Paradigm Reference Studio 40 Floorstanding Speakers

Studio 40

Aluminum dome tweeter, 6 1/2 midrange, 6 1/2 woofer

User Reviews (72)

Showing 1-10 of 72  
scottb   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 11, 2007]
Strength:

BANG FOR THE BUCK, Midrange in wonderful, Nice tight punchy bass, detailed highs with above average imaging.

Weakness:

Heavy ( Can that be counted as a weakness???) I didn't think so either.

98% of everything you have read here is true about these speakers. For the money they are not going to be beat. Yes other speakers can & will sound better, but at what price?? I was in the market for some new front speakers to replace my dads 1979 JBL 212's. They still sound good but I wanted tighter Bass than I was getting, better imaging so on, & so on. So off I went. I do use a Studio CC center channel so I am fairly familiar with Paradigm sound. I went to my stereo store and asked see hear some Paradigms. ( I had no need to audition any other brand as I was already hooked on their sound) I auditioned the Studio 100's and the Studio 40's. (Music used: Paul McCartney, Yanni Live at the Acropolis, Moody Blues & Pink Floyd) There is a definitive difference between the two. The 100's do have a tighter Bass, are a little more detailed, & have better imaging. I would guess that it helps having 4 7" Bass drivers. The studio 40's held their ground strongly, exceptionally tight bass for a 6 1/2" midrange bass driver, highs are very clear and defined. They can be a bit bright if not used with warmer sounding amps. The pride and joy of the speaker has got to be the midrange, it is superb. Voices sound so realistic as well as the instruments. Drums also sound fantastic when cranked. They love power and cry for more (must be clean power) I decided to go with the Studio 40's mainly because I didn't have the 2k to drop on the 100's at the time. Wife would have killed me. I do plan on using these for the rears in my home theater when I do upgrade to the 100's. For now I find myself listening and relistening to my cd's over, & over & over again. I run them for now off an Integra 7.2 6 channel 100w certified high current power amp. (Soon to uprgraded to a Marantz 7 Channel Amp rated at 140W into 8ohm) I also use Kimber Cable speaker wire and Ultralink connectors. Some people argue it on these forums, but I did notice a small difference when I upgraded my speaker wire. I do run them bi-wired as that also made a difference in the overall sound quality for the better. My home system consists of Paradigm Studio 40's fronts got free $300 stands with them, Studio CC for the center, Paradigm Titans for the rears, smokin Bang for the Buck on those little guys and a PW200 Paradigm 12" 400W RMS Subwoofer this thing throws some seriously weighted bass Sony 51" & Mitsubuishi 46" widescreen T.V.'s, Marantz 6 channel amp, and Kimber Cable speaker wire. If you are in the market for good quality sound, you would be doing yourself a disservice by at least not checking out the Paradigm line. Youd won't be dissappointed.

Similar Products Used: B&W 601's, Magnepan, NHT, Theil, & Pointsource 4.0
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bacchanal   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 20, 2004]
Strength:

-Price/Performance ratio hard to beat. -Excellent bass, comparable to just about any floor standing speaker. -Versatile: will work well by themselves or in a multichannel system, for music or for HT.

Weakness:

-Slightly pronounced high end -Take up as much space as a floorstander

I purchased these as a starting point for my first real audio system. Mine are the V.2s. I used them for awhile as a 2.0 system, but eventually added a subwoofer. These speakers have a generous amount of bass, and I pretty much bought the sub just for kicks. I would be happy with the system either way. When I bought these speakers I was originally looking for some floor standers for around $500-$600. I listened to Boston, Athena, B&W, Klipsch, Definitive, Magnepan, and some others. I choose these speakers because of their musicallity and the way they reproduce acoustic instruments, especially guitar. The high range is a bit pronounced on these speakers, which could be annoying to some. However, they have excellent bass, a nice full sounding midrange, decent stereo separation and imaging. I would say that they are a good do it all, bang for the buck speaker. They will work for HT and for music. Some speakers, like Klipsh and Difinitive, sounded good for HT, but kind of washed out for music...because of the horn tweeters I would imagine. I really liked B&W 600 series speakers for music, but I ended up buying the Studio 40's because they were priced more reasonably. The B&W's sound a little restrained, while the Paradigms are at the other end of the spectrum. Both are excellent sounding speakers though. For the money I don't think you can go wrong with Studio 40s, that is if you like the way they sound. Every speaker has a weakness (or a unique sound). You just have to go listen and choose the speaker that sounds the best to you.

