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Thread: Official Signature Edition owners thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Manhattan Beach, California
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    6,191

    Default Official Signature Edition owners thread

    I have been asked to start this thread as a central location for owners/listeners to post there impressions of the speakers.

    So post away!
    -curtis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    123

    Default

    Proud new owner of a pair of 170SEs

    So far, I've only played some various songs in my collection, mostly movie soundtracks and a few anime-based vocal songs...Using Foobar .83, with no DSPs (although I flipped on the Tube Sound DSP occassionally, it sounds nice with some brighter material).

    The speakers are certainly very clear and precise. They were a little brighter than I expected, but since I've been listening to computer speakers quite a bit lately, maybe my ears are just transitioning slowly from "muffled highs" to "real highs."

    I think I expected earth-shattering bass with the thing, but so far extension is very similar to what I've heard with other bookshelves. Maybe I'm confusing the large SPL bass boost of a regular sub compared to linear bass, which may be why I'm not "hearing" it. Then again I am mating it with a sub so bass response won't be a problem.

    I noticed this is one huge bookshelf! I mean its meaty, like a battledwarf or something not really tall, but wide and deep.
    Last edited by Asliang; 01-17-2006 at 10:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    19

    Default First Impressions: 170SE

    Let me preface with the fact that I'm new to audiophiledom. I haven't heard B&Ws, Monitor 5s(?), Energy C-3s and the like. So far the 170s seem to be delivering what was promised: quality mids-highs. The following are first impressions and should be taken with a grain of salt. I think it will take weeks to form final judgements/figure out optimal placement/receiver settings.

    1. Placed 3' from wall with an Onkyo 502 in Direct Stereo Mode the soundfield was excellent as I kept looking to the sides for band members hiding in the wings. This is good isn't it?

    2. At this same config, I felt the need to use my sub as the low end was not 'filled out'. I thought it might work to use these basically as towers but I seemed to be wrong for the time being-more on that later.

    3. Highs were very well defined, that's all I can say for now. Very crisp and clear. Vocals in particular were accurate sounding.

    4. When mated with my G4 Mac, placed 2" from the wall, driven by an older Onkyo 8011 receiver, I got some seemingly better results. The bass improved significantly and I was happier overall with their abilities to perform without the aid of a sub. As a side note, I suppose my tastes for bass are unnaturally high and take away from an accurate presentation.

    5. It seems as though the sound improved slightly over the period of 5 hours...not sure about break-in but I'm assuming it'll take at least a week to get a more 'true' sound out of them. I would say the 'richness' seems to be improving as my absolute first impression was a little frighteningly 'thin'.

    That's all for now, just hoping to add to the discussion since all of this is new.
    Again, I'm gonna give them some time to break in before making final judgements. Any comments/suggestions on my config or break-in would be welcomed as I am still learning.

    Mark
    Portland, OR
    Last edited by mthoodmark; 01-19-2006 at 10:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    311

    Default

    mark,

    as for breaking in: just leave your stereo on either a CD on infinite repeat mode or a pop FM station at moderate volumes (70-75db) while you are away at work during the day. Some people who don't wish to disturb their neighbors turn their two speakers to face each other at a close distance in order to cancel out much of the sound.

    The 170SEs are not supposed to be full-range speakers that can be run on their own without a sub AFAIK...that would be the 340SEs.

    There are very few bookshelves which can be run without a sub and sound good all around especially at this pricepoint, usually if they have decent bass it's at the expense of other parts of the frequency spectrum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    19

    Default Break-in

    Thanks for the info, I'll keep running them. They even seemed more full this morning as I left them on low volumes all night...guess I didn't realize the degree to which they loosen up/improve in sound quality. My friend's Fluance towers were the same way. They definitely took weeks to open up but ended up being a great value as well. I've got a feeling these are gonna be what I needed. A recommendation: Andrew Bird-Mysterious Production of Eggs. Excellent. The strings, vocals, whistling, acoustic guitar, are presented well by the 170SEs.

    Mark
    Portland OR

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    19

    Default Impressions 170 SE(part 3)

    Let me start with a mathmatic formula: sub+170SE+good receiver+good audio source=incredibly good sound quality. It took some tweaking on my Onkyo 502 input configs(wasn't on the optical cable) and sub settings/levels. Also they've been running for about 24hrs straight. These things are imaging great, and they've filled out considerably.

    Then I did and A/B with the old HTiB Onkyo 240s; fuggedaboutit. Oh yeah, my fears of directional sound quality were quelled as well. I can be anywhere in the room and they sound awesome although it must be noted there is a 'sweet spot'. More later, hopefully these posts have been of use to someone.


    Mark
    Portland OR

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia area, PA USA
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    48

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    Mark thanks for taking the time to post your impressions. I can finally officially post to this thread -- got my tracking number today! Thanks Dave F.!! I'll have my 170 SEs on Tuesday!!!!!

    Yum.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    22

    Default The agony!

    I received my 7.1 Ascend SE setup two days ago. 340SE, 340cSE, and 170SE's for surrounds. I'm now waiting for an HK-635 to arrive from eBay. I thought the speakers would be the last part of the system to show up, but Ascend surprised me with an early delivery!

    Now I am stuck with beautiful speakers that I can't listen to.

    I should have the HK by Monday, then I will post my impressions.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Margate, FL
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I received my 340SE LCR at 6 PM yesterday and was listening to them at 6:01 (not, not really!). One thing you should know is that my keeping the Ascend's was purely dependent on my wife's approval. I made the deal that if she did not hear a significant difference from my old KEF's, that they would go back. (She is a former member of the Pennsylvania State Orchestra so she has an ear or two).
    Anyway, I just set them in place on the stands where the old KEF speakers were and started listening to song after song. I disconnected every speaker except left & right including the sub so I could just hear the Ascend's. I only listened to music, no movies yet. I eventually hooked up the sub and continued to listen. During this time my wife was in the bedroom leaving me alone. She did mention three or four times that it was HER decision to keep them or not.
    After listening to some Dire Straights and Pete Townsend (her favorite), she entered the room and said "We are keeping those speakers!". She had heard a difference in the bedroom from the old KEF's. We started listening together and were both amazed at the clarity and the accuracy of placement of sound across the front of the room. It was like getting my windows washed after a dirty rainstorm. I believe that they will be even better once I place them and level match with meter and such. I have never believed in the need to break in a speaker. What are the suggestions for breaking Ascend's and what is the why of it? I can't wait to get the 170's for the rear. Thank you DaveF for a very good loudspeaker.

    Chuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    St. Louis Area
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by curtis
    I have been asked to start this thread as a central location for owners/listeners to post there impressions of the speakers.

    So post away!
    Curtis I'm interested in hearing your impressions of comparing the classics to the SEs. I have the 170 classics now that I use for 95% music and I've been trying to decide if it's worth it to upgrade.

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