Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Paradigm Reference Signature S8v2, C5v2, ADP3v2 Speakers and Signature Servo Subwoofer


On the Bench

Let's start with the S8v2.

At 50 Hz and 100 dB (measured midway between all the woofers), THD+N was a very low 1%.

At 1 kHz, distortion (from the midrange driver) was 0.52%. Again, this is a very low number.

And at 10 kHz (measured from the tweeter), THD+N was 0.8%.

For THD+N vs. Frequency, distortion stayed at about 1% or less from 30 Hz to 20 kHz. This is truly incredible performance.

Here is the room response curve, using averaged white noise, at 2 meters. The response is generally flat, with some peaks and valleys due to room modes.

To test the off-axis response, I used impulse response analysis. The first graph shown below is the response directly on-axis. The second photo is the response at 300 off-axis. Notice that from about 2 kHz on up, there is attenuated response. This is normal performance for a speaker at off-axis listening positions. (If you click on the photo and it does not completely expand to full size, click on the small square in the bottom right corner to further expand the size.)

The impedance of the S8v2 appears to be nominally 8 ohms. Electrical phase stays within ± 600.

Now to the Servo-Sub.

At 20 Hz, 100 dB, and 1 foot, THD+N was 5.16%. Excellent.

THD+N vs. Frequency indicated that distortion stayed at 5% or below from 15 Hz to 200 Hz.

Here is the room response graph. The yellow line is essentially the sub's response, while the red (1 meter) and blue (2 meters) lines indicate more and more of the room's effects.

Paradigm tests all their speaker designs in an anechoic chamber. Here is Mark Aling, Paradigm's Marketing Manager, giving me a tour of one of their three chambers. Click on Mark's photo to download the video (a Windows Media Player file, *.wmv), which is in full high def, 1,920x1,080.