Paradigm Reference Signature v.3 speakers
Sitting atop Paradigm's range of speakers is the Reference Signature series which while not cheap, have historically offered up performance that bests many speakers that cost way more. The propellerheads at Paradigm have been busy refining things and have released the third version of these speakers as, you guessed it, Reference Signature v.3. The previous two versions have set a high standard, but the third time's a charm. Paradigm engineers are promising a 3dB increase in sensitivity thanks to new driver materials, motor designs and plenty of design time using finite element analysis. That should bring plenty of sound from a handful of Watts, and hopefully will translate into some serious dynamic range when paired with an appropriate amp. Based on precedence, these should be great if you can swing the cash -- check the full details after the break and pick a winner.

September 3, 2009 – Paradigm Electronics Inc., an international leader in speaker design and manufacturing, introduces the third version of its flagship Paradigm® Reference Signature Series. Thousands of "no-holds-barred" Paradigm research and engineering hours went into developing the Signature Series v.3 speakers, which are the highest-output, most dynamic high-end loudspeakers ever produced.

Contributing to v.3's 50 percent increase in output are extensive modifications to the bass/midrange drive units. Signature v.3 bass/midrange drivers are fitted with extreme low-density NLC™ (Non-Limiting Corrugated) TPE surrounds, FEA*-optimized and overmolded onto the cone. The state-of-the-art surround material is 10 times more effective than standard thermoplastic elastomers in damping vibrations and resonances and the new corrugated design has increased peak-to-peak cone excursion from 20-mm in earlier versions to a full 30-mm. A new long-stroke split-coil motor system takes advantage of the extreme excursion by doubling the linear portion of the stroke without requiring a larger magnet. The redesigned motor also keeps mass and inductance of the voice coil low for breathtaking midrange clarity.

Bass cones on Signature v.3 speakers were re-engineered for increased stiffness and better equipped for higher output with new NLC™ Santoprene™ surrounds. To support the extended excursion, the motor structure was also redesigned, increasing the linear portion of the stroke through voice coils almost double the original in length. New core parts including a yoke and pole piece were retooled and FEA-optimized and even the magnets were thickened to accommodate double-distance cone travel.

Value-conscious audiophiles will appreciate the option of Paradigm Reference G-PAL™ (gold-plated pure-aluminum) dome tweeters on the compact S1, C1 and ADP1 models, making the Reference Signature experience even more attainable.

A full list of upgrades to Signature v.3 is listed below.

Upgrades to Signature v.3 Bass/Midrange and Bass Drive Units
  • Overmolded NLC non-limiting corrugated TPE (Santoprene™ for the bass drivers) surrounds
  • Redesigned Nomex™ Spiders
  • Redesigned die-cast aluminum heatsink chassis with AVS™ cooling
  • Advanced split-coil motor system (bass/midrange drivers)
  • Cutting-edge long-stroke motor system (bass drivers)
  • Thickened permanent ceramic (hard ferrite) magnets with focused-field geometry
  • Retooled magnetic pole piece and metal top plate (bass drivers)
  • Metallized high-integrity dust caps (bass/midrange drivers)
  • Injection-molded mineral-filled polypropylene bass cones boast a 30% increase in mineral content

The Signature v.3 lineup (prices shown are cherry finish, U.S. FMV):
  • S1 G-PAL™ – Two-driver 2-way compact bookshelf, G-PAL (gold-plated, pure-aluminum) domes - $599/ea
  • S1 P-Be™ - Two-driver 2-way compact bookshelf, P-Be (pure berrylium) domes - $799/ea
  • S2 – Two driver 2-way bookshelf - $1,299/ea
  • S6 – Four-driver 3-way floorstanding - $2,599/ea
  • S8 – Six-driver 3-way floorstanding - $3,499/ea
  • C1 G-PAL™ – Four-driver 3-way center, G-PAL (gold-plated pure-aluminum) domes - $1,099/ea
  • C1 P-Be™ - Four-driver 3-way center, P-Be (pure berrylium) domes - $1,299/ea
  • C3 – Four-driver 3-way center - $1,999/ea
  • C5 – Six-driver 3.5-way center - $3,499/ea
  • ADP1 G-PAL™ – Five-driver 3-way surround, G-PAL (gold-plated pure-aluminum) domes - $999/ea
  • ADP1 P-Be™ - Five-driver 3-way surround, P-Be (pure berrylium) domes - $1,299/ea
  • ADP3 – Five driver 3-way surround - $1,599/ea
*FEA – Finite Element Analysis

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Paradigm puts its name to version 3 of its Reference Signature lineup