Ascend Sierras for HT on a 1100 budget...would you do it?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Just bought em but not sure if I made the right decision...want to properly test them and put em up against the TCA Pro 10s I have been hearing so much about...hopefully they will be available this month. Through lots of research, the Sierras seemed the best speakers for the price and comparable to much more expensive speakers.

Keep in mind I dont have nearly the optimal test environment, as my living room is probably the worst HT environment...(15x20 opening up to a 15x20 kitchen...listening area is roughly 8-10 ft from the fronts).

They should be arriving next week and will get a SPL meter from radio shack to give some readings.

Would like to hear some additional speaker recommendations to put them up against and some tips and how to use a SPL meter

I know nothing about speakers other than what I read here, but feel this is a good A/B test that some people would like to know who are around the $1200 L/C/R budget level.

My sytem is a Denon 790 with a LFM1-plus sub with HTIB surrounds...which will be replaced at a later date. Dont care about music, just HT. Recommendations on how to use an SPL meter with Audyssey?
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post #2 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 07:22 AM
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You don't need an SPL meter for audyssey at all, unless you just want to double check the levels it set. Audyssey does everything for me very very accurate, it calibrated my levels all to 75db ( double checked with ratshack meter ), distance was perfect, only thing was crossover was a little low about 20hz but I manually adjusted that.
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post #3 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claytont View Post

Just bought em but not sure if I made the right decision...want to properly test them and put em up against the TCA Pro 10s I have been hearing so much about...hopefully they will be available this month. Through lots of research, the Sierras seemed the best speakers for the price and comparable to much more expensive speakers.

Keep in mind I dont have nearly the optimal test environment, as my living room is probably the worst HT environment...(15x20 opening up to a 15x20 kitchen...listening area is roughly 8-10 ft from the fronts).

They should be arriving next week and will get a SPL meter from radio shack to give some readings.

Would like to hear some additional speaker recommendations to put them up against and some tips and how to use a SPL meter

I know nothing about speakers other than what I read here, but feel this is a good A/B test that some people would like to know who are around the $1200 L/C/R budget level.

My sytem is a Denon 790 with a LFM1-plus sub with HTIB surrounds...which will be replaced at a later date. Dont care about music, just HT. Recommendations on how to use an SPL meter with Audyssey?

Don't care about music? Then...IMHO...you made the wrong choice. You say you don't know much about speakers, except what you read here. So you read the Ascend Sierras are a great monitor for the price, and decide to put them in front of your HT. But I don't think that's the right speaker for your application.

If the speaker is good...and I agree, it is VERY well reviewed here at AVS...it is because it's musical; sweet highs, warm, natural mids. To use it in an HT, where you don't care about music, is a waste IMO.

The Fronts in HT don't get a huge workout anyway; if anything I'd say you'd want something with some punch, and if you don't have a Sub yet...some bottom-end for movie soundtracks...and that ain't the Sierras.

A great speaker yes, but you could get something more suited to your application, and for less too. In fact, what's your Center? Did you get 3 Sierras? If not, how to you plan to match timbre and soundstage across the front? My suggestion, for the $1100 you spent on the Sierras, you could get 3 nice Paradigm or Klipsch to go across the front, and let the Sierras go to a nice, 2-channel home.

.02
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post #4 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Don't care about music? Then...IMHO...you made the wrong choice.

This review/reviewer thinks otherwise:
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post #5 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

This review/reviewer thinks otherwise:

Rob Mead, BestCovery.com's, fifth-best bookshelf speaker for Home Theater. Well, high priase indeed...but you're taking this review too literally, and out of context.

One...if you actually read the review (or blurb really...not much of a review), rather than just Googling it as an example to contradict me, you'd see he is talking about these speakers for Surrounds, not Fronts.

Two...again, if you actually read the comments...you'll see, that IMHO, Mr. Mead almost makes it seem as if Bookshelf speakers, and Surround applications are synonymous...which is a notion I reject completely; "Bookshelfs" (and the speakers he has listed are really Monitors, one and all; semantics, perhaps...but it just furthers how little stock I put in this guy's opinion) make great Fronts, and Floorstanders can make great Surrounds.

Three, I don't disagree with the guy's notion. He's saying "buy good speakers for HT...and these are some good speakers". I don't think you can argue with that. Do you think those 5 are the only good choices? Do you think they're right for every budget?

Four, again...it's not much of a "review"; it's a blurb. Here's what he's got to say about the Sierra's, all in:

Even though the Sierra-1 reference monitor speakers are priced the lowest on this list at only $848/per pair, these bookshelf speakers pack a surprising wallop when it comes to dispersing fluent and solid surround-sound for any home theater environment.

