3 x ascend sierras 1 OR 3 x Arx A1b ???? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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So it gets down to these two brands. Which one? I have small apartment and can't blast it to
Loud but would like to enjoy good quality sound in lower to mid volume.
Difference in price is HUGE:

3 x Ascend sierras 1 with NrT = $1764.00 shipped
3 x Arx A1b = $ 523 shipped

Should I spend once and get the most expensive or spend less and be happy with it!?

All driven by Pioneer SC - 1222K
Rythmik sub or SVS sub. Or no sub if there is enough bass from speakers. Lets stay only with these two brands.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 01:37 PM
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IMO, there will never be enough bass from either of those speakers. What are you listening habits? Is $1750 your max budget? If it were me, and I had $1750, I'd get the Arx and a XS30 from PSA.
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post #3 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ratm View Post

IMO, there will never be enough bass from either of those speakers. What are you listening habits? Is $1750 your max budget? If it were me, and I had $1750, I'd get the Arx and a XS30 from PSA.

Mostly tv shows, movies. Sometimes music. 80%-20%
I already have rythmik LV12 sub.
Remember I live in apartment and can not blast it loud
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post #4 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 01:54 PM
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I have the Arx A1bs.........would make a great soundstage, especially for your "small apartment"..............

XS30 sub from PSA is awesome, but you may not need that much bass( and probably won't be able to use it all anyway without disturbing the neighbors)..........

The SVS 1000 series, either ported or sealed, and the new Rythmik LV12R would be adequate bass for moderate volume, space limited systems.........2 would be better to minimize nodes/nulls in the room where the bass isn't heard quite so well............
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post #5 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll go with one sub for now smile.gif as I said, I have the rythmik one but its huge! Sounds great though. SVS sb1000 size would fit perfect but I'm
Not sure how would it compare to rythmik.
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post #6 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 02:11 PM
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Now this may not be entirely practical but have you thought about taking advantage of the trial periods offered by them? 1 pair of each brand to try out in your apartment. That way you could A/B them both and see if the difference in cost is worth it or not to go with the Sierra-1's. Seeing that both are bookshelf speakers, they may provide good midbass, but the lower range wouldn't be covered by them. So having a sub would be a good idea.

Cliff
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post #7 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 02:17 PM
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That is quite a price differential. If you are mainly a movie guy save some money and go with the Arx speakers. They are touted as having pretty decent bass output, plus you can always use the Rythmik and simply reduce the gain knob so you don't annoy the neighbors. I've never heard the Arx speakers so I'm going strictly from a cost perspective here.

I own Sierra-1's with the upgraded NrT tweeters. I run them in a 2.1 music only setup with a 12" Rythmik sealed servo sub. For most of the music I play the sub really does not add any significant extension. The Sierras will surprise you with their bass capability. BUT.....I do like to make the drop ceiling rattle in my basement with some crazy techno-bass material from time to time, and for that the Rythmik is my friend!

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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post #8 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 02:28 PM
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There is a huge price difference, with the amount of moneu spent on sierra nrt, you could get the ar5 and with money left. Maybe you should consider the trial.
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post #9 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 02:44 PM
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There are lots of speakers in between these as well from a price perspective. I am with darkpoet. Order a pair of both, keep the ones you like and return the others.
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post #10 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 05:04 PM
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Instead of demoing both at once. You could try out the Arx first. I only picked those because they cost less. Then if you feel like you want more speaker after trying them out send them back within the 30 day window. And order the other pair. It costs you the shipping both ways.
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post #11 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

So it gets down to these two brands. Which one? I have small apartment and can't blast it to
Loud but would like to enjoy good quality sound in lower to mid volume.
Difference in price is HUGE:

3 x Ascend sierras 1 with NrT = $1764.00 shipped
3 x Arx A1b = $ 523 shipped

Well, the Arx A1b is closer in price and general "class" to the Ascend CBM-170 SE. Here is a comparison between the two:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/0_100

Pretty much toe-to-toe, coming down to personal preference. The Ascend is more efficient, though, and a little bit more expensive on the other hand, for what it's worth.

Or have you already decided between the latter two and wonder whether you should move up? As others have pointed out, you need to hear these speakers if you haven't already.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

Should I spend once and get the most expensive or spend less and be happy with it!?

