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Thread: Pargon VS Metregon

  1. #1
    Bruno GINARD
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    Pargon VS Metregon

    Hi all,

    Recently, some members in this forum talked about Paragon and Metregon vintages speakers, especially about drawings and building. ( 2000 $ for drawings on EBAY !)

    I consider about building one of those stereophonic models, but I really can’t think the opportunity of the project regarding the sound of a 50-year-old speaker compared with the modern JBL speakers (Everest, 43XX models, K xxx models). I own a pair of Hartsfield (1959 model) and IMO it can compete with a lot of recent commercial state of the art systems.

    15 Years ago, a French Paragon owner said that it was a great loudspeaker, but bass was sounding like a “boiler” (with LE 15 A)…..:shock:

    Paragon has a Horn loaded bass speaker; Metregon has a simple direct and bass reflex loaded box. Both had the curved reflector for a stable stereophonic effect. Both had a very high WAF to install it below a screen in a HT system!

    So, Paragon and metregon owners, what are your views on this?

    Bruno

  2. #2
    "new and improved" JBL Dog's Avatar
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    Bruno:

    I listened to a Paragon (briefly) years ago (not long enough to form an opinion on it). However, I do own both a Metregon with an S82 system and a set of 4343's. Both systems serve a purpose in our home and I enjoy them equally.

    I love the sound of the Metregon with a McIntosh tube system, but it does not have the dynamic high frequency range of the 4343's. The bass of the Metregon is full and smooth, not as the Paragon owner described. As you mentioned, the Metregon has very high WAF, that's why it's on display where the general public can enjoy it. I can listen to the Metregon for a longer period of time without the "fatigue" that you sometimes get with the 4343's.

    I've never really been interested in the modern "audiophile" speakers. My brother had a set of Martin Logan "Ascents" that I had a chance to listen to. They sounded nice with certain styles of music (jazz vocal was outstanding). But, I felt in the long run he would become tired of them because the sound at times could rip your head off. Sure enough, he just sold them last week. He plans on replacing them with some B&W Nautilus (I think I have the make/model right). Until then, he's going back to his L100T's!! ($ for $, one of the best JBL loudspeakers of all time, IMHO).

    What it all boils down to is what makes you happy. You see the latest Mercedes cruising smoothly down the road on you know it's a great car. Even though the Mercedes is "state-of-the-art" mechanically, it doesn't compare to the rush you get driving a 1960's muscle car. (Yes, I will trade a healthy kidney for a 1969 Shelby Mustang Cobra GT500 convertible).

    You can say the same thing about speakers.




    This message comes from JBL Dog
    Last edited by JBL Dog; 10-23-2003 at 02:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Moment Member Oldmics's Avatar
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    Paragon V/S Metregon !!!!-Sounds like a Don King sponsored bout!My opinion about the sound differences between these two speaker systems is going to be a bit generalized.Since I have two Paragons and because each Paragon have different low frequency drivers(therefore sounding unique to themselves) compared to the Metregon.The Metregon was availiable with many different speaker system options.Different system componets would give different perceptions depending upon which system is installed into the Metregon enclosure and auditioned.In general the Paragon is a broader reproduction device.Since it is a 3 way system the 075 tweeters add to the top octave reproduction.The Metregon that I have is a two way system containing the same woofers (150-4C) and horn drivers (375) as one of my Paragons.The system availiability never allowed for a 3 way Metregon enclosure that I am aware of(although I am gonna slap some bullets in there for a listen).The Paragon is a powerhouse on the low frequency and shines when played loud thruout all of the frequency bands.The Paragon is NOT an accurate reproduction device having some inaccurate reproduction problems in the 100-300 HZ area.This inaccuracy is greater with the LE15A speaker later used in the Paragon.The Metregon is a less in your face speaker system.It does not have the clobbering effect on the low frequencys as the Paragon even when played loud.Since it is a less exaggerated system it lends itself to better reproduction of standard jazz and classical music played at moderate volume levels as opposed to the Paragon.I believe that the imaging is more precise on the Metregon in the high frequency realm.On the other hand give the Paragon some double kick drum Van Halen and lookout when Eddie comes roaring in with his fingertapping, fretboard gymnastics.It sounds like a concert,the same tune on the Metregon and your looking for your ticket refund.I have the plans for the Paragon in my collection and have never seen the Metregon plans availiable.If anybody has these Metregon plans,please let me know.Both of these enclosures require far more time and skill to construct than I will ever possess in woodworking.I suggest owning both for optimum listening enjoyment.Best regards,Oldmics

