Comparison Review: Ascend CBM-170SE / HTD Level Three Bookshelf / Wharfedale Pacific - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 303 Old 12-25-2006, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I received Ascend CBM-170SE and HTD (Home Theater Direct) Level Three Bookshelf last week. During the holidays I've been comparing them with each other and with my old Wharfedale Pacific Pi30 floorstanders. All speakers are driven by my Panasonic XR57 with its treble set at -2 and speaker size set to "Large" without a subwoofer.

(Edit: HTD Level Two added to the comparison.)

(Edit: Onix x-ls added)

I used only classical music for comparison. My standard for speaker choice is that their playback of stringed instruments and voice must be as close as possible to the tonality of real instruments. I was trained for classical voice music and still do it as a hobby and go to many classical music performances, mostly opera and chamber music. So I don't think that I'm comparing these speakers by highly subjective criteria since I know what strings and voice should sound like. I don't care about, say, how "deep and tight" the bass is, how "sweet" the treble is, how "warm" or "bright" the sound quality is, etc relative to other speakers. My standard is not unambiguous, but it is how well the speakers perform in reproducing the sound of strings and voice as closely as possible to the sound in my memory acquired from concerts.

I personally think the most difficult instrument for a reproduction system to mimic is strings, especially violin in either solo or orchestra. It is also violin that can often be recorded poorly. It can sound harsh, dry, and thin at times. Yes, I know violin can by nature sound harsh and annoying and this characteristic can sometimes be exaggerated through a reproduction system. In my experience, violin sound is just right through my Grado SR225 headphones driven by my old Onkyo integrated amp's headphone amp section, which is above average IMO. So, I use these Grado headphones as a sort of reference in this comparison.

Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE:
Very neutral and transparent monitors. I finally found loudspeakers that provide faithful reproduction of strings. I've been enjoying my old Wharfedale's. They have been very pleasant to listen, but they add some coloration compared to my headphones. Actually they make every sound (especially female voice and wind instruments) "prettier" than real. I think this characteristic is due to their Butterworth crossover which "emphasizes" sound around their crossover frequency. I find this pleasant sometimes but not satisfying since I know it's coloration. In fact, the 170SE and the Wharfedale are similar in their SQ, but the 170SE's provide tonality that is closer to that of real instruments and very, very close to that of my Grado headphones. The Wharfedale's are capable speakers with delicate, non-fatiguing high and holographic midrange. But it turns out that I prefer the 170SE's. These Ascends provide things I liked on my old speakers and in addition produce more natural sound. Bass extension is not deep enough especially for full orchestral music, but no wonder considering these are small bookshelf speakers. In sum, they are very neutral and accurate monitors.

HTD Level Three Bookshelf:
Pleasant to listen, impressive bass extension/quality for a bookshelf, and nice treble extension, but it has a problem in its frequency response. This problem may make pop music sound very pleasant and provide exaggeratedly wide sound stage, but cause stringed instruments to sound very unnatural. Compared to the 170SE, they have a significant dip at around 2 kHz through 3.5 kHz (i.e., around crossover frequency). I measured this using my RadioShack SPL meter and Rives Audio Test CD 2---I compared frequency responses between speakers since in-room freq response in and of itself is useless due to room characteristics. This anomaly robbs violin of its "body" and leaves only its highs. So violin sounds unnaturally thin. Same thing applies to female voice. Important frequency information contained in female voice is not there. In short, these have very good build quality and perhaps are impressive in pop music reproduction, but are not adequate for classical music.

HTD Level Two Bookshelf:
Excellent bass for a small bookshelf speaker. Overall, this one has neutral tonality, much closer to my Grado headphone's than the Level Three. But still has the same kind of characteristic, a bit weak upper midrange response. For this reason, it presents more laid-back sound than the 170SE, but more forward sound than the Level Three. Sort of in-between quality of 170SE and Level Three. With respect to the laid-back and forward dimension, the 170SE has the most forward sound, then my Grado, next Level Two, then my old Wharfedale, and Level Three has the most laid-back sound. Although the Level Two has neutral tonal balance (even closer to the Grado than the 170SE), it is my least favorite of all the above speakers, because of its lack of clarity. Compared to the other speakers, its midrange is not clean (e.g., make female vocal sounding nasal).

