Personas....7F vs 9H

Thinking about one of these speakers. And looking for advice/thoughts about why you would prefer one over the other, suitability in a 18 x 18 room with high ceilings, etc. Have heard the 9H and was impressed. Aside from the room correction and built in amplification, and the benefits these should give, is there a difference in their sound that would cause one to be preferred over the other?

Thanks , 
It seems that 7F is not being stocked by many shops.  I've been to a couple shops to listen to Persona, and neither had 7F on demo.  As the largest passive member of the line, it's really important to get a listen to 7F in order to see if the bass performance is even significantly better than 5F or 3F.  I have heard 9H, 5F, and 3F at the same shop and they all seem to sound about the same on mid and high frequencies to me.
The bass performance of the 7F is of course SIGNIFICANTLY better than the 5f.  Just think — the 7f has dramatically more cabinet volume, and two 8.5” woofers that are not only much bigger, but much more intense in design than the 6.5” woofers in the 3F/5F.

As as far as 7F vs 9H...  the value of the two extra woofers, tons of built in power, and anthem room correction almost makes it a steal of an upgrade.  However, $25k is not chump change in any respect.

The main advantage of the 9H besides what you mentioned, are the ability to fine tune the bass response.  Not just flatten it (you need PROPER room treatment, bass traps especially BEFORE room correction for best performance).  Room correction does not correct the room, it just attempts to flatten the bass response.  The beauty of it, however, is that you can really tune it to your liking via Room Gain settings etc. 

In theory, if the 7F sounds too lean in your room, the 9H could be set up to compensate for that very easily.  Especially once you are able to flatten the response with ARC.  In almost all scenarios I would recommend utilizing ARC only up until around 200hz max.  Once you do that, you are able to raise (or lower, but unlikely) the room gain of your new flatter bass response to get the sound just how you like it.  Not to mention the fact that the 9H requires virtually no power to run, considering the sensitivity and no need to power any bass.  It’s a pretty incredible setup and I’ll be amazed if we don’t see similar designs by Focal (utopia with Naim power on woofers?) and other manufacturers soon.

Lots of fun, but don’t think for a second that the 7F isn’t worth every penny.  It’s just that the 9H is truly an amazing value in comparison, as weird as that sounds.

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I have a small listening room - only 13’ x 22’ with 9’ ceilings ...but open on two sides. I sit almost nearfield, and my current DIY voxativ speakers are less than a foot from the front wall. I am going to get the 9H’s after auditioning the 3F,5F,9H. Reasons? Because i) I know paradigm does not BS their specifications and 2dB flat to 19Hz is intoxicating, ii) Their front/rear woofer design just envelopes you in low freq energy in a way that I cant describe, iii) their honest 96dB is on par with my Voxativs and means I can use lower cost amps or even DAC-Amps like the 2W Chord DAVE, iv) the ARC correction sizes 19Hz-400Hz to my room, speaker placement and seating position. I’ve heard the 9H’s native and corrected and it is amazing.
Yes, they are big, expensive and all that ...but end-game and I can just get back to listening to music.
(New colors coming out in April, BTW).
Do you have any info as to what the new colors are? I'm leaning heavily towards this as well, but not completely thrilled with the current colors.
The wait might be worth it!!

Hello guys, 

Here is how we as a Persona dealer would talk about the two speakers.

On paper there is really very little difference between the two models. 

In reality there is a very  large difference in what makes the 9H so special.

The factor is the speaker's adaptablity, we have three different ancedotes on the 9H.

First experience 2016 New York Audio show where we had the 9H in a small hotel room.

Second experience: 9H at a clients home in a very ordinary not large living room.

Third experience: 9H in our shwroom a 26 by 20 room open to several other rooms.

The prevailing factor is the 9H room correction gave us great bass in all three rooms. 

The shocker was the hotel room which was 18 by 14 and with the  active room correction giving us shocking tight bass which didn't over load the room with excellent pitch.

So the take away is that the room correction of the 9H enables you to have a speaker system which can work in almost any room with fantastic results.

So if one were to purchase a set of 9H they can take the speakers with them even in case of having to move rooms or homes. 

