LRC speakers for under $400 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 34 Old 12-01-2019, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
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LRC speakers for under $400

What would I consider for LRC for under $400? Ascend Acoustics has a package deal on B stock CBM 170SE speakers, one pair and one center, for under $400 plus shipping. I'll have Yamaha RXA780 avr. Subwoofer at a later date. Surround speakers are prewired with 2 Proficient in-wall speakers on rear wall. Thanks.
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post #2 of 34 Old 12-02-2019, 12:17 AM
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That’s a great choice for the LRC.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3 of 34 Old 12-02-2019, 12:52 AM
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It's going to be hard, if not impossible, to do better for $400.

Strong competition can be had right now for Black Friday / Cyber Monday on JBL.com, though:

JBL Studio 530 are $300 / pair
JBL Studio 520c is $140
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post #4 of 34 Old 12-02-2019, 12:59 AM
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JBL Studio 5 or the Ascend, are two good options for you

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post #5 of 34 Old 12-02-2019, 01:14 AM
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There are also these. Add a good center channel.

DCM TFE100
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post #6 of 34 Old 12-02-2019, 08:18 PM
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post #7 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
That’s a great choice for the LRC.
So if I was willing to spend more, Ascend's CMT-340SE or Sierra 1 would be even greater choices? I'm thinking of spending more now and avoiding the feeling that the CBM-170SE falls short of expectations.
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post #8 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
So if I was willing to spend more, Ascend's CMT-340SE or Sierra 1 would be even greater choices? I'm thinking of spending more now and avoiding the feeling that the CBM-170SE falls short of expectations.
The Sierras would be overkill unless you do a lot of music listening and have no sub or a weak crappy sub.

If your usage is mostly movies/TV the Infinity Refs if still on sale would be all you need really, esp. if it allows you to get the excellent SVS PB12 sub that's on sale right now for $500 (equivalent to the $700 PB2000). Just get the RC263 center, and R162 bookshelves for your fronts.
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post #9 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
So if I was willing to spend more, Ascend's CMT-340SE or Sierra 1 would be even greater choices? I'm thinking of spending more now and avoiding the feeling that the CBM-170SE falls short of expectations.
despite what Zorba's rec is.. if you have the means , get the sierra 1's, the clarity is going to be significant and they will encourage you to make them dual use (because they should be exceptional with music).. thus avoiding upgrade and more importantly getting value from what you will have rather than spending time here plotting an upgrade.... btw Dave (ascend's owner) recc'ed the sierra's as a dual use front to me as an upgrade to the cbm 170's...

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post #10 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
So if I was willing to spend more, Ascend's CMT-340SE or Sierra 1 would be even greater choices? I'm thinking of spending more now and avoiding the feeling that the CBM-170SE falls short of expectations.

All are great choices, you would see greater benefit for music going to the Sierra 1’s.

The CMT340’s would just play louder across the board. They will sound almost identical.

I’d take the extra money saved going with the CBM170’s as they won’t disappoint, and get a second subwoofer.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #11 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
All are great choices, you would see greater benefit for music going to the Sierra 1’s.

The CMT340’s would just play louder across the board. They will sound almost identical.

I’d take the extra money saved going with the CBM170’s as they won’t disappoint, and get a second subwoofer.
i would agree.. if a guy was going to do 75% ht the 170's(+340) across the board is the call .. then start saving for a nice sub..

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post #12 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
The Sierras would be overkill unless you do a lot of music listening and have no sub or a weak crappy sub.

If your usage is mostly movies/TV the Infinity Refs if still on sale would be all you need really, esp. if it allows you to get the excellent SVS PB12 sub that's on sale right now for $500 (equivalent to the $700 PB2000). Just get the RC263 center, and R162 bookshelves for your fronts.
While I do watch the TV more than I listen to music I could see that changing if the speakers were really impressive for music so I'm leaning in the direction of Sierra.
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post #13 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
What would I consider for LRC for under $400? Ascend Acoustics has a package deal on B stock CBM 170SE speakers, one pair and one center, for under $400 plus shipping. I'll have Yamaha RXA780 avr. Subwoofer at a later date. Surround speakers are prewired with 2 Proficient in-wall speakers on rear wall. Thanks.
I think a pair of B Stock 170 SEs with the $158 200 SE which shares the same tweeter would make a very nice setup.

