Paradigm Founder 70LCR/40B 5.0 Speaker System Review Page 2

Which brings us on to how we installed these speakers into a system. You could simply use 70LCRs for the front and rear channels – producing a nicely balanced system – but we've opted for the smaller 40Bs at the back, and primarily tested all three 70LCRs in vertical orientation in pursuit of an optimal tonal balance.

Living The Dream
In use, the Founders prove to be an electrifying listen, with remarkable detail and control allied to a lush progression through the frequency band. The performance is utterly commensurate with the price, with no obvious shortfall and plenty of positives.


Dual binding posts support bi-wiring/bi-amping

David Gilmour's Live at Pompeii (Blu-ray) immediately reveals this system's remarkable precision, as it reproduces the live show's complex musical arrangements with impressive fidelity and staging. The 5.1 mix gives all the instruments a chance to shine, and the Founders are happy to oblige. Whether it's creating an uncongested midrange for the bass and drums that drive What Do You Want From Me, layering in the ethereal guitars that weave their way through Wish You Were Here, providing a sparkling treble that's free of sibilance during The Great Gig In The Sky, or reproducing the soaring solo at the end of Comfortably Numb, these speakers never miss a beat.

Such a performance obviously dovetails with movies too. The opening robbery sequence in Wrath of Man (Blu-ray) delivers effects that require scale and range – from the metallic crunch of a door being torn off, to the stun grenade that explodes with a disorientating bang followed by a high-pitched whine – and all are handled with skill. Later, a gunfight scene becomes a masterclass in visceral realism. Ricochets retain an uncluttered clarity as they ping around the room, and the entire soundstage seems awash with energy, creating a powerful sense of scale without losing the finer details. It's a wonderfully nuanced performance.

Sticking with revenge, the 4K disc of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan has a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that the Founders deliver with a real sense of bravado. James Horner's rousing score is spread across the three 70LCRs with breadth and dynamism, the home cinema aspirations of these speakers demonstrated by a brilliantly balanced front soundstage.


The Founder 70LCR is intended for use both vertically and horizontally

This sense of tonal cohesion extends to the system as a whole, and while you could also use 70LCRs at the rear, the capable and more affordable 40Bs make for excellent surround channels. During the battle in the Mutara Nebula, energy crackles from speaker to speaker, and phaser fire blasts precisely across the room.

The centre 70LCR brings accuracy to dialogue, ensuring that every syllable is well-defined. Whether it's Khan whispering quotes from Moby Dick, or Kirk yelling his nemesis' name in over-the-top fashion, this speaker has you covered, helped by the Founder Series' neutral voicing. And it proves equally effective in vertical or horizontal orientation.

Superior Sound
Powerful and refined, with genuine scale from relatively small cabinets that's never at the expense of fine detail... this is an ideal performance for anyone looking to build their own home cinema. You'll need deep pockets, but those who splash out will be rewarded by a set of speakers that combines classic design with superior sound.

HCC Verdict

Paradigm Founder 70LCR/40B

Price: £7,500

We say: Living up to their name, these speakers lay down a solid sonic foundation, employing advanced driver tech and cabinet designs to deliver precision, control and superior dynamics.

Overall: 5/5


Founder 70LCR
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 1in AL-MAC tweeter; 1 x 6in AL-MAG midrange driver; 2 x 5.5in CARBON-X bass drivers ENCLOSURE: Sealed FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 79Hz-23kHz SENSITIVITY (claimed): 92dB POWER HANDLING (claimed): 220W DIMENSIONS: 204(w) x 480(h) x 313(d)mm WEIGHT: 13.6kg

Founder 40B
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 1in AL-MAC tweeter; 1 x 6in AL-MAG mid/bass driver ENCLOSURE: Ported FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 69Hz-23kHz SENSITIVITY (claimed): 92dB POWER HANDLING (claimed): 150W DIMENSIONS: 197(w) x 368(h) x 128(d)mm WEIGHT: 11.3kg