(Update: 3/19/14) Arx A1b vs Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE vs Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 vs Energy RC-10 vs Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1 - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by charmerci View Post

Here's a great deal - if you're not all thumbs and can handle a screwdriver.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=114282.0


The reason I haven't made a post about this yet is because I called Danny and he needs to get into contact with Carnegie - but it's been a few days. I'm not sure how quickly it gets done. Maybe if he gets another call on these, it'll go faster. (I'm also going to be out of town the 17th-19th so I don't want them shipped if I'm not here.)

I will start another thread when they do come in. This is such a great deal from a respected speaker designer.

Damn. That is a good deal.

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post #92 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 08:34 PM
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Yup, they've got matching towers ($990) and a mtm center channel ($350) that you can turn the tweeter if you want two matching LR's.

(Again, if you're willing to pull drivers and stuff cabinets.)
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post #93 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Yup, they've got matching towers ($990) and a mtm center channel ($350) that you can turn the tweeter if you want two matching LR's.

Im not sure if it was just the angle but I saw them compared to the CBM-170 and they looked HUGE. The CBM-170s are already pretty fat, for use as a computer speaker anyways.

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post #94 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SmithandWesson View Post

Im not sure if it was just the angle but I saw them compared to the CBM-170 and they looked HUGE. The CBM-170s are already pretty fat, for use as a computer speaker anyways.

They're 13.5 x 8 x 11.5"
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post #95 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 08:44 PM
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The CBM-170s are already pretty fat, for use as a computer speaker anyways.

Not at all. Smaller speakers are just wimpy or people have overly tiny desks biggrin.gif

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post #96 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 08:52 PM
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As long as my desk doesn't buckle from the extra weight, then i'm fine with big desk speakers.
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post #97 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 09:02 PM
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I don't believe I've heard of carnegie acoustics, would need to look into that. But would probably be tough for me to pull a trigger on something without being about to return. Something to think about though if it's really that good of a deal.
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post #98 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

I don't believe I've heard of carnegie acoustics, would need to look into that. But would probably be tough for me to pull a trigger on something without being about to return. Something to think able though if it's really that good of a deal.

Danny Ritchey of G-R Acoustics (well-known in the audiophile world) designed those speakers. I know enough about speakers and drivers that this is such a good deal that I can't refuse. As I said, when they come in - around the 20th - I'll start a new thread here about them.

http://carnegieacoustics.net/
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post #99 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

As long as my desk doesn't buckle from the extra weight, then i'm fine with big desk speakers.

If you have any problems, you'll just have to prop up your desk with a big sub smile.gif
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If you have any problems, you'll just have to prop up your desk with a big sub smile.gif

I wish, wifey has blocked my future subwoofer purchases for time being. Her office is right next to mine and she has been complaining about boom boom lately from just my bookshelf speakers, mad.gif

Maybe i should retaliate by putting floorstanding speakers on top of my desk, lol.
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post #101 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 10:45 PM
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I wish, wifey has blocked my future subwoofer purchases for time being. Her office is right next to mine and she has been complaining about boom boom lately from just my bookshelf speakers, mad.gif

Maybe i should retaliate by putting floorstanding speakers on top of my desk, lol.

Maybe you need some HE-400s instead of new speakers smile.gif

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post #102 of 267 Old 02-08-2014, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Damn, the tweeter on the RC-10's is sweet. To me, they really hit the mark. I don't see how people call them laid back. It sounds super neutral, open and detailed to me. The speaker overall may sound warmer because of the over-emphasized mid-bass and low midrange, but the tweeter is spot on. The RC-10's have better dynamics and sound more bombastic/grand than the A1b's. However that excessive lower midrage/mid-bass can get out of hands sometimes and really muddy up a song. I will have to run correction to see how they turn out. I hate using electronics to fix a problem that shouldn't be there in the first place but in this price range compromises must be made. If the midbass and lower midrange doesnt bother me when its all setup then i think the RC-10s may have the A1b's beat in my book. I will still get the EMP Teks though just to make sure my bases are covered. I have a feeling they are going to sound like the RC-10s minus the excessive midbass/lower midrange.