But at the moment there are some great subwoofer deals out there; SVS PB12 and if you want a smaller cabinet and lower price, the SB12 though the huge PB12 has a 40 percent maximum volume advantage if LOUD is what you are after.

Geoff A. J., California
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despite what Zorba's rec is.. if you have the means , get the sierra 1's, the clarity is going to be significant and they will encourage you to make them dual use (because they should be exceptional with music).. thus avoiding upgrade and more importantly getting value from what you will have rather than spending time here plotting an upgrade.... btw Dave (ascend's owner) recc'ed the sierra's as a dual use front to me as an upgrade to the cbm 170's...
I do want a really good music listening experience from what ever I chose and HT would be a close second. Now I'm going down that slippery slope. If clarity of the Sierra 1 is notable how would you describe the Sierra 2's? Oh, but I have champagne taste and a soda budget.
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post #15 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 12:28 PM
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I do want a really good music listening experience from what ever I chose and HT would be a close second.
Since music is important, and good speakers can cause you listen to more music, and also there seems to be a lot of music in HT; then I would aim for the best speaker you can afford whether it is Ascend or another company
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post #16 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 12:31 PM
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I do want a really good music listening experience from what ever I chose and HT would be a close second. Now I'm going down that slippery slope. If clarity of the Sierra 1 is notable how would you describe the Sierra 2's? Oh, but I have champagne taste and a soda budget.
Here are listening windows for the 170, (older version, not the improved SE), and the Sierra 1 which is the bottom chart.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...=16&Itemid=140



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post #17 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
All are great choices, you would see greater benefit for music going to the Sierra 1’s.

The CMT340’s would just play louder across the board. They will sound almost identical.

I’d take the extra money saved going with the CBM170’s as they won’t disappoint, and get a second subwoofer.
Are you saying the CMT's will sound almost identical to the Sierra's but louder? Surprising. I get the louder part as I see the graphs posted by gajCA.
Good suggestion about using the savings on the CMT's on a second subwoofer but I did not budget for the first sub yet.

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post #18 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 01:07 PM
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Are you saying the CMT's will sound almost identical to the Sierra's but louder? Surprising. I get the louder part as I see the graphs posted by gajCA.
There are different quality drivers in the speakers and different crossovers -- and there is that difference in price -- I do not believe that Ascend would put the Sierra out and charge more if it was the same level as the CBM series.
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...c_sierra_1.htm

https://www.audioholics.com/bookshel...stics-sierra-1
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post #19 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 02:05 PM
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Are you saying the CMT's will sound almost identical to the Sierra's but louder? Surprising. I get the louder part as I see the graphs posted by gajCA.

Good suggestion about using the savings on the CMT's on a second subwoofer but I did not budget for the first sub yet.

Sound identical to the CBM170’s.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #20 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 02:27 PM
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While I do watch the TV more than I listen to music I could see that changing if the speakers were really impressive for music so I'm leaning in the direction of Sierra.
If you're thinking of going with the Sierras with the likelihood of listening to more music in mind, then by all means it's a good idea...the Sierras will have a good bit more mid-bass presence and punch, and a more refined top end.

The Sierra 2 are over double the price of the Sierra 1, so be sure you will listen to enough music to make it a worthwhile investment.

A good in-between speaker that gives you many (I'd guesstimate at least 80%) of the advantages of the Sierra 2's RAAL tweeter would be the Emotiva T Zero, which at $400/pair is a steal and saves you the cost of buying speaker stands, plus you can use them with Emotiva's excellent centers the C1 or (if you have the space and budget) the C2...for just a little bit more than the cost of a Sierra 1, you could get the T-Zero with C2.

