Better Sound by Paradigm The History of Great Sound in Canada, and Beyond
In 1982, Jerry VanderMarel, a seasoned veteran of consumer electronics and loudspeaker sales, teamed with Scott Bagby, a loudspeaker designer with a long history of innovative ideas. Together, they went back to the drawing board and developed a radical new speaker. To find the sweet spot, they tapped university audio researchers and detailed scientific findings from the audio studies conducted by the National Research Council of Canada.Did you know that Paradigm loudspeakers are still designed, engineered, and crafted right here, in our headquarters just outside Toronto, Canada? It’s been that way since 1982. That’s when co-founders Jerry VanderMarel and Scott Bagby decided to, eh-hem, change the prevailing industry paradigm. They wanted to build high performance loudspeakers right here at home. They wanted to custom-design their speaker components based on science, not speculation. And they wanted to make them available at prices that everyone would appreciate.
The point was to achieve a level of performance that would erase the speaker itself from the equation. Pure, lifelike audio, uninhibited by coloration, unrestrained in its ability to translate power into sound. And to do it at a price that would allow anyone to experience this magic.
The Paradigm Models 7 & 9 were unveiled at the Toronto Audio Show that year. Immediately, a dozen dealers signed on to carry the line. (Many of these loyal charter dealers remain proud Paradigm dealers even today!)
Today, Paradigm’s North American manufacturing facility features the hemisphere’s largest privately owned anechoic chamber (33,000 cubic feet), two double-blind listening rooms and a proprietary loudspeaker testing and measurement system that is one of the most advanced in the industry, if not the world. In all areas, our standards meet and exceed those specified by the National Research Council of Canada.
Our state-of-the-art on-site computer controlled process lets us control the whole manufacturing process, from cabinet manufacturing and finishing, precision injection molding, to driver, crossover and voice coil assembly. We do all the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining of our production parts, prototyping elements and tooling. Finally, we assemble our products here, and do end-of-line testing that exceeds the audio industry’s tightest tolerances.
This incredible manufacturing space, and the people who work here, have made Paradigm the premier large-scale driver manufacturer on the continent. And it is here that we still do hands-on design, and produce all the woofers and tweeters for Paradigm’s award-winning speaker systems.
From Canada with love!
Pure & Simple: Performance
The founders of Paradigm—Jerry, Scott and Bill—and the people who work at Paradigm, are all hard core audiophiles. We have a fundamental love of music and sound, and the pleasure that it brings to ourselves, our families and friends. So it stands to reason that Paradigm has always been a company obsessed with product performance. Our quest has been to produce reasonably priced real wood loudspeakers that bring our listeners as close as possible to the experience of the live audio event. Along the way, we've tried not to get sidetracked. It's easy (and tempting) to isolate one or another single detail or specific performance parameter, to the detriment of the array of other parameters that go into making a loudspeaker sound natural and engaging.
We prevent this with computer controlled design specifications and extensive double-blind screen testing. Our initial speaker designs are not based on some esoteric inner feeling, but on the far-reaching scientific research conducted right here in Canada by the world-renowned National Research Council. Their exploration of audio resulted in hard and fast ("sound") science on the elements that go into pleasurable and realistic sound. Once we've designed the speaker, we subject it to unique and insightful double-blind screening evaluations. These "tests" don't help us “make better speakers,” but they do confirm (or refute) our original scientific design specifications. We know pretty quickly whether a loudspeaker makes the grade!
While all this extensive and advanced design and testing does dramatically increase our production timeline, it also ensures that, in the end, our products not only look great; they also reveal the superb high-end performance and uncanny timbrel consistency people the world over recognize as The Paradigm Sound.