Just got my Sierra-1 NrT speakers (1,750) .... first impressions .... and pictures. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE:

I was going from a 12 year old HTiB system (Onkyo big speakers) ... $600 to the Sierras-1 NrT L/C/R


So my Sierra-1 NrT came yesterday and by the time I was done hooking them up it was 11pm so I couldn't turn the sound too loud. I expected more to tell you the truth, BUT I am not jumping into conclusions as they have not been played enough yet, I didn't listen to them at good volume, speaker stands are too tall (see pictures below) and I just want to give them a chance, PLUS, I'll be connecting my old HTiB speakers back to see if going back to original will show me just how bad the old speakers are.

Sound so far from speakers is nice. Sometimes too bright. Maybe it's the NrT upgrade that creates a "fake" highs. Don't know. After I did the auto calibration via my receiver and microphone, sound became a bit more spacious. Meaning that L/R speakers gained some volume while center was toned down a bit.

I have yet to check this with movies that on my old HTiB system gave me too much effect and not that great on voice/speech clarity. Will do more listening tonight.

I also feel the need for a good sub. I now hear that my HTiB subwoofer is somewhat killing the overall sound.

Deciding if I should go 30" or 26" high speaker stands. See pics below ... those are 36". Too high.





P.S. Was I expecting too much from reading all the great reviews???

P.P.S. I loved the sound improvement when I went from sound from TV L/R to my Onkyo home theater 5.1 system and I expected that improvement to increase by two with better speakers that I am spending $1,750 on. Was I expecting too much???

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post #2 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 08:46 AM
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Couple things. Getting the tweeters as close to ear level while seating while make a difference. Also try toeing the left and right speakers in as well, that can also help. You also need to really run some good A/B comparison tests with music and movies and I think it will become more obvious, especially at higher volume levels since the cheaper speakers will most likely start distorting and breaking up long before the Ascends.

On the autocalibration, did you go back in and manually make adjustments? Typically you need to go back in and set all speakers to small and adjust the crossover point with your subwoofer to 80hz. I do think the cheap Onkyo sub could be affecting your sound, and you can always eliminate it completely when comparing the main speakers.
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Couple things. Getting the tweeters as close to ear level while seating while make a difference. Also try toeing the left and right speakers in as well, that can also help. You also need to really run some good A/B comparison tests with music and movies and I think it will become more obvious, especially at higher volume levels since the cheaper speakers will most likely start distorting and breaking up long before the Ascends.
On the autocalibration, did you go back in and manually make adjustments? Typically you need to go back in and set all speakers to small and adjust the crossover point with your subwoofer to 80hz. I do think the cheap Onkyo sub could be affecting your sound, and you can always eliminate it completely when comparing the main speakers.

That's the thing, I don't listen to volumes where speakers would start distorting.

What manual adjustments should I do? I let the system do it's thing. I need to get that Receiver manual and see what other things I can modify with the sound.
I am also thinking of shutting the sub-woffer OFF until I get a good one. Every time I hear it, it's just disturbing and distracting. Not a pleasant sound, you know what I mean?

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post #4 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 09:56 AM
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I can't judge the space leftover from the pictures on the either side of your television, but you might want to try putting speakers on each side of the TV for now until you buy new stands. Additionally you might want to bring speakers few more inches out/away from the wall.
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post

That's the thing, I don't listen to volumes where speakers would start distorting.
What manual adjustments should I do? I let the system do it's thing. I need to get that Receiver manual and see what other things I can modify with the sound.
I am also thinking of shutting the sub-woffer OFF until I get a good one. Every time I hear it, it's just disturbing and distracting. Not a pleasant sound, you know what I mean?

Almost every receiver sets the main speakers to full or large after running Audyssey. You need to go in and set them to all to small. I would leave the sub for now, but just cross it over lower (maybe 60hz) and see if it sounds better.

The Sierra is a rear ported speaker so you may want to try pulling them away from the back wall a little bit as well. Typically you want 1-2' minimum with a speaker from a boundary wall, it is hard to tell from your pics but they look pretty close to the wall. Toe in the speakers 45 degrees as well to your ideal listening position. Like this:


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post #6 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 10:09 AM
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I would set them to large and drop the HTIB subwoofer all together.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt34 View Post

I would set them to large and drop the HTIB subwoofer all together.

