**Official Ascend Acoustics Tower Thread** - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 1519 Old 11-24-2010, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

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.

Where there any other speakers that were AB'd other than the Salk ST's?
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post #62 of 1519 Old 11-24-2010, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

Where there any other speakers that were AB'd other than the Salk ST's?

Other than Sierra-1's, NrT's, no.

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post #63 of 1519 Old 11-24-2010, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

When you say the center image disappears do you mean vocals which should be centered are coming from the speaker one is tilting their head towards?

Bill,

I meant that it sounded like the vocals were coming from two speakers, as opposed to floating somewhere inbetween the speakers. I'd heard a similar effect a few years back when I spent the day listening to a friend's Magnepans. Move your head to the correct location and a centre image would snap into focus. Tilt away and it sounded like two speakers. I could literally hear the vocals go from a single point to two points.

Speakers vary when it comes to the size of their sweet spot. For example: at the Hsu Research open house earlier this month, folks came to hear their new subwoofer but left amazed by the imaging of their small bookshelf speakers. No matter where you sat in the room, it just wouldn't lose centre imaging (barely pulled left or right of centre).

Anyway, since someone asked for a comparison, I posted what we heard at the previous get together (at the risk of possibly offending Songtower owners). I have no dog in this hunt since I've never owned either brand (and am the least likely candidate for tower speakers).

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post #64 of 1519 Old 11-24-2010, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Bill,

I meant that it sounded like the vocals were coming from two speakers, as opposed to floating somewhere inbetween the speakers. I'd heard a similar effect a few years back when I spent the day listening to a friend's Magnepans. Move your head to the correct location and a centre image would snap into focus. Tilt away and it sounded like two speakers. I could literally hear the vocals go from a single point to two points.

Speakers vary when it comes to the size of their sweet spot. For example: at the Hsu Research open house earlier this month, folks came to hear their new subwoofer but left amazed by the imaging of their small bookshelf speakers. No matter where you sat in the room, it just wouldn't lose centre imaging (barely pulled left or right of centre).

Anyway, since someone asked for a comparison, I posted what we heard at the previous get together (at the risk of possibly offending Songtower owners). I have no dog in this hunt since I've never owned either brand (and am the least likely candidate for tower speakers).

Sanjay,

I appreciate your response and in no way feel offended by your impressions of the STs. I am fortunate in that I have both the STs and the Sierras with both being excellent speakers.

As far as hearing vocals from both speakers I did not experience this at all when being off center of the sweet spot. What I found when I was tilting or turning my head was that vocals were more focused to whatever side I was closest to. I will do some more listening when I get the chance to see if I notice what you are hearing.

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post #65 of 1519 Old 11-28-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Bill,

I meant that it sounded like the vocals were coming from two speakers, as opposed to floating somewhere inbetween the speakers. I'd heard a similar effect a few years back when I spent the day listening to a friend's Magnepans. Move your head to the correct location and a centre image would snap into focus. Tilt away and it sounded like two speakers. I could literally hear the vocals go from a single point to two points.

Speakers vary when it comes to the size of their sweet spot. For example: at the Hsu Research open house earlier this month, folks came to hear their new subwoofer but left amazed by the imaging of their small bookshelf speakers. No matter where you sat in the room, it just wouldn't lose centre imaging (barely pulled left or right of centre).

Anyway, since someone asked for a comparison, I posted what we heard at the previous get together (at the risk of possibly offending Songtower owners). I have no dog in this hunt since I've never owned either brand (and am the least likely candidate for tower speakers).

Where the ST towed in or was placement experimented with? I am thinking I remember Dennis stating that the speakers were not designed for much tow-in, but I am old and may be making that up:-) I don't have my ST anymore but don't remember them being bad from an image standpoint, but I didn't do any rigorous comparisions so mine is from memory (see old above). I don't particularly have a dog in the hunt either as I have owned both Ascend and Salks. It does sure sound like David may have a real winner on his hands for the money, although I would be curious to hear comparisions against other speakers in the price range. Sounds like he has an ideal set-up to make a serious comparo.
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post #66 of 1519 Old 11-28-2010, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

Were the ST towed in or was placement experimented with?

