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Paradigm, Aperion, Ascend or ????

 

New member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 6
Registered: May-05
First off, thanks to Art for getting me going on this speaker hunt. I am going to audition some Paradigms this weekend. But, I would like everyone's thoughts on speakers for a 5.1 to 7.1 HT, given the following:

Price point for all is about $2000, even if I decide to go for a new sub;

Denon 3803 receiver;

Have existing MK 12" powered sub and wonder if I should replace it - it's about 7 plus years old (Art says keep the best and replace the rest but everything else is 15 plus years old);

Panasonic DVD player - OK for now but will upgrade eventually; and

Odd shaped room - 10 wide by 30 feet long with shorter 8 foot ceiling.

Yes, I am a noobie and trying to figure this whole, great sound thing out. (AND, I know Art's going to tell me to go listen to them and buy what sounds best to me.) Thanks, Dave.
 

New member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 7
Registered: May-05
OK,

I'm learning as I read. So, maybe I can keep the MK 12" sub and either keep the BA rears or move the Sonic fronts into rears and I could then concentrate on just buying timbre matched fronts and a center OR am I still missing the boat here - should all five or seven HT speakers be timbre matched? I am trying to figure things out from the other posts. If I can just buy fronts and a center, I guess I'd try to keep it near a $1000. If I can only keep either 1 set or 1 speaker, it would probably be the MK 12" sub or the BA rears. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Dave
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
Get Ascend 340s across the front and keep which ever speakers match the closest for the surrounds. Keep the M&K sub as the lead dude at Ascend likely worked on designing it during his M&K days. You would need the upper end of the Paradigm Studio line to complete with the 340s and Aperion doesn't compete.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 567
Registered: Feb-05
We all have our biases. Ascend's are probably nice but I would lean toward Paradigm because ofcourse I like them. I would try to timbre match all of your speakers. For some DVD's you can really tell if you didn't. I was convinced by my recent experience with Paradigm Studio 40 fronts and Mini Monitor rears. On some DVD's it just wasn't right. When I replaced the rears with Studio 20's it all sounded right again. If you intend to listen to performance DVD's or multichannel music it is imperative that you have all speakers timbre matched.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 637
Registered: Mar-05
Art,

> If you intend to listen to performance DVD's or multichannel music it is imperative that you have all speakers timbre matched.

Er, what do you mean by "performance DVDs"---music concerts on DVD, or highly demanding movies on DVD like LOTR?

If it's the first, I would probably agree with that though come to think of it I've not tried any concert DVDs in years, hmmm... Since we seem to share some musical tastes, any recommendations?
 

New member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 8
Registered: May-05
Remember that I'm a noobie here and inexperienced on top of it. I presume that "timbre matching" is only possible between speakers made by the same manufacturer? So, you can't timbre match speakers based upon how they reproduce the sound/music? I'm getting this drift as I read.

If I'm correct, I should keep the MK 12" sub and buy everything else new, right?
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 640
Registered: Mar-05
David,

it all depends on HOW you're going to use your system:

1. Multi-channel music on SACD or DVD-A: rears need to be timbre-matched to front, absolutely.

2. Two-channel music on regular CDs, regular HT: front 3 need to be timbre matched, rears can be whatever.

3. If you mainly watch a lot of Hollywood sci-fi/action flicks (which typically consist of 45% visual special FX, 45% aural special FX, and 10% predicatable by-the-numbers formulaic brain-dead plot/characters) at high volumes, then having the rears timbre matched to the fronts MIGHT be worthwhile too...this is a contentious point of debate.

Yes, "timbre matching" means same manufacturer and same model if you're really really a-nal.
 

New member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 9
Registered: May-05
Edster,

Right now I have a low to mid priced progressive scan DVD although I would like to look into SACD or DVD-A at some point, BUT, the wife is calling time out now that I'm looking at mid-priced speakers.

I would say that 80% of my use is HT and movies and only 20% music, although I do enjoy classical, rock and jazz when I do listen.

I have BA CR6 - 8 Ohm rears
Rock Solid - 8 Ohm, 150 Watt fronts with no serial # - SORRY
and I have a Polk CS 250S center.
These are all about 15 years old and were "matched" by the audio guys at Magnolia Hi-Fi when I bought them with my old Denon AVR 1500 85 watts fronts and 25 or 35 rears.

So, I'm now trying to upgrade to something midrange and substantially improve the sound. The Denon 3803 was the first step and now I'm looking to go further, although it made an incredible difference in the sound system. WOW!
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 649
Registered: Mar-05
In that case I'd just go with Ascend 340s across the front (esp. if you have a bigger room and your wife objects to the boxy look of the 170s) or the 340 center with a pair of Ascend 170s.

With 80% HT use you'll definitely get your money's worth from that 340 center...it's huge and not cheap but worth every penny! I found that I didn't need to turn up the volume as loud in order to understand dialogue, voices were incredibly articulate and natural.

I wouldn't worry about timbre matching the rears until you get the dough for SACD/DVD-A *and* your wife has enough time to recover from the fronts.

BTW make sure that you budget enough for some good speaker stands ($70-140/pair), they will make a world of difference!
 

New member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 10
Registered: May-05
Edster,

Right now I have a low to mid priced progressive scan DVD although I would like to look into SACD or DVD-A at some point, BUT, the wife is calling time out now that I'm looking at mid-priced speakers.

I would say that 80% of my use is HT and movies and only 20% music, although I do enjoy classical, rock and jazz when I do listen.

I have BA CR6 - 8 Ohm rears
Rock Solid - 8 Ohm, 150 Watt fronts with no # - SORRY
and I have a Polk CS 250S center.
These are all about 15 years old and were "matched" by the audio guys at Magnolia Hi-Fi when I bought them with my old Denon AVR 1500 85 watts fronts and 25 or 35 rears.

So, I'm now trying to upgrade to something midrange and substantially improve the sound. The Denon 3803 was the first step and now I'm looking to go further, although it made an incredible difference in the sound system. WOW!
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 578
Registered: Feb-05
Edster try the Boz Scaggs performance DVD. It is dynamite.
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
"We all have our biases. Ascend's are probably nice but I would lean toward Paradigm because ofcourse I like them."

I was a huge Paradigm fan and owner until I tried the Ascends. The Ascends have better mids and smoother treble. The low end differences were negated by my sub. My Paradigms were on ebay in short owner.
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
"We all have our biases. Ascend's are probably nice but I would lean toward Paradigm because ofcourse I like them."

I was a huge Paradigm fan and owner until I tried the Ascends. The Ascends have better mids and smoother treble. The low end differences were negated by my sub. My Paradigms were on ebay in short order.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 11
Registered: May-05
OK Barnacle,

I'll go listen to the Paradigms but I'll keep an open mind. From the feedback, it sounds like no one is very hot on the Aperions that I mentioned earlier and no one has come up with a solution on the BAs, except Art, and I'm not sure he was very excited with the BA starting point, even as rears.

SO, do I have it narrowed down to just the two the Ascends and Paradigms in this price range? Anyone tried the Pinnacle Classic Gold Reference II series or the Axiom Audio M22tis that Audioholics loved so much? Yes, the Paradigms were considered the better speaker but at $500 more a pair, any thoughts in their second speaker shoot out? In the last trial, the Axioms performed quite well (especially at $400 pair) compared to the much more expensive Paradigms and RBHs. Any thoughts on the lesser priced options versus the Paradigms and Ascends?

I've checked on Ascends and I can get 340 fronts, 170 rears and a 340 center for about $1350 includding shipping plus I'll need some stands, which are on sale right now? Is this a reasonable set up and price for speakers in this price/quality range?
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
I've heard the M22tis. The Ascend 170s are better in my opinion. The M22 doesn't do the highest highs that well, they kind of lose control. I'd stack the 340s up against the Axiom M60s, outside of bottom end extension, without a problem. To me Ascend has some of the best mids out there.

I'd say Ascend has very little company at that $1350 price point.

Go to the [url=http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/index.php]Ascend Forum[/url] and see what others beside Edster and I think.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mauimusicman

Post Number: 86
Registered: Apr-05
Of course Axiom has a forum full of people who think they are the greatest too Barnacle...

I don't think you could go too far wrong with any of the speakers mentioned so far David. IMHO you need to start going and listening to these speakers instead of listening to people here debate back and forth which speaker is the best. Being realistic they all have their fans. Paradigm, NHT, KEF, B&W, etc should all have some local dealers where you could audition their products. If you go on the forums for Axiom and Ascend you might be able to find someone who will let you audition his speakers as well. This will be much more productive than listening to fanboys shill their speakers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY Pakistan

Post Number: 13
Registered: May-05
What about Green Mountain Audio Europa's?
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 642
Registered: Feb-04
Here we go again?
Or do we...
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
"Of course Axiom has a forum full of people who think they are the greatest too Barnacle."

True. He can get an idea of what speakers other Ascend users have owned and/or auditioned from the Ascend Forum.

I personally think part of the success of the consumer direct companies is that people aren't comparing them to anything. Of course, they sound great when the only thing you have had before was an HTiB or nothing at all. You will find extremely few who have actually heard two or more internet companies' products in the same room with the same electronics.

I was extremely skeptical of Ascend Acoustics and thought I would pay return shipping(they had a free shipping sale at the time) to get to play with them for a month. I ended up a convert in short order and my beloved Mini-Monitors were for sale before a week was up. I then moved up from the 170s to the 340s when they came out.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 12
Registered: May-05
OK Peter,

Where are we going and can I come along, so I can get it for the first time? I've read some of the other strings so I know there are continuing battles for different speaker lines but heck what's the fun of a forum if no one expresses any opinions, even repeated ones.

