I knew the man from the stairwell. We used to greet each other in a friendly way, and I knew that he worked for the architect's office on the third floor. However, now he pounded visibly annoyed against the metal door of the LowBeats listening room: "I find it unacceptable that you are playing drums during the day." The man, of course, was right! Such a volume level during normal working hours is certainly disturbing our neighborhood. However, there were no drums, but instead four inconspicuous black boxes: two subwoofers SMSG 15 and two satellite loudspeakers CCRM 12, which are planned to be soon sold as a nicely designed integrated loudspeaker called Ascendo Live15. My neighbor the architect was very surprised and suddenly reconciled: That sounded authentic, he mentioned. It is a crux with these speakers; it is difficult to listen to them at a low level. Time and time again, the hand goes to the volume knob and wants to turn it up. Simply, because they remain undistorted at any volume level.
A loudspeaker manufacturer, who so far has been selling absolute high-end products, now introduces - inspired by the AIA cinema project - a classy loudspeaker with high-performance drivers. The next morning, I raved to a friend about the Ascendo Live 15, and he came over with a recording, which belongs to one of the most boring recordings music history ever had to offer: Charly Antolini’s "Knock Out." For all those who do not know this recording, Charly is beating the drums rather uninspired just like he would be exercising his drumming style. The whole recording, however - that must be said – had been recorded with a quite impressive quality. At least it was so realistic that my architect neighbor concluded that I would play there in person ...But it was obviously not just the recording. It mainly had been the incredible dynamic and very accurate performance of the Ascendo. This speaker lets the snare-drum sound authentic; the hi-hats resonate truly metallic, the bass drums kick so instantly direct and subtly deep into ear and stomach. I know only a few speakers that have such a clean, energetic and colorful bass range. However, the live qualities of Ascendo’s Live 15 are not limited to dynamic music. Furthermore, the voice of Nick Cave on his new album Skeleton Tree (CD of the week 37/2016) sounded wonderfully clear, open, and - I cannot say otherwise: correct. It is this freedom of distortion, which makes the Ascendo Live 15 sounds so natural.
Ascendo Live 15: extremely dynamic, authentic and flexibly customizable But the Ascendo is able to play a lot louder and it also a lot more generous in the high frequencies. Stefan Köpf calls the Live 15 a fun speaker. That’s what it is. However, this speaker is much more than just that. The freedom of distortion and the great dynamics ensure a natural reproduction and an authenticity that is rare to find in common hi-fi speakers. And then there is the fact that they are extremely customizable and have their own amplification integrated. Regarding this flexibility, I know of no comparable system to date.