Hey, everybody Stephen from Harrison, AR here.
Don't even have any Ascend's yet, but here I go, anyway.
My listening space is small, about 12' x 6' so we're talking near field, I guess.
I recently decided to simplify from a 3.1, active crossover setup to 2.1.
The 3.1 was fun to figure out and build up and could sound sublime when everything was right and the recording was good, but I eventually wearied of the ongoing tweaking I thought was needful.
Present setup as follows:
Dedicated 240 VAC and 120VAC (isolated by a 5kv dry type transformer). I've been sold on balanced power for audio equipment for a while now.
Media of choice is CD from a Yamaha DVD player via RG65 to a slightly modified TubeDAC 09. Tube outs for the Main speakers, summed solid state outs for the sub.
Soundcraftsmen A2502 amp for the Main speakers, Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's on 30" stands.
Paradigm PDR-12 powered subwoofer.
All equipment except the Mains and crossovers from the 3.1 system was retained.
I consider this to be a solid med-fi setup and it sounds quite good, but here comes the but, the 10.1's leave me wanting a little bit more.
So, the search begins anew for some 2-ways to get me where I want to be.
Turn on the stereo, sit down with 2 fingers of good Scotch and let both do their wonderous work to my satisfaction.
I was reading an eBay ad for a some NHT Classic 3's. The guy said he was selling them because he had upgraded to Ascend.
Never heard of them, but google knows all. Alright! an American company that does their own distribution.
I lusted for the bamboo Sierra's for a bit, but they would likely well overmatch my equipment not to mention being out of my price range.
So, let's look at the CMD-170SE's.
Some things that stood out from my research.
1. Reviews just kept going back chronologically for the same model.
2. Reviewers rarely gave qualifications such as; "Very good, for the price point." "Sounds best or, shouldn't be paired with bright equipment." "Enjoyed most with this, that or the other type of music." "Not impressive until they were placed just so."
3. The gal I spoke to on the phone (forgive me for not remembering your name) sounded like she belonged instead of just worked there. I dig the mom&pop vibe, corporate doesn't do it for me.
Out comes the credit card and a pair of brand spankin' new CBM-170SE's will soon be mine. I-am-stoked.
Now the big decision is what to play through them 1rst. They might sound better with some break in, but there's only one 1st time. This is important.
"Donovan's Greatest Hits" has the nod right now. I love his voice and lyrics, plus Jimmy Page's guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" knocks my socks off every time.
Close second is "The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus" by Spirit, the best American rock&roll band, period. Argue that point all you wish, but it will be to no avail with me.
To have such a problem shows how truly blessed I am.
Rock on, brother & sisters.