Ascedn Acoustics CBM-170 review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marcus Lewis, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Marcus Lewis

    Marcus Lewis Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG]
    www.ascendacoustics.com1 pair of CBM-170 bookshelf monitors
    Price paid: US$ 360 / pair
    First off, let me say that some of you may already know about the exceptional service I've received from AA ...
    For those that don't, AA basically replaced a speaker for me at cost value, because a crappy stand I had failed and dropped the speaker flush on its top. The speaker died, but I've already set up the replacdement on some custom built stands.
    Now let's see where to begin ... Basically I was looking for something that compared (sound-wise) to a pair of Vandersteen 2ce signatures that my old man owns, but for 1/4 of the price ... Impossible you say? Not likely!
    At this point after about 20 hours of break in ... I have to admit the highs, mids, and depth are almost at the same levels of the Vandys ... These speakers are that good.
    I have them in a very clustered room unfortunately, so I suspect is is definitely affecting the sound (not in a good way) but they still sound amazing. My reciever is a Rotel RSX-965 (150w per channel) and my subs are the dual 16-46cs+ setup with the S1000 amp.
    Test pieces comprised of; "The best of Yanni" the opening track "Aria" is dynamic, clear and crisp. The speakers don't play very low, but what's there is punchy and tight. I can honestly say I cannot differentiate the transition between the tweeter and the woofer (very nice crossover at play) ... Still working on a precise integration with my subs (crossed at 100hz) but I'm trying this without an SPL meter so in time ... The second track on that Yanni CD starts with some plucked harp strings or some other stringed instrument ... WOW you have to hear that to believe it ... There's a concert in my bedroom!! I can easily differentiate instruments on the stage and subtitlies in the music are as clear as they are on the Vandersteen's.
    The reliable old Diana Krall, "S'wonderful" was used as a test piece particularly for tacks 4 & 5 ... If I remember correctly. Many people report that the sound of a brush on the "thingy" (not sure wat it's on) sounds like a static hiss ... I'm glad to report it definitely, positively, sounds like a brush on the CBMs ...
    Sarah Brightman ... As far as I'm concerned the be all and end all of vocals ... Unbelieveably sweet and clear ... This is what female vocals are supposed to sound like ... Sweet sweet sweet, clear and smooth ... Just like the reviews said, crisp with any sibliance or harsh brightness.
    I've only been with the CBMs for a sholrt time, but I'll definitely be upgrading everything else to the CBM line including the CBM center.
    I called my old man over to take a listen to the Yanni last night ... Famous last words:
    Dad: "Wow they sound like the Vandersteens!"
    * 2ce signatures, US$ 1,560 / pair*
    Me: "Yeah nice, eh? And still more break in to go before they really sing!"
    * pause *
    Dad: "Sweet, what did this set you back? 1000 bucks?"
    Me: "Nah, $US 360"
    Dad: "Gaaagggh!"
    Hee hee hee ... The soundstage isn't as wide as it is on the Vandys, but like I said my room is clustered and the Vandys have much better amplification. Too, the speakers aren't fully broken in yet, so there's that ...
    More music as it happens ... Back to work ...
     
  2. Marcus Lewis

    Marcus Lewis Stunt Coordinator

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    Updated for typos ...
     
  3. Marcus Lewis

    Marcus Lewis Stunt Coordinator

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    Could a mod please correct the spelling of my subject ... Thanks ....
     
  4. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    With good power amplification, they will do very well.
    They are a very good speaker. No doubt about it. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Marcus, I couldn't be happier with my 5.1 system consisting of 4 CBM-170s at the corners, a HTM-200 center, and a Hsu VTF-2 sub. With an Onkyo TX-DS595 receiver driving the Ascends, I feel I'm getting "the most bang for my buck". And these speakers are also wonderful with music.[​IMG]
     

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