Persona 9h vs S3 mk 2


These speakers are roughly in the same ballpark of price and going for a detailed sound. Anyone compare them ?
smodtactical
Smodtactical,


You have two very different sounding loudspeakers with fans on both sides.

In terms of sheer technology and value for the dollar the Persona has a lot of advantages over the Magicos.

The Persona has two additional bass drivers, a two 700 watt bass amplifiers per channel, and a full Anthem bass correction system.

The room correction system allows you to get tight bass in any size room which allows the 9H to be used in rooms that you might consider too small for such a loudspeaker.

The Persona also uses the same materials for the midrange and tweeter in this case both pure Beryilium  and then you have the lens technology which helps create a very holographic image.

Sonically the Personas have a transparency and a liveness in the treble and midrange which is just remarkable.

The Magicos are a great example of a extraordinary conventional loudspeaker with a very inert cabinet, a Beryillium tweeter and a graphene based midrange driver. Parts and build quality on the Magico are as good as it gets.

We have heard the Magicos for years at shows and at a few dealers they are much more netural than the Personas, at Axpona we heard many Magio setups with very expensive electronics and nearly every setup the speakers were not involving.

The big Magico M6 with dual subs and Dagastino gear has a huge sense of scale but failed to sound musical.

The only setup that we thought was actually quite good was the S3 with the new Classe gear, and this setup was musical with a nice sense of clarity and a good soundstage.

If you are ever in our neck of the woods we would love to demonstrate what a well setup set of 9H can sound like, our setup is the remarkable T+A electronics with a number of different dacs.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ


Nice sales pitch Audio Doctor!
I’d take the 9H any day for so many reasons.  It’s not just about having good bass in any room.  It’s about having the best possible bass in every room.  The Magico can’t possibly have as good of bass when it’s all said and done.  
I’d say go listen to both, but usually Paradigm dealers don’t have them set up well, whereas a Magico dealer is more likely to have the Magico speakers set up decently well. Plus, every one on here will recommend Magico because of the psychological prestige the brand has, and how Paradigm isn’t “high end.”  So dumb.  
Oh, the Magico will also require massive amounts of power if your listening loudly, or listening to music with heavy bass content.  On the flip side, you can probably power the 9H with a button cell battery.  If you like the sound of SET amps, you can play the 9H in the 100db+ realm, with bass extension down below 20hz.   There is no tube configuration in the world that will do that with the Magico.

Anyway, another vote for the 9H.  If you are in the Chicagoland area I have two friends with 9H’s who actually have them set up properly that I’m sure would be happy to have you over for a listen.  I also have a friend in the area with the S3 MKII (and a3 in another room), who would also likely do the same.  

Keep in mind, Magico makes some of my favorite speakers on the planet easily.  Definitely in my top 10 if not top 5 brands.  However to deny the performance per dollar you get in the 9H vs the S3 MKII is just pure buffoonery.
“If you are ever in our neck of the woods we would love to demonstrate what a well setup set of 9H can sound like, our setup is the remarkable T+A electronics with a number of different dacs. ”...

how dare you Troy, trying to help out someone specifically regarding exactly what it is they are looking for...  geez, so pushy.  Maybe you could soften down your “sales pitches”...

on a serious note Troy, Thank You for sharing with us your vast data bank of knowledge regarding your first hand experiences with this equipment.  There are members here that I appreciate your input.  
It's not that simple. This active bass is driven by a DSP, class D amp, set up. That means that your bass signal is digitized (and it is playing into the midrange, with a delayed signal). It introduces all sort of audible issues. To my ears, brittle, bright, and disjointed presentation. Not in the same league as other $35K contender.
Post removed 
I have Persona 9H with a SET Amp (50W class A) and the sound is not "bright or brittle" and the bass is the best I ever had in my room...contolled and nice integrated, thanks to DSP.
I only listened Magico speakers in shows, but only with SS amps...sometimes nice, but no my cup of tea.
Mheinze you have absolutely no idea how dsp works.

First the eq only affects the bass freqencies.

Secondly at wavelengths as long as bass frequencies a tiny delay in those frequencies can actually help create a waveform which the bass is actually in time with other drivers at the listening position.