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post #21 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
I do want a really good music listening experience from what ever I chose and HT would be a close second. Now I'm going down that slippery slope. If clarity of the Sierra 1 is notable how would you describe the Sierra 2's? Oh, but I have champagne taste and a soda budget.
i wouldn't jump up that high in budget unless it's more or less an easy hit to take .. stick with something that is a proven speaker , but doesn't make you cry when you think about the purchase.. you should be happy with sierra 1's for a long time .. now, if it truly is pocket change get the sierra 2ex and live it up...

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First of all, let me say I'm a big fan of Ascend. I think they make really good speakers at excellent prices, and I really like how transparent and accurate they are with their published specs, measurements, etc.

So I look at the CBM170 which seems like a fantastic bargain...not the most aesthetically beautiful speaker ever made, but fine for what it is. It measures *extremely* well according to independent 3rd party testing on soundstagenetwork. Now, a lot of us that follow this hobby closely know that on axis response is only a small part of the story...and that what makes a speaker truly great is accurate, neutral off axis response that closely resembles the on axis response. Considering this, I notice two things regarding the CBM170 and Sierra 1.

First, the CBM measurements on SSN(soundstagenetwork) match up with Ascends published measurements very closely. Their off axis response all the way out to 75 degrees is very good.

The Sierra 1 however, does not measure as good on SSN as Ascends published specs. Also the off axis and listening window do not look as good as the CBM170. Based on the measurements, it looks as though the CBM170's are likely to have better sound quality. Now, this may not apply at all to the Siearra with the RAAL upgrade. But based on SSN, I would have a *very* difficult time buying the Sierra 1 over the CBM170.

Again not trying to bash, but looking objectively at these two speakers and comparing the measurements on SSN and Ascends site, this is what I see.
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post #23 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 03:16 PM
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First of all, let me say I'm a big fan of Ascend. I think they make really good speakers at excellent prices, and I really like how transparent and accurate they are with their published specs, measurements, etc.



So I look at the CBM170 which seems like a fantastic bargain...not the most aesthetically beautiful speaker ever made, but fine for what it is. It measures *extremely* well according to independent 3rd party testing on soundstagenetwork. Now, a lot of us that follow this hobby closely know that on axis response is only a small part of the story...and that what makes a speaker truly great is accurate, neutral off axis response that closely resembles the on axis response. Considering this, I notice two things regarding the CBM170 and Sierra 1.



First, the CBM measurements on SSN(soundstagenetwork) match up with Ascends published measurements very closely. Their off axis response all the way out to 75 degrees is very good.



The Sierra 1 however, does not measure as good on SSN as Ascends published specs. Also the off axis and listening window do not look as good as the CBM170. Based on the measurements, it looks as though the CBM170's are likely to have better sound quality. Now, this may not apply at all to the Siearra with the RAAL upgrade. But based on SSN, I would have a *very* difficult time buying the Sierra 1 over the CBM170.



Again not trying to bash, but looking objectively at these two speakers and comparing the measurements on SSN and Ascends site, this is what I see.

Resolution and detail is not expressed through measurements. The Sierra 1’s have a really impressive tweeter and improved woofer.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #24 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 03:19 PM
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First of all, let me say I'm a big fan of Ascend. I think they make really good speakers at excellent prices, and I really like how transparent and accurate they are with their published specs, measurements, etc.

So I look at the CBM170 which seems like a fantastic bargain...not the most aesthetically beautiful speaker ever made, but fine for what it is. It measures *extremely* well according to independent 3rd party testing on soundstagenetwork. Now, a lot of us that follow this hobby closely know that on axis response is only a small part of the story...and that what makes a speaker truly great is accurate, neutral off axis response that closely resembles the on axis response. Considering this, I notice two things regarding the CBM170 and Sierra 1.

First, the CBM measurements on SSN(soundstagenetwork) match up with Ascends published measurements very closely. Their off axis response all the way out to 75 degrees is very good.

