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post #1 of 43 Old 07-24-2014, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Ascend Speaker Cost Value

I've been trying to put together a new home theater setup and reading the forums/reviews for a general consensus of popular speakers. I'm using the Infinity Primus p363 with pc351 center as my baseline which ends up being about $430 total. Through research I see the Ascend speakers are well thought of and commonly recommended. Since I can't easily demo them just looking for input from those that have.

Are the Ascend CBM-170 worth spending the extra cost of around $100... and on the same line, the CMT-340 for $470 more.

My use is 100% theater, no music. Sports, general TV, and movies. The room is 13x17x9. Starting with a 3.1 setup for now and improving it from there.

Thanks for your input!
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post #2 of 43 Old 07-24-2014, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veldren View Post
I've been trying to put together a new home theater setup and reading the forums/reviews for a general consensus of popular speakers. I'm using the Infinity Primus p363 with pc351 center as my baseline which ends up being about $430 total. Through research I see the Ascend speakers are well thought of and commonly recommended. Since I can't easily demo them just looking for input from those that have.

Are the Ascend CBM-170 worth spending the extra cost of around $100... and on the same line, the CMT-340 for $470 more.

My use is 100% theater, no music. Sports, general TV, and movies. The room is 13x17x9. Starting with a 3.1 setup for now and improving it from there.

Thanks for your input!

Spend less on rears and surround they only get 10%-20% ofthe sound on movies. I think 340 are good for fronts im hoping to upgrade to these in a year or two or sierra 1, sierra 2 or svs ultra bookshelf. But my fronts is same as urs but with a bookshelf
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post #3 of 43 Old 07-24-2014, 09:50 PM
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I have not heard the Ascend speakers, but I don't think they would be a big upgrade over some p363s and c351s. If I were going to upgrade, I would want to movie up more substantially. Primus to Ascends look far too incremental to be worth it, especially for purposes of home theater and sports and no music, which Ascends could very well be a step down. If you want to upgrade, save up your money for something which will be an unquestionable improvement in sound. It will not be cheap, but it will cost less than buying a whole series of slightly better speakers over time.
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post #4 of 43 Old 07-24-2014, 10:31 PM
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I auditioned the CBM-170SEs. They are a good speaker, although quite ugly

I also auditioned 4 other popular speakers along with the 170s. For movies I think the Chane A1rx-c might be worth taking a look at. The 170s lacked bass and sounded a bit too thin. The A1rx-c had more bass and a great warmth that makes them better suited to movies, IMO.

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Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #5 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
I have not heard the Ascend speakers, but I don't think they would be a big upgrade over some p363s and c351s. If I were going to upgrade, I would want to movie up more substantially. Primus to Ascends look far too incremental to be worth it, especially for purposes of home theater and sports and no music, which Ascends could very well be a step down. If you want to upgrade, save up your money for something which will be an unquestionable improvement in sound. It will not be cheap, but it will cost less than buying a whole series of slightly better speakers over time.


hmmm have u auditioned sierra 1 to p 163 anyways im not interested in upgrades right now but just out of curiosity wat would be my upgrade from these infinity primus setup?
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post #6 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 05:29 AM
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I think the Ascends are a better speaker, but not sure it's worth double the cost to you. The Primus are great and I would probably stick with them, and as was said before, wait until you can make a more worthwhile upgrade.
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post #7 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 07:15 AM
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The ascends are better hands down... I have heard both and there is no competition... Call them and see if what you want is available in bstock, they can probably save you the 100...

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post #8 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I think the Ascends are a better speaker, but not sure it's worth double the cost to you. The Primus are great and I would probably stick with them, and as was said before, wait until you can make a more worthwhile upgrade.
Gladly would, from the pocket damage I got from building HT. I need time for my pocket to heal tomorrow im gonna pull the trigger on the pb2000 ^^
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post #9 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I think the Ascends are a better speaker, but not sure it's worth double the cost to you. The Primus are great and I would probably stick with them, and as was said before, wait until you can make a more worthwhile upgrade.
Agreed. The Ascends are wonderful speakers (if not very aesthetically pleasing) and definitely better but it would be an incremental upgrade unless you moved up to the Sierras.

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post #10 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Veldren View Post
I've been trying to put together a new home theater setup and reading the forums/reviews for a general consensus of popular speakers. I'm using the Infinity Primus p363 with pc351 center as my baseline which ends up being about $430 total. Through research I see the Ascend speakers are well thought of and commonly recommended. Since I can't easily demo them just looking for input from those that have.