Third by removing peaks and dips in the lower frequencies the entire speaker sounds better.

A brittle bright configuration means something was not matched correctly.

Where did you hear a set of 9H and what were they driving the speakers with?


I’m sure he hasn’t even been in the same room as a pair, or maybe popped into a room at a show and didn’t even sit in front of them.  
Just look at the measurements of their tweeter/midrange arrangements (I know it’s the 5F, but the top configuration is the same).
https://www.stereophile.com/content/paradigm-persona-5f-loudspeaker-measurements
These speakers are 5db up, and climbing, above 6KHz. Someone on another forum said that If you suffer high frq. hearing loss, that may not be a problem for you. But if you can still hear, and a Persona configuration didn’t sound bright and brittle to you it basically “means that something was not matched correctly” 😉

@audiotroy  @contuzzi thanks for your insights guys.I enjoyed the 7F and would really like to hear the 9H. But I was blown away by the Magico M2 and want to hear the S3 Mk2.

A dealer over on audioshark said the persona series tweeter would just 'tear your ear off' with its brightness. I didn't find this with the 7F.. paired with moon gear. So I guess this is more of a matching issue ?

@nabcs which Magicos did you hear ?
Was that dealer M. Boviard from Sun Coast a Magico dealer?

Where did you hear the M2 and what was the system? 

Vs 

The Persona 7s

Interesting most Magico demos speakers sound boring. 

A3 on AVM and Nordost sounded horribly bright. 


" Interesting most Magico demos speakers sound boring."

You didn't use to think that when you worked for SBS
Sciencecop many listening rooms have an abundance of absortave materials which can smooth out perceived brightness. 

Here is the Stereophile measurements of the Magico S5 note the large suck out in the top end

It looks like neither speaker is flat.

 So you can have a top end that in a real listening room may sound balanced the Persona or one which may sound dull the Magico. 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/magico-s5-mkii-loudspeaker-measurements
Its not a "suck out" its how a tweeter should behave, just look at the lateral response and see how smooth it is in comparison to the Persona trainwreck response. No room treatment will fix that.
But really, I am not going to argue with you on measurements, you clearly have no idea what you are looking at.
@audiotroy  unrelated to this thread but have you heard the Magico M2, M3 or M6? M2 was just so impressive. Incredibly detailed, amazing expansive sound stage. Best speaker I've ever heard. It was being drive by a big luxman integrated amp and chord dave + mscaler.

And ya thats the guy. Hes a nice guy but I was really curious at his conclusions.

Anyway trust me own ear I guess.
Magico is named magico.  It's absurdly expensive so almost nobody has ever spent any quality time with it.  How can anyone find this brand anything but ridiculous?  You don't feel like maybe it's just appealing to your vanity?  Maybe you're being taken advantage of?  Nobody who had heard it would say that, I know.  
Man, this is the funniest post I have ever read. I literally laughed so hard my wife came to see if I am ok.

Smod,

I have heard them both and tend to agree with the common thread
mentioned above about both products.
Have you heard Kanta 2s or Sopras?

Keep shopping would be my suggestion.
Like I said...only heard Magico at shows, usually the top of the line, M5 and Q3. But always never stayed to much time in rooms. Maybe the music, maybe the sound...i dont know, but never moved by the speakers.
I've listened to Magico S3 mkII, Paradigm Persona 7F and 9H.  The room,  other components,  and individual preference will determine which speaker one chooses. Why do we destroy what we don't like? 
@nabcs if you get a chance listen to the newer M series. It has a reputation of being more relaxed and musical compared to older gen magicos.

@jon_5912 if you get a chance listen to it. Its absolutely pricey but it has amazing build quality and sound. Try to hear the newer series.

I like the idea of a solid metal speaker that is like a tank that will last forever.
My only issue with the Personas is that they are close enough the Sasha DAWs, which are far better. The Magicos are the most lifeless, sterile, uninvolving expensive speakers I've ever heard. I'd take the Yvettes over either in a heartbeat!
mtdining please explain in what way is the Daw better?

