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-   -   Time to VOTE!! HSU vs Ascend vs Arx (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1480292-time-vote-hsu-vs-ascend-vs-arx.html)

Nexus221 07-05-2013 07:04 AM

I wanted to get the community average on this one so I would like everyone to vote. I just want to get a feel as to what the community as a whole likes out of the 4 sets of speakers that will be listed for a 5.1 home theater in a 20Wx12Lx7H room. Now I am planning on pairing any one of these sets with a VTF3- MK4 so the subwoofer is all set. After pouring over the forums it seems that they are all pretty even, but now we can truly get a feel for what the majority of the community uses or feels is the best for this price range which my budget is right about $1600.

1. HSU Hybrid 3 5.1 Package of the 4 HB-1 MK2, and 1 HC-1 MK2 with the VTF3- MK4 for $1600 Shipped

2. Ascend CBM-170 SE x 4 Surround and a CMT-340 SE Center

3. Ascend (This blows my budget up) CMT-340 SE x4 Surround and CMT-340 SE Center

4. Arx A2c x 4 Surround and 1 Center

After pouring over the threads for speakers in this price range this is what most comes up and all have good reviews. Everyone states these choices are all solid which is awesome so I really can't go wrong. Now it’s just all about finding out what the AVS community uses or feels is the best at this time. biggrin.gif

eljaycanuck 07-05-2013 07:07 AM

Option 5:
- CMT-340 SE front pr
- CMT-340 SE center
- CBM-170 SE rear pr
_____________________
Sub-total: $998 + $98 shipping = $1,096

Add a Rythmik LV12R for $598, shipped.

Total: $1,694

Pretty close to budget, a full set of 340s up front AND a well-rated Rythmik sub for the bottom end.

smile.gif

Nethawk 07-05-2013 07:09 AM

A hybrid of 2 and 3, based on my experience with Ascend CMT-340 SE.

Ascend CMT-340 SE for front, CMB-170 SE for surround and the CMT-340 SE center. You don't really need that much speaker for surrounds.

Edit: my friend from the North beat me to it biggrin.gif

grasshoppers 07-05-2013 07:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Option 5:
- CMT-340 SE front pr
- CMT-340 SE center
- CBM-170 SE rear pr
_____________________
Sub-total: $998 + $98 shipping = $1,096

Add a Rythmik LV12R for $598, shipped.

Total: $1,694

Pretty close to budget, a full set of 340s up front AND a well-rated Rythmik sub for the bottom end.

smile.gif

This system will put a grin on your face for years to come!

Nexus221 07-05-2013 07:37 AM

Wow! Looks like Ascend is in the lead early!

shadyJ 07-05-2013 07:43 AM

I'll put in a vote for the Hsu package, just for the sake of competition, and they are also great speakers, but you would be happy with any of them. Also, whatever you do, don't get CMT340s for surround speakers, that is kind of a waste.

Nethawk 07-05-2013 07:44 AM

^^ They'll be in the lead late as well. wink.gif

Eljay, explain why the Rythmik LV12R over the Hsu VTF3 subwoofer? Not arguing, I agree, but I think Nexus might appreciate the reason for your choice.

eljaycanuck 07-05-2013 07:48 AM

Quote:
Eljay, explain why the Rythmik LV12R over the Hsu VTF3 subwoofer?
- The LV12R is well-rated, w/ good output and extension, and the amp offers some adjustability.
- It keeps the OP very close to budget (only $94 over, vs. $244 using a VTF-3 MK4), and allows for three 340s across the front.

shadyJ 07-05-2013 07:51 AM

The VTF3 offer more output, more extension, and more adjustability.

Ozzie Isaac 07-05-2013 07:55 AM

I have never heard the Ascends or the Arx, so my vote is of limited value, but I am pleased with the HSU's ...... HB-1s and HC-1. I'm very intrigued by all the accolades Ascend is receiving as of late.

My vote is for the LV12R too.

Nexus221 07-05-2013 07:59 AM

Loving the input guys! I am really starting the lean towards Ascend right now. I was all about the HSU package for awhile, but I am glad I made this thread to get the community input on this. biggrin.gif

Keep the votes coming!

Elihawk 07-05-2013 08:59 AM

I have listened to the Ascend CMT340s a lot and those are outstanding speakers. Very balanced, play well loud and well as soft and just are very detailed without being overly forward! Very good speaker...

If you are thinking towers might also work, the EMPtek E55i are also an excellent speaker and at 400/speaker, a great buy as well!

jbrown15 07-05-2013 09:15 AM

I'll vote for the HSU option as well.

RicardoJoa 07-05-2013 09:16 AM

Never heard either, but i would consider HSU for its thicker cabinet contrivctions and horn loaded and control directivity tweeter.