Are the Ascend CBM-170 worth spending the extra cost of around $100... and on the same line, the CMT-340 for $470 more.

My use is 100% theater, no music. Sports, general TV, and movies. The room is 13x17x9. Starting with a 3.1 setup for now and improving it from there.

Thanks for your input!
I think that a pair of Pioneer FS52 speakers, with the C22 center speaker, would sound a lot better than the p363 speakers, which to my ears are pretty crude-sounding.

The 3 Pioneers would run around $450 or so; maybe a bit less.
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post #11 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that a pair of Pioneer FS52 speakers, with the C22 center speaker, would sound a lot better than the p363 speakers, which to my ears are pretty crude-sounding.

The 3 Pioneers would run around $450 or so; maybe a bit less.
I heard the p363 and they were mediocre but I know not to expect too much around $500 for L/C/R. I have not heard the pioneers you mentioned personally but I have seen in forums they are another recommended speaker in entry level systems. I'm ok with spending a little more money if I feel I'm getting my money's worth for my uses which is why I was asking about the Ascend line. Someone mentioned the Chane speakers but unfortunately they are out of stock until late Aug which is a little too late for me.

I've read for home theaters the sub is where you will see most for your money so I've planned on buying the Outlaw LFM-1 for $500. For my uses, would anyone recommend to spend less on sub and more on the L/C/R or keep as it is?

I know it's a lot of personal preference so just looking at general ideas. The only thing I'm picky on is just a clear sound and I've heard subs get iffy in that in the <$300 which is one concern.
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post #12 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Veldren View Post
I heard the p363 and they were mediocre but I know not to expect too much around $500 for L/C/R. I have not heard the pioneers you mentioned personally but I have seen in forums they are another recommended speaker in entry level systems. I'm ok with spending a little more money if I feel I'm getting my money's worth for my uses which is why I was asking about the Ascend line. Someone mentioned the Chane speakers but unfortunately they are out of stock until late Aug which is a little too late for me.

I've read for home theaters the sub is where you will see most for your money so I've planned on buying the Outlaw LFM-1 for $500. For my uses, would anyone recommend to spend less on sub and more on the L/C/R or keep as it is?

I know it's a lot of personal preference so just looking at general ideas. The only thing I'm picky on is just a clear sound and I've heard subs get iffy in that in the <$300 which is one concern.
No, don't skimp on the sub. A good sub can actually make your speakers sound better, but nothing can hide a boomy subwoofer. I would jump on that Outlaw while its still on sale. As for the Primus vs the Pioneers, it's a matter of taste, both have their fans and detractors.
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post #13 of 43 Old 07-25-2014, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Veldren View Post

I've read for home theaters the sub is where you will see most for your money so I've planned on buying the Outlaw LFM-1 for $500. For my uses, would anyone recommend to spend less on sub and more on the L/C/R or keep as it is?

I know it's a lot of personal preference so just looking at general ideas. The only thing I'm picky on is just a clear sound and I've heard subs get iffy in that in the <$300 which is one concern.
I agree the sub makes home theater great! I see you are 100% movie's so spending less on speakers and more towards sub should put a smile on your face.

