Paradigm Founder 90C

4-driver, 2 passive radiator, 3 way centre channel, sealed enclosure

$4,499

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Founder is no ordinary loudspeaker. Paradigm have treated every part, large and small, as if it were the most crucial piece of the whole. Every component has been thoroughly researched, designed, engineered, and tested. Not only are the drivers completely new, so is their mounting hardware, the cabinet’s internal structure and shape, and even the feet. By leaving no element unaddressed, Paradigm have created something that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Aluminium Magnesium Ceramic (AL-MAC™) High-Frequency Driver

Any high-performance speaker driver (in this case, the tweeter) must be both very strong (to prevent distortion), and very light (to be agile, responsive, and accurate). This quest of design and engineering has led the industry to try many different exotic materials. Some of them found practical application and many did not. AL-MAC is Paradigm’s unique blend of Aluminium, Magnesium, and Ceramic materials; each of which contribute to the end goal of greater accuracy and realism. Their special properties contribute to the final product which is not only strong and lightweight, but embodies a natural anti-resonance to ensure the tweeter doesn’t just sound good “on paper” but truly sounds incredible in the real world. Cutting edge technology, with real benefits, in practical applications – this is what the Founder Series is all about.

Aluminium Magnesium (AL-MAG™) Midrange Driver

Similar to the goals Paradigm had in mind when developing the AL-MAC tweeter, AL-MAG was conceived to bring the same elevated level of performance to the area where our ears are the most sensitive, the midrange. If you have ever read a speaker review, the midrange typically gets a lot of attention, and rightly so. By nature, human hearing places an emphasis on things like voices so that we know when we’re interacting with someone familiar. Think about how instantly recognizable your favourite recording artist or actor’s voice sounds. Paradigm’s goal here was to have the midrange driver sound as realistic as possible. After all, isn’t that why you have a nice audio system? To make it sound like, “you are there?” With AL-MAG technology, Founder series comes another step closer.

Ultra-High-Excursion CARBON-X Unibody Bass Driver

The foundation of our listening begins with the lowest frequencies. In pursuit of ultimate clarity, Paradigm developed new technology, high performance bass drivers for use in the larger floorstanding models of the Founder Series. These drivers use a single-piece cone construction for added strength, especially at higher volumes, with the lowest possible mass to ensure every detail can be heard clearly. Combine this with Paradigm’s signature ART Surround, and Shock-Mount technologies and you get a bass driver that’s both detailed and powerful, as it should be.

Oblate Spherical Waveguide (OSW™)

The rooms where we live and listen have changed dramatically over the years. And while home interiors have evolved; many speaker technologies have not kept pace. Paradigm believe that speakers should be a natural extension of your room’s look and feel, while also providing a noticeable and real-world performance gain. Enter the Oblate Spherical Waveguide (OSW™) tweeter waveguide, only from Paradigm. The OSW™ helps Founder Series Loudspeakers cope with the challenge presented by modern-day environments, which are larger, more open, and full of reflective surfaces. OSW™ technology utilises a precise, natural geometry to help focus the tweeter output where it matters, the listening area. As you move to the sides of the listening area, tweeter output gradually decreases, avoiding performance-robbing room reflections. Decreased output at the periphery of the room means that sound will not disrupt others that may be in earshot but wish to focus their attention elsewhere. Coupled with a larger, more powerful magnet/motor structure with greater efficiency and lower distortion, OSW™ gives you better sound where you want it, and less distracting sound where you don’t. Real solutions for real life.

Perforated Phase-Aligning (PPA™) Lens

Perforated Phase Aligning (PPA™) Lens technology is a perfect example of form meeting function. Not only are the crafted metal parts beautiful to look at, but they protect the driver cone and provide a substantial performance benefit. For added levels of realism, the PPA™ lens works to ensure that all frequencies arrive at the listener’s ears at the same time. This means that everything sounds more realistic from the lowest bass, up to the most delicate details. Founder’s floorstanding models also receive this treatment on their midrange drivers helping to project the sound more predictably at a distance. That makes them ideal for listening from farther away without losing sound quality and detail to the room.