The speakers feature 5-way gold-plated binding posts, advanced soft dome tweeter design, high-flow rear port tubes that cut down on audio blurring and are available in five beautiful wood finishing colors. Consumers that purchase a pair of these beauties will be rewarded with excellent sound quality and a lot of bang for their buck
.


Are you kidding me; you call this a glowing endorsement? It sounds good for the money, has 5-way binding posts, and comes in 5 finishes?

Listen, there is more I can say, but what's the point. It comes down to this...doesn't sound to me like the OP has a lot of gear experience. He's coming from HTIB...some of which he's still using. I'm not trying to be a snob; quite the contrary: I'm the one telling him that he doesn't necessarily need to spend $1100 on these Ascend Sierras, just because he's heard how well they're rated here...and by Mr. Mead.

As a 2-channel monitor, good electronics, and for musical listening, I'm sure they're about as good a bang-for-the-buck speaker as there is. Wanna know how I know? Because I opened a thread myself some time back, about the best monitor for ~2k or under...and the Sierras got a LOT of votes. I ultimately ended up with Dynaudio Focus 140s, but it put the Sierras on my radar for the first time...and if the OP were to ask about them in a 2-channel system, I'd give a big thumbs-up.

Like I said, I just happen to think...coming from HTIB, and still not having some of the other speakers in his set-up upgraded yet, he's spending too much on the Sierras...if he has NO interest in their musicality. He hasn't even talked about his Center yet, and wouldn't you agree that speaker is AT LEAST, if not more important in an HT set-up...and that it should match-up with the Fronts? What are you and Mr. Mead suggesting the OP do about that, if he keeps his Sierras?

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #6 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I got the Sierra center as well and have an Outlaw LFM-1 Plus sub....oh well, if they dont turn out to impress me for HT, I'm just out $50.
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post #7 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 10:08 AM
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The mission of any decent speaker, whether intended for home theater or music, is to accurately reproduce the incoming electric signal into a corresponding sound. In this sense, there shouldn't be any distinction between speakers meant for movies or music. It seems to me some feel that music demands higher fidelity playback, and that the standards for such speakers should be higher. Personally, I don't feel this way since there is so much music within movies, and the most rewatchable movies for me have always had a terrific musical score. Any reasonably good home theater audio system must be able to reproduce music as well as any other content!

Some people seem to feel that home theater audio should place emphasis on dynamic range and response, and that, for whatever reason, music doesn't need such reproduction. To that I say, what lame music recordings do you listen to? Such people must treat music as background noise only, and I suspect such individuals of having no souls. A good music system should be able to do justice to even aggressively mixed action movie soundtracks!

If you ask me, there shouldn't be any serious difference between a good audio system setup for music or movies. I might even be willing to argue that a good audio system for movies doesn't even need 5.1 channels of sound since the vast majority of great movies are mixed in stereo or mono.

Anyway, this is all a digression from the OP's question, to which I would say that I think the Ascend Sierra's would make a terrific speaker system for a home theater, and if I had the money and was building a home theater, I would strongly consider them if they fit the budget nicely and were appropriate to the room size.
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post #8 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 10:08 AM
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claytont, the Sierra-1 speakers strenght is their SQ with their neutral/clear sound. They also do well for HT with enough power (they are not the most efficient speaker). How big is your room? How loud do you listen to HT? What power are you going to use with them? Those are factors you should consider. They can handle a crossover of 60hz with no problem but below that, I suggest you get a good.

Having said that, I own three sierra-1 speakers (upgraded from Mirage Omnisats V2) and I'm glad I did. The sound with the Sierra-1 is smoother, cleaner with more detail. When I pushed the Omnisats to reference level, they started to sound somewhat harsch/distort. After a while at that level, I started to have ear fatigue, that's not the case with the Sierra-1. The Sierra-1 are very well made, use quality components and are very well priced. Overall, I think you'll like them. Let us know what you think when you get them.
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post #9 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 11:03 AM
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OK, well obviously I'm getting shouted down here...and that's cool; debate and dissent is welcome. I just want to make my point clear; I never said "just get sh*t speakers because it's an HT, and it doesn't matter". However, as opposed to a 2-channel system, I do think there needs to be balance in an HT.

Like most of us, I'm the AV guy in my group, and if a buddy of mine came to me and said "hey man, after hearing your set-up, the $500 HTIB is starting to leave me feeling short. I just got $1100 to spend...what Fronts would you recommend"...I wouldn't have him put it ALL in the Fronts, and leave his sh*t Center, Sub, and Surrounds.

The OP has Ascend all across the front, and god knows what HTIB left-overs in the back; shadyJ, don't you want some seamlessness in your HT set-up? To me, if I have sweet, musical, natural playback across the front...and grainy, stringent effects in the back...that's a distraction.

