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FYI: I called Paradigm customer tech support. Here's what I learned:
Paradigm has no current plans to change the Signature 8 (v3) ... period. The tech guy said that Paradigm did show a prototype concept speaker not too long ago that featured a BE tweeter and BE mid. But that's it. No plans to take it to market ... yet.
If anyone knows what Revel plans to do with the Ultima Salon 2 or Ultima Studio 2, please post the info. I'd be interested in learning what Revel has coming down the pike.
The theory that Paradigm or Revel should be updating their top of the line models every other year or so is at odds with the marketplace and economic reality of the situation. The industry as a whole doesn't replace/update speaker models every other year. The only sector that does that is the theater receiver, for obvious reasons.
I owned and, for almost three years, loved the Paradigm Sig8 speakers. Three months ago, I sold the Paradigms and bought a pair of Revel Ultima Salon 2s. You’d have to hear them to believe what I’m saying but, it’s frankly very difficult to imagine how Revel could improve on this speakers performance.
I think that when a good company hits what they consider to be their ceiling, they stay put for a while. I’m not saying that the Sig8s or the Salon 2s are ’the best speakers out there’ - how could that be the case? I am saying that with respect to the individual company’s performance to price calculations, their R&D capacity and their overall production objectives, there may be nowhere for these two companies to go - just yet.
On my part, I’ve got nowhere to go. I was building my retirement audio system - built on the premise that, once I retire and travel becomes a greater priority, I will not be able to assemble this Salon, Ayre and AR system. I am, of course, interested in what these companies have planned but, from the point of view of my living room, it’s irrelevant. I have more than I need.
i should mention that Ayre is quite like Revel. Most of the Ayre line of electronics is years old. The company develops upgrades and owners can avail themselves of that service. When you have a product that is so good, you don’t need to replace it every year. It’s also the case that the yearly ’new model’ approach is to some degree, misleading. We cannot seriously believe that, in relation to is consumer models, Pioneer annually introduces discernible performance improvements. More likely, they’ve shifted the huge number of buttons around and added a few more.
What's stuck? This gear still sounds better than the vast majority of new products.
Agreed. They can change the Salon 2 but how they could make a meaningful improvement in build or sound is beyond me. I wonder in amazement as to what all the guys giving theirs away on AGON are replacing them with. This is one to keep and at 59 I have had many high end speakers to include Wilson and Kharma. FWIW
From a tech stand-point, a stiffer cabinet might fix the slightly muddled bass (Salon 2), and they're not the most sensitive speakers going around.
Aesthetically they're not everyone's cup of tea either, so a cosmetic upgrade might be worthwhile.
However, I agree, they are pretty close to the perfect (ideal) speaker.
I don't own Salon's myself but I've heard them a many occasions and never failed to be impressed. Apart from low end slam I' rathe them higher than my B&W800 Diamonds
Stuck? NO! Have great speakers? YES! I had Revel Studio2 and loved them. I want Revel Salon2 but am waiting a little while longer to see what happens. Several friends own Salon2's, and I hear them on a regular basis. Amazing, truly amazing speakers. They do no wrong and so many things right. Stunning with moderate to high powered tubes and with good, clean, solid state. Zero fatigue, easy to place, perfect tweeter, 3D and powerful bass. Best speaker for the money. Does not need much, pretty much perfect now. If Revel does tweak a little, everyone else better watch out. It will be a tough act to follow.
Biggarthomas ... thanks for your post. Would you mind sharing comments about how the Paradigm S8s compare to the Salon 2s. Were your previous S8s the v2 or v3?
I've been giving some thought about swapping out my S8s (v3) for the Salons or Studios. IMO, the S8s are amazing. Frankly, I am dubious that one can really do all that much better, especially since the S8s have BE tweeters, ... just like the Salons.
That said, I haven't done much speaker auditioning so I am sonically "blind" about speaker alternatives. Btw, I've had Magico S5s on the mind, but I wonder out loud how they would compare to the Salons.
Thanks for any comments. They will be very helpful.
Btw, my amp is an ARC Ref 150 SE, which pushes out 150 wpc. Do you think that is enough juice? I understand that the Salons sound best with a high current SS amp. FWIW, the Ref 150 SE has a 1040 joule power supply. So there's a lot of muscle behind those tube watts.
bifwynne: My 2 cents. The Salons love power. I had B&W 802d's and the Ultima Salon 2's at the same time for awhile and A/B'ed them to decide which set to keep. I kept them both for so long (what can I say?) that when I eventually upgraded the amps from the ones I was using (I used Bryston and CJ at the time - switching between them of course) to 600 watt monoblocks the Salon's really sung. I kept them and sold the B&W's. Now guys, I know the difference in the retail price of the two sets of speakers, but they are comparable on the used market because B&W's hold their value more (yes, I'm anticipating comments I've heard before).