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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have spent the last couple months researching speakers on AVS, and I think I have narrowed it down to a few sets that I like. My list of brands include Jamo, SVS, Ascend, and HTD. Ive known about Ascend for a while now, and they are what I have been leaning toward. But now I have found HTD, and their speakers look interesting. Especially their ribbon tweeters, which I have never seen on a speaker in my price range. So on to my question.


How do the Ascend 170s compare with the HTD level threes? The systems I am looking at is 5x Ascend 170s or 4x HTD level three bookshelf and 1 HTD level three center. I will be using this for mostly tv, unless a good game comes out, in which case I will be using it for mostly gaming. Id say 90% tv/games.


How are the HTDs wall mounted? I know the Ascends use omnimounts, which I would use for the surrounds and the center, with stands for the front l/r. I am assuming the HTD bookshelves are mounted with something similar to omnis, but I am not so sure about the center. It has to be farther away from the wall on the right side than the left side to be pointed at me. Can a single level three bookshelf be ordered for center duty?


I have seen some comparisons between the 170s and level threes, but I see that the newest level threes were released about two months ago. The comparisons I have seen are mixed and a couple years old.


Oh, yea, this will be driven with a mid range receiver, like a denon 790/890, so I need a speaker that is pretty easy to drive. I am leaning towards the ladder. I also wont listen to anything above 85 to 90 db for any real amount of time, and no farther away than 2 meters from the speakers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank171 /forum/post/0


How do the Ascend 170s compare with the HTD level threes?

Tank.... there is no way someone is going to be able to tell you what is going to sound good to you. Even a "comparison" between the two brands by someone other than yourself would be fairly worthless. Each of us hear things differently and perceive different auditory stimuli differently. One may say that they found brand A to be extremely detailed and "airy" on the high end and brand B to be pretty laid back. Yet, if you listened to the exact same speakers, on the same gear in the same room.... you may perceive brand A to be painfully bright and in your face while brand B was silky smooth and you could listen for hours. Another HUGE factor is the room (and to a much lesser degree the electronics) the speakers are auditioned in. There can be significant differences between rooms and how speakers will interact with that room and thus, how they will ultimately sound.


What you should REALLY do if you've narrowed it down to the Ascend's and HTD's, is order a pair of each and audition them in your own home, on your gear with your own ears. A/B them back and forth for a few weeks. You've got 30 days from both brands to try them out, why not take advantage of it? You could even have a friend or family member swap cables (or not) so that you don't even know which you are listening to and keep notes. Then, when you make your decision simply complete your order of the brand you prefer and return the others. Who cares if there is a small shipping expense involved. Wouldn't it be worth it to find out for yourself which brand you prefer? Besides, what if you discover that you don't care for either brand.... have you thought about that? Unlikely IMHO, but a possibility for sure. Do yourself a favor and listen for yourself rather than letting a bunch of schmo's like me tell you what we think or which ones we prefer. In the end, what YOU think is all that really matters.


Trust your own ears.... you'll be glad you did.


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, what about my other questions? Also, I havent really narrowed it down to those two brands. I am looking at all the brands I listed atm, just looking at the two I like the most right now. It would cost quite a bit for shipping from all the brands I am considering.
 

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no comment on what choice you should make, other than to say that i'd second quad's post...


one thing though, if you DO get the 170's, i STRONGLY suggest using the btech bt-77 mounts instead of the omnimounts...

bt-77's ...


and yes, that is from personal 'sperience...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank171 /forum/post/17020201


Well, what about my other questions? Also, I havent really narrowed it down to those two brands. I am looking at all the brands I listed atm, just looking at the two I like the most right now. It would cost quite a bit for shipping from all the brands I am considering.

A pair of bookshelf speakers in a single box just isn't that big or heavy. Shipping to anywhere in the ConUS would probably be around ~$20 +/- a buck or two. So, you order in three pairs and return two. You're still out less than the cost of a tank of gas. All I'm saying is to consider the possibility of spending a little time and a few $$$ to be absolutely certain you end up with something that you truly enjoy.


Or, you can be like the herd of sheep being led to slaughter and blindly buy what a few people say that they like. Who knows, you may love them as well. Or, quite likely.... you will like them for a while because they are "SUPPOSED" to be good. I mean a bunch of people you don't even know, who could care less about you have said so. And, by all means they're audiophiles because they have a lot more experience than me. So I believe what they say.