Cascade-Fusion Bracing

The first thing you see on a speaker should be the last thing you hear: the cabinet. Founder Series’ cabinets are not only beautiful and unique to the eye, but their design enhances performance. The more rigid and strong a cabinet is, the less resonance and vibration it produces, which invariably improves the sound. The Cascade-Fusion bracing inside the Founder Series’ faceted cabinets is engineered to both increase rigidity and break up any standing waves generated by the high output bass drivers. The inherent strength of our unique geometric cabinet also helps distribute energy across a larger surface area providing even greater strength and support than is possible with traditional square cabinet designs. This ultra-rigid construction gives the drivers a neutral platform to play from, resulting in tighter bass, greater clarity, and more precise accuracy. These beautiful cabinets are “seen and not heard”.

Advanced Shock-Mount™ System

With the Founder series, every detail matters. While all the technologies are something you can hear the benefits of, some are more focused on what you don’t hear: distortion. The Shock Mount system is one such special technology that is all about invisibility, both visual and sonic. While Paradigm have made their drivers the “Stars of the Show”, accompanying technology and innovation ensures that all their benefits reach your ears. Something Paradigm are very proud of is the new Advanced Shock Mount system which is specifically designed to control vibration and resonance between the midrange and bass drivers and the cabinet. By mechanically decoupling these drivers from the specially designed and braced enclosure, these performance robbing vibrations are unable to transfer between the drivers and cabinet, or between the cabinet and the drivers. Without these resonances, all drivers are left free to deliver pure, unaltered sound with no audible distortion. They also applied this principle to the enclosure’s feet. Shock Mount Feet serve to decouple the speaker cabinet from the floor further controlling and eliminating the harmful effects of extraneous vibration. The feet can even be adjusted from above, without moving or tipping the cabinet making sure you get a perfectly level footing on any surface. Interchangeable hardware is included for both carpet and hardwood floors so that no matter what, you are hearing all the performance you paid for.

Anthem Room Correction (ARC™)

As mentioned earlier, rooms have changed dramatically over the years, yet speakers have not kept pace with the evolution of our living spaces. This is not just a bold claim, Paradigm can prove it! Using their world-class room correction system, Anthem Room Correction or ARC, Paradigm have collected thousands of data points that paint a clear picture of a room’s impact on the sound of your speakers. There is a reason that singing in the shower sounds different than in a living room; the same voice in a different room equals a different sound. The latest version of ARC, ARC Genesis, is an incredibly powerful piece of software that measures exactly what your speakers are doing in your room and tunes them so any harmful effects from your room’s acoustics are all but eliminated. ARC Genesis is a tailor-made solution that controls the parts of the room that aren’t helping, while keeping the parts that are, leaving you with a cleaner, more accurate sound.

Increasing Useable Output by Decreasing Distortion

All Founder’s technologies, from the drivers to the feet and everything in between, are engineered to reduce distortion and provide the most accurate sound possible. Studies have shown that listeners are more tolerant of high output levels when distortion is lower. This essentially proves that it’s the “noise” in the sound that bothers us, not necessarily the volume. For those that like it loud, Founder Series is full of technology that lowers distortion and raises the usable volume output. If you enjoy cranking it up, even just occasionally, Founder is an ideal solution, providing more natural, accurate, and pleasing sound not just at lower volumes but also when it’s time to rock out. Better sound all the time, this is the way.

