Paradigm studio 20 vs 60? Help please

So, Im currently somewhat locked into paradigm because of my trade up issues at my local audio store, but that's okay because I do like the sound I'm getting out of the v.5 studio series. My initial plan was to upgrade until I got to studio 60's, and then call it good for awhile, and now that I have the chance to do so (for $650), I'm starting to question if I actually want to go through with it. My concern is that I really like my studio 20's and wonder if stepping down from a 6.5 inch driver to a 5.5 inch driver with two extra 5.5 inch "midbass drivers" (crossed over at 500 hz) is going to add much to my listening experience. I've always liked monitor sized speakers, and now that I'm researching it I'm finding out that more drivers isn't always better because of conflicting dispersion from numerous drivers, more reflection off walls, etc. I'm new to this hobby, and know there are some really knowledable folks here to help steer me in the right direction, so thank you to all who respond, and please, this is only between the studio 20 and studio 60, both v.5. I know there are probably better speakers in this same price range but I'm currently somewhat locked into these speakers. Thanks again!
60s midrange driver to me is a step down from 20s. It's apparent with rock music where 60s totally collapse at morderately loud volume. I understand you have Paradigm brand restriction. S2s? S2s smoke 20s in every possible way IMO.
i use the 20 V.5 in my third system and think there great. I've heard the 60's many times and don't feel there on par with the great little 20's. My 20's didn't fully excel until I got some Cardas Clear speaker cables.
The 60's are quite good too and will give you a bit more low frequency extension but loose out in just about every other perimeter.
The Signature series seem very thin to me.
Tmsorosk, you have $2500 speaker cable for a pair of $1500 (msrp) speakers!?! Ouch!
Anyhow, thanks for the advice guys, and confirming some slight suspensions that I had about the studio 60's vs. the studio 20's.
I'm starting to think my $650 would be better spent on cullen power cords, some gik room acoustics, and some speaker and equipment stands.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this matter before this thread dies off? Thanks again!!
B_limo. It just so happens that I auditioned both Studio 20s and 60s about a year ago when I bought my first pair of hi-fi speakers. I remember enough to say that I didn't feel like one speaker was significantly better than the other: each had its own tradeoffs compared to the other. Couldn't you just go in and listen to each? That would surely answer the question for you. And, if you plan to use the $650 for speaker stands (among other things), perhaps you should just put the $650 toward the Studio 60, anyway. It partly depends on what else you have or don't have in your system, I suppose.
I did go and listen to both speakers lastnight side by side. We were using the same exact set-up for each as we had to disconnect one pair and using the same speaker cable, connect it to the other pair. The studio 60's had way more bass. It was in a large room and the difference was not subtle at all. Im going to go ahead and get the 60's in a week and I'll report back once I've listened to them for awhile in my own rig. I did have the studio 10's before the 20's so I'm familiar with the strenghts of the 20's over the 10's. Im just hoping that at high volumes the 60's don't "collapse" under high volumes like Kz suggested. Anyways, like I said, I'll report back once I get them! Thanks!
Ive owned a ton of Paradigms. Keep the 20's IMO. If you want to upgrade get away from paradigm from my experience. The S2 V1's I had were nice too. Above 1k used Paradigms value drops off(Studio 20's & S2)
Sthomas, Dang you, makin me question myself again...
Have you owned both the studio 20's and studio 60's (both v.5)? If so please tell me what your thoughts are. I guess I could try selling my 20's used for $900 and put $600 with it and buy something used for $1500...
Dynaudio 140 used, priced under $1500 here on A'gon. The refreshed model 160's MSRP is somewhere close to $3k.
B_limo. If you have Focal (816V) or Dynaudio in your area, it's worth auditioning those, too. Both offer substantial improvements over both Paradigm Studio 60s and 100s, but without skyrocketing in price. When I was first searching for speakers, I auditioned the 20s, 60s, and 100s side by side, then the Focal 816V (same day, on two different occasions). First impressions got me hooked on the Focals, and I came in determined I was going to walk out with the Studio 60s. I later heard some $2800 Dynaudio floorstanders. No doubt they bettered the Focals, but in my mind it wasn't worth another $800 plus tax. I think the 816V by Focal (JM Lab) offered the best performance/value ratio at that price point. In Canada, you might get them new for $1900, and obviously less if you can find a used pair. Something to consider, I suppose, if you want a quite substantial upgrade, but without paying much more than originally planned.

On the other hand, maybe you'll just be happy with the Studio 60s. It's not like they're bad speakers, and you sound like you'd be quite excited to get your hands on a pair.