Yeah, the more I think about it, scratch what I said above and just eliminate it altogether for now. Make sure you tell your receiver "no" for subwoofer. Re-run Audyssey with no sub and you should not need to make adjustments.
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 12:16 PM
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In a rectangular room like that, you'll often get better sound by having the speakers on the short wall instead of the long wall. This gives more space to pull the speakers awaay from the wall behind them, and it also gives you space behind your listening position (your couch), so you don't have a reflective wall right behind you.

However, I understand this isn't always possible, and in your case it might not be a reasonable solution.

I don't always think room treatments are a must, but if you have to keep your setup like this, I think some acoustic panels on the wall directly behind your couch might be helpful to reduce those reflections.

As others have said, the speakers should be lowered so the tweeters are at ear height, and they should be pulled away from the wall some, and you can also play with toe-in.

Edit: What are the room dimensions? Just curious.

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post #9 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 12:17 PM
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I agree with going with no sub right now. The Sierra-1s are rated 39hz at +/- 3db. The Onkyo HTIB sub may not go that much lower, and I wouldn't think the Onkyo would have comparable SQ for midbass. Meanwhile, that SVS SB12-NSD you were looking at would be a great addition here.

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post #10 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

In a rectangular room like that, you'll often get better sound by having the speakers on the short wall instead of the long wall. This gives more space to pull the speakers awaay from the wall behind them, and it also gives you space behind your listening position (your couch), so you don't have a reflective wall right behind you.
However, I understand this isn't always possible, and in your case it might not be a reasonable solution.
I don't always think room treatments are a must, but if you have to keep your setup like this, I think some acoustic panels on the wall directly behind your couch might be helpful to reduce those reflections.
As others have said, the speakers should be lowered so the tweeters are at ear height, and they should be pulled away from the wall some, and you can also play with toe-in.
Edit: What are the room dimensions? Just curious.

Agree, thats why im going to order some panels for behind wall as well. My room looks similar, and at low level may be ok, but once you put a litle volume up, it just sounds odd, especially with the, it gets so blurry.
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

In a rectangular room like that, you'll often get better sound by having the speakers on the short wall instead of the long wall. This gives more space to pull the speakers awaay from the wall behind them, and it also gives you space behind your listening position (your couch), so you don't have a reflective wall right behind you.
However, I understand this isn't always possible, and in your case it might not be a reasonable solution.
I don't always think room treatments are a must, but if you have to keep your setup like this, I think some acoustic panels on the wall directly behind your couch might be helpful to reduce those reflections.
As others have said, the speakers should be lowered so the tweeters are at ear height, and they should be pulled away from the wall some, and you can also play with toe-in.
Edit: What are the room dimensions? Just curious.

Room size is .... 18' by 12' by 8.5' ceiling.

I have a wall art hanging directly across the TV so the only treatment I can do is on the sides which will look strange I think. I'd rather avoid that option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I agree with going with no sub right now. The Sierra-1s are rated 39hz at +/- 3db. The Onkyo HTIB sub may not go that much lower, and I wouldn't think the Onkyo would have comparable SQ for midbass. Meanwhile, that SVS SB12-NSD you were looking at would be a great addition here.

I am actually thinking of going with Rythmik 12 ($888 shipped).

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post #12 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 01:07 PM
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There are lots of accoustic art panel sites out there like this one:
http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/792~acoustiart-sound-absorbing-panels

Looks like a painting or picture and you can use any image you want. I have used similar panels in the past with great results and have made the wife happy smile.gif
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 02:09 PM
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Leather couches are also supposedly fairly reflective of parts of the audio band. Just some pillows and/or throws on the couches might help some too.

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post #14 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 08:09 PM
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Your coming form a low quality "HTIB" setup and might be accustomed to that level of sound quality. Give it a few days!

