Hi all! Just decided things would work out better if we moved all the thoughts from the Los Angeles gathering into a new thread. Feel free to move anything else you want over Curtis, but I'm just going to move over your thoughts for now. I will write up my thoughts when I get a chance. So here are Curtis' thoughts from the other thread:
|Originally posted by cschang
First, I enjoyed meeting everyone there. Mad Dog is a great host. The dimsum was good. And ofcourse, good music. Good people, good food, good music, whatelse could you ask for?
The setup that Mad Dog has at his home is extremely niceâ€¦.his amps made each speaker sound better than my H/K AVR525 did in my home. Mad Dog was always in the room, so I could not walk out with his amps.
Many of you know that I own Ascends. I wanted to be as unbiased as possible when listening to all of these speakers. Since getting the Aperions and Axioms, I did not listen to the Ascends at all. For two days, all I listened to were Aperions and Axioms. I spent about 5 total hours listening to the Aperions, and about 4 hours with the Axiomsâ€¦..the Aperions had about 15 hours total of break-in time, and the Axioms about 12 hours.
I will not go into detail about the Ref 1â€™s and the VMPS 626Râ€™s, I will leave that up to the guys that have more experience those types of speakersâ€¦and money. These speakers cost 4 to 5 times more than the budget speakers we had there. While I know for a fact there are other speakers that cost just as much and can be compared evenly with the budget speakers, these two speakers definitely outclassed the other four pairs. I was very impressed. Are they worth more that much more money than the budget speakers? That all depends are your ears, what is important to you, and your pocketbook. Remember, my whole 5.1 speaker setup cost less than what a pair of Ref 1â€™s and VMPS 626Râ€™s cost. If I had a dedicated room for two channel music, and the funds, these speakers would be on my list to consider.
All four of these budget speakers would benefit from the use of a subwoofer, but the purpose of this session, it was best to let them stand on their own merit. They all seemed to be built well. If you gave me a set of any of these speakers, I would not throw them out.
Aperion Audio 522D â€“ I expected a lot from this speaker after reading the Cnet.com review, unfortunately, I did not hear what they heard. This speaker was the smallest of the bunch, and it sounded like it. It sounded â€œthinâ€ on all counts. Mad Dogâ€™s setup helped these speakers more than the others, which may have been the because these are less efficient that the others. In my home, it did sound better when turned up, but still compressed. It is not a bad speaker, I just think the others offer more. The the medium cherry finish looked good.
Axiom Audio M22Ti â€“ This speaker sounds pretty good to me and I think it would appeal to a lot of people. Detailed with good clean midrange and highs. It does sound bright to me, and a bit metallic, and those characteristics showed themselves a lot with the Norah Jones CD we were using, but when playing classical music, they seemed to sound much better. Good imaging and soundstage. In my home, when turned up, the metallic characteristics seem much more prominent. I didnâ€™t like the finish that was sent to us, but there are other finishes on their website that look nice. More efficient than the Aperions. If you like the bright sound, you should definitely try to give these speakers a listen before you buy.
Rocket RS150 â€“ I wanted to hear these the most, and I am most grateful for Mark sending them to Mad Dog for this session. These are â€œlaidâ€ back, no part of the sound jumps at you. I felt like I wanted more from the speaker, it was almost as if something was covering it or holding it back. Imaging and soundstage seemed to be there, but I was distracted by whatever I felt it was lacking. One thing that Mad Dog demonstrated with this type of sound was it could be turned up loud, and it would not grate on your nerves. They definitely look good. Simply put, the speaker just didnâ€™t satisfy my tastes.
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 â€“ These are my speakers and I have had them for about two months. Before we got started in all the listening, the one thing that I feared was hearing one of the others â€œbudgetâ€ speakers and wishing I had it as opposed to the Ascends. I did my best to make sure that I was honest with myself in forming an opinion about these speakers. After hearing the other three â€budgetâ€ speakers, and the higher end stuff , I am even more satisfied with my purchase. Clean, open, detailed, good soundstage and imaging. They are brighter than the Rockets, but not as bright as the Axioms. Other than not having the bass, for the money, I think they compared well with the Ref 1â€™s. Although the efficiency specs are lower than the Axioms, in our listening, they seemed more efficient. Certainly the black finish is not as refined as the others. The Aperions and Axioms may be able to match certain decors better, but the Ascends may be the most flexible. At the risk of sounding biased, if you are in the market for speakers at twice the cost or more, you need to listen to these.
We didnâ€™t spend as much time listening to the center channels. From what we heard, they all sounded pretty comparable. The CMT-340 had a little more bass than the RSC-100, and the RSC-200 had more bass than the CMT-340. The CMT-340 seemed to have more detail to me. Safe to say if you get Rockets, get a Rocket centerâ€¦.if you get Ascends, get the Ascend center.
It is clear that these speakers all have their own characteristics. It is also clear that people have different preferences. If you can not go out and listen to these speakers before you buy, read as much as you can, and know what sound you like.
If you have any specific questionsâ€¦.feel free to ask!