I am having tremendous difficulty deciding between the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 and the B&W 705. Any input would be greatly appreciated. My Application Extreme nearfield use. I need speakers that I can listen to while I am working at my desk. Unfortunately, the desk is pretty much up against a wall, so I will be unable to pull the speakers out into the room. If I get the Ascends, they will be wall mounted using the mounting brackets that Ascend sells. If I get the B&Ws, then they will be placed on the desk. In both cases, the tweeters will be at ear level and the speakers will be toed-in. The speakers will be used primarily for two-channel audio. Eventually, I may expand the system by adding two to four more speakers for home theater. Typical usage will probably be less than half an hour each day. Amplification will most likely be Rotel or Outlaw. Pre-amp is unknown at this time. Subwoofer is a 25-31PC+. Ascend Comments The CBM-170 is perhaps the epitome of ridiculously high value. I like how the company seems to focus on accuracy. I may have to plug the rear port for my application. Unfortunately, I will be unable to hear the speakers during the decision making process. It is too much of a hassle for me to do the trial period option. Subjectively, the CBM-170s always receive rave reviews. Objectively however, I have not seen enough to inspire complete blind confidence in the product. The National Research Council measurements are excellent, but I am still missing spectral decay, enclosure resonance, and impulse information. B&W Comments Low value products. Why the 700 series? Frankly, at such a close price point to the CBMs, I don't think the 600 series stands a chance. Additionally, from the measurements that I have seen, B&W speakers don't seem to approach neutrality until the 700 series. Furthermore, the 705 is fairly new and should represent B&W's best efforts for the time being. At my local dealer, I listened to the 600, 601, and 705. I did not bother to check out the 805s and CM 2s. I was not impressed with the 600 series, but definitely liked the 705s. The only problem is that the salesperson played pristine recordings, whereas I only listen to mainstream, poorly produced material. I plan on another demo session with my own CDs later this week. I do have some concerns about the design of the speaker. First, while most designs strive to place the tweeter as close as possible to the midrange driver, the 705's tweeter seems a bit high. This may just be an optical illusion. Secondly, despite the ability to place the tweeter anywhere, the drivers of the 705 are still not time-aligned as advertised. Lastly, the sloped baffle is supposed to reduce diffraction effects, but most traditionally shaped speakers with rounded edges do not seem to have a problem. Is it just form? Or is it really function? Closing Price is not really a big concern. I just want to know, which is the better speaker for my application? Which is the better speaker overall? Since I will be unable to listen much, I want what little I do hear to be as accurate as possible.