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post #103 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 12:52 AM
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Maybe you need some HE-400s instead of new speakers smile.gif

Yeah, i'm starting to think so. Keep getting asked to turn music down, it may be time to beef up my headphone collection.
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Damn, the tweeter on the RC-10's is sweet. To me, they really hit the mark. I don't see how people call them laid back. It sounds super neutral, open and detailed to me. The speaker overall may sound warmer because of the over-emphasized mid-bass and low midrange, but the tweeter is spot on. The RC-10's have better dynamics and sound more bombastic/grand than the A1b's. However that excessive lower midrage/mid-bass can get out of hands sometimes and really muddy up a song. I will have to run correction to see how they turn out. I hate using electronics to fix a problem that shouldn't be there in the first place but in this price range compromises must be made. If the midbass and lower midrange doesnt bother me when its all setup then i think the RC-10s may have the A1b's beat in my book. I will still get the EMP Teks though just to make sure my bases are covered. I have a feeling they are going to sound like the RC-10s minus the excessive midbass/lower midrange.

I agree, the tweeter is the best part of the rc-10. Non fatiguing at high volume. But, the rc-10 seems to be missing the airyness i'm looking for. The speaker sounds sort of like its playing little far back but yet highs and mids are there. I'm not really good at the audio terminology, but I'm not getting the warm fuzzy feeling inside listening to these. Also, in my setup, the bass sounds little muddy. Giving at least one foot behind the speakers, still bass doesn't have enough detail. I didn't try the port plugs, but I believe that would reduce bass output, which i don't want. I'm thinking of giving up my search and sticking with headphones. I might go back to the pioneer bs22 and live with the lack of bass. From my memory, i liked the mids/highs better than the rc-10.
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post #104 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, i'm starting to think so. Keep getting asked to turn music down, it may be time to beef up my headphone collection.
I agree, the tweeter is the best part of the rc-10. Non fatiguing at high volume. But, the rc-10 seems to be missing the airyness i'm looking for. The speaker sounds sort of like its playing little far back but yet highs and mids are there. I'm not really good at the audio terminology, but I'm not getting the warm fuzzy feeling inside listening to these. Also, in my setup, the bass sounds little muddy. Giving at least one foot behind the speakers, still bass doesn't have enough detail. I didn't try the port plugs, but I believe that would reduce bass output, which i don't want. I'm thinking of giving up my search and sticking with headphones. I might go back to the pioneer bs22 and live with the lack of bass. From my memory, i liked the mids/highs better than the rc-10.

Hm. I am not finding any lack of air. I can hear all the way out to 21khz at medium-low volumes and the RC-10's go all the way out there(did some high frequency sine sweeps). It's very possible that all the speakers I own aren't very airy so I don't know what I'm missing.

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post #105 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 06:34 AM
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However that excessive lower midrage/mid-bass can get out of hands sometimes and really muddy up a song.

That is why I call them laid back... It's not that the tweeter is not detailed - I think it is - but the overall tonal balance is, well... not balanced IMO. As you mention, low mids and upper bass are emphasized (too much IMO), and above 1kHz is shelved down a bit relative to below 1kHz, with the exception of the very upper treble which raises again a bit.

Overall - to my ears - this makes for a laid back sound. If Energy would have just tuned the cabinet for flatter bass, I bet I would still have a pair of RC-10s. But I agree, the low end gets a bit congested and thick sounding...
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post #106 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 06:36 AM
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I agree, the tweeter is the best part of the rc-10. Non fatiguing at high volume. But, the rc-10 seems to be missing the airyness i'm looking for. The speaker sounds sort of like its playing little far back but yet highs and mids are there. I'm not really good at the audio terminology, but I'm not getting the warm fuzzy feeling inside listening to these. Also, in my setup, the bass sounds little muddy. Giving at least one foot behind the speakers, still bass doesn't have enough detail. I didn't try the port plugs, but I believe that would reduce bass output, which i don't want. I'm thinking of giving up my search and sticking with headphones. I might go back to the pioneer bs22 and live with the lack of bass. From my memory, i liked the mids/highs better than the rc-10.

