Moving from K-Horns to Ascend Acoustics or Other? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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After 20 years of ownership, I think I'm finally ready to give up on my Klipschorns. I've finally come to the realization that no matter what I do, corner loaded speakers just will not work in my living room. These speakers really need a dedicated space to shine, and that's just not happening for me in the foreseeable future. My major issues with the K-Horns are imaging and bass response, my room's just not the right shape/size for them to work correctly. And while I'm at it, I might as well replace my 20 year old Klipsch center too.

So, after perusing the threads here, I've been eyeballing the Ascend Acoustics Horizons pretty hard - replacing FL/FR/Center. They're in my price range, and from the reviews sound pretty darn good.

Any thoughts on K-Horn vs. Ascend? Will I be utterly disappointed, blown away, or just satisfied?? Any other recommendations for new speakers?

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post #2 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 10:39 AM
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Just my two cents...

Ascends (especially with the Ribbon Upgrade) are much more musically oriented speakers. Personally I would go with the Aperion. Aperion ships bothways for free (if you return them).

Give them a shot...if you dont like them..pack them back up.

Also, I just heard the Sonus Faber Venere speakers. I too liked the Klipsch sound....these things were increadable. See if you can audition a pair.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 10:52 AM
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If you like the effortless output of the KHorn you probably won't be satisfied with direct radiators. But that's why PK invented the LaScala. wink.gif

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post #4 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 10:52 AM
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I have only heard the Ascend CMT340...but those are EXCELLENT for home theater and music!

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post #5 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Just my two cents...

Ascends (especially with the Ribbon Upgrade) are much more musically oriented speakers. Personally I would go with the Aperion. Aperion ships bothways for free (if you return them).

Give them a shot...if you dont like them..pack them back up.

Also, I just heard the Sonus Faber Venere speakers. I too liked the Klipsch sound....these things were increadable. See if you can audition a pair.

First I'm hearing of the Aperion line, looks interesting and I'll check them out more for sure. I can't seem to find anywhere to actually buy the Sonus speakers though.

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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

If you like the effortless output of the KHorn you probably won't be satisfied with direct radiators. But that's why PK invented the LaScala. wink.gif

While I like the sound of the K-Horns, I've never experienced anything else (in my room) and thought that trying direct radiators would be at least some sort of confirmation - either "I've been waiting 20 years for this!" or "the K-Horns were the right speakers for me all along" - something like that. biggrin.gif

The LaScala may be a good solution for FR/FL (although, a bit outa my budget unless I find a good used pair), but won't help me with my center - I can't put a split LaScala there, wouldn't meet with current WAF. I really really want all matching FL/FR/Center, something I've been missing for too long and I'm tired of the timbre dif with panning sounds....

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post #6 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:08 AM
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Take a look at Pi speakers, they seem to be a lot like Klipsch heritage speakers. I don't think conventional speakers quite compare to a nicely setup pair of Klipschorns.
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:15 AM
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It will be difficult going from high sensitivity speakers to low sensitivity speakers because you will lose dynamics and effortless playback ability. You may prefer the sound difference but there will always be things lacking. There are always tradeoffs.

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post #8 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Take a look at Pi speakers, they seem to be a lot like Klipsch heritage speakers. I don't think conventional speakers quite compare to a nicely setup pair of Klipschorns.

There's the rub - mine are most likely NOT nicely set up and can never be (in my room).

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post #9 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:25 AM
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I know the horn tweeter has legendary status in terms of sensitivity and dynamic...but I have heard the ascends play as loud as my ears could stand! Cannot imagine anyone needing more...

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post #10 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

I know the horn tweeter has legendary status in terms of sensitivity and dynamic...but I have heard the ascends play as loud as my ears could stand! Cannot imagine anyone needing more...
We're not talking about a horn tweeter, we're talking about a fully horn loaded system. And it's not about going loud, it's about effortless dynamics and virtually unmeasurable THD. One of the benefits of horns is that they sound better at high volume than direct radiators, which will always have higher THD than horns. In most cases when a system seems too loud it's because there's a lot of distortion, and distortion doesn't sound good.

