To Doug Schneider,

Back when the $1600/pair [Paradigm] Active/20 was available, I A/B’d it against the then-current $800/pair [Paradigm] Studio 20 -- no comparison: much more dynamic, flatter frequency response (a revelation in itself), and incredibly deeper/fuller bass. Passersby thought we were listening to the $2000/pair floorstanding Studio 100s (but the Actives had better imaging).

I understand Paradigm’s actives had reliability issues that I’m sure hurt the cause.

It was an epiphany for me and I moved on to another form of active -- single-driver speakers (active by default) and commissioned transmission-line floorstanders using the now-discontinued Fostex F200A driver (a mighty Alnico magnet that on its own reaches 30Hz).

But last year I scored a pair of Dynaudio BM5 Mk.IIIs for $850/pair before they were discontinued. They’re from Dynaudio’s professional studio monitor range and represent a step up from the Excite X14A without wood veneer. I like them very much. More analytical but less bass than my single-drivers.

Another reason active hasn’t sold in the audiophile realm is the inevitable comparison of studio work to home enjoyment. I’ve never understood why audiophiles poo-poo the studios that produce what we listen to. But I see the two coming closer together as home listeners tolerate less colorations and as you mentioned, clutter.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Jeff McManus
United States

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