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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 3, 340SE's are here (central California).


The only indication of an "SE" is an oval sticker on the back that says "Signature Edition". I'm home for lunch so no time to plug 'em in yet.


 

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Is the serial number really low?
 

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I'm curious how these sound too. I wouldn't mind using my extra 2 speakers from SVS as surrounds for 340SE mains and center.
 

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Is it me or does the center channel look EXACTLy the same as the mains? Is it just one of the mains turned sideways, or is there actually different technology behind the center?
 

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


Is it me or does the center channel look EXACTLy the same as the mains? Is it just one of the mains turned sideways, or is there actually different technology behind the center?

They turn the tweeter 90 degrees to maintain proper dispursion and tweak the crossover for the baffle effect of being on a TV/in a cabinet. The 340 was developed as a center channel for the 170s and then made into mains from demand.
 

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Howdy.....please help if you can. I am considering upgrading my speakers to the following: 170se's for L/R mains, 340se for center and 200's for surrounds. I currently have JBL "Northridge" E30's for mains, EC35 for center and a pair of Velodyne CT-41 satelite's for surrounds. I am for the most part very happy with my current set up, but am feeling the bite from the upgrade bug again!! If I do decide to upgrade, I have pretty much decided on the Ascends. Have some questions tho


1. Are the 170's sensitive to placement or are they pretty forgiving (off axis)?

2. Will the 200's still be considered a timbre match with the SE line?

3. How much of a difference do you think I will notice between the Ascends and my current set up?


I can't help but think I am missing something with the JBL's and that something will be heard with the Ascends. Also, I plan on using a Pioneer VSX-1014tx receiver and may dump my Velodyne CHT-10 sub for a SVS PB10 sub.


Thanx Gov
 

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Let's see if I can answer some of these:


1. Other than needing a few inches behind them due to the port, they are no more difficult to place than any other speaker. Off-axis measurements and imaging are great. Are you asking this question because your listening position is off-axis?


2. Yes


3. Don't know, I have not heard the JBL's.
 

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Yes....I will be slightly off axis. I also ask because the JBL's are pretty good off axis, atleast to my ears.


I would love to hear from someone who has actually heard both the JBL "Northridge" bookshelf speakers and the Ascends. Love to hear about the differences
 

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Hi Gov, I owned the E30s for a while as well as the original CBM-170s, (I should be getting the 170SE any day now!) Anyways, IMO the 170s definately are an improvement over the E30s as far as detail goes. Everything seemd much more clear through the 170s than the E30s in the highs and the mids. The E30s had more bass, but if you have a subwoofer, it shoudn't matter too much. The SVS PB10 will also be a huge improvement over the CHT-10.
 

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


Yes....I will be slightly off axis. I also ask because the JBL's are pretty good off axis, atleast to my ears.

If you calibrate for the position, I doubt you will have any problems. Give Ascend a call on that one.
 

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


Hi Gov, I owned the E30s for a while as well as the original CBM-170s, (I should be getting the 170SE any day now!) Anyways, IMO the 170s definately are an improvement over the E30s as far as detail goes. Everything seemd much more clear through the 170s than the E30s in the highs and the mids. The E30s had more bass, but if you have a subwoofer, it shoudn't matter too much. The SVS PB10 will also be a huge improvement over the CHT-10.


Thanks for the reply. Now I have to decide if its worth the $1400 to upgrade over what I have
 

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


If you calibrate for the position, I doubt you will have any problems. Give Ascend a call on that one.

I will, thanx. I have be corresponding with Dave F via e-mail a bit, their customer service is great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Very sorry for the delay on this write-up of the Ascend 340SE's. Working late and just had a couple hours last night to try them out.


I use my system 95% for home theater. This is the first time I've had matching speakers up front (left, right, center). I had time to watch about an hour or so of Star Wars III.


Keep in mind I haven't had time to recalibrate my receiver for the new speakers. I immediately noticed slightly less bass but much clearer dialogue. As I increased the volume it was apparent that bass was not the limiting factor for my preferred volume limit. Yes, I do have a powered subwoofer but in the past the bass of the front speakers would become distorted or so over-bearing that I'd need to back down just to hear clear dialogue. I could not find harmony with bass and dialogue with my old setup. Not with the SE's. Everything is much clearer and crisp. Volume is not dictated by distortion now, ear bleeding is my new concern.


I really like the 340C (center speaker). I believe the all of the 340's are the same except the center speaker tweeter is rotated 90 degrees. I have the center speaker on top of the TV and find it hard to tell that it's there. Sound seems to come from the center of the screen and spreads nicely side to side. Again, the clarity is amazing.


The quality of the speakers is top notch as I'm sure any Ascend owner will tell you. Customer service is excellent (Dave will usually answer your email same day).
 

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Quote:
I believe the all of the 340's are the same except the center speaker tweeter is rotated 90 degrees.

On the "classic" CMT-340s, it wasn't the tweeter which was rotated 90 degrees but a small "diffraction lens" in front of the tweeter. Your photos indicate that this lens is no longer present on the SEs, so that distinction no longer applies.


I assume that the CMT-340SE center still incorporates Ascend's EXBAC circuit in the crossover, to compensate for the "extended baffle" effect when positioned close to a large flat surface (i.e. your TV).
 

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Gov,


I own Ascends and find them great, but bear in mind that they are very neutral. As far as I learned, the JBL's are brighter so, just to prevent any initial "disappointment", remember that, with a warm receiver, you might find the sound a little laid back and not like the trade off (JBL presence x Ascend refinement). Anyway, I guess the Pioneer is not warm...


I hope the new SE line will have more presence and get closer to "perfection".
 

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Jorge, I will be receiving 340SE's on Monday. You mentioned that the Ascends are neutral but implied that that is somewhat of a drawback. Isn't neutrality a characteristic that should be the ideal since we want to hear the music without any added coloration from audio components? I guess many people are so accustomed to hearing music from distorted sources that they actually prefer the colored sound.
 
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