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5.0 Speaker Choices: Ascend or AV123

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I already have an SVS cylinder sub and using a Pioneer VSX-1014TX as my receiver.

The room in in the basement with a drop ceiling and laminate floors with rug and leather couches. The room is 13x30ft with an outcove area that goes to the stairs and bathroom. The screen is on the front 13ft side.

My question is...what are the audio differences between these systems?

(3) CMT-340 SE for Front/Center
(2) CBM-170 for rears

(3) X-CS for Front/Center
(2) X-LS for rears

I'm not sure if I like bright or warm...the Yamaha speakers i am using now for fronts are tinny sounding....if this is what bright sounds like...i dont really like it...but enjoy detailed sound (no muddiness)

I wouldn't be posting if I could just try these in-home but neither company covers shipping charges either way which would be expensive in the end.

Anyone got these in the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham area and don't mind me listening?


post #2 of 16
I have not heard the AV123 speakers but I do have the Ascend speakers you are looking at and they are fantastic for both movies and music. Highly recommended.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply Opo.

I have read through a lot of the threads and realize that everyone with AV123 speakers and Ascends are very pleased. I was just trying to get an idea of the differences between the two so I can make a better choice for my preference.

I will be watching 90% Movies/HDTV

Again...THANK YOU!
post #4 of 16
The review of the X-CS at AffordableAudio http://affordableaudio.org has a comparison you are looking for near the end.

The reviewer participates some here....as well as at the AV123 and Ascend forums.

edit: that said...you really should listen for yourself. It won't cost much to do so.
post #5 of 16
Any Yamaha speakers I ever heard sounded bright to me, though I haven't heard any in quite a few years.

Try frappr.com for both AV123 and Ascend users. It's usually the best way to find someone in your area who will let you come hear them.

As for hearing in your own home, there's no need to buy a whole 5.0 set from each company to audition. Just buy a pair of each company's front speakers. Compare them for 30 days, send back the ones you decide not to keep, then order the rest of the set. I'm almost sure David F. of Ascend will give you the package price if you order the center and surrounds within the 30 days, and it's quite likely MLS of AV123 will do the same. They're both outstanding gentlemen who provide amazing service. Won't cost but a few $$ to send back one pair of speakers!
post #6 of 16
Considering the jingle you're considering to spend I would strongly reccomend you get a pair of 170SE and a pair of X-LS. You can compare them and see which you prefer.

They have a completely different sound, look, and size.

Coming soon the X series will have a higher end tweeter which will make the two speakers much more comparable in their sound quality.
post #7 of 16
You are comparing a $636 system (AV123) to a $1118 system (Ascend)... In this league, $500 is a pretty big difference.

The suggestions given here for comparing them yourself are valid ... Av123 was offering a free shipping both ways program, and shipping on a pair of 340 SE's is pretty minimal, especially since you are saving gas money driving to someone's place to audition.
post #8 of 16
You may also want to throw in the APerions in the mix. They offer free shipping both ways for their audition.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I searched frappr.com and there is no one around me with these speakers.

Ah well...

Are the Ascends really worth almost twice the price?
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by KostaVan View Post

I searched frappr.com and there is no one around me with these speakers.

Ah well...

Are the Ascends really worth almost twice the price?

"Worth almost twice the price" is usually a very subjective thing when it comes to audio, especially speakers. Why don't you follow the advice given by several people above, order a pair of each and let us know what you think? Only way to know for sure.
post #11 of 16
May I invite you to post in our forum asking for a demo? We got very nice people willing to demo their gear.
Still, trying BOTH with your equipment at your place will be ideal.

post #12 of 16
Don't just depend on the Frappr map, do what Luis says...post in the AV123 forum, AND post in the Ascend forum as well. You may just get lucky and find both in your area.

That said, like everyone has been saying, nothing beats trying the speakers at home.

Have you heard anything in the shops that you like?
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
My brother has some JBL's that sound pretty good. That's the only other speakers I've really listened to. I have some energy speakers I bought in 2003 but they are small bookshelves and won't really suffice for my new setup and the output I desire.

I can afford the extra money for the Ascends but just not sure if they are worth twice the price in terms of quality and sound quality etc...

I might just order both of them and test them out...just wish they had better return policies and AV123 overcharges for shipping IMO

THanks for your replies....
post #14 of 16
Did you say what you're using them for, and what you have now?
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by KostaVan View Post

I might just order both of them and test them out...just wish they had better return policies and AV123 overcharges for shipping IMO

THanks for your replies....

As has already been mentioned.... AV123 offers a "NO RISK" 30 day trial period on bookshelf sized speakers. If you order a pair of the X-CS and decide to return them.... your entire purchase price is credited.... INCLUDING the original shipping to your home AND the return shipping back to AV123.

With regards to UPS pricing.... they (AV123) charge EXACTLY what UPS charges them. They don't mark up the shipping a single penny. UPS charges have been skyrocketing of late with the gas prices staying at a fairly high price like it has.

Even if you spend a few $$$ on shipping charges, it's still WAY less than a tank of gas driving around to audition speakers that are in a totally different room setting with different electronics most likely.

By trying in your own home, in your room, on your gear over a period of 30 days instead of an hour or two.... you will REALLY begin to hear differences in the speakers and will be able to determine which sound is for you.

Both are fine products from excellent companies.
post #16 of 16
KostaVan, if you order a pair of x-ls from av123 they give you a 100% money back guarantee. If you return the speakers they refund your purchase + pay shipping both ways. As someone else suggested, you can order a pair of those and one pair from Ascend for comparison. Not much risk in that scenario.

My opinion: Ascend set up is better for music. Very neutral. Pretty comparable for HT. x series stuff looks way better to me, and if you don't want just black they really have some cool options for veneers and finishes. And they are cheaper. Shipping is more, and non-black is more, so figure all that in. You will probably wait a month for x series. I think Ascend will ship when you order.

Disclaimer: I have 3 x-cs as my L/C/R.
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