I'll admit, I've never heard the Sierras; like I said, I just know they're highly thought of, and usually where's there's smoke there's fire. But to me...again...not that quality speakers aren't quality speakers, but I do look for different things in a 2-channel rig. In music, nuisances are so subjective; do you like forward sounding, or more laid back? Tight bass of solid-state, warm mids of tubes? How does this speaker make Hope Sandoval or Margot Timmins vocals sound, as opposed to that one...and that other one? How's the "voicing"? You get my point.

Sorry; I love my HT, and have pretty decent gear there...but I just don't see the same nuance in getting Christian Bale's dialogue right, or reproducing a missile or gunshot. Again, I put more stock in the Center, and the Sub for a demanding movie sountrack, and realistic theater experience. But all the speakers are important, and creating a realistic, seamless soundfield is at least half the battle as well.

From what I know of the Sierras, they are highly neutral sounding; that's something you really strive for in musical reproduction...well, that some people do (again, that's subjective). $1100 for a pair of speakers is not a small investment to some. For a really accurate, neutral, speaker is it worth it; good bang-for-the-buck? Absolutely! And it's not to say you don't want a neutral-sounding speaker for HT, I personally just don't think there is such a need.

I'm a restaurant consultant, and a former chef. One of the things that really causes me to roll my eyes is when I go into a little coffee and sandwich shop...usually being opened by a bored, rich housewife, who's husband is throwing a little money at a business in order to give her something to do...and I see top-of-the-line, $400 Japanese sushi knives to cut the Pananis (don't laugh...it's true).

Are the Sierras that kinda overkill for HT; no. And again...just to be clear...if the OP had said "I'm coming from HTIB, and I'm looking to upgrade ALL of my speakers...and I'm starting with Sierras because I've heard them and liked them...and then the rest of the system will get upgraded accordingly" I would have smiled and thought he'll likely really enjoy that upgrade; he doesn't know what he's in for.

But he never mentioned a Center (still scratching my head about how he's only out $50 if he doesn't like his Sierras)...I don't know much about that Outlaw sub, and admits he's still using his crappy HTIB surrounds. And he only got the Sierras, in the first place, because other people told him they were good. All I was suggesting...is that coming from HTIB, I bet I could put 3 Paradigms across his front that would blow him away, and save him some money.

Will he like the Sierras? I would imagine so...and then I guess I look like a jacka** by saying I thought it was maybe overkill for him. But just because he likes them doesn't prove anything; he'd need to like them more than something comparable, or even that cost less...and there's no mention of any listening process. Just you guys saying "yeah, yeah...the Sierras are great"; which is how he got here to begin with.

CD

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post #10 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claytont View Post

Through lots of research, the Sierras seemed the best speakers for the price and comparable to much more expensive speakers.
............. Dont care about music, just HT. Recommendations on how to use an SPL meter with Audyssey?

First, I have never found any definitive research data that concludes the Sierras are the best speaker and compare to much more expensive speakers. Amazingly, I could pick 10 popular brands bantered on here daily that have the same subjective opinion behind them.

Sierras are fine but there are many other choices in the same category and that category honestly is not HT.

If you only care about HT then there are two things you require above all else. You will want Constant directivity (uniform off axis response) and you will want the best dynamics available (speakers need to have sensitivity somewhere above > 93dB).

Once you learn about those then you can list the speakers that will meet that criteria. Of course you will realize that the list is extremely short in the lower budget ranges because the industry does not get it yet and you might just end up compromising Dynamics and uniform off axis response by going back to Sierras or similar.

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post #11 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

OK, well obviously I'm getting shouted down here...and that's cool; debate and dissent is welcome. I just want to make my point clear; I never said "just get sh*t speakers because it's an HT, and it doesn't matter". However, as opposed to a 2-channel system, I do think there needs to be balance in an HT.

Like most of us, I'm the AV guy in my group, and if a buddy of mine came to me and said "hey man, after hearing your set-up, the $500 HTIB is starting to leave me feeling short. I just got $1100 to spend...what Fronts would you recommend"...I wouldn't have him put it ALL in the Fronts, and leave his sh*t Center, Sub, and Surrounds.

The OP has Ascend all across the front, and god knows what HTIB left-overs in the back; shadyJ, don't you want some seamlessness in your HT set-up? To me, if I have sweet, musical, natural playback across the front...and grainy, stringent effects in the back...that's a distraction.

I'll admit, I've never heard the Sierras; like I said, I just know they're highly thought of, and usually where's there's smoke there's fire. But to me...again...not that quality speakers aren't quality speakers, but I do look for different things in a 2-channel rig. In music, nuisances are so subjective; do you like forward sounding, or more laid back? Tight bass of solid-state, warm mids of tubes? How does this speaker make Hope Sandoval or Margot Timmins vocals sound, as opposed to that one...and that other one? How's the "voicing"? You get my point.

