I had come from a HTIB Onyko 7.1 system and was pleased with it for about 2 years, but always thought that my movies should feel more immersive. Once I had upgraded my tv to a 70 inch, did I finally realize how bad the HTIP really lacked. My search began and after 3 months of reading and going to bestbuy and listening to other systems did I narrow my thoughts for a new system down to a shortlist. Then came the further narrowing down to what I could afford. Even thou I hadn't heard the Ascends, I knew they must be pretty good from all the reviews I had read here and other places. So I was running the calculator on my total for a 5.0 system with stands (340's L,R 340 C and 170's surrounds). Needed 1 more paycheck and I would be set. I am a craigslist junkie and while browsing through, I found exactly what I was going to order from Ascend. The 340's and 170's with stand . Long story short I bought them, saving me much $$. The 340 stands even had the sand in them. The following Monday I ordered 4 more 170's from Ascend cause after having my craigslist deal running for a week I knew I wanted more. With the money I saved I put toward a new AVR (Denon 4311ci).
Then came the sub. I wanted Rythmik FV15 a little cheaper than the flagship but still great reviews. Emailed Dave at Ascend about them and was told they will be discontinued. So started looking at the HSU VTF-15H, good reviews and price wise was within my reach. Really wanted 2 subs for all the reading I had done with posts saying this and that about smoothness and evening out , blah, blah, blah but I am a guy that looks at cost compared to the valve I get and wow sticker shock was hitting me hard on the prices on some this stuff. So craigslist came through once again with a SVS PB12+. This coming from a guy that bought a pair of leather shoes 15 years ago and wore them everyday until they fell part. I like quality and am will to pay for it but how can you justify spending thousand on parts you have not seen or even heard?
To sum this all up and to finally answer your questions.
This is a little hard for me to judge since like you I come from a HTIP and never really understood what all this surround sound hype was all about, until now. I am playing Pink Floyd Dark Side on the Moon Immersion Edition from the bluray in 5.1 as I type this and it is sheer bliss. I find myself sitting in the MLP with my eye closed and head swaying as the pure pleasure of their concerts bring back memories. Voices crystal clear, instruments clearly defined. I turn it up even loader. Before you know it you are at reference level and the smile is even bigger. Movies are just totally immersive now. This is how I can simply put it. Imagine a new born just after birth and all the senses getting bombarded with new things, well this is how my ears feel like listening. Sort of like a listening orgasm to your hearing for the first time. I never listened to much music but have found a long lost love again since getting my Ascends.
Are the Ascends worth it, YES
Are there better sounding systems out there. Yes but for me this is where the rabbit hole starts.
Do I have any thing negative to say about Ascends. NO
Would I upgrade to Ascends in the future. Yes
Can I trust what I read on reviews about Ascends. Yes
My final thoughts are just take the plunge and purchase the Ascends and get ready for the thrill of a new love.
What a great response... made me chuckle. You sound like my Dad (no offense, great guy) I'm pretty sure thoughout all of my research that's the first time I've seen speakers compared to child birth, but I can honestly say that's not the first time I've heard 'listening orgasm'
Thanks for the confidence builder! Probably the final push I needed to pull the trigger. The only thing holding me back is a return email from the owner about a military discount but it's the weekend and I'm afraid the sale is ending today What to do....what to do...