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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just needing your input regarding which speaker can be competitive with the ascends 340 in regards to sound quality and value but also more aesthetically pleasing. thanks for your comments!
 

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As far as I'm concerned for the money none can, it's a tough speaker to beat sound wise for what they sell them for........At least to my ears.
 

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For a similar speaker sound-wise, you would have to go to something like the Usher V-601. It is better looking, but, in my opinion, not as good a speaker. It is also 700/pair.


I think the 340 looks fine. When people say Ascends look ugly I think they have the 170s in mind--they are so boxy. The lines on the 340 are fine.
 

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That price range is not very common at least for good speakers, it seems the 340s are the only ones there, so if your budget is set to that price range, I dont think you will be able to find anything as good.


I havent heard them but based on feedback it would seem hard to find a comparable product. If you are willing to hit the $700 then there are other options.... better...as good...worst options....only your ears can decide that.


Regards
 

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Many people compare Ascends to the Paradigm models available at retail. The Paradigms certainly look much better, but most (certainly not all) people seem to prefer the sound of the Ascends.
 

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The free shipping and specials on Parts Express 1cu/ft MTM cabinets allowed me to build a RS180/RS28a MTM for WELL under the price of the Ascends, and although I haven't A/B'd them, I'm confident my speakers meat or beat the Ascends across the board. Unfortunately those specials are gone now, and the price to build them is much closer although still less than the Ascends.


I built the RJB Audio MTM in this link - http://www.rjbaudio.com/RS180MTM/rs180-rs28-mtm.html
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S /forum/post/0


The free shipping and specials on Parts Express 1cu/ft MTM cabinets allowed me to build a RS180/RS28a MTM for WELL under the price of the Ascends, and although I haven't A/B'd them, I'm confident my speakers meat or beat the Ascends across the board. Unfortunately those specials are gone now, and the price to build them is much closer although still less than the Ascends.


I built the RJB Audio MTM in this link - http://www.rjbaudio.com/RS180MTM/rs180-rs28-mtm.html

That's cool. In the most recent PE catalog, they had cabinets and Usher drivers and all the parts to make 2-way bookshelf speakers that look pretty nice. Designed by Mr. D'Appolito (sp?).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri /forum/post/0


That's cool. In the most recent PE catalog, they had cabinets and Usher drivers and all the parts to make 2-way bookshelf speakers that look pretty nice. Designed by Mr. D'Appolito (sp?).

Yep, and that should be a killer design. The Usher drivers specifically have been getting a lot of attention lately due to excellent tested performance. The Parts Express cabinets are made really well too.
 

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Although I dont own Ascends, everything that I have read about indicate that they are a very great sounding speaker for the price, but their looks are so-so. They do need to be matched with a sub. If you are also concerned with appearance then they lose a grade. Take a look at Axiom's or the Onix Rockets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by new27 /forum/post/0


for what it's worth, I asked a similair question once and was advised to check out Totem

bookshelves


So, were you able to audition them? And how did they sound?
 

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Well I can somewhat answer to the Totem comparison as I've owned the Totem Arro, Totem Sttaf and Ascend 340SE.




Very quickly, it depends what you want as Totem and Ascend are almost polar opposites. Totem prides itself with build quality of cabinet, finish, etc.. while Ascend gives you a basic, yet proficient, braced cabinet and a somewhat basic look. Ascend is built to be accurate while Totems built to be 'musical'. Ascend is built for performance, while Totem is more somewhat a luxury item.


So it really depends on what you're after. The picture is 340SE on the left, and Totem Sttaf on the right. Price about 650$US for Ascends, Totem Sttaf was easily more than twice that. I bought the Ascends for a 2nd system, but after A/Bing, I moved the Totems to the secondary system, and then a while later sold them because I wasn't listening to them anymore...


For me look didn't really play into the equation as I was really much more concerned about sound quality than anything else, but I have to say, I might be the minority, but I actually happen to like the look of the Ascends
So I'd say which looks better actually depends on the decor. In my HT room, I think the Ascend actually looks better than the Totems did... If it was the living room it might have been different.


As you can see from the pic, the Ascends really dwarfs the Totems... Anyhow, if you like accurate, neutral speakers and want something with very good value for the money, the ridiculously easy answer should be Ascend. If you're more concerned about the wood veneer, small footprint, 'furniture like' speakers, and a 'musical' sound (I don't like the term musical.. IMHO a stupid term... Colored makes a lot more sens to me) and don't mind paying much more, then Totem would be a good choice.


Sound quality: I thought the 340SE would be outclassed by the Totems but it was not the case. Imaging on Totems was better, but pretty much everything else was on par, if not better on 340SE. I thought the Ascends would sound a little more crude than the Totems, but it really wasn't the case. In comparison, I thought the ~1200$ Arros sounded a bit crude vs ~1600$ Sttafs, but the 340SE sounded just as refined and detailed as the Sttafs. The 340SE actually sounded more natural and realistic than the Sttafs because of the Sttaf's signature sound/frequency response. Actually 340SE sound closer to the much more expensive Hawk(2800$?) than the Sttafs...


The 340SE just sound ridiculously good for the $$$... :\\


Totem bookshelves vs Ascends? I'm pretty sure 170SE would be a better comparison... I've never quite understood why the 340SE are often more compared to bookshelves than floorstanders... Hell can anyone tell me the 340SE + stands look like booksheves next to the Totem floorstanders?! To me they're more floorstanders than bookshelves. Place the 340SE next to Totem bookshelves and you'll see why. The Sttafs look very small next to them, Totem bookshelves would look tiny. Sound wise it would pretty much be the say same.