What comes to mind immediately after reading your post:

-Get 26ish" speaker stands
http://www.amazon.com/Lovan-Affiniti-Speaker-Stands-Piano/dp/B000OFAQVY
-Toe the speakers in a bit & move them forward a few inches
-Make sure you follow the Audyssey guide and each step properly. Buy a boom mic stand if necessary.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/official-audyssey-thread-faq-in-post-1/5700
-Get a SPL meter to confirm readings atleast at the main listening position.
-Your sub woofer looks terrible. Get a new one smile.gif
-Make sure your not using those floss-thin speaker cables that come with the HTIB

Good luck
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 08:23 PM
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There is going to be a dip in the frequency response at the tweeter mid crossover point when you are to far off the vertical axis. Something you can try right now is flipping the speakers upside down, so the tweeters are below the woofers.
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post #16 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post

I am actually thinking of going with Rythmik 12 ($888 shipped).

Even better smile.gif

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post #17 of 25 Old 08-07-2012, 09:20 PM
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post #18 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 04:24 AM
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Give them some time to break in as well. I'd leave them on while you're at work. Just have them play various types of music throughout the day they'll open up some more.
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post #19 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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here is what I did yesterday

1) Turned speakers a bit towards me (center)
2) Changed Receiver to play "DIRECT" .... very interesting improvement. Probably shows that some tweaks I or system did were not that great. Even regular TV shows sound brighter when DIRECT than in "STRAIGHT" which is the receiver sound emphasized as they say option.
3) Pushed speakers further away from the wall.
4) I turned sub off but decided to keep it ON in lower volume to get that extra depth.
5) Receiver option for speakers changed to "Large" for all L/C/R
6) Crossover I think is at 88.


What I noticed and what I am truly impressed with.

1) I've never heard a saxophone sound as nice as it did out of the Sierras-1

2) Human vocals sometimes are too bright. I'll look into my receiver settings to dim that down a bit though it really depends on music recordings I play.

3) Biggest improvement so far is the Home Theater movie dialog sound. I hated how on a movie like "Amadeus", my HTiB would play sound effects very loud and human voices (dialog) was not that crisp so I would play with the volume all the time. The Sierras solved that problem. Dialog is amazing. Can hear every word, breath, etc coming out of a human.


I have not used my Receiver's Audyssey option since the above changes. I wonder if I do it now if it'll do anything. I am still a bit confused as to the "DIRECT" option vs "STRAIGHT" option on my receiver. Direct means that sound is played exactly as it was recorded without having the receiver do anything to it ... meaning even if I do the Audyssey test, it will not apply when I play "DIRECT" ?

Which option should I be using for 2ch music and which option for Dolby Digital or TruHD movies? If I keep at DIRECT will it play in TruHD?

thanks.

P.S. ..... About to spend some more money for a Rythmik F12 sub as I feel like it will be a big plus to what I have right now.

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post #20 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 09:10 AM
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Still quite a few things off here...Few questions:

-When you ran Audyssey, did you follow every step of the guide? You should run Audyssey after every physical adjustment of the speakers.
-With Audyssey engaged, what Dynamic Volume setting were you using?
-What model Receiver or version of Audyssey are you running ?


In my experience - Movies can benefit from Audyssey if setup properly. It helps roll off harsh treble, tune the system to your room, improve vocal clarity, and reduce dynamic range shifts. For Music trust your ear. You already have a distinct sound that you think is right in mind. Audyssey-FLAT is often recommended (since it doesnt roll off the treble), but many people prefer direct mode because it typically has more bass (thanks to your room). The speakers should not be in large mode (since it would only increase distortion and lost output). Order that sub already!

Also - Why don't' you give Dave @ Ascend a shout or post on the Ascend Acoustics forums?
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post #21 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post

2) Human vocals sometimes are too bright. I'll look into my receiver settings to dim that down a bit though it really depends on music recordings I play.

Then it may be the quality of the recording . You've gotten some fantastic speakers that are going to be much more revealing of flaws in the recording than your original speakers.
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Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post

I have not used my Receiver's Audyssey option since the above changes. I wonder if I do it now if it'll do anything. I am still a bit confused as to the "DIRECT" option vs "STRAIGHT" option on my receiver. Direct means that sound is played exactly as it was recorded without having the receiver do anything to it ... meaning even if I do the Audyssey test, it will not apply when I play "DIRECT" ?

