I have the active 40s. They are dirven by an Antheum AVM2. They are also paired with active center, surrounds and Servo 15 sub. The system is fantastic!!
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I just recently auditioned the 80s and 100s. Both are great speakers. The 80s, to me, sounded warmer, but at some points also seemed sloooowww. The 100s on the other hand, while seemingly more open, with some songs tended towards the bright side. Ultimately, for me, had I the choice between the two I would have taken the 80s, but my room size and amplification has a lot to do with that choice, as it should with you. The bass on both is equal to that of speakers I've since heard in double the price range.
I don't know your musical preferences or financial flexibility, but my strongest recoomendation is to really listen to more speakers, from different manufacturers. Once you've made your choice, go out and listen again! Seriously, by then you'll know what you like and dislike. And if you find you like something more expensive than Paradigms look on the used market and be patient. Good Luck
I run my Paradigm Studio Reference 100 v.2's with an Arcam 10 Integrated (100 w/channel) and an Arcam 8SE CD front. I am very pleased, although I would note that the Arcam products, while super fast, clean and accurate, are a bit laid back in the high end. The positive qualities of the Arcam products (soundstage, imaging, bass reproduction and just plain musicality) match well with the Paradigms and far outweigh any hesitancy in the high end.
The Paradigm 100 v.2's are extremely neutral speakers with an outstanding accuracy in the mids and low end. I would recommend a mid fi solid state integrated amp or equivalent separates. Rotel, Arcam, Bryston or Adcom products will work well. Were I to buy new separates for my Paradigms I would match an Adcom GFP-750 Preamp to a Bryston 4B-ST. This would be bliss for my budget.
If you are going into the stratosphere with amps, then you will want to buy something other than Paradigm speakers.
I've owned a pair of Studio 60's for over a year now. They have been driven by a Denon receiver, a NAD 2400 power amp, and B&K AV6000 multi-channel power amp. With the separates I used both a Rotel and a B&K A/V preamp. I wanted something that was involving and enjoyable to listen to on a variety of material (from classical and jazz to rock). Ultimately, I found the B&K pre- and power amps to be the best match for the Sudio 60's. Although I haven't auditioned them, I would suggest that you listen to the Odyssey Audio Stratos power amp. And, as I always do, I encourage you to audition several pre- and power amps before making a decision.
In regards to jeades comments, let it be known if he's only heard the 100s with the componets he mentioned...he ain't heard nothing. I managed a store that was a Paradigm dealer and we would always hook them up to our best gear. These speakers sound as good as anything under 5K, but you'll only know that when you hook them up to top quality gear. Without breaking the bank a McCORMACK DNA 125 and the Audible Iluusions mod3a made owners of systems costing double weep.
I purchased a pair of Studio 60's when the REFERENCE line first appeared several years ago. I am presently running them with an Adcom 545II and a Theta Digital Pre Basic II. Due to limited funds my system is probably a little strange,but it works for me(you know the deal, buying what you can when you can). I find every aspect of the audio picture that these speakers presents to be in contention with speakers costing three and four times the price. If your musical tastes lean towards classical and jazz Paradigm Reference speakers are probably this best speakers on the market for under 4k.
I have a set of Studio 80s that I purchased used off this site and I am very satisfied with their sound. They are driven by an Adcom 6000 (5 channel amp, 100 x 3 and 60 x 2) mated to an HK Signature 2.0 preamp/processor and an HK DVD50. They are hooked up using some *original* Monster Cable speaker wire (the horror, the horror) that I got from the hi-end store where I used to work in early 80s. The sound is smooth, detailed, well-staged, and they can play LOUD when required - like when when my wife and kids are outta the house [smile].
The cabinets are very well made and look terrific, mine are in the rosenut wood. I know there are better speakers out there - but for what I paid I cannot complain. In fact, these will just have to do for the next 5 years or so - and, to tell the truth, I ain't suffering much [big smile]...
Hi:i have a pair of ref 40 v-2,i have them hooked up to a sim audio moon i-5 and resolution transport and dacs,i'll tell you that these speakers are very,very good,i know some people call them mid-fi,well heck i've been trying to replace them for the last 6 months,i brought over a pair of talon khites($4000),pro ac 2s(2,500) and a couple of other brands in the 2 to 3k price range and not only could i not justify the price difference but in my room(20x15)the paradigms sounded much better than all of them,go figure i ended up rewiring them w/dh-labs t-14 wire which made a noticeble upgrade now they're hi-fi i guess?
I own a pair of Reference 60s (used for home theater) and recently for fun I decided to hook them up to my Sim W5, Wadia CDP all Cardas wiring, and wow! They sounded amazing. Bass was tight and well defined, mids were clean and the music just sounded so good it amazed me that I was getting the sound I was, very easy to listen to with great dynamics and good pace. For under 1500 dollars it does a nice job with 2 channel, no question, and betters stuff I have heard costing much more. If I was to give one critisism it would be they are just not as refined as some of the more traditinal 2 channel speakers available. I am sure this might be system dependent to a degree, but IMO ultimate clarity, especially in the vocals and highs in general they fall short to speakers like Dynaudios and Proacs just to name a couple examples. Nonetheless they are very musical and again for the price hard to beat and simply amazing for home theater, just my 2 cents. good listening.
I am thinking of purchasing Klipsch RF-311 (complete system). I was wonder if I would be better off buying Studio/40/20 and Studio/CC. I have a 10 Velodyne I am happy with. I am using a Sony 555ES for power. I will have to buy them used. I have been checking e-bay. Any suggestion would be helpfull. Thank you Mark
I've had the Paradigm 60's and servo 15/x-30 for about three years. Mainly used for two channel for the first two years then migrated to home theater. For the price they are one of the best deals out there. Like all good speakers, or any speaker for that matter, amplification plays a big part in what the speaker conveys (assuming proper source/front end). I have built a number of amps using several topologies and power output and have discovered that they really sing with the Pass designed aleph amp at 100wpc. the 200wpc version had a whole lot more authority and slam, but a minor modicum of sweetness was lost in the uppers. The added bonus with these amps is you can roast your marshmallows while listening to music ;-)
For home theater in an average size room with average reflective surfaces/acoustics, a studio 60, cc, adp, servo 15 combo is very hard to beat, period. I know, I just spent untold thousands upgrading.
I agree that the better your upstream components are, the better the Paradigm Reference Studio/100 v.2 speakers sound!
These speakers have MAJOR POTENTIAL!Read Robert Deutsch's review in the June 2000 issue of Stereophile where he states that:"While the Sudio/100 v.2 is forgiving of less- than-pristine electronics, it benefits from being combined with a top-notch digital source, electronics, and cables."
He also states that:"...Paradigms Sudio/100 v.2 is most certainly a serious high-end contender, and a formidable one for just about any speaker in its price range and even well above".
Every time I upgrade components or borrow high-end components for my system, the Paradigms sound better and better.They are never embarrased by them or become the "weak-link" in the signal chain!
I recently purchased a Pass Labs X-2.5 preamp, and borrowed a friends Pass Labs X-350 power amp and hooked it into my system.Oh my God!I could not belive how good the Paradigms sounded with this combination!They were not embarrased by this high-dollar electronics at all.Instead, they sounded OPEN,OPEN,OPEN!Smooth, neutral, dynamic, airy, transparent,holograhic 3-D imaging, exceptional bass!In a word,EVERYTHING!!
If you have these speakers, do not skimp on electronics, front-ends, or cables.If you do, you will never realize their VERY SUBSTANTIAL POTENTIAL!