All the best with your decisions. :)
I purchased the 20v5 over the 60's after auditioning both and found the 20's with a good sub produced a clearer mid range and depth. Just throwing my 2 cents in the ring.
Aaronknock, There is a pair of pair of focal 806v's for sale locally for $500. I do have a nice sub that I am currently using. Do you think I should but the focal 806v's?

Kzhtoo, those dynaudio 140's look nice too! I like dynaudio quite a bit. Something also to consider.

Thanks for the input guys. It's funny, all of a sudden my paradigms have started to sound a little bright / harsh / shrill, whatever. The power of suggestion, or just someone else pointing out things that maybe I wasn't really tuned into? Anyways, seems to have been changing daily lately, but I think I am getting the itch to try something more laid back and less revealing. It would be nice if I could just spend $500-$600 at first, then I wouldn't have to part with the studio 20's right away...
I think you have take a lot of the advise you've been given with a grain of salt, since we don't know the size of your room, the amp you're using, or the type of music you like. Will the speakers be used for home theater as well?

I have older (v.2) 60's and 20's in my HT set up. If you have enough room to position the 60's and if you have enough power (at least 100w), the 60's are the better all around speaker. Contrary to other opinions, the 60's are great rockers in my experience. In a smaller room (say 10x12x8 or less) the 20's are a better choice.

The 5.5 woofer in the 60's may actually out perform (or equal) the 6.5 in the 20's because it's relieved of the midrange duties and can operate more efficiently.

The important thing is that you've heard both and preferred the 60's. Trust your ears and get what sounds best to you.
Hi, B_limo.
$500 for 806v's is pretty nice, but I'm not sure I'd bite. I'm prefer to arrive at a great solution in as few steps and little money spent as possible. I wouldn't want to make an impulse buy of bookshelf speakers, especially when I know in the back of my mind I'd rather the floorstanders. That will only result in nagging discontentment later on. I'd always end up imagining how much better things would be if I had just waited a little bit to secure the floorstanding speakers. Waiting sucks, but in this case, (either with the Focals or some comparable Dynaudios), the payoff seems worth it.

Before I bought the 816v's, I seriously considered pairing the 806v's with my Paradigm Studio Sub 12. I decided against the 806v's for several reasons (here's what I can remember):

1. Didn't want any variation in character from using both bookshelf speakers and a sub (which has its own separate and different amplifier). The sub 12 and the 806v's were never designed to work together to transition or play simultaneously together in a seamless and unnoticeable fashion.
2. Knew I wouldn't have a dedicated stereo amp for a while and would be using my AV Receiver for both movies and 2-channel music. I believed the sound to be superior in PURE DIRECT mode for 2-channel source music (CDs), which means using no sub; hence, the requirement of speakers with better bass performance (the 816v's).
3. On their own, the 816v's bass performance is unquestionably superior than 806v's.
4. Once I factored in the price for basic stands, it was only a few hundred more for 816v's.
5. By going with floorstanding speakers, stands would never be an upgrade issue. I knew in the future, I'd be thinking about how to get better sound from the bookshelf speakers by upgrading to superior stands. That means more money for speaker stands. Going with floorstanders meant that future upgrade money could be used for something else.

A 6th reason I discovered later:
6. Given my current room, optimal speaker placement means I can't place my sub in the optimal position. If I had gotten bookshelf speakers, I'd either have to compromise their perfect location, or the sub's, and a balance of compromises is not what I'm interested in¬ónot if it can be avoided. And in this case, it was avoided by buying the 816v's. Have you yet played around with speaker placement to discover optimal placement (as apposed to aesthetically optimal placement)? The result may influence whether you want to use a bookshelf / sub setup for your music listening.

For what it's worth, transparency was the biggest thing the Focals had that pried me from any of the Paradigms I mentioned. When I went back and forth between the two brands, each time it sounded to me as if, when switching to the Focals, a lot of "stuff" was removed from between me and the music. They sounded much cleaner, but without losing neutrality or becoming overly analytic.

Hopefully at least some of this is helpful. Whatever you choose, I hope you get chance to listen to it first.


60s are 2.5-way speakers (not 3-way), their mid-range drivers aren't relieved of their duty more than 20s.
Just going to sit tight until I can do a definite upgrade. Bought some decent stands yesterday for $20, drilled holes and put spikes (which my local stereo shop was nice enough to give me for free) in the bottom of the stands and I'm gonna call it good for awhile. i've been auditioning speaker cables from clear day (double shotguns), signal cable (silver resolution), and now tara labs (rsc prime 500) and found that the tara labs take just the right amount of harshness out of my system without losing out on the highs. Between my amp (classe ca-150), pre amp (classe ssp 25), speaker cables and speakers my system had gotten to be too revealing and a bit shrill / bright. The tara labs calmed it down in the way I was looking for.

