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Ascend Acoustics CBM-170
96 Reviews
rating  4.92 of 5
MSRP  359.00
Description: 2-way rear ported design with advanced crossover. 6.5" Aerogel woofer with phase plug and 1" neodymium ferrofluid injected tweeter. Response 69hz - 20khz +/- 3db, sensitivity 89dB. Weight = 13lbs each.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (96 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Mazza a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2013

Bottom Line:   
Superb transparent imaging, airy wide sound stage, solid flat full spectrum frequency response. The most satisfying set of speakers I've ever owned. And I've owned Tannoys, klipsch, B&Ws, SVS, Velodynes, Magneplanars, and a couple dozen other brands, many with superb specs, sound and, of course, high cost.

The CBM-170s are small, light, precise, inexpensive, very we'll made, intelligently finished and above all, extremely practical! For home use, you can't miss with these outstanding little gems. The black matte finish is durable, scratch resistant and can be cleaned easily.

The 170's come double boxed with rock solid internal foam braces making shipping damage nearly impossible with normal handling. Ascend shipped promptly and my correspondence with them was easy and polite. I couldn't be happier with these speakers and Ascend. I look forward to receiving my sub that needed to be back ordered.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Blaine a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2013

Bottom Line:   
I want to add my rave review to the multitudes. After over 9 years with these speakers they are just as mesmerizing when I sit and listen to Acoustic Alchemy or Phil Keaggy on guitar. Piano is amazing. I had these hooked up to a Hsu subwoofer but have switched to a $100 Polk 10-inch sub that I stuck into my wall to have it less intrusive in the house. I do not sit and listen to my speakers from a chair spotted in precisely the right spot, mostly I listen to these as background speakers now but every now and then I put on something I know has a lot of detail and just get lost in the music. I like these so much I want to take some apart and install the components in my car so I can take this level of refined sonic character on the road. I am very very particular about musicality but I refuse to spend thousands of dollars because I just don't have time to sit and dedicate the time just to listen. I want all my friends to find out about these amazing speakers that should cost a whole lot more.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Veda a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 12, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Having owned the super accurate Sierra Tower RAAL, I decided to give the very highly rated CBM-170 SE a try. I've always preferred ribbon tweeters every since I started this hobby so didn't think much of these monitors. My thought that they'll make do in my kid's bedroom to replace the overkill Usher Be-718 berylliums. During a few decades of my dwelling in this hobby I've tried many of the big boy monitors: Focal, Dynaudio, Totem, PSB, a bunch of Ushers, Paradigm, KEF, etc etc I don't remember all... long story short, these ultra cheap pairs of monitors are probably the most accurate and pleasurable I've ever listened to. Very balanced top to bottom, quick and efficient but lacking any harshness. Not surprising given the ultra flat frequency response but I was very suprised at the amount of bass these things seem to radiate. No artificially induced hump to make it bigger than it is, very honest speakers that I can throw any kind of music from house, jazz, acoustics. My concern of the softdome tweeters lacking any kind of high end clarity is also false as IMO the Ascends are overall more realistic sounding the Usher Be-718! Keep in mind the Ushers are 7.5x the price of the Ascends. You think that accurate monitors are agressive and cold but these speakers are just the opposite. If anything no sweetened british speakers have been so involving with jazz and vocals yet so ruthless with metal. Unbelievable...

The life of an audio enthusiast can be an expensive one with changing speakers every week or month which I did once upon a time but sometimes you come across a product so good you're willing to keep it for decades. I truly believe the CBM-170 SE is one of those and certainly has become the standard in which I will measure other monitors. So if you're looking for a pair of bookshelves (at any price), you should definitely give these a try first.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ghill166 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 17, 2012

Bottom Line:   
My entire experience with Ascend was top-notch. The customer service was great, and very responsive.
It's already documented all over the internet that these speakers contain drivers and a crossover that are WAY above their price-range, but you really need to see the speakers to get a feel for the quality.

My main concern with these speakers was that they would not be able to compete with the clarity of some of their metal tweeter based competitors like Axiom or Paradigm. I regret ever having doubted Ascend. If there is one word to describe this speaker, it's CLARITY. I'm not a fan of Norah Jones, but she has always had some great recording quality. On some of her songs, you can literally hear the "smack" of her lips opening and closing before she sings! Now, my Polk's sound like someone had covered them with a blanket.

I should also mention that these speakers have great dynamics. They're not big by any means, but they can really put out some SPL's for their size! They can easily fill any medium sized room when paired with a sub, and they sound so natural even when they're cranked. Even my wife mentioned that the music sounded like it was being played in the room.

There is one downside, though. Now, I need to buy a new receiver just ot make sure that my Ascends properly treated.

Forget about the competition and take the plunge. You won't be disappointed.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kumar a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2011

Bottom Line:   
Paid $80 for a used pair and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sound these speakers produce.
Don't buy them if u are concerned about how they look.... they look quite ugly and cheap except for the binding posts. I compared them with my NHT VT 1a floor standers and the CBM170s have a much wider range comparatively. I drive them on my Nakamichi AV-1 and cant even increase the volume to 15-20% in my decent sized living room. These dont have any artificial bass or any artificial warmth seen in most medium priced speakers. A friend of mine says these sound very much like his Paradigm Studio 20s, thats quite a comparison considering the price difference.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast




Reviews 1 - 5 (96 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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