Onix x-ls:
I almost decided to end my speaker search with the Ascend. Although I liked the clarity of the 170SEs, their bright sound (due to strong mid-highs, 4-5kHz?) felt somewhat fatiguing. So I couldn't help but try another big hit in the ID budget speaker market --- Onix x-ls. So I tried them. It turns out that the 170SEs are better in terms of clarity. But the x-ls's produce more laid-back, nonfatiguing sound at some (but not much) cost of clarity. Despite somewhat laid-back quaity, their sound is not unbalanced like the HTD Level Three. Moreover, they are less expensive than the 170SEs and plus have gorgeous cabinets! So I ended up ordering five identical x-ls's.

Below are my short evaluations on the speakers I compared, in the order of my preference:

1. Onix x-ls: Tonality is neutral but on a bit warm, laid-back side. Excellent clarity at all frequency ranges. Excellent extension at both ends.

2. Ascend 170SE: Tonality is neutral but on a bit bright, forward side. Outstanding clarity at all frequency ranges. Excellent treble extension.

3. Wharfedale Pacific Pi-30: Tonality is not very neutral, but very, very pleasing. Excellent midrange and treble clarity. Nice treble extension. Great bass quantity/extension.

4. HTD Level Three: Very laid-back sound due to weak upper midrange response, but might be perceived "bright" since it has strong highs. Fair midrange and treble clarity. Good treble extension. Very good bass extension.

5. HTD Level Two: Neutral, balanced tonality. Average midrange clarity. Nice bass for a small bookshelf.

-- Jay

Note to those choosing between the x-ls and the 170SE: According to my measurement, their treble response levels (3kHz and up) are very different from each other. At least 2dB overall difference. Look here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post9551681
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post #2 of 303 Old 12-25-2006, 10:07 PM
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Good review Jay. Is the frequency response graph available on HTD site? I tried to look for it and could not find it. I'm planning to buy another pair of speakers for my office in another 3 months or so, and I'm considering either X-LS or level 3. I'll also try to compare them to a pair of 170 that resides in our family room.

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post #3 of 303 Old 12-25-2006, 10:50 PM
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Very nice and telling reveiw. Thanks, Jay_WJ.

----------------------------------------

There are no graphs on HTD's site.

----------------------------------------

FWIW, earlier today I compared my 170SE's and HTD middies while playing "Ave Maria" a few times, very nice song. No matter what settings I tried with my AVR630, I always found I preferred my middies. But then that was with the crossover set at 100 Hz and no violins. Not trying to put down the 170SE's or Jay's review at all. The Ascends have a flatter frequency response that also extends lower than the middies. However, I find the voicing of the middies to be more realistic than the 170SE's. The two of them are stacked on the ends of my bookshelf, and for music, TV or DVDs, I compare them from time to time and keep choosing the middies. Of course for more bass output or to fill a bigger room, the Ascends would be best. I've had my Ascends and middies for a week or so.
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post #4 of 303 Old 12-25-2006, 11:01 PM
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Nice review, good job!
Thats why there are many speakers out there cause just as I like to say, when it comes to speakers there are no rights or wrongs just different preferences .... :-)
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post #5 of 303 Old 12-26-2006, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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1Time, thanks for your comment. But would you be more specific? I'm just curious. In what ways do the Middies more realistic for voice than the 170SEs? How about the Level Two's in this regard? (I think the Middies and the Level Two's share the same tweeter)

--Jay

P.S. I read your review post about them. You said that the Middies are better in reproducing sibilants. Is that all?
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post #6 of 303 Old 12-26-2006, 12:25 PM
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Jay,

Great review. I have heard the Wharedales and agree with your assessment. As far as the HTDs I not at all surprised by the dip at the crossover. I have a question regarding the Ascends 170se which I'm currently thinking about purchasing. In your estimation how loud can they play full range in a moderate sized room and low could a sub be set at to augment the bass. Would 60hz be pushing it?
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post #7 of 303 Old 12-26-2006, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fullmoon View Post

Would 60hz be pushing it?

