Beryllium for Paradigm

"It's the only loudspeaker under 6 figures with a beryllium midrange diaphragm," Paradigm's Erin Phillips told me about the Paradigm Concept 4F (price not set, but expected to be under $40,000/pair), a speaker that has been forthcoming since last May's Munich High End, and probably won't arrive until late summer/fall 2016.

The Canadian-crafted, full-range loudspeaker combines four powered 8.5" woofers—two front-firing and two rear-firing in "vibration-cancelling configuration"—with passive TruExtent® 1" beryllium-dome tweeters and 7" midrange drivers. Both of those come with perforated phase-aligning lenses. Each woofer has its own 700W, DSP-controlled amplifier—that's 1400W total, or 2800W dynamic peak—as well as Anthem Room Correction (ARC™) capability. The cabinet is constrained-layer damped.

As in many demos for the public, Paradigm offered a controlled experience where we were told what to listen for and how it would sound. Given that this was a trade show, I thought that strange indeed. When the person in charge, who by the end of the show seemed on autopilot, offered up a 16/44.1 file of a Russian choir singing a capella as a curious example of full-range sound, I wondered where all the air I had expected to hear around massed voices had gone. It is fair to note, however, that John Atkinson was more impressed with the new speakers' presentation, feeling that there was midrange purity and clarity to vocals and that the bass on the Batman soundtrack was awesome.

Anon2's picture

I hope that these $40,000 speakers do not have a particle board-based enclosure. Though I'm not in the price range for these products, I have made my own assessment: if you want more than $10,000 for a pair of speakers in this day and age, you'd better have a materials science, non-mdf story to tell the consumer.

I appreciate the coverage. The price increases are unnerving for many products in this CES 2016 stream of reports.

Audio manufacturers could appear in an exhibition along with BCBS, Aetna, US Healthcare; these are the only other companies in our economy announcing such hefty price increases. And let audio manufacturers remember one thing: the likes of the companies listed above command a much higher priority in the budgets of all but the most committed audiophiles.

Thank goodness we had Elac speakers and the Dragonfly for CES 2016. It might be the only thing that many of us will be able to afford in the future.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

If BCBS, Aetna, and US Healthcare keep raising their rates as drug prices rise dramatically, this is indeed a possible scenario.