Go with the NHT 3.3, or the smaller 2.9 version. The recommendation is not based upon sound quality. Both NHTs are designed to work placed directly up against a wall. The others perform best in a free space setting. I am assuming that a casual listener is less willing to dedicate the open floor area necessary for the other two to optimally perform. Also, I once owned the 3.3; it's a great value and performed very well.
Thanks for the input. Since my dogs don't object, I can dedicate as much floor area as I need.
I own the PSB Gold and am very happy with the performance. But the Paradigm 100v2 is the best value. The first version was not as good as the Golds but this one is. For 1900.00, you are going to have a hell of a time getting a better speaker. My dealer convinced me to use them when auditioning a new av pre-amp. I resisted because I had already heard the first version and figured that there was probabely little difference between the two. The was a very great difference. I still love my PSB Gold(i) and am glad that the Paradigm 100v2 was not availible at the time of my purchase because it would have been a very difficult choice.
I have Gold i's in use in the main family living room of my home. They are an excellent all-around speaker for both critical and background/casual listening. Moreover and perhaps more importantly, they are quite accommodating to ALL types of music. Hence, while I mainly listen to jazz, blues & classical---when we entertain and the crowd feels like dancing, I can blast my son's latest DJ mixes with dance club volume and weight. In addition, though I recognize speaker placement is presently not an issue for you, just in the event things ever change, understand that though the Golds may in fact be designed to be placed out into the room, due to WAF and four kids that like to use the room to play baseball, football, wrestling, what-have-you, I must keep them back a mere 10 inches or so from the rear wall. Several times when I've been alone, I have experimented with placement---moving them out, toeing them in---more/less, etc., but I have found I actually prefer the results when they are back in their original position. Finally, I have used them in conjunction with numerous amps and have found they are extremely forgiving/non-tempermental. I've tried them with as much as 250 wpc solid state amps to as little as 8 wpc 300B monoblock SET amps (just to test the water), this even while the SETs were hardwire configured for 8 ohms and the Golds of course being 4 ohms AND the results were not all that terrible! The room by the way is 25 x 23 x 16 (ceiling height). As far as value goes, you can pick up a pair, discounted, for $1850. I hope this may be of some help. Good luck! Rick
Support Rick and his all around performance recommendation for the Stratus. This speaker is up to the task even after you make several upgrades to other components in your system. Your Sunfire should provide plenty to get a very appealing presentation from the Golds.
A speaker comparable in price, to the Gold i is the Hales Revelation Three. I found they image better and are a little less bright than the Gold i. Definitely worth an audition. Vandersteen has some models straddling the Hales in price that are definitely worth an audition, too. That, of course, is a reference to the 2CE Signature and 3A.
I am not sure if your list was created of speakers you like, or just coincidence. But they are all relatively in the same boat. Dynamic, demanding, a bit bright to some listeners, and GREAT values. I really love the combinations of the PSB Goldi and the Sunfire. It is a terrific marriage. Those speakers are best(and REALLY come alive) with an amp that can really pump a lot of current into their low impedence. You can pick up a new pair for about $1700, so cost is comparable to Paradigm. You could not go wrong with any of the three, but since you already have the Sunfire, I would opt for the PSBs.
Trelja is correct, definitely go with PSB Gold-i over Paradigm, I feel PSB Gold-i is a class above Paradigm 100. I am puzzled by the "bit bright" comment as JA in his enthusiastic review in Stereophile comments that the treble was actually a bit "mellow" which was a good thing to him. Rick you must move Golds out into room to get decent 3D imaging, at least 4-5ft from wall. At 1ft from rear wall you are barely scratching the surface of what these speakers can do, they throw huge soundstage when set up properly, Sam
ewe mite wanna also try thiel 3.5's or 3.6's in this price range. they both like lotsa power, but ewe got that covered w/your amp. the 3.5's can be had for $800-$1200, and go down to a real 20hz, thanks to their equalizer. reviewers said they mite be a bit bright, but i think they were yust showing their negative feelings towards the equalizer as a matter of principal. the 3.6's - which go down to 29hz w/o an equalizer - i've seen below $2k now, on the used market. both these speakers throw an amazing soundstage for a full-range floor-stander. both like to be out in the room, but my 3.5's, now in a second system, do a credible yob up against a wall, in a 26x28 room w/a vaulted ceiling, driven by a 35wpc audio innovations integrated amp. doug
As a previous owner of the PSB Gold i's, trust me as your money will buy you a lot less!!! I have since upgraded to Dunlavy's which costs many times more and still am impressed by the kind of sound that came out from those PSB speakers. Bravo PSB!!!!!!
Thanks everyone for your advice. Sounds like the PSB's are the favorite but that any of them would be satisfactory. Or maybe some used KEF 3's......
hi tish, while i've never heard the nht's or the paradigms, i can't *imagine* choosing the psb's over the thiels. yust my opinion... doug
I have now used the PSB Stratos Gold for the past five years and with great results and happiness. In fact, I now have all PSB's in my dedicated theater room (C5, sub, and 4 x mini Stratos). My final deciosion was between B&W 801 or the Stratos Gold. For the $$, the S/G won in my ears (again cost to benefit ratio played a role). I bought mine through a dealer in NC called "Audiospectrum" and the owner was VERY good to deal with. Shipment was prompt and the discount adequate. Good luck.
Tishomingodrew, I looked at these speakers before buying(including, Theil,NHT 2.9,Vandersteen 3a, Aerial 7B). I bought the Hales Revelation3(also Rev2 for back). Paradigm 100V2 wasn't out, but Rev3(and Rev2) clearly sounded better to me. Hopefully Paradigm got rid of that cheap piece of plastic on the top of the speaker in the second version. Back to the point, Hales Rev3($2200)in look and sound was just simply the best deal(in my opinion). PSB Goldi finished a close second. The Hales will love your power...Happy listening.....LR
Re psb nht paradigm' Perhaps you have bought by now, but just in case here's a tid bit. I went to buy a pair of paradigm s and the dealer knew my musical taste and had me listen to the 80's back to back with the 100s. The 80s carried 98percent of the base of the bigger speakers but had a much better sound. They are 2 way rather than 3 way. Because of that,to my ears they have better imaging and the overall tone is cleaner. I have heard the PSB and to me they are bright but that's for you to decide. Either way the Canadian made speakers will have much better value than the NHTs because of the currency difference. Cheers steve
One more thing. I forgot to say with your amp and room size do yourself a favor and listen to a pair of magneplaners. The 1.6qr is in your price range and you said set up space is not a problem. They might make you more than a casual listener. steve
The PSB Gold(i) is not brighter than the Paradigm. In my opinion the Paradigm is the brighter of the two. If you look futher up you will see that from my previous post that I think highly of the new Paradigm speakers. I do however own the PSB speakers. I do not know which electronics that you auditioned with the PSB speakers. If there was brightness, more so than the Paradigm speakers, it was because of the electronics. I have spent a great deal of time with both speakers. I would rate these two speakers dead even in quality with each having slightly different flaws. This is the first Paradigm series to be up to PSB standards. There other endeavers fell far short.