Depending on how much the room comes into play, I think that is the lowest you want to go.

They can play quite loud fullrange. My room is 14x18x8.5 and they can be easily played loud enough so that I cannot have a conversation with someone next to me.

fullmoon, if you are in the LA area, you are more than welcome over for a listen.

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post #8 of 303 Old 12-26-2006, 01:04 PM
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Curtis,

Thanks for the offer but I'm in the NW suburbs of Chicago. My other concern about the Ascends is I have a Panny XR70 and there seemed to be some compatability issues with some users with this receiver. Some of this I know would be room dependent although jay did have is treble turned down.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullmoon View Post

Curtis,

Thanks for the offer but I'm in the NW suburbs of Chicago. My other concern about the Ascends is I have a Panny XR70 and there seemed to be some compatability issues with some users with this receiver. Some of this I know would be room dependent although jay did have is treble turned down.

Yes...the Panny's do seem to have some conflicting reports on how they pair with the Ascends. Wish I could help you there. For some well respected owners, there are issues, and for other just as well respected owners, there are no issues. Have not read about anyone with the XR70 though.

I do have a friend with a XR25. Guess I could trek my speakers to her place and give them a try.

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I would interested in your findings.
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Originally Posted by fullmoon View Post

I would interested in your findings.

I will definitely let you know if it happens. Her setup is a bit hap-hazzard, and when I tell her what I am trying to achieve, she'll roll her eyes....though her boyfriend will be understanding.

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post #12 of 303 Old 12-26-2006, 02:53 PM
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I will definitely let you know if it happens. Her setup is a bit hap-hazzard, and when I tell her what I am trying to achieve, she'll roll her eyes....though her boyfriend will be understanding.

I know the eye roll very well. Don't fret if you don't get the chance to do it. My trigger finger is getting itchier by the day.
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post #13 of 303 Old 12-26-2006, 06:27 PM
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I am trying to replicate the dip you mentioned but havent been able to do so. What catalog number is the SPL and what CD did you use (did you buy the Rives Audio CD calibrated for the RS SPL?). Then again, I am testing the center Level 3 as I dont have the bookshef.
One thing that is very common knowledge is that the RS SPL is great for sub calibration but not recommended for high frequencies.
I am gonna try Tone Generator to see if that works but not having the bookshelf is hard to tell if its the procedure been used, that the center doesnt have the problem, or God knows what! :-)

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It would be so nice if a publications such as Soundstage network of site or Stereophile could test HTDs along with measurements.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_WJ View Post

1Time, thanks for your comment. But would you be more specific? I'm just curious. In what ways do the Middies more realistic for voice than the 170SEs? How about the Level Two's in this regard? (I think the Middies and the Level Two's share the same tweeter)

--Jay

P.S. I read your review post about them. You said that the Middies are better in reproducing sibilants. Is that all?

Please pardon my rambling format. What I like best about the middies is how realistic they sound, especially with dialog. I was watching Star Trek II, the Wrath of Kahn the other day and the voices were very realistic sounding, like the characters were right in front of me but not in a pinpoint stereo image kind of way, more like a general area that centered on my 8' screen. I was kind of startled by this, like wow, that's about as good as I'm gonna get. I never got this impression with the 170SE's. However, I have heard this level of realism before with my BIC center speakers, but only in the midbass frequencies. Also while watching this movie, I compared the middies with my two receivers: H/K AVR630 and Kenwood VRS-7100, each with the crossover set at 100 Hz. The H/K sounded noticeably fuller and lower, which helped the middies sound more realistic. The Kenwood was more detailed sounding but thinner. It also sounded like the Kenwood's crossover was higher than the H/K, or at least cutting off the lower frequencies at a much steeper slope. The overall tone of the middies is lower than the 170SE's, and the 170SE's overall sound or tone by comparison seems slightly compressed.

