paradigm founder 80f loudspeakers
At the little audio company, our range of loudspeakers is focused on those that will compliment your listening space, helping you get the most from your system with a greatly reduced need for intricate or exacting set-up, intrusive room treatment, or digital room correction.
Paradigm's Founder range fall directly into that category, and as such, earns its place at the little audio company with flying colours. There is nothing about the Founder models that is superfluous to its needs - nothing is there that doesn't need to be. It is yet another example of ignoring unnecessary "bling" in favour of producing a genuinely room friendly product that works in less acoustically friendly spaces. The only thing here you could class as bling would be the light-catching machined "ring" that surrounds each driver, adding a nice touch of class. As such, each Founder model is highly competitive within its price bracket.
At the heart of every Paradigm Founder model is the Oblate Spherical Waveguide (OSW), providing controlled frequency dispersion in any type of room, benefitting music and home theatre alike. This provides an even dispersion of midrange and higher frequencies, and focuses them towards the listening area and away from nearby walls, making the 80f far more room friendly in a wider range of spaces than many other conventional loudspeakers.
With a low crossover point of 1800Hz between the 1" aluminium/magnesium/ceramic (AL-MAC) tweeter and the 6" aluminium/magnesium (AL-MAG) bass driver, more of the directional frequencies benefit from this waveguide - around 93% of the 80f's useable frequency range, to be more precise.
In the cutaways for the mid and bass drivers, the light blue parts are made of elastomer, isolating the driver's chassis from the cabinet to minimise transference of vibrations into the cabinet, as well as vibrations getting back to the driver.
The dual 6" bass drivers of the Founder 80f are based around a 1.5" high-temperature voice coil, with the cone benefitting from Active Ridge Technology (ART). Paradigm claim this design allows for a higher linear excursion with less distortion than would be present in many other designs.
Paradigm's Founder 80f may look like the average floorstanding loudspeaker, but there's a fair amount of technology packed into their real wood veneered box, which are just shy of 24kg each.
Firstly, the diagonal ridge you see down the side of the cabinet is its Cascade-Fusion Bracing - rather than the usual vertical/horizontal bracing, this helps to break up standing waves and improve bass performance. There are also very few directly opposing sides, further reducing internal standing waves.
The grille of the Founder 80f isn't just the PPA (Perforated Alignment Lens) you see over the bass driver - the grille is the whole aluminium baffle you see on the front! This is held in place by strong magnets, and can be removed to use the fabric grille instead if required - although the metal grille is highly recommended for the best possible sound quality.
The same elastomer isolation material used between the drive units and cabinet is also used to isolate the Founder 80f from the floor. Providing two points of additional isolation here reduces vibrations passed between the floor and the loudspeaker via the spike.
The spike unscrews and leaves isolation material to be used as soft footing for hard marble or hardwood floors.
The Founder 80 floorstanders are available in four finishes - walnut veneer, black walnut veneer, piano black, and midnight cherry. An additional detail in its wood veneer is that the grain runs horizontally, which is offset against the vertical lines of the brushed aluminium fascia grille shown in the photo of the high gloss midnight cherry finish.
"The ability of this speaker to get out of the way in the midband, sounding clean and detailed in a cohesive way, is a fine attribute."
"Scott Bagby and his team at paradigm have achieved something special, and I'd strongly recommend you audition a pair if you're looking to purchase such a speaker."
Hear the Paradigm Founder series in Birmingham, exclusively at the little audio company.
2.5-way , bi-wireable design
downward ported design
OSW treble/midrange array
1x 25mm AL-MAC (aluminium / magnesium / ceramic) HF unit
1x 6" AL-MAG 9aluminium / magnesium) mid/bass driver
2x 6" CARBON-X bass drivers
500Hz and1800Hz crossover points
50Hz-23kHz at +/-2dB
15-220watts recommended amplifier power
H 971mm x W 298mm x D 356mm
available in piano black, black walnut, walnut, midnight cherry
£4,695 / pair