I have the Studio series 10 ver 5 in my office. I am very familiar with the B&W product. Night and day. Paradigm costs a lot less too.
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Thanks everyone. I think it's turning out to be the Paradigm's.
I demo'd the two and even thought the B&W's sounded better; only slightly. The slight difference wasn't enough for me to cough up twice as much, plus no dealer was going under $650.00.
Now someone told me to check out the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1. Oi! Decisions!
I think Paradigm's generally are better at low end response. I was disappointed with my 685s bass, obviously its a bookshelf speaker (only goes to 49Hz), but I did not have the $$$ for floorstanders. So I saved up and bought a sub. Now my system goes deeper than any floorstander I have ever researched or listened to (25Hz). If I could find one that went that low, I probably couldn't afford it!
One of my all time favorite budget speakers is the Paradigm Mini-Monitor. Although I have not had much time with the v.5 stuff, the v.3 and v.4 versions were VERY good for the money. You might see if you could squeeze your budget and move up to the SE1 though. From what I hear, that is a killer little monitor at a fantastic value. :)
I bought a pair of Mini Monitors just a couple of months ago. As discussed, I compared them to the B&W 685s. I've always been a big fan of B&W, but liked the Paradigms better, especially at that price point. I came across some additional cash and decided to sell them and spend more on a pair of Sonus Faber Toys (nice deal for $875). But for about $500 bucks, I think the Mini Monitors are one of the best bookshelf speakers out there.