or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Speakers › Ascend SE Owner's Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ascend SE Owner's Thread - Page 8

post #211 of 3912
a) Ascend sells HKs, and have said they sound good together. I have both and concur.
b) HSU. See above.
c) Apparently. Best to call and find out for certain.
post #212 of 3912
thanks for the quick reply!
i was looking at svs pb10...do you think that would be too small for a room my size? 16x30
post #213 of 3912
That's a very large room. Apparently, some have had good results in similar situations keeping the pb10 very close to the listening position (like up against the seating), but most would recommend either something larger or dual subs. Depends whether you want to fill/pressurize the room or just feel the impact at the primary listening spot. Either way, get the best one you can afford, or read up a bit and build your own.
post #214 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

thanks for the quick reply!
i was looking at svs pb10...do you think that would be too small for a room my size? 16x30

If its for 90% movies I think so. My room is 21'Lx16'Wx11'H and I need a 20-39pci to give me the umph that I was looking for. Email either SVS or HSU and give them your room dimensions and listening preferences (movies, music, etc.). I've heard a pb10 in a room close to yours 25'Lx20'W, and while it did a good job for a 10" sub, I personally was left wanting more but as always YMMV.
post #215 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

3) lastly are the se's on back order?
thanks for any replys

I think only the 340s are on back order.
post #216 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

i am very interested in the 340se lcr and one pair of 170se for surrounds. i will be using these for 90% ht in a 16x30 room in a 5.1 set up. i have 3 questions for anyone that have or have heard these.
1) what would you recommend as a receiver for these?
...

I auditioned both the Harman Kardon 435 and the Yamaha 5860 with my Ascends, and the HK won by a landslide. I absolutely love it. Like the way it looks, to boot.
post #217 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

i am very interested in the 340se lcr and one pair of 170se for surrounds. i will be using these for 90% ht in a 16x30 room in a 5.1 set up. i have 3 questions for anyone that have or have heard these.
1) what would you recommend as a receiver for these?
2) what would you recommend as a sub?
3) lastly are the se's on back order?
thanks for any replys

1) HKs really do sound good w/ the Ascends. I'd go w/ 435 or 635 or one of the similar new ones if they're available yet. The HK digis (1005/2005) are no slouches either. Other popular brands on the Ascends site: Denon (e.g. 3805), Pio (1014/1015), Pio Elites, etc.
2) Hsu or SVS are safe bets. I'd go w/ a 12".
3) ?
post #218 of 3912
thanks guys for the suggestions...it looks like the 635 will go good with my set up.
now i am still confused about a sub. what do you guys think will be the difference in the svs pb12 and the 20-39? as i said it will be used mainly for ht in a large room. also is the 20-39 magnetically shielded as i am think of placing it in a corner behind my 50in plasma?
would this be recommended and what would the sound diff. be between the box and cyl.?
thanks, golflover123
post #219 of 3912
There should not be much sonic difference between the PB12+ and the 20-39PC+. However, I think testing has given a slight edge to the PB12+. For compare and contrast between box versus cylinder, take a look at SVS's website. They outline the pros and cons of each configuration pretty well.

And no, these subs will not be shielded, and they will not affect your Plasma. Non-shielded speakers are only an issue if they will be placed close to a CRT based display.

For placement, email the guys at SVS a drawing of your room layout and they will suggest some good starting points to try out.
post #220 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravingndrooling View Post

Does anyone have any real time experience comparing an SE setup to a Paradigm Studio(40s/20s/470) setup. After reading all the great things people have to say about the Ascends I am thinking hard about selling my Studios. INET only equipment doesn't scare me, I own SVS and Outlaw and love them both,besides more money goes into the equipment instead of the salesmans pocket. Anybody want to buy some Paradigm Studios??LOL
Thanx in advance