I would be curious on this as well. I moved my STs around a bit the other day pulling them out from the front wall and reducing toe in quite a bit. Before I moved the STs and after I tried to duplicate what Sanjay heard. I could not hear vocals from both STs when on either side of the sweet spot. I am in no way saying Sanjay did not hear what he posted just that I did not hear it. I will let this topic go as this is a thread about the new Towers which I hope to hear more about in the near future.

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post #67 of 1519 Old 11-28-2010, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

Where the ST towed in or was placement experimented with?

For the A/B comparo, both sets of speakers were toed in slightly (we didn't experiment with changes).

Sanjay
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post #68 of 1519 Old 11-29-2010, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

It does sure sound like David may have a real winner on his hands for the money, although I would be curious to hear comparisions against other speakers in the price range. Sounds like he has an ideal set-up to make a serious comparo.

It is tough to get people to haul speakers of comparable size to compare...I tried to get people to bring more.

Quote:
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For the A/B comparo, both sets of speakers were toed in slightly (we didn't experiment with changes).

I think when we first started listening, we had no toe-in.

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post #69 of 1519 Old 11-29-2010, 11:18 AM
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Were the speakers on a rotating turntable or positioned next to each other?

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post #70 of 1519 Old 11-29-2010, 11:24 AM
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Were the speakers on a rotating turntable or positioned next to each other?

Nope...AB/AB and then BA/BA do to some more checking. I think at one point we didn't have them next to each other...but don't remember.

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post #71 of 1519 Old 11-29-2010, 12:02 PM
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It is tough to get people to haul speakers of comparable size to compare...I tried to get people to bring more.


good point
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post #72 of 1519 Old 12-15-2010, 04:11 PM
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These towers look excellent, great for passing WAF, having different finish options is great too. If these get a nice beefy matching center, then I think I know what I'm getting next. I really want to try out some truly neutral speakers next. I'm also interested in horn tweeters for sensitivity and controlled directly since I'm about 99% movie watching.

Man I got so much beef about my infinity primus speakers being ugly, sold them because I want to upgrade. I showed a picture of primus speakers (no grilles on in picture) from crutchfield advertisement to my wife and she said, "those look better than what we use to have." I couldn't believe what I was hearing, i told her those are the same speakers we used to have its just i left the grilles on for the most part.
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post #73 of 1519 Old 12-15-2010, 04:29 PM
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Just read on the ascend forums, that an 11.5" tall beefy center might be pursued. Yes, do it man and make it happen.
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post #74 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 01:18 PM
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Just read on the ascend forums, that an 11.5" tall beefy center might be pursued. Yes, do it man and make it happen.

Agreed. Without a matching center speaker, these would drop off the list of many potential buyers. On the other hand, my next home theater will have an acoustically transparent screen, so 3 matching tower speakers would work for me.
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post #75 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My bamboo towers in the "naked state" ready for finishing

Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me
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post #76 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 03:52 PM
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My bamboo towers in the "naked state" ready for finishing

What is the center picture? Rear of the tower? Is that a port?
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post #77 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 03:55 PM
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Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me

If only I knew Photo Shop. I would paste a picture of the towers floating away with all the rain they are having in Southern California! San Diego's stadium and parking lot are flooded. A picture of two bamboo "tower" boats would be priceless!
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post #78 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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What is the center picture? Rear of the tower? Is that a port?

I believe so. Bottom rear ported.
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post #79 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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If only I knew Photo Shop. I would paste a picture of the towers floating away with all the rain they are having in Southern California! San Diego's stadium and parking lot are flooded. A picture of two bamboo "tower" boats would be priceless!

Ha! I do feel bad for all those homeowners.
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post #80 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 04:35 PM
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Ha! I do feel bad for all those homeowners.

Caveat emptor. That entire area in and around Qualcomm Stadium is built in a riverbed! It flooded so many times in the 20th century that the land of all of Mission Valley was only valuable as grazing land. I recall watching old barns rolling down the flooding river during one Winter. THEN, around the late '50's/early 60's, some porkbarrel loving Congressman managed to get a rider on a military funding bill to have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers build a flood control channel through the valley. Thus, land (much owned by legislator friends!) that was virtually valueless, instantly became some of the most expensive land in the country (without any personal expense...just the taxpayers' expense ). Voila!...shopping centers, restaurants, stadia, huge apartment complexes emerged.

So, no matter the channel...Mission Valley, central to all of San Diego, is STILL well within the flood zone of the Sweetwater (not) River.

