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Ascend SE Owner's Thread - Page 116

post #3451 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If they drop ship directly from Rythmik, that probably means Rythmik is out, too. But at least you got the CBM's. I just got a pair, too, and am listening to them right now biggrin.gif

Could be..but not a long wait:

"The Rythmik subwoofer will drop ship from Texas within 3-5 business days."

My speakers will be here faster though smile.gif

"Our speakers will ship out via UPS ground within 1-3 business days."

So how do the speakers sound! Fill me in!
post #3452 of 3912
I was looking for a change. I've been using Energy Veritas V5.1s with an HK 3390, ODAC, and Mirage Prestige S10 sub with my computer setup for nearfield use. I haven't directly compared then against the V5.1s yet.

But so far, I really like 'em, and I have a hard time imagining anyone wouldn't biggrin.gif
post #3453 of 3912
Glad you like them cel. I would be interested in your thoughts when directly comparing the two speaker sets.
post #3454 of 3912
Awe.. give us some more info than that! Highs good, Mids? Bass...using sub? what you listening to?

Good to see another guy who is going from fairly low end to 3 steps up... I have a set of the inexpensive (was going to say cheap) Fuance speakers. I think 4 years ago they cost me $270 for all 5 speakers ...shipped.
post #3455 of 3912
I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger too and got in just before the price went up. I ordered Sunday not knowing the price was going up on the 170's.

I ordered the CMT-340 SE mains, the CMT-340 SE center and 170's for the surrounds. I also went with the stands for the 340 mains, but currently they are out of stock and won't ship until after 3/11.

I also have to add that Dina from Ascend Acoustics followed up on my order not only via email, but also called in person to explain about the stands.

Top notch customer service as everyone else has reported. smile.gif

Now I only need to make up my mind on a subwoofer. biggrin.gif
post #3456 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

Glad you like them cel. I would be interested in your thoughts when directly comparing the two speaker sets.

I want to listen to the Ascends for a week or so before comparing the two and get used to them. Based on audio memory (as unreliable as that is), I'd say that the V5.1s and the CBMs are probably close in class, but definitely quite different.

However, the CBMs definitely have an edge with the larger driver. The fun part so far is listening to drum solos. I've got Toad (live) Cream playing, and the drums are more distinct and realistic. A combination of the cleaner bass response and the accuracy of the Seas tweeters in supporting the snares and toms. It also *feels* like the CBM driver may have a little bit better transient response (not sure?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Awe.. give us some more info than that! Highs good, Mids? Bass...using sub? what you listening to?

I listen to all kinds of stuff. Tried Junior Wells, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Aerosmith, N.W.A., Deadmau5, Muse, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Thievery Corporation, Allman Brothers, Bloc Party, DMB, Brothers Johnson, Silversun Pickups, Cream, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and more--just no country or opera! (lol)

The bass on these are great for bookshelf speakers. It's not super low, but very, very clean. EDM, rap, and hip hop that depends on that 50hz to 120hz range for most of it's impact sounds really good. Keep in mind I'm sitting nearfield, about 3 feet away. So I get the maximum impact from the bass, whereas it might not fill a big room so well with a listening position 10 or 12 feet away.
post #3457 of 3912
Cool! rolleyes.gif

Hopefully mine will get here sooner rather than later. Will do a full review as well. These are planned as surrounds but will listen to as mains as my towers get built. Will do a full review when I am done cool.gif
post #3458 of 3912
Ordered my 170 SE last night...they shipped today. How can you beat that? Will be here next Monday. smile.gif
post #3459 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I want to listen to the Ascends for a week or so before comparing the two and get used to them. Based on audio memory (as unreliable as that is), I'd say that the V5.1s and the CBMs are probably close in class, but definitely quite different.

However, the CBMs definitely have an edge with the larger driver. The fun part so far is listening to drum solos. I've got Toad (live) Cream playing, and the drums are more distinct and realistic. A combination of the cleaner bass response and the accuracy of the Seas tweeters in supporting the snares and toms. It also *feels* like the CBM driver may have a little bit better transient response (not sure?).
I listen to all kinds of stuff. Tried Junior Wells, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Aerosmith, N.W.A., Deadmau5, Muse, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Thievery Corporation, Allman Brothers, Bloc Party, DMB, Brothers Johnson, Silversun Pickups, Cream, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and more--just no country or opera! (lol)

The bass on these are great for bookshelf speakers. It's not super low, but very, very clean. EDM, rap, and hip hop that depends on that 50hz to 120hz range for most of it's impact sounds really good. Keep in mind I'm sitting nearfield, about 3 feet away. So I get the maximum impact from the bass, whereas it might not fill a big room so well with a listening position 10 or 12 feet away.

