Paradigm bookshelf speakers...

Would a high quality but relatively small amp (like the 50wpc Creek Evolution 50a) work with the Paradigm Reference Studio 10 v 5, or do the latter need more power? What about the Paradigm Signature Reference S1?
It will work so yes, but it really depends on how close you listen and how loud you want them to play. It is rare that a bookshelf can fill a large room no matter the amp. It gets tricky with moderate spaces and moderately loud volumes. You need some power "head room" for those occassions. Most people listen with very little power going into the speaker so it comes down to the quality of that power.
Thanks, Mechans. This is for a small room (9 by 10); I will be able to pull the speakers out a few feet from the rear wall. I am not planning to listen loud. Your answer makes me think the Paradigms might work...I lean more to the Studio 10s because the S1s are a lot for my budget...
I had the Studio 10s recently. My impression of them was that they like power. If I'm reading the impedance graphs on the Studio 10s correctly, they spend a good bit of time dipping down into the 4 ohm range.

They had good bass for a speaker their size. My room doesn't have a lot of treatments. Bare walls and tile floors and my experience was that they can get bright and a bit thin in the mid range. I just couldn't listen to the likes of Nora Jones or Cyndi Lauper. It was so shrill that the hairs on the back of my neck would stand up. They were also pretty forward, although this may have worked itself out with more breaking in.

If the amp you're looking at can provide the power down to 4 ohms and has more of a laid back character and your room is setup for them, it could work.

The 10 did pretty well for music, but where I thought they really excelled was home theater. The little speaker can provide some slam.
As Mechans noted, it depends on your room size and listening levels and music choices. As far as the speaker is concerned, its sensitivity is a good spec to consider -- higher sensitivity needs less power.

The Studio 10 is a little larger than the Signature S1 yet the S1 is one dB more efficient. The key difference between the two to me, is that the S1 is a sealed design. That means its bass will roll off with a 2nd order slope, where as, the ported Studio 10 will roll off with a 4th order slope. This also tends to affect group delay -- sealed designs have better (lower) group delay.

Sadly, you don't see many acoustic suspension designs these days. It doesn't matter the manufacturer, small speakers cannot make clean bass and shouldn't try. Adding a port to extend the bass response just causes problems. Properly integrate a sealed sub to extend the bass response seems a wiser approach to me.

With that in mind, there's always NHT and more recently Wharfedale's Jade series has some sealed (and almost sealed) models. Look at the Jade 1 and Jade 3.

any reason why you are focused on the 10 or S1?

I had the 20 v.5 decked out with brass footers on 2" maple plinths and they sounded really good. plenty of bass detail and stage, albeit, you need to run them at moderate volumes to appreciate them. But I had a 300 watt bryston amp driving them.

I auditioned the 10 vs 20 and for the little $ more, it was a no brainer to get the 20's. The S2's were even better better and I almost got them months later.

unless space is a constraint, I would take a listen to the bigger cuginos of your choices

Did you prefer the 20 because they had more bass and played louder or because they sounded better? In all of the places that I tried the 10s and 20s, the 10s had a better mid range than the 20s.

the 20's definitely had more bass and better lows, and when played at normal to moderate volumes, overall better sound to me, especially over amped on my system. In the low volume range, the 10 is comparable to the 20's where the details are not drawn out so well. A bose wave radio would give both competition at low levels.

but my last memory of the 20's is decked out with footers and plinths which I never did hear the 10's with.

in retrospect, if I had bought the S2's, I probably would have stopped there, but the 20's left me wondering too much for more.
Photonman, I'll tell ya, if you like the Paradigm sound, be sure to check out the Studio 40 v3, if you have the opportunity. In my experience, they were the best of the line.
There was an S4 version back when, that I would have loved for the bookshelf 3-way format.