Paradigm Reference Studio 20 Floorstanding Speakers

Studio 20

User Reviews (126)

Showing 1-10 of 126  
pinchechris   AudioPhile [Jun 16, 2009]

Over rated in my opinion. I picked these up used pretty cheap so I can't complain too much but all I can say is that they're very un-exciting to listen to. They might have bass and they might have treble but they lack any realism or depth. These are older, the first series so I'm sure they've come a ways in the 5th incarnation. It's no excuse though because with a good sub my 1990's NHT Superzeros absolutely blow these out of the water in every way possible. I keep going back. These will be sold and I will continue to search for a bookshelf speaker that can compete with NHT for the same dough.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
txsmoke   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 22, 2008]
Strength:

Bass, size

Weakness:

A little ungle in black

I picked up a pair of v.1s and an LCR-450 at Salvation Army for about $120. Some of the best mney I have spent. These are extremely power hungry, but if you have 200w/ch or more, these will do really well in a small room. Very good bass extension, smooth mids and nice highs. Imaging is good in my small office. Money well spent.

Similar Products Used: a/d/s L470, L570, L570/2, L1290/2, Klipsch KG-4, NHT Super Zero and One, Minimus 7w. Design Acoustics PS-10a, Polk 5jr, Celestion SL6
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Cory Potts   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 01, 2008]
Strength:

They shine on classical (not too complex), voices and piano. "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows is what I could describe as holographic. The low end is unbelievable in these, even in my 6000 cu/ft. room, a huge strength.

Weakness:

Complex classical orchestra pieces, only OK in Rock genre.

I chose these Studio 20 V.3 bookshelves for my large living area as I have built ins on my front wall and can not accommodate floorstanders. I'm driving them with Onkyo 805 and SACD player and while the detail and lower end is very good I could wish for a little better in filling out my large room (thinking about switching to the 40s). Another small quibble I have with them is that in complex classical music passages they don't resolve as much detail in overlapping instruments as more expensive speakers. I wouldn't trade them for the money, especially if you have an average sized listening room.

Similar Products Used: The Studio 40's I A/B'd these too were a little more detailed in the mids, though for a good deal more money.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Microbiologycory   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 10, 2007]
Strength:

Detail and great range (they go pretty deep for a bookshelf)

Weakness:

Don't put out quite as full of sound as theirlarger siblings the Studio 40's

This is my first step into semi audiophile equipment. I have a very large room that is a challenge for these guys to fill with sound and my electronics are not optimum but I should get all that ironed out soon. The speakers are very detailed and dynamic with great range (lows to highs) and seem to image pretty well even in a 2 channel setup. The speakers sound very relaxed, none of that edginess you get with some speakers. Can be run at very high volume without distortion but they sound the best at low to moderate volume in a very quiet room.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
gmood1   AudioPhile [Sep 14, 2003]
Strength:

Midrange speed,Bass for a monitor,Soundstage,depth,and imaging.Looks good aswell

Weakness:

At this price point it would be hard to knit pic and find a weakness in these speakers.No their not perfect but neither is any other.

This is a review of the Studio 20v3s model.Associated equipment is a Denon dvd 900 as the source.Amplication is a limited edition Adcom 585.Cabling is Voodoo reference,Acoustic research ICs and Bluetruth biwire from better cables.Tubed Preamp is a Dared 2000SL-a. The first thing I noticed about these speakers is the speed of the new midrange drivers.The phase plug definitely improves the clarity.Paradigm has increased the driver from a 6 1/2 to a 7 incher.Openness is something that also comes to mind when you fire them up.Bass is tight and clean without bloat.The treble is smooth and nonfatiguing..this is a must for me when listening to speakers.The soundstage the 20s throw is amazing.It can easily fill a medium size room and over power a small one. Looks and build quality are very good.I was very impressed with the new look..eye candy for any living room!It actually makes the v2s look bland! The off axis response is some of the best I have heard.Standing 3 feet to the outside of the left or right speaker..you can easily place the center image in the soundstage.Depth is on par with some Martin Logans I auditioned recently. It maybe unfair to compare the 20v3s with Sonus Faber Concertos a monitor twice the price.But this will give you an idea of just how good these speakers are. We will start with the tweeters.The Sonus is little smoother and refined.Instruments sound just a tad more real.On the other hand the 20v3s have a deeper and wider stage,almost euphoric.While throwing a larger dispersion.They both disappear with the music.Bass is also great with both speakers.Paradigm has done a great job getting the sound out of the box.I didn't detect much boxiness if any with them.The soundstage is more see thru with the 20v3s in comparison the the Sonus which is a little thicker.At low listening levels the 20v3s win out.The low level resolution is excellent and allows you to hear all the music without having to crank it!But don't think you can't crank them they can really play loud and hold their composer without becoming compressed. I could live with the 20v3s without a sub and feel as thou I'am not giving up much in the bass performance.In my room they reach easily below the 40 hz range, which for me is the threshold of feeling the music not just hearing it. If these two speakers were in the same room and I had to choose one it would be the 20v3s.Simply because of the value to performance ratio that puts them out front. I suggest at least a 100 wpc solid state amp to get the best out of them.Before spending more than $2000 on some monitors it would be wise to audition the 20v3s and maybe save yourself some money!I have no doubts these speakers will make the recommended components list for most of the hifi mags.

Similar Products Used: Sonus faber,Soliloquy,Martin Logan,Maggies,Psb,Paradigm reference v2s,Vienna acoustics,Boston acoustics,Linn, Monitor Audio and a few others
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Zak Ruck   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 09, 2003]
Strength:

Very detailed, open, and non fatiguing. Excellent tight bass. Build quality. Excellent binding posts.

