I am considering purchasing a pair of Paradigm Persona 5Fs. I’ve spent sometime listening to them, on a couple occasions, and have the opportunity to audition them in my listening room. I’d like to know what others think of them, especially owners, but all comments welcome. Thanks!
Delphi the Paradigms are a way better loudspeaker than the Kef 205 we had both, the difference is the Kef 205 is much more forgiving and in particular the 205/203/207 had a slightly more colored midrange that was in fact quite beautiful.
If you heard the Paradigms at many dealers they might sound really poor unless they were really dialed in correctly, if you heard them at your place the other issue might be that your gear which works wonderfully well with a warmer loudspeaker the Kef 205 would probably not work well with the Paradigms.
If you let us know your room size, matching equipment, musical tastes we can give you a recommended loudspeaker that might work for you.
However, the newer Kef line Ref 3 are similar and sound dramatically better in all ways over the 205.2 that you have, however the midrange on them too will be a bit more neatural, but overall you will hear the similarities.
Also as noted kef is running a close out special on Ref 3 and 5 in rosewood and walnt that makes them espeically tempting.
If you are in our neck of the woods or can fly into our shop we have the entire Kef Reference line on display as well as most of the Pardigm Persona line as well plus a lot of other great loudspeakers.
Dave and Troy Audio Doctor NJ Kef Ref and Paradigm Persona dealers
The Persona’s sounded spectacular with Anthem electronics when I heard them in 2018 at Axpona. This is to be expected as the 2 companies are related. The Anthem electronics I heard have a form of room correction to help dial them in. A great match and speaker.
I struggle with a previous Kef owner liking the persona's. Being infatuated sure, even awestruck for a couple hours, but there's no comparison in how the speakers are voiced and i'm not saying one is better than the other, just different design goals.
Boy are your observations on target! Then there’s the electronics, the cables, the room, the furniture, carpet or lack thereof, and so many other variables. Finally, there’s our individual perceptions. Ah to have a large room filled with many choices at home! I guess the Paradigms, fine speakers, are just not for me. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to have them in my listening room for 2 weeks!
Do you owm the Personas now? They’re definitely a fine speaker and good looking too. For me, my room and electronics, they just seemed a on the harsh side in the upper end. I finally settled on DALI Epicon 8s. I find them very musical and have been enjoying them for over a year. No regrets!! But wouldn’t it be awesome to own them all!!!
Dali Epicon 8 speakers look sweet, I've always been interested in Dali. I had the Kef R105/3 with kube and bi amped they could push 114 db, freaking amazing, but I never got used to the missing mid bass hump we hear in most box speakers, also the tweeter lacked contrast compared to some speakers. I have a pair of persona 7f I demoed with 5 different amps over a year before deciding, talk about patience. Now they split time with my DSP8000se in the basement. What I think surprised me most about the persona 7f is how tight and articulate the bass is, They get all the accolades for the Be mid and tweeter I expected after some time to be let down by the bass, but they still impress.
There are speaker/amp combinations that fail to impress. I bought a pair of salon 2's after being smitten and after 6 months at home I'd had enough. The gent that bought them off me loved em connected to a pair of mac 601's.
I was a long term KEF owner. 107s for 26 years as well as others incl 205.3 and 205.2. I lites to current Ref 3 and 5 and Blades. All sounded great but not a huge improvement over the 205.2s. Fine speakers one and all. To my ear the Dali’s have a better low end and a musical quality with an enormous soundstage. I currently power them wit McIntosh MC462. One year in and they still sound awesome.
I auditioned the 5f's vs B&W 802 D3's with Classe Amp/Pre. Extremely tight bass, but way too bright of a speaker for my taste. The B&W sounded more real and had much warmer bass. Maybe a synergy thing also.
I had the R 107/2 at the same time as the R 105/3 and surprisingly the 107/2 was bright in comparison, more deep bass and the 105/3 was colored in the mids...A speaker can be bright if it isn't harsh or colored. If I put the personas too close to a reflective surface I start to notice some congestion in the mids that I have no tolerance for, but I set them up 5' from the sidewalls or absorb the first reflection point at the wall I have to have the speaker closer too and playback is natural. I notice most speakers in this price range deed similar care in setup.