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post #31 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 08:16 AM
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post #32 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

RTI-A3

If the OP likes aggressive sound (which he seems to?) yes the RTI-A3 is a good option. The Stereophile reviewer compares the def tech sm45 to the RTI-A3s:
Quote:
Listening to music
It took some time to get a handle on the SM 45's sound. After a couple weeks of casual listening I found its performance still uninspiring, but soon grew to appreciate its gentle, subtle touch. Far from being a "flavor bomb," the SM 45 didn't stand out in any way at all, but simply sat there, making music. Indeed, the SM 45 was very easy to take for granted, easy to ignore. It was, in a sense, the quietest loudspeaker I've ever heard, and "disappeared" in my room as has no other speaker, allowing music to simply bloom throughout my room, to surround and surprise me. It's impossible to say whether the SM 45's sound changed significantly over time or if I grew better accustomed to what it was doing, but everything snapped into focus—literally and figuratively—during direct comparisons with the Polk RTi A3 ($399.95/pair; reviewed last month).

Neneh Cherry and Norwegian free-jazz trio, The Thing, offer a languid version of Ornette Coleman's wonderful "What Reason Could I Give" on their surprising collaboration, The Cherry Thing (CD, Smalltown Supersound STS229). While the DefTechs couldn't match the Polks' weighty bass and more powerful kick-drum blasts, the smaller speakers produced a more tightly rendered overall picture, with sharply focused, three-dimensional images set within an impressively wide soundstage. At 3:40 into the song, Cherry, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love make way for Ingebrigt Hüker Flaten's lengthy bass solo. Through the Polks, this solo was something of a mess—loose, incoherent, lacking purpose. The DefTechs presented the same minute of music with greater articulation, clarity, and precision, allowing the notes to cohere and the melody to prevail—an absolutely lovely thing.

I'd been most impressed by the Polks' way with rock music, so I returned to "Road Dog," from Dope Body's excellent Natural History (CD, Drag City DC513). Again I was surprised: While the Polks produced the bigger, more aggressive overall sound, they couldn't match the DefTechs' transient articulation, inner detail, and delicate touch. Through the SM 45s, the guitar rakes of the song's opening moments sounded more nuanced and natural: I could more easily hear—in fact, more easily see—a guitar pick hitting individual guitar strings. While the Polks threw those rakes into my room with impressive force, they also made them sound more like simple white noise.

But don't get the wrong idea: The little DefTechs' touch may have been subtle and delicate, but they weren't wusses. They could rock. Compared to my PSB Alpha B1s ($299/pair), the SM 45s offered a similarly well-balanced overall sound, but with more precise imaging, a wider soundstage, and cleaner, deeper bass. Most important to me was the DefTech's ability to reproduce louder, more complex passages of music with no hint of strain or compression.

Mark
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post #33 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I auditioned the RC and Veritas Bookshelf's again and I must say that they sounded amazing but the Veritas actually seemed to emphasize the upper and lower treble which I liked. I looked at some graphs and the tweeter isn't rolled off like the RC (not as smooth). The brightness made my ears feel a little tingle after an hour at loud volume but just barely. I could go another 5hrs without it bothering me and I enjoyed it much more. Both were very dynamic with Phil Collins - In the air tonight when the song called for it. The Veritas seemed more clear to me, but I want more of it!!

Here is a video comparing the rc and veritas. The Veritas is less muddy and more detailed. The Veritas is certaintly a step in the right direction for me, but left me wanting more. BTW for Energy owners both speakers are superb. When I auditioned I loved both, but my jaw didn't drop. At dynamic peaks = AMAZING, but at regular volume wanted more liveliness. Sound is subjective.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx3PohPty2o

Based on what I'm reading I'm just going to have to take the gamble with one of the many speakers mentioned before. Seems like any of them might have what I'm looking for. RTI, Focal, KEF, Cambridge, Paradigm, and Emptek. Wish me luck!
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post #34 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 10:28 PM
 
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Just got back from Sierra Acoustechs and purchased 3 CMB 170se's. To tell you the truth, these speakers sound somewhat like Energy speakers but with more detail and clarity. The bass is alot better than Energy speakers as well. (I am comparing with CB 10's and CC-10). Also, its alot more open and airy than and filling than the Energy's. These win against the CC-10/CB 10 combo hands down.

The HSU is like a different sound. Its more of a closed system sound. It sounds like you are in a theatre. Its warm, full range, and a little forward. Ultimately I didnt choose these because I thought if i were to watch all day long (like on weekends) then I thought I'd get fatigued and get sick of the sound. The CBM 170's provided alot more openness although I would expect the HSU's to be more envoloping because again, its a closed system sound. (envoloping)

Both of these speakers are NOT what you are looking for. I had klipsch 2.1 system hooked to my soundblaster audigy back in the days and I loved klipsch as well. From what I remember, they were crisp,and VERY transparent. (3d like).

So far I have heard the Energy, B&W, Hsu, and CBM 170's.

