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post #1 of 3935 Old 01-11-2006, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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My 3, 340SE's are here (central California).

The only indication of an "SE" is an oval sticker on the back that says "Signature Edition". I'm home for lunch so no time to plug 'em in yet.
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post #2 of 3935 Old 01-11-2006, 02:58 PM
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Is the serial number really low?

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post #3 of 3935 Old 01-11-2006, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Not really...

It's an eight-digit number starting with "9".
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post #4 of 3935 Old 01-11-2006, 03:10 PM
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I don't think you are feeling very well...you look feverish....you should skip work this afternoon.

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post #5 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 06:48 AM
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No updates?
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post #6 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 06:57 AM
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I'm curious how these sound too. I wouldn't mind using my extra 2 speakers from SVS as surrounds for 340SE mains and center.
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post #7 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 07:22 AM
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Is it me or does the center channel look EXACTLy the same as the mains? Is it just one of the mains turned sideways, or is there actually different technology behind the center?
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post #8 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 08:12 AM
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It's the same speaker. There's nothing better then having three identical speakers across the front.
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post #9 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPFury View Post

Is it me or does the center channel look EXACTLy the same as the mains? Is it just one of the mains turned sideways, or is there actually different technology behind the center?

They turn the tweeter 90 degrees to maintain proper dispursion and tweak the crossover for the baffle effect of being on a TV/in a cabinet. The 340 was developed as a center channel for the 170s and then made into mains from demand.

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post #10 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 09:05 AM
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Howdy.....please help if you can. I am considering upgrading my speakers to the following: 170se's for L/R mains, 340se for center and 200's for surrounds. I currently have JBL "Northridge" E30's for mains, EC35 for center and a pair of Velodyne CT-41 satelite's for surrounds. I am for the most part very happy with my current set up, but am feeling the bite from the upgrade bug again!! If I do decide to upgrade, I have pretty much decided on the Ascends. Have some questions tho

1. Are the 170's sensitive to placement or are they pretty forgiving (off axis)?
2. Will the 200's still be considered a timbre match with the SE line?
3. How much of a difference do you think I will notice between the Ascends and my current set up?

I can't help but think I am missing something with the JBL's and that something will be heard with the Ascends. Also, I plan on using a Pioneer VSX-1014tx receiver and may dump my Velodyne CHT-10 sub for a SVS PB10 sub.

Thanx Gov

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post #11 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 09:47 AM
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Let's see if I can answer some of these:

1. Other than needing a few inches behind them due to the port, they are no more difficult to place than any other speaker. Off-axis measurements and imaging are great. Are you asking this question because your listening position is off-axis?

2. Yes

3. Don't know, I have not heard the JBL's.

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post #12 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 10:15 AM
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Yes....I will be slightly off axis. I also ask because the JBL's are pretty good off axis, atleast to my ears.

I would love to hear from someone who has actually heard both the JBL "Northridge" bookshelf speakers and the Ascends. Love to hear about the differences

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post #13 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 10:19 AM
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Hi Gov, I owned the E30s for a while as well as the original CBM-170s, (I should be getting the 170SE any day now!) Anyways, IMO the 170s definately are an improvement over the E30s as far as detail goes. Everything seemd much more clear through the 170s than the E30s in the highs and the mids. The E30s had more bass, but if you have a subwoofer, it shoudn't matter too much. The SVS PB10 will also be a huge improvement over the CHT-10.
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post #14 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gov View Post

Yes....I will be slightly off axis. I also ask because the JBL's are pretty good off axis, atleast to my ears.

If you calibrate for the position, I doubt you will have any problems. Give Ascend a call on that one.

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post #15 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcjago View Post

Hi Gov, I owned the E30s for a while as well as the original CBM-170s, (I should be getting the 170SE any day now!) Anyways, IMO the 170s definately are an improvement over the E30s as far as detail goes. Everything seemd much more clear through the 170s than the E30s in the highs and the mids. The E30s had more bass, but if you have a subwoofer, it shoudn't matter too much. The SVS PB10 will also be a huge improvement over the CHT-10.


Thanks for the reply. Now I have to decide if its worth the $1400 to upgrade over what I have

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post #16 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

If you calibrate for the position, I doubt you will have any problems. Give Ascend a call on that one.

I will, thanx. I have be corresponding with Dave F via e-mail a bit, their customer service is great!

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post #17 of 3935 Old 01-12-2006, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Very sorry for the delay on this write-up of the Ascend 340SE's. Working late and just had a couple hours last night to try them out.

I use my system 95% for home theater. This is the first time I've had matching speakers up front (left, right, center). I had time to watch about an hour or so of Star Wars III.

Keep in mind I haven't had time to recalibrate my receiver for the new speakers. I immediately noticed slightly less bass but much clearer dialogue. As I increased the volume it was apparent that bass was not the limiting factor for my preferred volume limit. Yes, I do have a powered subwoofer but in the past the bass of the front speakers would become distorted or so over-bearing that I'd need to back down just to hear clear dialogue. I could not find harmony with bass and dialogue with my old setup. Not with the SE's. Everything is much clearer and crisp. Volume is not dictated by distortion now, ear bleeding is my new concern.

I really like the 340C (center speaker). I believe the all of the 340's are the same except the center speaker tweeter is rotated 90 degrees. I have the center speaker on top of the TV and find it hard to tell that it's there. Sound seems to come from the center of the screen and spreads nicely side to side. Again, the clarity is amazing.