It ultimately depends on which you like better. The Sierra-1 is a more refined speaker with a more sonically transparent cabinet (made from laminated strips of bamboo) and costlier drivers that provide an increased level of detail, among other things. That said, not everybody can hear or appreciate this enough (it's subtle at this level) to make the price difference worthwhile, and frankly they may prefer the sound of the A1b regardless, because these speakers do sound different and personal preference is a major factor for most people. Try them both out if you want to know for sure.
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Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

Rythmik sub or SVS sub. Or no sub if there is enough bass from speakers. Lets stay only with these two brands.

Both are good brands--pick the sub that fits both your output needs and budget.
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post #12 of 109 Old 03-01-2013, 07:03 PM
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My two cents...get the Ascends...see if you like them. If not return them and try the Arx.
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post #13 of 109 Old 03-02-2013, 08:24 PM
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^^^^
I would hope that was the case since they are more than triple the price.

Edit: post I was replying to is gone...
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post #14 of 109 Old 03-02-2013, 10:20 PM
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I have a LCR of Sierra-1s with the NrT tweeter and love them, the plan was to add the Horizon and towers later but these Sierra-1s are so good that I'm now having a hard time justifying it. Cool thing with the Sierra-1s are you can upgrade to the NrT later if $$$ is tight now or have the option in June, I believe, to add the raal tweeter as a drop in upgrade!!! how many companies offer this to their customers? most will force the customer to buy all new speakers instead of a drop in upgrade kit.
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post #15 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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why would this post disappear:



3 x ascend sierras 1 OR 3 x Arx A1b ????
Hspecialist replied to this thread on March 2, 7:15 pm
Huge build difference between these two. The Sierra bamboo enclosures are dramatically better in rigidity and thickness. Totally in a different league. The sound quality and capability far surpasses the Arx. The choice if drivers and reference level crossover components present themselves just as they are...reference monitors. The SEAS drivers are dramatically refined and these enclosures are capable and for those demanding dynamic and deep high resolution audio. Sierra 1's are the better between your choice.
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post #16 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

why would this post disappear:



3 x ascend sierras 1 OR 3 x Arx A1b ????
Hspecialist replied to this thread on March 2, 7:15 pm
Huge build difference between these two. The Sierra bamboo enclosures are dramatically better in rigidity and thickness. Totally in a different league. The sound quality and capability far surpasses the Arx. The choice if drivers and reference level crossover components present themselves just as they are...reference monitors. The SEAS drivers are dramatically refined and these enclosures are capable and for those demanding dynamic and deep high resolution audio. Sierra 1's are the better between your choice.

Yeah I realized that was gone also...weird

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post #17 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 02:27 PM
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Not really...I've read posts only to have them dissapear or removed moments later...maybe they had a change of heart...I dunno? What I find weird though is the OP is not looking to compare the ARX's with the higher end offering from the same source(TAI) with the likes of the Danas or Swans but he choose the Sierras. The CBM170's would've IMO being a more favourable approach and maybe not so weird?confused.gif

Bill...smile.gif

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post #18 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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The reason for that is everyone are raving about sierras and Arx. That's all I see around here. Nothing weird about it IMHO.
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post #19 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

The reason for that is everyone are raving about sierras and Arx. That's all I see around here. Nothing weird about it IMHO.

Well one of the eariler poster compared the 170's vs. A1B's maybe try and compare apples to apples...smile.gif

Here is the thread...FYI...

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b

edited because I attach a link...Bill

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post #20 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 03:09 PM
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I removed the post. I had read on another forum the same thing, I failed to realize it wasn't the same person I had posted privately. I will do 20 pushups for my mistake.
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post #21 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I simply don't see anything wrong about my post. Andrew jones pioneers being compared to more expensive speakers, and you can get front set for less than $160. If I'm going to spend 3 or 4 times more it better WOW ME GOOD. lol smile.gif
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post #22 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 03:43 PM
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I think you would be quite happy with the Arx A1b's and use the $1200 in savings compared to the Sierras for a subwoofer or two. The Arx speakers haven't skimped out of quality components. Large cast alloy frame drivers with huge XBL2 motors, cast frame tweeter face plates, non-inductive wire wound resistors, large poly caps, braced cabinets but with just a basic vinyl finish. As far as its price range I think it surpasses many other speakers in its price for quality of components and sound.
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post #23 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

