The core of the system is the stylish new MilleniaOne satellite speaker (priced at $249/each), which borrows driver technologies and other know-how from Paradigm’s Reference-series speakers. The result is a very small, stylish, minimalist-chic two-way loudspeaker that looks like a “lifestyle” product, but is in fact quite a bit more than that. Each MilleniaOne sat features a gently oval-shaped enclosure made of die-cast aluminum (finished either in white or black) and sporting full-on Reference-series Paradigm drivers (a 1-inch S-PAL aluminum dome and a 4.5-inch aluminum cone mid-bass driver). The sats come with small stands and can, by design, be used for L/R main, center, or surround-channel applications. To simplify ordering, MilleniaOne satellites will come bundled either in 2-packs (for stereo applications) or 5-packs (for surround sound/home theater applications).
Completing the picture is Paradigm’s very cool-looking Millenia sub, which can be used either on a small pedestal-type stand or—get this—simply hung on the wall. The sub uses dual oblong 4-inch x 14-inch woofers powered by a 300-watt amplifier, and is configured so that it can be used with Paradigm’s familiar, optional PBK-1 “Perfect Bass Kit” EQ system. Having seen the system at CEDIA, my guess is that an awful lot of customers may be drawn to the wall-mount option, which really does seem to eliminate most problems with perceived “subwoofer clutter.” To that end, the Millenia Sub will soon be offered with an optional wireless kit that gets rid of RCA-type “subwoofer signal cables” altogether. Pricing for the Millenia Sub will be $1399.
The Millenia One/Millenia Sub system will begin shipping in November. www.paradigm.com
CEDIA 2010 marked the official return of the storied British speaker brand Wharfedale to the U.S. market, and for many enthusiasts the very epicenter of all things that are good and right about Wharfedale can be found in the firm’s Diamond-series speaker—now upgraded to become the Diamond 10 series.
Over the years, Wharfedale’s Diamond-series have earned a reputation as sonic (and, for that matter, cosmetic) overachievers—speakers that looked and especially sounded better than they had any right to for the money. While it will take some in-depth review listening to know for sure, my educated guess is that the Diamond 10 will take that reputation further than ever before.
Highlights of the Diamond 10 range, which comprises thirteen models in all (three bookshelf monitors, five floorstanders, three center channel speakers, one surround speaker, and one powered subwoofer), include:
· Multi-layered curved wall cabinets said to be much stronger than in previous diamond models.
· Composite front baffles.
· Improved mid-bass and bass drivers with Kevlar diaphragms and distinctive diamond pattern surround rings said to damp standing waves and to promote smoother high-frequency rolloff.
· Rear-firing reflex ports.
· Fabric dome tweeters with a special diffuser grid said to help smooth out extreme high frequencies.
· Simple crossovers said to provide “phase perfect integration” for the tweeter throughout the crossover region.
The flagship model in the range is the three-way Diamond 10.7 floorstander ($1299/pair), but if history is indicator—and it often is—the most popular model in the range is apt to be the lovely little Diamond 10.1 bookshelf monitor ($349/pair), an acknowledged “sweet spot” in the line. Diamond 10-series 5.1-channel system bundles start at around $1500. www.wharfedale.co.uk