Sorry; I love my HT, and have pretty decent gear there...but I just don't see the same nuance in getting Christian Bale's dialogue right, or reproducing a missile or gunshot. Again, I put more stock in the Center, and the Sub for a demanding movie sountrack, and realistic theater experience. But all the speakers are important, and creating a realistic, seamless soundfield is at least half the battle as well.

From what I know of the Sierras, they are highly neutral sounding; that's something you really strive for in musical reproduction...well, that some people do (again, that's subjective). $1100 for a pair of speakers is not a small investment to some. For a really accurate, neutral, speaker is it worth it; good bang-for-the-buck? Absolutely! And it's not to say you don't want a neutral-sounding speaker for HT, I personally just don't think there is such a need.

I'm a restaurant consultant, and a former chef. One of the things that really causes me to roll my eyes is when I go into a little coffee and sandwich shop...usually being opened by a bored, rich housewife, who's husband is throwing a little money at a business in order to give her something to do...and I see top-of-the-line, $400 Japanese sushi knives to cut the Pananis (don't laugh...it's true).

Are the Sierras that kinda overkill for HT; no. And again...just to be clear...if the OP had said "I'm coming from HTIB, and I'm looking to upgrade ALL of my speakers...and I'm starting with Sierras because I've heard them and liked them...and then the rest of the system will get upgraded accordingly" I would have smiled and thought he'll likely really enjoy that upgrade; he doesn't know what he's in for.

But he never mentioned a Center (still scratching my head about how he's only out $50 if he doesn't like his Sierras)...I don't know much about that Outlaw sub, and admits he's still using his crappy HTIB surrounds. And he only got the Sierras, in the first place, because other people told him they were good. All I was suggesting...is that coming from HTIB, I bet I could put 3 Paradigms across his front that would blow him away, and save him some money.

Will he like the Sierras? I would imagine so...and then I guess I look like a jacka** by saying I thought it was maybe overkill for him. But just because he likes them doesn't prove anything; he'd need to like them more than something comparable, or even that cost less...and there's no mention of any listening process. Just you guys saying "yeah, yeah...the Sierras are great"; which is how he got here to begin with.

CD

To answer two of your questions; he said he got a center and it's also a sierra (he mentioned it a couple times, including in the OP), and he'll only be out $50 if he doesn't like them because ascend has an in home trial period and all he has to pay is return shipping, which is a pretty standard deal with internet brands.

I think you are blowing his decision out of proportion. He risks almost nothing and spent less than $400 per speaker. It's not like he put a second mortgage on his house and said "alright I ordered some B&W Nautilus, hopefully they sound good". This also gives him an opportunity to maybe order another set of LCR that other people may recommend and compare them directly. I also don't see the problem in upgrading his system components individually rather than saving for a long time and doing it all at once. I especially don't have a problem with him upgrading only the LCR since 95% of movies have nothing in the rear channels beyond ambient sound effects and bullets whizzing around.
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post #12 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Rob Mead, BestCovery.com's, fifth-best bookshelf speaker for Home Theater. Well, high priase indeed...but you're taking this review too literally, and out of context.

Fair enough, maybe I didn't read well enough but IMO your statement regarding a wrong choice is somewhat strong given you have never actually heard the Sierra-1s.

I am interested in checking out the Dynaudio Focus 140s based on your selection of these. Here is a recent thread that could be along the lines of a thread you may have started some time ago looking for best monitor speakers for ~$2K. Do you have a link to that thread, I'd like to read it? The thread I referenced brought my attention to the Sierra-1s.

FWIW, I have Sierra-1s (LCR) in a 5.1 system, picked up the Sierra's in the used market. However, 99% of this system's usage is 2-channel music. Quite pleased with the performance but always looking for a steal on something else.
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post #13 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spanish68 View Post

claytont, the Sierra-1 speakers strenght is their SQ with their neutral/clear sound. They also do well for HT with enough power (they are not the most efficient speaker). How big is your room? How loud do you listen to HT? What power are you going to use with them? Those are factors you should consider. They can handle a crossover of 60hz with no problem but below that, I suggest you get a good.

Having said that, I own three sierra-1 speakers (upgraded from Mirage Omnisats V2) and I'm glad I did. The sound with the Sierra-1 is smoother, cleaner with more detail. When I pushed the Omnisats to reference level, they started to sound somewhat harsch/distort. After a while at that level, I started to have ear fatigue, that's not the case with the Sierra-1. The Sierra-1 are very well made, use quality components and are very well priced. Overall, I think you'll like them. Let us know what you think when you get them.

