In the process of building a new home, and got the green light from the wifey to go on a little audio/video binge for the dedicated media room that we're having the builder put in.
Received my 'fortress edition' modded crossovers from Trey (VR3) about a week ago, and picked up a pair of Paradigm Studio 60's for a good price yesterday. My initial thoughts are to put the Studios in the media room and keep the LSi's in the living-room.
This is somewhat of a preliminary comparison, as the crossovers in the LSi9's aren't fully broken in yet, and I don't think the electronics and cables I'm current running (which after swapping components in and out, have a great synergy with the LSi's...at least to my ears) have an ideal synergy with the studios.
First the obvious: The Studios extend lower, and have much more authority in the mid-bass region than the LSi9's The studio 60's have a suprisingly good amount of musical bass....very punchy and nuanced. I don't find myself missing my VTF-3, which has been packed away for 3 months now, when I listen to music on the studios. My complaint with the LSi9's has always been that they try to extend lower than they should, and can sound a little sloppy as they approach the lower bass frequencies. This has been less of an issue after the cross-over mod, as the clarity in the highs in the modded LSi9's seem to mask the bass frequencies a bit. I do find myself missing my sub while running them, as these really do sound better cross-over higher and paired with a good sub. I'm hoping that as the cross-overs break-in, that the bass frequencies in the LSi9's will improve. (the mid-range in the modded LSi9's has improved signifcantly over the past week).
The Studios have a great deal of clarity across the board and really will bring life to the subtlest of details in a recording. They're very dynamic, clean sounding speakers. They're definitely bright to my ears, but not at all harsh. They're the first 'bright' speaker that I do't hate musically. Soundstage is very wide, holographic, and fills the entire space of my large living-room better than the LSi's do.
That said, musically I prefer the modded LSi9's over the studios. Where the Studios do a tremendous job of filling the room with clean, dynamic sound, they aren't nearly as engaging as the modded LSi9's, which really pull you into a recording. From a technical standpoint the studios are great musically, but I find myself 'disconnected' from the recording while listening to them. The studios are a 'livelier' more energetic speaker, but they lack the organic warmth of the LSi's mid-range that give vocals and instruments a truer to life presentation. The Studio's are livelier, but the LSi's are more organic and lifelike.
I've auditioned the Studio's (60's, 100's, and 20's) more often than any other speaker, so none of this really surprised me. Since these are going in a dedicated theater room, my motivation for purchasing these is more for home theater dynamics, but I found that I couldn't flat-out ignore musical performance when purchasing speakers. For home theater use the Studio's work well, though I don't think they're much better than the RTi-A's (I owned the RTi8's at one point). My first choice from a purely home theater use standpoint are the def-tech BP8080....but these are significantly more expensive, and failed the WAF test. Plus I found the def-tech's underwhelming for music (had a chance to audition the BP8060).
To me the studio's are a jack of all trades, master of none kind of speaker. They're great (not spectacular) musical speakers, and great (not the best) theater speakers? I'd say this is more of a compliment than a criticism, as its rare to find a speaker that's great for both music and home theater. That said, they're certainly not worth the MSRP if you're looking for something that specifically excels in music or home theater. They're not the be all and end all of home theater or musical speakers that they're often made out to be, but they are a very good compromise of both uses, with a very nice aesthetic appeal.
I noticed after I took this pic that I accidentally swapped the left and right LSi speakers. I don't normally listen to them like this....it only happened after I took them down to photograph them the other day.