So, a speaker listening I will go . . . And, when done, I'll be back with lot's more questions, I'm sure. UNLESS, somebody can get me fronts, rears, a center and sub for under $500 bucks that sound better than Paradigms, Ascends or even the Axioms, although I haven't heard any of these yet. ROTFL at you guys, though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 644
Registered: Feb-04
Sorry David,

We had an unregistered poster called mauimusicman who would highjack every thread he could about how great the Green Mountain Audio Europa were because they were phase-aligned. He'd counter a discussion point with climate change issues. It was a bit too much.

Recommending GMA's is fine. I have no problem with that.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 13
Registered: May-05
See, that's what happens when you're a noobie, I would have spent hours researching these Green Mountain Audio Europa things, and they probably don't exist, they suck or they're $50,000 a speaker. No matter, ignorance is bliss.
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
The GMA's are good and reasonable ~$1K a pair. It is mauimusicman that folks can't take. He's been a pain on a number of boards and I believe kicked off some.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mauimusicman

Post Number: 88
Registered: Apr-05
We still have to talk about you killing our precious 'Aina Peter. But that is for another time and place.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 660
Registered: Mar-05
David,

there are other audio forums where you can elicit opinions about Internet-direct speakers, the two biggest AFAIK are avsforum.com and hometheaterforum.com

The advantage of going directly to the Ascend and Axiom forums is that you might be able to locate a local owner of those speakers who'd let you come and listen. That's what sold me on the Ascends, I had already done quite a bit of auditoning of other speakers locally but when I finally had the Ascends in front of me I was sold in under 15 minutes and placed my order pronto.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 14
Registered: May-05
Edster,

Thanks for the info. I'll take a look this weekend and see if I can find some Ascends local. I'm not thrilled about ordering them and returning them, if I don't like them, BUT, that's a possibility too. I'm not in a big hurry. My current sound isn't horrible, it's just that Art got me going, then I went to Huppin's Hi-Fi, a local "upscale" alternative to BB, CC and tge like and heard some matched speakers. Yes, they were either Infinitys or Klipsch (Hey, I wasn't looking for speakers at the time - just wasting a lunch hour) and they were much better sound than my home setup listed above.

Then, Art got me thinking that if these speakers sounded better with the 3803, maybe I could reach nirvana for another $1000 or so. So, now I'm keeping the the MK sub and looking for audio bliss, unless Peter let's me go with him again, which I suspect it's a lot cheaper and his system sounds better than mine anyway. (I just kiddin' ya Peter, I understand the whole GMA thing and now we have a whole thread dedicated to their existence, their new website, and hopefully, they may actually sell speakers eventually too.) :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 15
Registered: May-05
OK,

I hate to do this but since I just responded to Edster's last thread, I decided to look at Huppin's "One Call" website for speakers at http://ww3.onecall.com/SLF_59.htm

They carry Infinity, Athenas (very limited), BAs, Klipsch and YUCK - JBLs and Bose - (neither of which would I consider.)

Anyone familiar with anything in this lineup, especially the BA lineup, that might work for timbre matching with my current CR6 rears. I look forward to opinions but it would be really helpful if you've actually heard any of these speakers and can compare them to the Ascends, Axioms or Paradigms, which is where I am currently leaning. (They're local so I can actually go listen to these speakers.)

If I can get the price down below $1000 and get fronts and a center that get me to audio nirvana, that would be cool and my wife wouldn't leave me. (Yeah, I know I started at around $2000 but I also started with fronts, rears, a center and a sub and you guys have educated me well as I go and I've done some research and pricing as well.) Thanks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 675
Registered: Mar-05
If you're looking to keep your costs down then look into the Athenas, esp. at Best Buy where they're closing them out but you have to pounce on that quick before they're all gone. Also audioadvisor.com sells Athena online.

Infinity's Beta series is said to be pretty good though a bit overpriced.

Klipsch I heard and didn't like at all, surprisingly the sounded a bit muffled to my ears.

The BAs that I heard years and years ago were nicely detailed but also fatiguing esp. at high volumes.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 18
Registered: May-05
Edster,

Your comment on the BAs is interesting. I came home this evening, put on Natalie Cole, Unforgettable CD and sat down to listen. The Denon 3803 is a huge improvement in my sound BUT I started to notice that the BAs were a little forward sounding (Hey, did I pick that up right or what) and that did lead to listening fatigue. So, if I keep them, I'm going to have to find a way to move them farther from the sweet spot or just chuck them and go with something else. I'm not ready to "settle" and I think that going for the Athenas at this point may be "settling." So, I'm still going to listen to the Paradigms tomorrow and go from there.

I just thought I'd try to save some money, if possible, and still get good sound. I'm also looking at the Ascend website right now to see if I can find anyone that has them locally so I can preview them. If not, I may be in L.A. later this summer and I can always wait, EXCEPT I'm really bad at waiting. Thanks, Edster.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 678
Registered: Mar-05
You're very welcome. I think the Ascends would be worth waiting for, but I'd be rather surprised if you couldn't find a local owner within 2-3 hours of you max.

Paradigms are very nice, if I'd gone local retail I probably would've ended up buying the Monitor 5. However I've read many people favorably comparing the Ascend 340s to the Paradigm Studio 40s which cost over twice as much.

You may also want to contact Ascend and get an estimate for how much return shipping would cost, they are one of the few companies that do not gouge you on shipping.

Also consider that very few audio stores (except for big-box chains) will allow non-defective returns without some sort of restock fee, usually 10-20%...much more than return shipping.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 19
Registered: May-05
Edster,

Thanks for the tip on the return shipping vs. restocking. Frankly, hadn't thought of it. I'm wandering back and forth between here and the Ascend site now and I can't figure out how to find local owners on the website. OR, do I have to contact Ascend to do that?

I guess I'll find out tomorrow BUT what are prices like on the Paradigms? If they're twice the price of the Ascends, they're really out of my league, UNLESS I settle for just two fronts and a center. Even then, that may still put me over the $2000 price point if we're talking double the price of the 340s.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 601
Registered: Feb-05
Paradigm has a bunch of different models ranging from $200 per pair to $6000 per pair. They have 4 lines; Performance, Monitor, Reference, and Signature. The Esprit in the Performance line is a good buy at a little over $400 per pair. Just go to the Paradigm website, find a model that interests you and google it. Google "Paradigm Mini Monitor reviews" and you will get much info on that model.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 679
Registered: Mar-05
David,

Art beat me to it---the Paradigms have a range of model lines for different budgets. The Studio 40s that I mentioned are in the Reference line I think, while the Monitor line is about their mid-level product.

As for finding a local Ascend owner, post here:

http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/

Or contact them directly, they might be able to look up a list:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/support/contactus.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1025
Registered: Jan-05
If you get little bookshelf speakers, be careful that your pet mouse doesnt tip them over:-(
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Not to add to your confusion, and I know there's not a local dealer for you.... but you should be able to buy the following set-up for not much more than the Ascend set-up:

Energy Connoisseur C5 (fronts) - ~$600
Energy Connoisseur CC3 (center) - ~$450
Energy Connoissery C3 (rears) - ~$400

Those are below MSRP, but within a few bucks of what I paid for my system (my CC2 center was about $100 less). All 3 models use the exact same drivers and the same basic cabinet construction (just different sizes/layouts) - the essence of timbre-matching.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sr_immortal

Post Number: 29
Registered: Mar-05
Well I gotta throw in my two cents I guess.

Honestly, even if the Ascends did sound better than paradigms, unless there was a physical store that I could go to and listen then I wouldnt even chance it. Not just that, but the invaluable advice that you will get from store owners/sales people thtat actually care is priceless.

Two months ago, I had 2 pair of Titans (preformance series) and the CC270 for about $735. Now my paradigm dealer offer 100% trade in value for upgrades for 6 months. So two weeks later, I upgraded to Mini Monitors, CC370 and ADP370 (monitor line for $1430, but only half that with my trade in), and there was a night and day difference.

Honestly though, for two channel music or even HT, the Monitor 7s are the best bang for your buck for full range speakers for only $750, IMO.

But if you have a good sub, then I dont see the purpose of a full range speaker sometimes (in the same series) unless they just have better drivers or just built better all together.

Well then 1 week later, I upgraded my Denon 1905 (which I had bought the month before) to the Rotel 1056 (Normally $1300, got B stock for $1100-$500=$600, and I A/B blind tested this receiver against the Denon 3805 and the Rotel won 9 times out of 10, and their supposedly only known for their quality in sound when it comes to music. And I only use my HT for gaming 90% and movies 10%.

I also upgraded to the Studio 20s up front, CC470 (reference series) and the PDR10 (about $1800, but only $400 with my trade), I still live in an apartment so I cant have too much bass anyways.

And I just got a promotion and am moving to FL from TN, and we are finally getting a house (Im 24 by the way) and I will be upgrading everything again.

The moral of the story is that I didnt have to pay a whole lot at one time, but kept getting a better and better system without having to wait. Obviously everybody is not going to be in this same situation (I work for Oreck Vacuums and I had the #2 store in the country for 5 months in a row...$1750 bonus check each time), but if you can upgrade in a few months and be able to really listen to something for a while (more than the 30 day trial if you need it) and then upgrade what you need, when you can, I would go that route...
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
Outside of bottom end extension the Ascend 170s at $328 are better than the Studio 20s. I was a huge Paradigm man that converted once I heard the Ascends. A blind test of Ascend 340s with a Hsu STF-1 sub($1K total) and a pair of Studio 100s($2K) would be very interesting. As for the Monitor 7 v. 340 forget it.

Also, I would not buy any speakers that I could not try in my listening enviroment with my electronics for 4 weeks.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 20
Registered: May-05
Geez, I finally went to sleep at 1:00 a.m. after looking at the Ascend site, the Paradigm site, the Axiom site and some Infinity reviews. I'm off to hear the Paradigms in about an hour or so.

BUT, I wake up to some new ideas and different considerations. I appreciate Joshua's comments on upgrading. I'm not 24, a little older - HECK A LOT OLDER - and I tend to buy and keep for 10 -15 years. S0, I'll probably have the Denon 3803 for 7-10 years and I'll probably keep the speakers about the same length of time.

