Ascend vs Arx for LCR setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-12-2013, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,
I am looking to upgrade my front speakers with some bookshelves. I am torn between Ascend or Arx bookshelves

Here is what I am looking at:
Ascend:
L/R: 2 x CBM-170SE
Center: CMT-340SE

Arx:
L/C/R: A1b

These will be powered by a Denon AVR-790 which does 90W per channel. I already have some in-ceiling surrounds. I do not have a sub at the moment but will be looking to get a BIC F12 or SVS sub when either goes on sale. These speakers will be in my living room area which is roughly 15'x20'. I have an open floor plan so my kitchen opens up to the living room.
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I mainly watch tv shows and blu-ray rips with the occasional music listening. I attached a pic of my temp setup.
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 09:51 AM
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Only a couple of users has demo'd both the Ascend and the Arx together. I'm a fan of the Arx and have been extremely happy with them, very well built, awesome woofers and planar ribbon, crossover quality is top notch especially for this price range and has a nice large soundstage.

In the end you can't go wrong with either, but have similar traits and neither really one ups the other in any subjective category.
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. At the current moment the Arx set is cheaper than the Ascend setup so that is another thing that is helping me lean more towards Arx at the moment. I have heard nothing but good things about both brands so I figured I really can't go wrong.
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 11:58 AM
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Do you plan on placing the speakers into the same locations as your current speakers?

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post #6 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

In the end you can't go wrong with either, but have similar traits and neither really one ups the other in any subjective category.
After hearing both side by side couple of months ago, I definitely would not say they have similar traits.

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post #7 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Do you plan on placing the speakers into the same locations as your current speakers?

I will be placing the center channel in the same location as my current center speaker. The left and right will be mounted on the wall using some wall mounts along the side of the tv along the 2 column areas and have them aim downwards towards the seating area.
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After hearing both side by side couple of months ago, I definitely would not say they have similar traits.

Which ones did you like better?
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee05 View Post

I will be placing the center channel in the same location as my current center speaker. The left and right will be mounted on the wall using some wall mounts along the side of the tv along the 2 column areas and have them aim downwards towards the seating area.
You really need to take into consideration the rear port of the speakers. You will not be able to get either speaker up against the wall like you have your current center. Also, being so close to the sidewall will not be good for any speaker.
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Originally Posted by utee05 View Post

I will be placing the center channel in the same location as my current center speaker. The left and right will be mounted on the wall using some wall mounts along the side of the tv along the 2 column areas and have them aim downwards towards the seating area.
Which ones did you like better?
My observations/opinions....I think Arx has deeper bass, but the Ascend is punchier. The midrange on the Ascend sounded a bit more open and forward to me, and the Arx a bit laid back. I felt the treble on the Arx was a bit more extended, but Ascend had more detail, especially in the lower treble...probably around the crossover area. The Arx seemed to have a wider soundstage, while the Ascend imaged better.

You should take advantage of the trial periods and compare both for yourself. I think that would be the smartest thing to do. Also, before ordering any speakers, investigate your mounting options (actual wallmounting hardware and center positioning).

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post #9 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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The circles mark where the right and left speakers will be mounted.

I will be looking to get these mounts to get the speakers a bit away from the wall:
Pinpoint Wall mounts

For the center channel I would probably make a shelf with L-brackets and rest the speaker on there. I know that the Arx come with a plug for the port so that would be an option though the center speaker is something I need to think about more on how I would mount that depending on which setup I choose.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 01:59 PM
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Hi OP...I know Curtis gave you a honest response but you might want to consider some of his Wave Crest Audio speakers....they're front ported unlike the aforementioned & might work better in your situation. WCA speakers are designed fully by Ascend Acoustics...I know Curtis, would gladly answer questions you have regarding any Ascend products or WCA speakers which BTW...come with free shipping at this time.


Good luck...Bill...smile.gif

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post #11 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 02:00 PM
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utee05, the Arx may be used close to boundaries by installing the foam port plugs (no charge). This option is discussed in the User Guide and converts the bass system from bass reflex to well-damped acoustic suspension. Bass is attenuated sooner but has a slower rollout. This option opens up new placement options.

Remember that opinions will come from a variety of motivations and your ears-on experience should always trump them.

If we can help with your setup, please don't hesitate to contact me personally.

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post #12 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the response. I agree my situation is not ideal for rear ported speakers and I had looked at WCA speakers but felt that for a bit more I could get a bit better sound from the CBMs and CMT speakers.

Thanks for the reminder on the Arx pprt plugs that you can put in for the speakers.

For rear ported speakers how much space is suggested to have between the rear port and a wall?
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee05 View Post

Thanks all for the response. I agree my situation is not ideal for rear ported speakers and I had looked at WCA speakers but felt that for a bit more I could get a bit better sound from the CBMs and CMT speakers.

Thanks for the reminder on the Arx pprt plugs that you can put in for the speakers.

For rear ported speakers how much space is suggested to have between the rear port and a wall?
I believe Ascend has port plugs available as well. You just need to call them. But be aware, that any speaker that is designed with a port, and then you seal it with a plug, it will cause a slight rise in bass response before it is attenuated. Not usually a big deal, but it does change the characteristic of the speaker.

The recommended clearance distance for the 170SE is 3" or so. I don't know about the Arx, perhaps Jon or gtp can answer. But if you are crossing them to a sub well enough above the port's tuning, then a speakers port output doesn't come into play much, and you can place them closer to the wall. It is something to experiment with.

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post #14 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee05 View Post

Thanks for the reminder on the Arx pprt plugs that you can put in for the speakers.

For rear ported speakers how much space is suggested to have between the rear port and a wall?

In general ports need little clearance to do their job but since the speakers they're in are frequently designed for fairly unrestricted use, a speaker may be best suited by moving it from the walls. The A1b is a 5.25"-based system, and when converted to sealed operation gets along well in closer quarters.

Edit: Converting the A1b to sealed does not actually lift the midbass. It overdamps the bass a little, easing room loading and subwoofer integration.

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post #15 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok thanks for the info. In my case since I will be angling the L/R speakers then I should get the 3" space from the wall. I guess my only currently issue will be the center channel speaker. I could probably cross this above the port's tuning as you mentioned to allow me to put it much closer to the wall.

Thanks again for all the info, very helpful.
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee05 View Post

Ok thanks for the info. In my case since I will be angling the L/R speakers then I should get the 3" space from the wall. I guess my only currently issue will be the center channel speaker. I could probably cross this above the port's tuning as you mentioned to allow me to put it much closer to the wall.
If you cross at 80hz (which is pretty standard) then you will probably be far enough away from the port tuning on each speaker.

I am more concerned about the proximity to that right sidewall, but probably not much you can do about that.

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post #17 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Yup can't do much about that right side wall. That darn fireplace is on that wall and don't know why builders put fireplaces in homes in Texas.
Guess I will get the mounts and see what I have to work with.
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post #18 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I found some B-stock of the Arx1b so I will be getting those. That made my decision easier. Also ordered my wall mounts as well.

For using the Arx1b as a center is it best to place it horizontally or vertically?
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post #19 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee05 View Post

Well I found some B-stock of the Arx1b so I will be getting those. That made my decision easier. Also ordered my wall mounts as well.

For using the Arx1b as a center is it best to place it horizontally or vertically?

Vertically if you can....you can rotate the tweeter if the speaker is horizontal..........
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