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post #11 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:51 AM
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Oh, I have heard horn speakers before (granted, not real high end stuff) and yes, they get to impressive volumes...but loud is loud, at least according to my ears. The ascends get plenty loud....for me, the horn tweeter is just way too bright. But again, I haven't heard the really good stuff (true for both Horn and traditional speakers)!

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post #12 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

There's the rub - mine are most likely NOT nicely set up and can never be (in my room).

Yeah, I can see what you mean, but you might still get high dynamic speakers to work in there, if not K-horns. Some conventionally dynamic speakers might be a nice change of pace for something a bit more mellow. For that, I would look to something from KEF with their Uni-Q drivers, either the Q or the R series. The Ascend Horizons would be nice too, but, as as good as its dynamics are, its just not going to match K-horns, so I would say why try. Might as well go in a different direction completely.
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post #13 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:54 AM
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I have heard lots of good things about the Aperion Verus Grand Tower and Sierra Towers. When I was shopping a while back, I was interested in the upgraded Sierra Tower and also the Verus Grand tower. The one problem was they were both out of stock back at that time and I was ready to buy. My first choice was the Sierra tower. I winded up with the Monitor Audio RX8's and I am very happy with them, great speakers.
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post #14 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Oh, I have heard horn speakers before (granted, not real high end stuff) and yes, they get to impressive volumes...but loud is loud, at least according to my ears. The ascends get plenty loud....for me, the horn tweeter is just way too bright. But again, I haven't heard the really good stuff (true for both Horn and traditional speakers)!

If the tweeter is too bright, it is because the highs are running too hot, either that or you are just not used to uncompressed peaks. In any good speaker, horns or otherwise, the FR should be flat. High efficiency horns especially should not run the treble hot.
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post #15 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Oh, I have heard horn speakers before (granted, not real high end stuff) and yes, they get to impressive volumes...but loud is loud, at least according to my ears. The ascends get plenty loud....for me, the horn tweeter is just way too bright. But again, I haven't heard the really good stuff (true for both Horn and traditional speakers)!

You say that you have heard horns before, yet you come back to this horn tweeter being too bright. confused.gif
Klipschorns have horn-loaded bass and mid horn as well as a horn tweeter.

I saw the thread on the Klipsch forum. and i am surprised that the KHorns didn't even work on the long wall. Did you try flipping the phase on one of them? That would explain the lack of imaging and poor bass. Otherwise, I'd try the La Scala with a Heresy center, ot Academy if you want a horizontal speaker. The Pi speakers are very intriguing as well.

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post #16 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 06:26 PM
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Sonus Faber Venere are sold at Best Buy. Don't hold that against them... I heard it at a high end shop and after searching found they were sold also by Best Buy...so its possible you can find one near you that has them...not all Best Buy carry them.

They were very tolerant of speaker placement (they didnt have to be toed in and evenly spaced etc to get a great sound.

The only reason I mention the Sonus is I liked Klipsch but really liked their sound (better)...

Aperion I mention because they come very highly rated and their great return policy. If you heard the Ascend then go for it by all means...I know they are also very highly rated its just recently I read some negative things. They are on my short list still of speakers to buy though... Figured I would try them after I hear the Sonus Faber Venere 3.0 and I gave teh Aperion a try (simply because their return policy is the best and they seem to have a TAD more endorsements than Ascend).

Anyway...I don't think you can go "wrong" with any of the choices.
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post #17 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Oh, I have heard horn speakers before (granted, not real high end stuff)
Then you have not heard a horn loaded speaker. A horn loaded tweeter does not a horn loaded speaker make.

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post #18 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

I saw the thread on the Klipsch forum. and i am surprised that the KHorns didn't even work on the long wall. Did you try flipping the phase on one of them? That would explain the lack of imaging and poor bass. Otherwise, I'd try the La Scala with a Heresy center, ot Academy if you want a horizontal speaker. The Pi speakers are very intriguing as well.

Long wall wasn't much better sound-wise, and aesthetically displeasing. I've tried flipping the phase on one of the speakers, didn't seem to make any difference but I'll try it again with both and see what happens.