Of course nothing put in writing could ever come close to equalling any Ascend owner's first hand experience of comparing their own Ascends to HTD speakers in their own home and with their own equipment. And here's the kicker; with many of their speakers, HTD offers a risk free money back guarantee, shipping both ways included for their first time customers (see HTD's site for details).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena View Post

I am trying to replicate the dip you mentioned but havent been able to do so. What catalog number is the SPL and what CD did you use (did you buy the Rives Audio CD calibrated for the RS SPL?). Then again, I am testing the center Level 3 as I dont have the bookshef.
One thing that is very common knowledge is that the RS SPL is great for sub calibration but not recommended for high frequencies.
I am gonna try Tone Generator to see if that works but not having the bookshelf is hard to tell if its the procedure been used, that the center doesnt have the problem, or God knows what! :-)

Regards

Yes, I used the RS Analog SPL meter and Rives Audio Test CD 2 that has tracks calibrated for the meter. As I said, in-room freq response measured with poor equipments is not reliable in itself. So, I did NOT interpret the response patterns in itself but only COMPARED them BETWEEN speakers. The most noticeable difference between Ascend and HTD in their response curves was weaker levels of the HTD at around 2 kHz to 3.15kHz.
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post #17 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 08:15 AM
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Jay, did you feel my question was offensive in any way?
I actually was curious of your findings and wanted to make sure I havent miss that myself.
I think it was a simple and honest question dont you? Did I even imply that you cant like one brand over the other one? I think not. In fact I always mention that there is no right or wrong when it comes to speakers...

I am just making sure you were cool with my question cause it seems I can no longer post anything in this damn forum without receiveing 100 pms from the same person (not you btw).

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post #18 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_WJ View Post

Yes, I used the RS Analog SPL meter and Rives Audio Test CD 2 that has tracks calibrated for the meter. As I said, in-room freq response measured with poor equipments is not reliable in itself. So, I did NOT interpret the response patterns in itself but only COMPARED them BETWEEN speakers. The most noticeable difference between Ascend and HTD in their response curves was weaker levels of the HTD at around 2 kHz to 3.15kHz.



Jay_WJ, I did similarly with my XP62 assessment.

Did you happen to determine the overall correlation or absolute standard deviation of the bass frequencies? I'm wondering how common it is for comparison measures like ours to read similarly, specifically at or below 105Hz. Also, would you mind posting a measurement graph as I did? Thanks in advance!

Nice write-up by the way!

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post #19 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena View Post

Jay, did you feel my question was offensive in any way?

Not at all! Perhaps my all capitals on some words made you misunderstand. Sorry about that. Your question was not offensive to me a bit. So don't worry.

I knew my room has its own characteristics though it has absorption panels on all four sides and bass traps at front corners. And that's why I did not interpret the response of a single speaker in itself. I compared the Ascend and the HTD with every condition matched except the speaker itself. I averaged multiple +/- 15 degree 1 meter listening window measurements. As I said, a marked difference between the two speakers was at the range from 2 kHz to 3.15 kHz. I'm not talking about absolute magnitude of response, which is uninterpretable due to room characteristics, but the pattern (or curve shape) of the measurements. And to my ears, violin from the Ascend sounded much more natural. This evaluation was valuable at least to me because I'm going to use the speakers in my room and with equipments I currently own.

One good piece of violin solo music is Mark O'Connor's Midnight On The Water. Just a violin, not even with a piano. Very well recorded in HDCD format.

--Jay
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post #20 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 09:37 AM
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Good to know!
I will add that the evaluation is valuable not only because it will be use in YOUR room but also with YOUR ears!

Thats why I always urge people to try for themselves and take any recommendation as a guideline of speakers to try. When I was not into speakers I never could understand why anyone need more than a pair of speakers but now I do. There are many speakers out there that are great and still have their own "sound" that makes listening to music a different experience thus owning more than one pair is no longer a crazy idea for me as it used to be.

I think you have done a great job and have been very objective and expressed what you hear and thats all we can ask from someone doing a review. Great job!

Thanks for the cd recommendation. I will check that hdcd right away as violins are very relaxing and moving so I cant never get enough. :-)

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post #21 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena View Post

Thanks for the cd recommendation. I will check that hdcd right away as violins are very relaxing and moving so I cant never get enough. :-)

It is not violin, but I heard this recently and love it....I am waiting for my copy:
Bach: Suites for Solo Cello (Janos Starker) on the Mercury Living Presence label.

