“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Paradigm Persona 5F Loudspeaker Measurements and Analysis

By

The Paradigm Persona 5F makes this section of my review a bit difficult. I normally do free-air testing of review units, but that means taking them out to my test site, propping them up on some kind of platform where I can get enough of a distance from the ground to be able to measure the frequency response without too much interference from acoustic reflections from the ground. It is not without risk to the review units. Since the review units I normally test are not terribly expensive, it is worth the risk to bring the reader a comprehensive report on the loudspeaker’s performance. The Persona 5F speakers are quite expensive and not easily manageable since they are somewhat large and almost 100 lbs. each. I decided to forgo regular free-air testing since there was a real chance of having the speaker sustain serious damage.

In lieu of my regular measurements, I have asked Paradigm if they could provide me with a frequency response from their own testing. Paradigm has the largest anechoic chamber in North America, and their measurements are bound to be extremely good. I then set out to confirm their response shape with close mic measurements of the Persona 5F drivers. Close mic measuring the drivers is not a great way to establish the overall response of a speaker like the Persona 5F, but it can give us a peek at the response of the individual drivers.

Paradigms_measurements 

Paradigm Persona 5F frequency response 

The above chart exhibits the frequency response of the Persona 5F as measured by Paradigm. They are windows of both horizontal and vertical response measurements taken at a two-meter distance in 15-degree increments and then averaged. We see the direct axis to 15-degree angle measures extraordinarily flat up to 5 kHz where we see a slight rise in treble centered around 10 kHz. The 30 degree to 45-degree window is still very flat with a slight drop around 2 kHz and a more significant drop after 5 kHz. This angle should provide a ‘warm’ sound, as opposed to a potentially brighter sound found around the direct axis. If you like a bright sound, these should be listened to facing the listener directly. If you prefer a more laid back sound, simply position them facing straight forward at a parallel angle, so that if the listening position forms a triangle with the speaker, the listener will be roughly 30 to 40 degrees off of the direct axis.

We can see from the frequency response windows that the Persona 5F speakers have a very wide dispersion. They will be able to cover a large listening area with a smooth, even sound.

The engineering in this speaker is serious: the Persona 5F responses are a demonstration of Paradigm’s extensive expertise and resources leveraged to produce a truly high-fidelity loudspeaker.

average 

Paradigm Persona 5F frequency response averaged from close-mic measurements

The above graph depicts my own measurements of the Persona 5F. It is an average of close-microphone measurements. I set the microphone one inch away from the tweeter, mid-woofer, and a bass driver, and measured sweep tones of the same voltage level. This measuring technique captures the response from the individual drivers. I then averaged the responses for the overall response. This is an imperfect measurement method and will miss significant aspects of the sound such as how well the drivers integrate into the far-field, phase issues, diffraction behavior, and so on. It can also exaggerate the low-frequency response, as it is doing on this graph. However, it can show driver misbehavior and reveal problems of that nature. No such problems were found in my measurements, and the dip around 16 kHz is probably just a phase cancellation due to the shape of the waveguide versus the distance of the microphone. If we pull the mic back a bit more, it disappears. The takeaway of this graph is that at the attractively flat response of Paradigm’s own measurements are certainly plausible and even probable were I to measure at a greater distance in more favorable conditions.

ImpedanceS

Paradigm Persona 5F impedance and phase measurements 

The above graph shows the electrical impedance and phase of the Persona 5F speakers. This is not the most benign load on amplifiers, but it is not bad either. In the Persona 5F spec sheet, next to impedance, Paradigm simply lists it as being ‘compatible with 8 ohms.’ To put it bluntly, this is not an 8-ohm speaker. A large swath of most of the heavily used range in music and speech hovers around 5 ohms. That being said, most amplifiers should be able to tackle this load, although I would not want to try to drive these things with a cheap AVR (not that anyone who can afford these is going to drive them with one). Owners will want an amplifier rated for 4-ohm impedance loads to drive these speakers. The good news is there are no severe dips, and most of the steep phase angles occur at high impedance frequency bands. Again, we see the superb engineering that went into these speakers for having such a consistent electrical load; there are no nasty or heavily-taxing extremes shown here. 

We can tell from the low-frequency saddle in this impedance graph that the port tuning of these speakers is in the mid 20’s Hz region. The bass from the Persona 5F drivers is real. Most people will be able to get by pretty easily without a subwoofer with these speakers.

 

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

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
Post Reply