So, how does that play with everyone. I don't have to have the newest/best BUT I like to buy reasonably high quality that will last that long and sound that good in 7 - 10 years.

Ziggy and Edster, as always, I appreciate your thoughts and I'll see what I can find out about the Energy speakers and whether they exist anywhere close to me. Art started this trek so I'm still very interested in the Paradigms, as long as price is not irrelevant, i.e., I can afford them - so I did some additional research on them last night.

Finally, Paul, I can't thank you enough for sage words of advice BUT I've got no pet mouse, just an 85 lb. Chesapeake Bay Retriever and it won't matter how bit it is if he hits, it's goin' down. So, thanks everyone for all the advice. I'll weigh back in after I hear the Paradigms. And "yes" I do worry about not having the Ascends or Axioms in a place where I can preview them but that's why I'm trying to find someone here who has them. THanks All.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 655
Registered: Feb-04
David,

There's one pair of speakers I've had for 25 years and they are 32 years old. A few weeks ago, I purchased an upgrade and my old ones are now doing surround duty. But the upgrades are 27 years old!
Speakers last a long time!

And there's no way your dog could knock 'em over. There's a picture in the "Picking up speakers next weekend" thread. :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1029
Registered: Jan-05
My fronts are 20years old and going strong. Not even an 85lb dog can tip those 'behemoth' fronts over:-) If my dog did try(rest her soul), it will only result in a mashed-in doggy nose. I had to put my poor doggy to sleep on tuesday, and my daughter cried for 3 days:-(

Even with large fronts, I still highly recommend an equally 'behemoth' sub for that huge theater sound.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 21
Registered: May-05
OK Peter, so maybe I should recone my old Altec-Lansing studio standards and put those solid oak cabinets to work.

Paul, sorry to hear about your puppy dog, we did that 6 years ago with our first CBR, 120 lb. behemoth that he was, and that's tough to do.

As for the sub, I've got an old M&K MX-70, don't have the specs but I think it's pretty decent.

Well, I'm waiting for the wife and then we're off to listen to the Paradigms. SO, more fun to come when I return. Thanks all, Dave.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 656
Registered: Feb-04
Absolutely about the old Altec's. Got pictures?
What are they exactly?

I'm using Klipsch from the Heritage line...
 

New member
Username: Soundlizard

Dunedin, Otago New Zealand

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
Interesting reading. I'm a newbie to the world of HT and am looking at putting a system together with wife appeal being a strong factor. I already have my hi-fi so I need a system that will watch TV, play movies and especially and, play DVD concerts when wifey is out. I have been comparing B&W VM1, Polk 6900 and Paradirm cinema 90. I would like to listen to the CT110 but apparently they haven't hit NZ yet. A couple of months away I hear.
Any suggestions and then we can get into amps. It will probably be Yamaha 450 or maybe 750 bbut I'm also intrigued by the Marantz 7300 which I can get for a good price on a shop demo. DVD is possibly Pioneer 696AVi which are being seriously discounted.
Ideas anyone?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 22
Registered: May-05
I'M BACK. I can't believe it. I drove out to the Paradigm place and find a teenage kid. His parents are gone for the weekend and the place is CLOSED!!!! OUCH!!!! I've waited all week to hear these things and NO GO.

So, I went to Huppins. I previewed Infinity Kappa 400s (not bad - sounded a little muddy in the mids especially), Phase Technologys that sounded pretty good but a little weak in the mids and base; Athena ASF1s that sound good but not great. I listened to a couple of Klipsch - bookshelves and floor standing but they just didn't sound right to me - I know, I know - that's why you go listen to them.

Then I listed to two Boston Acoustic speakers - the VR-M50s, which are tiny, but they sounded great on the hi end and midrange and when I had him add a 10" sub, they were very fully sounding, bright but not fatiguing on the highs.

I compared them to the BA VR2s, floorstanding ($425 a piece), and the VR2s sound was a little richer on the midrange and especially the base but with the subwoofer it was pretty darn close.

So, now I have another option. Buy the VR-M50s and keep my BA CR6 rears and I should get reasonable timbre matching and I can use my MK sub to fill in the bass. (Not a small thing, my wife liked the sound and the size of the VR-M50s. (They're not cheap at $700/pair plus $500 for a VR-MC - center channel but I'd think I might get close to where I was headed initially when Art got me thinking.)

I must admit that $1300 plus tax sounds a little pricey for (2) itsy bitsy speakers and a center, especially when that would get me (2) 340s, a 340 center and (2) 170 rears from Ascend, but I haven't heard them yet, right? Everyone's thoughts? I'm not giving up on the Paradigms yet Art but who the heck closes down their stereo business on a Saturday??? WHAT'S WITH THAT?
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1041
Registered: Jan-05
David,

If you plan to use your setup primarily as a theater, dont forget or neglect adding a subwoofer. It will make a world of a difference.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 228
Registered: Jan-05
Since he already owns one, I wouldn't worry about it Paul. Try reading the original post.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 23
Registered: May-05
Peter,

I almost forgot you there. The Altec-Lansing, Stonehenge IIs were purchased in 1978 from the guy who was the former Comptroller of A-L. (He bought them for me after they were demoed one weekend for under 4 hours.) They retailed then for about $579 each and I got them for $400/pair. They have a 2" tweeter, I think, twin midranges and a 12" woofer, which is seriously dead on both speakers and very much in need of reconing.

They are approximately 36" tall, with solid oak, ported cabinets and sounded incredible in their day. The wife would never let them back in the TV room because they're humungous BUT they might may their way into a listening environment in our morning sun room, if I reconed them.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 669
Registered: Feb-04
Thanks for the info David,

I hadn't seen this reply so the conversation ended up on the other thread.

I think my brother's are a bigger model, but I have emailed him for details.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 26
Registered: May-05
Anyone know anything about the Boston Acoustics, either the VR-M50s or the BA VR2s. I reviewed some of the ecoustics reviews on the VR-M50s and they were pretty favorable.

Anyone heard them besides me or, more importantly, anyone using them for HT or 2 channel set up. I'd like your thoughts.
Thanks, David

P.S. to Peter - I'm betting your brother has the Studio Standards, because they were the only Altec made that was bigger than the Stonehenge series.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1043
Registered: Jan-05
Geez....

Enough of this "Wife is boss" garbage already!!!!
She has power to 'nearly' decorate the entire house!!!

I let my wife pick the furniture, carpet colors, decorations.......practically everything!!!

When it comes to HT.......IM BOSS!! She has to work around "MY TOYS" when it comes to that department!!!

For all of you 'WAF' people......geez, grow some and at least take control over what small piece of the puzzle that you deserve.

LOL........as if I'm going to 'also' let my wife pick my TV and my HT setup.................NOT. She has no clue, nor does she have any say in the matter.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 685
Registered: Mar-05
David,

Your comments about the Klipsch and Infinity Kappa speakers you auditioned indicate that you value quality midrange and highs, which is EXACTLY where the Ascends absolutely shine.

If you want to minimize the possible return shipping, just order only one pair of the Ascend 170s---it'd cost you less than $20 to ship them back. Take them with you to the shop that has the Boston Acoustics speakers and A/B them...that's the only way you'll ever know. My guess is that you'd decide to keep the Ascends within about 5 minutes.

(If they seem like the kind of shop that WON'T allow that, fib that you already own these speakers and want to see if you need to upgrade.)

Ascend has a nifty little Extender Purchase Plan where you can get the package bulk discount even if you order just a few pieces a time, look under their "Purchase" submenu.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 686
Registered: Mar-05
ah...nothing quite like Paul in all his usual chest-beating glory!!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1045
Registered: Jan-05
I agree with Eddie.....

If you order speakers that weigh no more than a heavy envelope over the internet, the risk is very low since it will cost practically nothing to ship them back if you arent satisfied.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Oknessad

Post Number: 75
Registered: May-04
maybe some people like to cooperate with their spouses Paul. Not only in picking out AV gear but the rest of the decorating too.

Just because you have it worked out that way in your household doesn't mean everyone does.

Enjoy the music.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1047
Registered: Jan-05
LOl...yea.....

As if the other half has a clue about AV gear or proper setup. Maybe in Jans case.OK, but in most cases they're in the dark.

Thats why women pick colors, and men pick harware.....get with the program.

Having the wife decide on AV gear(in most cases), is about as stupid as having them decide which welding torch is best for out back in your workshop.

Heh....coincidentally, I dont weld, but you get the point.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 27
Registered: May-05
Edster and Paul,
Thanks for the advice, especially with the whole wife concept. Geez, today is my 28th wedding anniversary and it never really occurred to me to just tell her to SHUT UP and I'll take care of everything. (Well actually it did, and she spent most of the day ticked off at me for telling I'd get floor standing speakers if they sounded better, even though they wouldn't fit in her little hide the speakers cabinets.)

Paul, I think you're going to keep me ROTFL alot. And, I can tell you're very impressed with the Ascends mail order program as well. BUT, I can't fib Edster, they now know my setup I'm afraid as we discussed the various options, and frankly for a change, he wasn't pushing the BAs because they were more expensive, or because they might work with my existing rears BUT rather only after I told him I didn't like the speakers that were on sale that he was trying to push. You know $1000/pair on sale today only for $14.95.

I'm still going to listen to the Paradigms, although I'm out of town on business on Mon. and Tues., then I'll return home and let my wife tell me how to live my life, what kind of speakers I can buy and where I can put 'em. I'm so dang whipped, it hurts.

BUT, I'm picking out the next TV, PLASMA and, at least 50 inches. But that's for another day in a distant time. Don't worry Edster, I'm probably going to bring the Ascends home to listen to them as some point OR I'm finding someone who has them so I can go listen to them. I did take my own music today and that made a difference in being able to compare my own system and A/B other speakers. Thanks for all the advice guys.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1048
Registered: Jan-05
LOL david....

Im going on 14 years myself......

