Ascend 340 L/R

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Ganesh, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Ganesh

    Ganesh Agent

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    I finally got in my 340 L/R's in and I've been listening and comparing them with the Axiom M22ti's for the past 2 days. It's been an interesting experience so far. My first impressions were 'Hmmm.... it does sound slightly better' and since then it's been growing on me big time! And now it sounds significantly better for no matter what type of music I listen to, easy listening, rock, even classical. I say significantly because now I know what kind of difference there is and now I "look" for that difference. I can now understand what is meant by a more 'natural reproduction of music' and a better dispersion. Cymbals to bells, and the different types of drums seem to sound more real life. The vocals seem to sound more natural too. When I set the A/B setting to Axioms and listen to them for a while, they do sound pretty good and when I switch to Ascends is when the difference hits me. And then I switch back to Axioms and within a few minutes of listening to them they sound pretty good again! It just shows that the Axioms are pretty darn good speakers, but the Ascends still manage to sound better than the Axioms. One thing is, I don't know if comparing M22Ti's to 340's is apples to apples, maybe a comparison to 170 is fairer.
    Having said all that, as part of the 'growing on me' I also sense that the speaker seems to sound increasingly forward sounding to me. So, I'm getting a faint doubt if this speaker is going to be a little too forward sounding to my taste eventually, and result in fatiguing. In comparison, I guess the 170 will sound less forward and more laid back. But I wonder if that would mean the 170's will sound less 'natural' and less dispersed too. And I know there's only one way to find out ... but for now I'm going to continue to listen to the 340's. And get to know them better.

    Ganesh.
     
  2. Ganesh

    Ganesh Agent

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    BTW, yet another point is that the 340's with their matching stands is quite overwhelmingly and unfavorably bigger than I imagined. And this brings up a question, how do people here that own 170's L/R mount them - on the wall or floor stands? Mounting them on walls will be less space occupying but the speaker face wont be in line with the TV as recommended generally, correct? Even if the 170's are mounted on floor stands, I guess they won't appear as big as the 340 L/R setup since these stands are just about the same dimensions as the 340's.
     
  3. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Ganesh,

    Seems like you are having a good time listening and comparing.

    I had my CBM-170's on top of a bookshelf, and now the CMT-340's are on that same shelf.

    IMHO, the 340 is slightly more forward than the 170, and has wider dispursion. They are quite similar in other areas, and the 170 does not sound "less natural". The M22 sounded the most forward out of the three. I like the Axioms too. For me, the fatigue comes from brightness rather than the forwardness.

    My in home comparison was with the CBM-170, Axiom M22, Rocket RS150, and Aperion 522D. IMHO, the CMT-340 is a bigger sounding and more dynamic speaker than all of them.

    Have fun!
     
  4. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    My 170s are on stands. The 340 is 21" high v the 170 at 12". From looking at the picture I'm guessing that the stand is also around 21" tall. The stand for the 170 is 30" so both speakers take up about the same space.
     
  5. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    The 340 stand is 24"....with base and spikes.

    I really want to use them...but can't in my current livingroom arrangement.
     
  6. Ganesh

    Ganesh Agent

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    The pedestal stand is boxy and so combined with the 340, it looks like one big long tower speaker. Whereas, for the 170 you could have a less conspicuous stand which won't be visually so dominating. (Like a regular stand, for example:
    http://www.stacksandstacks.com/html/8305.htm

    I don't think such a stand will be stable enough for the 340.
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    That is one of the appeals to me about the 340 stand. Makes it look like a mini-tower.
     
  8. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    For all those trying out speakers and are within their 30 day trial, may I suggest one speaker brand:

    Odyssey Audio


    I have the Axiom m22 and Ascend CBM-170 in my home. I'm selling these for the Odyssey Epiphony.

    When listening to the Axiom and Ascend, they rather sound in the same league regarding all things audiophile, but the Epiphonies are markedly at the NEXT level....all for a little more money.

    This is a new speaker line. But they are already being hailed as the best monitor under $1000 by tnt-audio.com. If you call Klaus at (317) 299-5578, I'm sure he'll give you a discount (with of course a money back guarantee).

    In essence, the Epiphonies do all things better. More bass, crispness, liveness, wider/deeper soundstage, better disappearance. TRULY EXCEPTIONAL.
     
  9. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Thanks David.....you posted similar stuff in another Ascend thread a week or so ago. Haven't sold the M22 or 170 yet? How much for either pair?

    I can't seem to find the review of the Odyssey speakers on tnt-audio.com, can you post the link. Where are you located, maybe some people can make it over for an audition.

    Even so, they are still at least $100 more than Ascends or Axioms.
     
  10. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    "Even so, they are still at least $100 more than Ascends or Axioms."

    Not to mention the extra power needed to drive those. 86db ouch!

    I'll stick with $328 Ascends over those at $595. I got my Ascends on sale for $300 w/free shipping that is just $5 short of the Odysseys being twice the price. If there is shipping for the Odysseys it would put my Ascend 170s under half the price.

    If they deliver the performance to dollar ratio of Ascend and Axiom will we be hearing a lot about them.
     
  11. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I just called and left a message for Klaus. It was a cellphone. I will see if I can find a pair to listen to.
     
  12. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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  13. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    OK, I just talked to Klaus over at Odyssey.

    Very nice guy.