Heresy or LaScala center ain't happenin' - this is a living room after all. rolleyes.gif

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post #19 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

I have heard lots of good things about the Aperion Verus Grand Tower and Sierra Towers. When I was shopping a while back, I was interested in the upgraded Sierra Tower and also the Verus Grand tower. The one problem was they were both out of stock back at that time and I was ready to buy. My first choice was the Sierra tower. I winded up with the Monitor Audio RX8's and I am very happy with them, great speakers.

I'm this close to pulling the trigger on the Verus Grand Towers + Center....very close. biggrin.gif

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post #20 of 33 Old 02-04-2013, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

We're not talking about a horn tweeter, we're talking about a fully horn loaded system. And it's not about going loud, it's about effortless dynamics and virtually unmeasurable THD. One of the benefits of horns is that they sound better at high volume than direct radiators, which will always have higher THD than horns. In most cases when a system seems too loud it's because there's a lot of distortion, and distortion doesn't sound good.
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post #21 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

I'm this close to pulling the trigger on the Verus Grand Towers + Center....very close. biggrin.gif

It's all about what you, as the listener, value in terms of sonics. It's not clear from your posts where your values lie.

Before you make a purchase I suggest you attempt to clarify in your own mind what you are looking for in terms of audio performance. Understand that every design involves tradeoffs and that you want a speaker that comes closest to including the tradeoffs that you yourself would make. Capturing this information in a spreadsheet would help you think about the problem.

Once you have done that I would suggest searching in the used in market where you can find great value. For example, here are a pair of speakers designed by a terrific engineer, John Dunlavy.

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/full-range-dunlavy-sc4-rosewood-2013-01-06-speakers-94044-pacifica-ca

The SC-IVs won't play nearly as loud as the Khorns but will walk all over them in the time domain (i.e. tradeoffs).

http://www.stereophile.com/content/dunlavy-audio-laboratories-sc-iv-loudspeaker-measurements

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post #22 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 06:16 AM
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I guess I am trying to make two different statements...whether a speaker is horn loaded or direct radiator, loud is loud.There is a decibel level that just hurts my ears. Maybe that level is lower for crap speakers, which I don't think the Ascends are, but...
And second, horn tweeters, especially on the "not high end" Klipsch and Bic, can be a bit shrill (not really related to the OP dilema, but...)

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post #23 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

After 20 years of ownership, I think I'm finally ready to give up on my Klipschorns. I've finally come to the realization that no matter what I do, corner loaded speakers just will not work in my living room. These speakers really need a dedicated space to shine, and that's just not happening for me in the foreseeable future. My major issues with the K-Horns are imaging and bass response, my room's just not the right shape/size for them to work correctly. And while I'm at it, I might as well replace my 20 year old Klipsch center too.

So, after perusing the threads here, I've been eyeballing the Ascend Acoustics Horizons pretty hard - replacing FL/FR/Center. They're in my price range, and from the reviews sound pretty darn good.

Any thoughts on K-Horn vs. Ascend? Will I be utterly disappointed, blown away, or just satisfied?? Any other recommendations for new speakers?

Comparing classic K-horns to Ascend ribbons seems to be one of the weirdest questions I've seen yet on AVS.

This is like comparing a SUV to a Ferrari. I had to double check, but there are still no SUVs here: http://www.ferrari.com/english/gt_sport%20cars/currentrange/Pages/current_range.aspx

I decline to answer on the grounds that no answer should be necessary. ;-)

I should clarify - I understand why someone might want to get out of classic Khorns, since they are legacy speakers and even their genre has moved forward tremendously.

Now that question in the other thread about Klipsch versus Seaton at least showed a little insight and appreciation, in fact a whole lot. ;-)

Controlled directivity can be a very good thing. And, I don't see how Ascend's line would have that much of it.
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post #24 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 07:13 AM
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I guess I am trying to make two different statements...whether a speaker is horn loaded or direct radiator, loud is loud.There is a decibel level that just hurts my ears.
Once again, if you have not heard a horn loaded speaker delivering 110dB at the listening position with less than 3% THD you have no frame of reference on which to base your statement.

