Ascend CBM 170 review

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by AjayRAV, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. AjayRAV

    AjayRAV Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, after much debate I decided to go ahead and order a pair of Ascends to try out. My equipment comprises Marantz components, a RAVA sub and Klipsch bookshelf speakers. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had heard really good things about the Ascends and there were religeous zealots trying to convert all to the ways of Ascend, proclaiming Hallelujas (You know who you are....Curtis, Chris).

    The speakers arrived securely double boxed. They had a perfectly adequate stealth-black finish and appeared well made. I replaced the KSB 2.1s with the Ascends, adjusted the levels on my receiver and sat back to listen. My first test was Nina Simone's rendition of the old Billie Holliday classic- Strange fruit. Nina sings it almost a cappella with a piano accompaniment. Once the song began, the speakers literally seemed to dissolve, leaving behind a beguiling soundstage with amazing depth and transparency. Switching to rock, the urgency and tempo shifted, but the soundstage remained deep and transparent- Light-years ahead of the Klipsches. Wow!

    In the end, I have just one thing to say- Hallelujah, I am a convert!!

    Ajay
     
  2. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I'm glad you are happy!

    Good thing I am not a liar on this board.
     
  3. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Welcome to club Ascend. Rumor has it that an all Ascend forum is in the works and should be up and running soon.
     
  4. AjayRAV

    AjayRAV Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, now that I love my satellites, lets get down to the center. I received a CMT340c along with my 170s. While it sounds awesome, it is a little too big physically. My TV is a 27 inch HDTV. My question is would an HTM 200 suit my purposes if my Xover is set at around 100 Hz (Marantz fixed Xover) and my listening room is pretty small? What I could do then is ask Dave F to supply it without the logo attached so when I upgrade in the future and get a 340, I can get an additional HTM and use the 2 as surrounds. Comments?

    Thanks,
    Ajay
     
  5. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Hmmmm...

    I have never used the 200 as a center. How about another 170? The 200 worked fine for me as surrounds though.

    If you go with the 170 center, you could then eventually move to four 170's and the 340 center.....or five 170's. Or get a bigger TV??[​IMG]

    Maybe someone that has used the 200 as a center can chime in.
     
  6. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm with Curtis in that I've never tried the HTM-200 as a center, but the 170 is almost as good as the 340. I know what you mean about the size - maybe I'll post a pic of the 340 on my 19" TV. [​IMG]

    Are you running the 170s and 340 with a 100Hz x-over? You're definitely missing some of their capabilities, especially the 340. Of course the lowest my H/K AVR-520 x-over goes is 80Hz, but I usually run them as 'large' and not 'small'. Regardless of what everyone says about the proper setting, it just sounds better to me and that's what really counts.

    As far as the logo, you can get the grill with the logo and I bet DF would just trade you grills when you wanted to switch.

    PS for Curtis: My project is complete and should be arriving at Ascend HQ tomorrow (Monday). I can't wait to get them back.
     
  7. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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  8. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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  9. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I've aways wondered about the crossover setting too. If the 170s roll off around 60hz how the heck does setting them to full damage drivers as is frequently claimed?

    I keep mine on full since I'm mostly music and I nearly always forget to switch it for movies.
     
  10. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I found this on a different board. Anyone seen this? I'm interested for my bedroom since I don't have anyplace for a sub. I could easily stack these. On the other hand since $250ea is the cheapest I found these I keep thinking for $850 a pair I should be able to find something much better. I apologize for my computer ignorance. I don't know how to do this as a link.


    Posted by I've ascended on April 15, 2003 at 17:52:38

    If you've discovered that Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s are excellent speakers and an incredible value, I've got good news for you! I've discovered the ideal help-mate for these speakers, in the form of the Energy S8.2 subwoofer. This ported 8" sub is a nearly perfect match economically, cosmetically, and, most important, sonicly. They are available for $300 ($270 if you get them at the Good Guys website) and I'm suggesting that you get two of them, one for each channel. When you stack the Ascends on top of them, they look like they belong together. If the edges on the Energys were radiused, the illusion would be complete. Like the Ascends, the Energy subwoofer was designed, and promoted, for use in a home theater, even though its star would shine brighter in an audiophile firmament. Unlike most home theater subs, the Energy S8.2 is tight and tuneful, matching the sonic character of the Ascends so well that the blend is almost seamless. The total cost for this combination is $870 and, if you arrange things right, you can audition this combo in your own home at very little risk. The sole caveat is that this is still a speaker system best suited for use in a small-to-middle size room (up to 250 sq.ft.). I'm not qualified to make this claim, but it would not surprise me if this combination managed to establish itself as a benchmark for what can be achieved in speakers for under $1000 (DIY excluded). If you don't believe me, check it out & prove me wrong. Or not. You can thank me later.
     
  11. AjayRAV

    AjayRAV Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Chris,

    That seems like a good solution. the only thing you would have to do is add height, so the tweeters are at an acceptable level. 25-26 inches, which is what the tweeter height would be if you stacked 'em, is still low. I know you are constraints by space reqmts, otherwise I would suggest a RAVA. The combo is, in a word, awesome!

    Ajay
     
  12. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    Is this Ascend only forum suppose to be on HTF, or some other website?
     
  13. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Paul the rumors have it as its own site run by Ascend aficionados NOT by Ascend Acoustics.
     
  14. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I see...please let me know when this forum has started. [​IMG]
     
  15. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Chris...how do you have the sub set up for this? I tried this as well, but I could never get it to sound good with the sub...so I decided to just let the receiver do the crossover work.

    I don't think setting the speaker to "full" will damage them.

    As for a sub in the bedroom, if I ever put a nice sound system in there, I think I would look at the low cost subs coming from Hsu. I think SVS has some low cost stuff coming too. I heard the lowcost Hsu 8"...it was quite impressive for $330.
     
  16. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Oops, "full" should read "large"

    Curtis, I'm embarrassed to say that I can't remember how I've got the sub set.

    I went to the Hsu website and he doesn't show any 8" subs on there. Are they only availible to those of you who can walk-in?
     
  17. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    No biggie. Just wondering. Because with the little playing I did with the speakers set to large, and running the sub, I could not get it to sound as good as when the receiver did all the crossover work.
     
  18. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Okay, now if you use the 340s and two 8" subs that gives you a total 37" height with the Energy/340 combo with the 340s approx two inches narrower both ways. On a MTM do you still want the tweeter ear level?

    Curtis can you find that link you had to the Ascend 340 stands, I'm not having any luck? And how much are they?

    I know. I'm really off on a crazy tangent but if you can stack them on eight inch subs for just a little more than the stands for the 340 and can go under 30hz...hmmmm.

    Edit: Curtis I found the link over at AVS is the price $150 a pair or each? http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...chmentid=10718
     
  19. Ganesh

    Ganesh Agent

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    What? Triple crossover?! I have a Denon 2803 and all it has ONE crossover (for the sub). Is this unique to HK-525 or is it hidden in the Denon somewhere?

    PS: Still waiting to receive the Ascends ...
     
  20. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Chris,

    $150 is for the pair, but a little cheaper if you buy everything at one time I think. Are you becoming a speaker designer?

    Newsletter about new Hsu subs

    Ganesh,

    The Triple Crossover feature on the some of the HK AVRs allows you to have seperate crossover settings for mains, center, and surrounds. The Denon does not have this feature. I am not sure what other pre/pros or receivers have it. It is a very nice feature.
     

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