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in his "subjective" commentary, said guru puts a far more negative spin on the Ascends despite them having very similar measurements to the Infinity Refs.
I agree he went too hard on the company and their marketing. How many years has it been since they updated their website? Back then, I think they really were better than the competition. However, the game has long since changed.

But to be fair, the Infinity does measure better.

Part of the reason the Ascend sounds brighter is because its directivity goes really wide in part of the treble, then narrows down again. It really needs a waveguide (and a resistor) to better match the tweeter to what the woofer is doing. It is far from the only speaker to have this problem, but it is a more prominent example from a well-known company.

The Infinity on the other hand has much more consistent directivity from bottom to top which results in a speaker that is easier to listen to when accounting for reflections. It will also be easier to adjust with equalization as all angles of the sound are changed in the same way.

To be clear, I don't think the 170 or 340 are bad speakers at all. I just think there are better options now.
 

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I've been following this thread for a while as I'm going to have a new family room setup (most likely 3.1) in a new home and will need a center. My current home has 340s up front in our theater room and I find them to be engaging and fun speakers until you really start to pump up the volume. They're quite efficient speakers but they can definitely be fatiguing to the ears if you really want to turn things up. Again, really great speakers and a tremendous value at the time but I think there's definitely some brightness to them according to the posted graphs and my room. They're staying with the home so I'm going PSA next for my HT front three.

In general I think the C2+ is probably the best bang for the buck center available when the RC263 isn't on sale. However, the looks don't quite cut it (for me at least) to be placed in a family room. I think the RC263 has it beat in that department and the Wharfedale EVO ends up crushing both of them...but at a significantly higher price. If this was my new HT and I wasn't going PSA behind and AT screen, I think I'd grab the C2+ in a heartbeat and call it a day.
 

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Looks like this Polk has the same problem with the tweeter (but also other problems): Polk Monitor 40 Series II Review (Speaker)
Having owned both the Monitor 30 (the single woofer version of the 40) and the Ascend 170SE I can tell you that this is a PERFECT example of just how woefully inadequate/incomplete measurements are, because they couldn't sound any more different. To apply the "bright" pejorative to the Ascends is absurd.

Anyone who has never heard either speaker in person yet claims to know with certainty that the two will sound alike based on nothing but the FR graph, is simply embarrassing themselves.
 

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In general I think the C2+ is probably the best bang for the buck center available when the RC263 isn't on sale. However, the looks don't quite cut it (for me at least) to be placed in a family room. I think the RC263 has it beat in that department and the Wharfedale EVO ends up crushing both of them...but at a significantly higher price. If this was my new HT and I wasn't going PSA behind and AT screen, I think I'd grab the C2+ in a heartbeat and call it a day.
For the same price as the C2+ you can get the Polk 706C from the Polk Outlet if you need something with higher WAF. I'm told its tweeter can run slightly "hot" but for HT and for a center speaker I doubt that would really be a big problem.

As much as I love my Evo 4.2 I would not blow $800 on the 4.C if I were using them in an HT setup.
 

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Reasonable people accept that there's a correlation between measured sound and perceived sound. The question is not whether a correlation exists but interpreting how it relates to our own experience.
 

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For the same price as the C2+ you can get the Polk 706C from the Polk Outlet if you need something with higher WAF. I'm told its tweeter can run slightly "hot" but for HT and for a center speaker I doubt that would really be a big problem.
They are sold out, not sure if they are coming back in stock. I snagged one before then. Its a great center, I can hear dialogue much better. Its dynamic w/out sounding harsh. I love it, thinking about trying to find some matchging towers just for kicks. My WAF's only complaint was it is "big". She's used to it now. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #288 ·
I'm not saying you necessarily find them bright. You could be completely accustomed to them. But don't they sound more so than the Revels and other speakers you are comparing them to?
They do. Last night I put both my son and my wife in the listening position and played a couple of songs (Stereo, Subs = ON, XO=130Hz) and did the A/B comparison with the Switch. To my question of “which one sounds better?” they both said the same thing. These speakers sound pretty much the same. The main difference they both noted was that one pair was slightly louder than the other. This is consistent with the Revels needing +2.5dB boost in trim to produce the same SPL as the Ascends @MLP.

The other difference all 3 of us noted was on the delivery of dialog while in Stereo mode. Ascends were more “clear” with more detail than the Revels. This could certainly be down to the waveguide twitter versus the cheaper soft dome. My son and I preferred the more detailed presentation, the wife didn’t think it was a big plus for either of them. The wife preferred the smaller stature and better finish of the Revels as we had the overhead lights turned on … but almost coughed a fur ball when I told her the price difference, ha ha.
 
