Paradigm: Legend v.3 Home Theater Speaker System Page 2

Nothing special was required in the way of setup. All of the main-channel speakers have multiway binding-post inputs. The subwoofer has a single RCA-jack line-level input and a single set of relatively light-duty push-terminals for speaker-level input, but you'd need parallel cables to use this connection (one pair to the sub and another pair to the towers). Most new receivers have line-level sub outputs, and that's what I used.

The only controls on the sub are knobs for level and low-pass cutoff (from 50 to 150 Hz). To invert the sub's phase (which is sometimes helpful in achieving a better blend between the sub and the front left/right speakers), you'd have to reverse the wires connecting the front three speakers - or all five speakers if you want to be a stickler.

As usual, I put the subwoofer next to the right Legend v.3, normally the best spot for a sub in my room. I put the center speaker on top of my TV and the surrounds on side-wall shelves a little behind the listening position.

Beginning with stereo listening, I found that except for the deep bass, the Legend v.3s sounded very much like their predecessors: just a shade to the warm side of neutral, but with a nice, unforced sense of treble definition and a smooth midrange. They also produced tight, lifelike stereo imaging from good recordings, and at levels not always heard from "affordable" speakers. On cuts like "Big Lie Small World" from Sting's Brand New Day CD, the Legends' overall tonality matched my (far more expensive) reference speakers very closely, and they did an excellent job of placing the opening elements of nylon-string guitar, piano, and hand percussion in a well-defined, stable stereo image. The Paradigm speakers provided a considerable helping of depth, too, clearly placing the piano behind and to the left of the guitar.