You might want to talk to Steve Callas or at least read his huge and informative thread about his quest to find the best speaker pair available for $1200 or less. The thread is here and I think you'll find it really interesting. He compared the classic 340s to the Studio 40s and definitely preferred the 340s. I've never compared them in the same room but I've auditioned the Studio series (mostly 20s and 100s though I did listen briefly to 40s and 60s) and I wasn't blown away by them. Not that they're bad speakers. They're quite nice. I just didn't feel they were worth the price and they really didn't excite me. You can get a pair of 340 SEs with the custom stands for less than a pair of Studio 20s and the 340s will mop the floor with the Studio 20s.
post #221 of 3912
I haven't had nearly enough quality time yet with my new CBM-170 SEs but so far I LOVE them. Most of the time I have them paired with my Hsu VTF-2 Mk 2 in my tiny mixing studio and so far they're excellent for studio monitoring.

I did take 90 minutes or so a few days ago to directly compare them to my B&W DM602 S2s (a well respected speaker, though the newer S3 version is considered a noticeable improvement) and it took no more than 30 seconds to realize the 170SE was clearly a superior speaker. Every time I listen to my 602s, I can't find anything WRONG with them... I like them a lot, I think they're very pleasant and clear, and they image really nicely. But I've never felt they had The Magic for me. As a sound engineer I can usually describe exactly what I do or don't like about a speaker in reasonably technical terms, but oddly I couldn't do that with the 602s. I just keep thinking well... They're really good! Highs aren't too dull or too bright, high and low extension seems fine, fairly detailed, pretty smooth and natural sounding, etc... So why don't they MOVE me? The 170SE tweeter was immediately, noticeably smoother, more detailed, and more natural sounding than the 602. The 170s imaged as well in my room as the 602s (which have very good imaging and soundstage) but the 170s almost completely disappeared, leaving nothing but the music. I realized when I listen to the 602s, I feel as though I'm hearing speakers -- good speakers no doubt, but still speakers. Occasionally on certain recordings they can fool me into hearing a voice rather than a speaker reproducing a voice, but not always.

But when I switched to the 170 SEs, I no longer found myself hearing or listening to speakers -- only music, voices, instruments. As a musician and engineer I have a pretty good idea what voices, violins and other stringed instruments, guitars, pianos, drums, etc. sound like both in-room and miced using a variety of mics and equipment. On the 602s I felt like I was hearing a good reproduction of the instruments and voices, whereas on the 170 SEs I felt as though much of the artificial nature of the speaker was removed, leaving only the "real" sound of the source material. In short they had The Magic -- they moved me. After all the measurements, tech specs, etc., the real key to speaker greatness is -- I don't want to hear the speakers! A great speaker disappears and lets you hear only the performance, the music.

I think the best way to describe the difference as I heard it would be to use the analogy of low res digital music vs. higher resolution. I used to record on 16 bit 44.1 kHz ADAT multitrack machines. They were the bomb in their day -- cheap, easy to use, tapes were cheap, etc. When I first got them I was stunned by the clarity and low noise floor compared to the crappy analog multitrack machine I was using previously. (This is not to denigrate analog multitrack machines -- good ones sound AMAZING. Ours did not.) But over time as I recorded whole projects on them I started realizing my recordings were somewhat lifeless and hollow, with a very slight, vague fuzziness that I couldn't quite put a finger on, but it was definitely there. I would fight with my equipment to bring LIFE and presence, energy, Magic, out of my mixes, and it was quite frustrating. It was like I was always 95% there but couldn't quite put the Magic into my mixes.

I now know that a lot of that was due to the ADAT's primitive, fairly low quality ADCs and DACs along with the low bit rate and sampling frequency. Yeah, it was digital and fairly accurate... but it could never quite capture the life and realism of the performance. It was a subtle effect and hard to pin down. Now I record at 24 bit 48 kHz using newer, far superior converters, and whatever I send to the machine is captured. Another good analogy would be moving from low res digital photography to high res using a much better camera with better lenses, etc. Your pictures just come out far more natural and lifelike.