I simply don't see anything wrong about my post. Andrew jones pioneers being compared to more expensive speakers, and you can get front set for less than $160. If I'm going to spend 3 or 4 times more it better WOW ME GOOD. lol smile.gif

I dont see a problem too. Im actually curious to see how the arx compare to more expensive bookshelves. The sierra cabinets are clearly far superior but the drivers onboth may be comparable.
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post #24 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 05:37 PM
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I'd like to see test results comparing a small bamboo cabinet to a well made mdf cabinet. Seems like its overkill and adds expense, especially for the size of cabinets we're talking about. If MDF works fine for 18" monster HT subs it should be more than enough for a 5.5" 2 way bookshelf. I'd just like to see if its something that is actually noticable in listening or if its something to brag about.
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post #25 of 109 Old 03-03-2013, 07:54 PM
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Imo, you dont need sophisticated equipment for the test, a knock test is all you need to figure bamboo from the sierra are harder then mdf of the same thickness. A stiffer, harder studier cabinet is always a good thing. Every designer has its own goal of designing their speaker and from reviews of the sierra, it seems like Dave is doing something right. Aside wether there is sonic benefits, going with bamboo illiminate the need of applying veneer.
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post #26 of 109 Old 03-04-2013, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

I think you would be quite happy with the Arx A1b's and use the $1200 in savings compared to the Sierras for a subwoofer or two. The Arx speakers haven't skimped out of quality components. Large cast alloy frame drivers with huge XBL2 motors, cast frame tweeter face plates, non-inductive wire wound resistors, large poly caps, braced cabinets but with just a basic vinyl finish. As far as its price range I think it surpasses many other speakers in its price for quality of components and sound.

Well, I'm quite happy with the Ascend CBM-170 SE for its savings in cost, even though, in my opinion, the Sierra-1 is clearly better--even more transparent (and the CBM is no slouch here) and detailed (again, the CBM is no slouch here, either). Some folks will think these improvements are well worth the difference in price, while others will completely disagree, especially if they don't even notice them (not meant to be condescending in the least--some people are just more picky and/or sensitive about some things than others, whether it's sound quality or cost).

Aside from its higher price, the only negatives to the Sierra-1, for me, are its lower efficiency, since I still use an AVR (efficiency still mitigates power compression at high volumes even if I used more powerful separate amplifiers anyway, though), and maybe its slightly "recessed" or "mellow" upper midrange and treble, although this is a matter of personal preference (a trait that the A1b reportedly shares, although in comparison the Sierra-1 is less laid-back, relatively speaking).
Quote:
Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

I simply don't see anything wrong about my post. Andrew jones pioneers being compared to more expensive speakers, and you can get front set for less than $160. If I'm going to spend 3 or 4 times more it better WOW ME GOOD. lol smile.gif

The thing here is that Ascend Acoustics is more like Arx (TAI) than unlike, and the fairest point of comparison--for both the speakers and their manufacturers--would be the CBM-170 SE, on the basis of price. So much depends on how critical the buyer is. If they play recordings of sufficiently high quality and are discerning listeners who are very familiar with the weaknesses of all speakers, then the comparison would be unfair to the A1b. At the other extreme, if they play modern pop music CDs (most of which sound like crap) that have been further degraded by poor MP3 encoding (good MP3 encoding exists, but you have to know what you're doing), and have only ever listened to TV speakers and speakers made by mass market manufacturers, then both speakers may sound equally good to them, pretty much, which would be unfair to the Sierra-1 (and probably to the other speakers of the Ascend product line, which people might assume sound awful due to their much lower prices).

For your money, and taken solely for your benefit as an individual, I don't see a problem with what you're saying, but at the same time I can understand the concern that some have over a lopsided comparison between two highly competent and value-oriented manufacturers.
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I'd like to see test results comparing a small bamboo cabinet to a well made mdf cabinet. Seems like its overkill and adds expense, especially for the size of cabinets we're talking about. If MDF works fine for 18" monster HT subs it should be more than enough for a 5.5" 2 way bookshelf. I'd just like to see if its something that is actually noticable in listening or if its something to brag about.