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post #22 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 09:54 AM
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I will check that out too...in fact I should have say I love strings as a whole and a solo cello could be just as moving.
Thanks for the recommendation.

I have been checking some of the chesky records stuff cause I have their Ultimate Demonstration Disc and I was stunned by their recording quality. So you may want to check that out too.

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post #23 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 09:59 AM
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Forgot to mention, it is a hybrid SACD.

I have the Chesky.

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post #24 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena View Post

Thanks for the cd recommendation. I will check that hdcd right away as violins are very relaxing and moving so I cant never get enough. :-)Regards

You're welcome. But I don't think this album of O'Conor's is a relaxing kind of music. But I like it anyway!
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post #25 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

It is not violin, but I heard this recently and love it....I am waiting for my copy:
Bach: Suites for Solo Cello (Janos Starker) on the Mercury Living Presence label.

I don't know Starker's version, but I just got the Yo-Yo Ma performance of the same Bach cello suites -- they're wonderful pieces, and Ma does a great job with them. I haven't had the chance to listen to them with my new Ascends yet, but I'll let you know when I do!

Chris
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Originally Posted by ctloschen View Post

I don't know Starker's version, but I just got the Yo-Yo Ma performance of the same Bach cello suites -- they're wonderful pieces, and Ma does a great job with them. I haven't had the chance to listen to them with my new Ascends yet, but I'll let you know when I do!

Chris

Hey Chris,

I am by no means an expert in this genre of music, but when a fellow AVSer came to my place with this disc and we played it, it was moving, and I knew I wanted a copy for my own collection.

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post #27 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Hey Chris,

I am by no means an expert in this genre of music, but when a fellow AVSer came to my place with this disc and we played it, it was moving, and I knew I wanted a copy for my own collection.

I was curious, so I did a little searching at Amazon. It turns out that Starker has recorded the suites five times. I think you said you got one of the Mercury versions, which is not the most recent version (though it is available on SACD, which people seemed to think was very very good). One of the user reviews on the most recent Starker recording on RCA Victor struck me as very helpful:

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Originally Posted by Snow Leopard View Post

As to the performance itself, one could go on endlessly comparing one performer to another, specific performances to a preferable one somewhere else, or even (in the present case) of Starker's 1992 recording with his four earlier ones. In fact, I have performances by Ma, Starker, Gendron, Rostropovich, Wispelwey, Bylsma and the one that started it all, Casals. Naturally, I have a whole labyrinth of preferred performances, and if I really put my mind to it, I could compile a whole collection of the suites by picking and choosing favorite versions from the seven performers. Short of such quiltwork, the main thing that brings me back again and again to Starker, Rostropovich, Ma and Gendron is the tone of the cello used. Local differences in performance can be overcome by the richness of the instrument (or, perhaps, differences in quality of recording; I don't know enough about cellos to distinguish between its live versus its recorded sound quality).

In practice, this means I listen either to Starker or Ma (his first recording). The tone or recording quality for both is rich, sonorous, yummy. Also, both performers opt for slower tempi overall, which in places lends more stateliness to the pieces or saves them from what sounds like bad taste in faster versions by others. There are far too many emotional and qualitative changes throughout the Suites to make an overall generalization, but even so, there is a pleasing "thickness" to the performances by Ma and Starker that makes me play their whole sets more often, whereas with others' performance I simply pick out favorite bits.

It is also true that I listen to Ma's more than Starker's. Ma has been accused of too much cerebralness; in performance, this means that he moves through the pieces with more regularity, less variation. There is no lack of passion--the music itself brings that out, even in its mathematical precision--it's just of a more restrained nature. This is not to say that Starker's performance is an unabashed dilation of rubato and flourish without any reserve. His version of the Allemande mentioned above, though, is a full two minutes longer than Ma's. That kind of attenuation conveys its own variety of intensity, though for me specifically it drags by comparison to what registers for me as the "perfect" rendition of the piece by Ma. (The comparison here is an attempt at characterizing the performance overall, rather than insisting that Ma's is better than Starker's.)