Ascend 340SE vs Paradigms. Errr... Not a very big fan of Paradigms. I compared Studios 100 v2 vs Monitor Audio S6 and preferred the S6. But then ended up buying the Totem Arros. Then later I traded the Arros for the Sttafs. Again later bought the Ascend 340SE and later sold the Sttafs. So in my case, Paradigm was left behind quite a while ago...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf /forum/post/0


Well I can somewhat answer to the Totem comparison as I've owned the Totem Arro, Totem Sttaf and Ascend 340SE.




Very quickly, it depends what you want as Totem and Ascend are almost polar opposites. Totem prides itself with build quality of cabinet, finish, etc.. while Ascend gives you a basic, yet proficient, braced cabinet and a somewhat basic look. Ascend is built to be accurate while Totems built to be 'musical'. Ascend is built for performance, while Totem is more somewhat a luxury item.


So it really depends on what you're after. The picture is 340SE on the left, and Totem Sttaf on the right. Price about 650$US for Ascends, Totem Sttaf was easily more than twice that. I bought the Ascends for a 2nd system, but after A/Bing, I moved the Totems to the secondary system, and then a while later sold them because I wasn't listening to them anymore...


For me look didn't really play into the equation as I was really much more concerned about sound quality than anything else, but I have to say, I might be the minority, but I actually happen to like the look of the Ascends
So I'd say which looks better actually depends on the decor. In my HT room, I think the Ascend actually looks better than the Totems did... If it was the living room it might have been different.


As you can see from the pic, the Ascends really dwarfs the Totems... Anyhow, if you like accurate, neutral speakers and want something with very good value for the money, the ridiculously easy answer should be Ascend. If you're more concerned about the wood veneer, small footprint, 'furniture like' speakers, and a 'musical' sound (I don't like the term musical.. IMHO a stupid term... Colored makes a lot more sens to me) and don't mind paying much more, then Totem would be a good choice.


Sound quality: I thought the 340SE would be outclassed by the Totems but it was not the case. Imaging on Totems was better, but pretty much everything else was on par, if not better on 340SE. I thought the Ascends would sound a little more crude than the Totems, but it really wasn't the case. In comparison, I thought the ~1200$ Arros sounded a bit crude vs ~1600$ Sttafs, but the 340SE sounded just as refined and detailed as the Sttafs. The 340SE actually sounded more natural and realistic than the Sttafs because of the Sttaf's signature sound/frequency response. Actually 340SE sound closer to the much more expensive Hawk(2800$?) than the Sttafs...


The 340SE just sound ridiculously good for the $$$... :\\

I have to dissagree with you on this i have heard all the Ascends,I've owned the Arros,sold Totems so im quite familiar with them.The Staff and the Hawk are more musical designs,the Arro on the other hand is a very very revealing accurate speaker,they can reveal anything if you have bad electricity in your walls the Arro will let you know it with brutality,they may be the most revealing speakers I've ever been around.The Staffs are ok but they sound the same no matter what electronics you have on them,the Hawks are still forgiving but a better speaker than the Staff,but they get better with upgraded electronics.Neither can match the Arro's soundstaging and imaging although the Hawks and the Staffs are very good at it,but that is a Totem trademark,the Arro is one of the best imaging and sounstaging speakers money can buy period bar none,and the better the electronics get the better they get,their performance can become quite staggering in the right setup.I could have any Totem i wanted at my disposal for much much less than retail,since i was a dealer,and I chose the Arro as my reference,its a very speacial speaker,destined to be a classic,they only play what you put into them yes......gargage in garbage out,so if you have inferior electronics the Arro's will slap you in the face with it,If you have something they like they will love you like few speakers will and you will love them like you would few speakers.... great,great speaker.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang /forum/post/0


Somebody said Ascends sound like Totems?

Not exactly,I dont know how to explain it Curtis,go take a listen to the Arro they are very educational to the ears,and make sure they are on a quality 2 channel setup with a decent room if you go to the dealer and their on a ******** setup have the sales put them on something better they only weight 17 pounds,and prepare to be amazed Curtis!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang /forum/post/0


Somebody said Ascends sound like Totems?

I haven't heard the ascends, but based on what I've been told, I'd say not at all. Completely different style of sound.


I have enjoyed pretty much every Totem I've heard for what it's worth. Very musical and engaging speakers with phenomenal soundstaging and smoothness. They're not designed for deadpan accuracy or flatness, but they have a sound that just works for some people although at the same time I wouldn't say all Totems sound the same. They don't use the same drivers in all their speakers, they vary quite a bit.


To call Totems a "luxury" item would be false, they do perform very well against competitive speakers for certain listeners. Just as others dislike certain brands and sounds, it's really up to the ears of the listener. I wouldn't claim any of the speakers we're talking about in this thread, but every Totem I've heard was well worth the money to me. I'd like to hear the Ascends but based on what I've heard from people I trust, it doesn't sound like they'll be to my liking.
 

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I have heard Totems on a few occasions....but could not tell you the models I have heard.


Most recently, I heard Totems at CES a couple of weeks ago.


What amazes me is the amount of sound that comes out of the Totems for the amount of floorspace they take up. Definitely different from Ascends, which is why I asked my question above, but I can understand why people like them.
 
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