Size matters but so does frequency, and I don't believe that bamboo would offer any significant advantages in the sub-bass range, actually. At higher frequencies, however, lower resonance and recovery times from resonance modes become more critical, and bamboo is measurably superior to MDF in these respects. Whether you could actually hear the sonic difference the material makes is another question, but the Sierra-1 is extremely transparent, and that is something that I can hear, for what it's worth (possibly due in part to the bamboo, although I can't say for certain).
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post #27 of 109 Old 03-04-2013, 12:56 PM
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Not really...I've read posts only to have them dissapear or removed moments later...maybe they had a change of heart...I dunno? What I find weird though is the OP is not looking to compare the ARX's with the higher end offering from the same source(TAI) with the likes of the Danas or Swans but he choose the Sierras. The CBM170's would've IMO being a more favourable approach and maybe not so weird?confused.gif
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The reason for that is everyone are raving about sierras and Arx. That's all I see around here. Nothing weird about it IMHO.

The longevity of the CBM-170SE speaks for it self. It has been around a while, and always garners great reviews. It has been around so long now that it often gets overlooked because it is not the "new" darling. The fact that they are still be compared to is a testament to their engineering and value, IMO.

In fact, while the Sierra-1 is newer, it also is not "new". Higher end Swans (d2.1), also sold by TAI have been compared to it on the forums, and in some publications. It is interesting that the Arx's don't get compared to the Swans on the boards...not even any speculation on TAI's own forum...it is odd.

That said, the price gap is huge between the two products. If you have that much flexibility in price, you owe to yourself to get out and to listen to everything you can. Just because speakers get high praise(any brand or model) on these forums do not mean they are the speaker for you. It is just plain smart to listen to what you can. Anyone that sees the math, and doesn't encourage you to do more shopping and compare for yourself, is not giving you unbiased guidance IMO. BTW...these forums are NOT unbiased.

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post #28 of 109 Old 03-04-2013, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cub4bearin View Post

I simply don't see anything wrong about my post. Andrew jones pioneers being compared to more expensive speakers, and you can get front set for less than $160. If I'm going to spend 3 or 4 times more it better WOW ME GOOD. lol smile.gif
What have you heard that you can compare the experience to, and be wowed?

I will tell you this...I admire Andrew Jones greatly...and love the speakers he has developed at TAD, namely the Reference One.

But these low cost offerings from Pioneer, I would not recommend, unless the buyer could absolutely spend no more money. One caveat, I have not heard the newer line that came out this year.

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post #29 of 109 Old 03-04-2013, 01:50 PM
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The longevity of the CBM-170SE speaks for it self. It has been around a while, and always garners great reviews. It has been around so long now that it often gets overlooked because it is not the "new" darling. The fact that they are still be compared to is a testament to their engineering and value, IMO.

In fact, while the Sierra-1 is newer, it also is not "new". Higher end Swans (d2.1), also sold by TAI have been compared to it on the forums, and in some publications. It is interesting that the Arx's don't get compared to the Swans on the boards...not even any speculation on TAI's own forum...it is odd.

That said, the price gap is huge between the two products. If you have that much flexibility in price, you owe to yourself to get out and to listen to everything you can. Just because speakers get high praise(any brand or model) on these forums do not mean they are the speaker for you. It is just plain smart to listen to what you can. Anyone that sees the math, and doesn't encourage you to do more shopping and compare for yourself, is not giving you unbiased guidance IMO. BTW...these forums are NOT unbiased.

Give it time and the Arx may prove to be just as long lived as the Ascends stuff. The reason why the Arx is getting so much attention is that they sound great, owners are happy with them. Top notch components seen in much more expensive speakers, high quality woofers that I would put up against woofers costing many times more. Its not the typical cheap xovers and outdated woofers from 20 years ago. I think thats why they are getting alot of attention.

Arx has been compared to the Dana line and the Arx towers to the Swan towers. I've never heard any of the Swan models and the expensive "custom" Swan line doesn't get much attention anywhere really. Mostly due to the price which is even higher than the Sierra 1.
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post #30 of 109 Old 03-04-2013, 02:05 PM
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Price of components isn't everything though

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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Pioneer , Ascend Acoustics , Hp Digital Projector Sb21 Dlp Projector 1000 Ansi Lumens Svga 800 X 600

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