They are an 83db sensitive speaker http://www.hometheatermag.com/floorl...ge/index2.html. It would take nearly 1,000 watts to get that speaker to reference level at a 2 meter distance. The speaker would fry long before it got there. It would take nearly 500 watts if you had your ear 39" (1M) away from the speaker. If you thought that you were getting reference level with that speaker you are mistaken. What were you driving them with?
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post #14 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 04:35 PM
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I currently have Sierras for LCR duty and Def Tech BPx surrounds. I do not find the speaker differences from the front to the surrounds is an issue at all. I find the Sierras do quite well for HT use as they certainly do for music. I think if you have a good quality sub and do not try to drive the Sierras to insane volumes they are a very good speaker. Are the Sierras the best speaker in their price range? Maybe not but I've enjoying them very much for well over a year.

I have also owned the Dynaudio Focus 140s and I feel the Sierras compare very well to the 140s. Although I did not do a direct comparison the Sierras have compared quite well to Focus 110 and 140 in reviews linked below.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...c_sierra_1.htm

http://www.soundstageav.com/onhifi/20070901.htm

To me the bottom line is how you like the SQ and performance of your speakers in your room. We can all ask for advice and suggestions but the to say a specific speaker is not up to the task of HT or music is kind of in the ear of the beholder.

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post #15 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 04:58 PM
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I currently have Sierras for LCR duty and Def Tech BPx surrounds. I do not find the speaker differences from the front to the surrounds is an issue at all. I find the Sierras do quite well for HT use as they certainly do for music. I think if you have a good quality sub and do try to drive the Sierras to insane volumes they are a very good speaker. Are the Sierras the best speaker in their price range? Maybe not but I've enjoying them very much for well over a year.

I have also owned the Dynaudio Focus 140s and I feel the Sierras compare very well to the 140s. Although I did not do a direct comparison the Sierras have compared quite well to Focus 110 and 140 in reviews linked below.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...c_sierra_1.htm

http://www.soundstageav.com/onhifi/20070901.htm

To me the bottom line is how you like the SQ and performance of your speakers in your room. We can all ask for advice and suggestions but the to say a specific speaker is not up to the task of HT or music is kind of in the ear of the beholder.

Bill

Bill, maybe too much of the 'ole Squeezebox is keeping you from reading carefully. If this is indeed referring to my posts, I'm no where close to saying the Sierra isn't "up to the task"; quite the opposite. What I said...again...in a nutshell...is this:

for a guy coming from HTIB...which, no offense...to me, means the guy is just starting out, and is about to take his first leap...that the Sierra is actually more speaker than he likely needs. Especially for a guy who shouts "I don't care about music", and still has kind of "sub-standard" sub and surrounds (and at the time, I was under the impression he was likely still using the HTIB Center, as well, because he hadn't mentioned otherwise).

He also said he only got them because people on here recommended them; he hadn't listened or auditioned for himself. So again...my only point was this: if I had been listening to an HTIB, and all of a sudden stuck 3 Ascends across the front, do you think I'd notice an improvement and like them? I'd imagine so. So what do they run, 12-hunee? OK...

all I'm saying is how do you know he wouldn't like 3 Paradigm, or 3 Klipsch across the front as well? Maybe for more like $800-900, so that he'd have a head-start on the next surrounds or sub.

Tell me what you like about your Sierras? From what I've heard they are very accurate, transparent, neutral; call it whatever audiophile term you like. They very accurately reproduce music without a lot of coloration. Now, while $850 may be a bargain for such a speaker, it's probably more than the OP paid for his whole HTIB. And all I was saying, is I didn't think his first step needed to necessarily be such an accurate, transparent...musical speaker, when all he cared about was HT.

I never said "get bad speakers"...I never said "find some white-van specials"; I simply said I thought he could shoot a little lower, maybe go a different direction, since musicality wasn't his thing...and maybe stretch his gear dollar some. Shoot me.

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #16 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 05:11 PM
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IMO bestcovery is worthless. Have you read any of the "full" reviews? What a bunch of garbage. They tell you nothing that you couldn't find on the manufacturer's website. As far as being experts, it seems that just about anyone can become one for them. There are tens of thousands of more informative reviews right here on this site as well as others. Totally worthless site.
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post #17 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 06:21 PM
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[quote=CDLehner;18735636]
Quote:


Bill, maybe too much of the 'ole Squeezebox is keeping you from reading carefully.

CD,

As I said in the past in PMs to you and on the forum I really appreciated your help when I had the Duet. So why the little personal dig? Was it needed to make you feel better? You gave your opinion earlier and I gave mine. Is that a problem? Is the problem that I had a different opinion than you?

Quote:


If this is indeed referring to my posts, I'm no where close to saying the Sierra isn't "up to the task"; quite the opposite.

Really I would say the below quote from you says otherwise. If the Sierras were not up to the task in your opinion then why did you say he made the wrong choice in buying the Sierras? Maybe the 'ole Squeezebox has gone to your head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Don't care about music? Then...IMHO...you made the wrong choice. You say you don't know much about speakers, except what you read here. So you read the Ascend Sierras are a great monitor for the price, and decide to put them in front of your HT. But I don't think that's the right speaker for your application.