It is clear that Starker brings an utterly intense musicality to this performance, his fifth recording of the Suites. Of them, he remarks with candor, "Playing Bach is a never-ending quest for beauty, as well as in some sense, the truth...As the years and decades go by, the understanding grows while the technical means weaken." Even without this admission, one can sense it in the music, especially by listening to other recordings. Where some seem to labor through the first prelude, Starker brings it to life by playing call-and-answer dynamic changes in the repeated phrases (as well as very slightly varying the tempo in each answer). This amazingly simple, effective (and obvious in retrospect) idea is absent from other performances I have; Wispelwey has a suggestion of it. Elsewhere in Starker, I can hear him reaching but not quite achieving what he's getting at; it is at these such points that Ma's performance outstrips him. (One could say that Ma lacks the depth which Starker brings to this recording--Ma, of course, was much younger then, and has since rerecorded the suites--but a relative lack of depth in music this profound still comes out excellently.)

I am fairly certain that the sensibility Starker brings to his performance steals every bit of wind out of anything Ma had to offer in his first performance, but if my own knowledge of the architecture and the intricacy of the Suites is not on par with Starker's, then it is difficult to experience in the music. At the risk of insulting Ma, I'll suggest that his performance is Bach Cello Suites 101, and that their very consistency (listened to at length) is the perfect steppingstone to understanding the much more Baroque labyrinth of Starker's performance.

I don't know who Snow Leopard is, but he/she seems to know his/her stuff. Like Snow Leopard, I first knew about the Ma recordings, and I've been lucky enough to hear Ma live a few times, so I'm happy to have the recordings I just got, but now I'm interested in hearing the Starker versions too.

Thanks for mentioning them!

Chris
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post #28 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctloschen View Post

I was curious, so I did a little searching at Amazon. It turns out that Starker has recorded the suites five times. I think you said you got one of the Mercury versions, which is not the most recent version (though it is available on SACD, which people seemed to think was very very good). One of the user reviews on the most recent Starker recording on RCA Victor struck me as very helpful:



I don't know who Snow Leopard is, but he/she seems to know his/her stuff. Like Snow Leopard, I first knew about the Ma recordings, and I've been lucky enough to hear Ma live a few times, so I'm happy to have the recordings I just got, but now I'm interested in hearing the Starker versions too.

Thanks for mentioning them!

Chris

Ummm.....all I know is I liked it.

This is what I ordered:
http://music.barnesandnoble.com/sear...428&x=04182712

I see it is listed as out of stock. My order is scheduled to ship on the 2nd....I hope it happens.

Sorry for the OT guys.

-curtis

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Volunteer Mod at the Ascend Acoustics Forum
Like all things on the Internet, do your research, as forums have a good amount of misinformation.
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post #29 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Ummm.....all I know is I liked it.

This is what I ordered:
http://music.barnesandnoble.com/sear...428&x=04182712

I see it is listed as out of stock. My order is scheduled to ship on the 2nd....I hope it happens.

Sorry for the OT guys.

I hope it's not too badly OT. The OP had said that he was interested in solo string sounds as a way to evaluate speaker performance, and these recordings are definitely great ways to experience a single string instrument. If I remember correctly, the OP also said he liked cellos.

However, if I go much further, we'll definitely go OT, so I'll stop here. At some point, I'll probably start a new thread something along the lines of "Classical Geek Tries Out His New Ascend 340SEs"

Chris
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post #30 of 303 Old 12-27-2006, 09:14 PM
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The two of them are stacked on the ends of my bookshelf, and for music, TV or DVDs, I compare them from time to time and keep choosing the middies. Of course for more bass output or to fill a bigger room, the Ascends would be best. I've had my Ascends and middies for a week or so.


Can you describe your set up in more detail? Are the speakers stacked one on top of the other? Are they actually in a bookself? How is the tweeter height to the height of your ears? Have you tried crossing the Ascends over at 80hz? Any reason you are cutting out the Ascend's capability to be crossed over lower?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau
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