To Jeff Fritz,

I remember in 2010 you wrote an article reviewing the Paradigm Signature S2 v.3 and Sub 2 subwoofer, claiming how it rivaled or outperformed systems costing considerably more. I have a dilemma right now, but I'm looking for user input first before I go and audition. This setup will be primarily home-theater based, with some two-channel music thrown in. Music is important, but home cinema is the main priority. I have a small space, so I want the best possible system I can afford. I've rounded my options to the following:

1) B&W 805 Diamond system
2) Paradigm Signature S2 v.3 system

Have you heard the Diamond series from B&W? How do they compare to the Signature S2? For cinema purposes I'm looking for a speaker that can resolve as much fine information as possible. I want accuracy. I've been told the 805 Diamonds are at the top of the heap in terms of detail resolution and midrange clarity. I've been told how the diamond tweeter is almost unrivaled regardless of cost, etc. I will be high-passing the speakers so the low bass will be sent to a dedicated subwoofer.

I've also heard only great things about the Signature S2 v.3 speaker with its beryllium-dome tweeter. So I'm asking for your input if you have heard both and how you think they compare. I appreciate your help, and thanks!


I reviewed the B&W 803 Diamond back in 2011. I found it to be a very fine loudspeaker overall. The diamond tweeter, however, does not pop out of the sonic mix in an obvious way that will make you feel that it is resolving a ton of fine detail. In my review I stated, "Forget spotlit highs or bright sound -- the 803 was the antithesis of all that. I won’t say that the highs were actually subdued -- there were still goodly amounts of detail, sparkle, and life -- but the upper frequencies were neatly tucked into the overall sound and never called attention to themselves." This observation makes me believe the Diamond series might not be the speaker for you, based on your comment that you want a speaker that resolves "as much fine information as possible."

That leads us to the Paradigm Signature S2 v.3. The Be dome in that speaker is at least a sonic match for the B&W diamond, and is a touch more prominent. As I stated in that review, the highs were served up "with an extra dose of precision and supremely textured detail." I think, therefore, the Paradigm will be the best match for your sonic priorities. The fact that they make subwoofers as potent as the Sub 2 and Sub 1 for your home-theater needs is an added bonus you won’t want to pass up. . . . Jeff Fritz