Originally Posted by Fast351
I realize this is an old quote (going back and reading this thread since I'm cosidering Ascend towers) but I think this should be in post 1 in this thread. I think this question is asked more than all others combined about these towers.
Thanks for the advise Dave! I think I know which way I need to roll on this...
As they wait for a new supply of drivers, I'm still a few weeks away from getting my towers. So I've been killing time going back thru the original tower thread over on the Ascend forum from the very beginning. One thing that does come up frequently is which is best for HT- the ribbons or the NrTs?
And the answer is almost always- go with the NrTs. Unfortunately that's just not the answer I want to hear
The whole impetus for this upgrade for me was getting a variation of ribbons (AMTs) for my desktop music system almost a year ago. They may not be RAALs, but the sonic qualities blew me away and upped my music listening and enjoyment 1000%. That's what got me seriously thinking "what if I had this for my HT?"
I've gotten a taste of it with the Sierra 2s that I bought over the summer and if I have to be honest there definitely are positives and some less than positives about having ribbons in the HT. That airy, spacious quality to the ribbon sound can be magical when the tracks are mastered well. When the underscore kicks in for example, it can sometimes have this unearthly, almost phantasmagorical quality. Like a spell being swirled around the room.
If straight music listening were a concern, there would definitely be no question in my mind which way to go.
But when I'm watching an older film with more limited fidelity source material, there really is no benefit at all. In fact it can seem quite dead and I have to wonder if a more conventional compression driver might be able to punch that up a little more or gloss over those limitations better.
Stuff like that accounts for well over half of what I watch (My main love is for older catalog titles, not recent blockbusters) so enjoying that kind of content really should be my main focus.
But at the same time I'm all about cohesion. I want a seamless a soundstage as possible.
I'm now to the point where I'm wondering if I shouldn't just go with the NrTs on the towers, while I keep the RAAL for the center. That might be the answer to my lower-fi 2 channel source problem as well as allowing me to keep the Sierra 2's to swap in and out on occasion for a full RAAL front three. As it is now, if I do end up keeping the towers (RAALs as ordered now), I will definitely need to sell my Sierra 2s off to subsidize/justify the cost of the towers. And I still won't have a clue as to what the NrT would have added or detracted from the HT experience.
I think I just talked myself into calling Dina up tomorrow and altering my order (yet again). At least this way I would be able to take my time and give each set up a thorough evaluation without feeling financially under the gun.
It will cost more in the end if I decide to send the towers back for a RAAL upgrade. But at that point I would still have the S2 here to sell off to subsidize it, and the monetary hit wouldn't be coming all at once right now.
Any yays or nays- or observations from other owners of NrT/RAAL mixed systems would be appreciated.