And ultimately choose to go with Sierra's because they are neutral and most importantly, it was detailed (meaning better music) and also it had a good enough sound stage.
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post #35 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avs markie View Post

If the OP likes aggressive sound (which he seems to?) yes the RTI-A3 is a good option. The Stereophile reviewer compares the def tech sm45 to the RTI-A3s:
Mark

I dont really put much stock in what a stereophile review says...they all sound like wannabe poets talking about speakers. I have listened to alot of bookshelf speakers over the years and the Polk RTI-A series sound damn good. Not to mention they hold up well. Its not a speaker you will putting a surround kit on in 10yrs like many other speakers. Not to mention they can be had for much cheaper than 399.00. I seen them the other day for 285.00 shipped.
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post #36 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 11:29 PM
 
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Stereophile is one of the better audio publications, because they include actual measurements with their reviews. If you want to really compare those speakers, look at the measurements in their reviews.
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post #37 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I found out that laid back speakers have an under emphasis on certain tones across the sound spectrum as opposed to forward which does the opposite. I believe this is why I wasn't wowed.

After looking at the graphs I think the reason I didn't like them had to do with the speakers "laid back nature" which so many people love.

I don't know much about charts other than the treble has a drop 1,000-5,000hz (hope I got that right). The tweeter also drops at around 11,000 hz. This must be why classical, acoustic, and jazz sounds so darn good but for other genres leaves me wanting more for some songs. I think this is inherent in all laid back speakers to some degree. Other so called laid back speakers also seemed to have this 1,000-5,000 hz and 11,000ish frequency drop.
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post #38 of 48 Old 05-31-2013, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Just got back from Sierra Acoustechs and purchased 3 CMB 170se's.....

I think you mean Ascend Acoustics.

They have the model you chose...the CBM-170SE, and another model line called the Sierra.

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post #39 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 01:21 AM
 
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Oops. Yes the Ascend Acoustics. I picked up the CBM-170SE (3).

The people there were really cool, I mentioned that I am on a tight budget and they gave me $15 off. They said that I am paying cash so they can take some money off because I guess with credit card transactions some percentage they have to pay to the credit card company. Still, it was really cool of them to mention that and give me some discount.


Also, while I was there I heard the Sierra Towers with NrT(?) installed. What surprised me the most was the transparency of the speakers .I took I am Legend (movie that i have) and on this one scene where the people start evacuating and the music gets played in the backround, it was seriously 3d. That brought a smile on my face. Never heard that before on any speakers that I demoed.

I also heard alot of details on the movie that I didnt hear in my previous speakers. The part where Will Smith captures the leader zombie's wife with a car trick, the part where he growls and taunts loud, I actually heard tone changes while he taunted (3 ways). I never heard that before on ANY speakers. On other speakers that I demoed, It was just a flat one way taunt with just one big 3 second taunt.

What surprised me again was that the Sierra Towers caught the tone change, and the speakers held enough detail and balance (?) to bring out the small details like that.
I am planning to upgrade to Sierra Towers eventually by the end of the year.



Again, I am not an audophile, Im just a guy with average ears. If this much information can be instilled in my ears without me actually digging and looking for it, I think they are winner speakers.

The CBM-170SE did just that, and I would reccommend them to anyone who likes the laid back sound with detail and transperency. Not to mention a good overall soundstage it presents. (NOot as big as HSU's though)

If anyone is going for envoloping theatre-like sound with warmth, then go with HSU. They present a BIGGER soundstage (HUGE) without gettiing harsh at all.
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post #40 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 01:35 AM
 
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Edit.


The music playing when the people were evacuating (I am legend/ movie) was demoed with Sierra Towers (NrT). The taunting scene was demoed with Sierra CBM-170SE.
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post #41 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 02:00 AM
 
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I agree with you. I do not know how to read audio graphs but I will tell you how its like in plain english for avergage joe viewers.

First, the HSU hits you with a bam with the huge soundstage. Thats where you go "wow" because its so large and full, its not like neutral speakers. You think home theatre audio set-up, and in the shallow aspect of things, its a no brainer you would start wanting a Theatre-like sound. But the bad thing about this is, can you really live with theatre sound 24/7? Some sounds like sports and normal broadcasting you want a LIVELY sound. And if its full and the soundstage is huge ADDED with warmth (Hsu) then itll be like watching live television in a theatre. I think eventually you will get sick of it.
The HSU's are a closed system speakers.

The more laid pack and neutral speakers (CBM- 170SE) does not wow you at all. It somewhat puts a smile in your face instead

With laid back speakers (CBM-170SE speciafically), I figure since the fullness and the wide soundstage is somewhat replaced with airiness and openness the speakers emphasized on detail and clarity. I dont think you can have much clarity plainly speaking with warmth. All the voices and tones are DOWNTONED, so ofcourse its not going to be as detailed clear.

Warmth of sounds always has a little bit of BUZZNESS addedd to the tone, therefore, detail will get comprised as well as clarity.

Clarity can only come with openness. And vice versa, you cannot have warmth with openness (airy).

I think for a person that watches T.V once or twice a week and strictly movies, the HSU's will be perfect, otherwise one should look into the Acsends instead.

