No experience with Paradigm, but Stereophile website has a few reviews on the Paradigm Studio series and from what I gather, the Paradigm is an easy speaker to drive which would seem to indicate that a tube amp would be compatible with these speakers.
11 responses Add your response
I had Paradigm Monitor 11 V3 which I drove with a Prima Luna Prologue 2 with very good results except there was a lack of bass. When I switched to Cary 300B mono-blocks & SLP98P everything got even better including the bass. I also drove them with an ASL 2A3 integrated which was very sweet sounding although not the most dynamic or authoritative in the bass region. In other words don't be afraid to try them with different tube amps. Paradigm makes a lot better speaker than they're given credit for, I keep hearing folks say they're only for home theater.
Heard Cary 300B with ProAcs and it was a wonderful sound...I can't quite afford such a setup now but just upgraded my amp from Parasound to Sonic Frontiers Power 1 driving my old Paradigm Studio 20.
My impression is that Paradigms are great speakers (esp considering the price). If I won't find a good deal on ProaAcs here soon - I am surely upgrading to Paradigm Reference Series.
What I surely hear now is that they match well with tube amp but don't sound as deep (bass is somehow weaker and not as tight) as when driven by more powerful solid state amp.
Thanks for the replies. I keep constantly changing my mind on what to do. I'll probably keep my rig as-is for a while and try to finish my basement before I do any upgrading. There's a guy here locally who sells Conrad Johnson and Rogue, I know I'll be able to audition those as well as McIntosh. As far as bass goes, I do have a sub to supplement that low end. Again, thanks for the responses.
I ran Paradigm Studio 100s v3 with a Rouge Tempest for a while and in my opinion, they worked well together. I assume the 40's are similar, but the 100's have a pretty rough impedance curve (that is, some bigger dips) that makes them less friendly to tube amps.
So long as you aim for 40 or more tube watts (or so), I think you'll be fine. Good luck.
If the tube power amp will be of low power, then how easy your speakers are to drive is probably relevant. But, the most important thing to know about your speaker is its impedance curve. Because tube power amps can have a highish output impedance, you want the impedance curve of the speaker to be as smooth as possible -- more of a resistive load.
See this article: http://stereophile.com/reference/810/
Based on the Stereophile review of the Studio 20, I'd take a pass on tubes in the power amp.
Compare to the smoothness of a Thiel speaker
Tubes in the preamp will likely be a better bet in your current setup.
Sprink,if you're still wondering about tube amps and Paradigm speakers,I have a Rogue Audio Tempest II Magnum and Paradigm Monitor 7 speakers that I really enjoy.The Monitors are the least expensive Paradigms.I'm sure the Studios would sould as good or better.I can listen to my music for hours at a time without a hint of fatigue.Isn't that what's it's all about?