Paradigm CC-290 much better than Paradigm CC-370v.4? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-17, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Paradigm CC-290 much better than Paradigm CC-370v.4?

Hi guys. The question of the century...I searched the forum but there was not direct comparison between a CC-370 and a CC-290.
I only decode lossy DD and DTS with my Yamaha RX-v657 and recently got Paradigm Monitors 7 v.6 and a Velodyne sub 12". would I notice a big improvement in clarity and presence if I were to upgrade my centre speaker from Paradigm CC-370v4 to a recent CC-290? Does the CC-370 v.4 have any resale value today? It works just fine but I want better sound and I'm not ready to get a new receiver with HDMI so that I can decode the lossless audio. I prefer to have my TV so all the upconversion and handle all the video and not a receiver. My new Samsung LN55C630 does an amazing job>
I did read in other forums that the 290 is a better design etc etc but nothing like first hand experience if someone actually did this upgrade.

thanks for any help...be gentle.Havent posted in a long time.
Erick

Samsung LN55c630 HK AVR 3600 Paradigm Monitor 7 v6, CC-390 v.6 Velodyne VDR-12 Sony BDP 370
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-17, 03:50 PM
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I used to own a pair of Monitor 7 v4s and a CC-370 v3 (essentially the same as the v4). I wanted better center channel sound - the CC-370 was a bit weak on low-end performance - so I tried a CC-290, and I was disappointed for two reasons:
1. The v5 (and newer) Monitor speakers sound different than the v4 (and prior) Monitor speakers, so the 290 didn't really fit with my M7s.
2. Although the 290 offered a fuller sound / better low-end performance, I didn't like the way the new design - with the small mid-range driver - "localized" the mid-range audio. (The 370's mid-bass drivers provided a much "wider" mid-range sound, which I liked considerably more.)

(When I moved up to Studio 60s, I demo'd a CC-590 to pair with them and I noticed the same "localization" issue as with the 290. So I went with a CC-690 instead. Its configuration - a small mid-range driver, flanked by two mid-bass drivers, each of which is flanked by a bass driver - gives me that "wide" mid-range sound along with excellent low-end performance.)

So, although #1 wouldn't be an issue for you, since you have newer M7s, you might find #2 to be an issue. My recommendation: Keep an eye out for a good deal (new or used) on a CC-390. It has the same configuration as the CC-690, and if it performs in a similar manner to the CC-690, the mid-range + mid-bass driver combo should give you the improved sound you're looking for.

Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-17, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Smile wow! That's good feedback

A million thanks. I dropped in by my local Paradigm dealer in downtown Toronto and the salesman felt that a CC-290 wouldn't be a huge upgrade over the CC-370 -maybe a better match but wouldn't necessarily give me a clearer sound...hmm..
Your observation about the more "localized"mid range audio is interesting. Not quite what I would like really...I have run the YPAO system and I have all speakers set to small, the LFE and Bass going to the Velodyne VDR-12 sub and I have played with the cutoff freq from 80Hz to 100hz. I just would like to maximize the clarity and responsiveness of the CC-370. I don't listen to reference level!! aye caramba! no no but I guess not all soundtracks are created equal and they can go from low passages to really high levels..so I've been using the Midnight/Cinema switch which compresses the levels and that seems to help a bit...
The Yamaha RX-v657 (a good pre-HDMI receiver from 2005) is a good one and I don't think that getting a new receiver under $1000 would make a difference...so I thought that maybe the centre speaker was the weak link...
hmmm....I will try to get a CC-290 from the dealer as long as I can return it and get my money back in case I honestly can't hear much of an improvement....
the CC-390 is...HUGE!! and 60 lbs...No shelf would take it and I would be afraid to put my brand new Samsung 55" tv right on top of the speaker...and I'm afraid for the TV not the speaker...
but..where would I look for a good deal on a CC-390? do people actually sell them? the for sale section here is rather small...Canuck audio something didn't seem to have much either.
For now, I'll go watch Avatar extended edition full blast and see if I can forget for one night about wanting a new toy...
Your system sounds fabulous! Studios! wow
thanks
Erick

