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jaz

paradigm

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Hiya, I'm swithing from stereo to 5.1 channel home theatre sound system. I sent away for this-->http://www.dakmart.com/itemdetails/16448/173/, and i have a pair of paradigm 9se's i bought in '96 or so.

 

So I'm hunting down the rest of components, like center and rear speakers.

Here's my question. The paradigm delaer I've been doing business with for many years told me to match the center speaker with ONLY a paradigm, or it will sound unbalanced or something. I've heard of the buzzword "timbre" in audiophile websites, and it refers to the quality and uniformity of the soundfield form your front mains and center channel, which he says should match. Sears have more options.

 

He says if i buy a different brand of center speaker, i will be compromising the sound integrity of the sound. Is there any truth in this? I want to stick with paradigm anyway, because i absolutly LOVE my 9se's. But he wants $140 for a nice center speaker with 2 4" drivers and tweeter in the middle. I have been searching all over the web for deals on paradigm speakers, and i can only find them on ebay bid paypal options. I hate paypal, and i closed my account awhile ago after numurous problems. They are VERY hard to find.

 

I would like to check out upstate NY, Albany, Troy, Schenectady area stores where they sell high quality stuff. Or does anybody here have paradigm speakers in real good condition for a reasonable price? looking for rears and center. Center being first priority. I forgot the model # from the local dealer, but it look very high quality for $140, but i see on ebay people selling paradigm speakers very, very cheap. The pics look great and i would be protected by ebay's buyer protection policy.

 

But i would rather drive 50 miles and get a real good deal or buy from someone here if we can set that up somehow. All responses are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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Your dealer is correct as for as the center channel needing to blend with your mains. However that's not to say another manufacturer's speaker wouldn't sound good with your 9se's. The problem is that until you take it home and listen you will have no idea how well it will match the sound of your mains.

 

I have Studio Monitors and was never really happy with the center channel that went with them. I finally ended up building my own but it wasn't a one time thing. I had a pretty good idea on what speakers and box design would sound good. Even so, I think I ended up going through three different sets of midrange speakers and two box designs before I got a speaker that blended seamlessly with the mains.

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Why weren't you happy with the center channel speaks, Praz? Were they paradigm or another brand? I built a subwoofer enclosure out of high quality particle board per instructions from the store i printed out, including width, lenght, depth, the 2 inside x-beams for stbility and to eliminate blooming. I got a 12" kicker sub in there (my car)and it sounds great.

 

That's the only speaker cabinet building experience i have, and i don't think i'd want to tackle the headache you just described. Thanks for your input. I tended to believe him anyway, but i wanted to chack here first. I will learn from your experience and NOT build my own cabinet. I would rather just buy one. He's trying to get rid of his older models and they're on sale. But i see on Paradigm's website they have less expensive and probably better (newer techknoledgy) centers and rears.

 

I'll wait to see what he gets in stock soon. Meanwhile i can enjoy the "surround effect" the reciever has with just the mains. I sent away for some optical cables for my HD cable box and dvd player, so it should passify me until i get the rest of the speakers. Just want i need...another expensive hobby.

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Your dealer is correct as for as the center channel needing to blend with your mains. However that's not to say another manufacturer's speaker wouldn't sound good with your 9se's. The problem is that until you take it home and listen you will have no idea how well it will match the sound of your mains.

 

Pretty much dead on.

 

You might consider trying to go without a center channel at all. The Paradigm's are pretty solid speakers and likely have great imaging. It'll depend on your receiver of course, but most of them will send the center channel signal to the front L/R speakers if you disable the center channel. In a sufficiently large room (say, a seating position of at least 8 feet away from where the center channel would be) you probably won't even notice the difference.

 

Otherwise, you could try to find out what kind of tweeters are used in your paradigms, and try to find another speaker with that same brand (though likely not model) of tweeter. Keeping it within the same brand tends to make them sound more alike, though given the age it may not work out quite so well in your case.

 

Also, if your receiver has the capability to adjust bass/treble for each speaker, you might be able to 'fake it' with a center channel that doesn't quite sound the same. It's normally the highs and midrange that give it away, and setting that a bit lower or higher to match your mains might be enough to get it to sound alright.

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The Paradigm center channel sounded good quality wise it just wasn't beefy enough for my application. My mains are are tri-amped with 200W amplifiers. Depending on the audio, I wasn't able to feed the center channel enough power for it to always blend well with the mains.

