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Paradigm Persona 5F Loudspeaker Conclusion

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I really like the Persona 5F speaker, and that may be obvious to anyone who has read the review up to this point. Persona_pair_close5cIt is an outstanding floorstanding speaker: It sounds great, it is built well, it measures superbly, and it looks terrific. However, for the asking price, it had better tick all those checkboxes, because it is not an inexpensive speaker. ‘Expensive’ is, of course, relative; there are those for whom a pair of these would not be a considerable expense. But for most people, $17k is not a sum that can be spent on a whim. Furthermore, there is no shortage of solid loudspeakers around this price range: Monitor Audio, Revel, Kef, Focal, Bowers & Wilkins, Dali, Dynaudio, to name just a few. This naturally leads to the question: what does Paradigm bring to the game to distinguish themselves in this crowded market with these Persona 5F speakers?      

One thing that sets them apart is that there are virtually no missteps in terms of sound. The upper treble is a tad hotter than perfectly neutral, but that can easily be equalized. This is not to say that the Persona 5F speakers are particularly forward or bright, which is not the case. They have a very good spectral balance and are simply a bit brighter than what might be termed a ‘warm’ sound signature. The midrange frequencies of the 5F speakers are easily the best of any speaker I have had in my home thus far. I cannot imagine a loudspeaker with more midrange clarity; in this range the Persona 5F were superb. The bass felt natural and not boosted or otherwise disconnected from the rest of the sound. It was powerful when it needed to be and extended quite deeply for a tower speaker of its size. The dispersion is wide and uniform, so they will have very good coverage across a large listening area instead of a single ‘sweet spot.’ The Persona 5F speakers have enough dynamic range to handle a good sized room too. They can get loud and have no problems doing so, and their imaging and soundstage is also terrific.

Persona_emblemC

the detail and clarity of the Persona 5F midrange was eye-opening.

Their build quality and appearance are excellent, as one would expect at this price point. As I noted before, their styling is reminiscent of a high-end luxury car. The designs of the grilles on the mid-woofer and tweeter are distinctive and very telegenic. Aesthetics are a very subjective matter, however, and those looking for speakers that will fit in a traditional decor will be looking for wood finishes or at least muted color schemes, will not find the Persona speakers to be aesthetically compatible with their decor. But I do think most people will find them to be very appealing to look at.

Bottom Line

If you are in the market for a $17k speaker set, there are lots of great choices, but I would say that the Persona 5F speakers have qualities that make them a very viable choice at this price. For me, their strongest quality is their midrange clarity. I ran A/B comparisons with some other speakers I had on hand, and that was the Persona’s standout feature. Nothing could touch them on that point. One example was the chorus in the ‘Mozart Requim Realization’ album. Other speakers sounded good, but the differentiability on the individual voices of the chorus on the Persona speakers was very much on another level. Of course, the other speakers used were not near the same price range as the Persona 5Fs, but I don’t normally have a lot of five-figure speakers kicking around. Regardless, the detail and clarity of the Persona 5F midrange was eye-opening. I am not certain to what extent the beryllium cone of the midrange driver is the cause of the terrific midrange sound, and I am more inclined to believe that it is the overall construction and design of the speaker rather than exotic diaphragm material.

Persona_full_length6c

To bring this review to a close, I would say that the Paradigm Persona 5F speakers deserve strong consideration for those shopping for tower speakers in this price range. Paradigm has entered the high-end market with a very strong product. Those shopping for high-end loudspeakers would be remiss not to give the Persona speaker line an audition. I believe those who do listen to them will be as impressed as I was, and if that is the case, Paradigm is sure to have great success with the Persona product line.

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
ImagingStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStar
About the author:

James Larson is Audioholics' primary loudspeaker and subwoofer reviewer on account of his deep knowledge of loudspeaker functioning and performance and also his overall enthusiasm toward moving the state of audio science forward.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Cos posts on July 07, 2021 18:32
Pogre, post: 1492832, member: 79914
Funny you guys bumped this thread tho, as I recently discovered the Personas are available in vanta black. I wonder if they're truly vanta black? That'd be pretty cool. You could have 2 speaker shaped black holes in your living room!

Vanta Black Gloss, so shinny black holes. Problem is that the Vanta Black come with the Silver Metal work standard, before they would charge you to change metal work, but I just spec'd it out and they don't anymore. Either way they are very nice color. I do like my carbon black Metalic ones
Pogre posts on July 07, 2021 17:59
Funny you guys bumped this thread tho, as I recently discovered the Personas are available in vanta black. I wonder if they're truly vanta black? That'd be pretty cool. You could have 2 speaker shaped black holes in your living room!
Cos posts on July 07, 2021 17:13
Eppie, post: 1492642, member: 94526
It's nice that we finally get to see some measurements. I'll cross-post in the Paradigm owners thread if it hasn't been already.

LOL I meant to post it there
Eppie posts on July 06, 2021 23:31
Cos, post: 1492638, member: 14477
Speaker Measurements for Founder 100F look Pretty decent. Not a huge spike after 10k

SoundStageNetwork.com | SoundStage.com - NRC Measurements: Paradigm Founder Series 100F Loudspeakers
It's nice that we finally get to see some measurements. I'll cross-post in the Paradigm owners thread if it hasn't been already.
Cos posts on July 06, 2021 23:08
Speaker Measurements for Founder 100F look Pretty decent. Not a huge spike after 10k

SoundStageNetwork.com | SoundStage.com - NRC Measurements: Paradigm Founder Series 100F Loudspeakers
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