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  1. #1

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    Default Polk LSi9 vs. Vandersteen 1C vs. Paradigm Studio 20 v4

    Greetings!

    I'm facing a major decision over the course of the next few weeks: whether to live with Polk LSi9 or Vandersteen 1C or Paradigm Studio 20 v4 speakers in a 2 channel-only music system. The Vandies and the Polks are onsite. The Paradigms are another option.

    Some background: I listen to all kinds of music. The room is a dedicated listening room, 20' x 13' x 8', rather "dead" (wall-to-wall carpeting, a carpeted back wall, some sound treatments, and books of various sizes lining the reflective side walls, very minimal glass area, double sheetrock walls).

    I'll be using an Onkyo DX-7555 cd player, a Parasound Halo P3 preamp, and a Parasound Halo A21 250 watt amp.

    I understand that the short answer will be, "Listen to the speakers, and pick the one that you like best!" However, I've lurked here, and value what others who may have more experience than I have might have to say about their impressions of all three of these loudspeakers: pluses, minuses, likes, dislikes.

    Personally, I don't need a lot of bass. The only thing that I want to avoid is "painful" treble or shrill highs. Mainly, I'd like some modest speakers that I can enjoy for a long time without a compulsive feeling of a need to upgrade!;)

  2. #2

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    First welcome to Club Polk. Second I know the LSI's have a very forgiving yet detailed tweeter. It is actually a Vifa ring radiator. Others will chime in I am sure.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the welcome, Ben!! :D

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    No problem. Its like a family here. We even have a couple drunk uncles:) Stick around you can really get a lot out of this place.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by satire View Post
    Greetings!

    I'm facing a major decision over the course of the next few weeks: whether to live with Polk LSi9 or Vandersteen 1C or Paradigm Studio 20 v4 speakers in a 2 channel-only music system. The Vandies and the Polks are onsite. The Paradigms are another option.

    Some background: I listen to all kinds of music. The room is a dedicated listening room, 20' x 13' x 8', rather "dead" (wall-to-wall carpeting, a carpeted back wall, some sound treatments, and books of various sizes lining the reflective side walls, very minimal glass area, double sheetrock walls).

    I'll be using an Onkyo DX-7555 cd player, a Parasound Halo P3 preamp, and a Parasound Halo A21 250 watt amp.

    I understand that the short answer will be, "Listen to the speakers, and pick the one that you like best!" However, I've lurked here, and value what others who may have more experience than I have might have to say about their impressions of all three of these loudspeakers: pluses, minuses, likes, dislikes.

    Personally, I don't need a lot of bass. The only thing that I want to avoid is "painful" treble or shrill highs. Mainly, I'd like some modest speakers that I can enjoy for a long time without a compulsive feeling of a need to upgrade!;)
    All 3 pairs are fine choices. If your looking for personal opnions , then I will give mine. The Lsi9's are nice sounding speakers for most music types. I owned them and liked them. I perfered my Lsi15's over them as I felt the Lsi15's where clear and more detailed. The Lsi9's had a tad of mud in comparsion. But without listening to the 15's, I really enjoyed them. For the money I think they are fantastic.
    The Vandersteen's are nice as well. Clear and warm. Ugly as hell but who really cares if they sound good. I also perfer there floor standing speakers but didn't find anything wrong with the bookshelves other then deep bass response which will always be a downfall of a bookshelf design. I like the comfort that the Vandersteen's give. I can listen for hours and want to keep going. When I'm not looking at them, I really would like to have a pair somewhere in my home.
    The Paradigm Studio's are ok, they are built well and have good sound but personally I don't care for them. They are on the bright side to be and seem to be missing something. I don't like there mid range. I perfer your other 2 choices more.

    With the gear you own, I would again this is a personal reference, I would seriously look at Dynaudio. I perfer there sound over all choices here and I find they perform with all kinds of music. Deeper bass is achieved out of there bookshelf speakers. Totem also does this. Both companies are held in a higher reguard then your choices.

