Paradigm 9SEMKIII... Dark Speakers?

Hey Folks

Welp, ive really had a decent chance to get aquainted with the Paradigm's ive replaced my radioshack speakers with.

Man these speakers are pretty dark.

Im running a Denon 3805 as a pre, a Denon POA2800 amp (200wpc), and typical lamp cord style monster cable.

I was never too sure what somebody meant when they referred to speakers as "Dark" but now i really know.

When i crank them they sound fantastic and really come to life, but with lower level listening they are so dark they come across as depressing!

Has anyone else owned a pair of these and had similar experiences? It is not the accoustics of the room as that room tends to be a bit bright.

Anybody have any reccommendations to brightening up the sound a little bit? Low Cost? They ARE bi-wireable and i was thinking of wiring up the upper end with silver cable. think that might help? im using copper for now, not bi-wired

these speakers were never intended to be a permamant fixture in my system, but as something to replace the Radioshackers untill i can get something better.

Also... Just curious, i dont have a lot of experience with paradigms, but i have noticed sifferent speaker brands have different flavors to them. Would this be the paradigm sound? Or is this something specific to this model?
Slappy, got any white spray paint ?
Just bustin yer chops, maybe the silver wire could brighten them up a bit (little more liveliness) @ low levels.
A couple brews of your choice and some attractive company might help too !


I'm afraid I'm not much help but here is a website that has a dedicated thread to Paradigm Speakers:

I'm in no way affiliated with the website other than I find it a friendly community.

I have a pair of 7seIII's in my dining room. They have a bit of a boomy low end (not to the point that it's offensive to me), and the high end isn't as bright as my totems, nor my Infinitys. If this is what you're experiencing, I think that may be the Paradigm sound . . . at least for the 5-7-9 se line up.
Sorry, I can't help with how to brighten them up.

I have the 5SEMKIII. Dark? Not sure if that is the correct word. Lacking in ultimate detail and suffering from boxiness somewhat? Yes. Kick butt bass? Without a doubt.

I did find bi-wiring to be a noticeable improvement over the crappy jumpers. I also agree that when you crank them they sound much better, they really like to rock. AC/DC baby!

I have never tried silver cabling with the speakers. I have wanted to as I think it will improve the resolution but my $$ is tied up in other areas right now.

All in all though, they aren't perfect but I really enjoy them. Their faults are more of omission if anything.

I would give the silver cabling (Signal cable maybe?) a whirl, bi-wired.

Good luck,
I auditoned Snells vs. Paradigms many years ago. The Snells easily bested the Para's, esp in the mids/highs. And Snell was once described as Boston Bland. Anyway, I never heard Paradigm's sound 'right' although I respect completely the Canadian model of spkr manufacture. I still have old Energy 3s and wouild use them if not for dead tweeters after countless years of uh, use.
Many spkrs sound good loud, it is low-level listening that separates the big boys from the girlie-men. I agree tha bi-wires May help, and perhaps lighter room furnishings. Does the Denon have tone controls? If so Try a subtle +1/+2 setting, and perhaps backing off the bass a bit. My pre has +/- 1 and 2 settings, period! First, do no harm! Good luck Slappy, and please let us know what replaces the Para's if/when you get there.
i had the 9se mk3 speakers and had the same issue you have. I eventually had to sell 'em and got a pair of nht 2.5s. i've heard all of other models from the se line, and none of them exhibit the same "dark" characteristic as the 9s do.
Slap Man-
You have a pair of decent speakers.
I had the 9se mkIII's many years ago and you can beat the s%it out of them! 93 dB,8 ohm if my memory is right.

You arent hearing low volume detail because they don't have high frequency extention.It is rolled off,as is the bass.
They have a mid bass bump that will throw you off your chair! Great rock n roll speakers!
These speakers have a very pleasing midrange and do work well with some silver thrown in.
Get a pair of Baby Cryo interconnects that you see on auction here.
I bid and won a pair for ~$25.
Put them between your pre and amp.
I tried them but they made my highs too bright and forward.
I would give you the Baby Cryo's but a friend 'borrowed' them from me.
Again Slap,the 9se is a nice speaker.

Slap-To answer your question about the 'paradigm sound'..When I went from the 9se to Paradigm Studio Reference speakers,the differences were as night and day.
In fact,the Reference V-1 line has a tweeter that many referred to as tizzy or bright.This line has good low volume detail.I never felt my 80 V-1's were bright though.
As you go up the Studio Reference line V-2,V-3 you will notice a substantial improvement between each.I dont think Paradigm has a 'house sound'
If you can possibly swing it,I would look long and hard for a mint pair of Studio Reference 60 V-1's.I think you would be a very happy Slappy!

I am using the 7semkIII as my mains, the cc300 for center on the Yamaha vsx-657. I am curious as to what Radio Shack speakers Slappy had used before--what his ears were used to. Compared to my Infinity Kappa 8.1, the Magnepan MMG, the little Advent Prodgiy towers, Pinnacle PN8+,6+ and even the Mach Two, the 7se mkIII are my favorite. (I record my own music and like to have a variety of systems to get the right eq settings.) The Paradigm sound is the most balanced, in my opinion. Not quite as revealing as the Kappa speakers, and not nearly as ear frying as the Advents but similar to the MMG with a lot more bass. The Paradigms have incredible bass management-huge without ever sounding loose or boomy like the Mach Two system did. The Kappas are a tad lean on bass for me. Anyone reading this shopping for used Paradigm speakers, hope this helps you. When it comes to money, all speakers I can own compromise somewhere in performance. Paradigms are the most satisfying in my opinion.