    Contrary to what David posted, there are no online reviews that Klaus knows of yet. Very modest, he said that some that have heard the Epiphony say that it is tops in the $1000 and under category...but he doesn't think so.

    The speakers are made in Canada. Klaus contracts with the person that makes them.

    He says that the Nightingale speaker is exceptional for $1595.

    They have no customers in the Los Angeles area yet, but when they do, he will let me know. If I want a pair to demo...got to pay for them, and since I am not in the market for speakers, I'm not going to do that.

    Klaus has heard the Ascend CBM-170 and said "That is a very nice speaker". I replied, "Yeah, I know."
     
  14. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    The head reviewer at tnt-audio.com is posting the first speaker review of the Odyssey Line soon. It hasn't been posted online yet, but he's already privately reached this conclusion on other online audio forums......he has said that it's the best under $1000 speaker he's ever heard. And this guys KNOWS speakers my friends.

    Stay tuned. [​IMG]

    But I really don't need anyone to tell me this. I don't follow hype and I like to draw my own conclusions.

    I like to find hidden gems.

    I was one of the first Ascend customers who advised/raved that they should listen to Ascend. Nobody payed real attention.....until the online magazine reviews gave them legitimacy. And now, everybody is raving about them. Old news to me though, as I knew about before everybody else.

    Now, again, I'm one of the first Odyssey speaker customers. I can say wholeheartedly that the Odyssey Epiphony is a markedly BETTER speaker than the Ascend CBM-170 and Axiom m22 (which I own both).

    Is it worth the cost increase? WHOLEHEARTEDLY YES! The performance increase is there in spades. It can compete with raved about monitors I've heard in the $2k category. There aren't too many "budget" speakers I can say this about, but the Epiphony is one of them. It's better than the Quad 11L ("What-HiFi" 2003 Speaker of the Year) and Von Schweikert VR1 2003 Soundstage Reviewers Choice).

    To my ears, the Odyssey speaker line was definitely one of the better speaker lines at the 2003 SF HT/Audio Convention a couple of weeks ago. I guess others concur, as their room was one of the only rooms at the show that was always full of people.


    Mark my words, just how like I prophesized the Ascend explosion a couple of years ago, the Odyssey speaker line will explode (like their amps) once the upcoming reviews start trickling within the next 6 months.
     
  15. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    David you seem to have been around this hobby a while. What are you running your Ascends with? I'm interested in separates over my Marantz 7200. I think at this point I'm leaning toward a two-channel bias for the future. Do you run separates? If so what path did your system's evolution take?

    Curtis- I know, I need to log off and work on FAQs but I've been reading about tubes! and overloading my brain at virtual systems over at audiogon. Makes me want to try used separates and/or my hand at tube kits. :b

    If the Odyssey Epiphany is that good I see the need for a shootout with Green Mountain Europas and see how the 340 stands with them.
     
  16. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    We can all work on the FAQ together.

    I agree about the Odyssey...that is why I tried to get a pair!

    Hey...tubes seem to be the rage right now. If I do a system in my room, I may try a build a kit and use some 170's...or a DIY speaker.
     
  17. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,
    In answer to your questions, I use the Ascends CBM-170 and Axiom m22s for my bedrooms which I generally watch movies in at night.

    They are really not meant to be used in 2 channel in my room, with my needs and behavior.

    Thusly, since separates are more expensive and physically intrusive, I've opted for a VERY highly rated all-in-one audiophile piece. The Sony AVD-C70ES . It does the job for dvd multi-channel and music as well. I think my bedroom systems are overkill as they would suit many main room HT systems amazingly well. But I'm pretty enthusiastic about audio, so I opted for such a system.

    The Marantz 7200 is a very good receiver. Very good indeed. Certainly you can do better, but you would have to spend substantially more to do multi-channel better with separates. Ultimately the evolution for all audiophiles is separates. The biggest jump comes with a 2 channel amp (like Odyssey), then the rest follows.

    For my 2 main systems, they consist entirely of separates worth tens of thousands. I did start with a reciever at the beginning like we all do at one point in time. [​IMG]

    If you're interested in 2 channel, may I suggest you visit:
    Audiocircle
    Audio Asylum

    If you're seriously interest in musci vs HT, then it's 2 channel all the way. You can get some mighty fine "budget" pieces that would sonically destroy the Marantz. If you're interested in such pieces, go over to Audiocircle to discuss and learn. Lots of VERY GOOD info. to build an exceptional system at a reasonable price.....
     
  18. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Thanks, David. I'll give Audiocircle a try. I find Audio Asylum participants very reticent to help newbies and that they tend to tear each other apart over what I see as personal opinions and preferences. That said the asylum is were I caught tube fever.

    My HT is in the family room right now. My plan is when the girls are old enough to not need a playroom I'll convert that to a dedicated HT(Curtis- I know you're laughing. Since, you know one of the girls won't be born for a few weeks yet) and build two channel in the family room. Hmm maybe I need to quit using the second zone on the 7200 in the bedroom and start two channel in there.
     
  19. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Chris,
    No laughing here. My kids are 6 and 4 years old. I am just now beginning to turn the livingroom into a more adult environment. I am lucky though, they have never been too interested in all the buttons on my audio gear.
     
  20. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    My three year old knows how to crank it up. She also likes to tell guests that the sound comes from behind, too.
     

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