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#430818 - 12/31/18 01:50 PM Paradigm Prestige?
LaRazaUnida Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Denton, Texas
Hey guys!

Been a long time member (‘06) and finally getting to a point in life where I can afford a sound system! I purchased my dad a 7.1 JBL Northridge (E100,EC35, 4xE50, Klipsch 12” sub) back in the day and now it is my turn! 🎉

My budget is aiming for under $10K including the new tv but I can wait for a TV into 2020 if needed. I am also looking for a system that I intend to keep for the next 15+years. The room it is going in is undecided. House will be purchased in the Summer.

After all the research, I am looking at M100, VP180, 2xQS10 or the Paradigm Prestige line of 95F,55C,2x25S. I will not pay full retail for paradigm but I would still expect a $3-$4K difference in price.

So for the question— is the significant price difference worth it or will the Axiom more than hold its own so I could allocate remaining budget to sub and tv? In 15years, who knows I might be able to afford the Paradigm Persona or Bryston equivalent line haha.

But why Axiom? I’ve always been drawn to their history, build, quality, and forums/customer support aspect. I have no relation or research with Paradigm, nor have I compared the two side by side.

Just looking for some reassurance before I drop a significant amount of money (for me at least) that I have been saving for some time.

As for subs, including the WAF, I am looking at the SVS PB16, Rythmik G25HP, and PSA S3611. Does Axiom ever plan to come out with a level higher than the EP800? Receiver will be from the Yamaha Aventage line. TV, depends on 2019 tech and ‘19 Black Friday specials 😛

Sorry for the long post and wall of text. Just excited to FINALLY be making my purchase within the next 6mo after YEARS of waiting!!

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#430820 - 12/31/18 04:45 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: LaRazaUnida]
Mojo Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 5614
I'd love to give you some answers right now but my friends and I are too busy enjoying my M100,M5,160,QS10, M3 and a special edition of the 800...all version 4. I'll try to give you more info later.
_________________________
M100,VP160,QS10HPx2,EP800,M5HP,M3,M50 v4
M80,VP150,QS8x4,EP600 v2
ADA-1000-2,3,1500-3
Air N3,N2

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#430833 - 01/01/19 05:52 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: LaRazaUnida]
Mojo Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 5614
I haven't heard Paradigms in 11 years. I can't therefore tell you if Axiom sounds better than Paradigm. I do know however that both companies employ the same philosophy in speaker design which is the one developed back in the mid 80s at the NRC. Having said that, they're bound to sound different because they interpret "the recipe" in different ways. If you want to know more about this recipe, look up my post on "We six curves of Axiom are".

$10K is a very decent budget. Considering Axiom products, which is what I am most familiar with, and a sale on factory outlet gear, you can put together an audiophile-grade 5.1 speaker system for under $5K quite easily. That will easily not only work but be over-kill in many ways for large spaces like my 4200 cu. ft. room.

I can't tell you what Axiom gear to buy but I can tell you about my experience. I owned a v2 system consisting of M80s, QS8s, VP150 and EP600 for 11 years. I really struggled with it and didn't like it particularly the 600 and the VP150. In the last 4 years, my tastes changed and I wanted greater soundstage width and depth and improved imaging like being able to actually place instruments and vocals on the soundstage. I didn't do any upgrades but I followed Axiom very closely in a silent kind of way particularly after Andrew Welker joined Ian's team. To make a long story short, around 2017, 4 years after Axiom released v4, I started seriously reading and talking with Ian and a few other knowledgeable people. I finally decided to upgrade to the 160 and 800 both v4 because those were very problematic for me. I was so blown away by both of those products (which frankly I was expecting after all my reading and discussions) that I decided to upgrade the rest of my system.

If you read my many posts and reviews of the QS10, 160, 800, M3, M5, you'll come to understand what Axiom created with the v4 is a real gift for us all. I'm also running M100s now and those, while they're terrific, aren't really needed to have an audiophile-grade experience.

I've gone on and on about all these products and I'm sure folks around here are long tired of my prose. Suffice it to say that while v4 looks the same as the v2 I had, that's where the similarities end. While v4 is very important, that's not the most important thing for you to understand at this point.

The most important thing is that Axiom today isn't like the Axiom of v2. These folks are cranking out one innovation after the other. I've been in product development for 31 years and I don't know how they do it. This is most important because like you, 11 years ago I thought I'd buy a system and be done with it for the rest of my life. That's not how it worked out for me however because my understanding of what I really needed evolved. So the real question here is not only how you can get a great sounding system but how can you evolve that system to take advantage of innovations in sound research for the lowest total cost of ownership.

Enter the Axiom loyalty programs, sales incentives and multiple on-line "stores". Every time you buy, your loyalty discount level grows. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Ian is very, very generous. Even though I am happy as the proverbial pig in sh!t with my system, I know there's stuff coming around the corner that will give me more of what I want - improved image focus, greater stage depth and wider soundstage. I also want to move to separate amplification and Axiom is going to make it easier for me to do that. I'll be able to trade my current gear in at very generous trade-in values to take advantage of the innovations that will truly improve my sound experience and emotions. On this point, don't be fooled by changes to speaker aesthetics that a lot of companies engage in. Those aesthetics may make the speakers appear better but they won't necessarily sound any better. The speakers are not just a tweeter, a mid-woofer, a woofer, a cabinet or a cross-over but rather how well a speaker company understands those parts and how to "sum them all" so that they work as a finely tuned system.

