Ascend, Axiom, Aperion, Rocket - help please!


Unregistered guest
Hi, sorry for those who have seen this kind of topic too much, but these four are the frontrunners in "budget HT systems" category, which I'm researching and hope to finally decide on one. 80% movie + 20% music

So after reading a lot of reviews and forum posts I kind of get the following impressions (I'm new to audio so please forgive me if the comments are not accurate, again they totally based on study, not my own):

- Ascend (CBM-170/HTM-200/CMT-340/VTF-2): this may well be the system of choice for me, everything is good (I don't care too much about appearance) especially Hsu VTF-2. But looking at their web site makes me wonder if they are a serious business, the product order form doesn't include the HT package listed here, there's no warranty policy stated anywhere... BTW, any comment on their sale/service experience?

- Axiom Epic Grand Master: almost neck-to-neck with Ascend, except for a weak sub. All good reviews on M22ti and QS8 (with its enveloping surround effect). I wonder if I can ditch the sub and replace with a HSU and get the best of both world.

- Aperion 522D: this is the most contraversial system. CNET rates it top of the list but almost ALL forum posts are negative with comments such as "boxed-in", "too bright", "fatiguing", etc. How do I sift thru all the information and find out the truth!

- Rocket ELT: very contraversial also! maybe the design caters to a specific taste?

Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance!

Bronze Member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 15
Registered: Dec-03
I will tell you that Ascend is a serious business and they have a 30 in-home no questions asked return policy. They, Axiom, and AV123 all have excellent customer service and products. I can't speak to Aperion as I didn't audition them.
If you can, I would try the front speakers only with your system to see what you like. Ascend will give you the package price even if you order incrementally. I believe AV123 will as well. Axiom will not. Return shipping on a pair of Ascends was ~$30 from Colorado. AV123 is local, so I don't know about shipping for them. Axiom is in Canada and shipping on a pair of M3Tis was ~$40 via USPS, the M22s are probably a bit more. Aperion pays shipping both ways which may be a consideration.
One other point. Most people here will need to know what receiver you are using and what your budget is in order to provide better information.
Good Luck!

Bronze Member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 16
Registered: Dec-03
Another speaker I considered to be very close to the Ascend is the Athena AS-2B that you can get at BestBuy. It is a good quality speaker at a competitive price. You can order them from and return them, no questions asked, at a local store. Occasionally, you can get them with free shipping, too.

Unregistered guest
thanks for the information "ss newbie". i'm planning to get Onkyo TX-SR601 initially. Thanks for the info on the Athena, I didn't realize BB offers them. I'll check it out.

New member
Username: Upsman

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-04
I read that a review of these online speaker manufactures and others was in process by somebody at Ecoustics and would be available any day...Does anyone have a status?
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