Ascend Acoustics CBM-170

Being a very satisfied customer of Ascend Acoustics for the last year or so with a 6.1 set-up (3 CDM-170s across the front, 3 HTN-200s for surround), I decided to upgrade my audio portion since I just recently acquired a 53" HDTV. First call was to David at Ascend to trade in my HSU VTF-2 for a VTF-3. The VTF-3 is the best sub I've heard, regardless of price.

Although happy with the CBM-170 as a center channel, I inquired about a center that would give me a bit more "heft".

David informed me that he had a prototype center called a 350 and asked if I would like to try it out. No arm twisting was required.

The new 350 is a double woofer, single tweeter layout much like the HTM-200, only much bigger. The new 350 center is about twice as big as CBM-170. It is rear ported with large external and internal flares. It contains 2 6.5" custom Aerogel longthrow woofers and
1 brand new high performance wide directivity 1" soft dome tweeter 8 ohm Impedance 92db Efficiency 55hz - 20 khz response. The dimensions are 21" length x 7.5" height x 10.5" depth. Ther are provisions to bi-wire the center, although I've never been able to gather any improvement on any speaker by bi-wiring. The sepaker has internal jumpers for those who don't want to bi-wire.

To the system went from sounding great to, what I can only best describe as, stunning. The 350 blends seamlessly with the other Ascend speakers with no gaps in the sound stage. As important, the soundstage now extends well past the speakers into the room and up the side walls. Dialogue has the "heft" I was looking for (not "boomy") and is very natural. I am now drawn into the movies (I jumped out of my chair during the "gun shots" from "Road to Perdition"). Everything just sounds like "you are there". I don't believe I could have a better movie experience even in a theater.

DVD-Audio disks are nothing short of a revelelation with this system. I couldn't go to a concert and have better sound.