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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quoted from *********************.com:


"Ascend Acoustics CBM-170:


When you close your eyes, it sounds like sound is coming from a small box, and it felt like I could localize the speakers with my eyes closed."



Quoted from this forum:



"Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 (compared to the 250’s):


re the 170: when listening to certain music, i can stare right at the speaker, and yet it doesn't seem like its producing any noise. many sounds seem to clearly be originating several feet away from it- past the boundary of the side wall. thats what i take to mean soundstage -the width and breadth of where the sounds occur. the rockets, on the other hand, while they had decent imaging down thru the center, presented a soundstage that clearly ended at the point of the speaker. compared to the ascends , they had a much boxier sound to me."



Now I'm really confused!!


S.P. Jones
 

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Hmmm....perhaps I can convince Sean to bring a pair of RS250s to my house sometime. I own the CBM-170s and have even compared them to the RS150s (the RS250s cost a decent amount more). Unfortunately the RS150 comparison wasn't set up well for comparing imaging.


I read the first quote recently and completely didn't understand it. My CBM-170s have awesome imaging - listening to the first track on Alicia Keys: songs in A minor, I thought I had my receiver set to DPLII or Logic 7. They don't sound like a small, localized box at all.


I've listened to plenty of speakers, including the Rockets, and I'm not rushing to trade in my Ascends - I think they're great. Not to say that the Rockets aren't great too (of course they also offer full range speakers which Ascend doesn't) just that I am quite happy with my Ascends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BradJudy,


Do you use a subwoofer with the Ascends? How do they sound without a sub, i.e., when played at a moderate level, is there enough bass (talking music only--stereo)?


I've been going back and forth on buying the 750's or something else. Problem with the 750's is it's not just $1400, but another $1000 or much more for an integrated amp, or worse, an amp and preamp (or a receiver for future upgrade to home theater). A lot of the posts re the 750's seem to say you really need a GRRRReat amp, e.g., thousands of dollars worth. I'm only willing to spend about $500 or so. I thought I'd left all this behind me in the 60's! Come to think of it, I have an old, very heavy, Scott integrated amp that might still work.


I'd almost decided on the 250's. I figured they were good, and they are also beautiful! Now, I'm thinking Ascends. Who knows?!!


S.P. Jones
 

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I think that was my review you quoted. :)


I have had significant conversations with David Fabrikant of Ascend Acoustics. He felt, too, that my opinions were significantly different from what he was hearing from Ascend's customers.


In a nutshell, my opinions were that the Ascend's were just too "Monitor-ific". They did an excellent job of neutrally producing music, but they just seemed too laid-back and boxy. They were very good speakers, but they just did not allow me to feel the magic of music. I guess I just thought they were boring, especially compared to the other speakers we were comparing them to. In a big room, it felt like the sound was coming from "somewhere way over there", rather than the sound being all around me.


My opinions led Mr. Fabrikant to believe that there might be something wrong with the speakers. It seemed like an incorrect polarity issue I was hearing. However, he personally inspected the speakers upon their return, and found them to be well within their production tolerances.


As an aside, my experiences with Ascend Acoustics as a customer were nothing less than top-notch. I believe them to be a very fine company, and would have no reservations recommending them to anyone.


So, I guess the moral of the story is that no one speaker is right for everyone. Maybe an engaging speaker to me, is a far too forward speaker for someone else. That is to say, one person's Aiwa is another's Meridian. :)


Anyway, this opinion was just my $.02 and, as always, YMMV. BTW, I find the 250's to be the best imaging speaker I have ever heard, so there you go. :D
 

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It's good to hear your thoughts jcoleman, although mine differ greatly - it is probably due to room acoustics, personal tastes, and musical preference. I think Diana Krall is very exciting on these speakers, but they might not be the best choice for harder rock.


As for the sound of the CBM-170s, I generally listen to them with a subwoofer (Hsu VTF-2) because much of the music I enjoy has some good low notes to it and I like to feel them. That said, I think they do perform quite well without one. Of course bass seems to be a very personal taste and YMMV.


Of course at $700/pair the RS250s cost more than double what the CBM-170s currently run (currently at $300/pair, normally $360 IIRC), the main reason I compared them to the RS150 ($400/pair) and not the RS250.


My advice - buy them both and return the one you like less.
 

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Another thing to consider is that system synergy is what is ultimately important. The overall system sound is influenced by not only room and speakers and listening preferences but also amp/preamp, cd player, cables, etc. The key is to find associated equipment that matches well with the speakers. With some combinations of associated equipment a speaker may sound dull and/or flat, and with other combinations of associated equipment the speaker may sound lively and dynamic. The Ascends and Rockets are probably not voiced the same way. And of course, price is a major consideration. For $700 from Ascend, a formidable package would probably be the CBM-170's with a Hsu VTF-2, and a similar package could be put together with the RS150's and VTF-2.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mriv
BradJudy,


Do you use a subwoofer with the Ascends? How do they sound without a sub, i.e., when played at a moderate level, is there enough bass (talking music only--stereo)?


I've been going back and forth on buying the 750's or something else. Problem with the 750's is it's not just $1400, but another $1000 or much more for an integrated amp, or worse, an amp and preamp (or a receiver for future upgrade to home theater). A lot of the posts re the 750's seem to say you really need a GRRRReat amp, e.g., thousands of dollars worth. I'm only willing to spend about $500 or so. I thought I'd left all this behind me in the 60's! Come to think of it, I have an old, very heavy, Scott integrated amp that might still work.


I'd almost decided on the 250's. I figured they were good, and they are also beautiful! Now, I'm thinking Ascends. Who knows?!!


S.P. Jones
... the RS 250's (which really do image well)... with our soon to be released UFW-10 (Ultra Fast Woofer) Sub... This combination will be hard to beat (IMHO)...


If you value the sonic signature of a mini-monitor (although the 250 is hardly a mini... :) ) with the wonderful speed and slam of our UFW-10 (you'll all see and hear this soon enough... ;) )... then this system might be just right for you...


Just my 02 cents... but this system works so well...


All the best...


mls
 
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