When I had the RC-10, I almost always used the port plugs for that very reason.
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post #107 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 07:23 AM
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Energy did the same thing with the C series (c500, c300, etc) back in the day. They weren't horrible for their price, but the lower midrange and heavy midbass emphasis just muddied everything up.

Smith...any idea when you're getting the EMP's? Hopefully you enjoy them. Either way, great to see someone getting to test them all and give their thoughts. Everyone is different, but this is still something that's fun to read

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post #108 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Energy did the same thing with the C series (c500, c300, etc) back in the day. They weren't horrible for their price, but the lower midrange and heavy midbass emphasis just muddied everything up.

Smith...any idea when you're getting the EMP's? Hopefully you enjoy them. Either way, great to see someone getting to test them all and give their thoughts. Everyone is different, but this is still something that's fun to read

As soon as they are available I'm jumping on them. As long as EMP doesn't push them back again and they are timely with shipping, I should have them in less than weeks.

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post #109 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 12:21 PM
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When I had the RC-10, I almost always used the port plugs for that very reason.

Interesting. I may prefer using the plugs too.
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As soon as they are available I'm jumping on them. As long as EMP doesn't push them back again and they are timely with shipping, I should have them in less than weeks.

Whether it sounds good or not, the emp e5bi certainly does look nice to me at least. Curved cabinet, glossy black, no logo markings on the front (i like listening to my speakers naked). I haven't really looked into these speakers, will be interested to hear your thoughts on these.
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post #110 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 12:32 PM
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The EMP E41 looks more interesting to me - looks to be better built, and even weighs more.
http://emptek.com/e41.php

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post #111 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 12:54 PM
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E41 weighs a bit more compared to the e5bi, 12lbs compared to 7.5lbs. Currently, only $75 extra. Just based on initial specs and pricing difference, I would agree on being more interesting.
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post #112 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 12:56 PM
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As soon as they are available I'm jumping on them. As long as EMP doesn't push them back again and they are timely with shipping, I should have them in less than weeks.

In all fairness, the RC series was alot better than the C-series... (at least RC-10 vs C-100)
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post #113 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 01:02 PM
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alphaiii, what did you move on to from the energy rc-10?
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post #114 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 01:42 PM
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Found a brief review on the e41 nearfield use from right here an avs comparing to usher s-520, just FYI:

"I own two of them if that helps. I have two the E41s in my 12x12' home-office and three of the S-520s in my 12x18' master bedroom. Both are outstanding. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I love them both but I have not A-B tested them in the same room. The feature of the EMP that reaches out and grabs you are the mids. The E41s are are my newest speakers and are simply breathtaking. I find myself spending way too much time in my home-office just because I don't want to stop listing to them. I wouldn't flog them in a much larger room but I think in 12x12 room they're the perfect choice. FWIW the E41s are also outstanding near field speakers. I have mine right above my desk and crossover to the sub at 80hz.

The Ushers sound amazing as well. They're front ported making placement in a small room super easy. The only real weaknesses are imaging and a risk of bottoming the woofer if you don't use a sub. That's okay, they make up for it in the overall quality of their sound. Simply outstanding speakers for the price. I run mine with the crossover set for 80hz and I'm very happy with them. Outstanding speakers for a medium sized room!

Appearance wise I find the Usher's beautiful piano black more attractive than the black wood grain of the EMP. But if you run them grills off then the rear ported EMP is far more attractive. Note: Usher's "white" finish is actually "ivory".

Based purely on the sound I like the E41s a bit better for a room that size. I think EMP is still paying return shipping so you have nothing to lose trying them. Or you could order both and just return the loser.

Edit: After further listening tests I've decided that the EMPs sound better crossed to the sub at 100hz."

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1276609/emp-e41-b-usher-s-520-or-era-d5#post_19189536
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post #115 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 02:02 PM
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The ones I'm still currently interested in are ascend 170se, reason being is touted as neutral and i feel it will have tighter bass then rc-10.

Kef q300 or q100, worried about fatigue nearfield though. Cambridge s30, Jbl 530, and modded pioneer bs22 are also on my radar.
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post #116 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 02:17 PM
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The ones I'm still currently interested in are ascend 170se, reason being is touted as neutral and i feel it will have tighter bass then rc-10.

