Ascend CBM-170 vs CMT-340L/R

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by AjayRAV, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. AjayRAV

    AjayRAV Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi guys,

    Just ordered a pair of CBM-170s which will arrive in a couple of weeks (too much demand!!). Anyways, I'm wondering if I should get the 340L/R instead (basically, the new center with a modified Xover to function as main speakers). I'm using a RAVA sub too. What are the sonic differences between the two that would justify the added expense of the 340L/R?

    Thanks,
    Ajay
     
  2. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Ajay,

    I have both. I used to use the CBM-170 as my mains. I now have the CMT-340 as my mains, and moved the 170 to surrounds.

    Because the left/right version of the 340 is not officially announced, there are not many people that have been able to compare the two.

    IMHO, the 340 is a little more forward, goes lower, maybe a hint more detail in the highs. Basically a more dynamic speaker. I think they made a better 170.

    The added cost can be only justified if you like the sound.

    If you in the Los Angeles area, you are more than welcome to stop by for a listen.
     
  3. AjayRAV

    AjayRAV Stunt Coordinator

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    Curtis,

    Thanks for the offer of auditioning your Ascends. I live in the Bay Area, so it may be a little hard, though not that much!!! I'm more in favor of a transparent, laid-back sound, so the 170s might be just fine (hopefully a great improvement over my brash Klipsch bookshelf speakers). Since my listening area is fairly small and most of my listening is done semi nearfield (speakers about 6.5 feet away), I would prefer a smoother top-end. I'll probably get a 340 for my center, assuming I like the Ascends!) and then have a better idea if the 170s should be relegated to surround duties as you have done. Somehow I have a feeling that the Fabrikants will become my local pushers and all my money will go towards getting more and more Ascends. A monster has been created!!![​IMG]

    Ajay
     
  4. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Ajay,

    I think the 170 is better in nearfield than the 340. But I must say, the 340 is pretty transparent as well.

    The Ascends sound A LOT different than those Klipsch bookshelves. My Parents have two different pairs of Klipsch bookshelves, and I used to own KG4's.

    Remember...Ascend is down here...you could ask to pick up your speakers...drive down, have a listen to the 340's. [​IMG]

    One thing I can tell you about David F.....he is no pusher! He lets the speakers do the talking. LOL!
     
  5. Ganesh

    Ganesh Agent

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    From where did you guys get the info on the 340 L/R's? It's not even mentioned on their web-page (only the center is). Are they physically pretty much the same as the center, except maybe the tweeter is above the 2 woofers (and not in between)?
    Since they have 2 6.5"'s vs one in 170, they should be significantly better in the mid/lower base, are they?

    Thanks,
    Ganesh.
     
  6. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Ganesh,

    It is unadvertised at the moment. It has the same drivers and cabinet as the CMT-340c. The demand on the center is high, so for inventory control they have chosen not to advertise the left/right version. The difference is the tweeter is rotated and tweaked a bit. Same MTM arrangement.

    And yes...they are better in the mid/lower base.

    Where are you located? You are welcome to come listen to my setup.
     
  7. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    Would one of you all mind moving to Birmingham, AL so I can listen to the 340's?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Paul,

    The weather and beaches are great right now. Got any vacation coming up?
     
  9. Ganesh

    Ganesh Agent

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    Curtis,

    Thanks for the invitation, but I live all the way across the country, Salem, NewHampshire! Ain't gonna be able to drive down on a weekend to checkout your setup. Sighhhhh...

    BTW, what is 'MTM arrangement' ?

    Ganesh.
     
  10. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    MTM= midrange-tweeter-midrange
     
  11. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    On the east coast, I know of one person checking out the 340 l/r...he is in Philadelphia.
     
  12. RickLe

    RickLe Stunt Coordinator

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    My pre/pro will be hopefully arriving tomorrow but this I can tell you about the 340 so far. I had a Denon 2400 hooked up to two Infinity Overture 2's, I then put a Paradigm Reference CC Center in and it just blew them away, the sound was just unbelievable. I decided I needed Paradigm all the way around.

    Well it never happened. Some time later I ended up ordering a full complement of Ascends. I'm still waiting on my HSU sub which is on backorder but I did hook up the 340 to see how it faired to the Paradigm Reference. IMHO the 340 more than holds it's own, over all it is more subtle but it definitely is more natural than the Paradigm. Saying that almost hurts due to the price of the Paradigm but it's true.
     
  13. Ganesh

    Ganesh Agent

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    Curtis,

    From what you are saying it looks like the 340's are better in every way, the lows/mids and the highs. But what did you mean by the 170's are better than the 340's in nearfield? My listening area is about 17x17x8 (though the room is 30 ft long), speakers will be about 12/13 feet from seating area - is that nearfield? To get them shipped and try them out, which ones should I go for in your opinion? If I try the 340's and don't like them then for sure I won't like the 170's, so makes sense to try the 340's. I would definitely prefer a deeper/fuller speaker, but the question is, is the difference worth the price difference?

