Paradigm Founder 100F & 70LCR Review

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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
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To celebrate the reacquisition of Paradigm to one of its founding members, Paradigm has released a new speaker series to replace the aging Prestige line in the fittingly-titled "Founder" line. The Founder series incorporates a great deal of cutting-edge loudspeaker design that is both brand new for these models as well as evolutions on technology from previous models. Given how highly that some of their previous loudspeakers have performed, that bodes well for the Founders, although they still must prove themselves in practice instead of coasting on prior success. That brings us to today’s review of the Founder 100F floor-standing speaker and Founder 70LCR speaker where we look at how much all of that advanced design has added up to. Let’s dive in!

READ: Paradigm Founder 100F and 70LCR Review
 
ErinH

ErinH

Audioholic General
First off: Great job again, James.


As for the performance, I'm not terribly impressed with the tower. Not at the price of $5200/pair. It's not "omg, no", but I'd have expected a bit more linearity (especially in the HF) at this price. The constant directivity with the off-axis notch around the 4kHz makes me wonder if this wouldn't come off a bit "bright" in-room. (see side note 2)

The center channel shows just how hard it is to create a good coaxial speaker (something I think Kef and Gelenec corner the market on). This showing by Paradigm is pretty bad. Poor termination of the tweeter to midrange and - from the photos - it seems the flare rate has a sharp change as you leave the tweeter assembly/waveguide and enter the midrange/waveguide. Whether or not I'm seeing that correctly, the data clearly shows some issues in the coaxial.


Side note 1: Your 10deg measurement has a blip ~400Hz that doesn't show up in the others. Interesting.
Side note 2: I know you don't have the data to do the full spin for the towers but I think it would be useful for you to load the horizontal data into something like VCAD or whatever software you use and generate the ERDI from the horizontal. It would give us a clearer idea of what the in-room response is likely to be and whether or not we can EQ it. I think it would be worthwhile if you already have the data for that.
 
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latapx

Audioholic Intern
" I would angle these speakers for a toe-in that puts the listener at about a 10-degree angle from the on-axis direction."

This would still be with the hot spot behind the listener, or extreme toe in so that the hot spot is in front of the listener? I always toe my speakers in, but keep them open enough that the hot spot is behind me. If 10 degrees is the magic angle, I'll probably have to open mine up slightly...see attached photo...ignore dark splotch on TV...it needs replacing! 100F, 90C and PB4000.

I've done some in room measurements with REW and with ARC...once I'm done with work I can jump on my personal laptop and share some data. I will say this, the bass extends way lower than the 70Hz roll-off...the room makes a big difference.
 

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luis1090

Enthusiast
First off: Great job again, James.


As for the performance, I'm not terribly impressed with the tower. Not at the price of $5200/pair. It's not "omg, no", but I'd have expected a bit more linearity (especially in the HF) at this price. The constant directivity with the off-axis notch around the 4kHz makes me wonder if this wouldn't come off a bit "bright" in-room. (see side note 2)

The center channel shows just how hard it is to create a good coaxial speaker (something I think Kef and Gelenec corner the market on). This showing by Paradigm is pretty bad. Poor termination of the tweeter to midrange and - from the photos - it seems the flare rate has a sharp change as you leave the tweeter assembly/waveguide and enter the midrange/waveguide. Whether or not I'm seeing that correctly, the data clearly shows some issues in the coaxial.


Side note 1: Your 10deg measurement has a blip ~400Hz that doesn't show up in the others. Interesting.
Side note 2: I know you don't have the data to do the full spin for the towers but I think it would be useful for you to load the horizontal data into something like VCAD or whatever software you use and generate the ERDI from the horizontal. It would give us a clearer idea of what the in-room response is likely to be and whether or not we can EQ it. I think it would be worthwhile if you already have the data for that.
My neither; taking aside the beautiful finish I fail to see the price tag of $5200.00 base on this review. I will like to mention the extensive use of acronyms and the related marketing babbling to explain features that at the end of the day based again on this review I fail to see the benefits. Maybe engineers should go back to the basics instead of trying to answer questions nobody asked.

I will like to point the fact that the recently reviewed Polks R700 might have better performance at less than half the price. I should be shopping for new speaker around summer and the Polks are on my short list of options to listen to.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Join us tonight at 11:15pm EST for our Youtube Review Discussion:
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
The constant directivity with the off-axis notch around the 4kHz makes me wonder if this wouldn't come off a bit "bright" in-room. (see side note 2)
I think that small notch would be far too inconsequential to have a serious effect on the in-room sound.


Side note 1: Your 10deg measurement has a blip ~400Hz that doesn't show up in the others. Interesting.
It's almost certainly an environmental noise that got into the measurements. Although I measure at a low-noise time of day, it could be something I didn't hear like a tree branch falling to the ground or a dog barking. Those don't normally get into the measurements, and when it does happen, I redo them. I must not have noticed that one when I was outside measuring them.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
" I would angle these speakers for a toe-in that puts the listener at about a 10-degree angle from the on-axis direction."

This would still be with the hot spot behind the listener, or extreme toe in so that the hot spot is in front of the listener?
It looks to me like you are in a pretty good angle. You can try fine-tuning the angle a bit more, but I don't think it would make a huge difference.
 
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dutchholic

Audioholic Intern
Do you guys ever give a bad rating to a speaker? 4,5 of the 5 stars in total is to high IMO.

The measurements looks really terrible to me, really everything but smooth, huge dips and peak in the end. Especially compared to for example similar priced Revel's or KEF's or Arendal's. I don't see a single reason to buy these paradigm's over these brands when you look at the measurements...
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Do you guys ever give a bad rating to a speaker? 4,5 of the 5 stars in total is to high IMO.