I think the drivers are better in the 170s than both the RC-10s and the Energy V5.1s. Seem to have better transient response resulting in more resolving bass and mids. In fact, that was my progression in my desktop setup. Plus, the tweeter was a bit edgier to me (less refined) in the RC-10s than in both the 170s and the V5.1s. Sometimes the tweeter sounded very good, but at other times, ehhh.

Also, the Cambridge S30s would not be my choice for nearfield use. I found them to be a little fatiguing.

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post #117 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 02:19 PM
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The ones I'm still currently interested in are ascend 170se, reason being is touted as neutral and i feel it will have tighter bass then rc-10.

Kef q300 or q100, worried about fatigue nearfield though. Cambridge s30, Jbl 530, and modded pioneer bs22 are also on my radar.

While I am a big S30 fan, and favor/like them better than the BS22 - I would not favor them for nearfield
however, they will beat some bigger speakers in the bass department for sure.

The JBL is in a higher league, compared to the Cambridge S30 and Pioneer BS22

The modded (Pio) AAL Monitors are better than the S30 and BS22, > the AAL can stand and hold its own
against some popular speakers, from around the $350/400 mark and down per pair.

However while not perfect, I still favor/consider the JBL 530, in another league above these >> however,
as in all things audio - no guarantee that every one would like the JBL.

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post #118 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

The ones I'm still currently interested in are ascend 170se, reason being is touted as neutral and i feel it will have tighter bass then rc-10.

Kef q300 or q100, worried about fatigue nearfield though. Cambridge s30, Jbl 530, and modded pioneer bs22 are also on my radar.

IIRC...he later switched to the Sierra Nrts for his bedroom setup he might still have the EMPs...I spoke with him briefly and why I decided on the Sierra 1s....He was very candid and I could appreciate that.

Old Indian proverb: We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, but we borrow it from our children!

Ascend Acoustics (NrT)Towers, STC w RAAL, 200 SE in espresso
54" of Panasonic Bliss, Anthem MRX 300
Sony BDP-S380, TechnicsCD player, Apple TV
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post #119 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

The ones I'm still currently interested in are ascend 170se, reason being is touted as neutral and i feel it will have tighter bass then rc-10.

Kef q300 or q100, worried about fatigue nearfield though. Cambridge s30, Jbl 530, and modded pioneer bs22 are also on my radar.

I listened to the CBM-170s quite a bit when I was auditioning them. In my opinion the tweeter is a little too hot and they really lack a lower midrange. They sound thin to me. I think the tweeter on the RC-10 is most similar to the tweeter on the CBM-170 out of all the speakers I've tried. I think the RC-10s tweeter is slightly less in your face than the 170 and the treble execution is a little smoother. I didn't like the midrange on the 170,the 170s lower midrange was thin and the rc-10s is a little too plump. I think if I had to pick though I will take a over stuffed midrange than a thin one. The bass is tighter indeed on the 170 though.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #120 of 267 Old 02-09-2014, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SmithandWesson View Post

I listened to the CBM-170s quite a bit when I was auditioning them. In my opinion the tweeter is a little too hot and they really lack a lower midrange. They sound thin to me. I think the tweeter on the RC-10 is most similar to the tweeter on the CBM-170 out of all the speakers I've tried. I think the RC-10s tweeter is slightly less in your face than the 170 and the treble execution is a little smoother. I didn't like the midrange on the 170,the 170s lower midrange was thin and the rc-10s is a little too plump. I think if I had to pick though I will take a over stuffed midrange than a thin one. The bass is tighter indeed on the 170 though.

I doubt it...I had RC's for years and switched to Ascends.. Several others have gone from the RC10 to the 170's....a few of them have even posted in this thread. Different strokes for different folks...but I don't think you'll find a complete speakers in the price range you're seeking.

GL...though...smile.gif

Old Indian proverb: We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, but we borrow it from our children!

Ascend Acoustics (NrT)Towers, STC w RAAL, 200 SE in espresso
54" of Panasonic Bliss, Anthem MRX 300
Sony BDP-S380, TechnicsCD player, Apple TV
PSA XS30 SE in Cordovan Cherry
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