Wave Crest Audio HLV-1... Ascend designed budget bookshelf - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post
I've tried to get the ARX/Chane A1 and HTD Level 3 bookshelf for a shootout and review, but haven't had any luck. Only asked once though and it was on the forums, not a call or e-mail. Wouldn't mind throwing in the HLV-1 or any other I can get. I could probably get another guy to have a listen too that has a lot more experience with higher end stuff (salon2, 800's, TAD, RBH, etc).
We got a request for a review a couple of days ago. When those return, we can offer them to you for a shootout/review.

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Old 11-26-2014, 03:25 PM
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hi Curtis,

I just found out about these speakers today, and am very intrigued...the only thing that gives me pause is the 86db sensitivity listed because I am looking for something to pair with my Trends Audio T-amp.

Would that be a very bad idea? Have you ever tried to power it with a T-amp? I'm not looking to shake the walls or anything, just want to get comfortable listening levels and have good detail even at low levels.
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Old 11-26-2014, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
hi Curtis,

I just found out about these speakers today, and am very intrigued...the only thing that gives me pause is the 86db sensitivity listed because I am looking for something to pair with my Trends Audio T-amp.

Would that be a very bad idea? Have you ever tried to power it with a T-amp? I'm not looking to shake the walls or anything, just want to get comfortable listening levels and have good detail even at low levels.
Absolutely. We actually have a pair hooked up to a t-amp in my daughter's room. Works great.

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Old 11-26-2014, 05:31 PM
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Nice to still see you around Curtis. I'm putting together a new budget setup based around my "not so easy on the budget" Denon 4311. I think these fit the bill for what I'm restricted to size wise; doesn't hurt they happen to be on sale.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:24 PM
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Am i crazy, or did the price go down to under $200 + free shipping???
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jaeelarr View Post
Am i crazy, or did the price go down to under $200 + free shipping???
Nope...not crazy (maybe we are).

Holiday and Year End sale!

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Old 12-13-2014, 12:06 AM
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Well, Im very happy I got a pair of these. Best speakers I've owned to date. I've owned or still own, Cerwin Vega LS8, Sony SS-MB300, Micca MB42, and Polk Monitor 70 Series II. The HLV-1 sounds better than all those, imo. Hard to describe why so I'll just say, everything from highs to mids to lows have more clarity than the other speakers I've owned. Getting these has awoken a monster within. Now that I've had a small taste of good audio, I want more. But I'm broke so I'll just enjoy these for many years to come

EDIT:
I also tried these as PC speakers. I currently use the Micca's with a Lepai t-amp. The HLV-1 sounded great with that little t-amp. I might have to get another pair next year to replace the Micca's
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:37 PM
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It's been almost a year now that I've had these speakers and still love them. I use them as an LCR and have dual PB-1000's from SVS and couldn't be happier. Usage is probably 70/30 in favor of movies and they're great with both. Someday I'll get a picture up...

With the sale these are an incredible bargain. I recommend them to anyone I can looking for speakers in this price range. Well done Curtis and Dave.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:37 PM
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I just ended up buying 5 of these for my LCR and Surrounds. I was between these and the Arx A1Brx-c but I figured I would try them out first.

I actually hate buying speakers without first hearing them, I have been pleasantly surprised (CBM 170 SE and CBM 340 SE from Ascend Acoustics) and disappointed (Pioneer Andrew Jones towers, bookshelves, and Center, Jamo H426, Fluance HTIB). The Andrew Jones Pioneers are not bad per se, I find them odd. When played within their range, they sound pretty outstanding with my Sony STR-DN1040 AVR (and other AVRs) . But some songs sound like muffled and compressed, it is like something is amiss with the sound quality.