Trust me in just this if nothing else.... I was exactly where you are eight years ago. I did my on-line research too. I asked some of the same questions.... which sould be "better" or sound "best" between different brands. But someone gave me the same sage advice I'm giving you and I actually went out and auditioned many, MANY brands over the course of about nine months. Many brands, I auditioned a second and even a third time. You would be surprised at how the notes in the journal I kept would change from one audition to the next. Why?.... Because I was learning what type of sound that I preferred. Something that WOW'ed me at first, became annoying and almost unlistenable the next time around after hearing other speakers.


As far as your mounting questions, those types of questions only

the manufacturer should answer IMHO. I would go to their sites and email tech support to see what they say.
 

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well, if you'd prefer a direct opinion...


buy the ascends... i like them for the price they cost... i use the 170's in my secondary setup and am perfectly happy with them for that usage... btw, this is how i know that the btech mounts are a better option than the omnimounts for those speakers...


i would NOT be happy with them in my primary setup... they were pressed into service there after i sold my natural sierra-1's and was waiting for my cherry ones... however, one man's ceiling is another man's floor, and it doesn't appear as if you are shopping in the price range of the sierra... nothing wrong with that, btw... it is what it is...


there? feel better now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls /forum/post/17020900


A pair of bookshelf speakers in a single box just isn't that big or heavy. Shipping to anywhere in the ConUS would probably be around ~$20 +/- a buck or two. So, you order in three pairs and return two. You're still out less than the cost of a tank of gas. All I'm saying is to consider the possibility of spending a little time and a few $$$ to be absolutely certain you end up with something that you truly enjoy.


Or, you can be like the herd of sheep being led to slaughter and blindly buy what a few people say that they like. Who knows, you may love them as well. Or, quite likely.... you will like them for a while because they are "SUPPOSED" to be good. I mean a bunch of people you don't even know, who could care less about you have said so. And, by all means they're audiophiles because they have a lot more experience than me. So I believe what they say.


Trust me in just this if nothing else.... I was exactly where you are eight years ago. I did my on-line research too. I asked some of the same questions.... which sould be "better" or sound "best" between different brands. But someone gave me the same sage advice I'm giving you and I actually went out and auditioned many, MANY brands over the course of about nine months. Many brands, I auditioned a second and even a third time. You would be surprised at how the notes in the journal I kept would change from one audition to the next. Why?.... Because I was learning what type of sound that I preferred. Something that WOW'ed me at first, became annoying and almost unlistenable the next time around after hearing other speakers.


As far as your mounting questions, those types of questions only

the manufacturer should answer IMHO. I would go to their sites and email tech support to see what they say.

I look at it another way. Im looking for speakers as close to reality as possible in my budget. If a bunch of others say that it sounds natural/neutral, then why wouldnt it for me? Even with different hearing, the more realistic speakers should be the most realistic to everybody that listens to them. I realize that some people are going to prefer bright or mellow or warm etc, but if a consensus likes a certain speaker compared to another, then why wouldnt I? If its useless to research online and hear other's comparisons, reviews, and opinions, then what are any of us doing here?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank171 /forum/post/17020888

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=826212


Weird. Quad posted first on that one too telling the OP pretty much the same thing that he told me.

You find good advice that's consistant weird?
Now I DO find THAT weird.



Look, I personally could care less what you buy. But, I was a novice not all that long ago. But in the years since I've started in this hobby I've auditioned probably a hundred different brands and types of speakers. The ONE thing that is consistant.... is that they all sound different to a degree. And, that one brand that some people may rave about, I may feel sounds like dog doo to me. Which one of us is right? Neither? No, we're both right. They're great AND sound like S*** depending on who's listening to them.


The other thing I've seen over and over and over again.... is someone like yourself getting caught up in the hype and buying whatever it is that a bunch of folks say is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Then in the not too distant future, I see them doing it all over again because they want to "upgrade" or find their system lacking somehow.


Maybe I just got lucky. But after all of my auditioning, I found something that not only sounded incredibly good at my budget point, but moved me. They still bring a smile to my face more than eight years later every time I press play. And whatever $$$ I spent in gas and travel to do my auditioning, was an investment in my long term enjoyment. One that I gladly paid to be sure what I chose, I could be happy with for a long time.


