggest you look at some really good cables like the Virtual Dynamics once you have your amp. I was truly shocked at the difference they made and can't recommend them enough.
I use the McCormack DNA-225 amplifier with my Studio 100 Ver2 speakers. The amp has plenty of power and can get the room painfully loud with ease and holographic imaging with no signs of distortion. The amplifier has complete control of these speakers. Excellent amplifier! The studio 100's dip around 3 ohms in the bass region, where the DNA-225 will produce over 400 watts for them to give off some of the best sounding and hard bass that is only attainable using a subwoofer.
Hey Asi tek, what brand preamp are you using with this combination?
I was at my friend's over the weekend and heard his JMLab Electra 936's powered by a pair of Meridian monoblocks. I have decided that I'm going to have to upgrade my Anthem amp at some point if I want that slam. Still not a bad amp to have on the road up.
i have studio 100 V2 powered with an anthem pva 2 and a tube preamp ,i feel 125 wpc is not enough for the 100s,saving for a cj mf2500,or pass x250.tweeters were a little hot untill i started treating my room,,,what a difference!!

sorry for the 11 month late reply! Even though I posted that message almost 2 years ago!

At the time I was using a modified Forte F44 preamp, it was a pretty good combo.

today I use exotic Audio consutling passive volume controls for volume control and Mantra Sound Naturelle speakers with dual 10" sealed subs run in stereo and this setup kills the Paradigm even when they were modified to the furtherst level.