If I like these, I will round out my Sony and BIC America F-12 with 2 more for 7.1 sound and likely move into a better sub (HSU VTF-Mk4). I also just ordered a SMSL M8 32 Bit/384khz DAC to go with these. When I get these speakers and allow them a little time to break-in, I will do a full review and let everyone know if I stuck with them or tried the Arx speakers. Something tells me these will be good sounding little speakers and maybe keepers, as I love the Ascend sound signature.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchonX View Post
I just ended up buying 5 of these for my LCR and Surrounds. I was between these and the Arx A1Brx-c but I figured I would try them out first.

I actually hate buying speakers without first hearing them, I have been pleasantly surprised (CBM 170 SE and CBM 340 SE from Ascend Acoustics) and disappointed (Pioneer Andrew Jones towers, bookshelves, and Center, Jamo H426, Fluance HTIB). The Andrew Jones Pioneers are not bad per se, I find them odd. When played within their range, they sound pretty outstanding with my Sony STR-DN1040 AVR (and other AVRs) . But some songs sound like muffled and compressed, it is like something is amiss with the sound quality.

If I like these, I will round out my Sony and BIC America F-12 with 2 more for 7.1 sound and likely move into a better sub (HSU VTF-Mk4). I also just ordered a SMSL M8 32 Bit/384khz DAC to go with these. When I get these speakers and allow them a little time to break-in, I will do a full review and let everyone know if I stuck with them or tried the Arx speakers. Something tells me these will be good sounding little speakers and maybe keepers, as I love the Ascend sound signature.
Looking forward to hearing your impressions!
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:05 PM
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Just placed my order for (3) L/C/R. I will be comparing them to the Pioneer BS22's I am currently using in my secondary HT room. I will admit since the HVL-1's were designed by Dave F from Ascend Acoustics, I have pretty high expectations. I am predicting they will ultimately be replacing the Pioneers which I will then demote to surround duty. The Pioneers are great for what they are, but if the HVL-1's have that signature Ascend like sound, they will be keepers! I will post my impressions, stay tuned

Main HT Room: Panny TC-P65VT60 (calibrated by Chad B), Denon AVR-4311, Comcast X1 DVR, Apple TV3, Sony BDP-S5100, Speakers: Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers, Sierra Horizon and HTM-200SE, Dual Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofers
Basement HT Room: Panny TC-P58V10 (Black Level Restored!), Denon AVR-E300, Comcast X1 STB, Sony BDP-S590, Speakers: Wave Crest Audio HVL-1 (L/C/R), Pioneer SP-BS 22 (Surr) and Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofer
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:52 PM
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I too ordered three of them today. If I like them, I will probably order two more. I will be comparing them to the Boston Acoustics A26 that I have now.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:00 AM
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I have been looking at the specs and see that they are listed 63hz in the testing chamber. Is it safe to say around 55hz +/- 3dB in a typical room? In room sensitivity up a bit from 86dB?

Main HT Room: Panny TC-P65VT60 (calibrated by Chad B), Denon AVR-4311, Comcast X1 DVR, Apple TV3, Sony BDP-S5100, Speakers: Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers, Sierra Horizon and HTM-200SE, Dual Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofers
Basement HT Room: Panny TC-P58V10 (Black Level Restored!), Denon AVR-E300, Comcast X1 STB, Sony BDP-S590, Speakers: Wave Crest Audio HVL-1 (L/C/R), Pioneer SP-BS 22 (Surr) and Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofer
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:08 AM
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Have you gotten a tracking number yet?
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:31 AM
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Have you gotten a tracking number yet?
Nope...Curtis told me it takes 2 or 3 business days before they are shipped off. I am thinking tomorrow.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:23 PM
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A bunch of speakers completed our QA process and shipped out this evening.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:52 PM
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A bunch of speakers completed our QA process and shipped out this evening.

Yep, got my tracking number


Looking forward to evaluating these speakers in a L/C/R arrangement!

