Paradigm Persona B Loudspeakers Lab Report

Lab Report

Measured on the treble axis, the Persona B has a distinctly lively-looking response [Graph 1] with peaks in the mid bass, midrange and treble allied to a presence band suckout that results in quite large response errors of ±4.6dB and ±4.8dB. Toeing the speakers a little off-axis will tame the perceived treble uplift but will not 'fill in' the loss of upper-mid while, as Graph 1 illustrates, our review speaker responses deviated from one another through this same region, resulting in a pair matching of just 2.2dB. But as recent high-end B&W loudspeakers have proved – an irregular response does not preclude exceptional subjective performance. Driver resonances are very well damped [see Graph 2] while the waterfall and extended response plots [pink shaded area, Graph 1] reveal the impressively extended 49-51kHz primary break-up of the tweeter, albeit at +10dB above the mean midband output.

However, the on-axis irregularity does complicate assessment of sensitivity (much as fixed, perforated grilles hamper nearfield bass measurement) but figures of 90.5dB (1kHz/1m/2.83V) and 87.2dB (500Hz-8kHz) accord well enough with Paradigm's 89dB (anechoic) and 92dB ('room') specifications. Similarly, the 42Hz bass extension (–6dB re. 200Hz) is generous for the speaker size and sensitivity, the output of the bass/mid driver peaking at 120Hz and the rear port tuned to 33Hz – all very 'clean' and free of spurious resonances. Finally, Paradigm's 'compatible with 8 ohms' impedance spec. is not entirely reflected in the 3.8ohm minima measured here at 45Hz and 160Hz – suggesting a 4ohm nominal rating – although with phase angles kept within a tight ±50o limits the load is tough but not unduly challenging. PM


Response inc. nearfield summed driver/port [green], freefield corrected to 1m at 2.83V [yellow], ultrasonic [pink]. Left, black; right, red; w. grille, blue


There are mild driver resonances at 1.1kHz and 9kHz but the main dome mode is a high 51kHz

Sensitivity (SPL/1m/2.83V – 1kHz/Mean/IEC) 90.5dB / 87.2dB / 84.9dB
Impedance modulus: minimum & maximum (20Hz–20kHz) 3.8ohm @ 160Hz, 23ohm @ 88Hz
Impedance phase: minimum & maximum (20Hz–20kHz) –48° @ 100Hz, 50° @ 25Hz
Pair matching/Resp. error (200Hz–20kHz) 2.2dB/ ±4.6dB/±4.8dB
LF/HF extension (–6dB ref 200Hz/10kHz) 42Hz / 69kHz/66kHz
THD 100Hz/1kHz/10kHz (for 90dB SPL/1m) 0.8% / 0.6% / 0.1%
Dimensions (HWD) / Weight (each) 435x225x330mm / 14kg
Price £8600

Paradigm Electronics Inc.
Supplied by: Pulse Cinemas Ltd, Essex, UK
01279 647 039