High Output, High-Efficiency Components

There is a famous quote that says, “Power is Nothing Without Control”. That’s why Paradigm designs speakers that sound clean, controlled, and detailed at any volume. They do this by making sure all driver components are designed for maximum power handling and output. If they can handle high output, everything else is a walk in the park. The voice coil and magnet structure are “where the rubber meets the road” as far as dynamics are concerned. These are the two critical components that actually move a speaker cone back and forth to produce sound. The Founder Series is designed with high power density magnets, high excursion cone surrounds, and multi-layered voice coils. Even the drivers’ cooling is addressed in order to keep everything composed even during the most demanding musical passages or intense action scenes. These parts are painstakingly engineered not only to handle more power but also to maintain strong control over the driver to further lower distortion and raise the maximum usable output. After all, if a speaker doesn’t sound good while playing loud, then it really can’t play loud. In addition to designing the components for high output playback, they also paid attention to efficiency. In this case, that means packing as much performance as possible into a smaller space. Traditional wisdom says there is “no replacement for displacement” so to make a speaker play louder, it needs to be bigger. While it is true that large speakers generally handle higher volumes better than small ones, there is another solution: technology. Paradigm engineers came up with a way to increase the amount of usable cone area while fitting it into the same physical space. When manufacturers list woofer sizes (5.25”, 6.5” etc.) they usually measure across the frame of the woofer, not just the usable cone area. This can vary greatly from brand to brand. With the exclusive “Vertical Mounting System”, Founder Series provides a more usable cone area in its 5.5”, 6”, 7” and 8” woofers than do competing designs advertising “larger” sizes. More output and less bulk can only be a good thing. Isn’t innovation wonderful?

Bi-Amp capable + Hybrid Design

All models in the Founder series can be Bi-amped or Bi-wired. That means two channels of amplification can be run to a single speaker. This not only provides a more direct connection to the components inside the speaker but raises the amount of power available to it. Taking it a step further, the Founder 120H includes an internal 1000-watt amplifier that powers the bass drivers. With this amp doing the heavy lifting, your amplifier is free to handle the mid and high frequencies with far less effort. This hybrid design not only improves the maximum output of the speaker but also allows us to fit this incredible performance into a smaller cabinet that’s designed as an integrated system. The 120H’s powerful amplifier can also take advantage of our award-winning ARC Genesis room correction system for reference level accuracy regardless of the challenges presented by the room. Since ARC Genesis is part of the internal amp’s control system, it can be used with any brand of electronics you wish to connect.

DESIGN4-driver, 2 passive radiator, 3 way centre channel, sealed enclosure
CROSSOVER2nd order electro-acoustic at 2.5 kHz (tweeter), 2nd order @ 500 Hz (bass)
FREQUENCY RESPONSE ON-AXIS±2dB from 55 Hz – 23 kHz
HIGH FREQUENCY DRIVERCoaxial 1″ (25mm) AL-MAC™ Ceramic Dome with Oblate Spheroid Waveguide (OSW™) and Perforated Phase-Aligning (PPA™) Tweeter Lens, ferro-fluid damped / cooled, Patent Pending Dual Gap Motor Structure
BASS FREQUENCY DRIVER Two 7″ (177mm) Ultra-HighExcursion CARBON-X™ Unibody Cone, Gen3 Active Ridge Technology (ART™) with Vertical Mounting System, Advanced SHOCK-MOUNT™ Isolation, and a 1.5” high-temp multi-layered voice coil with ventilated Apical™ former
MIDRANGE FREQUENCY DRIVERCoaxial 6” (152mm) AL-MAG™ Cone with SHOCK-MOUNT™ Isolation Mounting System, a 2” high-temp multi-layered voice coil with Apical™ former, Patented Dual-Sync™ Continuous Flux Motor
LOW FREQUENCY EXTENSION37 Hz (DIN)
SENSITIVITY ROOM / ANECHOIC94 dB / 91 dB
FREQUENCY RESPONSE 30° OFF-AXIS±2dB from 55 Hz – 17 kHz
SUITABLE AMPLIFIER POWER RANGE15 – 260 watts
MAXIMUM INPUT POWER200 watts
IMPEDANCECompatible with 8 ohms
DIMENSIONS HXWXD8.9” x 35.7” x 12.9” (22.6cm x 90.8cm x 32.7cm)
WEIGHT48 lbs (21.8 kg) each
FINISHESPiano Black, Black Walnut, Midnight Cherry, Walnut
PASSIVE RADIATORSTwo 7″ (177mm) Ultra-High-Excursion CARBON-X™ Unibody Cone, Gen3 Active Ridge Technology (ART™) with Vertical Mounting System, Advanced SHOCKMOUNT™ Isolation, Passive

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