Main HT Room: Panny TC-P65VT60 (calibrated by Chad B), Denon AVR-4311, Comcast X1 DVR, Apple TV3, Sony BDP-S5100, Speakers: Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers, Sierra Horizon and HTM-200SE, Dual Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofers
Basement HT Room: Panny TC-P58V10 (Black Level Restored!), Denon AVR-E300, Comcast X1 STB, Sony BDP-S590, Speakers: Wave Crest Audio HVL-1 (L/C/R), Pioneer SP-BS 22 (Surr) and Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofer
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:08 PM
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A bunch of speakers completed our QA process and shipped out this evening.
I will be getting mine on Friday according to my tracking number and I am excited to hear these speakers Curtis.

I got my SMSL M8 DAC (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!) and just pulled the trigger on a brand new Denon X4100 AVR, so I will be testing these with both the Denon and my Sony STR-DN1040. I have been wanting to upgrade my sound setup for a while and I cannot wait to get everything. I will be getting the Denon by Wednesday and the Wave Crest Audio HVL-1 speakers by Friday.

The big question is: Is the 32 bit DAC in the Denon going to sound better than my SMSL M8 32 bit DAC? I will have to see to find out, if not I will have to return it but if you are looking for a good DAC for less than $300 I would say the SMSL is even better than the DAC magic and most other DACS I have heard. In comparison, the DAC inside my Sony sounds tinny and lifeless. I can say the ESS Sabre is my favorite sounding one yet. I will also see how the Denon alone and SMSL with Denon sounds.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:09 PM
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SMSL has a DAC/Amp combo I am interested in for use in my kids' bedrooms.

Hope you all enjoy the HVL-1's. I did a lot of listening to a pair this weekend, and what Dave was able to do with the price restriction still amazes me. They are not Ascends, but they sure do sound good.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:32 PM
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I too got a tracking number. Should be here on Thursday.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:35 PM
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Today, I got 2/3 of my order of the Wave Crest Audio HVL-1, UPS decided to not be able to find one of the pairs of these speakers, so I will likely get them tomorrow (I hope).

I was able to get them hooked up today and listen to them for a bit. I have a 10' x 11' bedroom (small I know) and I set the three up as my L-C-R speakers, using Pioneer bookshelves for the surrounds and Polk Audio OWM-3 for the Surround back speakers. I am running these with a new and awesome sounding Denon X4100 and an equally awesome and unreal sounding DAC for $250, the SMSL M8 32-Bit 384k DAC. So amplification and playback abilty will not hamper the sound. The Center is stood up below my TV and the other two HVL-1 sit on stands with acoustic foam pads underneath them. The Subwoofer is a BIC America F-12, plenty of bass power for this room!

**Please note, I had to go in to work early today, so I was not able to dial these in with Audyessey XT-32, so they are using the settings from my Pioneer AJ tower/bookshelf/center. The Pioneer bookshelf speakers are still in place until I get my other 2 HVL-1. I did set the Crossover to 80 Hz and matched the volume level with my surround and back surround speakers.

Listening Impression 1: L-C-R, not broke in yet, not optimized with Audyessey (Keep in mind, I want to be 100% critical and honest)

The Looks:
They won't win any styling awards, but who cares? They are black boxes that have grills on them. I actually like the plain look and the binding posts on back are very high quality. They look good without the grills on too. The fact they are front ported should make them flexible to being put in closer quarters to walls. I think they look cool and functional; put a statue or trophy on top of them if you think they look too plain!

Rock music:
Very clear and the individual instruments come out nice, guitars sound good yet do not have the "bite" that some speakers seem to have. Still, clear and stereo separation is really good. Drums have a nice snap to them, reminding me of Ascend CBM-170 SE. They perform very well and a class above my former Sony speakers and the Pioneer Andrew Jones setup, but not QUITE as room filling as the Pio's. The highs and mids are better and I can hear things I could not hear before, voices sound very good.

Adele: Who can deny that Adele has an amazing voice? If these speakers can be summed up in three words, those words would be "accurate, clear, high resolution". So how does Adele sound on these speakers? On "Set Fire To The Rain", her voice sounds amazing and I think this song is perfectly recreated on the Wave Crest Audio HVL-1. You can hear every nuance of her voice and the backing music, and that voice has bite. When she sings the chorus part, I had to grin because these little speakers sound amazing on this song!

