Paradigm Reference Studio vs. B&W N804

How would you compare Paradigm Reference Studio 100 V.2 with B&W N 804 for music (wide variety)and HT. Associated equiepment is Sony NS 777 ES SACD, Bryston SP-1 and Anthem MCA-50.
The Paradigm is an awesome speaker. I've heard both in the same room with same electronics. Of course it has more bass but also appeared to have a much better off axis sound. The N804 has pinpoint images. The Paradigm threw a less focused soundstage but sound was better off axis. There was also a more detailed sound with the N804. However the N804 was a much brighter speaker. The Paradigm 100 threw a very easy to listen to sound that filled the room regardless of where you were in the room. I'd pick the 100's over the N804. It would take the N802's to better the Paradigm Studio 100. Which Paradigm model are you comparing to the N804?
I've sold both in the past. The N804 is a good sounding speaker for the money indeed. It has a bit of warmth to the sound, copared to, say, a more neutral sounding Thiel speaker. It has good dynamics, and even more so when biamped. The Paradigms are musical, and maybe have a smidge less detail, with even more warmth to the sound(even sounding colored with warmth a little). Overall, I find the B&W's more towards neutral than the Pradigms. The Bigger Paradigms may however have a bit more dynamic range and extension...but only a tiny bit I think. If you configure them for "small" for HT dubties at least(which you should by the way), you'll find this a non-issue. Both, played full range for music, would sound very competetive dynamically with a strong amp(I'm not familiar with yours)
As for home theater, both speaker will probably come out pretty close to the same kind of pressentation. They are somewhat of a compromise for HT in a lot of room situations you're likely to put them in. They'll sound more open, laid back, and polite in a large room setting, where you sit further from the speakers, and hear more of the room reflections.
Something to consider if you're a HT buff, is that the Diappolito's, horn speakers, and THX designs tend to be a better chioce for HT dubties overall. Infact, if you look at what all of the magazine reviewers tend to use for their HT systems, you'll see they don't usually go for speakers such as you're considering for HT! There's reasons for this. I've found that the BEST APPLICATION for the type of traditional stereo speaker designs you're considering is in a smaller room environment(which brings other challenges) or where you are proximally sitting closer to the speakers, and hearing more dirrect sound! If you have high ceilings, this is a big benefit with your Paradigm 100 and N804 considerations, and might work just fine for you. Or unless you have good ceiling and also wall acoustic treatment going on in your room, you'll not be so thrilled with the sound...especially for HT.
One sollution, rather than trying to build a "compromise" system between music/HT, would be to get the music speakers you like for 2 channel(unless you're into multi channel music...I'm not), and get some less expensive matching HT speakers that are more effetive for HT dubties! This will not compromise either, and there's a lot of great satalite systems you could chose from.
Another thing might be to consider more HT friendly high end speakers for your system if you're trying to do the "all-in-one" approach. Just take a peak at all the audio mag's out there(i.e, Stereophile GHT mag, HT mag, Widescreen review, Perfect Vision, etc) are using for their HT/music speaker systems, and you'll get a good idea.
I know it's all too easy to get fixated on some traditional stereo speakers you saw in an ad, and that were at the local shop next to your house. But there's potentially a lot more too it.
overall, I would pick the B&W N804's every time over the Pardigms. But then I'm not a huge fan of that line. Even the NHT line is less colored and more neutral. But, tastes varry. I like speakers that are as uncolored and neutral as possible..but that's me.
How big is your room, and what's it like acoustically? This is a HUGE FACTOR in determining what speakers may or may not be the best candidates for your applications/situation.
If you could fill in more info, maybe we could add more info.
Hope this helps
I agree 100% with Bulldogger, and actually, I bought Paradigm 100.2 to replace N804s. I liked the 804s and they certainly looked very good but the brightness just ended up getting to me. Their soundstage was a little constricted too. When I auditioned the 100.2s, they were mated to a top-of-the-line Onkyo reciever and sounded surprisingly good. However, it is not until I hooked up my McIntoshes to them and burned them in that I realized these are really fantastic speakers and worth a lot more than their price. I sold the N804s and have not regretted it one bit.