That's how I feel about the difference from the 602 S2 to the 170SE. It's as if the 602 sounded generally good, but just can't produce the fine detail, the clarity, the LIFE that's in the performance. The 170SE comes MUCH closer IMO to reproducing exactly what's on the source. It's not about brightness either; people often perceive a brighter speaker to be more "detailed," but I didn't find one speaker to be notably brighter than the other. Of course the 170 has fantastic flat FR, and the 602 has fairly flat FR too. It's about transparency -- the ability to look deep inside the mix and discern the finest details.

Well I hope that made some kind of sense. It's hard to explain.

This is not to say the 170s are perfect or superior in every way to the 602s. The 602s definitely have a bigger sound with more bass extension and probably a slightly warmer lower midrange, though knowing how flat the 170 FR curve is, that somewhat confirmed my feeling that the 602s have a slightly pumped up low mid to give it the illusion of deeper bass than it really has (try finding B&W FR graphs! they're not on the B&W site, far as I can tell). But as I cross my mains over to my sub at 80 Hz, the additional bass extension is a non-issue for me and I absolutely preferred the 170 SE over the 602 hands down. I'd love the chance to directly compare the 170s to the 602 S3 since one of the changes is the improved tweeter, but I'm not losing any sleep over it.

By the way, I can run the 602s full range (by choosing "Direct" on my receiver) and I don't feel them to be especially lacking in bottom. They're not true full-range speakers of course since they're really just a huge bookshelf, but they do OK full range. The 170SE, not, at least for me. I switched to Direct for a moment on the 170 and the bass and kick drum all but disappeared. This of course shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone since they're designed to cross to a sub, and my PB10-ISD is especially conspicuous when it's bypassed! But as I mentioned, I cross them to a sub and don't need them to run full range so a non-issue for me.

So as long as you're using a sub, my bottom line in this post is: IMO, CBM-170SE clearly kicks the a$$ of the B&W DM602 S2... in case you were wondering.

My circumstances, in case you're wondering:

Room is 14.5' x 12' x 8' standard single home family room; drywall, concrete floor with thick padded wall to wall carpet, windows, couple of door openings, and the wall behind the entertainment center and front speakers (which is one of the long walls) is open on the top half (so the room looks into the kitchen), with an open doorway to the kitchen just to the left of the left front speaker. It's a fairly dead sounding room due to the carpeting, furniture, etc.

Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR702 (100 watts/channel x 7 but my system is 5.1)

DVD Player: Toshiba SD-4900 Progressive Scan with DVD-A capability, connected to Onkyo via coaxial digital cable.

Speaker wire: SoundKing 12 AWG oxygen free copper zip cord (from Parts Express)

Mains: Currently B&W DM602 S2 (going away in March or April -- anyone wanna buy a pair? ) on 31" Sanus Systems BF-31B Wood Speaker Stands. Set for small, crossed over at 80 Hz. Located approx. 6-7 feet apart on either side of entertainment center, toed in slightly (front baffles are 2-3 inches out in front of the entertainment center.)

Center: BIC DV62CLR-S with Ed Frias crossover mods, located on top leading edge of entertainment center angled down towards listening position (don't laugh, it doesn't sound half bad after Ed works his magic. Got another one of these available too if anyone wants it, $100 OBO! )

Surrounds: SVS SBS01 on 31" Sanus Systems BF-31B Wood Speaker Stands (haven't had the chance to do any serious movie watching with these in surround position yet but I will ASAP. I really like them so far. They replaced a pair of Boston Acoustic CR-75)

