Power Amp for Paradigm Reference Studio 100 v2


I've got a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 100 v2's that I like in my 2 channel music-only application, but would like to try and get more detail, soundstage (3d), separation, and bass accuracy. In my research on web fora and review sites, many owners of my speakers report improvements in the aspects I'm looking for with the addition of a power amp that features higher wattage and higher current.

My question for the sages here is whether adding a power amp seems like an effective way to go, and if so, is it generally better to use a couple of monoblocks or would an single stereo power amp be just as good? I realize it probably varies by the individual product, but figured it couldn't hurt to ask whether *in principle* monoblocks or a single stereo are better for achieving the improvements I seek. Is there any alternative advice beyond amps?

My system consists of entry-level components from around the turn of the millennium (with links to specs)

* High end Sony CD player (long model # I can never remember)
* Arcam A75 integrated amplifier (50 wpc continuous, includes preamp out)
* Paradigm Reference Studio 100 v2

Some owners of my speakers report great improvement with the Rotel 1090, which seems to be designed as two monoblocks in a single chassis. I see one on eBay for $250, which is good for my budget, but not sure if it would play well with the Arcam.

Thanks for any insight you might provide, especially from anyone with experience of my speakers/components.

Jeff
jdrouin
I had a pair of their bigger brothers, the Studio 80 V2. And it is true, they definitely like to see a high current amp. I ran mine in a multichannel system with an HK pwoer amp that had enormous current. This combo sounded very good indeed for the money spent.

You might want to keep an eye out for an HK 990 integrated amp. They get great reviews and really deliver the current. Pretty nice looking, too. I've seen them used for right around $1k.

http://www.harmankardon.com/estore/hk/us/products/HK-990/HK%20990_HK_US

If that is too rich for your wallet, a pair of Emotiva XPA-100s would be a pretty solid choice. These are straight up amps, not intergated. They come with a 30 day in-home trial and a 5 year warranty. Very sweet for the money, $399 ea.

https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-100

If that is still over-budget, look at the Emotiva XPA-200. It's a pretty nice stereo amp - big power supply, good heatsinks, 150 watts/ch., tidy design and build, and is priced at only $499. Same 30 day trial and 5 year warranty...

https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-200

-RW-
I currently have a few pairs of Paradigms, though only Signature, Monitor and older Performance series. Arcam is good stuff, and Sony has made some quality cd players over the years.

You didn't mention what speaker cables and interconnects you have. In my experience, they can made a good upgrade to the imaging and clarity departments. I spent the last 3 years experimenting with amps, integrated amps with my Signature S6 V2. I was surprised at what a good speaker cable did for me. I went from oxygen free copper 12 gauge stranded copper to a budget cable someone suggested to me. Audioquest Type 4, but he suggested I buy the bulk per/foot variety at about $5/ft. This cable is 4 conductors of solid core copper.

The change was immediate. More clarity and detail, which improved the imaging. Everything seemed clearer and in better focus. It wasn't that I was aware that I was lacking in these areas previously, but afterwards wondered why I waited so long.

Just recently I was A/B-ing some new speakers with the S6's. I used old 10 gauge fine strand for both with a speaker selector. The sound seemed congested in the higher frequencies at times. Afterward I reconnected the Audioquest Type 4 with my S6's, and could immediately tell the congestion was gone again.

Since you have a simpler system like I do, I'd try cables if you haven't already.
Thanks for these suggestions. I am in fact trying to keep this low-budget, in part because I'm planning to build a SET tube amp and back-loaded horn speakers for an additional, critical listening system. But I like what I have already enough to want to keep, though I'd like to squeeze just a little more out of it.

Runnin: My speaker cables are DIY, made with Belden 5000UP 12 AWG copper stranded wire, with BFA plugs at the amp and banana plugs at the speakers. They are currently in a bi-wire configuration. However, I'm not sure if they are improved over the previous arrangement, which was a pair of Nordost Flatline cables in single pair, using the binding post jumpers at the amp. I'll go back to those to see if I notice a difference.

Your experience with the Audioquest Type 4 is really interesting. Did you terminate them yourself?
Doh! Jumpers at the speakers, of course, not the amp!
I originally went with bare copper at the binding posts. Since I've been swapping speakers in and out lately, I employed some banana plugs, but for the budget minded, bare copper would be the way to go, at least to start.
Jeff,

you will want a high current amp- Bryston, Anthem, Parasound or Pass labs will do very nicely! Do not forget the cables/power cords as well. Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
I have Studio 40 v4's and I'm using them with B&K gear. I actually heard the speakers at the dealer with B&K gear and loved the sound. There's a lot of older B&K gear out there for sale in a bargain hunters range.
Runnin... just curious where you found that speaker wire for 5$ a ft?
I found it on line as a per foot price. Music direct has it as well as AudioAdvisor.
thank you! il look into that
much better price than I am finding haha
jeff Roland 525
Good day. I would like some feedback from the community on my kit. Having trouble getting low end grunt. Soundstage is good, imaging good. I have tons of clean volume but the system sounds lean? I guess? Here what Im working with:
Sudiotech stand, shelves are spiked. CD player is on Nordost Pulsar Points ans  Gutwire Note Pads rests on the transport.
Nordost Shiva power cord powers the CD player
CD PLAYER- Rotel RCD991AE balanced ouputs/ adjustable dither/ digital output
Straigtwire Crescendo balanced interconnect 
PREAMP - Classe CP35 balanced inputs/outputs
Audioquest Cheetah balanced interconnect
AMP- Mark Levinson no. 334 balanced inputs
SPEAKERS - Paradigm Reference studio 100v2 on spikes
Best regards
Nutty

Sorry folks. Forgot the speaker interface.
Audioquest Gibralter single biwire 2.5 mtr.
Thanks again!
Nutty