We have heard DAW and they are very good, but better sorry no that is a matter of opinion and taste.

The two speakers are very different, the Personas are more detailed and have an incredible pinpoint holographic soundstage.

The DAW tend to stil emphasis a bass hump although it is much less then any other models, they also have a richer less detailed presentation.

The Personas are more efficient and you don’t have to work like a fiend to get the bass sounding correct due to the Personas room correction.

The Personas also are easy to drive without the low impedance dip.

The Magico, Rockport, Persona, Wilson speakers are all fantastic for each listeners personal quest and any of these speakers when setup correctly will and can produce some awesome results.

Each product has its strengths and weaknesses none of these speakers are perfect. 

The biggest issue we would have with Paradigm is that the open dealers who may not have the right demonstatration facilities for matching electronics.

Most of the time when you go to a Wilson, or Magico dealer these dealers are the uber dedicated dealers.

Also at shows Paradigm has usutally shown their own electronics which are great for the price but not in the league of the more expensive stuff.

If you want to hear just how spectacular the Personas can sound our showroom’s doors are open.

We have them setup with the right level of matching electronics, cabing and dacs and they sound as good as any of the expensive Magico’s including the M2 and the Wilson Alexias.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Persona dealers
I audition the Wilson Sabrina extensively when searching for new speakers; they made my final list (Here in Germany the same distributor carry Wilson, Paradigm, and Magico). Ultimately I choose the Magico A3, which is a lot more transparent, coherent and extended, but may require a bit of "listening sophistication” to appreciate; it does not “jump” on you like some other brands, and some people just can’t get past that. It is a shame since there is a lot more to music then just a kick in the stomach or shrilling high frequencies.
@mheinze which other Wilson and paradigm did you hear compared to the A3 ?

@audiotroy whats your full system in your show room with the persona ? Also what's your room like.

I guess the nice thing with the 9h is that because of room correction in could sound great even in smaller rooms ?

The one thing that's amazing about magico you have to admit is the incredible build quality. It's second to none.

What did you think of the m2?
Yes, mheinze ... your ears are much more sophisticated than mine or others who prefer other speakers.

Next time I will ask for someone who have "sophisticated" ears to choose my next equipment.

@firstnot I haven't heard sopra or kanta but heard Stella, maestro and Aria line. Stella was impressive. But Stella probably too big for me. 

Yes, mheinze ... your ears are much more sophisticated than mine or others who prefer other speakers


At least his impressions correlate to the concept (Digitized signal playing through a Class D amplifier up to 400Hz, right into the middle of the midrange, tilted highs, etc.), and he talks about current models, not products that have been discontinued years ago (Magico’s M5 has been discontinued for more than a decade).
My upgradeitis to replace my Beethovens has been the R107/2, Revel f52, salon 1, salon 2, VA Strauss, and Usher BE-20 DMD's all sold and I was reaching for my wallet to buy the 7f when my dealer recommended I wait til I can swing the 9h since my room's a bit problematic in the bass. There's speakers that are really good then there's speakers that'll make you weep. I heard the 7f with some care put into set up with the new Anthem separates and I was hooked. My Beethoven's measure like crap and I really enjoy those to tho' so don't  take my word.
@steve59 when will you audition the 9h?
It's a short riding season around here so probably the fall, however I did just get a pretty good deal on a pair of dsp8000's that I have the se kit ordered for and these might end my search completely.

As a previous three time Paradigm owner the Persona 9H is the best Paradigm I’ve heard and still as annoying for me to listen to.

I can’t listen to speakers with screwy time and phase characteristics regardless of their price. For the cost of your choices I’d go for Vandersteen Treo CTs $9K /pr. and his Sub 9s $19K /pr.

Spend a few days listening to the Treo’s, disregarding their bass extension, then back to your current choices and you should be able to hear the rightness of the time and phase aspect.

Been using sealed subs since the mid eighties. The rooms have always dictated their location and its never been in or next to the main speakers.

sciencecop
midrange, is typically the frequency range between 300Hz and 5,000Hz.

400 hz is the beginning of midrange...not "the middle".

