Paradigm S4 , Revel F32, Revel M22 , EPOS

Let me start off by saying, I am an idiot. I had B&W N805, CDM CSE and LM-1's with Cary 572SE (2 Channel) and NAD T762(5 Channel). I moved to Rogue M150's (2 Channel-Same NAD). Then I moved to Paradigm 100v3 (based on Stereophile review) (same electronics). Weeks later, I sold the Paradigms and bought Magnepan 3.6r's,CC3,MGMC1's. Then I sold the Rogue, sold the NAD, bought Anthem MCA 50 amp, Outlaw 990 pre-pro, and VTL MB450's. I just sold the Maggie set-up. I am more concerned with 2 channel music, but will build 5.1 when I find the right front speakers. I am thoroughly lost. I have a sub...but WILL NOT USE IT FOR 2 Channel music. Ultimately, I missed the intimacy of my original system. I listen to a lot of Yes, Zeppelin, Beatles, and other mellower (adult) music. (I know I have the musical taste of a 15 year old). I am afraid the Revel F32's will not "disappear" like my BRIGHT 805's did. PLEASE LIMIT MY BRAIN TO THE ABOVE OPTIONS.

Yesfan, you have great taste in music. I have had my F32's now for about 18months. I love 'em. On Yes's Heart of the Sunrise and Starship Trooper they really bring out the vocals and keep Squires Bass lines in good tight formation.
I also have the M22's which I used for a time as front speakers in conjunction with my Velo DD12 SW ,while I patiently awaited the F32's on back order at the time.
I at times thought maybe I should cancel the F32's and get 2 more M22's, they do a great job with a sub. But now that I have the F32's I am glad I hung in there. I do suppliment them with the sub but that is my personnal taste. I just want to add my humble opinion here "Never appologize for your taste in music, it is for your ears and you pay for it so enjoy it" unless of course it's country......jus kidding


Here is were I come clean about the Paradigm Signature S4.

** Disclaimer ** Everything from this point on is my opinion and I don’t mean to offend anyone...

About two years back I was searching for speakers and I WANTED B&W Nautilus 803 ... never heard them but I wanted them. I have come a long way since then. I hooked up with the local B&W dealer and listened to the 803's and just didn’t like em. In fact it was not a pleasant experience at all. At that time I was more of a nubbie than I am now, so I didn’t bother to look at what was powering them, the music source, cables or anything else for that matter. I walked out disappointed and headed to the next shop ... listened to the Paradigm Sig S4's ... fell in love and we were married. Again - I didn’t look at what was feeding them. It's now been a couple of years since the honeymoon and I think I want a divorce.

Not that they haven’t been great speakers ... my system went from a home theater to a two channel tubed hi-bread. I went from being totally disappointed in the S4's to mildly to now quite impressed.

I primarily listened to rock when I bought the S4's : Zep, Rush, Dire Straights, Steely Dan, Phish, Yes, and the like. Through careful prodding I have now gone to more Jazz, Blues, Reggae, delicate female vocals and I'm just starting to get into Classical. This has put new demands on the S4's and I think I am ready to go to a bit more substantial speaker. I'm looking at Revel, B&W Nautilus 800's and JM Labs Utopia. I now love the B&W Nautilus 800's (thanks Mitch) I was a victim of not paying attention. It won’t happen again. I'm not trying to knock the S4's in any way ... I'm not expecting them to run toe to toe with an $18,000 pair of B&W's. That being said - my demands have changed. I'm still not a fan of the 803's or 805's but that’s more ME than them. They are great speakers in there own right - they are just not a good match for my system and musical taste. When I read your post it sounded so much like me - I had to give you my 2 cents.

For rock I think the S4's are great but a little lean in the bass end. It makes sense - they are fairly compact. For their size they never cease to amaze me. At $3000+ I have been a little scared to push them into that REALLY loud, "I had one too many beers" zone. I added a Paradigm Seismic 12 to try to fill in the low end. It's really great for rock - the Seismic can cause heart failure but again it just never sounded right to me. I'm now running them bi-amped with a couple of older Levinson amps. No problem with power what so ever ... my number 27 never breaks a sweat and neither does the 23.5. To be honest the sub is overkill and doesn’t match up well at all for any kind of delicate music at least not to my ears. I now almost never have it on. The sub just doesn’t work with my 2 channel system. I have tried really low volume, low cut off, and a few other tricks I picked up from the forum ... still it's just not quite what I want.

Back to the S4's
Jazz and female vocals are stunning to me ... keep in mind I don’t have the ear that some of you do. High frequency doesn’t sound bright at all to me, yet I have seen the S4's bashed for this. The vocal range is where they really shine. Just stunning to me ... Classical seems to push them into overdrive at times. They are just too small to handle extreme dynamic swings. I also have some live rock stuff that seems to stress them as well. I have taken a beating on more than one occasion for loving the S4's but I have had them now for two years ... changed everything around them and watched them transform into a fantastic sounding speaker. If I had an apartment and listened to Jazz, Blues and vocal driven music primarily, I'd put them up against the best.

We seem to listen to very similar music and have similar equipment upgrade experiences. I don’t think the S4's are where you want to go. The S4 can give you the intimacy you seek but you have to “feed” them correctly and in my opinion, they have the same bass/SPL limitations all speakers that size do. My next speaker choice will have at least a 10" bass driver and I can move the sub straight into the HT arena where it really shines.

PS-I guess that makes me an idiot to - but a happy one.
Thank you for such an extensive response. I am leaning toward the revel f32's, but i am afraid that floorstanders will not disappear the way monitors do. Nonetheless, thank you!.

Oh yeah....someone just suggested Von Schweikert 4 jr' i am going to blow my brains out now :)