Similar Products Used: None, that I have owned.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
greggor   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 06, 2004]
Strength:

Exceptional sound at a very reasonable price, sharp esthetics are pleasing to the eye. Paradigms renowned engineering and attention to detail.

Weakness:

I wish I bought the real wood veneers instead of the light cherry laminate. The laminate could look a little more natural.

I purchased these speakers to replace an ageing pair of Paradigm Atoms as surround speakers. I originally wanted to go with the studio 20's but I was offered a fantastic deal on a set of 40's so I opted for the advantages and the dynamics they add to my system. With studio 60's up front my sound stage is very well balanced for home theater and for DVD Audio. The studio 40's sound is almost indistinguishable to my 60's, which really makes me appreciate the complexity of the sound I am getting when listening to multi-channel formats. The studio 40's have a much more open mid range than I expected, and aren't quite as forward sounding as I expected either. For their small size they are very large speakers with exceptional transparency. I would classify their sound much as I would classify the sound of my studio 60's. They are laid back, precise and very neutral with just the right amount of bass for their size when used with a subwoofer. I wonder now if maybe I should have purchased the studio 40's for mains a few years back when I was upgrading from monitor 3's....Hindsight’s 20 20 but either way I couldn't be more pleased.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm Atoms, Mnior 3's and a few other speakers not worth mentioning.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ash Geers   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 02, 2004]
Strength:

gorgeous midrange very accurate tweeter solid construction matches very well with warmer laid back amplification hard to find sound this good in their price range

Weakness:

slightly analytical, but not a prob with good source material and good amplification.

Let me start by stating that I already own a set of studio 20s, studio cc, along with a set of handmedown cambridge model 6s for my rear channel. I cannot throw enough glowing praise at the good people at Paradigm for all my enjowment with listening to my 20s in stereo music listening. However, for multi-channel music listening as well as movie soundtracks, the old yet reliable cambridges just weren't cutting the mustard in the back. Since my media usage is 60% movies/multi-channel music and 40% 2-channel music, I wanted to treat the surround info with as much respect as my front trio (20's and cc)does. With that said I wanted to upgrade my main speakers while "demoting" the 20's to surround duty. I had intended on purchasing a set of studio 80s or 100s, but instead I ended up "settling" on a set of 40s. I say "settle" because Paradigm is no longer manufacturing my studio series and has upgraded them into a new line of studio speakers. (No way my wife would let me purchase a whole new 5 speaker set) Hindsight being 20/20 I am absolutely thrilled with my purchase. The 40s are identically timbre matched as far as my ears can tell with a much much sweeter midrange. I've already broken them in for about 50 hours or so and they just get better and better! The upper end is just as amazingly accurate as the 20s, a little "tinny" out of the box, but has since mellowed out. I read a review in home theater magazine from a reviewer who had paired up his studio 20s with a marantz sr8200 receiver and claimed it was a match made in heaven. He was oh so right! I absolutely love the sweet music that my marantz and the studio speakers make. (no pun intended) The more clean power you feed these speakers, the more impressive results you'll get. The only drawback that I have found with the studio series is that they are very analytical, crap-in equals crap-out. I almost threw out my entire collection of internet derived music(anything 128kbs or below) because most of it was just too awful to listen to. (I have since started rebuilding my whole music library at higher bit rates. Sorry recording executives.) Anyway, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, I would match my speaker suite up against anyone of similiar price. The 80s and 100s are fine for those who do a majority of their listening in a room the size of a gymnasium and bi-amp them with hulking solid-state monsters. But for those on a beer budget with champagne dreams, these are your speakers.

Similar Products Used: when I bought the 20's I also auditioned: B&W (not my cup of tea) Def Tech (not a fan of the active speaker design, could never get them balanced right) Boston (pretty harsh) Klipsch (harsh with a horn)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jukeboxtheater   AudioPhile [Oct 29, 2003]
Strength:

Crisp, detailed highs, grainless midrange with superb transparency, great bass from such a little box.

Weakness:

No bottom octave, but what did you expect?

