Looking to upgrade Center to Ascend HTM-200 from JBL N-CenterII

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Jason8, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Jason8

    Jason8 Agent

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    My current and first HT set-up is pretty budget, compared to what I everyone seems to spend here [​IMG], I have JBL N26 II's bookshelf speakers as Mains and a JBL N-CenterII for Center speaker. That's it. Oh, and there's my 27" Sony Wega, of course, and my Yamaha HTR-5550 receiver. I got the JBL's pretty cheap back when Jandr had free shipping on them. Use is about 70% movies/tv and 30% music. Room size is like 12'x15'.

    The problem I have is that for one, my TV is only a 27" one, and to have a Center speaker that is 20"W x 6"H sitting on top of my TV has become something of an aesthetic eye-sore. Not to mention being flanked by Mains 17"H x 9"W. So physically I wish my speakers were abit less obtrusive.

    Sound-wise, I'm looking for more clarity in my Center speaker as the JBL N-CenterII is abit muddy. The Mains are abit forward with the midrange, so looking for more balance and neutrality there.

    I'm thinking of eventually selling off my JBL speakers, and upgrading to all Ascends. I would first upgrade the Center with Ascend's HTM-200. It's pricetag and diminutive size appeals to me, though I am wondering how much of an upgrade it would be from my JBL center(?) How does the HTM-200 and CBM-170 compare as a center speaker? From what I have read, the CBM-170 is superior in every way, but it's abit of an odd shape to have atop the TV, and the HTM-200 seems better suited for laying horizontally with its dual 4" woofers (better dispersion too?) The CMT-340c is abit out of my price-range and it is even bigger than my current center speaker.
     
  2. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Jason,

    I have never heard the JBL's.

    But as far as a center goes, I would opt for the CBM-170 over the HTM-200. I used to have the CBM-170 as my center before I upgraded to the CMT-340...and it did very well. The shape is a bit odd for a center, but did not look bad on my TV.

    There are a pair of CBM-170's for sale here on HTF.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=165314
     
  3. Nick-G

    Nick-G Agent

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    I think that the new E-series center (EC25) from JBL is a bit smaller and would still match your N26's since it is also from the northridge series. Just something to think about.
     
  4. AjayRAV

    AjayRAV Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason,

    I would second what Curtis said. I have the CBM 170s and love them. I use them for my front speakers coupled to an Adire Audio RAVA sub. My center is the Ascend CMT 340c which is really nice as well. IMHO, the move to get an Ascend is a great one. You can then slowly build up to an all Ascend matched 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 or 10.2 (if Tom Holman of THX fame has his way) system. The fun never ends and last I heard, 'upgraditis' had no cure!!

    Ajay
     
  5. Jason8

    Jason8 Agent

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    thanks for the input guys.
    I'll prolly stop by Bestbuy today, so I'll check out the new JBL stuff, but the mysterious Ascends are still tops on my list.

    Some questions.

    If using the CBM-170 as a center, do you turn it horizontally? I read it sounds better standing vertically, but a bookshelf speaker sitting atop my TV that way would be odd.

    Also, my room is pretty smallish, like 12x15 (or less), and my TV is only 27". I have the couch placed about 6 feet from the TV, so my listening might be considered "near-field". The cmt-340c seems over-kill for my set-up, so it's either the cbm-170 or htm-200. I read that that the htm-200 is better for near-field listening, and the small size appeals to me (as does the price). Though you guys seem to suggest that a proper initiation to Ascends should start with the cbm-170, and perhaps starting with that as my center would be a good upgrade path....I think I'll email Ascend and get their input on this too.
     
  6. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Jason,

    I had my CBM-170 horizontal on my TV and it was fine. You could always try the HTM-200, and if you think it is lacking, eat the shipping, and upgrade.

    Good idea to send an email to Ascend. You might also want to visit the Ascend Forum .

    The CBM-170 is highly acclaimed, and for good reason.
     

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