Paradigm Reference Signature S8 Floorstanding Speakers

Signature S8

41Hz-22kHz ±2dB, -3dB at 28Hz, 25mm (1 inch) gold-anodized pure aluminum dome tweeter, 178mm (7 inch) mica-loaded polymer cone midrange driver, 4 x 178mm (7 inch) mineral-filled polypropylene cone bass drivers, 3-way configuration, 91dB sensitivity, 8 ohm compatible impedance, 200lb/pair

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
Power2Spare   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 26, 2010]

Excellent sounding speakers at this price point. Very good frequency range and can hit very high volumes. Good power handling ability. Excellent workmanship. The cabinetry in cherry is a thing of beauty. On the downside, it tends to be a bit bright and forward for my taste but does have a very impressive sound.

Strengths:
Cabinets, power handling, price/value, impressive sound, good range

Weaknesses:
A bit bright and forward for my taste

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
SY   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 17, 2008]
Strength:

I borrowed the description from the other reviewer that best describe the strength :- Realism and transparency in spades, Great top and bottom, Spacious (and life-like) sound stage

Weakness:

Due to height of tweeter (the speaker is 4 feet height and tweeter is right at the top), you cannot slouch in your listening chair or else it will be a bit off vertical axis

This review is for V2, with upgraded pure berrylium tweeter and gold-anodized pure aluminium midrange driver.
This is a pair of big speakers and need to be treated as such with respect to speaker placing. Need at leat 2 feet from the back wall. If you want more slam, toe-in till the speaker axis meet just 1 foot behind yuour head, less toe-in for more lay back listening taste.
It is transparent and hence sensitive to partnering equipments, cables and power source included. I use an 35WPC integrated tube amp and I can have concert hall PSL with volume dial at 11 o' clock (Note V2 is 92dB sensitivity). Tube amp will synergize very well with transparent speakers for a warmer tonality.

Similar Products Used: Proac Studio 140, also auditioned Proac D28
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dr R Rankin   AudioPhile [Oct 16, 2007]
Strength:

Rhythmic drive ability

Weakness:

Midbass too forward
Vocals not 'there' in the soundstage (This could have been partnering equipment used in the test)

This short review is not intended to unduly cirtisize this speaker. In fact I think it is a great speaker, but it adds a certain character to the music which i dislike, but others might like a lot. So, the purpose here is to direct potential buyers towards buying this, or steering clear if their taste differs from what is offered here.

I had a good listen at a dealer to these speakers (just a casual session, I am not in the market for speakers, being very thrilled with my B&W 802d's.) What immediately striked me is the forward midbass. No matter what I tried ito setup and room position, it stayed like this. I didn't like it, one tends to start following the midbass lines instead of enjoying music.

However, that is my taste. For those looking for a high quality, good looking speaker that 'impresses' with good dynamics, this is one for your shortlist. I only listened to it in stereo, but I get the impression that for the money this will be one the very best home theatre front speaker sets.

So, if your taste in musical reproduction is purely to have musicality, donl't go this route. If your taste dictates having a very dynamic speaker with lots of rhythmic drive, this is the speaker for you.

Customer Service

This dealer Mod'n Sound in Umhlanga is great. If in South Africa KZN, go to him for good service.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
ournewceleb   AudioPhile [Apr 12, 2005]
Strength:

Realism and transparency in spades Great top and bottom Spacious soundstaging

Weakness:

Large and heavy, try moving around for optimium performance, e.g., not up against a wall

I recently decided to upgrade from my old Studio Reference 60s to these. These speakers were selected based on listening around a variety of speakers, including more expensive ones. I am absolutely thrilled with the performance of the S8s. From top to bottom, the level of tranparency is incredible, and sounstaging is massive. For classical recordings, particularly string instruments, it sounds like the instrument is right there in front of you. I find myself listening to all of my recordings all over again, amazed at what I apparently missed before. I highly recommend, indeed urge, anyone considering spending in this price range or beyond check these out. Bring CDs with a variety of music, from rock to classic. I few (minor) negatives to mention are these suckers are quite large and heavy, and I found the sound a bit more open when they were placed from the wall a bit. They tend to dominate the living room, but heck it is worth it!

Similar Products Used: Previously owned Studo ref 60. Also auditioned a host of others: studio 100s, Sonus Farber, Wilson, Martin Login, Dali, etc...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
petenoak   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 11, 2005]
Strength:

Great bass extension. A "big" sound. Large dynamic range. Incredibly smooth top end. Tall speakers. Handsome without being pretentious. Fine wood finishes.

Weakness:

Some might prefer more "tingle" in top end and a closer perspective. Speakers tend towards "glow" rather than up-front clarity. Weigh over 90 lbs!

Big, rich, smooth sound. Somewhat more distant perspective. Great dynamic range. Firstly, I use a "tube-like" solid state amp with these speakers. Also, I find the speakers can be placed fairly far apart for a very spacious effect. To my ear, Classical music is just gorgeous with these speakers. That is my primary listening. I prefer these to Paradigm's Studio 100's. High strings (depending on your home acoustics) are smooth and beautiful. With some speakers (Thiel) the sound is closer, clearer, but with perhaps less atmosphere than these S8's. In Jazz or Rock, some might prefer a closer perspective, and more "edge" on the high end but for this listener the S8's work equally well for all genres. In fact, the bass end is pretty darn impressive! The string bass on Terence Blanchard's version of "Footprints" is really something: deep and true without being bloated. I don't use these for home theatre, but I wonder who would feel the need to add a subwoofer to the S8's? They certainly reproduce well below the 41 HZ in the specifications. Another aspect of these speakers is the shear size of the things. For me, taller is better! If you have space for them (they are about as large as I would consider for a living room) these speakers give the impression that sound comes from different heights including above your ear level (when seated). In Jazz, the ride cymbal comes from just where you'd expect, etc. For Bach organ music, well, you are right there in the church experiencing it's great acoustics. To be honest, these speakers may not be to everyone's taste. Perhaps at this price level, once speakers have all the size and bass you could want, you begin to choose a "sound" that you enjoy. I choose these because they sound so impressive on today's high quality recordings but also make all my old recordings, from Caruso to Ellington to Cream(!) sound good again.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm Studio 100, Sonus-Faber Cremona ($8K!), Thiel 2.4, Vienna Acoustics, B&W.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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