She has her 'departments', and I have mine, and we both know which line NOT to cross:-)

If she wants new tile in our bathrooms......she can have at it!!! No biggie.....

She knows the AV/gear is my department, and she knows her place.....as do I.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1049
Registered: Jan-05
....one more note.....

The funny thing is that she still needs my 'rubber stamp' on tile. Sure, whatever she picks Im usually quite agreeable on. Thats besides the point.

That's because "Im boss"......HEH
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 690
Registered: Mar-05
Geez, that BA dealer...ugh! I'd trust him about as far as I could throw him.

Try this: tell him that you have a buddy who is really pushing these weird Internet-direct Ascends but you didn't think they sounded really hot when you listend to them at his house, and so you want to bring them in to confirm your steadfast belief in the overwhelming superiority of the BA speakers. What the heck, bring along one of your buddies just for extra giggles, have your buddy pretend to be shocked and embarassed while you pretend to be even more blown away by the BAs. Then just as the salesguy starts to uncork his high-pressure close, pull out the "oops I gotta run home to get my checkbook" line and head out the door.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 29
Registered: May-05
Hey, I'm with you. Decorating is not my thing, although she occasionally asks about colors, only because there were these red walls once 0H BOY!!

But, generally she stays out of my way on anything electronic, HT, AV and computers. So, I follow your logic.

BUT, I try to cooperate and there is this one thing that seems to work. If she likes small, then small is OK but then she doesn't get to complain about $$. So, today, once she saw that the BAs were small, she couldn't gripe about the $700/pair price tags on the VR-M50s or the $900/pair price tags on the VR-M60s. I'm not saying I'm buying them, BUT, the sales concept is now in play. If they're small but they sound great, money becomes much less of an issue.

So, Edster your 170s with a 340 center may be just the ticket for starters and then I can sneak the 340s in later as replacement fronts. WHOOPS, how those puppies get in here? LOL
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 691
Registered: Mar-05
BTW David,

if your viewing room has good light control (meaning that you can darken it in the middle of the day with some strong window coverings) you might want to consider a DLP projector like the Infocus 4805 which goes for maybe 1/3 the price of a plasma TV. Sure as a physical object it's not as pretty as a 52" plasma but in a dark room with a decent screen and a 100" image it really puts you on a whole other planet! A friend of mine has one and it's as close to a real cinema experience as you can get.

I would jump to get one if my LR wasn't such a light-control nightmare.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1050
Registered: Jan-05
Oh c'mon OKnessa.....

Why do you think the man cuts the grass, and the woman decorates???

We each have our own input, and we each have our own 'department'. Why on earth would you stray from what you know best???

If my wife has an imput on tile colors.......more power to her because I could care less!! I'll be happy with anything she likes. When it comes to AV gear, the opposite is true.

Wake up and smell the coffee!! Each person has their place in a relationship, and once you know what that is, it will be smooth sailing.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1051
Registered: Jan-05
If you're talking HDTVs.........bigger is better. Get the biggest thing that fits your room, because you'll always have it.

If five years, you wont be grumbling about buying that extra 5-10"s.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 30
Registered: May-05
When it comes to HDTV, bigger is better. BUT, as I explained earlier in this thread, the room is a complete nightmare. 30'x12'x8', with windows on three walls. There's only one place to put a TV and a projector just won't work because of the crappy light situation, Edster.

So, I've got a really screwy setup in terms of placement. I can't put the speakers out to far from the TV because there's a doorway on one side and a clost on the other. If I could lose the closet, it would be a much easier room to deal with, though.

I haven't even gotten into speaker placement until I find what I want to run first. I'm not too worried about an A/B with the Ascends Edster, I think I could pull it off. The store's owner is the brother of a fairly good buddy, so I already know I can get the price down on the BAs, if that's where I ended up going. BUT, like I said originally, this isn't about price, it's about audio nirvana, unfortunately not at any price, though. Keep me laughin' Paul.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 692
Registered: Mar-05
wow, this is about the only time I've ever agreed with Paul on the importance of size---when on the subject of TVs!

Paul why not consider getting a projector? That would be the ULTIMATE size advantage don't you think?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 31
Registered: May-05
OK guys, it's off to bed I go but I'll look forward to any new posts or updates or anything Paul says about anything. STILL ROTFL!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 693
Registered: Mar-05
David,

ah I can see that room-wise, you are in the same sticky situation I'm in. There are days when I beg my wife if we can turn our bedroom into a HT den and sleep in the living room, LOL.

As for the A/B situation, that's good to hear...I'd be *very* surprised if you chose the BAs after a side-by-side listen.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Oknessad

Post Number: 76
Registered: May-04
Paul I am merely stating that just because you don't let your wife pick out anything about electronics doesn't mean thats how everyone does it. Maybe they work with their wives on the colors or shapes/sizes of speakers etc. Of course, it would be ignorant to believe that ONLY men are interested in good sound / home theatre.

I do agree that its best to do what you do best in a relationship but it is unwise for you to tell others to shut up about the WAF because you would then be contradicting yourself... maybe that's how they do things best in their situation and therefore your advice of don't listen to your wife would then screw up their once happy relationship. eh?
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 697
Registered: Mar-05
oknessaD,

Take it from someone who's already tried it too many times: whatever you do don't try to reason with Paul. He's way too busy just being himself, and himself, and himself, and himself, and...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Oknessad

Post Number: 77
Registered: May-04
yeah, I have been following a few threads he's managed to bring his wonderful advice into and while those topics were a bit more complex and I didn't feel like bothering I thought this was an easy one to take on... I guess I was wrong. Oh well.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nuck

Parkhill, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 81
Registered: Dec-04
Oh I get it Pauly.
In an anil retentive kind of way.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 33
Registered: May-05
Now guys,

I'm much more interested in any thoughts on the BAs than Paul's advice column on marriage. Although, hey, there's advice columns for everything else so maybe we should offer up our own Paul and his unique marriage counseling ideas for a column on HT and marriage - Paul's first line - "Marriage is what bwings us together today." Sometimes, I kill myself.

Back to speakers, any one at all anywhere heard the BAs and compared them to the Axioms, Ascends or Paradigms, which is where I'm at now. Please don't leave me hangin' with BAs or Athenas and nothing more to go on. (Well, that excludes Edster, I'm going to try the Ascends one way or another.) Thanks all.
 

New member
Username: Soundlizard

Dunedin, Otago New Zealand

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
I'm staying out of this wife thing. As I work 28 and 28 she can have whatever she wants as far as I'm concerned.(25 years and still the original) She does like good noise though and helped audition the floor standers WE'VE got. I picked the CD player.
Now, David, when you listen to the Paradigms, if you happen to see the cinema CT110 around, I would be curious to know your opinion, especially if you can compare them to the B&W VM 1's. With a sub of course. Where I am I can never hear them together. Yeah, they are wall mounts, otherwise the lounge will look like a hi fi shop. I'm going to have a wee comprimise in sound when it comes to movies.
Happy hunting. It can be a beggar to get everything together the way you would really like. Win the lottery and build the house from scratch is about the only way I think.
Cheers.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1053
Registered: Jan-05
Eddie,
I never really looked at or considered projectors until after it was too late. Im a little on the fence because regardless of what anyone says, the TVs have better HD pictures than do projectors. On the other hand, it would be pretty sweet to have a 10' screen. There's more than a fair chance that I'll have one at some point in the future. Once I replace my current 65" TV, I will no doubt take a long and hard look at projectors.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 707
Registered: Mar-05
> the TVs have better HD pictures than do projectors

not sure about that Paul, I think it depends on the type of projector---the DLP ones to my eyes are much better than the LCDs.

The other factor is the quality of the screen you use. A friend of mine who designs movie sets for a living built his own screen, his own roll-down room-darkening shutters, and ceiling mounted his projector...I'm just in awe of the true cinema experience I get every time I'm at his house.

The only TVs I've ever seen that can match his picture quality are the high-end plasma sets that cost about 4 times as much.
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
Yep, Paul there is nothing like a pair of 28lbs bookshelf speakers. 14 lbs for a foot tall speaker sure is on the light side. Now if it was the VF-15 at 11482cu inches to 67 lbs(.005lb to a cu inch) instead of 1080 cu inches at 14 pounds(.01 lbs to a cu inch)it would weigh 115lbs instead of 67lbs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1057
Registered: Jan-05
I disagree....

You're basically taking the same resolution and blowing it up to 10'. For the same reason that lowdef pictures look terrible on a 65" compared to a 32", the picture will be less sharp when you blow up a DLP HD image to 10'.

I agree they still have a good picture, but they arent as sharp compared to HD programming on a 65".
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
Yep, Paul there is nothing like a pair of 28lbs bookshelf speakers. 14 lbs for a foot tall speaker sure is on the light side. Now if it was the VF-15 at 11482cu inches to 67 lbs(.005lb to a cu inch) instead of 1080 cu inches at 14 pounds(.01 lbs to a cu inch)it would weigh 115lbs instead of 67lbs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1060
Registered: Jan-05
Yep,

Lets face it, small speakers sound small. You can throw specs away because there is little comparison when comparing large towers with little boutique half-pints.

Go ahead and set the big towers to small, and the 'lightweights' to big if you want, and the little speaker will still sound well????....like a half pint.

If having a 'half-pint' sounding HT is ones interest, I recommend they overpay and purchase a new pair of 'spaced aged high tech' speakers from a boutique store. Hey, at least you'll own a cool brand name to brag about with your neighbors and friends.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 35
Registered: May-05
Ok guys, I'm in a hotel room. Didn't sell the extra Denon 2805 on eBay but will try again. It seems that Edster and Paul took off on projectors and, other than Graham, the new Kiwi addition to whom I will remain eternally grateful for at least saying something relevant to speakers, no one addressed the speaker issue.