Samsung LN55c630 HK AVR 3600 Paradigm Monitor 7 v6, CC-390 v.6 Velodyne VDR-12 Sony BDP 370
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-17, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
so I thought that maybe the centre speaker was the weak link...
A good center speaker makes a big difference. With my M7s, the closest I came to a really good match was an older Studio/CC v2. It had the same "wide" mid-range sound, but it went quite a bit lower than the 370, so the sound was nice and full. I don't know if a Studio/CC would work with the newer Monitors, but if you're feeling experimentational, they do come up for sale every now and then for ~$200.

Quote:
hmmm....I will try to get a CC-290 from the dealer as long as I can return it and get my money back in case I honestly can't hear much of an improvement....
It's definitely worth a shot. I suspect you will notice a difference in the sound, especially in the lower frequencies - the 290 has a much better bottom end than the 370 - and I think you will also notice the more "localized" vocals and mid-range audio. Whether or not that's an "improvement" is up to you.

Quote:
the CC-390 is...HUGE!! and 60 lbs...No shelf would take it and I would be afraid to put my brand new Samsung 55" tv right on top of the speaker...and I'm afraid for the TV not the speaker...
I think your TV would be safe. Not sure if a 55" TV on top of the speaker is a good idea, though.

Quote:
but..where would I look for a good deal on a CC-390? do people actually sell them? the for sale section here is rather small...Canuck audio something didn't seem to have much either.
I agree that they don't come up for sale often but - strange that you should mention it - CanuckAudioMart.com had one listed for sale very recently for a very good price. Check also used[cityname].com and [cityname].kijiji.(ca).
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-17, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Now I'm off centre!! sort of !

gee..so much to consider...I think I will try the CC-290 and see how that goes...as long as I can return it in case it's not worth upgrading...
The CC-390 sounds like a lot of muscle...I will keep my eyes open for one on sale.
and you're right, placing the 55 LCD tv on top of a CC-390 is really daring! Not for the faint of heart.
thanks for all your clear info and common sense!

Erick

Samsung LN55c630 HK AVR 3600 Paradigm Monitor 7 v6, CC-390 v.6 Velodyne VDR-12 Sony BDP 370
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-20, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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One more question pls...

In your exprience...what would give me better sound: a new centre speaker or a new receiver?
I'm still thinking about upgrading my Paradigm Speaker cc-370 v.4 which is connected to a Yamaha RX-V657 and I'm not sure if a new speaker (maybe the CC-290 or the massive CC-390 which is a beauty and a beast!!) would give me the best results.
How about upgrading the receiver to a new Yamaha RX-A2000-I saw one and the specs are amazing...A big jump I know...and I'm not talking only about lossless audio but also about plain DD/DTS..what would give me the best results? I understand that maybe a better speaker...dunno..
thanks

Samsung LN55c630 HK AVR 3600 Paradigm Monitor 7 v6, CC-390 v.6 Velodyne VDR-12 Sony BDP 370
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-21, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
In your exprience...what would give me better sound: a new centre speaker or a new receiver?
A new/different center speaker paired with your current receiver will give you better center channel audio than the same speaker paired with a new receiver.

On a separate note:
- Your RX-V657 has pre-inputs, so if you get a Blu-ray player that has multi-channel analogue outputs and can internally decode lossless audio, you can enjoy all the new formats.
- If you want to get a punchier sound, and given that your RX-V also has pre-outputs, you could invest in an Emotiva amplifer (like, say, the very-well-priced UPA-5).

