B W vs. Paradigm


Atlantic Technology 450THX speakerss

You might want to compare the B&W CDM 9NT to the Paradigm Studio 100s. The 9NT uses the same driver compliment as the N804 in a less costly but very elegant cabinet and is said to have more apparent bass than the N804, which is especially relevant for HT applications. And, the 9NT is much closer to the price of the Studio 100 than the N804 ($2,600/pr, I believe).

I compared the 9NT directly to the Studio 100s with familiar recordings in the same room with all the same ancillary gear and the 9NT was the more natural sounding speaker, without any doubt. Vocals and instruments sounded smoother and more authentic, and the high frequencies were not as spitty/tizzy as they seemed on the Studio 100s.

The Paradigm Studio 100 may have a more extended bass response, which didn't come into play with the music recordings I heard, but may offer an advantage for HT in that regard -- if you're not planning to use a dedicated subwoofer. If you expect to use a subwoofer in the system then I would say that going with the B&Ws would doubtless provide more satisfactory results. I bought the B&Ws and am very pleased with them.
To a point, I much agree with the last gentlmen's recommendations!...Either the B&W CDM's or Nautilus's are a better sounding speaker than the Studio 100's!!
I've sold both of these lines and "specific" speakers! I can say that, while the Studio's are Decent enough, they're not superb in my oppinion!...they're clean, pretty tight, but not as refined and clear/transparent as others!...they're a little colored/warm. While I've heard amazing perfomance/sound out of both the Nautilus and CDM B&W's for 2 channel and HT applications when set-up corrrectly, I can say I've only heard just OK sound from the Studio's!!!
However, this is just an oppinion, and I could easily see someone enjoying the heck out of either of these speakers you mentioned!...especially if your just running a Lexicon MC1!...which heavilly favors Digital Surround dubties over audiopihle 2 channel playback!
Either way, however, you'll have to cut any of these speakers off at around 50/60 hz on your MC-1 pre/pro for home theater dubties!...NO FULL RANGE SPEAKER (OR BOOKSHELF FOR THAT MATTER) can handle full range DD/DTS bass information without distorting or sounding week and flabby sounding!!!!(unless they have built in amps driving large woofers!!!)...you need to drive em with hi-pass cuttoff a bit higher and let the subs do the work!!!...DEFINITITLY!
Also, if you want any semblance of hi-end audiophile grade 2 channel playback on the speakers (...WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN PURCHASED FIRST REALLY!), You should use an better quality external 2 channel preamp, or at least a CD player dirrect (volume control needed) into an amp!! That MC1 is only going to sound marginal sonically on 2 channel aplications on it's own!...it really is much better on surround sound digital dubties...
So, anyway, in summing, I've extensive experience with both B&W (CDM's and Nautilus and Matrix) and Paradigm's (Studio 100's and such, set-up with CC450 center and rears), and can say that, for the money, between the B&W line and Paradigms, I think you would definitely definitely be pleased (for most applications) the B&W CDM 9NT's!!! They're very very nice sounding for the money, sound great in either 2 channel or HT applications (when set-up correctly that is), and will save you money over the Nautilus's!!! However, if you want to spend more money, you would surely be pleased with the Nautilus 804's to say the least!...just don't think you need to really. If that is your considering a much less expensive speaker like the Studio 100's in the first place!...but the Studio's just aren't for me.
In the end, it's all good...some are just "gooder" than others!...enjoy
Whether you buy the B&Ws or the Paradigms, you are in for a treat. I have a seven year old set of B&W DM 630s that I use for two channel listening, and like the comments above, they are detailed and present a great sound stage. Vocals are clear and crisp. I find with the two eight inch drivers I don't need a subwoofer with this system because as long as it is not pushed to ear splitting levels the bass comes through. For my theater I am using Paradigm mini monitors, center channel, and a Definitive 15 inch powered sub. I agree again with the above. These speakers are a little warmer than the B&Ws, but I still love watching movies with them. I second the subwoofer recommendation from above. If you're going to watch movies, you need one. I don't like them for music, too many people turn the crossovers and volume to far up, but if you're watching Arnold Schwarzneger, you gotta have one. Another speaker in you're category is NHT. I just listened to the 2.9s today. They sound great, but not good enough to make me want to trade my B&Ws in yet. Have fun.

what are the characteristics of your room?

bright and reflective or absorbing and mellow?

the B&W's which are very forward may be a bit bright in a very reflective room

the Paradigm's which are a little warmer work better in a highly reflective room

THe B&W's are a slight bit more revealing

have you listened to the Van Schwiekert VR 4's?

I would position the speakers along the long dimension of the room if possible (I have a 15 by 27 room myself)
When I went searching for loudspeakers I auditioned several B&W and Paradigm loudspeakers; I also auditioned a few other brands. My requirements where, and still are, 70% music and 30% movies. While I found that the Paradigm Monitor line was colored and had a muddied presentation the Paradigm Reference line was anything but. In fact, I chose the Reference 60's over anything in the B&W line I had listened to (well, except the Nautilus 801's or 802's :)).

I disagree with Avdcreations assertion that you can't listen to DD/DTS with the Paradigms set to full-range without "weak" or "flabby" bass. Though I admit if you expect bone-crushing, skin peeling, wall-shaking bass then unpowered woofers probably do sound pretty weak. It also depends to some extent on the size of your room. In my system I run the Paradigm's full-range with a Hsu Research VTF-2 powered sub for frequencies below 60 Hz.

As always, try before you buy. I would even go so far as to recommend that you take it slowly. Buy the B&W's or the Paradigms and watch a bunch of movies with them set to full-range and then "small" over the course of several weeks, or even months. Then go audition subwoofers. It is easier to know the difference a new component makes if you are very familiar with how your system performs under a variety of conditions.
WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? Notice how everyone else took the time and effort to type in the lower case? Much more considerate and easier on everyone's eyes.

Considering the 804s vs. the 100s for a home theater application seems a little silly unless you have an extra $1000 burning a hole in your pocket. As others noted, the bass capabilities of the 100s swamp that of the 804s, which when combined with the cost savings makes a hard argument for the 804s in a home theater application. I agree with others that the 9NT is a much more appropriate contender.

You might also consider the Axiom speakers(see reviews on Soundstage!.com) that will likely acquit themselves very well vs. the others in a home theater system and save you a ton of dough. Best of luck.