OR, have we finally beat it to death, no one knows anything about the BAs and I will just keep trying to find the Paradigms and decide whether I want to pay to hear the Ascends or Axioms, leaning towards to Ascends, mostly because Edster has been adamant all along and others as well on the Ascend website. So, there you have it.

I'm working and I'll occasionally check in for news, updates AND anything funny from Paul. Thanks again all. I am a little surprised that Art didn't weigh in and, at least, tell me if I liked how the BAs sounded to consider them. WHERE ART THOU?
 

New member
Username: Soundlizard

Dunedin, Otago New Zealand

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks David, I was beginning to think I was using invisible font or something. You are in a hotel room, I'm stuck out in the middle of the gulf of Thailand so I guess we are both stuffed. Sorry to harp on about ct110 but the last shop I contacted in NZ said they were about 2 months away from even arriving in NZ and I'm wondering if they are worth the wait. The RM 6900 are a bit bright and bring on fatigue which leaves the B&W VM 1 as the remaing half reasonable sat system, unless the CT110 are as good as I think they might be.
Have fun at work. We have a laugh a minute with horizontal rain every night pushing back through the air con and falling all over the computers. Joy of joys.
Regards
Graham
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 612
Registered: Feb-05
I simply can't follow all of the threads. This one got off track awhile ago. I like Paradigm speakers and would recommend them in this order. Studio 40's, Studio 20's, Monitor 5's and Mini Monitors. With the Studio's (Reference Series) I would recommend the CC470. With the Monitor Series I would recommend the CC370. There are so many great speakers out there that I would not limit myself. If you have any specific questions please feel free to email me. I am at work 12 hrs a day mon-thurs and can only respond to emails at home. I check this site on my lunch at work
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1067
Registered: Jan-05
You mean to tell me a state worker puts in more than 40hrs??

I didnt think 'they' existed. You must be taking 2 hour lunch breaks to keep from going over.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 618
Registered: Feb-05
No Paul I have a 1/2 hr lunch and commute. I work a 4x10 hr schedule. Most of the folks I work with put in more than 40 hrs work in 40 hrs and would work OT if allowed. You must be thinking of the DMV. Just kidding!
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 713
Registered: Mar-05

Art, you'll just have to excuse Paul...he obviously believes every innuendo, half-truth, and outright distortion he is bombarded with from the blabbering wingnut half-wits on Faux News and AM Trash Radio.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 623
Registered: Feb-05
Actually I am probably the only conservative social worker you know. I am certainly the only one in the office. But I'm not a "religious right" conservative. I don't believe the Fascist News Network (Fox) any more or less than the Communist News Network (NPR and CNN). They all cite the "official" sources that support their biases. Somewhere in between lies the half truth. I was liberal before 7 yrs in social work and seeing the money wasted in growing government and non profit social service agencies, more to soothe the consciences of those who have, than to serve the needs of those who have not. We could feed, house, and provide for the medical needs of this nation for a fraction of what we spend if we cared half as much about the people we serve as we do about serving ourselves. We continue to grow government adding layer upon layer of management and regulation at a mind boggling cost, while telling children, the elderly, and the disabled that we don't have enough money to serve your needs. Oops, got carried away. Sorry I know that this is the wrong place for this but occasionally I think we need to reveal a little about ourselves.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1076
Registered: Jan-05
Ahhh...you were counting your commute time too. Just be sure not to clock in until that commute is over:-)

My 'welfare' comment of the day........"The best way to get a welfare 'lifer' off the system, is to cut them off" It amazes me how many worthless leeches keep popping-out kids and live off welfare for decades because they're too lazy to get trained and join the work force like the rest of us. So long as they have enough food stamps to trade illegally for ripple or drugs, they're content while their kids go hungry.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 716
Registered: Mar-05
Art,

the interesting thing is that the national government has only GROWN more and more under the last 3 Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush Sr., Bush Jr.). Now that both the White House and Congress is Republican controlled, what's going to be their next excuse for its continued explosion?
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 625
Registered: Feb-05
Though I agree with part of what you said it is obvious that you haven't a clue. Certainly a lifetime of welfare does no one, the recipient, or society any good. I wish it were laziness but it's more like drug addiction, untreatable mental illness, and past misdeeds that lead to a life on welfare. The welfare system lets those folks down by being more interested in maintaining a large bueracracy, and the government and private sector jobs that those partnerships create than helping people. You see Paul, social services is big business. Most of your Community Colleges and Community Action Agencies wouldn't be able to stay afloat if it weren't for the partnerships created by the welfare system. All of time I bear witness to governments creativity when it comes to growing itself. It's an amazing thing Paul. It's certainly amusing.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1078
Registered: Jan-05
Gee, I dont know eddie, maybe next-up....someone might NUKE Chicago and give the evil GOP more excuses to spend money. Luckily, america 'gets-it', and is continuing to vote more and more DUMBocrats out of office. Seeing the likes of Daschle lose his seat after 18 years broke my heart:-( among many others now among the unemployment lines.....

Thank God my home state voted out the incumbant DUMBocrat Gov. At least now my home state can get back on it's feet and begin it's road to recovery.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1079
Registered: Jan-05
Yes art.....

A sad state of affairs. I could never do what you do. I spent 5 years many moons ago selling for an HMO, and two of those years involved selling a private HMO product to medicade recipients. I know all too well what goes on. I made a killing signing people up at the food stamp lines, and was on the golf course daily by 2pm:-) I was a young scrappy salesman who worked fast and smart in the early hourse when the places were packed. It was nothing to average 200% quota working half days if you were on your toes. Ahhh...those were the days. As far as I know now, that market has completely dried up, and there are no sales forces.

When I finally converted over to the 'group' department selling business accounts, I had to work for a living:-( Switching departments was terrible for my golf game!!
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
Many Democrats rejoiced at the worthless Daschle being deposed. One of the best things to happen to the Democratic party in a long time. Could end up being a big stragetic error. I think we'd have been better off leaving them with ineffective leadership.

What is happening is historically normal. The previous generations try to legislate/impose their morality and cultural beliefs on the next generations. Society is constantly changing and people are always fighting the change but yet change always happens. The bigger the fight put up against changes the more dramatic the cultural revolution. There are a heck of a lot of similarities of the Muslim fundamentalists trying to impose their religious beliefs/morality and Christian fundamentalists trying to impose their religious beliefs/morality on their respective evolving cultures. It is unlikely either will succeed over the longterm. A last gasp grap of power by the old guard to impose their ways proceding the next cultural revolution is fairly common. Sometimes it may even be the precipitator of the next cultural revolution.

I wish my party would butt out peoples' personal lives and get back to fiscal conservatism.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 720
Registered: Mar-05
> A last gasp grap of power by the old guard to impose their ways proceding the next cultural revolution is fairly common.

That's true, but what's also been happening in the last 25 years is the total corporate takeover of virtually every aspect of American culture and the concentration of wealth into a microscopic sliver (2%?) of the population. We are now an oligarchic corporate plutocracy for all intents and purposes.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 36
Registered: May-05
Ok again,

I'm back in my hotel room but about ready to turn in. No 40 hour work weeks in my business, Paul. I can see that you guys have gotten me far along on the speaker thread I started.

I hardly know where to jump in on the political diatribes. I suspect Art and I have more in common than our love for good sound. I, too, am a political conservative and fiscal moderate. I think there are some things that government does well, unfortunately, they're hardly into any of them. Just as unfortunate, there are many things that government does not do well and social agendas and welfare are certainly towards the top of the list in this regard.

Barnacle - you are a bright guy when it comes to the comment on Daschle and the problems in the Republican party BUT I'm not certain that the Muslim/Fundamental Christian thread works. These are two completely different belief systems working within two completely different socio, economic and political systems. One operating as a theocracy in most countries and the other as a minority force within a balanced political system, i.e., not a tremendous amount of power base without the remainder of the conservatives in the Republican party. The "Christian" agendas only work when the remainder of the party mostly agrees, e.g., abortion and religious issues such as prayer in schools, religious items in public places and teaching creationism have all faltered because they are not particularly "desired" by the remainder of the Republican party (moderates) so although they end up on the platform, they do not lead to a strongly pushed issue. They are given "lip service" but that's about it, even by our relatively religious, conservative President. By point being, that the Christian conservatives have a voice, but unlike Muslim fundamentalists, they simply don't have the power to dominate the party, no less the country's political scene.

Anyway, thanks for the comment on the Paradigms Art. I will find them, listen to them and figure out what is in my price range. I'm going to bed so I can get up at 6:30 a.m. and start working again. BUT, I have to end with an Amen, pun intended, to Barnacle's last comment. Good night, sleep well and wake up to some good sounds. Thanks all, David
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 39
Registered: May-05
OK,

I got back in town. Called the Paradigm dealer and I got a "security business" which is also the Audio business. I asked the woman to speak to whoever is in charge of audio and he's out for a few hours.

I asked if they have speakers you can come in an d listen to, "NO, but you can order them." I asked about the Paradigm speakers and she said that "Jeff could order them." I suggested that it might be appropriate to listen to them before "ordering" them and she seemed to think that was a novel idea.

OK, ART, where do I go from here. This is idiotic. SO, either I go to Canada but I can't do that until Paradigm get's their dealer locator site back up and running. I get an error message every time I try.

So, Edster, those Ascends are starting to look very tempting for a 30 day trial. Thanks all.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 765
Registered: Mar-05
I had a similar experience with one of the two Paradigm dealers in my area, he tried to upsell me from the Monitor series (which he didn't have in stock) to some $3000/pair Martin Logans...LOL!

Luckily I did find the other Paradigm dealer which had both series in stock.

$20 return shipping for a pair of Ascend 170s seems like a very small risk compared to all the hoops some of these small shops make you jump through...
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 676
Registered: Feb-05
Well David I know Seattle has a Paradigm dealer and it is beautiful this time of year. There are Paradigm dealers all over the northwest, I have 3 within a 45 minute drive and 4 if you inculde the one in Portland. I went to Portland today just to exchange a cable. You have to be willing to drive a little. I know it sucks but such is the life of audio nuts. Edtser may be right but I have not had the best of luck online. I just bought an amp stand online, received it yesterday. The fit and finish were horrible. While I was in Portland at Stereotypes (best audio store in the world IMO) I bought a great amp stand(Lovan Sovereign) for just a few bucks more than I paid online for junk that I now have to pay to have shipped back.