But, I'm not too stupid to know that what works for me may not work for you. So, do whatever you wish. I wish you luck and hope you find the perfect system for you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank171 /forum/post/17020988


I look at it another way. Im looking for speakers as close to reality as possible in my budget. If a bunch of others say that it sounds natural/neutral, then why wouldnt it for me? Even with different hearing, the more realistic speakers should be the most realistic to everybody that listens to them. I realize that some people are going to prefer bright or mellow or warm etc, but if a consensus likes a certain speaker compared to another, then why wouldnt I? If its useless to research online and hear other's comparisons, reviews, and opinions, then what are any of us doing here?

Nothing wrong at all in doing on line reasearch. That's where I started and got my initial list of speakers I wanted to audition. But, to be honest, I've never heard a response graph, a specification list, a professional review or an opinion on a board.... play a single note of music.


As for the most "realistic" speaker sounding the most "realistic" just because some people said so.... that's about as far from realistic as you can get IMHO. It may have sounded realistic to them, but who's to say it's going to sound that way to me? It may or may not. I'm not going to take that chance until I listen for myself. I'm not rich. I don't have the $$$ to change out speakers all the time.


Maybe it's my musical background. I started playing keyboards (piano and organ) when I was eight. I've been involved in music in one form or another (jazz and concert bands, orchestra, choirs etc.) in the fourty three years since then. Many of my instructors made comments on my hearing accuity and that I had perfect pitch. Who the hell knows.... I sure don't.


But I do know this as an undisputible fact.... a speaker that may measure ruler flat in an aneoic (sp?) chamber.... sure isn't going to measure that way in room. And, that very speaker will measure/sound quite different playing in a room chock full of overstuffed furniture with heavy, thick carpet and drapes as opposed to a room with tile or hardwood floors, spartan furnishings and little or no window treatments.


And finally, to your "consensus" theory.... it may be quite true that you fall in line with the group. You may well feel exactly the same way as the rest of the crowd. But, just consider the possibility that you may not. All I'm saying is that you won't know until you audition them yourself. Of course, I never was one to follow the crowd. I've always been a leader and one that needed to find out things on my own. I made my mistakes along the way, but I learned a lot as well.


And with that.... I'll bow out and let you get on with your thread. Good luck to you sir.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls /forum/post/17021254


But I do know this as an undisputible fact.... a speaker that may measure ruler flat in an aneoic (sp?) chamber.... sure isn't going to measure that way in room. And, that very speaker will measure/sound quite different playing in a room chock full of overstuffed furniture with heavy, thick carpet and drapes as opposed to a room with tile or hardwood floors, spartan furnishings and little or no window treatments.

This is absolutely true, but it holds true of any sound. Take a person's voice or an instrument, if one can reproduce it accurately in an anechoic chamber, it will be reproduced accurately in any room, just as if that voice or instrument was played in that room. That is something that is often overlooked.


The question is "where do you start?"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank171 /forum/post/17018068


How do the Ascend 170s compare with the HTD level threes? The systems I am looking at is 5x Ascend 170s or 4x HTD level three bookshelf and 1 HTD level three center.

You are aware that Ascend is having a moving sale right? 3x340SE + 2x170SE for 1000$ shipped. Compare to 5x170SE, add shipping, you'd probably pay nearly the same for both systems, and I think pretty much everyone recommends 340SEs over 170SEs (for performance). Any particular reason you'd go for 5x 170SE?


For neutral, vs room, etc... The room, essentially, will mess up the FR, even more than it might be messed up to begin with... It'll add some nulls which will suck out and reduce some frequencies, might reinforce others... If you really want to deal with it, you'll need to add room treatment, and/or get electronic room correction, or EQ or something... My personal view, speakers should be as flat as possible, not act as a static equalizer... If people want more bass, less highs, EQs are made for just that, and some amps and most receivers have options to tweak them...


But everything said, if you want a neutral sound in your room, you've got a lot better chance of accomplishing that with speakers with flat FR. IF you get speakers which boosts the bass, the room might boost again those same frequencies and you're going to get bucketfull of bass... Your speakers are where it all starts, if you start with garbage, you'll end with garbage... The room will most probably just make things worst... (in hoping to have flat FR in room)


But that said, maybe it's just me, but I think that speakers are getting flatter and flatter, and keep getting better for less $... Someone mentioned in another thread that there's much more speakers out there than cereals... Anyhow, 340SEs are great (own a pair) and you really can't go wrong, especially with the sale, 170SEs are supposed to be too, but I've never heard the HTDs nor have read anything about them, so I really couldn't tell you how they compare...
 

