I think you would enjoy the Paradigm more than the B&W. If you listened to jazz and clasical then I would go with the B&W. They are both excellent speakers. I have also heard some good things about about Monitor.
I wish you success.
I bought the Studio 100's after comparing them to (among others) the B&W's. I preferred the Paradigms especially for the bass. Paradigms are also great for Jazz but not as good as say Maggies for classical. Take a couple of your favourite CDs and go auditioning and don't be in a hurry. I think acoustic guitar on the 80's will surprise you.
I third the above. I chose Paradigm 100.2 over B&W N804. The Paradigm Reference are smoother and more musical. I have listened to the entire Paradigm Reference line back-to-back and find them all excellent. I talked a friend of mine into getting the 80s and he thanks me for it constantly. For the price, the Paradigm Reference series are amazing speakers. Arthur
Another vote for the Paradigm's. I previously owned the 7SE's and have listened fairly extensively to the 7NT's - and the Paradigms were much more balanced overall. I share very similar music interests to you and let me tell you, as a guitar fanatic, the Paradigms do an excellent job, especially with electric guitar. The upper mids did not seem quite as refined as the B&W's, but the brightness of the B&W tweeter took the magic out of acoustic guitar at times (the 7NT's have improved on this somewhat). As always, the proof is in the ossicles, and both of these brands are relatively easy to find for audition. Good luck.
Another vote for Paradigm. I'm running studio 100's and they are fantastic. When auditioning speakers, I listened to B&W quite a bit but when I compared them back to back, The Paradigms shined. I felt the studio 60's kept up with the B&W 604's, and the studio 100's easily matched if not outperformed the CDM series. Good luck
Again Paradigm Studio 100..You won't need a subwoofer with 100 for music..With 80 you might want a sub..
i thought i might need a sub with my paradigm studio 60's but get an amp with a lot of current and you will hear bass.
I have to agree that a good high current amp makes all the difference with the Paradigms. They just keep sounding better as you upgrade your front end electronics. Also, buy the ones with the real wood veneer! I didn't and am sorry for that. Look at it this way, you are going to have them for a lot of years and it will look better (and possibly sound better) with the wood. Compare the 80's and the 100's, you may find the upgrade for the superior bass to be worthwhile in the long run.
Check out Soliloquy's 5.3, 6.2, and 6.3 line of speakers... Great stuff... I've got the 8200mk1
One thing I have to add is I completly agree with what comic_void said.If you want to get them, buy the real wood one because you will keep them for a long time and do not buy the black one it does not nice like the other colers.I have the 100v with rosenut real wood veneers and I realy enjoy and I play rock al the time.When I went to buy them I heard the b&w nautius 802 and I could not find 6k defference in sound and I took the paradigm.They had onkyo reciver in demo with paradigms but when I brought mine home they sound much better with my bryston 7b sst.
And yet ANOTHER vote for,............you guessed it, Paradigm's. My friend is thanking me for telling him to get the Reference 80 V-2's also, just the same as the above post from Aball. Seems to be a fairly uniform consensus here, Paradigm speakers are very well received in the high-end community, they must be doing something right!
Seems like unanomous agreement.
I hope you enjoy your new speakers!
I second the vote for Soliloquy 5.3s. I once a/b'd some B&W 7NTs and the Paradigmg 80s. You know what? I went with the Soliloquy 5.3s. They are much more open and musical than either of the other two choices. My tuppence.
Ok how would you compare the Studio 60 or 80 to the B&W CDM 9NT? I a about to replace my 16 year old B&W 220i.