The Sierra 1 however, does not measure as good on SSN as Ascends published specs. Also the off axis and listening window do not look as good as the CBM170. Based on the measurements, it looks as though the CBM170's are likely to have better sound quality. Now, this may not apply at all to the Siearra with the RAAL upgrade. But based on SSN, I would have a *very* difficult time buying the Sierra 1 over the CBM170.

Again not trying to bash, but looking objectively at these two speakers and comparing the measurements on SSN and Ascends site, this is what I see.
first hand experience here (cbm 170) .. the 170 can come off very forward and a little bright in some set ups.. Dave has told me the sierra 1's are more "laid back"(his words).. and the sierra's do have better drivers as well as a better cab.. i like the 170's , a lot, that being said , when i get the opportunity after i move the sierra's are near the top of my list ,,as are a couple others (nht c3, dcm tfe60).. and anything salk that i can afford..

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first hand experience here (cbm 170) .. the 170 can come off very forward and a little bright in some set ups.. Dave has told me the sierra 1's are more "laid back"(his words).. and the sierra's do have better drivers as well as a better cab.. i like the 170's , a lot, that being said , when i get the opportunity after i move the sierra's are near the top of my list ,,as are a couple others (nht c3, dcm tfe60).. and anything salk that i can afford..
The measurements definitely support these sound characteristics....the Sierra 1's off axis response drops off much more dramatically than the 170. This would surely result in a more treble forward presentation from the 170's in comparison.

However, it makes me wonder if a simple tone control adjustment to drop the top end a couple of dB wouldn't change that.
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post #26 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 03:58 PM
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The measurements definitely support these sound characteristics....the Sierra 1's off axis response drops off much more dramatically than the 170. This would surely result in a more treble forward presentation from the 170's in comparison.

However, it makes me wonder if a simple tone control adjustment to drop the top end a couple of dB wouldn't change that.
it does.. they eq easy in the "right environment.."..all things being equal , i got them dialed in pretty neutral in my current bedroom set up..
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post #27 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you saying the CMT's will sound almost identical to the Sierra's but louder? Surprising. I get the louder part as I see the graphs posted by gajCA.
Good suggestion about using the savings on the CMT's on a second subwoofer but I did not budget for the first sub yet.
I meant to say "savings on the CBM's".
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post #28 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 07:49 PM
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LCR package for under $400...

Its a race to the bottom. Almost like the fast food wars a couple of years ago with the 5 buck lunch.

Mike Miles
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post #29 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 07:58 PM
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Htd is a good choice on a budget.
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post #30 of 34 Old 12-03-2019, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
First of all, let me say I'm a big fan of Ascend. I think they make really good speakers at excellent prices, and I really like how transparent and accurate they are with their published specs, measurements, etc.

So I look at the CBM170 which seems like a fantastic bargain...not the most aesthetically beautiful speaker ever made, but fine for what it is. It measures *extremely* well according to independent 3rd party testing on soundstagenetwork. Now, a lot of us that follow this hobby closely know that on axis response is only a small part of the story...and that what makes a speaker truly great is accurate, neutral off axis response that closely resembles the on axis response. Considering this, I notice two things regarding the CBM170 and Sierra 1.

First, the CBM measurements on SSN(soundstagenetwork) match up with Ascends published measurements very closely. Their off axis response all the way out to 75 degrees is very good.

The Sierra 1 however, does not measure as good on SSN as Ascends published specs. Also the off axis and listening window do not look as good as the CBM170. Based on the measurements, it looks as though the CBM170's are likely to have better sound quality. Now, this may not apply at all to the Siearra with the RAAL upgrade. But based on SSN, I would have a *very* difficult time buying the Sierra 1 over the CBM170.

Again not trying to bash, but looking objectively at these two speakers and comparing the measurements on SSN and Ascends site, this is what I see.
I remember Dave saying that the Sierra 1's were designed to be voiced a little differently from typical Ascend speakers and is warmer/"more musical" than like the neutral flat CBM's.
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