The measurements looks really terrible to me, really everything but smooth, huge dips and peak in the end. Especially compared to for example similar priced Revel's or KEF's or Arendal's. I don't see a single reason to buy these paradigm's over these brands when you look at the measurements...
If you only buy a speaker based on a few measurements then that would be true. If you spent more time reading the commentary around the measurements and watching our discussion to better understand the implications, you would be able to make a more educated purchasing decision.

There are plenty of speakers we've reviewed that get less than 4 star reviews but we generally pick really good stuff to review and measure and skip the less than good stuff:

Some examples of speakers with lower than unusual ratings:
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Do you guys ever give a bad rating to a speaker? 4,5 of the 5 stars in total is to high IMO.

The measurements looks really terrible to me, really everything but smooth, huge dips and peak in the end. Especially compared to for example similar priced Revel's or KEF's or Arendal's. I don't see a single reason to buy these paradigm's over these brands when you look at the measurements...
The scores are more for the 100Fs than the 70LCR. There isn't a separate scoring system for two products in one review.
 
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dutchholic

Audioholic Intern
Thank you both for your replies, appreciated.

"If you only buy a speaker based on a few measurements then that would be true. If you spent more time reading the commentary around the measurements and watching our discussion to better understand the implications, you would be able to make a more educated purchasing decision. "


I buy my speakers based on measurements and subjective expeciences and of course after a demo in my own room with many listening and measurements again in my own room with REW. If the measurements are flawed for the pricerange of the speaker in the first place then indeed this speaker is not in my shortlist. This purely based on measurements indeed, because I don't see a reason to chose an speaker if the measurements are under expectation for the pricerange. I think that if you two guys had to make an purchase decision and had that budget that you would also buy an other speaker serie then this. 4,5 in the endscore is nevertheless to high for this speaker in this pricerange in my opinion. But otherwise great website and I always enjoy reading new reviews.
 
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buckchester

Audioholic Intern
Why don't you always provide spinoramas? You provided one for the 70 but not the 100. Why?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Why don't you always provide spinoramas? You provided one for the 70 but not the 100. Why?
I am being a tease. I like showing graphs for some speakers but not for others. My policy is never give everything away; always leave them wanting just a bit more. That's how we keep our readers coming back. The mystery is irresistible, you see.
 
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buckchester

Audioholic Intern
I am being a tease. I like showing graphs for some speakers but not for others. My policy is never give everything away; always leave them wanting just a bit more. That's how we keep our readers coming back. The mystery is irresistible, you see.
Providing spins would have a stronger effect on having people come back, I think.

Also, I think you should conduct your listening tests against a refence. Audio memory is too short not to.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Providing spins would have a stronger effect on having people come back, I think.

Also, I think you should conduct your listening tests against a refence. Audio memory is too short not to.
A lot of demands from someone getting some of the best AV related content online absolutely FREE without ever showing any support for the website. We'll get right on it for you. Anything else? :rolleyes:
 
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buckchester

Audioholic Intern
A lot of demands from someone getting some of the best AV related content online absolutely FREE without ever showing any support for the website. We'll get right on it for you. Anything else? :rolleyes:
Sorry, I guess I did come across a little crass. I guess I just felt James' replies to some of my questions recently were overly sarcastic.

I really do like your website and reviews. I appreciate the great info you guys put out there. I know it takes a lot of work. I wasn't trying to make demands, I was legitimately curious about why James includes spins sometimes and other times does not.

Anyways, you guys do some of the best work available. But there are ways to improve.
 
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buckchester

Audioholic Intern
The polar map doesn't look great on the 100f. Do you think if you listened to it side by side with something more neutral, like a Revel f208, you would notice the difference?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Sorry, I guess I did come across a little crass. I guess I just felt James' replies to some of my questions recently were overly sarcastic.
They were not overly sarcastic, they were underly sarcastic.
I really do like your website and reviews. I appreciate the great info you guys put out there. I know it takes a lot of work. I wasn't trying to make demands, I was legitimately curious about why James includes spins sometimes and other times does not.
I don't so spin on tower speakers because I don't have a way of testing the full circumference of a tower speaker on its longitudinal axis without messing the speaker up. However, the data I do provide is, in some ways, more useful than a spin-o-rama graph.
The polar map doesn't look great on the 100f. Do you think if you listened to it side by side with something more neutral, like a Revel f208, you would notice the difference?
The polar map of the 100F is good and certainly better than average. Yes, it would sound different than the Revel F208.
 
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buckchester

Audioholic Intern
They were not overly sarcastic, they were underly sarcastic.

I don't so spin on tower speakers because I don't have a way of testing the full circumference of a tower speaker on its longitudinal axis without messing the speaker up. However, the data I do provide is, in some ways, more useful than a spin-o-rama graph.

The polar map of the 100F is good and certainly better than average. Yes, it would sound different than the Revel F208.
Thanks. Didn't mean to come across in a condescending way. Keep up the good work.
 
Pedro Alvarado

Pedro Alvarado

Full Audioholic
A lot of demands from someone getting some of the best AV related content online absolutely FREE without ever showing any support for the website. We'll get right on it for you. Anything else? :rolleyes:
i do not comprehend how you can hold back your feelings about some of the shite thrown by people here
BUT sometimes sometimes i see a tiny bit of it and i think yup a man can only take it to a point
i would like to give a very big thank you to the audioholic team for all the FREE content
some people need to hear the obvious to appreciate what they are taking for granted
 
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