 

Using the same midrange and tweeter for your center channel as what is in the 9se's is something to consider but it may be cost prohibitive. At least with my Studio Monitors, Paradigm actually makes the speakers so they have to come from them. I've blown a couple of tweeters and they're over $200.00 each.

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Paradigms are notorious for blowing tweeters.

My Monitor 9's (V1) have been through three over the years, but I don't recall having paid that much for replacements.

Maybe it's because I live in Canada.

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I think we pay a premium here in the U.S. I've had friends drive across the boarder to buy speakers and claim to save quite a bit.

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hi Praz, I just came from the Paradigm dealer I've bought allmost all my car and home audio equipment from $$, and he asked my if i bi-wired the 9se's. I didn't even know what he meant. He has the same 9se's ('96) i have.

He explained it to me and said I'd definately notice a difference. Take the bracket off and, with the SAME GAUGE wire, run another pair from the same speaker output to the 2nd speaker terminals. He said it cuts out distortion.

 

And you have them TRI-wired Praz!? Holy $hit The 9se's have a braket so you can either bi-wire or run them with 2 different amps. What kind of Paradigm do you have that you can tri-wire them? and can you tell me if you're using more than one amp or are you doing it as i described?

 

And Dan, they had a had a chart from paradigm saying almost 80% of the sound comes from the center speaker, so i kinda like the idea of not having one. I have a nice 5.1 setup for my pc, and i don't agree with that chart, unless home theatre 5.1 is that much different than pc 5.1. I barely notice the center channel, and it's sitting right in front of my monitor, about 1 1/2 feet away from my face.

I don't like the idea that a small center channel $peaker, even a Paradigm, is going to be 80% of sound. The chart said the surrounds get about 22% and the rear gets 8%.

 

Krazypoloc, i have http://www.audioholics.com/ in my favorites and visit them often, though i don't read much that doesn't pertain to me, unless i find it interesting. I just like to keep updated, thanks for the links. I'll be sure to check the other out too. Thanks.

 

I've never had a problem with the tweeters. Lucky, i guess (fingers crossed.)

Thank you guys for your input. i appreciate it. I just picked up a 50 foot role of 12 gauge premium wire for the rears, as i have to make 2 25 foot runs. Which means I'm probably looking at getting the paradigm focus for the rears.

Not using a center channel speaker (saving me $200) puts me in a better place budgetwise to ge them.

 

Believe it or not, right now I'm using the cheapest oldest Denon dra345 (45 watts per channell i bought in 92 and it still carnks out very powerful bass. I leave it on nuetral, and i get planty of bass. I almost hate to replace it, but i heard the 1705 at the store. He wanted $300.00 Like i said, i already have it on order from dakmart. Done business with them before, they're cool. Only ones that offer a 1year warrenty on refurbished stuff. Plus refurbished means they fixed a problem, put it through rigorous testing before shipping it back out, so it's double tested.

 

Well time to do some more homework. Thanks again for all the input. Hope i can reciprocate.

jaz

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Never mind Praz, I didn't pay close enough attention to see you're running another amp to tri-wire...wow, they must sound freakin' awesome.

 

Dan, i think you have the best option for my needs. I'm trying to keep cost down, but quality is more important. I heard a pair of paradigm focus for about $340 That sounded very, very nice for rears. That way i keep all my speaks paradigm and eliminate the cost of center speaker by improving sound by bi-wiring. I'm not getting a sub, cuz i live across the street from a car wash, and all us neighbors had a hell of a battle getting the kids with their subwoofers blaring, rattling my windows under control. I learned to hate that sound.

 

Besides, I'd have it on and ten seconds later the landlord (my best friend) would be calling...:nod:

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Wow! Hey Praz, last night i bi-wired my 9se's, and i couldn't believe the difference! The imaging and soundfield improved very noticeably. I visited some audiophile sites for some opinions on bi-wiring, and a lot of them say they can't tell the difference. I don't see how, as i can definitely notice the difference.

 

Deeper bass, clearer highs and improved midrange so much i hear things i never heard before when i played a couple cd's. Just thought I'd let ya know. Gotta go get them paradigm focus before they're gone, as they are discontinued. And the new line are either these-->http://www.paradigm.com/en/paradigm/fronts...4-1-14.paradigm

 

or these-->http://www.paradigm.com/en/paradigm/fronts...-4-1-2.paradigm :eek:

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Depending on the system people hear anything from no difference to WOW. It's really satisfying when a minor change results in such a positive outcome.

Here's a shot of mine tri-amped.

 

cable.jpg

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