Quote:


What I said...again...in a nutshell...is this:

for a guy coming from HTIB...which, no offense...to me, means the guy is just starting out, and is about to take his first leap...that the Sierra is actually more speaker than he likely needs. Especially for a guy who shouts "I don't care about music", and still has kind of "sub-standard" sub and surrounds (and at the time, I was under the impression he was likely still using the HTIB Center, as well, because he hadn't mentioned otherwise).

What is wrong with building a quality system in segments? Before I got into better speakers (Dynaudio and Ascend) I did not listen to much music at all at home. But once I realized how much better the SQ was I now listen to quite a bit of music at home. So maybe the OP will find that with a quality speaker such as the Sierras he might start listening to some music.

Quote:


He also said he only got them because people on here recommended them; he hadn't listened or auditioned for himself. So again...my only point was this: if I had been listening to an HTIB, and all of a sudden stuck 3 Ascends across the front, do you think I'd notice an improvement and like them? I'd imagine so. So what do they run, 12-hunee? OK...

I bought the Sierras without hearing them as well. Are you finding fault with that as well with his speaker choice? Of course anyone would notice a dramatic SQ improvement with a speaker like the Sierra over HTIB speakers. Whats your point there?

Quote:


all I'm saying is how do you know he wouldn't like 3 Paradigm, or 3 Klipsch across the front as well? Maybe for more like $800-900, so that he'd have a head-start on the next surrounds or sub.

I don't know if the OP would prefer Paradigm or Klipsch as I do not know what he is looking for in a speaker. Plus I have not heard the Paradigms or the Klipsch so I would not say either way.

Quote:


Tell me what you like about your Sierras? From what I've heard they are very accurate, transparent, neutral; call it whatever audiophile term you like. They very accurately reproduce music without a lot of coloration. Now, while $850 may be a bargain for such a speaker, it's probably more than the OP paid for his whole HTIB. And all I was saying, is I didn't think his first step needed to necessarily be such an accurate, transparent...musical speaker, when all he cared about was HT.

I like the Sierras as they are everything that you mention and then some. What difference does it make as far as what the OP paid for his HTIB? He is trying to improve his system with the Sierras and you are telling him he made the wrong choice. Kind of strong words from someone that has not even heard the speakers being discussed.

Quote:


I never said "get bad speakers"...I never said "find some white-van specials"; I simply said I thought he could shoot a little lower, maybe go a different direction, since musicality wasn't his thing...and maybe stretch his gear dollar some. Shoot me.

Did anyone in this thread say you said that? You seem to be very vocal in what you think the OP should or should not do IMO. Maybe he does not want to shoot lower. Just a thought.

Bill

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post #18 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 07:03 PM
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Wow...I took great care, and many words to explain my position. I did not just say "...you made the wrong choice". I said:

Don't care about music? Then...IMHO...you made the wrong choice. You say you don't know much about speakers, except what you read here. So you read the Ascend Sierras are a great monitor for the price, and decide to put them in front of your HT. But I don't think that's the right speaker for your application.

Do I need to break it into smaller sentiments? IMO, if you don't care about musicality, there are a LOT of choices that might be as suited for just HT. If you've never heard them, they're rumored to be very good...but maybe more speaker than you need for this application...HT only. And I went on and on about how it's a great speaker, but I didn't think it was right for his situation.

Hey...he came right out and asked "what do you think...would you do it"? It's just my opinion...and I backed it up with my reasoning, but I wouldn't. See...I would...because I would never say I didn't care about music. But, were I someone who didn't, I wouldn't buy speakers based on guys who most likely did like them for their musicality.

As for his budget, I say why stop with Sierras? If our purpose is not to help him pick a suitable speaker in his price range, but turn him on to the hi-end...I suggest a pair of these



Wilson Duettes; around a cool $15k for the deuce. I believe they "accurately reproduce the incoming electric signal into a corresponding sound"...so they should be an excellent choice for HT Fronts.

OP, good luck; I'm recusing myself from this insane asylum. And Bill, learn to take some gentle ribbing.

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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CDLehner, You act like HT sound quality does not matter and that sound quality only matters if listening to music. A lot of music today does not have the dynamics that you find in movies today. Now if you listen to uncompressed music such as the 1812 Overture then you are really getting into some serious dynamic range of 30db and that is huge. Block buster action movies have 20 to 30db range.
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post #20 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 07:14 PM
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Three matched monitors across the front, and a good sub, are a great starting place for your HT. The Ascends have great SQ and low level resolution allowing you to enjoy them at full tilt or late at night. Additionally with the front three being identical you should get seamless pans across the front and a solid sonic image to help immerse you into the action. The Outlaw sub has very good performance and should smoke anything in a HTiB setup. After a while look at upgrading your surrounds as budget permits to help complete the system but the surrounds provide a very small amount of info and sounds are harder to identify and less likely to be a major impact items compared to the pieces you already have. Make sure to use the Audyssey set up guide available in the Audyssey thread over in the AVR/Amp thread to help get the most out of your new system.

