To Jeff Fritz,
Please let me begin by saying that your reviews are a joy to read, especially those in the "TWBAS" column, even if the products are currently out of my price range.
I'm about to move from audio mixing into a basic but functional audio mastering setup, but I'm quite budget-conscious at this early stage. Since I live in the UK, it was actually your 2010 "TWBAS" article on the Paradigm S2 that first alerted me to this brand, and all the reviews seem very positive. I know you're a fan of Paradigm so I thought you might be able to aid in my decision.
It looks as if Paradigms are pretty much unbeatable in their price bracket. I'm very interested in the S2. I have a sub that would be sufficient to highlight any errors in the 20-50Hz range for the time being, and so I was hoping to hear your opinion on the Paradigm S2 for entry-level mastering.
Please don't worry about responding if you don't have the time, Jeff, I just thought it would be nice to hear from the man that made me aware of Paradigm in the first place.
All the best,
Paradigm’s loudspeakers do offer a tremendous value, and I think that statement holds true across all of their lines. The company enjoys an advantage in manufacturing efficiency -- they make virtually all of their parts and subassemblies in-house -- that enables them to offer advanced technologies at still reasonable prices. It also helps that they have an excellent staff of engineers who work within what the company calls its Paradigm Advanced Research Center (PARC). The bottom line is that there is a lot of in-house capability at Paradigm.
Specifically to your question about the S2, I can't imagine that it would not suit your needs. I've been thoroughly impressed by the accuracy of the beryllium tweeter that they use in that model, and I believe it would be highly informative in a mastering setup like the one you propose. Also, the bass-midrange driver is 7", which translates into more low-frequency extension than you might expect from a stand-mounted two-way. I do not believe you will have any issues listening to this speaker in the nearfield -- Paradigm's crossovers have always been seamless. Lastly, I know that these speakers will play quite loud and clean, so for a workstation that might feed them all types of music, they could be ideal. I think you'll be able to make an honest assessment of whatever you put into them. The one caveat I'll give you is to remember that these are passive speakers that you'll need to power, so make sure you have an amplifier that is clean and sufficiently powerful in order to experience all that these speakers have to offer. . . . Jeff Fritz