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


And with that.... I'll bow out and let you get on with your thread.

OK.... I lied.



If what Grandarf says is true and you can get the 340's at what you would normally spend on the 170's, then I would most definitely swap them into your short list to audition. If measurements and ruler flat FR graphs are your thing, well you should probably stay with the 170's. But, I MUCH prefer the 340's over the 170's and IIRC, they are a bit more efficient as well.


Still though, just because I prefer them doesn't mean you will. So once again I advise to listen for yourself.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf /forum/post/17022385


But that said, maybe it's just me, but I think that speakers are getting flatter and flatter....

This is very true. Measuring has become easier, and more speaker designers/engineers are understanding that being flat is a selling point, but the better ones also understand that there is much more involved than a flat on axis response.....off axis being one of them among other things.


About 5 years ago I heard two pairs of the old classic CBM-170's in my room, one with stock crossovers, one with crossovers designed by a well known crossover designer....both with flat on axis responses, but they sounded extremely different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf /forum/post/17022385


You are aware that Ascend is having a moving sale right? 3x340SE + 2x170SE for 1000$ shipped. Compare to 5x170SE, add shipping, you'd probably pay nearly the same for both systems, and I think pretty much everyone recommends 340SEs over 170SEs (for performance). Any particular reason you'd go for 5x 170SE?


For neutral, vs room, etc... The room, essentially, will mess up the FR, even more than it might be messed up to begin with... It'll add some nulls which will suck out and reduce some frequencies, might reinforce others... If you really want to deal with it, you'll need to add room treatment, and/or get electronic room correction, or EQ or something... My personal view, speakers should be as flat as possible, not act as a static equalizer... If people want more bass, less highs, EQs are made for just that, and some amps and most receivers have options to tweak them...


But everything said, if you want a neutral sound in your room, you've got a lot better chance of accomplishing that with speakers with flat FR. IF you get speakers which boosts the bass, the room might boost again those same frequencies and you're going to get bucketfull of bass... Your speakers are where it all starts, if you start with garbage, you'll end with garbage... The room will most probably just make things worst... (in hoping to have flat FR in room)


But that said, maybe it's just me, but I think that speakers are getting flatter and flatter, and keep getting better for less $... Someone mentioned in another thread that there's much more speakers out there than cereals... Anyhow, 340SEs are great (own a pair) and you really can't go wrong, especially with the sale, 170SEs are supposed to be too, but I've never heard the HTDs nor have read anything about them, so I really couldn't tell you how they compare...

The 5x 170s is about 850 shipped. I guess I could step up if there is a noticeable improvement.
 

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For $150 it is a no-brainer, 340's are very nice speakers and you will enjoy 3 across the front which will make a huge difference. If you're not happy Ascend has a 30 day listening period, but as in my case I doubt you will need to take them up on it. It's a heck of a deal and you will have a very nice system - on to the sub?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurraybhm /forum/post/17023859


For $150 it is a no-brainer, 340's are very nice speakers and you will enjoy 3 across the front which will make a huge difference. If you're not happy Ascend has a 30 day listening period, but as in my case I doubt you will need to take them up on it. It's a heck of a deal and you will have a very nice system - on to the sub?

Either Hsu vtf2-mk3 or SVS pb12-nsd.
 

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So you guys that replied here and have heard the Ascends I have a question. The price point is obviously very nice with all their speakers. My question is what is your thought on using these to fill up a 12W X 24L Home Theater room mainly for music? Would they be good / great - not even close to as good as the JTR Triple 8s, Aperion 6T etc?


I know they are in very different price points, but usually bookshelves are. I can't listen to these prior to purchase and shipping cost to AK is very cost prohibitive so I am just trying to figure out if I should even listen to these. This thread seemed like the most applicable thread and the OP already had answers
 

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which ascends mhdiab?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj /forum/post/17029994


which ascends mhdiab?

Actually any of them. The Sierras are the "most talked about" but looking at the specs the 340's have higher db.


Are they giving me for $1,200 what others charge $3,000 for or is it just nice but not right for that setup .........


Not having heard them at all I am not wondering about their "characteristics" more their "punch" and ability to fill up a 12X24 room......
 
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