Not necessarily. I believe that "Direct" on my receiver can have Audyssey enabled. Check your manual.

Also, because of the changes you have made in positioning, you will need to rerun Audyssey to have it properly EQ the speakers.

BTW: What is your receiver make and model?
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Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post

Give them some time to break in as well. I'd leave them on while you're at work. Just have them play various types of music throughout the day they'll open up some more.

I agree. Some break-in time may help as well.

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post #22 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Cosmos View Post

Still quite a few things off here...Few questions:
-When you ran Audyssey, did you follow every step of the guide? You should run Audyssey after every physical adjustment of the speakers.
-With Audyssey engaged, what Dynamic Volume setting were you using?
-What model Receiver or version of Audyssey are you running ?
In my experience - Movies can benefit from Audyssey if setup properly. It helps roll off harsh treble, tune the system to your room, improve vocal clarity, and reduce dynamic range shifts. For Music trust your ear. You already have a distinct sound that you think is right in mind. Audyssey-FLAT is often recommended (since it doesnt roll off the treble), but many people prefer direct mode because it typically has more bass (thanks to your room). The speakers should not be in large mode (since it would only increase distortion and lost output). Order that sub already!
Also - Why don't' you give Dave @ Ascend a shout or post on the Ascend Acoustics forums?

Don't know about dynamic volumes, etc.

My Receiver is Yamaha rx-V465

Regarding speakers set at "Large" .... quite a few people suggested I select "Large".

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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Then it may be the quality of the recording . You've gotten some fantastic speakers that are going to be much more revealing of flaws in the recording than your original speakers.
Not necessarily. I believe that "Direct" on my receiver can have Audyssey enabled. Check your manual.
Also, because of the changes you have made in positioning, you will need to rerun Audyssey to have it properly EQ the speakers.
BTW: What is your receiver make and model?
I agree. Some break-in time may help as well.

My Receiver is Yamaha rx-V465

I'll start reading up more on that manual. Still not sure what I should be using for music vs movies. DIRECT or STRAIGHT, etc.

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post #23 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post

Don't know about dynamic volumes, etc.
My Receiver is Yamaha rx-V465
Regarding speakers set at "Large" .... quite a few people suggested I select "Large".
My Receiver is Yamaha rx-V465
I'll start reading up more on that manual. Still not sure what I should be using for music vs movies. DIRECT or STRAIGHT, etc.

With a Yamaha, you won't have Audyssey or Dynamic Volume.

Sorry. Can't tell you the difference between Direct and Straight on a Yamaha. Perhaps a Yamaha owner will chime in, or you could look for the owners thread for your receiver in the amps and receivers forum area.

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post #24 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 03:46 PM
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Hello, I have used this exact receiver and have over 30 hours of experimenting with YPAO and know this exact unit well. If your setting is "Large" then all freqs will go to them including LFE's. What's cool about the RX-V465 is the lower 40hz crossover option. Allowing them to run down in a healthy way but still sending all the crazy stuff to sub. The Sierra's are very capable and your target choices within YPAO will be "Front" just time alignment, no EQ to fronts and matching rears to levels and response of the fronts. "Flat" all good and probably the best curve within this receiver, imo. "Natural" rolls off the highs and gives some bass and lower mid boost and I always think of it more looks like the Audyssey curve.

"Straight" within the receiver allows straight decoding, whatever that may be." Direct" with the 465 removes the EQ but still allows the time alignment and distance settings within YPAO. I also believe but not played with as much, the Dynamic Range control and feature, and this receiver does not support or provide any type of volume program like ALC in my Elite or Dolby Volume.

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post #25 of 25 Old 08-08-2012, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Don't know about dynamic volumes, etc. My Receiver is Yamaha rx-V465. Regarding speakers set at "Large" .... quite a few people suggested I select "Large".

I recommend reading up on what Large does and when it's recommended. The Audyssey guide should be useful in measuring w/ YPAO. The concepts are the same.
YPAO will detect the capabilities of your speakers and adjust the settings accordingly. I believe it uses Adaptive DRC rather than Dynamic Volume. Once again, the concept is the same . Look into that also for movies.
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