Hardware Spotlight ? Paradigm
Paradigm System Six Home Theater Speaker System
By Ron Goldberg
While distributed audio is one of the killer apps of home installation, many, if not most, customers still expect a freestanding speaker solution for their main home theater and music listening areas. Once you filter out the highest-end, cost-no-object systems, and other speaker systems that are really meant to be seen (or not seen) rather than heard, the formula for both C-tailer and customer is pretty much the same as it's always been — best sonic value for the buck.
Paradigm's Monitor series has been gathering followers for years, particularly amongst frugal audiophiles, with its own approach to value for the buck. Now in its latest v3.0 incarnation, the Monitor 5, a tallish bookshelf-sized model, comprises one of the company's bundled system suggestions, called "System Six." It is joined by the shielded CC-370 center speaker and ADP-370 surrounds to form a timbre-matched surround complement. The company offers several subwoofers; I evaluated the PW-2200 along with the rest of the system. The Monitor 5 v3 is a three-driver, two-way bass reflex design with a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter, accompanied by a 6.5-inch midrange/bass driver and an identically sized, carbon-reinforced woofer. The enclosure is ported at the top rear of the cabinet. The speaker can handle 120 watts, with sensitivity rated at 92 dB under room-listening conditions. Frequency response is rated at 58 Hz to 20 kHz, measured on-axis.
The matching center channel (CC-370) is a horizontally oriented speaker with two of the same mid-bass drivers as the mains, which flank the identical titanium tweeter. The system, which is ported at the rear right, has an on-axis frequency response of 100 Hz to 20 kHz, and Paradigm claims low-frequency extension down to 58 Hz in real-world performance. The ADP-370 surrounds match the system acoustically, and feature a dipole design that incorporates the same midbass and tweeter drivers as the other speakers.