I sit 10 feet away from my setup and they do a very nice job of filling the room. I have an apartment so my living room is open to my dining room and kitchen, and listening at -55db on my Yamaha RX-A700 is more than enough for listening to music, watching movies or playing games. I will post a link to my gallery over at blu-ray.com.
http://www.blu-ray.com/community/gallery.php?member=darkpoet25
post #3460 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

Glad you like them cel. I would be interested in your thoughts when directly comparing the two speaker sets.

I want to listen to the Ascends for a week or so before comparing the two and get used to them. Based on audio memory (as unreliable as that is), I'd say that the V5.1s and the CBMs are probably close in class, but definitely quite different.

However, the CBMs definitely have an edge with the larger driver. The fun part so far is listening to drum solos. I've got Toad (live) Cream playing, and the drums are more distinct and realistic. A combination of the cleaner bass response and the accuracy of the Seas tweeters in supporting the snares and toms. It also *feels* like the CBM driver may have a little bit better transient response (not sure?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Awe.. give us some more info than that! Highs good, Mids? Bass...using sub? what you listening to?

I listen to all kinds of stuff. Tried Junior Wells, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Aerosmith, N.W.A., Deadmau5, Muse, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Thievery Corporation, Allman Brothers, Bloc Party, DMB, Brothers Johnson, Silversun Pickups, Cream, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and more--just no country or opera! (lol)

The bass on these are great for bookshelf speakers. It's not super low, but very, very clean. EDM, rap, and hip hop that depends on that 50hz to 120hz range for most of it's impact sounds really good. Keep in mind I'm sitting nearfield, about 3 feet away. So I get the maximum impact from the bass, whereas it might not fill a big room so well with a listening position 10 or 12 feet away.

Cel, nice choice! Plus I have pretty much the same music rules.
post #3461 of 3912
My 5.0 setup with 340 LCR's and 170 surrounds shipped today!! Thank you Ascend!!

Sadly my Yamaha RX-V673 came up lame yesterday and is being RMA'd. It was 2 weeks old. I am guessing it will take at least 1 week if not 2-3 to receive the replacement as they don't cross ship.

Now when my speakers arrive I won't have a rcvr to drive them. Oh the agony!
post #3462 of 3912
If you don't have any other amp, do you have Amazon Prime? Order one of these Lepai t-amps. They don't get super loud, but at least you'd be able to play with your speakers some until your receiver gets home. They are surprisingly good for $20. Very surprising.
post #3463 of 3912
Those are interesting little amps! Very cool indeed.

I actually do still have the RCA HTIB the yammy replaced but it seems an insult to hook the Ascends to it. 8^)
post #3464 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If you don't have any other amp, do you have Amazon Prime? Order one of these Lepai t-amps. They don't get super loud, but at least you'd be able to play with your speakers some until your receiver gets home. They are surprisingly good for $20. Very surprising.

Thanks for the link to the Lepai amp. smile.gif I have a good use for that.

-A4F

~~~
post #3465 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by All4fun View Post

Thanks for the link to the Lepai amp. smile.gif I have a good use for that.

-A4F

~~~

Those T-amps are great for the price and really shine if you replace the caps among a few other simple mods. Cheap power source for a DIY boombox, garage speakers, bathroom speakers, patio speakers, etc. I'm using a Shure 2x25w board ($18) off ebay with a spare 19v laptop power supply. Sounds great with vintage speakers scored off Craigslist for practically free.
post #3466 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyde01 View Post

Those T-amps are great for the price and really shine if you replace the caps among a few other simple mods. Cheap power source for a DIY boombox, garage speakers, bathroom speakers, patio speakers, etc. I'm using a Shure 2x25w board ($18) off ebay with a spare 19v laptop power supply. Sounds great with vintage speakers scored off Craigslist for practically free.

