Paradigm Reference Signature Speaker System Measurements
All the measurements presented here were taken with the grilles removed. The measured responses with the grilles in place (not shown) were slightly more uneven above 2.0kHz, but the degradation appeared relatively benign. The nominal impedances were determined from interpretation of the measured impedance curves (not shown).
All figures: Violet curve: pseudo-anechoic response on the tweeter axis, averaged across a 30° horizontal window, combined with nearfield responses of the woofers and port. All measurements taken at 1 meter.
Paradigm Signature S8 v.2
Minimum impedance: 4.2Ω at 92Hz
Nominal impedance: 6Ω
Port tuning: 28Hz
Effective bass extension (-10dB): 25.5Hz relative to the level at 100Hz
The S8 v.2's impedance phase angle was more capacitive than is typical of most speakers at low frequencies. I would judge this speaker to be more challenging than average to drive full range, though any competent amplifier comfortable with a 4Ω load should have no difficulty with it. The challenge-to-drive rating should improve to average if you cross it over to a subwoofer at low frequencies.
Fig.1: Paradigm S8 v.2, pseudo-anechoic response, off-center in the horizontal plane, at 45° (red) and 60° (blue).
The overall response of the S8 v.2 is uniform and extended, with solid bass and good top-octave performance that holds up better than average even at listening positions significantly off axis.
Fig.2: Paradigm S8 v.2, pseudo-anechoic response at 15° above (red) and 15° below (blue) the tweeter axis.
The listening height should also be non-critical within a reasonable range above and below the tweeter.
Paradigm Signature S5 v.2
Minimum impedance: 4.6Ω at 915Hz
Nominal impedance: 6Ω
Port tuning: 36Hz
Effective bass extension (-10dB): 47Hz
Fig.3: Paradigm S5 v.2, pseudo-anechoic response, off-center in the horizontal plane, at 45° (red) and 60° (blue) on the woofer side.
The impedance results suggest that the S5 v.2 is of average difficulty to drive. The speaker's averaged response (violet curve, Fig3) is relatively smooth, with a slightly recessed character between 1kHz and 4kHz. The off-axis performance is good, but there is a suckout in the 600-800Hz range (depending on the off-axis angle) that is likely due to comb filtering between laterally positioned woofers and midrange.
Fig.4: Paradigm S5 v.2, pseudo-anechoic response at 15° above (red) and 15° below (blue) the tweeter axis.
The vertical response shows that the 1-4kHz dip in the averaged response on the tweeter axis fills in as you move slightly below tweeter height (blue curve). But you want to avoid sitting much above the tweeter (red curve), even if that means tilting the speaker or even inverting it (no easy task, with the curved top!).Thomas Norton