This is the closest dealer that I could find for you.

PACIFIC SIGHT & SOUND
1630 N. WENATCHEE AVE
WENATCHEE, WA
98801
509-663-1277

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 45
Registered: May-05
Edster and Art,

Thanks for the info. I was just in the Tri-Cities but couldn't find a dealer there. I am supposed to be in Yakima in a couple of weeks so I could take an hour detour on the way back and wander into Wenatchee OR I could set up a weekend in Seattle, take the wife to a Mariners game and a show and spend a day looking at speakers. NOW THAT SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN!!!

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 50
Registered: May-05
Art and Edster,

I got an email back from Paradigm about the dealer in Couer d'Alene that doesn't stock speakers and suggests that you order them. THEY ARE SORRY! It is the company's position that their dealers should stock speakers and that customers should be able to listen to them before purchasing them. THAT DOES ME A LOT OF GOOD. "They're going to look into it further."

So, I'm sorry Art BUT the wife just gave me the go ahead to try the CBM 170s and A/B them against my existing 15 year old Rock Solids and BAs.

I'm going to pull the trigger tomorrow with James, who has been a real nice guy by the way. If they don't work out, the return shipping is only $25 or so and I figure it's worth the risk. If I get to Seattle within the 30 days, I can listen to the Paradigms and see if they float my boat. If not, I'll join the Edster bandwagon and steer everyone to Ascends.

Wish me luck!!! Thanks all, Dave.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 787
Registered: Mar-05
Bring the 170s into the Seattle Paradigm shops, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Best of luck...not that you need any NOW! : )
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 51
Registered: May-05
The news keeps getting better. I sold the Denon 2805 to a nice Canadian guy so I'll be shipping it off to a great new home.

And, I talked with James and my Ascends should ship next Tuesday. SO, I'll be able to pay for them and get my lovely wife off my back. DON'T EVEN GO THERE PAUL.

Anyway, it doesn't get much better than this. I'll keep you posted when the speakers show up and let you know if they satisfy my urge, OR, they go back where they came from. Thanks again all. Dave.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1154
Registered: Jan-05
HEH

You wouldnt want to upset the 'BOSS', right? While you're down there on your knees, you you should scrub the floors for some brownie points. If you collect enough, she might sign the permission slip allowing you to upgrade to a bigger TV.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 837
Registered: Mar-05
yes Paul, your chest is hairier than mine...LOL!
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 723
Registered: Feb-05
No need for apologies, Im just happy to see folks get speakers that they can enjoy. I don't care what brand they are. I hope you enjoy your Ascends.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 53
Registered: May-05
Paul,

My wife can beat up your wife, even if your chest is hairier than mine, AND I mean mine not my wife's chest.

Edster and Art, I'm just happy to be getting new speakers.

And Paul finally, my wife and I have made it through thick and thin, raised three children, put them most of the way through college so far and managed to maintain our sanity. Let me know when you get there, THEN WE'LL TALK.

By the way, the middle one was a 2 time all league defensive end and two time state placer in wrestling and he got his athletic talent from his mother so you don't want to mess with her.
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 284
Registered: May-05
Bulls!ht, I can do better than that Real Maui, man, I bit your saving up your money for one of those transsexual operations, that's why your stumped so low, like a cross eyed beaver?

I bet you're so fat you bounce around like a beach ball?

I bet also the wife don't give you BJ anymore, that's why your so up tight with Hi-Fi and home theatre, she won't let you play it?


 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1166
Registered: Jan-05
Maui,
The next time I'm in the market for small paperweigts, I'll keep the GMAs in mind. I was thinking about buying a pair to use as nicknacks on top my SVS.
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 299
Registered: May-05
Let's have a look?

http://www.audiogon.com

Well, well. The real Maui,

Wow at that cost, blow that, then how come NASA isn't using them, they must be pants in the first and second orders of all.

I'll stuff a mattress with them?

But at that price, I think I'll take a rain check first?


 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 54
Registered: May-05
Well,

This string just went to heck in a handbasket. I looked for the GMAs. Found two: $2995/pair and $3200/pair on Audiogon. Last time I looked, that isn't $1000/pair or anywhere close.

Also, the GMA speakers I found were primarily 4 Ohm speakers, which means my Denon 3803 will drive them but much less efficiently than an 8 Ohm speaker.

So, if I read Maui correctly, he wants me to pay 3 times what I'll pay for Ascends or Paradigms that I cannot drive very efficiently with my receiver. Geez, that should really help get me the sound I'm trying to get here.

Now Maui, I'm trying to be open-minded here BUT I told you the problem with finding GMAs to audition and you didn't solve it. In fact, you just confirmed that I can't get them at the price point I'm looking at, I can't preview them before I buy 'em because Audiogon is used equipment and once I own 'em, I'm stuck with 'em, EVEN IF I DON'T LIKE 'EM and my equipment won't push them like they need to be pushed.

So, based on what you're telling me "Ignorance is bliss" because the alternative is I'm out $3000 for used gear that may not sound any better than my 12 year old Rock Solids and BAs AND I SHOULD JUST TRUST YOU, RIGHT? Now, that makes a lot of sense to be Maui man.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 55
Registered: May-05
OK,

Just viewed the GMA website, just to give Maui a fair shake. Yes, Europa's can be had for $995/pair. You can get them home and try them out BUT you pay shipping and restocking fee if you don't like them, if I read their website correctly. Now, times 2 for rears, I'm at $2000 and add the center, the cheap one, and I'm at $5000.

So, this is within my initial $2000 budget and we haven't even talked about the subwoofer, yet, right? OK, Maui, I give up, they're incredible, stupendous and all that BUT they're not within most of our budgets for a surround sound HT system. SO, get ye hence _____ and go back to Audiogon, the "real hi fi forum."
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 117
Registered: Jul-04
Wow, what a wonderful thread! Apparently Maui's last post got deleted? Paul is great!

I own Axiom M22s (and now some Athena B-1s). On the Axiom boards two Ascend 170 owners and one Axiom M22 owner compared them side by side and thought they both had their strong points. A toss up. The M22s are a bit sharper - if you like that tipped up high end. I think most people might like the 170s better - just a guess. But it is very close. And the 340s are supposed to be even better.

I think David went the right way - ascends. Anything better is going to cost double I think - unless you get it used.

I could be wrong, but this is my summary of what I think I have read on many lists.

Having the M22s I don't feel I need to "sidegrade" to Ascend 170s and don't have the money or room for the 340s or some Paradigm reference 20s which I hear are also an upgrade from Axiom M22s.

So I will try to learn to be content. Maybe Paul can enlighten me some more.

What a great read!
 

Barnacle
Unregistered guest
I've heard the M22 and 170 at the same room and equipment and the Ascend 170 is an upgrade not a side grade.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 72
Registered: May-05
Geez,

I thought I posted this earlier from work BUT it didn't take. Anyway, the Ascends (2 - CBM-170s) arrive on Tuesday. So, I'll likely preview them against what's available here. (Art, the Paradigm guy is killing me. I've left 2 voicemails asking what speakers he has to preview and trying to arrange a time. I want the answer to the 1st question so I don't wander over there only to face Reference Series floorstanders that are TOO expensive, TOO big and TOO not pretty, at least according to my wife.)

Plus, if I was looking at floorstanders, I'd probably just recone my Altec Lansing Stonehenge IIs and go visit Peter and find out who's are bigger. :-)

I considered ordering a pair of M22s from Axiom but my wife isn't keen on paying return shipping for one pair of speakers and she thinks it could turn into two, although I've gotta believe that either the Axioms or Ascends will impress. We'll see in less than a week. Later, Dave.
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 118
Registered: Jul-04
I have no quarrel with Barnacle and I haven't heard the CBM 170s (but would like to buy some if I could afford it).

Just from my reading lists it seems it boils down to whether you like a sharper high end or a more relaxed but still detailed sound. It seems that those that do not like the sharp detail find the M22s too sharp.

Just my interpretation. I do think most people would slightly or mildly prefer the Ascend cbm 170s as they sound fuller and still plenty detailed.

(The axiom site, by the way, seems to be pretty hospitable to the Ascends - hardly anyone there disputing that it is about as good or possibly better than the more expensive M22s).

The M22s look nicer, but the 170s look good I think.
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 119
Registered: Jul-04
Barnacle - what was better about the ascend 170s - over the Axiom M22s?

Just wondering what you heard.

Granted you thought the 170s were better and I haven't heard the 170s, so people ought to listen to you and probably ignore my opinion (and seek out other opinions from folk that have heard both).
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 76
Registered: May-05
Hey, I haven't heard anything yet, I'm relatively new to the new speakers anyway and I've got very little to compare. But, the reviewers, owners and just about everyone else that has compared the M22s and 170s have said very good things about both sets of speakers. I'd love to have them in a side by side and I guess I lean towards the Ascends based on someone's post, here or elsewhere, that the guys at Ascend used to work at M&K so I figured my current subwoofer would likely mesh better with the 170s.

I'll find out soon and the Paradigm guy has disappeared again so it doesn't look like I'll get to hear them unless he resurfaces with some Atoms, Phantoms, or some Minis. Just hangin and waitin' for now.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 92
Registered: May-05
But, I'm now here to report on the Ascends, although understand that their competition wasn't all that great, yet.

First, I got into my system and made certain that I had everything wired in phase, because frankly, I had never done it before.

Then, I hooked the 170s up as my fronts and turned off my sub. I listened to just the Ascends in 2 channel (well not really because I left my center channel on) and compared it to my old Rock Solids and BAs. (Well Edster, thanks for saying the old BA rears wouldn't measure up -that was the understatement of this century.)