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post #14 of 43 Old 07-29-2014, 07:58 PM
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No, don't skimp on the sub. A good sub can actually make your speakers sound better, but nothing can hide a boomy subwoofer. I would jump on that Outlaw while its still on sale. As for the Primus vs the Pioneers, it's a matter of taste, both have their fans and detractors.
I agree with spending a little more on some Ascend's, they are IMO more than an incremental upgrade from the Primus 363's. In the last six weeks I replaced Primus 363's up front, 351 center, 163 surrounds and two Yamaha subs, with Ascend CMT-340's across the front, CMB-170's for surrounds and Rythmic LVR12R sub. IMO, the difference is substantial. The neutrality is a big difference as is clarity. The dialogue is outstanding and I hear the little details I never heard before. The sound is amazing when watching a movie with good sound or just watching a sitcom or news show. The biggest difference was in the subs. The Rythmic LVR12R is amazing compared to the Yamaha subs. I watched Jurassic Park this evening and I was thrilled with the sound quality. The LV12R delivered nice tight bass and a lot of it. I liked my Primus speakers but, I love my Ascends. I am using my system 100 percent for television and would not be able to compare the two as far as music goes. The Ascends also would benefit nicely with a subwoofer for movies where as the Primus provides a little more bass but still benefits as well from a sub.
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post #15 of 43 Old 07-29-2014, 08:45 PM
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Going from the primus to the AJ pioneer is a definite step down, IMHO, but I agree with others who say the Ascend wouldn't be enough better to warrant an upgrade (unless, as mentioned, you go with the Sierra line!)
Enjoy that new sub!
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post #16 of 43 Old 07-29-2014, 09:00 PM
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Going from the primus to the AJ pioneer is a definite step down, IMHO, but I agree with others who say the Ascend wouldn't be enough better to warrant an upgrade (unless, as mentioned, you go with the Sierra line!)
Enjoy that new sub!
You have been pretty consistent with your sentiments between the infinity and pioneers. But, most others who compare the two that I have seen don't consider there to be much of a difference between them. One reviewer from audioholics preferred the Pioneers citing a better tweeter. I'm really curious why you feel the opposite.
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post #17 of 43 Old 07-29-2014, 09:14 PM
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The tweeters used in the AJ's are actually not that good, there isn't much quality control since there is a variance in performance from speaker to speaker. It's why Dennis Murphy replaces them for his affordable accuracy line.

That said, they are still a good value when on sale if you are looking for inexpensive.
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post #18 of 43 Old 07-29-2014, 09:39 PM
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The tweeters used in the AJ's are actually not that good, there isn't much quality control since there is a variance in performance from speaker to speaker. It's why Dennis Murphy replaces them for his affordable accuracy line.

That said, they are still a good value when on sale if you are looking for inexpensive.
I'm not arguing for or against. But, check out post #2 in this thread: http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...sp-pk52fs.html

He reviewed both and made the comments about the tweeter. If the Pioneers don't have a good tweeter but its better than the Infinity according to the reviewer, what does that say about the Infinity's?

Could it not be the tweeter on the Pioneers are modified not because they are not good at all but to make them better?
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post #19 of 43 Old 07-29-2014, 09:54 PM
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The tweeters used in the AJ's are actually not that good, there isn't much quality control since there is a variance in performance from speaker to speaker. It's why Dennis Murphy replaces them for his affordable accuracy line.

That said, they are still a good value when on sale if you are looking for inexpensive.
I'm not sure who is right, but I just found this about the tweeter in this review: http://www.audioholics.com/tower-spe...2fs-conclusion

At the beginning of the review I posed the question about how Pioneer could pull off so much performance on the cheap. The answer is two-fold:
  1. They are focusing almost the entire budget of the product on quality of parts. They don’t use a chintzy tweeter, or a simplistic two element crossover inside their boxes.
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post #20 of 43 Old 07-29-2014, 10:01 PM
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I'm not arguing for or against. But, check out post #2 in this thread: http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...sp-pk52fs.html

He reviewed both and made the comments about the tweeter. If the Pioneers don't have a good tweeter but its better than the Infinity according to the reviewer, what does that say about the Infinity's?

Could it not be the tweeter on the Pioneers are modified not because they are not good at all but to make them better?
When I talked to Dennis, he said the FR was inconsistent due to the tweeters, sometimes by a significant amount. It could be that they happened to get a good pair of speakers to review, just as I come across other reviews here and there that probably had some of the poorer ones as they describe the highs as mediocre at best.

If it means anything, I believe Dennis said he simply throws away the tweeters instead of salvaging them.
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post #21 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 05:42 AM
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I find the Infinity's more forward sounding than the Pioneers. Also the Infinity's offer better dynamics with their higher sensitivity and bigger woofer. I think both speakers are excellent options, I am inclined to go with the Infinity's when they are on sale, but it's hard to go wrong either way. Yes the Ascends are an upgrade, and if you have the budget it's hard to beat their performance/dollar.
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post #22 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 12:08 PM
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When I talked to Dennis, he said the FR was inconsistent due to the tweeters, sometimes by a significant amount. It could be that they happened to get a good pair of speakers to review, just as I come across other reviews here and there that probably had some of the poorer ones as they describe the highs as mediocre at best.

