Viable strategy for Ascend speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Cliff L, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. Cliff L

    Cliff L Extra

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    Hi all,

    After reading reviews & forum posts & getting some feedback, I've decided to upgrade my cheapie KLH bookshelf speakers to Ascends. However, I do have a limited budget so I can't get all 5 speakers at once. Would this be a viable alternative?

    Ultimately, I want to have the CBM-170s for my fronts, HTM-200s for my rears, and the CMT-340c for my center channel. Or is it worth having the 170s as rears as well since the cost per pair for the 170s isn't THAT much more?

    Anyway, assuming I'll use the 200s as rears, would it be ok to get a pair of the 170s for fronts and *one* HTM-200 to use as a center for now. That way I'll at least have a matched L/R/C for now. And then in the future move the 200 to surround duty, replace it with a 340c and get another 200? I'm worried that the 200s won't break in evenly - is that a reasonable assumption?

    Or should I just save & save and get 170s all around with the 340c center channel?

    I'm not a serious audiophile by any means but I just want a decent setup with *good* speakers. No need to jump into a $3000 setup.

    My current setup:
    Pioneer VSX-401 DD/DTS receiver
    KLH L853B bookshelf speakers (fronts/rears)
    Sony SA-WM40 sub
    Some cheapie Technics center channel
    Panny DVD-RV30 DVD player
    Panasonic 27" stereo TV
     
  2. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    If I were you I would get 3 170's right now. One for the center, and 2 for the mains. That is if you don't mind having a 170 for a center. This would be much better than the 200 for a center. Then eventually you could get the 340 center and an additional 170 for the rears. That's what I would do. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I'd do it the same way Paul suggests. The 170s are only about $50 more. Is will really help if you get into SACD or DVD-A. Who knows at this point what the future is of these music surround formats. Besides you may decide that the 170 center channels is all you need.

    I haven't traded in my 170 CC for the 340 yet and don't know if I will. But I've got two kids under three and get to watch about one or two movies a month rated over G and don't see any change in that for a few years. I really can't justify the money difference between the 340 and the 170 for my use.
     
  4. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Ahhh...Chris beat me to a post!

    There is one question though. Will you need the mounting flexiblity of the HTM-200? If not, then I agree with Paul and Chris.
     
  5. Cliff L

    Cliff L Extra

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    Another question, is there any difference between the Ascend CBM-170 (sold in pairs) and the "CBM-170 center" other than the grill? I thought about either wall or ceiling mounting my surrounds, but that's not a definite thing until we move into our new house & figure out how we want to set everything up.
     
  6. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I believe the only difference is where they stick the Ascend logo to the grille cloth.
     
  7. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris is right, the only difference between the 170 center and a "regular" 170 is the positioning of the logo. Cliff, Ascend has a program where you can purchase your speakers one or two at a time and still get the package deal price. It's called the "extender" program. You might look into it. I also agree with Chris about getting 170s for the rears, especially if you will being using the system for music (SACD and DVD-A). I would recommend getting 4 170s, a 340 center, and a VTF-2 sub, thats the set up that I have and I'm very pleased with it for both HT and music! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Cliff L

    Cliff L Extra

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    Well, as I'm very satisfied with my Sony SA-WM40 sub right now and that's the most expensive portion of the pkg deal. I think I will hold off on getting the VTF-2 for a good long while (as much as I would love to have one) as my budget is limited.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I will be calling Ascend tomorrow to find out more about their "extender" program.
     
  9. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Cliff, go to the Ascend webpage, click on "whats new" and scroll down to 2/15/02 and you can get the details on the "extender" program.
     
  10. Cliff L

    Cliff L Extra

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    Wow, thanks again you guys. I may call & see if he'll be willing to work with me if I got it in a slightly different order (the fronts & 170 as a center), and then the other 170 and 340c (or another 2 170s).

    Btw, what do you recommend as far as speaker stands? Are the ones they carry priced reasonably or can I do better (price and/or quality wise) somewhere else?

    And I know you guys said that the 170s should really not be used as wall or ceiling mounts because they are rear-ported. That is, if you want better acoustics. Why is it that he advertises the wall-mounts with the 170s then?
     
  11. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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  12. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Cliff, I bought a pair of BB-75 speaker stands for my CBM-170 surrounds. They are made for Ascend by Standesign. I've been pleased with them. They're sand or lead shot fillable, have attachable spikes, and are finished with a black crinkle texture. The tops of the 170s are 42 inches off the floor (vertical position). BTW, I used the "extender" program myself; you're not alone being on a budget [​IMG] !
     

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