Sub: SVS PB10-ISD

For the short listening session I described above I mostly listened to Libera, several tracks from their Free and Visions CDs. If you want to TEST your tweeters, I don't know of much material that will show off their strengths or expose their weaknesses more effectively than Libera, a modern boy choir produced with modern synths and production. Picture Enya or Sade but with a boy choir instead of a female singer. The breathtaking purity of their voices is a fantastic test for your speakers' mids and highs. I also spent some time listening to tracks by Train, Diana Krall, Fourplay, Edwin McCain, Boney James, Patricia Barber, Seal, Chick Corea, Sadé and some of my own mixes, with which I'm reasonably familiar.
post #222 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLee View Post

There should not be much sonic difference between the PB12+ and the 20-39PC+. However, I think testing has given a slight edge to the PB12+. For compare and contrast between box versus cylinder, take a look at SVS's website. They outline the pros and cons of each configuration pretty well.

And no, these subs will not be shielded, and they will not affect your Plasma. Non-shielded speakers are only an issue if they will be placed close to a CRT based display.

For placement, email the guys at SVS a drawing of your room layout and they will suggest some good starting points to try out.

i was considering the pb12 isd not the pb12+ (only wanted to spend about 600)
is the 20-39 superior to the pb12 isd?
post #223 of 3912
einstein,
Nice to hear a review from a pros point of view. Now, I'm definitely sending my 170s in for the SE upgrade.
post #224 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by gohd View Post

einstein,
Nice to hear a review from a pros point of view. Now, I'm definitely sending my 170s in for the SE upgrade.

Gohd,

I've never heard the 170 classics so I can't comment on the improvements. I just know these are really sweet, accurate bookshelf speakers and they sound better than my $600 B&W DM602 S2s. I'm really looking forward to the chance to hear the 340s.
post #225 of 3912
Einstein -

Would it be safe to say you greatly prefer the 170SE over the SVS speakers? Can you compare your impressions of them for me?

Thanks
post #226 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCHO View Post

Einstein -

Would it be safe to say you greatly prefer the 170SE over the SVS speakers? Can you compare your impressions of them for me?

Thanks

Mucho,

I posted some initial impressions comparing the two here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post6999569

Haven't really had time to put them head to head or do much listening since then. To answer your question in a nutshell, I feel the SVS SBS-01s are an excellent value for their price point and I think SVS succeeded brilliantly in achieving their design goals with them. They're certainly put together better than any speaker I have personally seen around the same price. They're an especially great value if you purchase the 5.1 or better, 7.1 system with the PB10-ISD sub, and if your need is primarily movies in a small to medium sized room, I really don't see how you could do much better for under $1000.

Having said that, if you can afford the CBM-170SE I'd go for those over the SBS-01s, especially if you listen to a lot of music. Imaging was one of the few things I wasn't really impressed with on the SBS-01s, at least in the rooms I've tried them in (3 rooms so far). The CBM-170SE is obviously a better speaker. It plays louder without distortion, has an even cleaner and more natural sounding tweeter (and the tweeter is one of my favorite aspects of the SBS-01), and images at least as well as my B&W DM602 S2s, which imaged beautifully. They're just really good bookshelf speakers and as much as I like the SBS-01s, they're clearly not quite in the same league (IMO) as the CBM-170SE. The great folks at SVS as much as said so themselves; they don't intend the SBS-01s to compete with the bigger, more expensive CBM-170SE.

I haven't yet had the chance to try my HT system with the 170s up front and the SBS-01s as surrounds, though that's on the agenda. I'm looking forward to it when I have the time. I believe from my listening so far to both of them that they'll timbre match quite well enough (though I did enough testing to realize that due to the lower sensitivity of the SBS-01s, I had to raise their levels in my receiver's setup by a few dB to compensate and match the more sensitive 170s). They both have quite flat FR curves and I didn't immediately notice any big difference in overall brightness between them (and my ears are extremely sensitive to differences in frequency response especially in the mids and highs), so I think the SBS-01s will make great surrounds to go with the CBM-170SE in front. Of course I'll post more impressions after I get some time trying them out this way.
post #227 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

i was considering the pb12 isd not the pb12+ (only wanted to spend about 600)
is the 20-39 superior to the pb12 isd?

bump
post #228 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

bump

Why don't you start your own thread in the sub forum instead of jacking th Ascend owners thread with this?
post #229 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

bump

See LeeLee's reply. Don't know much of the differences, except some prefer the small footprint of the cylinders.
post #230 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

i was considering the pb12 isd not the pb12+ (only wanted to spend about 600)
is the 20-39 superior to the pb12 isd?