Aaronknock, I agree with most of what you said in your post. Thanks for your help! You had asked about my speaker placement: My room is roughly 11x13, my speakers are close to 3 1/2 feet from the back wall, 2 feet from the sides, my sub is dead center and I sit about 2 feet from the back wall. I feel that this is a good set-up!

Again, thanks everyone for your help!
B_limo: You're welcome. It sounds like you found a solution you're really pleased with, without having to jump up your budget. That's great (and impressive).

Happy listening!

Everyone hears speakers differently. Personally, I would rather have the 20's with 2qty small subs(dual) then the 60's or 100's for the money. I would also consider a all 20 V5 home theater down the road. Put the center and rears on the wall, and the mains on proper height stands. Just a thought.

I think the V5 are the best models, but the 20 V2 can be had for $300 pair($350 real wood). In terms of "value" that is a great buy for small stereo room, or Home Theater setups..
So much for sitting tight for awhile, I picked up the studio 60's lastnight. Once I get them broken in and do some listening I'll give my oppinion about them but my initial impressions are that they may be weaker than the 20's in the mids but have more bottom end and they sure are nice looking.
Okay, so after listening to the 60's for awhile, they throw a little wider soundstage and definately a taller soundstage. When running them full range they don't play as quite as loud as the 20's but they have gobs more low end. For quite listening, I run them full range, no sub, and when I want to rock the house I cross them over at 80hz and run my sub. Overall, they work slightly better for me. I paid $500 for the "upgrade" from the 20's to the 60's. I justify the cost (because it helps me sleep better) because stands would cost $200, I would have hadto spend $125 on the 20's for longer speaker cable, and the 60's have $400 higher resale value than the 20's (I figure $800 for the 20's, $1300 for the 60's, just guessing here), oh and the 60's look really nice; really nice! So would I do it again? Probably, because now I have 60's and no money, if I did it the other way, I would have a bigger belly from eating out with my girl. 6 and 1/2 dozen, the other really. All in all, I'm happy, she's happy (not about the speakers, but because she got to go to the nutcracker) and all is well!
I bought the 60V5's when they first came out.They need about 80 hours breakin.I've been quite happy with them.I made my own stands to get the tweeters at ear level.Yes they do look great don't they?And the low end bass detail is nice.After about a 100 hours they should sound better.I think you will be happy with them as I.
So I thought that I'd report back now that I lived with the 60's for awhile. I likes the 60's because they threw a wider and taller soundstage and had more bass. The more bass was nulified because they still need a sub so that was a wash. The slightly taller and wider soundstage wasn't enough for me because the mids weren't as strong as the 20's. Like everyone was saying, the 60's do totally fall apart at higher volumes, which I couldn't deal with any longer, so I traded my 60's back for some 20's and a cc490. I got the piano black 20's, which is my favorite finish for these speakers and a cc490. I have no amp yet for my cc490 so I guess I will just have to buy another classe ca-150 and when not using it for center channel duties, run my amps bridged to my 20's; oh darn! So anyways, you live and you learn. Final analysis for me, the 20's do it for me simply because the 7" vs the 5 1/2" mid. Whoever thought an 1 1/2" would make such a difference in overall performance!?! ;-)
Ahhh, so happy to have the 20's back :-)
It's like an old pair of jeans that fits just right!
Limo, you stated you also at the 10's? Was there a huge difference between he 10's and the 20's?? I have a sub, just trying to determine is the extra cash for the 20's is worth it.

I would concur the S2 is a substantial upgrade over the studio line IMHO...if you can swing it next upgrade...I played HOTEL CA and was floored by the clean, deep bass and very open sound....
Wayne, stick with the 10's until you can afford something from the signature series with the berrylium tweeters, like the s2
Thanks Limo! I actually have the original Studio 20's right this second but I am looking at getting either the newest version 20 or the 10 which is cheaper. I am just trying to determine if getting the 20's would be that much better as they are more money, or just get the 10's since I will be using a sub.


Hi Wayne! Even crossing them over at 100hz, the 20's will play louder and stay more composed at high volumes, other than that, I felt the 10's and 20's sounded almost identical... I think they are beautiful speakers to look at (piano black being my favorite, followed by rosenut).
thanks B_limo!!