DSP in 9H only corrects bass region (until 200 hz).
@nabcs
Hate to break it to you; your speakers are DSP up to 400Hz.
From The Persona spec page:“…(two front-firing, two rear-firing). Each woofer pair is powered by a separate DSP-controlled 700 W RMS”.

Of course, why would you know, even their top seller/promoter didn’t bother to learn how they actually work.

Also, 3rd order XO at 400Hz means you are only 18db down at 800Hz, etc. Most of your midrange is overlapping with a delayed DSP signal (rolling off, but still audible). No wonder these speakers sound as “annoying” as they do.
Sciencecop, it is interesting that you get your facts wrong all the time.


First of all you have no idea how the Paradigm engineers designed the system. The rear woofers may be the only drivers that are being used with the room correction signal and those are crossed over at 200hz.

Did you actually talk to their engineers and see how they designed the system?

So it is entirely possible that the front firing woofers have 0 dsp being applied to then.

As per annoying the speakers can sound great as good or better than anything else at the price and then some.

If your issue is DSP than the Persona 7F would be your loudspeaker, there Sciencecop same speakers no DSP at all.

The reality is that the clean, well defined bass response which eliminates huge peaks and valleys in your bass response helps make the speaker sound cleaner especially in the lower midrange.

How many systems sound bloated and murky because there are huge overlaps in bass information from corner loading or other bass nodes?

Interesting that we all perceive things differently.

We have heard all the current Vandersteens and quite frankly find them exceedingly okay sounding and hardly the best and only loudspeaker out there.

We have heard many of the Magicos at shows and found them mostly to be boring sounding, and if you note the frequency response graph the S5MK II in stereophile they show a 3-5db dip in much of the frequency response.

What is weird is the A3 at the NY Audio show are super aggressive sounding and disjointed.

We no of two people on the boards that had Vandys and found them way too problematic for them and both of those people have moved on to other speakers. One of these guys bought a pair of Kef R11 from us.

As we have stated time and time again, no pun intended many of the most favored loudspeakers on the market are not time and phase aligned designs.

So if you like Magico, Wilson, Rockport, KEF,Focal, Radiho, Von Schweikert, Harbeth, Martin Logans, etc than you must be broken.

The truth is not everyone is sensitive to time related distortions and many loudspeaker designers feel that the first order slope passing information the drivers are not designed to handle creates distortions that you can not easily tune out, look, at a Thiel crossover with all the components on the board used to control the drivers in order to create a seem-less blend from the drivers that they designed.

Other issues with first order designs are increasing distortion at higher volumes.

So it seems that no design is perfect and all of these loudspeakers can sound great or not great depending on your taste, room acoustics and system matching.

What we really love is Sciencecop telling Contuzzi, Steve59, Us, Nabcs, Yysantabarbera, that we are all out of our minds for not subscribing to his world view.

Many people are buying and enjoying the new Paradigm Persona speakers, are they perfect no they are not, they do a lot of thing very well, transparency, image holography, deep tight bass response, easy to drive and stunning looks all for a very competitive price.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Persona dealers



From The Persona spec page:“…(two front-firing, two rear-firing). Each woofer pair is powered by a separate DSP-controlled 700 W RMS”.

Which fact did I get wrong (If you understood how these speakers function, you would realize that its the only way this concept can work)?

I wounder if you are really that misinformed...
Sciencecop the specs clearly say rear woofers are at 200hz.


2nd order @ 200 Hz (rear bass)

Also you can use the speakers without the dsp.
sciencecop
The main and only relevant fact (for me) is that I have the Persona 9H and I have extensively used the ARC software, and I can assure you that there is no correction above 200 hz !!

The software let me choose the maximum frequency to correct, i can choose between 15hz and 200hz...no less no more!

...and if it matters to you I can send a print screen of the correction graph.
Post removed 
@nabcs
It is not about the “correction,” it about the FACT that the entire signal is DSP-controlled up to 400Hz (volume, XO, individual drivers correction, augmentation, etc.).
Both you and your dealer just don’t understand how these speakers work.
Sciencecop please explain how it is a FACT that the entire signal is dsp controlled?  Without the room correction being applied dsp would not be necessary.