WOW!!! The Ascends simply sounded incredibly neutral with clear highs and a great midrange. The BAs were incredibly outlclassed (now in fairness they were $100-$150/pair speakers 10 years ago.) I never realized how BAD these BA rears were.

Next, I A/Bed the Ascends and the Rock Solids (which I believe were an entry level B & W that I paid about $400 for the pair - 10 years ago.) The Rock Solids still sounded pretty good in comparison BUT they were muddier in the midrange and they were "bright" isn't exactly the right word, maybe slightly tinny. Piano sounded like piano but not quite right and violins sounded a little too "stringy" and steel guitar just didn't sound like steel guitar and horms kinda blended together. BUT, given their age and all, they sounded OK. I listened to classical, jazz, several different rock groups and an orchestral/choir collection.

Then, I added the BK sub to the mix and it filled in the low incredibly well. (I kept the fronts as "small" in the Denon 3803 so most of the bass was coming from the MK at that point.) I should add, though, I could live with the 170s without the sub BUT you would clearly be missing a fair amount of the music.

Then, I listened to the same pieces of music comparing the RSs and the 170s and the difference in musical quality was even more obvious, the Ascends just reproduced the music better/more crisply, especially with the bass filled in by the MK.

Later in the evening, I decided to put the Rock Solids in the rears and put on LOTR - Two Towers. In the scene at Helm's Deep, which I have purposely watched 3-4 in the last week so I could compare, there's a scene where Vigo is talking to a young man and playing with his sword while they're waiting for the Orcs, Kury - whatever they are, and ever so faintly I began to hear the footsteps in the background. This was probably a good 10-15 seconds before I'd heard them before.

Later, I brought my wife in and replayed that scene. She noticed it immediately and said, "I've never heard that before!!!!."

Anyway, she promptly sat down, told me restart the movie and we watched it in its entirety. I'm a little hard of hearing on highs especially, and lately I've had to use subtitles to catch all the dialogue in movies. She asked if I needed to turn on the subtitles about a 1/3 of the way through and I had not had any problem hearing the dialogue. There's that crisp, clear high again AND I know it wasn't the dang, Polk center because it's been there all along.

Anyway, I know this is too long and it was probably only 4-5 hours of listening total BUT I was incredibly impressed with the Ascends so far. AND, James at Ascend said "wait until you get 20-30 hours on these speakers before you judge them because they start getting broken in, the sound improves even more."

WOW is all I can say so far. Thanks all.
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 147
Registered: Jul-04
nice check-in

Thanks

Don
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 852
Registered: Feb-04
Good stuff David.

I'm a little surprised about that dialogue comment since that must be coming from the center speaker. Perhaps the clearer ensemble is letting hear and concentrate more on the dialogue. I hate to say this, but you should get another CBM-170 to use as center, or get a CMT-340c. The timbre matching you would get would also add to the HT experience.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 94
Registered: May-05
Peter,

I agree and I thought it was weird. I'd been telling my wife that 90% of the dialogue goes through the center. BUT, I swear that something was causing the better ability to hear it and your explanation sure makes sense.

Now, on the 340C center, if I decide to stick with the Ascends, that's a given. In fact, if I do go there, I'll still buy another pair of the 170s for the rears (or 340s - See my question on Don's string). BUT, I still want to A/B the Ascends with the VRs from BA, although I don't see how that will work because there's no way I'm keeping the BA rears just to attempt to timbre match the fronts AND it would be cheaper to do Ascends all around than just the BA VR fronts and center.

Finally, my wife is warming up to a trip to Seattle and that would allow me to listen to the Paradigms, although i'm afraid that to get close to equal sound, I'm probably in the Reference or Monitor series and the Reference series is definitely out of the price range for now.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 876
Registered: Feb-05
I may be going to Seattle during the 4th of July (my birthday) week. Do some serious chillen' and listen to some good gear. Love to visit the Northgate Silver Platters music store. Great selection of every type of music. Gettin' psyched up.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 95
Registered: May-05
Art,

Thanks for the heads up. If I go, I'll definitely look up Northgate Silver Platters music store. It seems every time we go to Seattle, I end up in the Bellevue Square shopping center AND no it isn't listening to hi fi. So, I'm thinking I leave the lovely wife there for the afternoon and go do some serious listenin'.

I know you recommended the Monitor 20s in my price range, essentially fronts and rears and center for under $2000. (I'm keeping my sub as it seems to be performing fine, although I need to fine tune as I put in new speakers.) Is that still where I should be looking, Art?
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Since you're heading to Bellevue, may as well make a stop at Good Guys there to check out the Energy's ;-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 96
Registered: May-05
Ziggy,

I thought we'd lost you some time back on this string. I have not considered the Energys because they're not on the radar here in Spokane. But, if they're in Seattle, I'd be happy to wander by the Good Guys there and listen. I believe you recommended the C5s and the C3s amd a matching center. I'm willing to listen to anything that works - are these bookshelves or floorstanders? The latter won't work for now, I'm afraid.
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
The C-5s are floorstanders, C-3s are bookshelves... I'd be interested in your thoughts on the comparison between those and the Ascends (not that I'm changing anytime soon - basement theater is a higher priority, and I have the C-5s as fronts anyway, and, well, you know.. timbre-matching and all that). I think you'll find the C-3s offer a little better bass response than the Ascends, without sacrificing the mids/highs/imaging. Of course, they are more expensive than the Ascends too.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 878
Registered: Feb-05
There is a Good Guy's here in Eugene. If I'm in Seattle I go to unique local stores or extreme high end stores. By the way David when you look up Silver Platter's its a store at the Northgate center or Mall, there is also one in Bellevue. I like the one at Northgate best. It's a unique local chain in the Seattle area. They like to think of themselves as the Powell's (as in the world famous Portland bookstore)of music stores.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 97
Registered: May-05
Ziggy and Art,

Thanks for the input. I'm afraid the C5s won't work as floorstanders right now. As I posted earlier, if I were going to use floorstanders, I'd recone my old Altecs, which I think would still provide better sound than even the Ascends I've listened to BUT I've got to admit I was incredibly prejudiced when I bought them. I spent a fair chunk in 1978 and I previewed probably 30-40 speakers before a friend offered "the deal of a lifetime" and it was.

Anyway, I'm still catching up with CDs to preview these. I used what I had on hand last night BUT I'm shopping on Saturday to fill in some of the CDs recommended on my other string.

I'll be interested in seeing what exists at Silver Platter's, Art. I've just discovered our little, similar funky store in Spokane closed down after they lost their lease. Really, too bad as they carried a fairly good collection of old vinyls.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 880
Registered: Feb-05
Eugene had a great Jazz Music store called "The Cat's Meow" which just closed this spring after quite a number of years. There is still a great Classical music store though called "The Musique Gourmet". Don, the owner has an incredible wealth of knowledge especially about orchestral music and film scores.
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 150
Registered: Jul-04
I have heard the Energy c-3s recommended as a reference speaker in one of the professional reviews of the axiom M3s (I think it was). Stuck in my mind as a very nice speaker. Same parent company as the cheaper athenas, I believe.

So, David - still comparing the ascends? Me too - though only to my Axiom M22s and Athena b-1s. I need to sell one set of them. Or think of some creative use for them - coffee table legs?
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Don.. you are correct, the Athenas and Energys are the same company (as well as Mirage). Personally I like the Energy lines the best. The C-3s are wonderfully balanced, and, even though I use them as surrounds, would make for great modestly-priced main speakers if size is a limitation. The floorstanding C-5s utilize the same drivers (2x6.5 instead of 1) and improve the bass response significantly. I have not had the chance to A/B with the Ascends, but I did A/B/X with similarly priced Paradigms and chose the Energys consistently. Fantastic speakers for the money
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 109
Registered: May-05
Don and Ziggy,

Yep, still listening to the Ascends for now. There's no comparison to my existing gear. This weekend, the plan is to buy or borrow some BA VR 50s and/or 60s. I listened to them at local hi fi store and they sounded good there. (Better than anything else they had but they are about $700 to $1000/pair, plus I would still need a center. So, they'd have to be a lot better to get me to forego the Ascends, since I can get fronts, rears and center for half that or less.

BUT, as I stated in the beginning, this is more about audio nirvana than solely the price. If they're exceptional and put the Ascends to shame, I'd probably look hard at buying them, keep the Rock Solids as rears for now and look to upgrade the rears later this year, possibly VR 60 fronts and VR 50 rears?

However, right now the Ascends have made a definite improvement in my sound and that was the original goal. I'd still like to hear the difference between the Paradigms and Ascends as an A/B but that is not happening.

Also, I've started following a couple of the other strings and this hi fi store does have the Athenas, which I didn't preview while I was there. I will do that this weekend and they carry Phase Technology and Infinity. Is there anything in either of their bookshelf line that anyone would recommend listening to while I'm there? I heard a Phase Technology speaker closeout but it was a floorstand and it sound decent but not as clear on mids and treble as the BAs or the Ascends, I think.

Any additional thoughts anyone?
 

Walrus
Unregistered guest
Infinity Betas and Kappas might be interesting to compare with Ascends. Infinity Primus though would be toast.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1359
Registered: Jan-05
M22 is is fun to view, but M51 is much better.

Upload
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 113
Registered: May-05
Thanks Walrus for the heads up on the Infinitys.

Paul, you're back. After a couple days missing, I was afraid you'd hurt yourself with too loud HT, when in fact it looks like you were on a long road trip. Love the postcard, though. Thanks. :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 153
Registered: Jul-04
Paul

That was very funny!

That picture doesn't look anything like My Axiom M22s - what brand is it?
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 116
Registered: May-05
Hello All,

I've watched several more movies, listened again to Norah Jones, Diana Krall and fired up the Eagles "Greatest Hits." The Ascends just continue to impress me. So, I think I'll just bite the bullet and buy the rears and center and call it good.

