My toughts on my new Ascend Acoustics 5.1 speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BradJudy, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently purchased a set of speakers from Ascend Acoustics and a new H/K AVR-520 (talk about your great deal combos) and rather than post individual reviews in a few different places I put my thoughts on the web and will just link to it.
    I am quite happy with the system and definitely recommend Ascend to anyone looking for a home theater or music system.
    Here's my amateur review
     
  2. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Well said Brad!
    I too, am the proud owner of an Ascend/Hsu combination. Your observations are right on the money. I have heard a rumour,(I think it was from another Ascend owner on this forum Randy Kudor(sp?)) that Ascend has a new center channel speaker in the works. Anyway, Ascend is a real pleasure to do business with - quality products with quality people behind them! David F. and his group seem to have their act together[​IMG]
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    nicely done, Brad!
    like the way you laid that out, and the context you put everything in.
    we seem to share alot of the same impressions.
    i too, have the 3-170s, 2-200s, and vtf-2, although i missed out on the speaker stand deal.
    i just have to go out and get a sound meter.
    i'm having a little bit of hard time integrating the Hsu.
    i thought i had it set-up right, but AOTC was impossible to listen to (the opening scenes sounded and felt like their was a 747 in the room).

    it also looks like you came to the ascends by way of the Rockets. i haven't heard the sound from the 150s, but always thought the 250s (and 200 center) made for a spectacular front end for HT. and yes, the are strikingly beautiful-

    i think there is a substantial difference in the way the rockets sounded for ht vs. the ascends. i was going to post this in another thread, but when i first got the ascends i was a little bit less enthusiastic about the ht experience.
    it ended up being that the same reason i loved the ascends much more than the rockets for music, was the same reason i was thrown a little by ht use.
    the ascends to me are quite 'airy'. instruments, vocals, etc all seem to occupy their own space...with plenty of air between them. so many good(and higher priced) speakers i've heard, seem to congest these, or stack them on top of each other until you just get this sonic stew.
    i guess you would also say the ascends are a little laid back (another quality i liked).
    the thing i initially liked more about the rockets was that the soundstage has more force or presence (forwardness?), but i realize now, it was also of a more 2 dimensional variety.
    it literally was a solid sheet of sound.
    the ascends just aren't like that.
    sounds seem to be more realistically dispersed.
    i'm not saying thats better, nor am i saying i like it better.
    its just, to me, noticeably different.
    after a couple of months now, i have 0 problems with the Ascends for HT.
    its cliched to keep saying how good they are with music, but i do notice in film soundtracks, the musical scoring has taken on a whole new life with these speakers.
    sometimes i'll find myself watching a movie with a mediocre or undistinguished audio mix, and then the music will kick in and the difference is quite startling.


    the other big thing about the rockets vs. ascends is of course asthetics.
    initially, the looks of the rockets are what made me want to upgrade NOW. i'd go to their webpage and drool.
    in person they were even more breath-taking, but that ended up being a liability in my situation.
    they were just too nice.
    it was budget that made me send them back more than anything, but once i got the ascends in, i had to admit i much preferred having speakers that 'disappear' into the background, rather than ones that stand out front and center announcing themselves.
    if it were a different room, i could see wanting the rockets, but for my ht as it is now, i'm much happier with the transparency of the ascends (both visually and aurally).

    one last thing- the rocket 200 center was an impressive speaker-very full, very rich sounding, but i had one big problem with it in regard to my fp set-up.
    it just couldn't project sound to make it seem like it was eminating from screen center. vocals especially seemed to be anchored below screen.
    no such problem with the 170. i love the way it places the sounds inside the screen.
    the ascends were originally a compromise purchse for me, and they ended up being just about everything i was actually looking for.
    very happy with them.
     
  4. KevinQ

    KevinQ Stunt Coordinator

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    Well done Brad. Nice pictures too.
    Since I am also in the market for new speakers and some amplifier, I am thinking about both CBM-170 and HK520.
    Do you feel the HK520 drive the Ascend CBM-170 properly? In other words, how large improvement in terms of music reproduction do you get by upgrading from Onkyo 525 to HK520?
    Thanks.
    P.S.
    I posted in the following two threads about Speaker and Amplifier upgrades.
     
  5. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul - I agree that the Rockets, while very good and beautiful, are a bit too forward for my tastes. I found them better suited for home theater than music. Not to mention I think the Rocket 200 center would crush my TV. [​IMG]
    Kevin - I haven't tried the CBM-170s on my Onkyo - I think the AVR-520 drives them very well. I'll hook up the Onkyo and let you know what the difference is like. I have heard others say that Ascend directly recommended the H/K for their speakers. I had already decided on it when I ordered the speakers. I think the Ascends are definitely worth a shot for you - I certainly think they are better than the Paradigm Monitor series (especially the newer ones - I like my older ones with silk dome tweeters better than the new ones).
     
  6. KevinQ

    KevinQ Stunt Coordinator

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    Brad, thanks for the information. Look foward to hearing about your test.
     
  7. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin - I just tried out the Onkyo on the Ascends briefly. While not quite as good as the H/K they do drive the speakers quite well - the difference is minimal in my short test. I don't know what that says for the current Onkyo receivers as mine is a 525 from about 6-7 years ago. The 525 certainly isn't a slouch - I mainly upgraded to move from DPL to DD/DTS for movies.
     
  8. KevinQ

    KevinQ Stunt Coordinator

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    Brad, thanks for inputs. I guess it is hard to compare the 525 with current Onkyo. Happy listening.
     
  9. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Brad,

    Great review!!! Bravo!

    I couldn't agree more about the ascends!
     
  10. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Someone mentioned my name?

    I don't think I was supposed to mention that new ascend center channel on a public forum. oops, my bad. Regardless, I do plan on picking one up as soon as they are available. If it sounds as good (or even better?) than what I have already, Im sold!
     

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