NewHTbuyer 07-05-2013 10:17 AM

I only heard the Hsu speakers briefly at RMAF and they sounded a bit harsh to me.

I agree if you go Ascend get three of the 340s across the front.

Your room is not too big, so you could probably save money and get the Rythmik sub or an SVS PB-1000 over the VTF3. That really depends on how loud you like it, how much bass you want, considerations like neighbors, wife hating bass, sleeping kids etc. for example, I have an older PB-10 sub from SVS. It is not quite enough for my room, but since it is a family room not a dedicated HT room, my wife always asks for the bass to be a bit lower. So a more expensive sub would have been a waste, except for those rare occasions when I am home alone and I wish I had dual PB-13 Ultras or Seaton Submersives!

Nexus221 07-05-2013 10:43 AM

As of right now looks like Ascend has 5 votes and HSU has 4 votes. Wow very close as of right now!eek.gif The Rythmik LV12R does intrigue me Vs the VTF 3. In the form of quality for Music and HT does it pretty much match the VTF 3 but just does not go as deep?

I have also heard that the HSU Speakers have a small Sweet Spot? Does this mean that there highest quality would only be able to be acheived in a small area with in the room or is that just hear say?

Got to keep these votes coming! Lol Still too close to really see a winner.

Nethawk 07-05-2013 11:14 AM

Referencing the small sweet spot, read the Audioholics review.

On the Rythmik, what you may sacrifice in bottom end I suspect you will gain in accuracy. For HT this may not matter so much, but for music Rythmik's direct servo technology is the real deal.

jbrown15 07-05-2013 11:18 AM

Actually I want to change my vote!...lol for some reason I was thinking you were considering the CBM-170's for your mains not the CMT-340's.

But why not go with three CMT-340's and use the HTML-200's for surrounds and save a little over the CBM-170's?

Nethawk 07-05-2013 11:25 AM

+1

Too bad you're too late. No change allowed biggrin.gif

Billy p 07-05-2013 11:25 AM

Another good review of budget minded speakers came from SV in the clash of the mini speaker....I know the Arx's and Ascends where not present but the Hsu can be found in this review. I now own Ascend products but never had the opportunity to listen or hear the 340 or 170...they've been going strong with great reviews for many years now and why I decided to go that route in the end.

SV review...http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/review-clash-minispeakers

Good luck in making your decission...Bill....smile.gif

Ps: Good idea on going with the 200s for surround duties & 340's up front made in post #18...biggrin.gif

hdnewbie21 07-05-2013 11:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Referencing the small sweet spot, read the Audioholics review.

On the Rythmik, what you may sacrifice in bottom end I suspect you will gain in accuracy. For HT this may not matter so much, but for music Rythmik's direct servo technology is the real deal.

That review is for the HB-1, not the HB-1 MK2. Also here is the quote from Dr. HSU about the MK2 (published by stereomojo):
Quote:
"No. The first speaker system we developed was the Ventriloquist, which uses 2.5" full-range drivers to handle down to 200 Hz or so. I love great imaging, and full-range drivers. Their down side is a very small sweet spot. Off the sweet spot and they don't sound good at all. My goal was to design a speaker that has the great imaging of the full-range drivers in the sweet spot, but still sounds great when not in the sweet spot. To me, controlled directivity is the way to achieve this goal."

Some else mentioned in a different thread about HSU not good soundstage, however this review seems to praise the soundstage http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/review-hsu-research-hb-1-mk2

Nethawk 07-05-2013 11:31 AM

^^ Thanks for the clarification. Yes, the sweet spot argument from audioholics was unique, when I was doing my [paper] research I saw a few forum posts indicating a smaller soundstage than others, but all other professional reviews gave it praise.

Nexus221 07-05-2013 11:51 AM

Really it seems like Arx is off the table now and what it really comes down to is HSU Hybrid 3 5.1 package with VTF3 for $1600 shipped OR

Ascend CMT-340 SE x 2 fronts CMT-340 SE center x1 Center and Maybe HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE? and Rythimik LV12R for about $1600 Shipped.

By the way Any diffirence in sound between the HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE for surrounds?

hdnewbie21 07-05-2013 12:27 PM

I am wondering if a better option to the Hybrid 3 5.1 package would be, getting Hybrid 3 3.1 package and add a pair of the HC-1 mk2 in vertical position as fronts. I think that would be a fair comparison to the CMT-340s.

Also, does it need to be HB-1 MK2 as surround? Can you use cheaper speakers as surround? Maybe wall mountable if that is an option? However, I read somewhere, that due to their technical design, the HSU must be paired in surrounds to sound good as opposed to be using alternate brands like with other dome speakers. But i don't know if this is true, can't remember where i read it.

