Paradigm: Legend v.3 Home Theater Speaker System

Sometimes boring is better, like Canada's boringly complete and universal health care, boringly low crime rates, and boringly high educational levels. And then there's the boringly predictable excellence and value of the speaker systems that march south from Canada to the showrooms and home theaters of the lower 48. One of the latest is this system from Ontario's Paradigm, comprising a pair of compact towers for the left/right front channels, a large center-channel speaker, a pair of dipole surrounds, and a formidable powered subwoofer, all for less than two grand.

The Legend v.3 tower derives from the speaker that anchored the Paradigm Legend system we reviewed back in September 1999. Yet despite its similar appearance, the new model has little in common with the earlier one. The latest edition sports four redesigned drivers in a "2 1/2-way" system, and forgoes the powered-subwoofer section.

Like its predecessor, the Legend v.3 is tall, slim, and nicely finished in "rosenut" woodgrain vinyl with a black knit grille. With the internal subwoofer gone, Paradigm now suggests using its PDR-12 to fill in the bottom-octave rumble of movie soundtracks and demanding music. Compact for a sub with a 12-inch driver, the low-slung PDR-12 is finished to match the Legend v.3. The CC-270 v.3 center speaker employs essentially the same drivers as the top two-thirds of a Legend v.3 - dual 6 1/2-inch woofers and a 1-inch dome tweeter - in a conventional horizontal array. The ADP-170 v.3 surround has twin two-way panels firing out of phase from a compact, truncated-wedge cabinet.

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