Ascend SE Owner's Thread - Page 142 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4231 of 4247 Old 03-10-2019, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
I'm in the market for some new speakers. I've narrowed down some of my choices, but based on reviews, I'm really leaning towards the CMT-340s for my LCR. I do NOT like Harsh or overly bright speakers and these appear to fit that bill. Many years ago, I had them in my cart and was about to order them and then was deflected to a brand many were raving about. Hindsight is 20/20, but I made the wrong decision and purchased Elemental Design towers and Center. I've never been too happy with them. The only good thing is they aren't harsh. But they are just missing something. I was recently told they had a bad mid range crossover and the tweeters were very poor. So about 12 years later, here I am back to Ascend CMT-340s.

My dedicated budget theater room is 13x19x7.5. I have two 12" SVS Subs. My main listening position is about 12' from the screen, or about 10' from the speakers (not sure how far from the wall they should be). This is 99% BluRay movies (maybe 4K in the future) and 1% Streaming Netflix. No Music in this room. I do have 4" of Bass Traps in the front corners, some broadband absorption Panels at first reflection points, and Velvet Panels with Drywall behind it for the Non first order reflection points up to about 5' from screen one on both sides. My center channel is definitely not in an good position. It sits low to the ground. Tweeter would be about 18.5" off the ground where my Ear in the first row would be 36". I have my current center speaker angled upwards towards the main listening area using rubber door stops.

Few questions:

1- Should I hear a noticeable improvement with the CMT-340s compared to my Elemental Design Speakers? I can't remember the model numbers off the top of my head, but they were their larger mains and center. Company went out of business several years ago for some shady practices.

2- I like to listen fairly loud using my Denon X3400H receiver. Not quite Reference level, but still quite loud. Will these do well at loud volumes for movies?

3- I hate to spend almost as much for their speaker stands as a pair of speakers. Does anyone have any recommendations for a non Ascend Speaker Stand that would work well? I do like the looks of their stands as it makes the speaker appear seamless and like a Tower, but they are pricey. Would something like this Monolith by Monoprice work well....or do most people purchase Ascend's stands?
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24794

4- Given my center will be located lower than ideal, and angled towards the listener, do you feel the CMT-340 Center Channel will still perform well? I know it won't be great for the second row, but it is what it is....unless I can figure out a way to mount it above the screen and aim it downward. I've been recommended KEF to work better with the center being so low. I have not contacted Ascend yet, but Chane and Elac have both told me I'd have no problem with their speakers lower and angled to the listener.
You have a couple difficult questions to answer, I will do my best. I am running a 7.4.1 setup (will get a second sub eventually). I have 3 CMT-340 SE speakers up front 4 HTM-200 SE's for surround duty and 4 RSL C34E speakers for the ATMOS heights.

1. I don't know anything about the Elemental Design speakers, so I cannot compare them and would not know if the Ascends will improve your experience. I did initially compere mine to some Klipsch speakers. I thought the Ascends sound was a bit cleaner, but not as bright with no harshness. It sounded just right to my ears. Make a decision and don't second guess yourself. Unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket. Buy them and enjoy them.

2. I have the Denon X4400H and can power my Ascend setup to uncomfortably loud levels without distortion. My room is far, very far from ideal. I fill the space without any trouble. I added a second amp for 2 of the heights, and it works great.

3. As for the stands both those options look nice. I was feeling creative so I built my own stands. I had built a shelving unit for my Xbox and matched the three fronts with the same design. Eventually it will all be hidden behind a false wall, but for now they look nice. And when the lights are down and I am watching a move, you can't see them anyway.

4. If you are fine with your center the way it is now then don't worry, the matched center will sound great. I believe Ascend is using a wide dispersion tweeter and it is set for the horizontal position, unless you specify differently. I have an AT screen so I have all three CMT-340's upright behind the screen and had to ask for the tweeter to be rotated on my center. Ascend lived up to their reputation of top notch customer service and were wonderful to deal with and answered all my questions.
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post #4232 of 4247 Old 03-10-2019, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by xpostal View Post
You have a couple difficult questions to answer, I will do my best. I am running a 7.4.1 setup (will get a second sub eventually). I have 3 CMT-340 SE speakers up front 4 HTM-200 SE's for surround duty and 4 RSL C34E speakers for the ATMOS heights.

1. I don't know anything about the Elemental Design speakers, so I cannot compare them and would not know if the Ascends will improve your experience. I did initially compere mine to some Klipsch speakers. I thought the Ascends sound was a bit cleaner, but not as bright with no harshness. It sounded just right to my ears. Make a decision and don't second guess yourself. Unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket. Buy them and enjoy them.