Billy p 07-05-2013 12:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus221 View Post

Really it seems like Arx is off the table now and what it really comes down to is HSU Hybrid 3 5.1 package with VTF3 for $1600 shipped OR

Ascend CMT-340 SE x 2 fronts CMT-340 SE center x1 Center and Maybe HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE? and Rythimik LV12R for about $1600 Shipped.

By the way Any diffirence in sound between the HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE for surrounds?


Ascend voices all their speakers much in the same manner....if placement is an issue the 200se are sealed and much smaller...although for the same price the 170's are currently on sale....fwiw. My 200's work very well in unison with the Towers and STC....hard to notice any difference when used for only for surround duties.

aarons915 07-05-2013 01:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus221 View Post

Really it seems like Arx is off the table now and what it really comes down to is HSU Hybrid 3 5.1 package with VTF3 for $1600 shipped OR

Ascend CMT-340 SE x 2 fronts CMT-340 SE center x1 Center and Maybe HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE? and Rythimik LV12R for about $1600 Shipped.

By the way Any diffirence in sound between the HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE for surrounds?

The ARX shouldn't be off the table, a lot of people on this forum love the Ascends and I'm sure they're great speakers but for the price I don't think anything comes close to the performance of the ARX line and I only have the A1's as my front 3, the A2s would be ridiculous and the tweeter the ARX brand uses is the smoothest tweeter I've heard if you're sensitive to high frequencies.

shadyJ 07-05-2013 01:50 PM

One thing the OP might consider is using some of these Infinity Primus p153s on sale right now at Amazon for $50 each. That is an amazing price for speakers that could serve just as well in surround duty as the Hsus or Ascends. I would hop on that sale right away.

By the way, the best affordable bookshelf speaker mounts at the moment are the Videosecu Side-clamping mounts, for the money nothing else comes close, except for the AM40 Pinpoints which are the same thing but $20 more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdnewbie21 View Post

I am wondering if a better option to the Hybrid 3 5.1 package would be, getting Hybrid 3 3.1 package and add a pair of the HC-1 mk2 in vertical position as fronts. I think that would be a fair comparison to the CMT-340s.

Also, does it need to be HB-1 MK2 as surround? Can you use cheaper speakers as surround? Maybe wall mountable if that is an option? However, I read somewhere, that due to their technical design, the HSU must be paired in surrounds to sound good as opposed to be using alternate brands like with other dome speakers. But i don't know if this is true, can't remember where i read it.

You can use the HC-1s as an all around front stage. They don't look quite as nice because of the rails which are meant to rest on the tilting mount that comes with them, they kind of stick out on the sides. You also have to rotate the horn 90 degrees for the correct horizontal dispersion, but that only takes 5 minutes and a screwdriver because the screw holes match up perfectly. The pluses of using an HC-1 front stage is stronger bass. Probably not worth it unless you intend to listen at loud volumes.

As for the surrounds not matching, that isn't an issue for the Hsus more than any other typical speaker. You would just want them set up so you sit within the angle of the horn's flare.

enricoclaudio 07-05-2013 01:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Option 5:
- CMT-340 SE front pr
- CMT-340 SE center
- CBM-170 SE rear pr
_____________________
Sub-total: $998 + $98 shipping = $1,096

Add a Rythmik LV12R for $598, shipped.

Total: $1,694

Pretty close to budget, a full set of 340s up front AND a well-rated Rythmik sub for the bottom end.

smile.gif

If you place this order through Ascend Acoustics the total for this package is $1596 shipping included.

hdnewbie21 07-05-2013 02:02 PM

shadyJ, I suggested the HC-1 for all fronts because the option brand was Ascend CMT-340 SE for all fronts. I think HB-1 MK2 compares to Ascend 170s and HC-1 MK2 compares to CMT-340 SE. That way he had them arranged, it didn't seem like it was apples to apples, both in size and price.

cel4145 07-05-2013 02:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus221 View Post

Really it seems like Arx is off the table now and what it really comes down to is HSU Hybrid 3 5.1 package with VTF3 for $1600 shipped OR

Ascend CMT-340 SE x 2 fronts CMT-340 SE center x1 Center and Maybe HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE? and Rythimik LV12R for about $1600 Shipped.

By the way Any diffirence in sound between the HTM-200 SE or CBM-170 SE for surrounds?

My vote would be for the CMT-340 SE setup. I have the CBM-170 SEs and love them. I like the idea of the three exact same speaker across the front for a total of 6 6.5" drivers that you get with the CMT-340 SE front soundstage over the HSU hybrid set.


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