Paradigm Signature S4: Any info please


Hi All,

I am trying to get any info, input, opinions, comparisons etc. about the Paradigm Signature S4. It seems like a magnificent speaker but it is not available in my country yet and won't be for a while. I thus can't demo it. Anyone here it at dealers? Anyone owners? How do you compare it to others (such as large bookshelves or small floorstanders)? How is the bass extension?

Any input appreciated,
Cheers,
X
xenithon
I love the S2's and the S4's, hadn't had a chance to listen to the S8 yet. They are hands down the best (monitor) value for the money. They even beat out some floor standers I've listened to B&W 805's, MBL 121 compact, Thiel 1.6,and 2.4.
I think they have a best over all sound than all of the above.

They also need the right equipment. I've had the benifit of
trying different cables in my system(I own the S2) by renting them from usedcable.com. I's amazing how the wrong cable combination can affect the sound.

The best cable combination (for me)
Audio Qwest Granite speaker
Audio Qwest Jaguar(DBS)interconnect
I myself have purchased the S8 and am waiting for them to arrive and for my move into a house at the end of the month where I get my own sound room. For music only. The S8 is going to be driven by a new Bryston 14B SST. Frankly, I cannot wait.

The B+W 803D was the most direct competitor, but I found the cost to be absurd. I got the S8 on sale, and the 803D was almost TWICE the price, and the salesman was not going to dicker on the price. The sound was nice, but the Paradigm, to my ears, was better. I have had Paradigms for 15 years (but a modest, entry level pair) that has done well. If an entry level speaker can last 15 years through university parties, then the S8's will hold up as long as the amp.

Paradigm is made all in house. So cost is minimized. Shipping for B+W is a factor. Gas is not cheap nor is shipping anymore (and you can bet it is being passed on...). I tried other brands, Energy, Mordundt Short, etc.. but nothing was as pleasing as the S8. I intend to run it full range as the amp I have is more than low-end capable. The idea of running the S4 came up, but I do not use a sub now and decided that if I spent the difference on the mains, then I would not need one. I do not think I will. But if I do, then oh well.

The only downside to the S4 is the fact you need a sub, and crossing one over is not going to be easy or seamless unless done right and with careful testing and gear. The tower systems allow for seamlessness in this regard. But for the money, I cannot see many competing. Paradigm is not the most high end name you think of, but my old towers are made of particle board and I have yet to have a screw back out, rubber surround pack it in or any part fail in the 15 years I have had it. Makes me happy knowing they will last and sound good for a long time.

I am deliberately not making any comments on sound peticulars, in the sense that sound perception is just that, perception. What I find pleasing someone else will find horrid, but based on fit and finish and quality, the S4 is well worth the money.
I've owned the S2 and S4's and I much preferred the S2. The S4 muddied what the S2 did so right. I have neither now as I stepped up to the Dynaudio C1 monitors. But, the S2 is still a favorite of mine in the $2K price category, though.
It's funny to read my review from way back and to think about how far I have come and how little I knew then.  I've since owned a set of B&W 802's and loved them along with Dynaudio C1's shortly after and ultimately Proac D Two's. All of which I feel were superior to the Paradigm S4's in my system.  The B&W 802's had one of the sweetest mid-range signatures I have found but I just couldn't keep them.  My listening space went from 25 X 20 living room, to a smaller converted bedroom. What a difference time has made ...

I felt like the problem I originally had with the 804's was the system I evaluated them with and room I evaluated them in.  It was a B&W/Rotel dealer and the amplifier was a mid-line Rotel.  For some reason I just didnt feel the love - in fact the system sounded pretty bad as I recall.  The S4's were powered with a Music Fidelity KW 500 in a nice big room which, in my opinion was the reason for my instant fondness of the Paradigm S4. I did get them home and paired them with a Modwright pre and Levinson amplifier which kept me happy for years,  I ultimately upgraded as my tastes changed. 

I felt like the Levinson 23.5 I had back then, did much better with the B&W's. I have since demoed the 800D and was astonished at how good they sounded powered with ARC REF 600 amplifiers.  I guess what I didnt understand at the time, is the speakers are just part of a system and if you combine the wrong components, no mater what the price tag the result can be quite disappointing. Yet any one of those components can be placed in a different system with fantastic results.   

I have to apologize for my post, as it shows a rather defensive posture.  In the years following that post I bought and sold many, many pieces and have learned a lot about synergy and the importance room size and speaker placement make.  There are very few absolutes in high end audio.  The 804 setup I demoed all those years back, was less than optimal.  They were stuffed in a tiny room and setup for aesthetics, that's too bad.  Had they been placed in a proper room with an amplifier that fit my tastes ... I may have very well fallen in love but thats just my opinion.      

PS - I have have been a dealer, just a big fan of the S4.  


A quick note to say that I appreciate the maturity of your last post, @horseface .  I think we all strive to become better as people and it seems you have been quite successful.  Cheers!