The WOW factor the warm, big, forward speakers bring will be gone after the first few times and eventually youll be with a closed system without much dynamics.
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post #42 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 03:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manbearpig01 View Post

I am looking for a speaker that is very clear, crisp, on the bright side, and a tad bit forward.

Klipsch RF/RB - really liked it but thought the mid-range was tinny and really absent compared to other speakers. I liked the crispness though.
Veritas and RC line - midrange sounded muffled, kinda flat, and I missed the high frequencies. Sounded great for acoustic and classical though and "In the arms of an Angel", though I'm not into that type of music. Did not like them for HT.
Pioneers BS22 and they just failed to wow me in any way, really flat and completely lacking in dynamics.
Polk's TSI they sounded good but didn't wow me. More of a jack of all trades but master on none speaker to me.

There is not way for me to audition any other speaker locally.

I did hear several comparisons between Klipsch and B&W on youtube and I must say I really liked the B&W mid-range much more. I know that this is NO way to really compare speakers but it confirmed my first impressions about Klipsch. BTW there is no way I can afford B&W.

I will be listening to about 50/50 between HT and music.

An obvious choice is the Infinity Primus P363. Near the top of the price category, but very fine sounding.

YouTube demos are not relevant.

Speakers are so dependent on your listening room that you you are not missing much by not being able to audition them locallly.

Youtube demos are not relevant. Its like listening to speakers through thick cloth.

Most modern receivers have automatic system tuning facilities just as Audyssey, MCACC, and YPAO that tend to tune the speakers to the room make speakers sound more similar, anyhow.

One or more subwoofers are important system components.
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post #43 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

I agree with you. I do not know how to read audio graphs but I will tell you how its like in plain english for avergage joe viewers.

First, the HSU hits you with a bam with the huge soundstage. Thats where you go "wow" because its so large and full, its not like neutral speakers. You think home theatre audio set-up, and in the shallow aspect of things, its a no brainer you would start wanting a Theatre-like sound. But the bad thing about this is, can you really live with theatre sound 24/7? Some sounds like sports and normal broadcasting you want a LIVELY sound. And if its full and the soundstage is huge ADDED with warmth (Hsu) then itll be like watching live television in a theatre. I think eventually you will get sick of it.
The HSU's are a closed system speakers.

The more laid pack and neutral speakers (CBM- 170SE) does not wow you at all. It somewhat puts a smile in your face instead

With laid back speakers (CBM-170SE speciafically), I figure since the fullness and the wide soundstage is somewhat replaced with airiness and openness the speakers emphasized on detail and clarity. I dont think you can have much clarity plainly speaking with warmth. All the voices and tones are DOWNTONED, so ofcourse its not going to be as detailed clear.

Warmth of sounds always has a little bit of BUZZNESS addedd to the tone, therefore, detail will get comprised as well as clarity.

Clarity can only come with openness. And vice versa, you cannot have warmth with openness (airy).

I think for a person that watches T.V once or twice a week and strictly movies, the HSU's will be perfect, otherwise one should look into the Acsends instead.

The WOW factor the warm, big, forward speakers bring will be gone after the first few times and eventually youll be with a closed system without much dynamics.

Fine choice with the CBM-170SEs. Nice to be so close to the Ascend facilities! Also I very much enjoyed your insight and description into the types of sounds. Better than average ears imo. smile.gif

Mark
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post #44 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Just got back from Sierra Acoustechs and purchased 3 CMB 170se's. To tell you the truth, these speakers sound somewhat like Energy speakers but with more detail and clarity. The bass is alot better than Energy speakers as well. (I am comparing with CB 10's and CC-10). Also, its alot more open and airy than and filling than the Energy's. These win against the CC-10/CB 10 combo hands down.

I can concur. I have the CBM-170 SEs and Energy V5.1s, and still had the RC-10s when I got the Ascends, and have also demoed the CC-10s in home. Definitely an improvement in bass response over the Energys, and I think there's a little better clarity in the mids. Seems like a little better transient response.

And you are right. Probably not a good choice for the OP.

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post #45 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 04:46 PM
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Anybody use the cbm-170se nearfield for desktop use? I know some regular speakers can have harsh treble when used in a close setup.
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post #46 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

Anybody use the cbm-170se nearfield for desktop use? I know some regular speakers can have harsh treble when used in a close setup.

I do. The Seas tweeters are not harsh, so they work very well for nearfield use.

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post #47 of 48 Old 06-01-2013, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay something I forgot to mention earlier. Dynamic Volume seemed to help a lot with the treble and the tweeter started making tons of noise (compared to near nothing) with the Energy's. Really made a difference and they started sounding far more audiophile to me. This also helped the Dynamics of the Pioneer's just a bit. I still stand by what I said before about me definitely liking a forward and bright sound though.

BTW. Does anyone have any experiences to share on KEF Q line (Q100,Q300, Q500, etc.). I narrowed it down on my wish list, I honestly believe these are the one's I may end up getting.
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post #48 of 48 Old 06-02-2013, 01:45 AM
 
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Oops. Edit.
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