Originally Posted by spanish68
These new Ascend towers, in what ways will they be better/inferior to the Songtower speakers?
We did instant A/B switching (level matched) between the earlier version of the Ascend towers and the Songtowers at the previous get together in August.
The difference in imaging was obvious. One of the posters here at AVS (ivanpino) noticed that tilting his head out of the sweet spot, even a foot, caused the centre image for the Songtowers to disappear. Some of us had trouble believing that, considering the reputation of Salk speakers. So we took turns listening for ourselves and ended up confirming what Ivan heard.
By comparison, the Ascend towers continued to image well outside the sweet spot. Naturally, the centre image pulled towards whichever speaker you were closest to, but that's normal for a phantom image. At the get together last Saturday, I ended up sitting near one of the side walls for a time, almost in line with the right speaker. Dave F was standing next to me and we both noticed that there still was some imaging between the speakers, even that far out of the sweet spot. I'll admit it was impressive.
Some of the A/B switching at the previous get together was done using one of each speaker, placed directly in front. This took away the distraction of soundstage and imaging, letting us concentrate on tonal qualities (Harman always does speaker comparisons this way). From what I remember of the previous get together, bass response was on par between both speakers. The Ascends were a little clearer, especially on female vocals, maybe due to the midrange driver. When playing louder material, the dual woofers in Salks bottomed out a couple of times (was easy to repeat). No such problem with the Ascends.
Listening to the towers at the recent get together, the bass sounded deeper and cleaner on the same material I had listened to last time. Unfortunately, we weren't able to compare them to the previous version to get a better handle on how much it had changed. Other attributes (imaging, detail, etc) seemed to remain the same as before. They still excelled at reproducing vocals.