When it comes to top-flight speakers designed for peak performance at price levels a imed at the Everyman, no one does it better than Paradigm
. Their newest assault on cost-no -object speakers, the Signature S8 v.2s reviewed here, are the latest absolute statement from the Canadian manufacturer. With retail prices starting at just under $6,000, the S8 v.2s cost about half as much as the competition they're up against and in many ways embarra ss. Armed with a one-inch Beryllium dome tweeter, a seven-inch Co-Pal cobalt-infused aluminum midrange driver and four seven-inch polypropylene bass cones, the S8 v.2 is nothing if not full range. The S8 v.2 is a relatively efficient design, with 92 dB sensitivity into a benign eight-ohm load, meaning the speaker is remarkably easy to drive to concert levels with both solid and tube-based amplifiers. The six-driver array is housed in a beautifully finished cabinet that comes in either a piano black lacquer or bird's eye maple. The finish is topnotch and gives the large S8 v.2 a sleek, elegant appearance, which goes a long way toward masking its overall stature and girth. The S8 v.2 has four outrigging feet to improve stability and tighten bass response and is bi-wireable
via dual pairs of recessed WBT-style binding posts. The S8 v.2 has a ported design, which helps with overall bass response, but this also means placement in your room can require a bit more space.