Even though I'm not a B&W owner per se, simply stating as one who's sold both brands side by side over the years on a retail level, there's not one Paradigm speaker(except the subs) that I'd be interested in owning any time soon! I just don't see/hear it really when it comes to the Paradigms(and I'm really into high end, as well as dynamic HT stuff!) I much perfer the B&W 804's and even older Matrix 805/804 series stuff can do potentially! I think they are more accurate sounding kit really. I know of no one in the audio business who ownes em(except the woofers), including the reviewers I'm aware of in HT magazine, Stereophile GHT, or Stereophile! Maybe some of the Canadian or British use these, I don't know. Still, if it were my money, and I was chosing Between B&W and Paradigm, I'd look for an older pair of B&W Matrix 805's and a fast M&K or Paradigm Servo sub and you'd be very happy I bet! Anyway, for $600=750 pr/pair you could find these, and the sound is much better than what a full range Paradigm speaker has to offer in my experience.
Good luck...it's all good though
To say that the Paradigm compares to the NT series is one thing but to say that they compare to the nautilus is all together ludacris!!! In my opinion there is no possible way that the 100's compare to B&W's flagship line!!!
He actually said that he couldn't hear the 6k difference.
I would also vote for the Paradigms. I personally think they sound much better than the B&W's.
I also think that the reason all your "audiophile" reviewers and retailers friends don't own Paradigms is because they have a low snob factor. Of course any poser would rather have the B&W Nautilus...oooh ahhh. Or any other esoteric brand name you can throw out there.
"Have you ever heard the (esoteric brand y) speaker?"
"Why no, I haven't"
"Well you just don't know what you are missing"
"Actually I'd be missing another $5k out of my pocket"
In the end it's all personal preference.
My personal feelings is why buy a Rolex when a Casio will get the job done just as well for a fraction of the price.
But many people buy speakers for reasons other than JUST sound.
Just my opinion.
I heard MANY great speakers but I feel that the Paradigms offer an excellent soundstage, solid build, and excellent transparency for a great price.
Audition whatever you can and buy what sounds best for your budget.
Joew made the greatest argument for the 7nt over the Ref. 80 of any contributor when asking why buy a Rolex when a Casio will do? Following that argument, why buy a Paradigm Reference when a Paradigm Monitor will do?! They both emit sound right?
The difference between the 7nt's and the Ref. 80 is all in the details (sonically and technically). I went through the same quandry you are but threw in some Def Techs, Sonus Fabers, and Vandersteens to really mix things up. It came down to the 100's (not the 80's) and the 7nt, both terrific speakers. I've been a musician for 29 years and played everything from jazz to alt rock. I think I know what particular instruments sound like. Bottom line is that the 7nt's transient response proved faster, the mid bass was significantly cleaner and more accurate, and the highs proved nothing short of remarkable in detail and extension. The 100's were more dynamic for sure and very musical. They are not fatiguing in any way. I recommend, however that rap your knuckles on the 7nt and the 80's, check out the cabinetry too. Check for visual as well as sonic details.
For me, the question came down to pure emotion. Pick your favorite track and see which one really excites you. Which gets your adrenaline going and makes you whisper "Wow" to yourself. For me it was the 7nt's. By far. In everything in life, it's the little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.
Good luck and have fun.
The above post gives some excellent advice. I heard the B&W 604's and compared with Paradigm Studio 60's. I chose the Paradigms based on emotion. The way the hair stood up on the back of my neck when I heard Nirvana's cover of Leadbelly's "Where did you sleep last night" sealed the deal. This is how you should choose speakers in my opinion. Hope you get something that makes your heart beat a little faster. Peace.
Funny how no one on the internet would buy B&W yet they are one of the best selling speakers in the world. Including pro use in recording studios.
B&W speakers are in at least two or three major electronics stores in every major city.
I had to go to a small independent shop to find Paradigms.
It's all about what the public sees. The average Joe is gonna buy what it is in front of him.
My final two choices were Paradigm 60 vs. 7NT and I chose the 7NT. I liked them both. The 7NT needs plenty of power and smooth electronics upstream or it will be harsh. I found a used B&K 200w amp and it really helped. Pre is an older British (Musical) Fidelity 3B and CD is Arcam FMJ23. Good luck.