Getting into gear, I've tried M3s, M5s and M100s in my 4,200 cu. ft. space mated to my Onk, 800v4, vP160v4 and QS10. All of those speakers fill my space. Even those M3s which I long-despised since hearing the M3TI 11 years ago. Now, they are a different animal and even at 12.5 feet apart and 12 feet away, I had an amazing deep, wide and tall soundstage with images I could see across the layers. As I've said in other posts, the M5 and M100 improves on that with strongly diminishing returns after the M5. The M5 is simply amazing but of course I don't know how much more or less amazing to an equivalent Paradigm product. I just know that my finnicky ear-brain system that was so badly tortured by v2 gear is now so flooded with the chemicals released by v4, that I just can't get enough!

I have no reservations recommending the v4 speakers and sealed subs. I've been saying all v2 customers need to do themselves a solid and get on v4. I can't say anything about the ported subs because I've never heard them. If you have the resources to compare gear from the two companies within your space, go for it. Remember though that your tastes may evolve and it may cost you a whack of cash to satisfy them. Or you may not be able to satisfy them because cash is a barrier and that's a pretty crappy way to live the rest of your existence. Axiom makes satisfaction much easier. BTW, customer service is exceptional.

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#430835 - 01/02/19 01:55 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: LaRazaUnida]
Mojo Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 5614
I forgot about your sub question. I have the 800v4 and it leaves me wanting nothing unlike my 600v2 that I wanted to shoot a few holes through with my 9mm and finish it off good with my 0.45. I got a great trade-in value 11 years later because Ian is so generous. Smooth, tight, transparent, effortless, permeating bass and infrasonics that is fantastic for both music and movies. It's too much for my 4,200 cu. ft. room...it's at less than 1/3 gain on the back and my Onk turns it down an extra 2dB. I should have gone for a single 500. Ian says the 600 is good enough and goes low enough. The 800 is for those who want the lowest and loudest while maintaining linearity. They don't necessarily need it.

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#430837 - 01/02/19 08:38 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: LaRazaUnida]
Slimpikins Offline
local

Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 237
Loc: New England
I had the opportunity to use pretty extensively several different SVS subs; the SB16 Ultra, the PC2000, the PC12plus, the PC13 ultra and I also was able to use the fancy $4500 Paradigm, forgot the number... I now have the Axiom EP800V4 with the special 'switch', an EP500 and a new to me since November Bryston Model T sub. I can tell you hands down; there is no comparison between the SVS and the Axioms or Bryston subs... it's not even worth discussing how much better these are than the SVS offerings. I had horrible reliability with all of the SVS speakers, every one I had failed within short order. The Paradigm was a beast, but it was not at all musical; very boomy and overpowering; I didn't like it at all.

Anything I have from Axiom or Bryston is is hands down in different league. BTW, my main speakers are the Bryston Model T's converted to the signature series with PX1 outboard crossovers.... the only way to go.


Edited by Slimpikins (01/02/19 08:39 PM)

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#430840 - 01/02/19 10:12 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: LaRazaUnida]
brendo Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/14/14
Posts: 452
Loc: West coast Canada
Another vote for Axiom sub over anything else. I've got an EP500 ,much better than the PB1000 I used before it.
Well I still use my PB1000 up against my couch as more of a mid bass unit. My Axiom is the big rumble and SVS booty shaker.

When I was only using M3 and M22 for my fronts the SVS seemed like enough. When I added my M80s the poor little SVS was completely drowned out by the M80s alone. The difference is night and day, the ported SVS runs out of steam easily and easily goes into chuffing . My EP500 handles everything fast controlled detailed. Never once an off sound. For the last couple years I've had mine.

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#430841 - 01/02/19 10:48 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: LaRazaUnida]
Mojo Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 5614
Brendo, it sounds like you need the gut punch (disco fever) mod Ian made for Slim and I. By my crude measurements, it will give you a 6dB boost between 55 and 85 Hz.
_________________________
M100,VP160,QS10HPx2,EP800,M5HP,M3,M50 v4
M80,VP150,QS8x4,EP600 v2
ADA-1000-2,3,1500-3
Air N3,N2

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#430860 - 01/05/19 04:30 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: Mojo]
Ian Offline
President
connoisseur

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 1277
Hi Mojo,

We have now made the Gut Punch switch a permanent feature for the EP500, EP600, and EP800 subs. Yours is the only one labeled "Nad Tickler" and "Gut Punch" though. Slimpickins has his own special labeling happening on his too.
_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

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#430862 - 01/05/19 05:05 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: LaRazaUnida]
Mojo Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 5614
That is a very nice addition, Ian. Yes...Slim is very fond of disco and gin. smile Thank you.

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#430866 - 01/05/19 05:53 PM Re: Paradigm Prestige? [Re: Ian]
bman84 Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/29/18
Posts: 148
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By Ian
Hi Mojo,

We have now made the Gut Punch switch a permanent feature for the EP500, EP600, and EP800 subs. Yours is the only one labeled "Nad Tickler" and "Gut Punch" though. Slimpickins has his own special labeling happening on his too.


I ordered an EP600 on Oct. 25th (haven't picked it up yet). Would it have a Gut Punch switch built in?
_________________________
M5HP
VP180
8x M3
ADA1000-3
Denon 4500H
SVS SB-3000 (dual)

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