The 7's really don't sound any different it is the ability to have superb bass without the hastle of having to result to bass traps or hemholtz resonators which makes the 9H so appealing.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
You’re leaving out the huge fact that they require DRAMATICALLY less power due to the hardest part (the bass) being powered already.
Regarding efficiency and amp driveability. I spoke to the 9H designer (Oleg B.) and he assured me that the speaker-level crossover tap to the DSP/woofer amps is of very high impedance and negligible back EMF.
So any amp driving the 9H just sees the tweeter and mid ...hence it effortlessly delivers it’s best performance ...the woofers are invisible. The 9H is 96dB at 8ohms so my ~35watt ZOTL40 was barely at 20% volume to fill the room yet each song I played was the best I’d ever heard it.
Regarding the new colors. They are coming out in April. Dealers will have paint swatches. I know they are mainly automotive finishes. The few new models I saw at the factory look awesome. Not sure if they are a $ premium.
I know you can order (request) piano black with silver PPA grilles ...and that’s what I’m getting. These are my end-game so I want to make sure they will fit in any decor

Hey guys,

Thanks for the input. And yes all of the "advantages" of the 9H make sense given the room-correction and ability to be more amp-friendly etc.

However, given how great the 5F sounds... I think many of us are still keen to know how the 7F sounds  at it's place in the product-line instead of the template that seems to be applied almost everywhere that "just go straight from 5F to 9H". Surely if the 7F is produced at all, it must (I'd assume) sound better than the 5F, but likely not as good as the 9H... so given it's mid-way price point (and since man of us can't realistically afford the 9H), we'd love to know how it actually *sounds* :)

Anyone auditioned it along-side the 5F and 9H? That's the comparison I'm also looking for... how much better than the 5F? and how much better still is the 9H (though that gets complicated since the bass-room-correction means how much "better" it sounds depends heavily on a particular room's bass characteristics).

Thoughts? Thanks!
DVDboulet, there is very little difference between the 7 and the 9, sonically, they are the same speaker with the difference being a slightly deeper bass response in the 9H

The real advantage the active bass system is in the speakers adaptability.

If you have a larger room and have lattitude where to position the speakers the 7 will be perfect, if the room is smaller then a good sized room lets say 25-30 foot long, 18+ wide etc, the 9H will be ble to produce tight non boomy bass.

So it comes down to room size, and positioning.

If someone has the extra budget the 9H would be better, as the bass will always be good, and if not and the room has size and the ability to position the speakers go with the 7.

Hope that helps.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
If you have a pre-amp with sub-outs I wonder if you might not even get better performance for less money doing a pair of Persona Bs or Persona 5Fs combined with a pair of Persona Subs.  The Persona Subs have the same ARC correction built in as the bass sections of the 9H, and could be placed in the room separately from the mains for better performance overall (since oftentimes the best place for bass in the room is not the same place as the best place for mids and highs in a room).  

Innteresting idea. We recently sold a set of Persona 3F with the much less expensive Paradigm SW 2000 sub, which is still a monster sized sub, we sold that sub to play with the SW 1000 which is smaller and less expensive  Our idea was to be able to offer a $13k combo of woofer and 3F which will be ideal for many clients.

The larger 5F will still sound better because it is a physically larger loudspeaker so it will still sound larger than a 3F plus sub but not go as low.

Yes dual Persona subs would be amazing, but at the price point of $7,500 each dual subs plus a set of 5F you would be at the cost of the 9H's

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Good catch, I was thinking 3F and typed 5F.  

I was thinking the Persona subs both for matching the finish of the speakers, and for the built-in ARC.  If you go with a Pre-Amp or Integrated Amp with bass management and room correction built-in (like the Anthem STR -Pre or STR-Integrated) you could go with more affordable subwoofers and still get the ARC magic.  