  4. #4
    Bruno GINARD
    Guest
    I have never understood why JBL use LE 15A in the bass-horn of Paragon. When I worked on the Hartsfield model, I have made a lot of modeling about the couple speaker/horn.
    A front bass horn, with a small back closed box (paragon, Hartsfield….) need a specific speaker, as 150-4, E 145, E 140, 2220 or ALTEC 515…. LE 15 A or 2235 are made for bass reproduction in a large vented box (Olympus, 4350). As Oldmics says, LE 15 A is the worst solution. A Japanese company (UTOPIA) realizes a Hartsfield true copy, with LE 15 A! It’s
    Curious.

    Metregon seem to be my choice for a domestic application, using it in for H.T. and musical reproduction.
    Apparently, 8 different models were available, using 150 4 C, D130, and also 123 ( with a 075 instead a couple driver/HF horn)
    IMO Metregon was sale as an enclosure (only) with a lot of choice for the buyer. Maybe it’s the reason why there are no drawings, and why I had never seen one in France (Europe ?) since 22 years.

    Oldmics, can you confirm that Metregon is a single enclosure, when Paragon is made of 3 parts (2 horns and a reflector)? And do you think we can substitute the curved ( 45°) HF 5040/5041 Horn by a modern short horn, as a 2380 (if rear retreat is sufficient). I am a serious customer for the drawings.


    JBL Dog, you want to try a new WAF with 4343, look at this 4343 that I have listened 20 years ago in Paris. An architect, Patrick AUGELET , made them based on two separate boxes. The distance between LF and HF was calculate to equalize the phase inverting at the crossover point between the 15 “ speaker and the MF speaker. It was made of medite fine particle wood; filter was made with SCR ( SOLEN) caps, and massive air core.
    I have never eared a so beautiful 4343… Sound was very accurate, and soundstage was impressive. It was my project before the Hartsfield.
    They were sold 2 or 3 months ago on the French second market.

    Finally, I LOVE the shelby Mustang , and the Ac COBRA !


    Regards and thanks ,
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  5. #5
    Alex Lancaster
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    Wink

    IMHO opinion, Paragons, Metregons and Hartfields are like a 1956 Rolls-Royce, beautiful, greatly made, elegant, fun to drive or listen to, but still 1956, the world has advanced greatly on both fields; About the shelbys and Ac´s the same, have You priced them lately, like a 427 AC King Cobra?

    Alex.

  6. #6
    Bruno GINARD
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    vintages and cars......

    Alex, I agree totally with your opinion. In addition to my listening choice (i.e. : JBL) , I like the vintage models. But if I globally compare the listening of a Hartsfield with the late productions (considering the price), there are not a lot of commercial speakers that give me “thrill”!
    4 or 5 years ago I listened Martin Logan “Statement”, and a “state of the art” Revel system. Recently, it was JM Lab UTOPIA BE, a French speaker that cost 75 000 €/$ a pair.
    Both were smooth, and accurate. I especially loved the dynamic of the Revel. But for a 60 or 80 000 $/€ global system, isn’t it standard?


    Hartsfield’s gave to me a lot of work. (1 ½ year + the prototype realization) but it cost totally around 5.000 €/$, including the veneer finish made by a cabinetmaker (current at this time…)
    For 10000 $, you can realize an Onken 3 ways sytem, based on the Ooooold Altec Speakers,and that gave to you much more pleasure than a commercial speaker ( IMHO of course !)

    The last AC Cobra I’ve seen for sale was an UK copy, and it cost 60 000 € …. Everyday I take my “modern” car to go to my job, but if I had a Shelby ( or a R.R. Corniche !) I shall remain it in the garage, only for Sundays!

  7. #7
    John Y.
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    Metregon Sketch

    Oldmics, Bruno, JBLDog,

    The attached JPG is from a George Augspurger article about the Paragon and Metregon, Radio Electronics, March 1959. Unfortunately, the whole article is not currently to be found in my files, just the page that had this sketch.

    I believe that a pretty accurate drawing could be derived by scaling the sketch into my CAD program, since the curved panel geometry is assumed to be accurate in the sketch. Just a matter of scaling the sketch to accurate box width and depth measurements. Anyone care to assist in making some outside measurements of their Metregon, as needed?