2. I have the Denon X4400H and can power my Ascend setup to uncomfortably loud levels without distortion. My room is far, very far from ideal. I fill the space without any trouble. I added a second amp for 2 of the heights, and it works great.

3. As for the stands both those options look nice. I was feeling creative so I built my own stands. I had built a shelving unit for my Xbox and matched the three fronts with the same design. Eventually it will all be hidden behind a false wall, but for now they look nice. And when the lights are down and I am watching a move, you can't see them anyway.

4. If you are fine with your center the way it is now then don't worry, the matched center will sound great. I believe Ascend is using a wide dispersion tweeter and it is set for the horizontal position, unless you specify differently. I have an AT screen so I have all three CMT-340's upright behind the screen and had to ask for the tweeter to be rotated on my center. Ascend lived up to their reputation of top notch customer service and were wonderful to deal with and answered all my questions.
Thanks for the reply. That's great news that you can crank it loud and they still play well. Also good to know about the wide dispersion. I was wondering about that as their site stated that for the Mains, but not the center. I didn't know if there was a Physics thing that prevented the wide dispersion for the Center with the tweeter rotated since it wasn't listed.

Does the Center seem to have some "Umph" to it?

Tony
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post #4233 of 4247 Old 03-11-2019, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
Thanks for the reply. That's great news that you can crank it loud and they still play well. Also good to know about the wide dispersion. I was wondering about that as their site stated that for the Mains, but not the center. I didn't know if there was a Physics thing that prevented the wide dispersion for the Center with the tweeter rotated since it wasn't listed.

Does the Center seem to have some "Umph" to it?
It looks like the center is the same speaker, just with the tweeter rotated and a different crossover. I am not the most knowledgeable in that area. From their website.

"The heart of our new 340 SE center is its advanced bi-wireable crossover featuring EXBAC. EXBAC is our coined term for Extended Baffle Compensation, resulting in natural and full sounding vocals free of typical honkiness and thinness." It goes on in detail after that.
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post #4234 of 4247 Old 03-11-2019, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
Thanks for the reply. That's great news that you can crank it loud and they still play well. Also good to know about the wide dispersion. I was wondering about that as their site stated that for the Mains, but not the center. I didn't know if there was a Physics thing that prevented the wide dispersion for the Center with the tweeter rotated since it wasn't listed.

Does the Center seem to have some "Umph" to it?
I would recommend calling Ascend if you have questions about the physics specifics. There's a good chance you'll be able to talk to Dave or at least arrange a call back and get everything answered straight from the source.
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post #4235 of 4247 Old 03-11-2019, 10:04 AM
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I would recommend calling Ascend if you have questions about the physics specifics. There's a good chance you'll be able to talk to Dave or at least arrange a call back and get everything answered straight from the source.
Contacted them late last week. Hope they are able to get back to me this week.

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post #4236 of 4247 Old 03-12-2019, 04:44 PM
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Dave responded to my email. Given that the Tweeters have a wide dispersion, he stated that the center would work out well being mounted low. He does not recommend mounting above the screen. I also asked about any Toe-In. He said that's more of a personal preference and to try it out. I did ask a follow up question. I asked, with the wide dispersion, if I still need to angle the center speaker towards the MLP.

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post #4237 of 4247 Old 03-14-2019, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post
Ascend's prices for stands aren't unreasonable IMHO. Pangea makes some economical stands but they're still around $100.
I'm very ignorant on Speaker stands as I really am having a hard time pulling the trigger on $180 per Stand from Ascends (although they have a sell for $140 per stand which is still a lot I think). I've always had Tower Front speakers and Surrounds have always been mounted on walls. I did a lot of searching on AVS about Stands for the CMT-340 SEs. Several were very old posts, and the stands can't be found. However, I did read some posts recommending the Monolith by Monoprice for $55 a piece and the Sanus on Amazon (which I found the Sanus Steel Series SF22-B1) for $110 a piece.

I'm clueless about knowing what stands will fit the CMT-340s. The ones from ascend state the speakers lock into the base. How do others, such as Sanus or Monolith work....do they just Sit and balance, or is there a method to lock? I am also not sure if the base of the stand has to be the same size as the Speaker, smaller, bigger, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.

