Good Speakers for Rock, <= $1500

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by MikeNagy, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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  2. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    In your price range, I would suggest you look at the Ascend Acoustics speakers.

    http://ascendacoustics.com/

    They are very detailed and accurate without being harsh in the treble, which based off of your comments about Axioms, is something you are adverse to. At the same time, they are not at all a laid back speaker and are great at capturing the immediacy and drive of rock beats.

    They have a remarkably flat response (+/-2 dB) through most of their range and have a very clean midrange. They don't play very low, mid-60Hz or so, but what bass they do play is very accurate and not at all muddy. Plus, if you are going to supplement with a sub anyway, shouldn't be an issue.

    I listen to all kinds of music, but mostly rock and have been very happy with my 5.1 setup. After purchasing them, took them to a store to compare them against the Paradigms, B&Ws, Dynaudios and couldn't find anything under $1000/pr that came close to rivaling them. Just for reference, like Carlo, I demoed this speakers with real rock -- Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, U2, etc. -- not the pop stuff.

    Reviewers at a number of well-respected publications gave them very high marks:

    http://ascendacoustics.com/Main/Revi...dReprint.2.pdf
    http://ascendacoustics.com/Main/Revi...endreprint.pdf

    A 5.1 setup consisting of 5 CBM-170s is $748. Something like $150 more if you want the CMT-340c dedicated center. You could even purchase a Hsu VTF-3 which, from what I hear is fairly comparable to the SVS offerings, from them as part of a package deal. That way, you get your entire 5.1 from a single source for around $1600 total.

    If you are wary of buying online, buy one pair of CBM-170s first and do what I did: compare them to speakers available at local stores. If you don't like them, return them w/in 30 days and only be out ~$20 in shipping. If you do like them, purchase the rest of the 5.1 within 45 days and still be able to take advantage of the package pricing.

    Victor
     
  3. MikeNagy

    MikeNagy Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, thanks for all the great responses, guys! My audition list is a lot broader now. I'm going to be looking at used/new PSB Stratus Silveri's/Bronze, Totem Model 1's, MB Quart's, and Dali's. Although, I am most excited about PSB and the MB Quart's.
     
  4. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    As long as you supplement the bookshelves with a good, well-damped subwoofer, I actually prefer bookshelves mated with a sub over floorstanders. Purchasing floorstanders which can reproduce good bass down to the mid- to low 20s is tough and the equipment necessary to drive such floorstanders is usually a pricy proposition.

    For the same price and often substantially less, you can get an outstanding bookshelf and sub setup which will most likely play lower and cleaner than all but the most accomplished full-range speakers. As for the cost of speaker stands, there are some very good stands for less than $100/pr if you look in the right places.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well I think you're missing that the numbers that Phil posted came from a review (which I haven't read) and I think they arbitrarily chose those two frequencies to illustrate the fairly flat response in the mid-bass to upper mid-range. JBL lists for this particular product the following: Frequency Response (–3dB): 75Hz – 20kHz . That would suggest that it does have energy up there.

    Arbitrarily I went to Totem's site where the Model 1 Signature CC weighs in at
     
  6. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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  7. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    I'd go with floorstanders myself, but that's a personal preference... there should be some monitors out there that will serve up some rock, but you'll have to hunt em down...which is exactly what you're doing.

    Just in case you start thinking floorstander again, however... don't give up on Totem just yet; try the Hawk (one up from the Arro) when you go check the Model 1... those are sweet.

    And I've said it elsewhere, but I'm a big fan of Monitor Audio speakers, too... try the Bronze or Silver line... great detail and imaging... will likely deliver the midrange you're seeking.

    And the Dali's should be right up there too.

    Happy hunting.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Your math is faulty Jason: +2.7/-2.0 is a net swing of 4.7 dB while +/- 3dB is a net swing of 6 dB. You're also overlooking the fact that the review specifically focussed in a certain range for quite obvious reasons and they simply reported their measurements. If you don't like the way they did their reporting, dash them off a letter. 25kHz only matters if you're a dog or a bat. The one reason the JBL's ought to be considered is because likely he can actually hear them. Some of the others might prove to be more challenging, but there were certainly some good choices suggested, one of which is likely to strike a positive chord.

    I think the Ascends merit some consideration if you're looking at a smaller footprint.
     
  9. MikeNagy

    MikeNagy Stunt Coordinator

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    The Ascends look intriguing...from what I have "heard" about them, they are the undersung giant-killers in home audio. However, I would not be interested in them because they save space, nor because they are so cheap; the only thing I'm interestd in is how they sound compared to other stuff out there. Not just other "cheaper" monitors, but everything else in my price range. If they sound the best or close to it, I will buy them.

    That said, I am having a hard time believing that the sound as good as people say they do. It'd be sweet if they were, but it almost sounds too good to be true. I heard about some people doing a shoot-out between Ascends and a few other popular brands in LA...who was involved in that? Are there any plans to do something similar sometime soon?
     
  10. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    Maybe you could PM Curtis, who goes by the login "cschang" on this forum. He's in SoCal and owns the Ascends in a 5.1 setup with a Hsu VTF-3. He even has the prototype CMT-340 L/R (basically the same as the center but without the crossover modifications to account for top-of-the-TV placement). You could see if you could schedule a listening session at this place.

    Sorry for volunteering your place, Curtis!

    Victor
     
  11. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  12. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    heck Mike,

    I'm in Manhattan Beach too! Come on over and have a listen to my Ascend/Hsu setup.

    I was one of the folks involved in the shoot out. I had the Axioms, Ascends, Aperions, and Rockets in my home all at the same time a couple of months ago. Where were you then?

    Actually...the CMT-340's I have are not prototypes...they are actual production. Just not widely advertise right now because of inventory control.

    Chris...no problem volunteering my place. If I paid better attention, I would seen Mike was in Manhattan Beach and insisted he come over for a listen. Should have dragged him to Hsu Research with last Friday for there little party too!

    curtis
     
  13. JohnnyCasaba

    JohnnyCasaba Agent

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    Hello Mike, I'll also recommend you demo the Ascends. I have recently purchased a 5.1 package from them (4 - CBM 170's for fronts and surrounds, new center channel and a Hsu VTF-2) and have been very pleased with them so far; nice detailed highs, without being bright and really tight mids. As Victor mentioned, Curtis is always willing to give demos and I believe Curtis also lives in Manhattan Beach, small world huh? Curtis is also one of the people responsible for putting together that speaker shootout you spoke of so you could talk to him regarding the session as well. Good luck.

    John
     
  14. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Looks like I beat to the thread Johnny!
     
  15. JohnnyCasaba

    JohnnyCasaba Agent

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    Yeah by 2 minutes, I don't type fast, lol.
     
  16. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  17. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Someone posted on another thread here that HTF sponsor DMC also carries PSB blems. They've got got Silveris for $1K.
     
  18. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Silveri 's for a "G"!?! .. That's an incredible price. I wonder what finish.. I've got them in high gloss piano black.
     
  19. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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  20. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Chip -- Black Ash or Dark Cherry. Piano Blk only availible NIB at $1400(MSRP $2049).
     

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