Do you work for Paradigm? 

Even if the signal is run by dsp for the lower frequencies why is that necessarily a bad thing if the speakers sound good?

The other thing is the Persona 7F is the same speaker without the room correction so you can have it either way.

Sciencecop what is your point here? You don't like the Persona that is fine, many other people do like them.




@audiotroy 
Read Paradigm literature, why are you arguing with me, argue with them.
As their dealer, you should know how their speakers work. 
Sciencecop
 You say you have the 9h and go on to explain what you don't like about them. I would appreciate knowing how long you've had them in your system and how long it took you to notice the deficiencies in them, whats your room size, seating distance  speaker placement, etc. I heard the speakers well out into a well treated room at least 8' from any reflective surface and they thrived, try putting them on the long wall at least 5' out and see if that smooths things out for you. Soo much money< I would keep at it if I was you.
@audiotroy
Sciencecop what is your point here?
audiotroy  It is you who typically jump to any conversation involving Magico, or any other product you don’t sell, and quick to trash it (yea, good speakers but boring, blah blah). When someone puts you on the spot and call out your BS (clearly you don’t even understand the products you sell), you call out foul. Where do you get off? This and many other conversations would have been much more pleasant if you were not part of them. And if you must, you would be much more effective if you don’t mention any products you don’t sell. Try it, it will do us all good.

audiotroy1,973 posts06-25-2019 9:42am

As per annoying the speakers can sound great as good or better than anything else at the price and then some.

Hum, you might wanna take a two-hour nap from one to four...


 Report this
Mheinze, please grow up.

If you read any of the above posts we said the following about Magicos that we have heard at Axpona

The Magicos are a great example of a extraordinary conventional loudspeaker with a very inert cabinet, a Beryillium tweeter and a graphene based midrange driver. Parts and build quality on the Magico are as good as it gets.

We have heard the Magicos for years at shows and at a few dealers they are much more netural than the Personas, at Axpona we heard many Magio setups with very expensive electronics and nearly every setup the speakers were not involving.

The big Magico M6 with dual subs and Dagastino gear has a huge sense of scale but failed to sound musical.

The only setup that we thought was actually quite good was the S3 with the new Classe gear, and this setup was musical with a nice sense of clarity and a good soundstage.

Last one hardly seems like we are trashing them does it? The Classe Magico setup was indeed very good sounding and we thought that setup was in many ways far more enjoyable then the really expensive setups at the show.

As per understanding the products we sell we certaintly do. The new Golden Ear Tritron 1R use DSP in their bass and the speakers sound good.  The Personas sound very good and can frankly sound amazing if setup correctly. 

We care that the DSP room correction can make the speakers sound fantastic in rooms that a speaker with big bass generally would work. 

We do not hear the problems that Sciencecop hears. 

Most people don' t care if their speakers use first order or second order slopes or thrid order or fourth. 

Other than on these boards when in a discussion you can point out the reason why many designers  dont make first order loudspeakers, and the reason why others do. 

The fact that you as a consumer didn't buy your loudspeakers based on their crossover slope you bought them because they moved you when playing music it is that simple. 

Meinze we get people all the time contacting us and finding validity in what we say. 

Did we say the Magicos aren't good and the Paradigms are better no we didn't we gave a pretty accurate summation of our findings. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Persona Dealers

@steve59
It’s easy to conclude that @sciencecop never had a Persona in their listening room ... at best only heard them on shows.

I do not know how there are people who reach final conclusions based on auditions in audioshows, with equipment they do not even know.

I have heard several renowned speakers in my room...and in my room (with admittedly bass problems), the Personas were the best.

My dealer in Portugal have Avantgarde speakers and Shindo amplifiers...the combination is simply stunning...sad my wife will never allow a speakers like Avantgarde.
But for @sciencecop it will always be unacceptable a horn speaker to have a subwoofer with DSP room correction. 

Just to clarify, I’m from Portugal (Europe), and I simply do not know anyone from Audio Doctor.
400Hz, is not subwoofer territories, not even in Portugal ;)
And yes, it will be unacceptable.