Tony
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post #4238 of 4247 Old 03-14-2019, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
I'm very ignorant on Speaker stands as I really am having a hard time pulling the trigger on $180 per Stand from Ascends (although they have a sell for $140 per stand which is still a lot I think). I've always had Tower Front speakers and Surrounds have always been mounted on walls. I did a lot of searching on AVS about Stands for the CMT-340 SEs. Several were very old posts, and the stands can't be found. However, I did read some posts recommending the Monolith by Monoprice for $55 a piece and the Sanus on Amazon (which I found the Sanus Steel Series SF22-B1) for $110 a piece.

I'm clueless about knowing what stands will fit the CMT-340s. The ones from ascend state the speakers lock into the base. How do others, such as Sanus or Monolith work....do they just Sit and balance, or is there a method to lock? I am also not sure if the base of the stand has to be the same size as the Speaker, smaller, bigger, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.
Hi Tony,

Our TP-24 stands are $180 per pair, not per each stand - and that price drops to $140 for the pair when purchased with the speakers...

Considering how much these actually cost us to manufacture, we should actually be selling them for quite a bit higher.

Be careful with choosing stands for the 340's if you don't wish to go with ours, the 340's are big and heavy speakers.

Please feel free to contact us directly.
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post #4239 of 4247 Old 03-15-2019, 06:46 AM
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Hi Tony,

Our TP-24 stands are $180 per pair, not per each stand - and that price drops to $140 for the pair when purchased with the speakers...

Considering how much these actually cost us to manufacture, we should actually be selling them for quite a bit higher.

Be careful with choosing stands for the 340's if you don't wish to go with ours, the 340's are big and heavy speakers.

Please feel free to contact us directly.
Thanks David. At that price for a Pair, that's a great deal. I apologize as I thought that was Per Stand!!!

Tony
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post #4240 of 4247 Old 03-15-2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
I'm very ignorant on Speaker stands as I really am having a hard time pulling the trigger on $180 per Stand from Ascends (although they have a sell for $140 per stand which is still a lot I think). I've always had Tower Front speakers and Surrounds have always been mounted on walls. I did a lot of searching on AVS about Stands for the CMT-340 SEs. Several were very old posts, and the stands can't be found. However, I did read some posts recommending the Monolith by Monoprice for $55 a piece and the Sanus on Amazon (which I found the Sanus Steel Series SF22-B1) for $110 a piece.

I'm clueless about knowing what stands will fit the CMT-340s. The ones from ascend state the speakers lock into the base. How do others, such as Sanus or Monolith work....do they just Sit and balance, or is there a method to lock? I am also not sure if the base of the stand has to be the same size as the Speaker, smaller, bigger, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.
I have the Sanus SF stands and they work well for me. Granted, I do not have the CMT speakers but have used 4 different sets of speakers. They provide different pieces of hardware you can use on the top plate corners to place the speakers on. I use the rubber ones which are placed in each corner. The speakers just sit on top of these and certainly could be knocked off. If you have kids or animals they certainly could knock the speakers off! Some people use products such as Blu Tack as an adhesive to attach the speakers to the stands and keep them from falling off. It all depends on your situation, home environment, and preferences. You ideally want the tweeter of your speakers to be around ear level of your listening position, so that might be something you consider on what size of the stand you buy.

Hope that helps.

BTW...the Sanus SF stands are by pair and not each as you stated. It isn't really clear on Amazon I see.
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post #4241 of 4247 Old 03-15-2019, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by D33vious View Post
I have the Sanus SF stands and they work well for me. Granted, I do not have the CMT speakers but have used 4 different sets of speakers. They provide different pieces of hardware you can use on the top plate corners to place the speakers on. I use the rubber ones which are placed in each corner. The speakers just sit on top of these and certainly could be knocked off. If you have kids or animals they certainly could knock the speakers off! Some people use products such as Blu Tack as an adhesive to attach the speakers to the stands and keep them from falling off. It all depends on your situation, home environment, and preferences. You ideally want the tweeter of your speakers to be around ear level of your listening position, so that might be something you consider on what size of the stand you buy.

Hope that helps.

BTW...the Sanus SF stands are by pair and not each as you stated. It isn't really clear on Amazon I see.
I looked at the Q&A and it was the last question on the list. It didn't say on Amazon, so I assumed it was one.

