Audio & Video: Ascend & Rythmik Setup
Images and text Copyright  2015 by Dick Locke.  All Rights Reserved.  Contact and Image Use Information 

This page has pictures and information about audio and video topics.  My personal AV reference page discusses my search for speakers, including what I listened to & considered before purchasing the Ascend Espresso Sierra Towers & Horizon speakers with RAAL ribbon tweeters for my home theater/music system.  Scroll down for in-room measurements.


AV Setup with Ascend Sierra Towers & Horizon Speakers

The Ascend speakers feature the RAAL ribbon tweeters and show the satin espresso finish. The TV a 65" Panasonic Viera TC-P65VT30, and the center channel speaker is  11" x 23" x 12.5" for size.  That's an Onkyo TX-NR818 receiver (manual, AVS thread) on the bottom; I bought a refurb receiver to get the more advanced Audyssey MultEQ XT32 which was dropped in the latest models in favor of Dolby Atmos.

The subwoofer is a Rythmik E15HP 15" sealed signature edition.  Added in early 2015, it allowed me to move the old Def Tech 15" upstairs into the bedroom system with the Sierra 2 monitors.  The E15 is Rythmik's smaller 15" sub, which was perfect for me as I'm space-constrained due to spousal placement requirements.  It is 2" narrower than the sub it replaced, and while it's a bit deeper I had enough room.  The sub is much more articulate than what it replaced.  I was kind of freaked out by the Audyssey setup tones from the sub; instead of the muddy thump I'm used to from subwoofers it sounded a lot like the pulses from the main speakers.  I had to double check that main speakers weren't on somehow!  The sub also plays with plenty of volume, no problem filling the room at -3 dB from reference which is as loud as I go.

About the pictures:  I used a wide angle lens (Nikon 14-24mm) so you can see there's some geometric distortion from that.  The color balance on the above should be pretty accurate.  I used an indirect flash on the Nikon 610 body and the jpegs from the camera provide the color balance.  The walls are a subtle yellow color that is reflected pretty well in the above image, and a bit washed out in the next two.


Mid-Front View

You can see the RAAL tweeters faintly through the grilles on these shots.


Low-Front View


High View - with Cat
 

Below: Measurements using REW (Room EQ Wizard) and the UMIK-1 calibrated microphone.  I used the HDMI input but not ASIO (ASIO allows you to drive individual channels via HDMI).  These measurements were taken with my old Definitive Technologies 15" sub, not the Rythmik.


Ascend Sierra Towers: Stereo Comparisons

Stereo (L/R only) with Audyssey correction compared with Pure Audio (green trace).  Note the only difference between the red and purple traces was the microphone placement.  Interesting to note that the Towers are flat to 32hz, and have plenty of power down to 27hz.

Subjectively the pure audio setting has more bass than the stereo setting, which I expect is due in part to the speaker's proximity to the walls.  The stereo setting with Audyssey & music option is subjectively and measurably flatter.  I've settled on the stereo setting as my preferred mode for listening to music, and I used Audyssey's dynamic EQ compensation to boost the bass at low listening levels.  (Dynamic EQ was off for all measurements.)


Ascend Sierra Towers & Horizon: Dolby Pro Logic & Audyssey

This shows the difference between the Dolby Pro Logic setting with Audyssey (blue) and without (purple).  You can see Audyssey correcting the bass/subwoofer levels, and bumping the upper treble a bit.


Ascend Sierra Towers: Stereo with Audyssey Corrections

This shows a number of readings taken from different positions.  The bass varies in part because I was experimenting with the crossover for the sub.  I found that flattest results came from a 60hz crossover.  The bass null around 50-60Hz varies quite a bit between the left and right seats.


My AV Reference Page describes my speaker searches.


 

Below: Pictures with the old Def Tech sub.


AV Setup with Ascend Sierra Towers & Horizon Speakers


Low-Front View AV System


AV System Wide View

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If you have questions or comments you can reach me at dtlnew at yahoo dot com.

 


Geek Interest: 50Hz Null - Stereo

Compare the Pure Audio, Direct, and Stereo (my notes say no Audyssey correction on for stereo) settings.  Stereo brought in the subwoofer, which before tweaking resulted in a null around 50hz (where I was crossing over the mains to the sub.)   Moving the crossover to 60hz corrected that nicely.