The Paradigm have a relaxed presentation, warm and airy, that just glides out into the room with a remarkable effortlessness. The soundstage is very deep and wide with an image stability that is rock solid. They sound very coherent too, keeping each musical layer distinct and yet harmonious. A generally much nicer experience than the B&Ws. I love my Paradigms. Anyway, that's my experience. Arthur
I'm we have any Canadians in the house? I can appreciate that!....
Yes, I'm a Canadian and yes, I too love my Paradigm 100's. I compared with B&W's before I bought my Paradigms. The Pardigms just had a feeling of rightness to them that the B&W's lacked in my opinion. In all fairness the two speaker sets were not in the same room connected to the same electronics but in rooms next to each other. As a Canadian I did get a much better price on the Paradigms relative to what I would have spent for a comparable imported speaker. Having said all this I still thought the B&W's to be good speakers - I looked at several models. A common thing with the Paradigms is that they are demoed with fairly pedestrian electronics. Good upstream electronics including a HIGH current amp really show off what these babies can do.

A friend of mine has JM Lab Electra 936's. They are worth over $5k (Northern Pesos)more than my speakers. While I admit that they are a better speaker overall than my 100's I don't thing they justify the price difference for that money - my buddy, however, did.

The Paradigms have published specs both industry reviews and Paradigms that demonstrate a very flat response curve. I don't find my speakers in the least bit "warm" but very neutral. With good electronics they show off great recordings well enought to bring a tear to your eyes. On bad recordings you will ask what the hell was anyone thinking about when they EQ'd/ Mastered/ etc. that album. They will show the worst on bad recordings warts and all. This is because of their neutrality. Poor recordings are relying on bad sonics on the playback system to neutralize their poor sound recording.

Take some of your favourite CD's representing a good mix of music and go and audition both. Take your time and keep notes. Ask the sales person if they have any speakers similarly priced that they think you should audition and keep an open mind. In the end, buy the one that makes you happy and don't worry too much what anyone else thinks.

If you do go for the Paradigms then get the real wood veneer because you will regret it down the road if you don't. Above all, remember that speaker auditioning is great fun! I still do it from time to time even though I have no intention at this time of buy a new speaker. I may buy a new speaker in the future but it would have to be considerably better than my 100's and I will have to have a much greater amount of money than I do now.
Yes, I did buy the Paradigms- and I like the sound so far ( maybe because it's Canadian all around, except the Sony), but kidding aside Paradigm had 100 V.2 powered by Anthem electronics at the last Home Entertainment Show in New York, which drew some rave reviews in the press, besides I think that Paradigm bought Anthem not so long ago. Regards.
Paradigm bought Sonic Frontiers who manufactured high end tube gear like my Line 1 line stage. Anthem was a "value" line spawned from Sonic. Sonic Frontiers has quit manufacturing their tube gear for over a year now and the Sonic Frontiers line has been discontinued altogether. Anthem exists to produce high value decent electronics for all those speakers that Paradigm builds.

I am not sure what the reasoning is for the discontinuence of SFI but it is a shame as they were well regarded. I picked up my Line 1 used last fall and am still very very happy with it.

Have an Anthem MCA 20 amp powering the 100v2's and am happy with it as well. I wouldn't mind a better amp but would have to spend a minimum of twice the money to start getting a better amp.
Go for Paradigm...I am in the UK..I even chose Paradigm Studio 100 over B&W...Don't hesitate...
Another vote for paradigm reference studio 100v2.I try it with b&w N802 and I could not find 6k difference between them.Remember that if you pay less and get more is more closer to truth then spend more for no reason.And I do not think it is importent that you you are Canadian or however.
I also use sonic frontiers line 2 pre amp and I love it so much and I just want to keep it forever pluse I am not Canadian.
Good luck
I have found that the better the associated electronics and cables are, the better the Paradigms will sound.They have tons and tons of potential!They are not embarrased by using MEGA-BUCK gear with them at all.I was considering selling mine and upgrading, but after using my recently purchased Pass Labs X 2.5 preamp, and borrowing a friends Pass Labs X 350 power amp, I changed my mind!WOW, did these speakers open up and sing!They were truly Awesome and Mind-blowing when paired with the Pass gear!My jaw dropped!No way am I selling my Paradigm Studio/100 version 2's now!
Now if I can only come up with a way to purchase a Pass Labs X-350 power amp!!!
Just auditioned both in same room same gear, tried each with Classe and CJ stuff. Ended up buying the 804's. Thought the Paradigms were much less detailed and a bit less smooth. Bass, maybe lower exteneded but less controlled. Downside of 804's may be some brightness, but, i think that can be fixed with right amps, cables. For what it's worht i heard the thiel 1.6's as well in the same room and did not find them involving at all.