Weakness:

Cheap biwire jumpers.

What can I say, I love these speakers. Very detailed, very tight bass. No, the bass will not compete with floor standing models, but for their size, the bass is quite good. I have been hearing subtle differences in cd's I've been listening to for years. The soundstage is not as dynamic as the Totem Mite's i auditioned, but I felt the Studio's had more percision. Great build quality, except for the cheap "Jumper" if you are not using bywire speaker cables.

Similar Products Used: Totem, Dynaudio, Infinity
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Patrick Pryor   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 20, 2003]
Strength:

True High-End sound at a Mid-fi price. Excellent build quality and asthetics.

Weakness:

May be too forward for some listeners

I purchased the the Studio 20's about 2 years ago. The primary competition was the Dynadio Audience 52 and a various Snells. I auditioned the Studio 20's with a Plinius 2100i integrated.The first speaker I listened to in the store was the Acoustic Energy AE1. It sounded smooth but not too detailed. The studios, by comparison, were much more detailed and with a very clean, open and uncongested midrange.The Dynaudio's were generally in the caliber of the Paradigm's but I did not have an opportunity to compare them side by side. The paradigms won out on the basis of price, asthetics and bi-wire capability. The 20's are currently used in my home with the following equipment: NAD T550 DVD/CD NAD C160 Pre-amp NAD C270 AMP Transparent Cables Sanus Stands

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gmood1   AudioPhile [Mar 20, 2003]
Strength:

soundstage,midrange,very good bass for a monitor

Weakness:

imaging a little vague

I will have to give these little guys some credit.I have a friend that owns the 20s and uses a Rotel cd player and a Marantz reciever(120 wpc) to drive them.Well I took my Music Reference RM9(125 wpc) MK2 tube amp and Quad 99CDP over to give them a run thru.Well my buddy was blown away with how much better those 20s sounded with the gear.The bass was tighter and more tuneful than he had ever heard.He pulled out recording after recording and said it was like listening to them for the first time.The soundstage was deep into the next room. And wider than the room we sat in.The midrange was intoxicating on the vocals.It was like the music came in as waves,it just rolls over you.The dynamics were also very impressive,the 20s would start and stop on a dime.The imaging was good not the best I've heard but certainly not the worst.I was really impressed by these little guys.The moral of the story is the better gear you put behind the 20s the more they will love you.I have never really been a fan of Paradigms but these speakers are pretty damn good.

Similar Products Used: Soliloquy,NHT,Deftech,Beethovens,Meadowlark and a few others
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Maximuslewin   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 13, 2003]
Strength:

Value, Natural Character, Good Looks

Weakness:

they are not quite as good as some speakers that cost 2-3 times as much.

I have owned the Studio 20 V1 for 7 years and the V2 for 3 years. the V1 is a great speaker which I now use for my rears. The V2 is an astounding piece of equipment. Spend the extra 150.00 for the real wood side panels and they will look & Sound as good as anything up to 1000.00 and compare favorably to 2000.00 Italian Mini-Monitors. The sound is sweet and balanced in the midrange and the top end, while crisp at first WILL break in - give it time (like a 1000 hours of listening). Pair these with a Paradigm Sub for seamless full range sound (I use the PS-2200). great for music, great for home theater - great! You simply cannot get a better speaker for the mony, or even for quite a bit more. You could pay over twice as much for a bit better sound, but for truly exponential improvement over these, you are talking 3-4K.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm Mini-Monitor, Paradigm Studio 20V1, Paradigm Studio CC-450
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
yensoy   AudioPhile [Dec 28, 2002]
Strength:

Fantastic uncolored sound

Weakness:

Boxy, cheap finish Maybe just a trifle bright after prolonged listening at high volume Heavy, needs a really good stand Price fixing

I have been auditioning speakers for my living room. I examined the Paradigm Monitor 7 and Paradigm Ref Studio 20 in great detail (these were the only speakers in their price range the local audio store had, and their excellent sales guy gave me some story about why these two were the best value for money). In the store, the Monitor 7 seemed to outperform RefStud 20 for most music (latin, pop, percussion/instrumental). RefStud came out ahead for classical string/vocals. It seemed that RefStud just didn't have any bass. When I brought the Monitor 7 home, the bass was more than adequate - a little too much perhaps. But more annoying was the "brightness" of the tweeter. My ears started hurting after an hour of "Afro Cuban All Stars" - especially during the trumpet passages. The Studio 20s were much better and their seeming lack of bass didn't reproduce in my living room - apparently the listening room at the store severely dampens bass due to all the other speakers absorbing the lower frequencies. The bass was tight and just right. I would go with the Studio 20s any day. But be sure to check them out for yourself - your ears, choice of music and room acoustics might make a difference to the conclusion. I checked out the veneer finish speakers - even these didn't look as good as the competition (Linn, Kef, B&W upmarket). I fear the base vinyl finish must be cheap like the Monitor 7s. Note: There is major price fixing going on with Paradigm. I live in Seattle where there is only one dealer and little room for negotiation (from the list of $650). 140 miles north across the border I can buy these babies for CDN 800, or around US$500. NAFTA allows me to import stuff from & made in Canada, without paying duty. If I were a little less ethical about this, I would get my passport and head out to Surrey, BC tomorrow. Paradigm - please mend your ways.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm Monitor 7, Kef Q5
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 126  

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