Thanks! Yes, my use for the T-amp is speakers in my shop with an iPod patched into the input. smile.gif I was a little concerned with the Amazon feedback from roughly 5-10% of the owners that the Lepai T-amp died within a month... some almost right away. I guess that's why the caps need to be replaced?

-A4F

~~~
post #3467 of 3912
Come on Tuesday! Scheduled Delivery: Tuesday, 03/05/2013, By End of Day

The 170SE is the first thing I am getting as part of my 5.1 system. I can't wait.
post #3468 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by All4fun View Post

Thanks! Yes, my use for the T-amp is speakers in my shop with an iPod patched into the input. smile.gif I was a little concerned with the Amazon feedback from roughly 5-10% of the owners that the Lepai T-amp died within a month... some almost right away. I guess that's why the caps need to be replaced?

-A4F

~~~

Quality control is the biggest issue with the Chinese amps. They are made with the cheapest parts possible and solder jobs are usually shoddy. But they sound great with 4 ohm or efficient 8 ohm speakers for $15-20 a board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Come on Tuesday! Scheduled Delivery: Tuesday, 03/05/2013, By End of Day

The 170SE is the first thing I am getting as part of my 5.1 system. I can't wait.

Congrats on your purchase. Enjoy!
post #3469 of 3912
Scheduled Delivery:
Tuesday, 03/05/2013, By End of Day
Last Location:
Arrived - West Chester, PA, United States, Monday, 03/04/2013

My 170 SE get here tomorrow!

Woot! My first 5.1 purchase. I am setting up my Fluance SX speakers to do an A/B comparison. I have both the Towers and the Bookshelf of the Fluance. In all fairness to the Fluance the whole 5.0 set cost 270 shipped where as the SE cost that much for the pair.

Still...I have seen some interest in Fluance so I thought I would do a comparison. Going to give these a good shot for my surrounds...if they don't work out I probably will have to up my budget allot.
post #3470 of 3912
Excellent, let us know what you think. I know your excitement, I went from a htib to what i have now. Waiting for the stuff to arrive I felt like a little kid again, at christmas time, waiting for my AFX Track!!
post #3471 of 3912
CBM-170 SE vs Energy V5.1

Been doing some more listening, and some comparison with my Energy Veritas V5.1s. Just to recap, this all in a computer desktop setup with an HK 3390 and an ODAC, no EQ, and I turned off my sub for most of the comparisons. The 170s are positioned on either side of two large monitors (24 and 23"). So I can't really comment on the soundstage or imaging in a way that would be meaningful to people with their speakers setup on stands in their living room or listening room.

One of the things I have always liked better about the V5.1s over the Energy RC-10s I used before in this setup is that the mid bass seems tighter. Both of those Energys speakers have a good reputation for bass for their smaller driver size. The 170s improve upon that with even tighter mid bass response than the V5.1s and a little more bass presence in some EDM, hip hop, and rap. An advantage of the bigger 6.5" driver and what seems to be a faster transient response. Also, when turning on my Mirage Prestige S10 sub (similar to the Energy Veritas VSW10 currently available), the sub doesn't quite match up in SQ with the tightness of the 170s response (*sigh* now I would like a better sub), not something I felt was happening with the Energy speakers (both V5.1s and RC-10s). I now have the 170s boosted with a few extra db at 63hz on my media player, and they do quite well. So as I said before, one can get some pretty nice 50hz on up bass response out of these.

I will say it took a few days of adjusting to the flat response 170 sound over the V5.1s and their emphasized, sparkly treble. I spent almost a week only listening to the 170s to adjust my "speaker palette." The Seas tweeter is drier, but seems more accurate. In fact, the 170s make me now feel the Energy Veritas tweeters are a little artificial. For example, snare drum hits sound more realistic with the 170s. Still, vocals will often tend to be more pronounced in the presentation (something some people would definitely prefer) with the V5.1s, particularly female vocals, because of the emphasized treble. But the tradeoff is that some midrange instrumentation gets sent to the background with the V5.1s because they also have a slight roll off through some of the midrange. Compare that with the 170s measured response, and that has to make quite a difference in what sound is emphasized.

I also feel like some of the midrange is a slightly more resolving with the 170s. Could be a result of the flatter response and increased transient response of the driver. Lately I've been enamored of my Grado SR225i headphones, and the 170s get me a little closer to that detailed Gradio sound than the Energys did.