As some point in the future, I'm going to upgrade and get a SACD or DVD Audio player AND I'm going to exploure the whole "separate" concept with Edster, Art and anyone else that wants to weigh in on how best to go about it while keeping my Denon 3803 in play.

We can discuss that later, though, I'll be running out of money here pretty soon, I think.
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 160
Registered: Jul-04
I wonder if the sacd / dvd-A craze is passing away. I have a sacd/dvd-a player but I am not sure I can tell the difference. It still depends on the recording process.

A well recorded cd sounds as good as some of the SACDs I have I think.

I think Sony is pulling back from the sacd thing. DVD-Audio may make it with the new dual disc thing.

Anyone have more info?
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 947
Registered: Feb-05
Both formats will be around for audiophile recordings for the forseeable future. Sony has pulled back from SACD but other audiophile labels are pressing forward and will continue to. The big companies could no longer support it because it wasn't selling. In 2003 vinyl out sold all of the other new formats combined.
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 162
Registered: Jul-04
I suppose if I had a better sacd player and better receiver I might hear a great difference between cd and sacd. I think there is a difference but not great to my ears with the ones I have purchased.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 996
Registered: Mar-05
Great to hear that, David! So did you ever have a chance to take the Ascends on the road and so some side by side comparisons? I'm dying to hear how they do matched up against the Paradigm Studio 20s.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 997
Registered: Mar-05
Art,

I had no idea that anyone was still MAKING new vinyl...or are these used vinyl sales?
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 118
Registered: May-05
Edster,

No, they didn't go to Seattle this weekend and neither did I. Instead, I took my own music to the local Huppins One Call and listened to all the other speakers I mentioned, after having about 20 hours listening with the Ascends. I'd prefer a side by side but they would not agree to me bringing them in and setting them up. "IT'S TOO MUCH OF A HASSLE."

Yet, they would like me to plunk down my plastic for $2000 worth of speakers that if I take them home, don't like them and bring them back, I pay a "restocking fee." Fortunately, I did not hear anything that I just had to have or that I felt was equal to or better than the Ascends.

Maybe B & Ws, Energys or Paradigm are those speakers BUT I'm not going to find out in Spokane. More importantly, I am happy enough with the 170s and the sound is such an improvement that I'm ready to quit searching further.

So, the only question is whether I should buy 340s or 170s to complete the 5.1, I'm already committed to the 340c center. Any advice, Edster. If I purchase the 340s, they would be placed as rears for the next year or so until I get into a new HDTV setup. Your thoughts?
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1010
Registered: Mar-05
That's a bummer about Huppins...hope you make it to a bigger town sometime though. Next time you approach an audio shop for a side by side comparison, I'd pretend that you were REALLY dissatisfied with your Internet-direct speakers and wanted to show your wife better alternatives (bring her along---they love to assume that they can use your wife to get a profitable sale out of you).

340s as rears would be quite a bit of overkill but if you're sure that ONE DAY you'll be getting rid of the current cabinet so that you can use them as fronts, why not? They certainly wouldn't HURT as rears.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 955
Registered: Feb-05
No Eddie BRAND NEW VINYL! Seriously 180 gram and 200 gram pressings from audiophile companies like Mobile Fidelity. Look it up here.

http://www.amusicdirect.com/products/default.asp

Next year a turntable.
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1017
Registered: Mar-05
Norah Jones for $16 a pop...yikes! That's $10 more than I'd pay for a CD.

And to think, my very first LP at the age of 15 was AC/DC's "Back in Black" for a mere $6!
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 165
Registered: Jul-04
David - your thread is lloonngg!
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 120
Registered: May-05
Don,

Thanks for noticing BUT I'd thought that I'd kept it pretty well covered. :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 124
Registered: May-05
Thanks all for the interesting feedback on this thread. I've purchased CBM-170s for the rears and a 340c center from Ascend. So, I guess the purpose of this thread is dead for my purposes.

However, I encourage any who have a desire to opine or recommend further to carry on and I'll look in occasionally.

More importantly, I just wanted to say "thanks" for all who answered my stupid, newbie questions, offered recommendations and helped me through the process. I've enjoyed getting to know you. MAUI, I owe you an apology. As I've looked back over this site and your original post, you offered excellent advice and fair advice and it appears I overreacted a bit, SORRY!

This really is a wonderful site and very useful to those like me that know little and are willing to listen and learn. I'll definitely weigh in on strings that tickle my fancy and I'll try to follow-up here after my system is complete and I've got some time alone with it. THANKS AGAIN ALL - Art, I'm sorry I didn't get to the Paradigms but the Ascends just continue to amaze and bring joy AND AIN'T THAT THE POINT?
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 155
Registered: May-05
I'm just sticking this in here so I don't lose my thread while I'm waiting for the rest of the Ascends to arrive and get set up and balanced.

Edster, how best to go about getting these puppies balanced and the biggest sweet spot for my room? HELP!!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1162
Registered: Mar-05
RadioShack SPL meter should run you around $40.

Also have heard good things about this:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/630551982X
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 157
Registered: May-05
Edster,

Thanks, I think you can hide here for awhile. I'm kidding!!! I was hoping to create my own version of Don Kelly's thread, you know, all Don all the time. Then, you had to answer my question and spoil it. LOL
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1165
Registered: Mar-05
oh I think Don is a very hard act to follow.
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 159
Registered: May-05
Almost impossible. He's kinda disappeared here for awhile. I'm afraid he might be lost on the Ascend site, begging for hand me down 340s. LOL
 

Silver Member
Username: T_bomb25

Dayton, Ohio United States

Post Number: 171
Registered: Jun-05
I have both of Nora Jones albums $30 apiece(yikes} but after i heard her voice it was well worth it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 222
Registered: Jul-04
Did you say you have hand-me-down 340s? Please, please, please?

Should I buy the Ascends 340s new or a Bose wave radio with cd player new? Which sounds better?

"Hard act to follow" whatever that means I probably deserve it. Especially if you go back and read my posts on different threads. A mind is a terrible thing to lose.
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 160
Registered: May-05
See T-Man, once again we find you and Edster with common likes. He introduced me to the Ascends and recommended Norah Jones. OK, I must admit I'm prejudiced, I think black women generally do R & B and jazz better and like the quality of their voices better. BUT, Edster sold me on giving Norah a listen and she's got a great voice. Now, I'm not putting away my old Ella or Billie Holliday or Aretha or ??? anytime but I'm old but I can be taught.
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 162
Registered: May-05
Edster and Don,

Just picked up a Denon 2200 for $300 bucks shipped off eBay AND it still has extended warranty on it for about 1 1/2 years, not bad. So, now my system is put together. The old DVD/CD player goes downstairs for 2 channel with the old receiver and Rock Solids. The rest goes on eBay AND I now have DVD Audio and SACD capability in the new system, COOL, HUH?

The rest of the Ascends get here tomorrow and I'm still out of this whole thing with all new speakers, the Denon 3803 and a new/used Denon 2200 for less than the original $2000 budget I had for the new speaker system. AND to think my wife doesn't appreciate all that.

I just hope my sub doesn't let me down anytime soon or I'll have to look at a STF-3, wouldn't that be horrible. :-) (Although I'd probably be divorced and living on the street if I spend any more money, I'm thinking.)
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 227
Registered: Jul-04
Sounds nice! You will have to tell us what you think of the 340 compared to the 170 - though I think it is pretty hard to compare one speaker to the two you now have. Single speakers don't seem to sound as good - they sound very different.

I got a cd from my friend Haydn some kind of cello, viola and trio. Very nice, though I like it better on the M22s than the 170s. I think it is the room and the setup - the M22s have more room to breathe and sound better in the bass department. In equal settings the 170s should be better at this. Also the 170s are at the end of 25+ feet or wire and are in an uncarpeted room.

I, personally, think surround sound on my onkyo - even with my mismatched surrounds (athena R2s) - sounds better than just the two M22s alone. When your other 170s and 340 come you may be liking your system even more!
 

Silver Member
Username: Donaldekelly

Washington, DC Usa

Post Number: 229
Registered: Jul-04
Oops - the cd is Haydn Divertimenti - Cello, Viola and Baryton Trio! John Hsu on the baryton - which is an old odd rarely used cello type thing.

Haydn wrote a number of pieces for this instrument since his employer - the prince - played the baryton. Both smart fiscally and good sounding musically.

Reminds me of some of Jordi Savalls Viola de Gamba stuff.
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 168
Registered: May-05
I love to listen to classical so I'll see how it all sounds on the new speakers.

I'm only using the 340c as the center. It was highly recommended over a 170 center channel. Apparently, the voice quality is incredible and you can play your system and lower volume and getter crisper, cleaner voice and dialogue. So, I'll let you know how it works once I get it all set up.
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1175
Registered: Mar-05
David,

sounds like you did VERY well keeping under budget and still getting some awesome gear, congrats!

I'll look for your report when you have the entire Ascend setup hooked up...maybe a new thread? This one is starting to load kinda slow.
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 216
Registered: May-05
Edster,

Added the rears on Saturday and did several CDs in stereo, 5 channel and PL2 music. Very interesting this whole "timbre matching" thing that got this search started. These five (5) speakers are seamless and having them matched makes for very good sound right of the box, ALTHOUGH, I still need to balance the system and play with my subwoofer.

Also, I played Phantom of the Opera and Gladiator and heard more things I hadn't heard before and the 340C just continues to amaze me with its clarity on dialogue and the "fullness" it brought to the system. (I wonder if that isn't some of the "soundstage" that Jan talks about?) In Phantom, the scenes in the cave suddenly presented echo that weren't nearly as clear or loud in the earlier demos. In other words, it sound "real".

Every addition has improved the whole. SO, no matter what happens with the Lings, I'm going to have better sound in all respects from what I started with. VERY EXCITING this whole "hi-fi" thing, even if my system is more "mid-fi". LOL
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