Try this thread, maybe you will get more responses there since it's in the SUBWOOFER forum and they're making comparisons between box (pb12isd) and cylinder (20-39pci) subs.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=642566
post #231 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by einsteinjb View Post

Of course I'll post more impressions after I get some time trying them out this way.

Thanks - I look foward to hearing more from you. I can't do anything till I have the cash and SVS is sold out so I have a while to mull this over....
post #232 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st Cav View Post

Try this thread, maybe you will get more responses there since it's in the SUBWOOFER forum and they're making comparisons between box (pb12isd) and cylinder (20-39pci) subs.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=642566

thanks 1st cav...
sorry to upset you mboy
post #233 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflover123 View Post

thanks 1st cav...
sorry to upset you mboy


Not upset, but it is common courtesy not to hijack another posters thread.

back to the Ascend lovin'.
post #234 of 3912
ok everyone just received my new 340 centre channel and after extensive listening , ok extensive for a very busy dad with two kids playing hockey , i'm very impressed. i bought my hsu subwoofer based on advise received in this forum and was absolutely amazed , so when the time came to replace my centre channel i turned here again. the overall consensus seemed to point to the ascends ( particularly when bang for the buck is an issue , and it always is , remember the kids and the hockey ). well once again i am extremely thankful that i found this forum , the various experts and enthusiasts who frequent and post have proven themselves once again invaluable. the only problem is that i will have to replace my front side channel speakers in the very near future , it's not that they sound bad , in fact i think they sound good , it's just that they sound like speakers and the ascend sounds like sound. i don't know how to describe it accurately, the sides sound like nice sounding speakers and the centre sounds like music or vocals or whatever should be there. it's one of the strangest things i've ever tried to describe. maybe i just drank the kool aid , but i don't think so , it just sounds right. i can't wait to upgrade the sides then i'll finally be finished ( at least until the ps 3 with blu ray arrives ) . anyway i just wanted to say thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen or view or whatever and post their opinions and findings. youv'e made my first adventure with a proper home theatre an enjoyable and rewarding experience. thanks
post #235 of 3912
dryates97, congratulations on your new speaker. Eventually you'll want your three front speakers to all be the same if possible or at least "timbre matched." You may detect a change in tone as sounds pan across your front speakers. This creates seams in the transition as the edges of each speaker's soundstage becomes evident. With matched speakers not only will the timbre remain the same across the front speakers, but the transition of sound from speaker to speaker will be smooth and seamless. This holds true for the surround speakers but is less important than the fronts unless you listen to multichannel music. Just FYI.
post #236 of 3912
OK... I just orderd a pair of 170SE's to go with my 340SE's across the front. I will have or have 3 EP2500 power amplifiers driving the speakers. Currently they are being fed from my Denon 3300 AVR which is being used as a PRE/PRO. What are other Ascend users using for a PRE/PRO that costs less than $1000.00? I'm looking and I am willing to seek out used or ebay stuff. I've looked at Outlaw, new and used, 950, 970, 990, the Sherwood Newcastle unit, I think a 965, and used Sony, Rotel, B&K. The Emotiva $500.00 PRE/PRO might be available someday, but who knows when. Just looking for ideas and experiences. It will be used for 50% Music, 50% Movies. Thanks.

