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Paradigm is a vertically integrated engineering-driven company. They make just about everything themselves. No box stuffing operation here. Drivers, cabinets, crossovers, electronics, software, testing facilities and even the machines which manufacture their products are designed and built in house. That gives Paradigm enormous flexibility to pretty much build anything they want and at whatever price point they choose. Engineering driven means that even the cheapest model adheres to the same principles and design methodology as the top products.

The Reference Signature S6 v3 ia a three-way, front-ported, four-driver speaker measuring 43.75" H x 8.25" W x 13.5" D and weighing 70 pounds. Two 7" mineral-infused polypropylene woofers cross over to the 7" Co-PAL midrange driver at 190Hz (2nd order electro-acoustic) which in turn hands off to the 1" P-Be beryllium dome at 2kHz (3rd order electro-acoustic). Impedance is "compatible with 8 ohms". In-room sensitivity is 91dB with a -3dB point of 26Hz. Internal wiring is S-OFC or "silver-plated oxygen-free copper spiraled to reduce inductive distortion". Crossover components include close tolerance air-core inductors, ceramic resistors and polypropylene capacitors. The high and low pass sections are mounted on separate boards to prevent component interaction.

There are two pairs of binding posts for bi-amping or biwiring and gold-plated brass jumpers for single-wiring. From what I saw after removing the drivers, the cabinets are MDF and well braced. As is all the rage, the cabinet is gently curved to avoid the traditional boxy shape. Available finishes are Piano Black and Cherry, Natural Maple having been recently discontinued.

It was obvious from skimming through Paradigm’s product lit that the Signature series packs serious technological firepower. Every aspect of the speaker seems to have been addressed. It’s not just the more obvious things that impress but also less visible touches such as Paradigm’s IMS/Shock Mount fastening system which is a butyl-rubber gasket that decouples the drivers from the cabinet. I was surprised to see that even the holes for the mounting screws were encased in this material.

The P-Be tweeter features a beryllium dome "hot-formed" beyond 700°C and rolled down to a foil from a slab of beryllium. According to Paradigm, "the crystal structure of the foil is far superior to the loose association of beryllium atoms achieved in the vapor deposit process". At present Beryllium is considered one the best materials available for tweeter domes because of its low mass, high strength, stiffness and superb thermal conductivity. It also exhibits more benign breakup and resonance characteristics which are said to peak well beyond the 20-25kHz of aluminum and titanium.

Two large neodymium magnets generate a claimed 20,000 gauss of magnetic field strength at the tweeter’s voice coil. The damping chamber behind the tweeter features proprietary acoustic foam dampers while fins absorb and break up residual internal resonances. Fins on the outer casing act as heat sinks. The 7" Co-PAL midrange driver sports another proprietary material consisting of cobalt-infused aluminum. The inclusion of cobalt enhances the rigidity and damping of the pure aluminum cone. The neodymium magnet has a claimed magnetic field strength of 15,000 gauss. The die-cast aluminum chamber is packed with a good deal of proprietary technology. The 7" woofers are a completely new design of mineral-filled polypropylene cones with over-molded NLC i.e. non-limiting corrugated Santoprene TPE surrounds, dual hard-ferrite magnets plus a host of other acronyms I lost track of. NLC, Co-PAL, ATC, ARB - no doubt Paradigm has some poor soul tucked away in an office cubicle whose primary function is to dream up clever acronyms!

My review loaners looked gorgeous in their glossy Piano Black. These are definitely unlike any Paradigm speaker I’ve seen over the years. Because of this finish it was fiendishly difficult if not impossible to generate decent photos. I apologize for the paucity of "action" shots. Fit and finish was excellent and comparable to what I see on more expensive speakers. I noted only a couple of minor annoyances such as those pesky recessed binding post cups. If you have a penchant for big-ass speaker cables terminated in spades, you’ll curse yourself blue. Why not flush-mount the posts with the cabinet's back? The other minor nit were the spikes. There’s got to be a friendlier way of leveling a speaker than bending one’s fingers into positions the good Lord clearly hadn’t intended.

Some folks might prefer the clean looks of grilles which are attached via embedded magnets rather than the traditional pressure-fit plastic tabs Paradigm uses but most of their speakers are actually designed to sound and measure best with them on. They are carefully contoured to reduce edge diffraction, which is why the drivers sit proud off the baffle and blend into the cutouts inside the grilles. I did play around and preferred the grilles on as music was slightly more focused.