It's funny you should ask this. I just recently switched from Von Schweikert VR-1's to Paradigm Studio 20v3. I couldn't be happier with my choice. I didn't care much for the sound of the VR-1's. I thought they sounded very thin, uninvolving and just plain lifeless, and bright compared to the paradigms. I realize this goes against almost all the reviews out there. For reference I had the VR-1's hooked up to a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated amplifier and a Rotel RCD 1072 disc player. My cables were Transparent Music Wave plus, and then AudioQuest Type 4. I tried placement to see if that would help and it was to no avail. I was quite surprised when I listened to the Paradigms in my room. I've had many paradigms before. (Both v1 and v2 studio 20's) I feel the v3 is the best of all of the studio 20's. Granted the VR-1's may have done better with tube amplification, but I wasn't interested at the time in trying tubes again.
I built custom stands for the studio 20's this time. Very stable and filled with lead shot. I used the matching stands with the VR-1's. I'm sure this had some to do with it. I'm also sure that my electronics may not have been the best choice for the VR-1's. None the less, I'm using a cheaper speaker that is making me happier than before, and that's what concerns me.
I know there are some graphs avaiable that will tell you that Paradigm doesn't build a very good speaker. (as far as measurements go) The problem is, I don't look at graphs while I listen to my stereo. So the only thing that matters to me is how they sound.
I think that S7horton may have hit on it when he said that the electronics may have something to do with it. I have VR1s fed by a Rega Mira 3 integrated and the speakers sound rich, detailed, involving and substantive, and I love the combination. The VR1s are very revealing. I tried a MF A3 a while back and felt it was too bright for my taste. It may be that the 20v3 offers a good balance for the MF. Whereas, the VR1s exaggerate or reveal some characteristics of the MF A3. What it comes down to is system matching. You really need to try every speaker you are considering with your electronics to see what sounds best to you.
I've owned the VR-1s for a couple months now, and they've been terrific. My path is a little different than S7horton's, as my previous speakers were Epos ELS-3s. The Epos were as good as their reputation, but the VR-1s give me more of everything; better bass, smoother mids and highs, wider, deeper soundstage, just more music. I'm using a tube preamp, and my main source is vinyl, but I saw much improvement with my CDs and streaming digital too. My stands are not expensive, but are sand filled to provide a solid base.
I too wasn't able to audition the VR-1s before I bought them, but I found a used pair and figured my risk was small. They turned out to be a great choice for me.
First of, I'd like to thank you all for your thoughts. I guess it's a risk that I'm gonna have to take if I'd like to try the VR-1's. I just don't know if they would better the 20v3's with Rotel electronics, namely RSP-1066 controller and RMB-1095 power amp.
I owned a pair of the VR-1s after selling Studio 60s V2. This all started when I moved system into a small room and needed to reduce speaker size. There were a few standmounts in between the 60s during my search for a speaker for a small room. The VR-1s directly replaced a pair of NHT SB3s. I thought the VR-1s had an exceptional soundstage but were a tad thin sounding. Electronics at the time were a NAD C541i cd player with Roksan Kandy III integrated. Anyway, long story short, I ended up with a pair of Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rods in place of the standmounted speakers. They don't take up any more space, probably less actually, than speakers on stands and satisfy my tastes so much better. Good luck.
I agree with S7HORTEN, I own the paradigm 20 v2, that I use as a back channel for home theatre. I also use a Rotel RSP 1066 and the 1095 amp. My brother in-law has the VR-1 which I had the opportunity to use for about 3 months. However I just used them in my 2 channel set-up which is Classe 301 amp, Joule Electra tube pre, and audio research cd-2. I also used multiple types of wires over the months that I had them. I was very impressed at first for about a week with the VR-1, and they sounded very good on jazz like acoustic alchemy. If I only played that I would be satisfied, but ultimately I connected the Paradigms up and switched back and forth for over a month. Paradigms were much more pleasing every time. Better bass, soundstaging, fuller, and overall much bigger sounding. I like von schweikert speakers and also own the vr-4 gen 3 but I feel they also do not compare to my other full range speakers. Sorry I did not compare using the Rotel equipment,but I can't help but feel the results would be similar.
I have the VR-1s and love them. For reference, I have the Creek 5350 SE, NT 4000 with upsampler and generic cables (blue Jeans and homemade speaker cables). It does have a lot to do with the elctronics, but perhaps more with the room. The VR-1s are sold used infrequently so if you bought them and decided to sell them, you would find many willing buyers. My room is small and they actually sit in the bookshelves! It is my second system, and, yes, I do know what great audio sounds like! I was as surprised as you that they actually did sound great in the bookshelf. I do put them out on stands when I can. My favorite aspect of the VR-1s is their detail, soundstage and 3 dimensionality. I feel like I can see the players. I prefer them for small groups, vocals, strings. I do not prefer them for loud rock or large orchestra, in my room. I hope this helps you.
I've heard both and like both speakers, but they have very different sounds. The VR-1 is efficient, lean, and detailed. The Paradigm has a more full, yet balanced sound. So for the Rotel equipment, I would lean more toward the Paradigms. If you had a warm amp, such as a Dynaco ST-70 or something similar, or if you had a low-powered (10-20W) amp, then the VR-1 would be at the top of my list.
It depends partly on the sound that you want and partly (as stated previously) on the associated electronics.
>I do not prefer them for loud rock or large orchestra, in my room. I hope this helps you.<
Speakers that can only do one or two types of music are pretty much worthless, unless that is the ONLY music you listen to. Just my opinion....
I agree with some posts above. I've owned the Paradigm Studio 100s and VS speakers. With Rotel gear the Paradigms are a great match. If you end up going tubes (ASL, Jolida, etc) then VS might be the better choice.
I tried VS with Rotel gear and they weren't the best match.
canada over china, plus the paradigms sound better
With respect for others opinion, there are few speakers that are superb for all kinds of music. If they exist they are very expensive and not in the same league as these $1000/pair speakers. Some compromises have to be made, especially in bass extension. This is the meaning of my comment regarding musical material and a match with speakers. For deep bass extension using the VR-1s, I have added a small REL subwoofer and it gives me a more pleasing range, suitable for rock, synth and even some classical music. All life is compromise.
Thanks again everyone.... a million thanks for the guidance.
I think I'm gonna keep the Paradigms from what most of you people are saying and I think I'm gonna be happier....
Merlin TSM-MM or MX ....You wont want to keep the Paradigms against these !
When you do upgrade, make sure it is a definite one, and not a side ways move. If you buy them used here on the audiogon or other places like the ebay, then you could resell them and not lose too much $ (incase it doesn't turn out to be a true upgrade...)
I am listening to the Studio towers with McIntosh gears, and, they sound good to me - liquid and transparent...
You know about all the good professional reviews they received, right?
I too would keep them. Sure there are better speakers out there, like the ones with scan speak woofers, but for the money, they are on the very top of what you can get (I would say - IMHO).
Also, they are pretty audiophile, and musical sounding and enjoyable, with the right gears.
Wow, 7 years since the question was asked. The OP has probably moved on by now.
Alf can finally go in with his life, thx to Gg3.
You got to be kidding me. Bringing up a 7 yr. old thread tells me someone is extremely bored.