    BTW, the sketch shows that a 600 Hz crossover is used. I am going to assume the use of H5040 horn with 175 driver and 130A woofer, since I don't think that the LE series of drivers had made it to market as early as 1959. I could be wrong. Anyway, the LX5 crossovers were later used with the S82 (3 way, 375) system or the S72 (LE85) systems. Can't find a 600 Hz crossover in my catalogs, so I conclude it never made the marketplacearound that time frame.

    John Y.

  8. #8
    John Y.
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    Metregon sketch

    Failed to attach the sketch, here it is.

    John Y.
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  9. #9
    John Y.
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    Metregon sketch

    And another, from the Metregon brochure on this site. Note the revised shape of the lower panel. This is not in agreement with the pictures of the production Metregon, so some info is needed. Note that the N600 crossover is used with the 275.

    Also, I did find in the JBL pub CA-8, indication that the horn was rotated 90 degrees and, therefore, provides clearance for the HF drivers.

    John Y.
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  10. #10
    Maron Horonzakz
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    I,ve owned both the Metragon & Paragon. Metragon is a single cabinet & Paragon is in three sections. Using JBL plans I made my own Paragon. Its not easy to make. Took me 4 months. you could not tell the difference between my unit from JBL unit. The only thing I didnt like about the Paragon is only the mid driver (375) reflected off the curved surface. The metragon all speakers reflected off the curved surface. IN the Paragon I liked the 150-4 better than Le-15 woofer. The Le-15 did,nt make sense in a sealed chamber dumping into a horn. I felt bass definition sufferd.

  11. #11
    Bruno GINARD
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    drawings

    2 years ago, I received several Email from guys in USA who had made drawings of Metregon, based on their own model. Since this time, I never received something.

    I found again the address, and send new messages this day…. Hope one of them will reply….confused:
    :

  12. #12
    Senior Moment Member Oldmics's Avatar
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    Howdy All,To John Y,I also have both of those "top views" of the Metregon.As you can see by the attached picture the horn is not configured with the driver facing downward as those pictorial views suggest.Not to mention clearence is really close between componets.Both the one inch and two inch drivers face the rear of the enclosure.Also the N600 crossover was listed as one of the system options for installation into the Metregon in 1959 according to the SC 506 publication that I have.Now as far as machines are concerned I did price an original 427 AC Cobra by Shelby this past summer.WWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY outa my price range.The repros are everywhere.The Shelby Mustang was bad but something about those Cobras.Best regards,Oldmics (who walks to the office)
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  13. #13
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    I have a paragon and Hartsfields. A friend has a metrogon. In his metrogon we changed the 130s to LE15A and added 075s. At rare times the metrogon can seem harsh. I experimented with using the curved horns with LE-85 for our center channel project and dropped it. The metrogon is in my friend's dining/ family room. During dinner it ocassionally draws attention to itself in a good way. A jazz combo is in the room. His wife loves it. Overall I prefer my Paragon. It never misbehaves and is always a delight. I experimented with different crossovers and woofers and finally decided to leave perfect alone. I did leave a pair of 077s in place of the 075s but I am not sure how useful that is. The Hartsfields needed more accoustical attention to the room environment. The Hartsfield can have do some inpressive stunts with bass and the metrogon can do tricks with midrange horns. The metrogon is really just a pair of olympus in the same cabinet since the woofer is just a ported bass reflex. The Hartsfields and Paragon are horn loaded woofers.

  14. #14
    Bruno GINARD
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    The guy who owns a Metregon (and the drawings) answered to me. Actually he’s not free ….in holydays in the south for 4 or 5 months
    He purpose to write back in May

    If anybody who owns a Metregon could make the basic measurements to accompany the drawings (above), and especially the curved part, it will be nice….

    As a matter of fact, my wish is to change the size and the look, to make a “Modern” Metregon speaker, with regard the volume needed by a E 145 or 2235 speaker, the stickiness of so long parts of wood, and the finish chosen for the maximum WAF!



    Best regards

  15. #15
    pocketchange
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    Bringing back this dead "old post" !

    I'm wondering if someone has rebuilt the XOs in a METREGON?
    I am guit happy with things as they are but since I have two versions of XO's
    and caps changing value from age related input, any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Gary

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