Tony
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post #4242 of 4247 Old 03-15-2019, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
I'm very ignorant on Speaker stands as I really am having a hard time pulling the trigger on $180 per Stand from Ascends (although they have a sell for $140 per stand which is still a lot I think). I've always had Tower Front speakers and Surrounds have always been mounted on walls. I did a lot of searching on AVS about Stands for the CMT-340 SEs. Several were very old posts, and the stands can't be found. However, I did read some posts recommending the Monolith by Monoprice for $55 a piece and the Sanus on Amazon (which I found the Sanus Steel Series SF22-B1) for $110 a piece.

I'm clueless about knowing what stands will fit the CMT-340s. The ones from ascend state the speakers lock into the base. How do others, such as Sanus or Monolith work....do they just Sit and balance, or is there a method to lock? I am also not sure if the base of the stand has to be the same size as the Speaker, smaller, bigger, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.
It looks like Dave from Ascend already answered your question. Their stands will lock the speakers into the base and that's ideal. The other stands will simply provide a base for the speakers to sit on (with some rubber pads to protect the finish). You can use Blu-tak on the bottom of speakers to prevent sliding. This material won't damage the speakers.

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It looks like Dave from Ascend already answered your question. Their stands will lock the speakers into the base and that's ideal. The other stands will simply provide a base for the speakers to sit on (with some rubber pads to protect the finish). You can use Blu-tak on the bottom of speakers to prevent sliding. This material won't damage the speakers.
Now that I realize the Stands from Ascends are a Pair, even with shipping, I'd only be paying about $70 more than if I went with a good stand on Amazon. I'd pay $70 more to make sure I have stands made for it, and they make the speakers look more like conventional towers. My speakers will be in a dedicated room. My kids are older and there is no horse playing in the theater, so I wouldn't have worried about them getting knocked off....just that they were secure enough to look good.
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post #4244 of 4247 Old 03-16-2019, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
Now that I realize the Stands from Ascends are a Pair, even with shipping, I'd only be paying about $70 more than if I went with a good stand on Amazon. I'd pay $70 more to make sure I have stands made for it, and they make the speakers look more like conventional towers. My speakers will be in a dedicated room. My kids are older and there is no horse playing in the theater, so I wouldn't have worried about them getting knocked off....just that they were secure enough to look good.
The Ascend stands are definitely the sensible choice.

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Several posts back, I asked if the 340 Center has some "OOMPH" to it. Meaning, when watching a movie with a deep voice, does it sound deep? If the actor has a deep and gravely voice, does this center give that oomph with the deep and gravely feel? If a pistol is fired, does it pack a punch? I will be running a Sub, but I think many of the frequencies I'm talking about are above the 80Hz I have set for crossover as my current center doesn't give that that oomph I want.

Tony
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
Several posts back, I asked if the 340 Center has some "OOMPH" to it. Meaning, when watching a movie with a deep voice, does it sound deep? If the actor has a deep and gravely voice, does this center give that oomph with the deep and gravely feel? If a pistol is fired, does it pack a punch? I will be running a Sub, but I think many of the frequencies I'm talking about are above the 80Hz I have set for crossover as my current center doesn't give that that oomph I want.

A gun shot is mostly covered by the subwoofer but vocals are very full and highs are extended. Easily one of the best speakers out there for the money.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #4247 of 4247 Old 03-18-2019, 05:51 PM
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A gun shot is mostly covered by the subwoofer but vocals are very full and highs are extended. Easily one of the best speakers out there for the money.
That's fair with the gunshots. I knew larger caliber guns came more from the Sub, such as Shotguns or Automatic Weapons, but wasn't sure about those from a pistol. I'm still trying to decide if I want to go with the Emotiva T1 Towers and C2 Center or the Ascends. Ascends is what I wanted to go with many years ago, before I went with another manufacturer, so I keep coming back to them. I also like the Wide Dispersion as Dave told me it would work great given my center is lower than I'd like. The Emotiva are cheaper with the T1 Closeout Price and $0 Shipping. Given you need Stands for the Ascends and Shipping, the CMT-340 SEs are about $200 more for LCR than the Emotiva's, but I won't have the risk of my amp not handling the Ascends properly or shutting down (although I think I'd be fine with Emotiva, but still concerned). If shipping was only $50, I'd order both and try them out, and send the ones I didn't want back. With Ascends, it's like $104 to have them shipped to me. I assume that if I don't like them and return them, not only do I pay shipping back (probably ~$100), I will not get the Shipping Costs back from my order, although I haven't checked on that. If that's the case, it's like $200 to try the speakers. $100 to try them out for 30 days is a little much, but I could almost do that. I'm very tight with my money, so thinking of wasting $100 or $200 to listen to some speakers hurts just a bit

Tony
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