So overall, I prefer the 170s, even though I would describe the V5.1s and 170s as comparable in class, and I could still enjoy the V5.1s. And of course, some of this preference is where I am personally in my listening tastes experience. YMMV

I also can see how many people doing quick comparisons of the 170s with other speakers in the same class will be drawn to a more colored sound. It's a bolder sound. However, much of that color might be lost with Audyssey or YPAO enabled. So interesting to think about what kind of EQ setup people are using when comparing the 170s with other speakers (if any EQ) vs. how they will actually use them (room correction enabled). If I had to choose now between my Energy RC-50/RC-LCR/Veritas VS Surround HT setup and CMT-340 SEs for left/right/center and CBM-170 SEs for rear with Audyssey enabled, I would definitely get the Ascends. Based on my experience with the 170s, I would expect a little more realistic presentation out of an Ascend CMT/CBM setup than the RC setup and with better midbass response. And then of course the benefit of having an exact matching front sound stage would be nice.biggrin.gif
Edited by cel4145 - 3/5/13 at 3:43pm
post #3472 of 3912
My 170 SE arrived today. I set them up and started to listen to them. I will wait to post my review but I echo some of cel145 impressions.

* Bass from such small speakers is amazing. Not to say you would not need a sub or these can be stand alone full range...but the bass was very nice on them all the same.
* 170 SE are much more neutral and "dry" is as good a word as any. Not sure I like it or not...but as mentioned the vocals are crisp.

"I also can see how many people doing quick comparisons of the 170s with other speakers in the same class will be drawn to a more colored sound. It's a bolder sound."

I agree 100% with this..and frankly I may be one of those people. It may be accurate but right now I don't get goose bumps when I hear some songs... The upper end seems to be less crisp than I would like. A tad recesses and over all a very neutral sound.

* Sound stage is nice...not as 3d and enthralling as some speakers I liked but it is engaging and the other speakers cost 8x or more of the cost.


I will also say they are a vast improvement over my Fluance speakers. Night and day. Now the Flaunce were 270 for 5 speakers... This is 349 for two...but still. No comparison.
post #3473 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

I agree 100% with this..and frankly I may be one of those people. It may be accurate but right now I don't get goose bumps when I hear some songs... The upper end seems to be less crisp than I would like. A tad recesses and over all a very neutral sound.

I felt the same way about the highs in the beginning. Give the speakers and yourself a few days to break-in without listening to your other speakers.

For me, comparing those V5.1s to the 170s was sort of like comparing a rich red zinfandel with a comparable quality merlot. Hard to judge a merlot when one has been drinking the red zin. The palette has to clear first ,and I had to drink the merlot for a while by itself some before doing a back to back comparison.
post #3474 of 3912
I haven't heard the Energy Veritas 5.1s but I thought the 170s were very good with vocals compared to other speakers that I have owned (Infinity, B&W, Polk). I would agree that they are very accurate if just a touch "laid back."
post #3475 of 3912
My Ascends showed up today AND I got off early from work due to snow. Coincidence? I think not!

340 LCR's and 2 170 surrounds. I had problems with my new Yamaha 673 and it has been shipped back for replacement, but I still had the RCA HTIB sitting here so I hooked them and gave them a listen. Loving them so far! Thank you Ascend and thanks to all the folks in this thread that helped me decide on these!
post #3476 of 3912
Again..I am posting first impressions. The vocals are good and clear...but the "sparkle" at the top are missing. When I listen to Barbra sing Memories...the top little ummph..the part that makes hairs stand on end..little goosebumps...is not present. The part that takes the energy from a dynamic song like "Soul Sister" ...its not there.

Soul sister sounds full bodied. With a sub the bass is excellent but it is missing that little high end twist that takes the performance energy and makes you smile.

Its that quarter octive... But when you look top down from that quarter missing octive you realize that all the treble is a little recessed and laid back. Not much..especially when the mid is a tad forward and the bass matches the music spot on.

Will break in help... It should on a silk dome. Sound stage is nice...mid is excellent and full.

Now we all have to also remember these are 350 dollar speakers. They sound much better (to me) than the Paradigm Studio 20's as an example. Give me a few days...allot more listening and I will come up with a full review. I am also a/b comparing them to my Fluance system.