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post #25 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 07:23 AM
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Bill, you are likely correct- you have forgotten more audio knowledge that I have ever learned. All I was trying to say is that the Ascend Acoust340 can get plenty loud and still sound good...

Funny, my uncle had the Klipsch La Scala in his basement...and a set of Pyle Pro speakers upstair. No wonder why he spent alot of time in his basement!

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post #26 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Comparing classic K-horns to Ascend ribbons seems to be one of the weirdest questions I've seen yet on AVS.

This is like comparing a SUV to a Ferrari. I had to double check, but there are still no SUVs here: http://www.ferrari.com/english/gt_sport%20cars/currentrange/Pages/current_range.aspx

I decline to answer on the grounds that no answer should be necessary. ;-)

I should clarify - I understand why someone might want to get out of classic Khorns, since they are legacy speakers and even their genre has moved forward tremendously.

Now that question in the other thread about Klipsch versus Seaton at least showed a little insight and appreciation, in fact a whole lot. ;-)

Controlled directivity can be a very good thing. And, I don't see how Ascend's line would have that much of it.

Arny,

Please, please do answer Arny! I highly value your opinion from reading many of your posts here on AVS and would love for you to tell me what you think. Am I making a big mistake here?? Should I put my money into upgrading the K-Horns instead?

Like I've said, these Klipschs are pretty much the only high-end speakers I've owned and y'know, "the grass is always greener" and all that, I just thought that maybe I would like some sort of direct radiator better. My major issue with the K-Horns in my room is the bass response (and to a lesser extent, imaging), it seems no matter what I do the bass is just anemic. I did try flipping the phase on one, then both, then the other one last night and I *think* maybe with the right one flipped there was slightly more bass response, but it wasn't anything major.

Maybe I'm over valuing the bass response - I do have 3 subs that cover the low end quite well, it just seems I should have better mid-bass. Of course, that could be down to my room and it's need of treatment (which I'm working up to - learning REW currently).

Thanks to you and everybody for all the great advice!

Alan

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post #27 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 09:10 AM
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I would get REW up and running and measure your room. If treatments are not a solution due to WAF, then EQ may solve your problem. Without measuring, you don't know where you are and what is needed.

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post #28 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I would get REW up and running and measure your room. If treatments are not a solution due to WAF, then EQ may solve your problem. Without measuring, you don't know where you are and what is needed.

Thanks Mike - treatment won't be a big issue as long as it doesn't go too far. wink.gif The wife has seen the options from GIK and doesn't mind the look.

I'm currently waiting on my calibrated USB mic (can't trust my SPL meter as a mic), but after it arrives I will be up to my elbows in REW, believe me! biggrin.gif

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post #29 of 33 Old 02-05-2013, 09:25 AM
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Thanks Mike - treatment won't be a big issue as long as it doesn't go too far. wink.gif The wife has seen the options from GIK and doesn't mind the look.

I'm currently waiting on my calibrated USB mic (can't trust my SPL meter as a mic), but after it arrives I will be up to my elbows in REW, believe me! biggrin.gif

Same here. I have a calibrated (Spectrum Labs mic) but I have to pair it with a Behringer MIC2200 for REW. Since my equipment is in a mechanical area on the floor below my HT, I am switching to the USB mic (on order). I already have a spare HDMI cable running through my walls. This will make taking measurements much easier, since with the HDMI version, I can send signals to any speaker or sub. Looking forward to getting back into measuring, since I just changed speakers and subs.

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post #30 of 33 Old 04-29-2013, 04:39 AM
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Oh come on...I've read the whole thread and find no resolution?!? eek.gif

I've not known anyone to feel the base response weak in the Khorn? I agree with the suggestions of measuring/eq and room treatments.

I can relate to your "grass is greener" comment. I feel that at times too. But everytime I've auditioned other options, I'm left feeling that I just can't give up all the things I like about my LaScalas. Mostly, I really enjoy the "hair trigger dynamics" as Bill puts it. smile.gif Nothing else I've heard does that the same way. At times I wish the overall sound was more refined, but it's a trade I just can't make.

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