    As you already know this is a very personal choice. You will get everyones favorites. Money has alot to do with the choice you make. if you can spend a good coin on a pair of bookshelf speakers, there are many to choose from. Dynaudio is my #1 choice over everything made. I find no other speaker company to sound better dollar for dollar. To me they are the perfect speaker at any price. They have a wide range 2. You can start checking out the Audience series in the 52's which smoke the Lsi's dead. The Lsi's get outclassed in every way. They are both close in price but the Dyn's are alittle more but you get alot more. Also in that line check out the Audience 52 se's. they are a juiced up version of the 52's. Incredible sounding speaker. I like them alot.

    I think if I only had to choose your 3 , I probably would own the Vandersteen 1C. I don't like there look but I do after a listening. The polks would be a strong 2nd choice as I think they are a fantastic speaker. I would not own the Paradigm's. I just simply don't care for them.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  6. #6

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    From the 3 you mention in my personal order of preference for sound only (not taking into account looks or WAF).
    .
    1. Vandersteen 1C -- One of my personal favorite speakers. Just would never pass the WAF factor in my house and never really looked at them for home theater. Not sure why, but I didn't - always thought of them as a 2 channel speaker.
    2. LSi9 -- A great bookshelf speaker. With decent stands can and has run against the LSi15 with many preferring the 9 to the 15. Love the LSi sound for music. In my opinion you have to be careful choosing electronics and cables to mate with it for home theater as it can be a little to laid back for good home theater without the correct electronics. (in my opinion of course) Good 2 channel is pretty easy with a speaker this detailed and warm though.
    3. Paradigm -- Don't know why but these always struck me as B&W wannabees... I have not heard the V4 of the studio series. (I have spent quite a bit of time with the V3 though) Quite detailed and a little on the brite side, but for whatever reason they just never sang to me. After listening, I can understand their appeal, but the sound is just not for me.
    There you have my opinions on the matter. Let us know what you choose and welcome to Club Polk....

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  7. #7

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    I have the Paradigm 20v3's, the LSi7's, and the LSi9's inhouse. I have heard but have not owned any Vandersteen speakers. To me, the Vandersteen floorstanders I have heard sound very much like SDA's. I would rate the Paradigm 20v3 and the LSi9's as very close on music, with a slight edge going to the LSi9's. The Paradigms are better than the LSi7's for music, IMHO.

    Between the Paradigms and the LSi's you really have two different presentations of music. The LSi's are laid back, the whole presentation tends to be a little more towards the rear, and they are picky on placement. The Paradigms have a more forward sound stage, an aggressive upper and mid-range, and are less picky on placement. You have to pick the presentation you like.

    And on the Paradigm tweeters, they take serious break-in, at least on the v3's. Think 500 hours, and then all of the evil's people speak of go away.

    +1 on the Dynaudio, especially the 52SE.
    DKG999
    -----------------------------------------
    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkg999 View Post
    And on the Paradigm tweeters, they take serious break-in, at least on the v3's. Think 500 hours, and then all of the evil's people speak of go away.
    I was unaware of this. Most of the paradigms I have heard were fairly new (weeks or months old) and may not have had this many hours on them.... Looks like I will have to reserve my judgement on them until I get my ears on a pair that has been broken in.
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  9. #9

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    Well, it's a tough decision, but it looks like we'll be going with the Vandersteen 1C.

    The LSi9 do a few things better, for us - they image better, throwing sound, at times, beyond the far borders of the actual speakers themselves, and they may be a bit more detailed-sounding, and they're more intimate - but the Vandersteens are, indeed, warm and easy to listen to for hours on end.

    They also sound like much more substantial speakers. The music that they produce is a bigger "picture" of the event. This is understandable, given that they're small floorstanders.

    But boy, is choosing speakers tough. It's like picking a mate. It's harder than car buying, in many ways.