The quality of the speakers is top notch as I'm sure any Ascend owner will tell you. Customer service is excellent (Dave will usually answer your email same day).
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post #18 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 12:49 AM
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Quote:


I believe the all of the 340's are the same except the center speaker tweeter is rotated 90 degrees.

On the "classic" CMT-340s, it wasn't the tweeter which was rotated 90 degrees but a small "diffraction lens" in front of the tweeter. Your photos indicate that this lens is no longer present on the SEs, so that distinction no longer applies.

I assume that the CMT-340SE center still incorporates Ascend's EXBAC circuit in the crossover, to compensate for the "extended baffle" effect when positioned close to a large flat surface (i.e. your TV).
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post #19 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 07:43 AM
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Gov,

I own Ascends and find them great, but bear in mind that they are very neutral. As far as I learned, the JBL's are brighter so, just to prevent any initial "disappointment", remember that, with a warm receiver, you might find the sound a little laid back and not like the trade off (JBL presence x Ascend refinement). Anyway, I guess the Pioneer is not warm...

I hope the new SE line will have more presence and get closer to "perfection".
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post #20 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 08:48 AM
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Jorge, I will be receiving 340SE's on Monday. You mentioned that the Ascends are neutral but implied that that is somewhat of a drawback. Isn't neutrality a characteristic that should be the ideal since we want to hear the music without any added coloration from audio components? I guess many people are so accustomed to hearing music from distorted sources that they actually prefer the colored sound.
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post #21 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex-amp View Post

They turn the tweeter 90 degrees to maintain proper dispursion and tweak the crossover for the baffle effect of being on a TV/in a cabinet. The 340 was developed as a center channel for the 170s and then made into mains from demand.

Hey, Chris. Can you point me to some more info on this? I'd like to learn more about the dispersion pattern effects. I probably need to buy a used book on speakers and read up on it at some point in the future.
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post #22 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gov View Post

Thanks for the reply. Now I have to decide if its worth the $1400 to upgrade over what I have

Only you can decide that. I tested the HTM-200 and E20 head to head. I will echo the above poster and say the Ascends are clearer than the Northridge series. That said, the E20 did pretty well against the HTM-200, considering it costs *half* as much online.

If I were you, I'd stick with what I have, unless you can sell those JBLs, or just have some extra money to blow.

I did end up going with the Ascends, but I didn't already have JBLs.
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post #23 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:06 AM
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The pics posted above looks like the original 340s to my untrained eyes. Anyone have a shot of the originals and SEs side by side for comparison?
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post #24 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajacat View Post

Jorge, I will be receiving 340SE's on Monday. You mentioned that the Ascends are neutral but implied that that is somewhat of a drawback. Isn't neutrality a characteristic that should be the ideal since we want to hear the music without any added coloration from audio components? I guess many people are so accustomed to hearing music from distorted sources that they actually prefer the colored sound.

Go to one of those audio review sites that show response curves. There is one site (stereoreview??) that shows them for every speaker they review. The Ascends are pretty much totally flat. Most other speakers have a lot more peaks and valleys, even the super-expensive Wilsons and their ilk.

I agree with you, but it seems that many people like their sound colored a certain way.
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post #25 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:20 AM
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Many of the lower priced consumer model speakers have a mid-bass hump in order to make them sound like they have lots of bass so you buy them in the store. When somebody who has one of these speakers gets Ascends they will sometimes initially think that the speakers have "no bass."

Everbody that I have read that had this response has quickly realized that they were now hearing accurate bass instead of a mid-bass hump and quickly came to prefer the accuracy.


My subs play all the way down to 0 Hz!!! It's so low you can't hear or feel anything.

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post #26 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by S_rangeBrew View Post

Only you can decide that. I tested the HTM-200 and E20 head to head. I will echo the above poster and say the Ascends are clearer than the Northridge series. That said, the E20 did pretty well against the HTM-200, considering it costs *half* as much online.

If I were you, I'd stick with what I have, unless you can sell those JBLs, or just have some extra money to blow.

I did end up going with the Ascends, but I didn't already have JBLs.


Thanks for your honest opinion, I much appreciate it. I have the E30's which, by most peoples opinion, smoke the E20's. So it appears that the E30's and the 170's would be a fair comparison. Maybe I am not missing that much by sticking with my E30's rather than going with the 170's for now. Now, maybe that PB10 vs my CHT-10, may be another story?

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post #27 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capek View Post

It's the same speaker. There's nothing better then having three identical speakers across the front.

As I understand from Dave F., same drivers, different crossover for the CMT340c SE. I assume that means it still has the EXBAC techology.

See the Ascend website writeup for the cmt340c classic.
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post #28 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureMX View Post

I had time to watch about an hour or so of Star Wars III.

FYI: In a couple threads I've seen about SWIII, it isn't getting the best reviews in AVS for sound, mainly due to misplaced or missing bass and IIRC poor dialogue in some spots.
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post #29 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 10:09 AM
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PureMX,

what speakers were you using before your new 340SEs?
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post #30 of 3935 Old 01-13-2006, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gov View Post

Thanks for your honest opinion, I much appreciate it. I have the E30's which, by most peoples opinion, smoke the E20's. So it appears that the E30's and the 170's would be a fair comparison. Maybe I am not missing that much by sticking with my E30's rather than going with the 170's for now. Now, maybe that PB10 vs my CHT-10, may be another story?

I bought a pair of E30 being cleared out for a friend. Tried them out. After 5-10 minutes I had enough and hooked the 170s back up.

Get just a pair of 170s to try for 30 days. That way if the difference isn't worth it to you you've limited your shipping costs.

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