Aperion vs. Ascend

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Tim_Mc, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. Tim_Mc

    Tim_Mc Auditioning

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    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for 7.1 speaker system and I've decided to go with either 7 Aperion Intimus 522D's or 3 Ascend CMB-170's and 4 HTM-200's. I acually already have 2 subs, a SVS 20-39PC and a REL Q201e. My front-end consists of a Panny RP-62, an Outlaw 950 processor, and an Outlaw 7100 amp. I'm sure either set would do well but I'd love to know if anyone here has heard both and could comment on their differences. Even if you have only heard one or the other please chime in. This system will be about 75% HT and 25% music. I listen to all sorts of music on my own but this system will also be used for parties during which I tend to play a lot of rock/pop/dance. I'd love to hear opinions.

    Thanks.
     
  2. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Brian,

    Which sub did you use when listening to the Ascends?

    curtis
     
  3. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Hi Tim,

    I have heard both and now own the Aperions in a 5.1 configuration with the Aperion sub. I thought that they are both very good speakers and better than others that I auditioned. I thought the Aperions blended better with the sub, which I think you will appreciate. I think that there was a small gap in my range with the Ascends when crossing over at 80Hz. I also thought the Aperions provided a more transparent, accurate, and detailed sound stage.

    However, I thought the Ascends sounded equal if not a little better when listening to music, i can't say why though. Maybe they were just more laid back.

    Finally, I'll say that the Aperions are much much more attractive then the Ascends and look to be a little better built. If looks are a factor go with Aperion.
     
  4. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Oh, one more thing, the Aperions aren't as sensitive as the Ascends so you need more juice to drive them. However, for you that shouldn't be a problem with your outlaw amp.
     
  5. Tommy Rodgers

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    I haven't heard the Ascends, but I own the Aperion 6.1 set with the 12" sub. I assume that the Ascends sound great, everyone who has them loves them, and their frequency response is close to ruler-flat. I bought the Aperions sight unseen, and here's my reasoning- both have stellar reviews, excellent customer service, and great value. I figured that since Aperion pays for shipping both ways if you decide to return them, I'd try them first, then go to Ascend if not satisfied. That, and the finish really appealed to me (they are in my living room, hardwood floors, etc.). I was won over easily by both the performance and construction- they sound great (esp. on acoustic music), look like a million bucks, and are very dense little speakers. That 12" sub is the best I've heard short of a $2000 REL. IMHO great value for the $$$, and if not satisfied, no loss to you period.

    Hope this was helpful-
    Tommy [​IMG]
     
  6. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I was actually thinking along the same lines as Tommy....do the Aperions first since the shipping is free, and if I didn't like them, then try the Ascends. But, I live 40 minutes from Hsu Research. So I went there to listen to the Ascends, and a Hsu VTF-3. Walked out with the whole setup, great price, and got to meet the famous Dr. Hsu. I have not looked back.
     
  7. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    I am a happy Ascend owner. I looked at several setups (including Aperion) and went for the Ascends first because of comments that they were strong with music and I'm 50/50 in my listening habits. I haven't heard the Aperions, but would be happy to answer any Ascend questions I can. My online review has a lot of my thoughts and pictures. It should be the first thing that pops up in google looking for Ascend speaker review.
     
  8. Tim_Mc

    Tim_Mc Auditioning

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    That's a nice review, Brad. I must say I'm a little worried about how the Ascends would integrate with my either of my subs. It seems like the CMB-170's roll off pretty steep after 80hz or so and the subs I have seem to be stronger in the 60hz and below area rather than the mid or upper bass. Do you find the vtf-2 to be good above 50-60hz? You did mention that it blended well with the 170's so I would assume it is. I'm actually already thinking of selling the REL or the SVS to get a sub with a bit more "punch".
     
  9. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim,

    I cross mine over at 80 and haven't noticed a hole, but I haven't actually tested it with tones and my sound meter. All I did was balance their levels using my S&V DVD. I think the in-room low end of the Ascends is better than the chamber graphs shown on their site.

    Of course if you don't like how your subs perform from 80-60, you'll have problems with the Aperions too. While they state 60-20k as the frequency response, the chart they give shows 60 to be their -10db downpoint, with a -3db point above 100hz. I'm guessing they have it worked out to blend well with their sub, but that's going to be hard to match with others. A steep drop off will probably be easier to work with for matching with subs.
     
  10. Omar

    Omar Auditioning

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    I was in the same decision situation, and through all my research I basically found that it comes down to this:

    Music --> Ascend
    Movies --> Aperion

    It may be simplistic, but I believe it's pretty accurate.