I listened to Dream Theater, Crystal Castles, Nine Inch Nails, Chronos and CJ Catalizer, One Republic, and 10 Years on these. Of course they are only half-setup and not the whole set is here yet. "God Be With You" from the Devil's Own soundtrack sounds phenomenal and is one of my favorite movie soundtrack songs. Dolores O'Riordan (from the Cranberries) sings this song and her voice yet again sounds like Adele's; clear and every nuance heard. These speakers are very good for female vocals, an area I never liked on the Pioneer set. Yet again, I heard things in her voice I had never heard before.

They are superior musically to the Pioneer and Sony's, as well as a step behind the great Ascend CBM-170 SE. With the holiday sale these are untouchable for the price. I have not heard them yet but I think the Chane A1rx-c is going to be superior, I will be ordering them soon to compare. Of course both the Ascend CBM-170 SE and Chane Arx A1rx-c are more expensive and to be fair, these sound way better than they have business sounding.

Are they keepers? I have to get the other two, let them burn in a bit, and most importantly; dial them in properly with my Denon and the room correction. But even now they sound really good.

Stay tuned as I will redo my assessment once I have the rest and I get a few days with them to set them up. Then I will continue putting them through their paces.
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Last edited by ArchonX; 02-13-2015 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:55 PM
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Got my (3) today and hope to have them set up tomorrow.....I hope to post a small review within the next few days.
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Main HT Room: Panny TC-P65VT60 (calibrated by Chad B), Denon AVR-4311, Comcast X1 DVR, Apple TV3, Sony BDP-S5100, Speakers: Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers, Sierra Horizon and HTM-200SE, Dual Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofers
Basement HT Room: Panny TC-P58V10 (Black Level Restored!), Denon AVR-E300, Comcast X1 STB, Sony BDP-S590, Speakers: Wave Crest Audio HVL-1 (L/C/R), Pioneer SP-BS 22 (Surr) and Power Sound Audio XV15 Subwoofer
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:34 AM
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Just a quick update....I have the speakers in place LCR and moved the BS22's to surround duty.
I have some smooth jazz at a moderate level on in Dolby Pro Logic 2 music playing. I have not rerun Audyssey yet with the HVL's in place, but.....WOW, they sound ridiculously good already! I think they have that "Ascend" like sound for sure, neutral, articulate, punchy comes to mind immediately. I have been an Ascend Acoustics speaker owner for over 10 years FWIW, so I am very familiar with their sound.
For under $300 shipped for the three HVL's is almost absured!! I will try and run Audyssey tomorrow and give a more detailed review later.
I can tell these are going to be keepers for me!!
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:39 AM
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Thanks Gov, I agree with your assessment of them as well. The more I listen the more I really like these speakers,

So here is an update: thanks to dear UPS I still have not received the 2 other HVL-1 for my surround sound, so ironically I am running mine just like the Gov with BS22's for the surrounds. According to the tracking, they were not "ready for shipment" and I will receive them Monday. Let me translate...they messed up and forgot to include another box for me. Considering I know all three boxes were sent at the same time, yeah it sucks.

I did re-run Audyssey with these properly placed and the difference is night and day; they sounded good before but now they sound REALLY good. I paid how much for these? David and Curtis should be very proud of what they accomplished because these speakers are really good. Of course, my Denon and SMSL DAC help because they make the Pioneers sing at a level I never heard before. But these speakers bring the Ascend sound and blow the doors off every speaker set in their price range and beyond I have heard and I like them better than the several times more expensive Bose 301's and 201's my dad used to own.

Rich, clear, great with all genres of music, great movie performance (tested with Game of Thrones Season 1 on Blu-ray). I agree with the Gov on how he described the sound, they do have a signature alike the Ascend CBM-170 SE, but don't have quite the presence of the 170's. Considering the price and size difference, I would expect the CBM-170 SE to walk all over these, in turn leading me to be disappointed by comparison. But that is not correct; these sound great in their own way.