Again, for the price the fullness of the mid range, the nice little (and I do admit it is little but punchy) bass is excellent...sound stage is great if not as accurate as some.

An example of all this is when I hear the triangle being played in Soul Sister ..its way back and a tad muffled. When I listened on the $3500 Sonus Faber 3 way towers the triangle strike was vibrant and the percussion even from mid bass like that was present...even physically present..you could feel it. (not exactly apples to apples.)

Anyway...will post more later. I would say your getting 80 percent of something like the Sonus Faber Venere for 12th the price. Not bad... Don't mean to keep comparing it to a speaker most have not heard but it was the best speaker I have auditioned to date..so it is my comparison for sound at this point.
post #3477 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Again, for the price the fullness of the mid range, the nice little (and I do admit it is little but punchy) bass is excellent...sound stage is great if not as accurate as some.
Can you elaborate on the soundstage comment?
Edited by cschang - 3/5/13 at 11:54pm
post #3478 of 3912
When you play music...you feel enveloped...it produces a presense, an almost 3d effect where the sound stage exists in more than one dimension... You can hear individual components of the music ...like strings to the left and back, or guitar front center.

Allot of speakers will never even be able to create this convincing of soundstage. Or it will be weak and thin. An example is that PSB (when I heard it at the store) produced this but it was unconvincing and collapsed when you moved off axis or even sometimes of its own accord during the playing. Depth existed but it was 2 inches deep not convincing like the music was spread out on a stage before you.

So...the 170 SE, these speakers, have a great 3d sound stage and presense. It feels like the music is fully spread out before you, but you can only generally tell strings are in left back...the image is a tad muffled..its not laser clear where you can point into space and hear the instruments being played.

This isn't really a negative of the speakers... The fact they have such a convincing sound stage at this price is Phenomenal to me...and as a 2 way bookshelf. It is just within this three dimensional stage you can only hear a generalized location where things are occuring the exact image in space that much much much more expensive speakers can sometimes produce.

Frankly the depth and presense of thse speakers are amazing...so I really don't want to take anything away from them their.

I probably repeated myself a few times. I am very new to all this...and writing of concepts that you hear and feel is not easy.

Hope this helps.
post #3479 of 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Again..I am posting first impressions. The vocals are good and clear...but the "sparkle" at the top are missing. When I listen to Barbra sing Memories...the top little ummph..the part that makes hairs stand on end..little goosebumps...is not present. The part that takes the energy from a dynamic song like "Soul Sister" ...its not there.

Soul sister sounds full bodied. With a sub the bass is excellent but it is missing that little high end twist that takes the performance energy and makes you smile.

Its that quarter octive... But when you look top down from that quarter missing octive you realize that all the treble is a little recessed and laid back. Not much..especially when the mid is a tad forward and the bass matches the music spot on.

Will break in help... It should on a silk dome. Sound stage is nice...mid is excellent and full.

I'll be curious to see whether or not you think break in does help with this. I've probably got 50 hours on the speakers. I'd guess that the tweeter became slightly more resolving so far, although I always mistrust my impressions on break in because I tend to think more of what happens is psychological adjustment than physical. However, after about 40 hours when I compared them back and forth with the Energys, they still didn't have that sparkly high.

But I find it I miss that sparkly high much less often, even when compared back and forth with the Energys. Some songs which seemed lacking when I listened to them in the first ten hours now sound better to me. I think it's because I'm now listening more closely to more of the mids than I was before as part of the overall composition. That seems part of that psychological break in to me, the brain needing to adjust, very much an audio gestalt reinterpretation in light of the different frequency response.
post #3480 of 3912
Looking thru the 8 page manual last nite, I noticed nothing was said about break in period.

I know opinions vary on this and some speakers seem to benefit more than others. Is there a consensus opinion on the Ascends as far as breakin time?

I am also a little puzzled about the biwiring posts on the 340's. The manual states that both sets of binding posts should be wired back to the same output posts on the AVR(with the jumper removed of course). This makes little sense to me. My Yamaha 673 is capable of bi-amping, but if I understand correctly that is not what these extra biwiring posts are meant for?

I wasn't planning on biwiring for now, but I want to understand it. From everything I read there is no advantage whatsoever to biwiring.
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