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Reasonable people accept that there's a correlation between measured sound and perceived sound. The question is not whether a correlation exists but interpreting how it relates to our own experience.
Yes. And accepting that in some/many cases, the measured "differences" are all but irrelevant during real world usage. As post #288 above illustrates.

Rather than clinging to the naive and/or self-aggrandizing delusion of knowing anything with certainty based on those measurements.
 

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They do. Last night I put both my son and my wife in the listening position and played a couple of songs (Stereo, Subs = ON, XO=130Hz) and did the A/B comparison with the Switch. To my question of “which one sounds better?” they both said the same thing. These speakers sound pretty much the same. The main difference they both noted was that one pair was slightly louder than the other. This is consistent with the Revels needing +2.5dB boost in trim to produce the same SPL as the Ascends @MLP.

The other difference all 3 of us noted was on the delivery of dialog while in Stereo mode. Ascends were more “clear” with more detail than the Revels. This could certainly be down to the waveguide twitter versus the cheaper soft dome. My son and I preferred the more detailed presentation, the wife didn’t think it was a big plus for either of them. The wife preferred the smaller stature and better finish of the Revels as we had the overhead lights turned on … but almost coughed a fur ball when I told her the price difference, ha ha.
To assuage the easily bruised egos of the measurements-are-everything camp, could you run the same AB listening comparison with your son and wife listening off-axis?

That way at least ONE of their beloved theories can be left standing. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #291 ·
If the OP prefers a more elevated treble response, perhaps the matching Emotiva towers would be worth an audition? They appear to have mildly elevated treble, much like the C2+ center channel that he found he likes.

Are tower speakers an option? If you are using stands for the bookshelves, they won't topple as easy, and dual woofers with a larger enclosure usually yields better capability with lower distortion and hence better sound quality.
The original goal was to upgrade the Ascend Center (which is basically a mini-tower with a rotated tweeter) with a true 3-way center at a reasonable price considering how important this particular speaker is for Home Theater. I tried 4 of them and found one that ticked all the boxes. As I mentioned earlier, I am not sensitive to timbre-matching issues reported by others so I don’t need my front stage to come from the same speaker manufacturer. So I don’t necessarily need the Emotiva Towers just to match the center … actually since I have serious subwoofer power in my room now I am focusing on good bookshelves that can outperform what I have now above 100 Hz.

The Ascend Mains have been a solid performer for me since I bought them in 2007. But since I now have an couple thousand bucks in my pocket for a potential upgrade I am asking myself what’s out there at that price that could provide me with an even better sound for both music and movies. Just started exploring that question now. Also I am not looking for tiny improvements that I have to spend many days in listening sessions to get the answer. If I “A/B” a new pair of speakers and can’t immediately say that ”I like the new one” … it‘s just not worth my time. I am no Andrew Robinson … just a simple guy with a room and reasonably-priced gear reporting my own experiences.

It might make sense to close out this thread as the original goal has been accomplished. I will just keep testing new speakers to replace my mains until I find something that’s a true “upgrade” and will report it here or in another thread. Peace!
 

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Thank you for your hard work in testing and sharing your experiences with these speakers. I thought this was a great thread and was very interested cause I have many of the same speakers and liked comparisons to speakers that I have not heard. I liked that you shared your opinions from your tests and observations, and believe we should not criticize them. FWIW, I enjoy my C2+ with my RP8000s.
 

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What if the price of Evo 4C is 15% higher than EmmoC2+, that of Polk 706C is 25% and Klipsch RP504C is 50% higher than C2+ in some countries? What can be the choice?
Will Evo and Emo be at par?

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What if the price of Evo 4C is 15% higher than EmmoC2+, that of Polk 706C is 25% and Klipsch RP504C is 50% higher than C2+ in some countries? What can be the choice?
Will Evo and Emo be at par?
If you have the space for the C2+ that's what I'd get...it is likely the best of the bunch, regardless of price.

Price = what the manufacturer WANTS you to pay. It is often NOT a reliable or proportionate indicator of quality. "You get what you pay for" is mainly just sales propaganda.
 
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Yes. And accepting that in some/many cases, the measured "differences" are all but irrelevant during real world usage. As post #288 above illustrates.
Huh--how do you come to that conclusion? The measurements exactly match his subjective descriptions.
 

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Huh--how do you come to that conclusion? The measurements exactly match his subjective descriptions.
Because the OP found that both he and his spouse & child preferred the "more clear and detailed" sound of the Ascends over that of the Revels, despite the latter supposedly having more "neutral" measurements which according to Dr. Toole are found on the speakers that most people allegedly preferred in his listening tests.
 
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