    Thank you for your responses, and I'd be glad to hear what you have to say about the decision.

    Also, the rest of the system is ending up a tad different: Parasound A21 250 watt amp, Onkyo DX-7555 cd player, Blue Jeans cabling, but the preamp is not the Parasound, it's the new Rotel 1082. It's a very nice, warm (warm for Rotel) preamp that seems to redefine their house sound.

  10. #10

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    Congrats satire. I did not understand you comparing bookshelf and floorstanding speakers. Usually, a person compares just bookshelf or just floorstanding speakers. You will not be disappointed with the 1C's.

    engtaz

  11. #11

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    Yeah, we wanted to look at both bookshelf and floorstanders at the same time. We've had both in the past, and liked both styles in different ways.

    Just didn't know which we'd prefer nowadays, as we hit (and hopefully eclipse!) 50! :D

  12. #12

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    I found the blue jeans cables sounded a little thick and bass heavy in my system. If you don't have any issues, don't worry about it. If you find things do not sound as clear as you think they should - try some other cables (preferably used or borrowed) and see if that clears things up.

    Other than that - sounds like a great system, Enjoy.

    Michael

    BTW - don't get me wrong, BJC makes decent cables at a great price, but I would expect them to be the "weak link" in the system you have listed.
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  13. #13

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    i solved myself the problem of bookshelf and floorstanding and took the polk rti a7 and the polk lsi9.
    the rti a7 hook to harman-kardon hk3480(and monster cable csx) and the lsi9 hook to my rotel ra1070(and monster cable z1)
    its seems ok to ya?
    to me its just great.

  14. #14

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    In my opinion you are not comparing the same speaker category. If you would like to compate the Polk's LSi series than you are looking at Paradigm's Studio 60 and above.

    I personally like the Paradigm's better. Paradigm as a company is concentrating more towards the audiophile market where Polk's are more consumer class.

    I used to have the RM series from Polk, then I upgraded to the RTi 10 series and now I have the Paradigm Studio 100's. In my opinion none of these Polks can match the Paradigms. Simply there are better built, much tighter bass, they run really cool at high volumes, etc.

  15. #15

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    Polk and Paradigm are direct competitors:
    Polk RTi vs. Paradigm Monitor series
    Polk LSi vs. Paradigm Studio series
    Where Paradigm reaches above is the Signature series where Polk has no product line to match.

    IMHO, the LSi9 compares to the Studio 40, as the LSi7 goes against the Studio 20.

    I've only heard the vandersteens once under the worst possible conditions. But I will say that if you have a man cave and the WAF is non-existant, many serious audio peopple including the publisher of TONEAudio, Jeff Dorgay, think they are a superb speaker in their price range.

    Like others have mentioned the Paradigm Studio's are a brighter speaker and thus can be a bit intense in rooms with expansive hard surfaces. On the plus side, Paradigms setup easily and are very efficient making the most out of low power amplification. The LSi's require quality power to make them sing.

    The Totem speakers do amazing things for their size. Like their Canadian brethren the paradigms, they can be a bit bright, but with tube gear they image as good as anything out there in the price range.

    The Dynaudio's have a more European sound to them, slightly laid back (but nowhere near like B&W). the most even of all across the entire spectrum.

    I've had the chance to compare the LSi9's to the Totem Rainmakers and Paradigm Studio 40's (but not all three at once). All three are very different, with the Paradigm 40v2 having the deepest/clearest bass, Rainmakers the widest soundstage, and the LSi9's the smoothest highs and richness. I was quite content with all 3, but the LSi9's won out. I'm going to hopefully have an opportunity with the Studio 40v5 in the near future.

    I think you'll find with the Parasound Halo pieces, the LSi9's will give you the most bang for the buck across the music spectrum. just get a quality pair of stands that can be filled with sand/shot.
    Last edited by markmarc; 09-08-2008 at 05:06 PM.
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