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post #81 of 1519 Old 12-23-2010, 05:48 PM
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What is the center picture? Rear of the tower? Is that a port?

Yep -- that is the back side of the cabinet. The cutout is where the large flared port will be installed and the two holes above the port are for the binding posts.

These pics were sent to me from the builder and I plan to visit them early next week for inspection prior to finishing. Hope to take more pictures too.

I am excited about these for several reasons. The cabinets are 100% american made (right here in SoCal) and actually being built by some of the same expert craftsmen that used to build the M&K enclosures (while I was an engineer there). Although I can't seem to explain why -- that fact is really special to me. Nostalgia? A sense of pride? I don't know, but if feels somewhat like coming home

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post #82 of 1519 Old 12-24-2010, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
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Agreed. Without a matching center speaker, these would drop off the list of many potential buyers. On the other hand, my next home theater will have an acoustically transparent screen, so 3 matching tower speakers would work for me.

ditto here..........as a point of reference(so to speak) a paradigm reference studio cc-690 v.5 measures 10 x 37-1\\4 x 16-1\\ 2.......so an 11 inch tall centere would only be an inch taller than the paradigm and so would be in the same ballpark height-wise...... what i really want to know is the overall width and if its a 3 way centere
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post #83 of 1519 Old 12-24-2010, 08:32 AM
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what i really want to know is the overall width and if its a 3 way centere

I don't know the dimensions, but yes, from Dave's other posts, it will be a 3-way incorporating the same midrange as the tower.

The integration of the mid-driver and tweeter in a vertical alignment is why the center will have to be at least 11" high.

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post #84 of 1519 Old 12-24-2010, 10:41 AM
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Talking to Dave yesterday he confirmed that the center will be the same as the tower, with a woofer on either side of the mid and tweeter. Since the cabinet will be taller the center won't be so wide -- I believe said it will be about the size of the 340.

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post #85 of 1519 Old 12-24-2010, 08:43 PM
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I really want these speakers. I haven't even unpacked my Sierras in the new house because I'm hoping Dina will email me saying the towers are ready. Please just swipe my credit card already!!
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post #86 of 1519 Old 12-25-2010, 06:51 AM
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Talking to Dave yesterday he confirmed that the center will be the same as the tower, with a woofer on either side of the mid and tweeter. Since the cabinet will be taller the center won't be so wide -- I believe said it will be about the size of the 340.

so are you saying the sierra nrt centere would have the 5.5 inch woofers to the left and right of the vertically coupled nrt tweet/6.5 inch midrange combo??

If so, that is a similar arrangement to how paradigm configures their 3 way centere.

And on that topic, how does the sierra 1 nrt compare to the paradigm signature S1 or S2??

I am looking for paradigm signature sound quality at paradigm studio prices (or better) if possible and hope the ascend sierra nrt line fits the bill

Its funny,I always held a great amount of respect for the sierra 1s (because of the reviews) but never considered them because I am looking for a full HT setup. The announcement of the tower/centere introduces a whole new ballgame though
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post #87 of 1519 Old 12-25-2010, 07:07 AM
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so are you saying the sierra nrt centere would have the 5.5 inch woofers to the left and right of the vertically coupled nrt tweet/6.5 inch midrange combo??

If so, that is a similar arrangement to how paradigm configures their 3 way centere.

Yeah that's what would be logical. Putting the midrange on the side of the tweeter would result in worst off-axis performance which isn't exactly the point in a center... Also the height wouldn't be an issue if both were side by side, but since they're on top, taller center
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post #88 of 1519 Old 12-25-2010, 07:25 AM
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Can someone provide ballpark on pricing for these new Ascend Sierra towers and center channel?
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post #89 of 1519 Old 12-25-2010, 07:43 AM
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Towers were said to be in the 2000$ ballpark, I don't think I've seen anything for the center. But, if a single tower is 1000$, and you reduce a bit the price because of the cabinet size vs center, I don't know, 800$ or so? If we take paradigm for example, random floorstander is 2.5k, and matching center with same drivers is 950$... So the ratio should be somewhere in that ballpark for Ascend...
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post #90 of 1519 Old 12-25-2010, 07:49 AM
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Thanks "Grandarf".

Someone who already auditioned new towers and Paradigm Studio 60s can compare them? I know Studio 60s are 2 1/2-way vs new Sierra towers, a true 3-way design.
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