Paradigm Studio 100 5.1 Speaker System Reviewed

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Low Points

There is not much to complain about with the Paradigm Studio v.5 series of speakers with its years of revisions and improvements. However, I guess no speaker is perfect. The center channel comes with attached feet that are to be used if one does not use the Paradigm stand. I found that the plastic feet were not up to the build quality of the rest of the speakers. Also, with the feet affixed to the speaker rather than being separate, the ability to position and aim the speaker is limited. Speaker positioning is also my concern with the surround speakers, as with any dipole surround speaker. In my particular room, it is very difficult to position dipole surround speakers. During my listening tests, I had to place the left surround speaker in front of the door to the room. While this worked for the short term, I would not want to place a speaker in front of a door that could be opened and knock over a speaker. On the other hand, I can think of other room configurations where a dipole surround speaker would likely work better than a traditional speaker design. The moral of the story is that no one speaker design fits every room, so consider your room before buying your speakers.

Paradigm has hit a home run with their new Studio Series v.5. The Paradigm Studio 100 v.5s are quite capable in either a stereo or multi-channel setting. The CC-690 and ADP-590 speakers do their job very well, so long as your room will allow for correct positioning. Lastly, the Studio 15 subwoofer does a phenomenal job in plumbing the depths of the audio range, reaching down to the bottom with authority, and should be enough to handle most home theater systems (although I am a fan of multiple subwoofers).

The current series of Paradigm Studio speakers has a character that can be best described as warm midrange with an ever so slightly active top end. I never found the Paradigms to be harsh, but if you expect or are seeking a more laid-back speaker, you will want to audition others in the price class. For the rest of us, the Paradigm Studios do so much right. They throw a huge soundstage with well-defined images, without pinpointing the speakers as the sonic source and vocals are reproduced with full-bodied warmth. All in all, these speakers can simply disappear and let the music or movie shine through to be enjoyed. People with speakers costing as much as $20,000 a pair have commented to me that they could easily live with Paradigm Studio 100s without a second thought. They are just that good.

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