I just spent bunch of time auditioning the Paradigm S8s as an upgrade to my venerable Vandersteen 2C's and $35 garage-sale Technics receiver. I wanted to be able to do HT, but whatever system I bought had to be able to do music well first, and be competent at HT, as well.
Found a brand-new Anthem AVM-20 and MCA-50 at 20% off, and went ahead and made that big plunge without doing a lot of thinking about it. I had heard it and found no obvious flaws--I'd rather listen than spend hours researching equipment. The AVM-20 is incredibly flexible, capable and built with good hardware. Of course, it helps that hubby is an electrical engineer to help me decipher the lingo (we mechanical types tend to get impatient when the different video formats are explained---S-video vs component vs. composite---huh?).
Anyway, the system with the 2Cs and the Anthem equipment is sounding better than ever. The Anthems appear to meet my needs for music and HT for the foreseable future. And the AVM-20 software can be updated over the Internet--nerd heaven!
My point, and I do have one. Back to speakers.
I love my old Vandersteens, so I auditioned the S8s against Vandersteen 3A signatures, which continue to get glowing reviews.
Finally got the dealer to put both speakers in the same room using the same electronics I now have. All I could tell from going between rooms with differing acoustics is that the two systems were different, and both were fine speakers, but which was "better?"
Once both speakers were in the same room, it was no contest, really. The S8 was more detailed, and I could hear things in the music that I hadn't heard with the Vandersteens. Better imaging, and just more musical. But they did all this without being bright or brash or fatiguing (which I am very sensitive to).
The Vandersteen 3As are fine speakers, I thought the S8s were finer for the music I listen to. I'll be placing my order for a Paradigm Signature surround system anchored by the S8s this weekend. Guess I've gone Canadian.
As an engineer, I am also appreciative of the the analytical engineering effort that Paradigm seems to put into their systems.
Other systems I listened to? B&W (which I have never liked, for some reason. Very competent, but . . . ) and Sonus Faber (incredibly fatiguing), JM Labs (not bad, but . . .) and Infinity Prelude (which seemed to sap the life out of the music).
Long answer to a short question, but yes, definitely worth a listen.