Congrats.

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post #21 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

CDLehner, You act like HT sound quality does not matter and that sound quality only matters if listening to music. A lot of music today does not have the dynamics that you find in movies today. Now if you listen to uncompressed music such as the 1812 Overture then you are really getting into some serious dynamic range of 30db and that is huge. Block buster action movies have 20 to 30db range.

See, this is really a very silly statement. I said no such thing. But, IMO, what makes for a good HT speaker and a good 2-channel, music speaker are different. Does that mean they're not both good? Of course not, and only a dope would think I was saying that.

Do you think these Klipsch sound good for HT? But I wouldn't exactly run them with a 3-watt tube amp, with sweet, warm mids would I? Nor would I expect them to reproduce vocals say the way these Dyns would. Why not? They're both "good" speakers.



Yes, one of the things you look for in a good HT speaker is the ability to accurately reproduce a wide dynamic range (although, truthfully, I could make an argument against even that...because as I said, we are talking about Fronts here, and if you have a Sub...which every true HT should...the Fronts don't even get the workout they might in a 2-channel system)...but don't you look for more than just that in a good music speaker??

I want good, tight bass; not flabby, and loose. Don't need to worry about that in an HT Front so much, as the Sub does most of that work. I want a mid that's accurate, but warm and easy to listen to; makes female vocals sound smooth as butter. Don't need that in an HT speaker either, as I can't recall the last time Renee Fleming broke out into aria in the middle of my latest blockbuster.

So fellas, seriously; I know you all love your Sierras. And if anyone bothered to pay attention you'll see I've done nothing but priase them and if anything say they were too good for HT; that they should be in a treated room somewhere, listening to Hope Sandoval. But picking out an HT speaker is no different from picking out a 2-channel speaker? C'mon, did I wander into the Twilight Zone or something; or just the land of AVRs?

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #22 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post

Three matched monitors across the front, and a good sub, are a great starting place for your HT. The Ascends have great SQ and low level resolution allowing you to enjoy them at full tilt or late at night. Additionally with the front three being identical you should get seamless pans across the front and a solid sonic image to help immerse you into the action. The Outlaw sub has very good performance and should smoke anything in a HTiB setup. After a while look at upgrading your surrounds as budget permits to help complete the system but the surrounds provide a very small amount of info and sounds are harder to identify and less likely to be a major impact items compared to the pieces you already have. Make sure to use the Audyssey set up guide available in the Audyssey thread over in the AVR/Amp thread to help get the most out of your new system.

Congrats.

Snowmanick,

I agree and I found just that with the Sierras in their ability to have seamless pans form side to side. I had a LFM-1 Plus before my Rythmik F12SE and it does quite well for HT duty.

Bill

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post #23 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 08:56 PM
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mjg100, I calibrated my speakers with my sub at 75db. I tried them a few times for HT with the volume on the receiver at 0, that's what I meant when I said reference level. Anyways, I'm driving my L/C/R Sierra's with 120w each but I know they can take 200w with no problem. Also, I read an article somewhere a few weeks ago that the Sierra-1 speakers sensitivity tested at between 85db/86db range.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

See, this is really a very silly statement. I said no such thing. But, IMO, what makes for a good HT speaker and a good 2-channel, music speaker are different. Does that mean they're not both good? Of course not, and only a dope would think I was saying that.

Do you think these Klipsch sound good for HT? But I wouldn't exactly run them with a 3-watt tube amp, with sweet, warm mids would I? Nor would I expect them to reproduce vocals say the way these Dyns would. Why not? They're both "good" speakers.



Yes, one of the things you look for in a good HT speaker is the ability to accurately reproduce a wide dynamic range (although, truthfully, I could make an argument against even that...because as I said, we are talking about Fronts here, and if you have a Sub...which every true HT should...the Fronts don't even get the workout they might in a 2-channel system)...but don't you look for more than just that in a good music speaker??

I want good, tight bass; not flabby, and loose. Don't need to worry about that in an HT Front so much, as the Sub does most of that work. I want a mid that's accurate, but warm and easy to listen to; makes female vocals sound smooth as butter. Don't need that in an HT speaker either, as I can't recall the last time Renee Fleming broke out into aria in the middle of my latest blockbuster.