Chuck
post #237 of 3912
I just wanted to say thanks to the Ascend backers out there because now that I have had my 170s for about a month, all I can say is WOW. I have had lots of different set ups and had roommates with various systems, anyways, these speakers put anything I've owned or lived for an extended period to shame (includes Bose, Klipsch, JBL, and more). I began my quest several months ago and auditioned as much as I could at local retailers(which includes J&R in Manhattan so there were plenty to listen to). Once I actually got the Ascends into my home and I could crank them up as loud as I could handle and then some, I realized that my head would blow up before the speakers started to sound bad. Anyway, I am soon to be on back order for a 340 center and a pair of HTM-200s for my surrounds. Honestly though, just the pair of 170s have sounded incredible If you are on the fence, do yourself a favor, order a pair of Ascend speakers and try them out, you will not be dissappointed.
post #238 of 3912
I'm just getting back into the Home Theater game after being out of it for 12 years and these are the speakers that have intrigued me the most. I'd like to get the 340 SE's for the front and the HMT 200's for the rear. Hopefully these will sound good on my old Technics for awhile untill I can save up and get a new Receiver.

Would you guys say the Panny SA-XR55/57 is the way to go with these? Or should I get something beefier like a refurb Harmon Kardon?

If I get the HK, I more than likely will get the best refurb I can get for 1000 bucks.
post #239 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dark_Knight View Post

I'm just getting back into the Home Theater game after being out of it for 12 years and these are the speakers that have intrigued me the most. I'd like to get the 340 SE's for the front and the HMT 200's for the rear. Hopefully these will sound good on my old Technics for awhile untill I can save up and get a new Receiver.

Would you guys say the Panny SA-XR55/57 is the way to go with these? Or should I get something beefier like a refurb Harmon Kardon?

If I get the HK, I more than likely will get the best refurb I can get for 1000 bucks.

The xr55 is a very popular avr, so I'm sure there will be someone who has it matched up with the Ascend 340SE's, and since I've never heard the Panny, I can't really be all that much help. But I was running my 340SE's with my older Yammy htr5450 for a month while my refurb HK 630 was in the shop of repairs. I had only spent a few weeks with my HK 630 and 340SE's, but for the last month I've been enjoying my 340SE's with the older Yammy, which has served me well for years, and I thought they sounded great. But tuesday I picked up my HK 630 from the shop, hooked it back up and calibrated everything, and I was blown away by the difference it made. The sound really opened up, became very expansive and deep. They was also a very apparent clarity that was missing from the less powerful Yammy. All and all it just put a big smile on my face all over again. So from my experience and from reading some other people's posts here, I think it's safe to say the Ascend's do benifit from more power. It seems like the consensus on this board that the Panny for around $250 is a stellar deal, but I'm very happy with my HK 630 I got refurb'd on ebay for $465 shipped.
post #240 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capek View Post

The xr55 is a very popular avr, so I'm sure there will be someone who has it matched up with the Ascend 340SE's, and since I've never heard the Panny, I can't really be all that much help. But I was running my 340SE's with my older Yammy htr5450 for a month while my refurb HK 630 was in the shop of repairs. I had only spent a few weeks with my HK 630 and 340SE's, but for the last month I've been enjoying my 340SE's with the older Yammy, which has served me well for years, and I thought they sounded great. But tuesday I picked up my HK 630 from the shop, hooked it back up and calibrated everything, and I was blown away by the difference it made. The sound really opened up, became very expansive and deep. They was also a very apparent clarity that was missing from the less powerful Yammy. All and all it just put a big smile on my face all over again. So from my experience and from reading some other people's posts here, I think it's safe to say the Ascend's do benifit from more power. It seems like the consensus on this board that the Panny for around $250 is a stellar deal, but I'm very happy with my HK 630 I got refurb'd on ebay for $465 shipped.



Thanks, good to know.

It seems hard to pass up on either one. (Panny or Refurbed HK)

It will be awhile before I have to make any major decisions.

The bulb on my DLP just blew up so I'll have to addresss that first.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Speakers
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Speakers › Ascend SE Owner's Thread