    O.
     
  11. Mike Fenech

    Mike Fenech Agent

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    Anyone have thoughts on how these two brands compare to Axiom?
     
  12. David Lorenzo

    David Lorenzo Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim,

    Maybe you should try getting a BFD and using it to give you the punch you want. Any accurate sub you purchase will give you about the same FR as the SVS I'm guessing.
     
  13. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    Actually Brad has it correct. The Ascends do go deeper then the Aperions. While aperion rates the response at 60-20khz, they don't say what the tolerance is and according to the aperion graph, they look to be -3dB down at 100hz while the Ascends are -3dB down at 69 hz, -10dB at around 50hz. A reponse of -3dB at 100hz could be a problem trying to blend with a subwoofer other than what aperion offers.

    Also, you might notice that on the aperion graphs, the y-axis is on a larger scale than the ascend graph, this would account for what looks like a less steep rolloff. It is my understanding that all ported enclosures roll off at the same level. Also, where are the professional unbiased measurements of the Aperions? The Soundstage measurements of the ascends are as accurate as currently possible and are taken in an anechoic chamber. The low end response in a room would be boosted due to room interactions.
     
  14. Tommy Rodgers

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    Look here-

    http://www.aperionaudio.com/reviews/re_index.html

    Professional reviews from The Perfect Vision (current issue, very complimentary), CNET (Steve Guttenberg review, he reviews equipment for several of the major mags), Widescreen Review, Home Theater Magazine, Stereophile, Secrets of Home Theater, SMR Home Theater, Home Theater Sound (won the Soundstage Reviewers' Choice Award 2001).

    Maybe these reviews are not unbiased, but I've never seen a paid Aperion ad in any print magazine (nor have I in the case of Ascend, either). I do wish that there was a review that published anechoic response for the Aperions, but I have never read a negative review of their performance, either by professionals or consumers (great reviews on audioreview.com). Great sound, great build quality, great finish, great price, great service.

    Tommy[​IMG]
     
  15. Tommy Rodgers

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    I would like to add that from all I've heard and read about these two speaker systems, you can't really go wrong with either. Both offer excellent value and sound, and if one is better for movies or music than the other, it's really splitting hairs. At this price level, for five speakers and a great subwoofer, they should both sound great on any material. I actually bought the Aperions in part because I listen to FAR more music than movies and I haven't been disappointed at all, even compared to my friends' more expensive music-only systems. The fact that I no longer have little black boxes in my living room is a bonus.[​IMG]

    Tommy
     
  16. Tim_Mc

    Tim_Mc Auditioning

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I am going to go with the Ascends for two reasons. One, they are a little cheaper than the Aperions, and two, because the HTM-200 is a sealed design I will be able to mount them right on my rear wall as surrounds. This important because I do not have enough room behind my couch for stands. Looks wise, the Aperions are definitely better but that is not a huge factor for me. I also think I am going to return my REL Q201E and try out either a VTF-2 or a SVS PB1.
     
  17. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    Tommy, I agree. By all accounts both are excellent systems and I didn't mean to put down the Aperions by my comments. I just wanted to point out that the graphs for the speakers had to be compared properly as the listed specs were based on different parameters.

    I did consider both myself (and others including Axiom, Norh, B&W, etc.) and chose Ascend. I have been quite happy, but probably would have also been happy with one of the others I looked into.
     
  18. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Tommy,

    I just wanted to comment that there are plenty of unbiased professional reviews of the Aperions. What I mentioned in my post was that I was looking for measurements, that's all, as that diaural crossover technology interests me.
     
  19. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Just got back from a trip. Glad to see a good discussion about two of the best speaker companies around. For the record I have the Aperion 12" sub. I will say again that both sounded better to me than many other brands including some that sounded much more expensive to me.
     
  20. Tommy Rodgers

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    I actually considered Nohr as well, Brad, I just had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the idea of ordering something from Thailand sight unseen with no easy way to return it if I wasn't satisfied. Love the looks of the ceramics though, and I've never read a bad review on them either (4.0 series). There is a B&W dealer here in town but in my price range I couldn't find anything that sounded good and looked as nice as I wanted.

    I do think the Ascends would be very good for your application, Tim, esp. with wall mounting. The Aperions are a rear-ported design and need a little "breathing room" to sound their best.

    I just got through setting up my Aperions in my new living room (bought my first home Monday morning) and they sound terrific. I've got a ton of wood in that room as well so the cherry finish blends nicely.[​IMG]
     

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