So fellas, seriously; I know you all love your Sierras. And if anyone bothered to pay attention you'll see I've done nothing but priase them and if anything say they were too good for HT; that they should be in a treated room somewhere, listening to Hope Sandoval. But picking out an HT speaker is no different from picking out a 2-channel speaker? C'mon, did I wander into the Twilight Zone or something; or just the land of AVRs?

CD

Where do I start? First I will not resort to calling you names like you did to me.

Some of the things you said that would lead one to believe that you do not need a good speaker for HT like you do for music.

"Sorry; I love my HT, and have pretty decent gear there...but I just don't see the same nuance in getting Christian Bale's dialogue right, or reproducing a missile or gunshot."

"the Sierra is actually more speaker than he likely needs. Especially for a guy who shouts "I don't care about music""

"I didn't think his first step needed to necessarily be such an accurate, transparent...musical speaker, when all he cared about was HT."

You may not have meant for it to come across like this, but it sounds like you are telling him he can buy crap since it is just HT.

"Yes, one of the things you look for in a good HT speaker is the ability to accurately reproduce a wide dynamic range (although, truthfully, I could make an argument against even that"

Since most of the block buster movies have 20 to 30db peaks, I would like to hear why you think a HT speaker does not need to be able to reproduce these peaks. The Klipsch THX Ultra II speaker system that you showed is a good HT speaker system, but not what I would be shopping for in a $13,000 MSRP system. I would especially do not care for the subs. This is the driver used in that sub. http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=299-100
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post #25 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spanish68 View Post

mjg100, I calibrated my speakers with my sub at 75db. I tried them a few times for HT with the volume on the receiver at 0, that's what I meant when I said reference level. Anyways, I'm driving my L/C/R Sierra's with 120w each but I know they can take 200w with no problem. Also, I read an article somewhere a few weeks ago that the Sierra-1 speakers sensitivity tested at between 85db/86db range.

That may be. I just did a quick search and came across that review with 83db listed. It was the first review that popped up.
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post #26 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Snowmanick,

I agree and I found just that with the Sierras in their ability to have seamless pans form side to side. I had a LFM-1 Plus before my Rythmik F12SE and it does quite well for HT duty.

Bill

I have read a few posts in this thread where people talk about having seamless pans across the front sound stage. Well the only way that you can do that is to use three identical speakers with all three speakers oriented in the same direction (vertical or horizontal) and all three speakers at the same height and the tweeters need to be very close to ear height. To be able to do this correctly you need an AT screen or your TV is going to be very high on your wall.
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post #27 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 10:27 PM
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for a guy coming from HTIB...which, no offense...to me, means the guy is just starting out, and is about to take his first leap...that the Sierra is actually more speaker than he likely needs. Especially for a guy who shouts "I don't care about music", and still has kind of "sub-standard" sub and surrounds (and at the time, I was under the impression he was likely still using the HTIB Center, as well, because he hadn't mentioned otherwise).

No offense, but have you actually read any of claytont's posts? He said in the FIRST post of the thread that he bought sierra LCR. You even bolded a statement that said sierras are $880 a pair. He has a $500 AVR and a $550 sub (not sure how that's "sub-standard"), how is that "just starting out" and how is it out of line to allocate $1100 to LCR?

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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Bill, maybe too much of the 'ole Squeezebox is keeping you from reading carefully.

You're one to talk about reading carefully.
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post #28 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

I have read a few posts in this thread where people talk about having seamless pans across the front sound stage. Well the only way that you can do that is to use three identical speakers with all three speakers oriented in the same direction (vertical or horizontal) and all three speakers at the same height and the tweeters need to be very close to ear height. To be able to do this correctly you need an AT screen or your TV is going to be very high on your wall.

mjg100,

I have three identical Sierras across the front with the tweeters at almost the exact same height at just below ear level. So to me I get seamless pans across the front from side to side. Is it perfect, I doubt it is but it sounds excellent to me. My plasma is mounted on the wall directly above my center at a comfortable height for viewing (not high at all).

Bill

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post #29 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 11:28 PM
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You guys win; the Ascend Sierra is the one and only speaker the OP should try. In fact, we should all have it in our HTs evidently. And 2-channel rigs as well, since we should look for the same things in those speakers.

Sound dumb when you hear it back? We now return you to the meeting of the Ascend Sierra fanclub, already in progress. Didn't mean to break up the party boys.

CD

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post #30 of 254 Old 06-05-2010, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

You guys win; the Ascend Sierra is the one and only speaker the OP should try. In fact, we should all have it in our HTs evidently. And 2-channel rigs as well, since we should look for the same things in those speakers.

Sound dumb when you hear it back? We now return you to the meeting of the Ascend Sierra fanclub, already in progress. Didn't mean to break up the party boys.

CD

What sounds dumb is you coming into this thread with some stupid point to make, completely ignoring or misreading the thread starter's situation in the process.
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