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-21, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks

I will look into your suggestion. Thanks

Samsung LN55c630 HK AVR 3600 Paradigm Monitor 7 v6, CC-390 v.6 Velodyne VDR-12 Sony BDP 370
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-23, 10:58 AM
 
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Maybe it's time for me to upgrade from my cheapo Athena AS-C1. It's my first and only centre speaker and so I have nothing to compare to. I have the Monitor 7 v4s for fronts.

Sanyo Z700, RX-V1800, DMP-BD35, XBox 360, Apple TV 2, Paradigm Monitor 7, Athena AS-B1, AS-C1, AS-R1
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-23, 11:04 AM
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Maybe it's time for me to upgrade from my cheapo Athena AS-C1. ... I have the Monitor 7 v4s for fronts.
You should consider either a CC-350 or a CC-370 v1/v2. They're timbre-matched, and they dig deeper than the later CC-370 v3/v4s. I also found that the Studio/CC v2 blended very well with my M7s, and it had a really nice, full, rich sound.

Any of these center speakers, in good condition, can be had for $200 or less. (Anyone asking more for any of those is asking too much.)
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-23, 11:55 AM
 
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Thanks for the tip.

Sanyo Z700, RX-V1800, DMP-BD35, XBox 360, Apple TV 2, Paradigm Monitor 7, Athena AS-B1, AS-C1, AS-R1
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 2010-11-26, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Smile New receiver HK AVR 3600 and new CC-390 v.6!!

Aye caramba!! I think I went overboard here!! Not only I decided to get a new receiver with HDMI switching and able to decode bluray high def sound but also found a slightly used CC-390 for sale!! I guess I lost my reason for a second! I got the receiver last week at a good price and I like the Dolby Volume feature for sure...at moderate sound levels if makes things easier to hear and keeps sound under control! The High setting is a bit much but the medium setting is a good compromise. I think it works a lot better than the night mode in my Yamaha RX-V657 which I have moved into my video edit suite.
Now, I'm getting the CC-390 this weekend but first I need to build a strong shelf slightly behind my Samsung TV...and I have to make sure it can hold 60lbs!! Aye! did I go crazy here or what! I will hook it up by Sunday and I will report.
For now, I have been listening to the HK AVR 3600 with my CC-370 and I do notice improvement but nothing huge. Most people would say the system sounds just fine for a "budget" HT. Bluray high def sound is of course better than before- the problem is with regular dvds encoded in Dolby Digital at just 448 Kbit/s!! Amazing that they sound any good at all with such low values!! Voices sound tiny on my CC-370. I hope they improve a bit with the CC-390 but there is only so much a speaker can do with such the low signal.

Things get better with 640kbit/s and of course DTS...but their highdef upgrades TRUEDOLBYHD and DTS-HD master sound fuller and more balanced-I'm really hoping things sound a lot better-fuller and clearer with the cc-390-I don't listen at reference level and the Dolby Volume seems to help keep dialogue clear.

I will know very soon if my temporary state of insanity ( self-diagnosis and I'm sticking to my story!) was the right thing to do...It only cost me around $1250 CDN for both the receiver and the gently used CC-390.

cheers
E

Samsung LN55c630 HK AVR 3600 Paradigm Monitor 7 v6, CC-390 v.6 Velodyne VDR-12 Sony BDP 370
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 2011-01-13, 10:01 AM
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I have M7 v4. front and CC300 center. Will it be worthwhile to change the center to CC350, CC370 (v1/2/3/4) or CC290? Which one would be the best fit?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 2011-01-13, 10:11 AM
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If you're happy with how your CC-300 blends with your M7v4s, don't change a thing. Regarding the models you mentioned, please see my posts #10 and #2 for more info.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 2011-01-13, 10:28 AM
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@eljay - Thanks for your fast reply. I had 7se(mk1) front when I first got the CC-300. When I replaced the 7se by the M7 v4, it seemed that the CC-300's soundstage was better matched with the 7se than the M7. After using the new setup a while, I've stopped paying attention to the difference. But the upgrade bug inside me keeps wondering if there would be a better center for the M7 v4.
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