What else can you say about these terrific speakers? I already owned a pair of Monitor 11's and was pretty happy with the sound. Then I heard these babies demoed at the same store. Wow! There was the midrange magic that I longed for. Performers sounded like they were in the room. Soundstaging was likewise on par with some megabuck speakers I've listened to. Anyway, I bought them and the Monitor 11's, as good as they are, have been taken off duty.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm Monitor 11 V2's, Mirage, Definitive Technology, a/d/s
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John   AudioPhile [Jul 15, 2003]
Strength:

Small footprint, very good bass extension for size, Style!

Weakness:

As with all speakers, the breakin period:)

There's nothing to say that has already has not been said. I Bought these partly based on the reviews below and from Home Theater Forum.com. If you are considering these speakers, just search the web and you will find out just what I did...that these can not be beat for there price/performance.

Similar Products Used: I researched home theater speakers for about two years...listened to all the audio names you have read about, and this is what I came out with...and I could not be HAPPIER!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris McCray   AudioPhile [May 21, 2003]
Strength:

Neutrality, balance, seemless crossover, bi-wireable, looks, price.

Weakness:

you're kidding.

I've owned these for approx. four months and will say these hold up to their acclaim. I'm using them as fronts in my HT combined with KEF Q1s as rears, a polk center, an HSU sub and being driven by a Yamaha RXV-2200. I could'nt ask for a better sound given the setup. I am kicking myself for not purchasing a separate amp/preamp combo where I believe they'd really shine. I shopped around and compared them to Mirage, Atlantic Technology, Phase Technology and others. The thing I noticed was their neutrality They seemed more real sounding and the drivers blended well together. The highs are very smooth. I love them at home and think they sound better with age. Max them with good quality cable, biwired and good stands. Highly recommended.

Similar Products Used: JBL, Advent and other cheapies.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
garyh   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 11, 2003]
Strength:

Imagining, clarity, sound stage. Detail.

Everything I was hoping for and more. I am surprised by the low marks that a few have given these speakers—I just plain doesn’t make sense: something was broken, most obviously—maybe they were out of phase (polarity), or someone had punched holes into the drivers with a pencil, I don’t know—but they weren’t judging the speakers sitting in my HT setup. I defy anyone to listen to the speakers in my setup and tell me they don’t sound really, really nice; they sound better than most speakers costing twice as much and not a whole lot appreciably different than speakers costing three or four times as much. I know—I have listened. For the best sound, they need to be paired with a nice subwoofer, (in my case, and SVS), but that’s not unexpected what with just the 6” bass driver. Imaging and soundstage are exceptional. The clarity is incredible. I have mine bi-wired to two Carver amps, running 271w to each set of drivers. (Passive bi-wiring with these speakers does make a difference). These speakers work as well with music as they do with movies. (I also have the Ref. Studio CC and the ADPs in my HT setup—home theatre doesn’t get any better for the price of these speakers). The best thing about these speakers is the price. You get world-class sound for Circuit City prices. I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for my HT speakers, but I wanted great sound. I achieved both with the Paradigm Studio 40s and the CC and ADPs.

Similar Products Used: Tested against all kinds of stuff--Mirage, Klipsch, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tlf4flf   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 13, 2003]
Strength:

Vocals, soundstage

I upgraded to the Paradigm Reference Studio 40 from a set of Polk 55s. I listen to a wide variety of music. The Paradigms really shine on vocals; they have a better soundstage and more neutral tone than the Polks. The Polks were decent speakers, but the Studio 40s are clearly better. I have a Paradigm 2200 sub and pair of Paradigm ADR surrounds too. They work well together.

Similar Products Used: Polk 55s, Cambridge Soundworks
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mhconley   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 17, 2003]
Strength:

Soundstage, output, clarity, smoothness.

Weakness:

None!

I have had these speakers as the main front pair in my combination home theater/stereo music system for almost 3 years. I chose these speakers after listening to many, many pairs of competitive speakers over about 12 months and I could not have made a better choice. I listened to speakers from the Studio 40's price range to those costing twice as much. I chose these speakers based upon their musicality listening to solo vocal/acoustic guitar tracks by Sarah Maclachlan and Shawn Colvin and rock tracks by Creed. I did not find one pair among the many I listened to that sounded better. These speakers present a beleivable soundstage, beautiful dynamics, and never add their own coloration to the music. They are also an excellent front pair in my home theater set-up. They easily match the THX systems I auditioned.

Similar Products Used: Monitor Audio Silver 5 & 7, Atlantic Technology 450e, M&K THX 150, Polk Audio RT70, Klipsch Reference, etc...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 72  

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