If it means anything, I believe Dennis said he simply throws away the tweeters instead of salvaging them.
Well, it's true that I do throw away the tweeters. I don't have anything else to do with them, since the inexpensive Vifa unit I use is much higher quality and absolutely consistent from sample-to-sample. But the stock Pioneers offer a lot of value for the money. The strongest attribute is their bass response. I don't do anything to the bass tuning in my mod, other than to upgrade the sound treatment inside. To my ears, the tuning is absolutely perfect and can produce a solid 65 Hz at fairly high volume. I brought the modded version to the Capital Audio Show last weekend to demo along with much more expensive speakers. Anyone who was in the room can testify to the number of people who insisted I had hidden a sub someplace, or was playing the wrong speakers. Also, I have no quarrel with Andrew Jones' crossover work, and the stock Xover is more sophisticated than you'll find in any other speaker in that price range. But I had to pretty much completely redo it to integrate the new tweeter properly. I also added a little more baffle step compensation, but there's no "correct" setting for that, and preferences may well depend on the type of music people play.
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post #23 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 12:36 PM
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The Infinity Primus is thin sounding and lacks resolution to me - I prefer the Pioneer.
However my general preference would be the Murphy modded AAL speakers. They will
be in another league - and are for those who value both music and movies. Rich sound
and clear, with good balanced detail and definition.

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post #24 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 05:03 PM
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http://www.wavecrestaudio.com/produc...udspeaker-pair

Great price and value. However, as other have noted, for your needs there may be some other better options. With music not part of your listening habits, going Ascend wouldn't benefit you IMHO.
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post #25 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 05:12 PM
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No only did I think the tweeter was better ( I compared the IP p163 with the bs22) in the infinity, but felt the bass in the pioneer was unfocused, or what some people might call "muddy". Just for the record, I didn't end up with either, I spent a few more dollars and got the EMP speakers that I currently own!
Edit...I should add that I did this comparison a few years ago and I am not sure if I compared the infinity to the most current version of the Pioneer speakers!

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post #26 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 06:24 PM
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No only did I think the tweeter was better ( I compared the IP p163 with the bs22) in the infinity, but felt the bass in the pioneer was unfocused, or what some people might call "muddy". Just for the record, I didn't end up with either, I spent a few more dollars and got the EMP speakers that I currently own!
Edit...I should add that I did this comparison a few years ago and I am not sure if I compared the infinity to the most current version of the Pioneer speakers!
What is your EMP setup? Mostly movies or music and movies?
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post #27 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 08:50 PM
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Mostly movies. I have the now discontinue e5ti, the smaller cousin of the the e55ti and the e5ci center, with a EMP10i10i sub. My rears are some older SLS q line gold speakers!
The EMP impression series is an absolutely outstanding speaker for the price, and along with Ascend Acoustic might by the best ID speaker companies in the bang for the buck with pretty good SQ category! IMHO, of course....
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post #28 of 43 Old 07-30-2014, 10:12 PM
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Mostly movies. I have the now discontinue e5ti, the smaller cousin of the the e55ti and the e5ci center, with a EMP10i10i sub. My rears are some older SLS q line gold speakers!
The EMP impression series is an absolutely outstanding speaker for the price, and along with Ascend Acoustic might by the best ID speaker companies in the bang for the buck with pretty good SQ category! IMHO, of course....
I have some interest in them but was turned off by the high cost of the "surround" speakers. That and wondering if a bookshelf arrangement would be better than an arrangement from the Infinity or AJ Pioneer phase 2. I do have the Outlaw Ex subwoofer and Denon X2000 to power whatever I do use.
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post #29 of 43 Old 07-31-2014, 06:24 AM
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I have some interest in them but was turned off by the high cost of the "surround" speakers. That and wondering if a bookshelf arrangement would be better than an arrangement from the Infinity or AJ Pioneer phase 2. I do have the Outlaw Ex subwoofer and Denon X2000 to power whatever I do use.
The E5Bi works very well as a surround speaker, it is what I use and things sound great. 4 E5Bi and a E5Ci would make a very good surround system to pair with the EX and Denon.

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post #30 of 43 Old 07-31-2014, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
The E5Bi works very well as a surround speaker, it is what I use and things sound great. 4 E5Bi and a E5Ci would make a very good surround system to pair with the EX and Denon.
Am I correct in thinking that the E5Bi would play possible at a lower volume than the AJ Pioneers? Which center channel are you using? These EMP's plus the other two I mentioned are on my very short list that I am seriously still considering. There's not much difference in cost between the Infinity's and the EMP's. Do you feel the EMP's are worth twice the cost of the AJ Pioneer phase two with the two towers setup?
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