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Ascend CBM-170 SE Speaker Review

goldark

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Just a bit of tidbit which will also hopefully provide some context to this speaker review - according to this forum post, this speaker was released in early 2006 - a whopping 14 years ago (I did the math)!

Perhaps the manufacturer's marketing language, that @amirm takes objection to, rang truer at the time? :)

The website certainly looks like it hasn't been updated since 2006, so you're probably onto something ;)
 

ROOSKIE

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Just a bit of tidbit which will also hopefully provide some context to this speaker review - according to this forum post, this speaker was released in early 2006 - a whopping 14 years ago (I did the math)!

Perhaps the manufacturer's marketing language, that @amirm takes objection to, rang truer at the time? :)

Yah, likely did. So many excellent speakers now in this price bracket. Still any manufacturer is going to hype their gear. Not their job to undersell. Anyway Ascend has a very devout following so these average results for their gear is going to be a problem for some peeps. Maybe it will just challenge Ascend to improve, seems this speaker is due to be updated.
 

spacevector

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Preference Rating
SCORE: 3.8
SCORE w/ subwoofer: 6.5


Comparison:
index.php

(5°, 15°, and 45° measurements achieved via averaging)
Usual graphs not showing for me.
 

Shazb0t

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Yah, likely did. So many excellent speakers now in this price bracket. Still any manufacturer is going to hype their gear. Not their job to undersell. Anyway Ascend has a very devout following so these average results for their gear is going to be a problem for some peeps. Maybe it will just challenge Ascend to improve, seems this speaker is due to be updated.
Keep in mind that these are their lower end products. I'm hoping someone sends in a Horizon RAAL Center or RAAL Tower for measurement. I think the dedicated midrange and larger RAAL tweeter is going to have better measurement results.
 

Shazb0t

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I would like to see the revision to the Sierra 2, the 2-EX, reviewed as well. It certainly sounds better to me, so I'm curious to find what differences in the measurements would be. I'm tempted to send Amir my own pair, but would have to live without them for a while.
Sacrifices must be made..
 

spacevector

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I'm tempted to send Amir my own pair, but would have to live without them for a while.
Amir should start a loaner program. For members who send in their speakers for review, Amir will loan them a pair of Pioneer BS-22 so they don't have to live without 'good' sound. Kind of like how car dealerships have loaner vehicles lol. ;)
 

aarons915

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I would like to see the revision to the Sierra 2, the 2-EX, reviewed as well. It certainly sounds better to me, so I'm curious to find what differences in the measurements would be. I'm tempted to send Amir my own pair, but would have to live without them for a while.

I've said it before but @echopraxia has the Sierra 2 EX and the Sierra Towers RAAL and lives in Seattle...I just mentioned to him on the Ascend thread on AVS that Amir has the Klippel up and running and he seems to want to get them measured but obviously hasn't done so yet. If you guys start pestering him maybe you can get him to bring them by lol.
 

spacevector

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One disappointment was the amount of cabinet flex and resonance. There was a ton of it with Ascend, matching the same amount of the much cheaper Pioneer.
Curious how you determine this amir. Do you attempt to listen for specific things? Do you touch the enclosure while playing bass loudly? Something else entirely?
 

Billy Budapest

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They aren't horrible at all. They are a small, tough, well made compact speaker that was used, manufactured and supported with parts for decades in a consistent way by a respected manufacturer all at a very reasonable price.

No wonder they became the defacto standard. And well deserved. The modern fashion of p#ssing all over a product which essentially defined an entire genre of compact near-field speakers is tiresome.

Can you imagine all the fly-by-night, one hit wonder companies these days being able to achieve consistency for several decades? No chance. They'd blame their supply chain inconsistencies, the cone material manufacturer, the lack of quality cabinet material, whatever excuse. Yamaha just built every key part, from scratch, in heir own factories for decades.
Oh, I think the NS10’s sound absolutely terrible. I am aware they are a polarizing speaker and have their fans.
 
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amirm

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Curious how you determine this amir. Do you attempt to listen for specific things? Do you touch the enclosure while playing bass loudly? Something else entirely?
That is what I did. Bass notes would reverberate strongly in the cabinet. So I tested the same on the Pioneer and was just as much. Not scientific but I expected the enclosure to be more stout.
 

bigjacko

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Curious how you determine this amir. Do you attempt to listen for specific things? Do you touch the enclosure while playing bass loudly? Something else entirely?
Enclosure resonance is a pretty big topic in DIY speakers. Some of those DIY people use a small device stick onto the enclosure to measure the acceleration. I am curious to know if amirm did any measurement on the enclosure or just touch it and estimate?
 

restorer-john

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Oh, I think the NS10’s sound absolutely terrible. I am aware they are a polarizing speaker and gave their fans.

I certainly don't love them either, but in the context of a consistent (across the world) speaker, with a sound engineers know, they cannot be dismissed.

Bear in mind the Auratones (horrortones) were another "monitor" speaker and they are simply hideous- but again, ubiquitous, cheap and a reference.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/auratone-5c-super-sound-cube

1583192106443.png
 

bigjacko

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That is what I did. Bass notes would reverberate strongly in the cabinet. So I tested the same on the Pioneer and was just as much. Not scientific but I expected the enclosure to be more stout.
Did you mean standing wave in the box? But i think standing wave in box is not the same as box resonance.
 

echopraxia

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I've said it before but @echopraxia has the Sierra 2 EX and the Sierra Towers RAAL and lives in Seattle...I just mentioned to him on the Ascend thread on AVS that Amir has the Klippel up and running and he seems to want to get them measured but obviously hasn't done so yet. If you guys start pestering him maybe you can get him to bring them by lol.
Yes I’m happy to loan any of my speakers out for review! Not sure how to get that volunteer process going but let me know. I’ve been busy lately and only just now checked in to these forums to see the new speaker reviews!
 

ROOSKIE

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I know this is a bit too simple of a question, but, Amir, what do you mean by "avoid ceiling reflections" and "avoid ceiling and floor bounce"? Is it as simple as don't hang these up on a wall? Is there a sort of glossary of rudimentary room placement terms somewhere that you would recommend?

With most of my speakers I place a thick floor cushion on the floor in front of the speakers for listening sessions. There is difference however it is generally subtle. I don't do anything with the ceiling but in the future I might. If you have high ceilings or vaulted ceilings this is much less of factor.
 
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amirm

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I know this is a bit too simple of a question, but, Amir, what do you mean by "avoid ceiling reflections" and "avoid ceiling and floor bounce"? Is it as simple as don't hang these up on a wall? Is there a sort of glossary of rudimentary room placement terms somewhere that you would recommend?
Floor one is easy: put a thick carpet between you and the speaker(s) (or thinner one with breathable underlayment). Ceiling is harder. You can choose to put them in a room with much taller ceiling. Or try to absorb the ceiling (first) reflection point.

Other than Dr. Toole's book, I don't know of a reference but maybe others do.
 

617

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SEAS tweeter actually, 27TDFC or a variant thereof.
Surely 27tdfc has a ferrite magnet bigger than the faceplate of this tweeter?
 

Ilkless

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Surely 27tdfc has a ferrite magnet bigger than the faceplate of this tweeter?

Dave mentioned it was a SEAS part and the 27TDFC is pretty much the most common silk dome from them I've seen. Definitely not a 29TFFW and 27TDC is obsolete, so I surmise it is a TDFC, if not a modified version of it. Can't be a totally different OEM part in that price range.
 
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