    Thanks in advance.
    Ganesh.
     
  14. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Hi Ganesh,

    Nearfield...like 4 to 5 feet and less from the speaker.

    If you do not like the 340's, it does not mean you won't like the 170's. The differences may not be huge....but there are differences. Some people are more sensitive to different nuances. The one person in Philly right now that has the 170 and 340, may be leaning toward the 170's because he is not used to the midbass and bass...maybe the 340 will grow on him...maybe not.

    The 340's are definitely a fuller/deeper speaker. IMHO, it is simply a bigger and more dynamic speaker than the 170.

    I love my 170's, IMO tough to beat to beat at 2 to 3 times the cost. Are the 340's $160 better....it was worth it to me, but it may not to someone else.

    I do not know if I would have tried the Ascends. I read the reviews just like we all do, not a bad word said about their sound, but I was still aprehensive. But I got lucky, Hsu Research had them in the demo room and they are only 40 minutes from me. So the day before, I went a listened to Paradigms again up to the Studio 40. The next day, I had an appointment at Hsu Research, listened to the Ascends and Hsu subs.....I was incredibly impressed, I walked out with my Ascend setup and a b-stock VTF-3. A full 5.1 setup for the cost of pair of S40's and a small Paradigm sub....and with a better sound speaker for speaker.

    After hearing Axioms.....I am pretty convinced that internet direct offers much more than brick and mortar. The downside, you can not hear before you buy, the 30 day return makes it easy, but I can still see how it can be difficult for people.
     
  15. AjayRAV

    AjayRAV Stunt Coordinator

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    So Curtis, How many people have you converted to Ascend with your evangelizing? Me, possibly Ganesh, I know of. You should make Dave F pay you in kind by building you Special Editions of Ascends absolutely free! Ganesh, FWIW, I spoke with Ascend and they recommended the 170s for my needs. Open, less forward sound and ideal for a small room. My center will probably be a 340 though!

    Ajay
     
  16. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    hehehehe...

    Ofcourse I think Ascend makes great cost effective products, but I just want people to know of the internet direct alternatives. Ascends won't be for everyone, but there are others out there that might. IMHO, dollar for dollar, they offer more value than most of what I have heard through brick & mortar stores. Ascend, Axiom, Hsu, SVS.....all of them and more.

    I hope people take my raving with some skepticism, because I would. But combine what everyone has to say, customers and professional reviewers, I think they provide good enough reason to try these things.

    I'm glad you called them....they always do their best to point you in the right direction.

    Hope everything works out for you...no matter what you end up with.
     
  17. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    "IMHO the 340 more than holds it's own, over all it is more subtle but it definitely is more natural than the Paradigm. Saying that almost hurts due to the price of the Paradigm but it's true."

    Rickle-- I feel your pain. I was extremely proud of my Mini-Monitors until my 170s humbled them. It is hard to believe with the value Paradigm is that they are even better values out there. I got my 170s on sale($300) with free shipping on a whim to try them out for a secondary system and they quickly knocked the Mini-Monitors out of the main system into the secondary system. And you are comparing the 340s to the Reference series.
     
  18. RickLe

    RickLe Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I just finished hooking up my new Sherbourn PT7000 and 5/5210a to my Ascend fronts and center (I'm testing at all levels of install ;-) )

    Well according to my wife, "HEY THAT'S TOOOOOO LOUD!"
    *me with a smile and synical giggle* "Yeah, hehehehehe."
     
  19. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    RickLe....

    Nice!! What did you have before, and do you notice a difference with the 170's using they new electronics?
     
  20. RickLe

    RickLe Stunt Coordinator

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    I had a Denon 2400 pushing Infinity Overture 2's and a Paradigm Reference Center. I then swapped the Ascends which came out with more detail and a more natural tone. I'm just blown away now though with the Sherbourn setup. I was almost ready to jump on the Outlaw combo but got a pretty good deal locally (even though Sherbourn did send me a used PT7000 at first). I'm afraid of hurting the Ascends but I've already pushed them past the point where my Infinity's would drop off and it seems they'll take alot more (but of course there's the wife). I still have to address the issue of running some wiring through the floor tomorrow for my rears but I'm game. The tuner in the PT7000 picks up better and clearer than my Denon for sure. I spent hours at an audio outlet locally demo-ing the Denon 3803, and even though I believe it's a great unit, it seems more laid back in it's response. The Ascends really are something, the guy I bought the Sherbourn setup from was having me look at an Energy Veritas setup but that would have laid me back another 2k easy. I do get more detail with the new electronics in stereo for sure but it's going to be hard to compare 5.1 wise because the Denon 2400 didn't decode signals without the use of another unit. All I can say is WOW!
     

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