Originally Posted by shadyJ
Hi Cynan, you gave me some very helpful advice regarding speakers in the past, so I'll try to give you some helpful info regarding this, although I have not heard the Ascend speakers. I can tell you the difference between the HB-1s and my other speakers.
I have HB-1s in the same room with some Infinity Primus p362s and some Alesis studio reference monitors.
The HB-1s are not nearly as detailed as the reference monitors, but then again reference monitors are made specifically for detail- they don't miss anything.
I am hesitant to say they aren't as detailed as the Primuses, in my listening I don't hear anything in the Infinitys that goes missing in the HB-1s, although I hear a different emphasis on certain sounds. Doing a comparison with a copy of the Pioneer special edition of the Amadeus soundtrack, I found that the woodwinds came through much clearer in the Primuses, but I also found the qualities of the brass instruments to be much more lifelike in the HB-1s. This seriously could all be in my imagination though, I wasn't doing a blind test. On either speaker though, Amadeus was a joy to listen to.
Another thing is, with the Primuses you could move around the room more and the sound stays the same. The Hb-1s have a narrower field or cone of sound or whatever it is called where if you strayed too far from where the speakers are directed, it stops sounding "right". What is this effect called?
One thing about these HB-1s, which I guess some people dislike, is how much force they give to loud, plosive sounds, such as percussion. I know it is not to everyone's liking, but this is why I love these speakers- with the right material they come ALIVE! I listen to drum and bass music and other kinds of music that uses a lot of percussion, and these have to be the very best bookshelf speakers for that sort of material. For this reason I think they would also make good speakers for movies, although I mostly use them for music.
I could go on, but I will just sum it up: if you like a detailed, nuanced, flat, even sound, there are better speakers. But if you like wild, little beasts that can rock out without losing clarity, these should be high on your list of consideration.
On another subject, some of what I said brings to mind something else to consider: why not use reference monitors
for home audio? I have the feeling some around here don't think Monitors would make for good recreational listening, but I used them precisely for that for years, and I really enjoyed them. I'm not as knowledgeable about speakers as most around here, but I think that, for a lot of people around here, they should take a stroll down to the pro-audio dept at Guitar Center instead of Barret's or Magnolia. I think they would find some very pleasant surprises there.