I was absolutely blown away when I heard the Persona Bs, easily the best speaker I've ever auditioned, so I can only imagine how great the rest of the series sounds. 
I was seriously considering something from the persona line,local dealer only has the b’s for demo for now.So that means I would have buy without demo or travel several states away.
I would be using a Lyngdorf 2170 with room perfect correction and would go passive.
But a demo pair of Lawrence audio double bass speakers from a dealer near Chicago quickly changed my mind,I wanted something different and unique and I think I found it.
Time will tell and happy hunting to all,

I just want to say that this is the type of thread were a dealer, like audiotroy, can really make a contribution.  I think his response was excellent, and if I myself were still interested in the Personas I'd really appreciate that input.
I’m not affiliated with the Audio Doctor in any way, but I must defend him based on my conversations with him. I initially contacted him regarding possible speaker replacement. He actually recommended that I keep my speakers and instead recommended inexpensive tweaks. I’ve talked to him several times. He has always been professional and provided very helpful information.
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Thanks Prof and Kdude.

Kdude the hot ticket in the line is the 3F which for the extra money just delivers way more performance then the Bs, at $7k plus stands vs $10k no stands and you have much deeper bass, makes the 3F the best value in fact, Paradigm has admitted that they make very little money on the 3F's.

We tested JL Audio's subs, which we love and the SVS FB 13 which was not as fast or as clean as the JL audio. The Paradigm SW 1000 and the 2000 are really terrific, the SW  2000 actually sounded better to us then the mighty JL Fathom 113v2 which we also display. 

In terms of the 3F vs the 5F the 5F still sound better due to the larger physical size of the 5F and the way a larger speaker projects sound into a room aside from the extra bass.

Kdude the Lawrence are nice speakers so if you like them that is great, we love Ribbons tweeters. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Thank you for your recommendation,My local dealer,audio advice just doesn’t get enough interest in upper model speakers but I’m gonna try and twist their arm to display the 3F.
I really think if they make the investment it would spark more interest in the persona line for them.

If the double basses aren’t my cup of tea,I maybe calling you guys.

I have no affiliation with audio doctor either but I enjoy reading their posts,I think they provide solid info with no pressure and that’s what these threads could use more of.


Whereabouts do you like to crossover to the JL Subs when you use them (e.g. with the Personas)?

We take the Rel approach, we don't recommend any crossover going to the main speakers;

We recomend using the crossover frquency and level controls to bring up the subwoofer to the point of acoutical roll off of the mains. 

Play a bass heavy track and then turn on and off the subwoofer, while repeating the track. Bass heavy should be a bass guitar, standup bass, not electronic.

When the blend is good the sub should be felt rather than heard. A good subwoofer is adding pressure to the leading and trailing notes of the main speakers. 

Tightness of bass is also related to where the sub is located in the room, avoiding corner loanding and keeping the sub on the same plane as the main speakers and moving the subs position also helps to tune the bass for tightness and definition. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
BUMP, got to spend a couple hours with the 7f yesterday and am thinking about listing a kidney on ebay, is that legal? The 7f had me laughing uncontrollably for a couple minutes I was so alarmed by the presentation and unless your room is a black hole for bass I expect it would be great. M room is a black hole for bass and I really want that sound I heard yesterday, and I can't afford the 9H.
I have found myself wondering actually what the 7f sounds like particularly since I invested in rather powerful Pass amplification not long ago. The 7f does go down to 25 hz and I know from experience that all you have to do to do room correction on the bass on that speaker is to use a program like REW and a good calibrated microphone, take some measurements, plug in some parameters into REW among which is limiting the filters to everything under 200, 300 or 400 hz and voila, room correction. Just zip the filters, upload them to REW and poof. Another somewhat annoying thing about having a speaker that has a sensitivity rating of 96 db is the tube rush you’ll hear if you have a tube pre, which in my opinion, ALL these speakers could use as a way of softening/warming them up a tiny bit. No tube rush on the 7f and below. Not a biggie but at this level everything becomes a biggie.  And if I keep the 9Hs I'll be happier when Anthem comes out with the almost soon to be released next version of their room correction software which will provide more flexibility to end users than the current version which in my opinion shelves up the bass response ever so slightly compared to the rest of the frequency range.
ARC in just the bass section and not touching the mid and tweeter at all = much better and far more flexible.  9H is also sealed, has two more woofers, beefier woofers, different cross over from mid to woofers, etc

The $10,000 upgrade ($8,000 or less during the promotion right now) is dollar for dollar a steal of an upgrade.
I'm just waiting for someone to come along and tell us how much better Vandersteen speakers are, how flawed Personas are.
True dat - I thinks someone's feeling a little threatened by Paradigm