So, one more day to wait until I have all 5 of these, in the meantime my L-C-R has been dialed in and I really like these. I am ordering a set of the Chane Arx later today, so I am excited to hear those as well.

All I can say is, if you want good sound on a budget (or plain good sound), get these speakers.

Stay tuned and I will do a very thorough review soon. I have to wait until Monday now to even get started....thanks again UPS.
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Last edited by ArchonX; 02-15-2015 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Fixed typos
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
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...I can tell these are going to be keepers for me!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchonX View Post
Thanks Gov, I agree with your assessment of them as well. The more I listen the more I really like these speakers,....
I am very happy you guys are enjoying the speakers.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:01 PM
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These sound like something a LOT of folks on here are looking for, an AFFORDABLE speaker that actually sounds good.

Not surprising, considering the guys involved.

Great idea putting the port in front, how often do folks buying bookshelf speakers say they HAVE to put them in an entertainment center, or on the wall.
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Why waste $ on more cheap stuff, it's like challenging a dragon with a pocket knife.
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:29 PM
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My review....

HVL's LCR
Pioneer BS22's L/R Surrounds
Audyssey engaged
Everything "small" and X Over @80Hz
SW PSA XV15

Music:
Crisp, detailed, punchy, realistic, transparent. Amazing!!
Soundstage is more than adequate. The HVL's play just fine with the other speakers and blend nicely with the XV15. I am listening to a Marion Meadows SACD and it sounds like his horn is being played in my basement!
These HVL's are just that good! The Pioneers are doing great as well as surrounds. I have lots of great mid range and zero muddy muffled notes.

HT:
These things are pretty darn dynamic and do not dislike being challenged by the master volume. I have my the center channel HVL laying down and it has no problem belting out nice clear, crisp life like dialog! I am very surprised at how dynamic these really are compared to the Pioneer BS22's as LCR speakers. The Pioneers were no slouch for their price, but the HVL's just take it to another level. Yes, these HVL's sound very similar to the Ascend Acoustic line of speakers. It is amazing how similar, I just don't know how they did it for what these cost!

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive bookshelf speaker that passes the the WAF and sounds like a speaker that is 2 to 3 times its price, look no further than these.

Curtis, Dave F, these are truly excellent speakers and a huge thumbs up for putting something out like this and not cutting the costs in what really counts the sound quality, but cutting costs in other areas to be able to offer these at a steal of a price!
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:01 PM
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i'm on the fence about upgrading my speakers but if I can get 3 for LCR for under $300 I may at least cough up the money to audition them.

would these be a large improvement over Energy C3s from 2004?
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by azrael201 View Post
i'm on the fence about upgrading my speakers but if I can get 3 for LCR for under $300 I may at least cough up the money to audition them.

would these be a large improvement over Energy C3s from 2004?
The C3 was a nice speaker. The Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 (non-SE) was compared to it many times with people preferring the Ascend.

Having not heard the C3 in a long time, I would say that going to the HLV-1 would provide a more "refined" sound, but more of a lateral move than an upgrade.

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Old 02-18-2015, 10:30 AM
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These sound like something a LOT of folks on here are looking for, an AFFORDABLE speaker that actually sounds good.

Not surprising, considering the guys involved.

Great idea putting the port in front, how often do folks buying bookshelf speakers say they HAVE to put them in an entertainment center, or on the wall.
Thanks muzz.

We set out to make a $200 speaker that sounded great, and could be used in different situations(because we all can't use the exact best place for a speaker). It took us a while to get there, but I think we(Dave) did quite well.

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Ascend Acoustics Cbm 170 Se , Denon Avr 1913 Receiver , Energy Rc 10 2 Way Bookshelf Speaker Black Ash Veneer , hvl-1 , Svs Sb1000 12 Inch 300 Watt Powered Subwoofer , wave crest audio
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