Ascend CBM-170 , First Impressions

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by SamNF, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. SamNF

    SamNF Extra

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    [Snipped verbatum from my post at ascendforums]

    Now, it's been a couple of years since I've heard a good system; I've been making do with a 1993 2.1 computer multimedia system. My college roommate had a complete Infinity setup that was quite nice. A pair of SM255's, a center, two slightly smaller rears, and a HPS1000 1000w subwoofer. Movies were fun. Anyhow, that's my reference point for a pretty good system. I'm a grad student now and have a little bit of cash to spend, so I thought I'd get myself a decent music system. Ninety-nine percent of the time I listen to music anyhow, and I do that probably 6-10 hours a day. HT can come later.

    After much forum-lurking and a few trips to BestBuy and Circuit City, I decided the Ascends were the most worthy of being tried out. I ordered a pair of CBM-170s, the new 100w DLS sub from PartsExpress.com, and a refurbed HK AVR225 receiver. Just got the speakers finally yesterday.

    They came well packed; double boxed, foam braces, and bagged. People call them ugly. I'd just call them plain, even Spartan, but certainly not ugly. They're fairly weighty beasts, deeper than I envisioned (which is good.)

    I hooked them up without the sub first, with 12 gauge generic speaker wire. Fired up some tunes... Wow. I'm really impressed. Very clear, crisp, and full. The sound leaps out at you, but isn't overbearing at all. People say these fall between the Axioms and Rockets for brightness. After listening to, oh, 10 hours now of music, I think I'm glad I didn't go with Axiom... the Ascends seem to be about the perfect brightness that accentuates mid-high details without straining your ears. The have a lot more bass output than I expected too. I think I could have done without the sub and been happy most of the time. This is especially true as I live in an apartment and keep the sub fairly low - but it did do a nice job of filling out a couple of Yo-Yo Ma tracks I'd queued up.

    To tell you the truth, I prefer the sound of these over my roomie's Infinity mains. They had a tendency to be rather boomy sometimes. Chesty, I think some reviewers call it. I noticed that in many of the tower speakers in BB and CC. Speaking of which... The only speakers I really liked the sound of in BB were the Athenas, which were actually really good (as other people on HT forum, etc, have opined and I later read. Guess my ears aren't too bad ) That being said, I definitely like the Ascends better - although I can't really make a fair comparison with speakers in a noisy public place.

    So my $0.02 is this. Give the Ascends a shot. I think you'll be very happy.

    -- Sam
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I can’t believe that I’ll beat Curtis in a thread referencing Ascends.

    Congratulations on your purchase Sam. You should be very pleased.
     
  3. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    LOL!! [​IMG]

    I second everything that Lew wrote.
     

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