Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I read your fantastic review of the Paradigm Monitor SE Atom and wanted to get your recommendation on a setup. How superior is Paradigm’s Premier 100B bookshelf [speaker]? Is it truly worth more than double the Atom? My usage is across movies, music, and gaming. The speakers will likely be placed on the farthest ends of a wall-mounted media unit, ideally with a tweeter height of 32-ish inches.

A few of the speakers I was looking at [include]:

  • Paradigm Monitor SE Atom
  • Paradigm Monitor SE 6000F
  • Paradigm Premier 100B (with the Monitor SE 2000C center-channel)
  • DALI Oberon 1
  • DALI Oberon 5

Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated. I’m writing from Canada, which makes the Paradigms and PSBs pretty cost competitive.

J.D. Plewak

Regarding the two Paradigm bookshelf models, I absolutely think the 100B is worth more than twice the money. The build quality, design, and, most importantly, sound, all demonstrate what the extra cost is buying you. For a speaker that you’ll use for music, movies, and gaming, I’d spring for the 100B every time. Please read Diego Estan’s review of the 100B for more on it.

You also mention the Paradigm Monitor SE 6000F floorstander and the matching 2000C center speaker. I don’t know what your budget is, and if you have (or are planning) a full home theater, but as a general rule, I’d try to stay within one loudspeaker “line” when doing so. If a full Paradigm Premier home-theater rig is out of reach, I do think a full Monitor SE setup will sound pretty great. You should also check out PSB’s Alpha home-theater speaker system that Vince Hanada recently reviewed. I’m partial to PSB and the way that founder Paul Barton voices his creations, so that would be my choice at that price point.

If you’re just looking for a do-it-all pair of stereo loudspeakers , I’d opt for the three-way Monitor SE 6000F over the two-and-a-half-way DALI Oberon 5, as you get dedicated midrange and bass drivers in the former, even if the DALI looks a lot nicer. The two-way DALI Oberon 1 won’t output nearly enough bass to be a workable option as a main speaker for movies and games. . . . Hans Wetzel