Upgrading speakers: Price vs Performance - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-21-2013, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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After 10 years of using a HTIB I am finally upgrading my system. Last year I purchased an Epson 8350 and a Denon 1613. Now it is time to upgrade my speakers. I have a dedicated theater room that is approx 13'x20'. I have been looking at the Polk TSI100 for front and surround, and the Polk CS20 for the center. I can get all 5 from Amazon for $550. I have also been looking at the Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 and ProCenter 2000, which is over double the price of the Polks. Now we come to the tough part. Is the performance of the Def Techs worth double the price of the Polks. Obviously I tend to keep things for a while and I don't want to upgrade and not be satisfied. I currently have a PSW10 for a sub, but plan on upgrading that in the coming months as well.

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-21-2013, 07:38 AM
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Instead of the Def Techs, I recommend looking into the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE and CMT-340 SE series of speakers. I have the CBM-170s and think they are a hard value to beat. Other speaker brands popular in that price range are Arx, HSU, and EMP Tek.

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post #3 of 10 Old 03-21-2013, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, then assuming the Ascend Acoustics are the same price as the Def Techs, are they worth paying 2x more than the Polks? That's my main question. Is there a big change in quality going from $600 to $1200 and does that quality justify spending that much more?
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-21-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwade020 View Post

OK, then assuming the Ascend Acoustics are the same price as the Def Techs, are they worth paying 2x more than the Polks? That's my main question. Is there a big change in quality going from $600 to $1200 and does that quality justify spending that much more?

You know, this depends on one's standards (what level of quality they'd be happy with) and their perception of relative value, but in my view, yes, the difference in price in this case would be well justified for those who have the money. The Ascends are a much better value than the TSi series even at twice the price of the Polks, and you could go with a smaller Ascend system (substituting the CBM-170 SE for two or all three of the front speakers) and still get most of the benefit for less money.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-21-2013, 04:00 PM
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What Robert said smile.gif

The Ascends are a good step up over the Polk TSi series. Whether or not that will be enough for you is a personal preference, but most people on AVS find them to be a better class of speaker at a good price that makes them a worthwhile investment.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-22-2013, 01:38 AM
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I wasn't happy with my Polk 50's with CS1 then I stepped up to the 70's with CS2 and still wasn't happy. Was looking to buy some Klipsch but was talked out of them and told I should buy BIC set up. It is a good bang for your buck start up. If you are local I'd let you listen to it. Also thinking about selling all of them and starting over again.

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*NHT ThreeC *NHT Classic Three's (4) *Denon 3313ci *Outlaw Audio LFM-1EX (2)

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*NHT Absolute Tower (2) *Denon E300
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-22-2013, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Given that the Ascends are $250 less than the Def Techs I may go with them. Anyone have any ideas where I would be able to listen to some? I live in North Florida and we pretty much just have Big Blue around here.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-22-2013, 11:22 AM
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Try and ask around in the Ascend owner's thread. There may be someone there who would be more than happy to let you audition their set up. If you lived in Indianapolis, I would have let you hear mine.

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-22-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwade020 View Post

Given that the Ascends are $250 less than the Def Techs I may go with them. Anyone have any ideas where I would be able to listen to some? I live in North Florida and we pretty much just have Big Blue around here.

Ascend Acoustics is an Internet direct speaker manufacturer. So unless you can find someone who owns them in your area to demo them (you could try introducing yourself in the Ascend Acoustics forum and see if anyone offers), your best option is to order just the one front pair for left/right and demo them yourself. That works better than hearing them in someone else's space (or a dealer) anyway since your room will have some impact upon how the speakers sound. Let 'em break in for a few days and make your decision.

I will say that I've never heard anyone say, "gee, I wish I hadn't bought these." People really do love them.

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-22-2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwade020 View Post

Given that the Ascends are $250 less than the Def Techs I may go with them. Anyone have any ideas where I would be able to listen to some? I live in North Florida and we pretty much just have Big Blue around here.

Ascend Acoustics is an Internet direct speaker manufacturer. So unless you can find someone who owns them in your area to demo them (you could try introducing yourself in the Ascend Acoustics forum and see if anyone offers), your best option is to order just the one front pair for left/right and demo them yourself. That works better than hearing them in someone else's space (or a dealer) anyway since your room will have some impact upon how the speakers sound. Let 'em break in for a few days and make your decision.

That's great advice, and don't forget about this:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/purchase/expurchplan.html
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