Paradigm System 8 Home Theater Speaker System

Life is short. Why shouldn't you treat yourself to a porterhouse and a bottle of merlot now and then? And why not enjoy decent speakers, too? In a world of surround sound speaker systems priced around $1,000, it's easy to forget that there's a parallel universe populated by people who spend a little more money and get a lot better sound. When the Paradigm System 8 arrived on my doorstep, its weight alone (249 pounds total) told me that I was about to smash the $1k barrier and enter that other world.

The System 8 comprises a pair of Monitor 11 tower-style speakers for the front left/right channels, a CC-370 for the center, a pair of ADP-370 surrounds, and a PW-2200 subwoofer. The speakers are relatively plain looking, with standard-issue black cloth grilles and woodgrain-vinyl-clad particleboard cabinets. Don't get me wrong - they're not ugly by any stretch, just plain. And that can be a good thing, assuming that the expense saved by foregoing doodads like titanium speaker spikes and lustrous real-wood veneers was put into something that might affect performance. I'm not the kind of guy who wants to drink a $70 merlot if the bottle it comes in costs $50 to make.

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