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Paradigm Studio 40 & Studio CC Mini Review

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Apocalypse, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    Introduction

    Paradigm have two ranges of speakers in their arsenal, the "Monitor" range includes the Monitor speakers and the subwoofers from the PS range including the well known PS1000. The high end range is known as "Reference", here we find the Studio range, in-wall speakers and subwoofers like the legendary Servo-15. As the title says I have the Reference Studio 40 and Studio CC (centre), you can find the specs for both here

    Hardware

    Rotel RMB-1075 5 x 120 Power Amp
    Marantz AV9000 Processor (Xover set to 80Hz)
    Sony DVP-NS900V DVD Player (Used For Music Too)
    QED XT400 Speaker Cable For All Front Speakers
    Velodyne HGS-18 Subwoofer (Xover Disabled)
    Apollo A4 Speaker Stands 3/4 Filled With Dry Sand
    Room - 3.1m x 3.3m

    Upgrading From What?

    The Studio 40s have replaced the Paradigm Esprit floorstanders. They are seated on Apollo A4 speaker stands.

    The Studio CC has replaced the Paradigm CC350

    Results With Music

    Having used the Esprit floorstanders for over 5 years the Studio 40s would have to be something special to improve upon them. The Esprit speakers are also from the Reference stable and have an incredible low end extension. At reference volume these beasts are flat to 40Hz and can still have reasonable output as low as 25Hz, quite unheard of for speakers that cost only £499 :eek:


    Well I'm pleased to say that the Studio 40s immediately staked their claim as the new champions, two things struck me straight that bettered the Esprits, clarity and solidity. The sound was distinctly cleaner but with no harshness, infact the Studio 40s now make me think the Esprits were harsh, I guess this is what the term "Neutral" means. "What does he mean by solidity" I hear you cry, the bass and midrange is again distictly superior to the Esprits, my body registers each drum beat as though I'm right next to the speaker, the power of the Studio 40s is jaw dropping.

    My reason for buying the Studio speakers wasn't because I didn't like the Esprits, I just wanted a change after 5 years and reviews for the Studio range were very positive. I suspected that the sound would be different but not in a million years did I suspect that the Studio 40s would so utterly dominate the Esprits, I suppose for me the differences are obvious as I knew the Esprit speakers inside and out.

    Results With Home Cinema

    From my thoughts in the music review it's no surprise to hear that the Studio 40s were very impressive with movie material but I now wanted to see what the Studio CC is like compared to the CC350. Surprise surprise, clarity and solidity reared themselves immediately, the cleanliness of the dialogue was astonishing. Little things like the breathing from an actor were now picked up where as before they weren't. I put Blade II (DTS just for Ian J's sake) in the mix as I wanted a real test for the Studio CC. The improvements over the CC350 are evident straight away, I particularly was impressed in Chapter 2 when Blade jumps from the top floor to the ground below and fires his pistol at the fleeing vamp. It was this scene that showed the superior power of the Studio CC over the CC350, again as I had used the CC350 for many years I found the improvements obvious and very pleasing.

    Next I played a 5.1 music DVD in the form of Mariah Carey's 1s, the Studio CC was very musical and again the cleanliness of the sound was evident

    Previously while using the Esprit and CC350 for the front soundstage I was aware that the two had different timbre characteristics but now that I had a timbre matched front soundstage I was curious to hear the results. The Studio CC blends in perfectly with the Studio 40s even though it sits 2 feet higher than them. Pans across the screen and music are flawless, switching from stereo to 5.1 with music clearly shows that the Studio CC has the same character of the Studio 40, neutral, solid and clean.

    Conclusion

    At £900 this front soundstage is nothing short of incredible, I'm not going to compare these speakers to any other brands as it would be guess work on my part but I can safely say that in the Uk there is no better valued speaker than a Paradigm bought at Richer Sounds due to their amazing pricing policy with Paradigm. The Studio 40 retails in the US at over $1000, here RS sell it for £599 :eek:

    The Studio CC retails in the US at the $500-600 price point, RS sell it for £299 :eek:

    Every silver lining needs a cloud of course, it's not uncommon to wait months for RS to have stock of Paradigm speakers so if you are impatient you must consider this beforehand :)

    Regards
    Phil
     
  2. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Phil.

    That's great that you would find so much too recommend in them in such a short space of time, there is something very satifying about coming to the conclusion that the decision you have made (with your hard earned cash) was indeed the right one - of course long term satisfaction is what it is all about.
    i too have an unashamed love affair with my front soundstage and consistantly thrill at what i hear.


    Steve.
     
  3. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    The speakers are still being broken in so they seem to grow on me more and more each time they are fired up. My next target is to bi-amp the Studio 40s and Studio CC, thinking of getting another Rotel 1075 for this.
     
  4. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Is Phil still around? Would be interested to hear his opinions after living wit hthem for a few months.
     

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