Need help selecting: Aperion, Ascend, Paradigm, Focal, Kef, Veritas 2.2i - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 10-05-2013, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Need help with these
Has anyone heard/compared any of the following speakers: Aperion Verus Grand, Ascend Sierra, Paradigm Studio, Focal Chorus, Veritas 2.2i and finally Kef Q.

Comparisons and/or opinions really welcome and please state what genre you listen/listened to. Kind of sick of people saying things like "Sierra hands down IMO" but never saying why they thought that. I am open to other speakers but it has to be <$800
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post #2 of 35 Old 10-05-2013, 08:22 PM
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What sound are you looking for?
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post #3 of 35 Old 10-05-2013, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for a good well rounded speaker for HT/Music. Tons of Dynamics, clear mid-range, clear vocals and a tweeter that isn't too rolled off. I prefer a speaker that is close to neutral, a little forward is ok.

If this helps I used to have some Energy RC-70's but they were too laid back and the the tweeter wasn't bright enough. Bass was jaw-droppingly good and very very deep. Very accurate speaker excelled with jazz, country, classical, acoustic, and bass heavy songs (loved that bass). It was too polite though. The laid back nature didn't really suit all types of music, deep vocals were very good but higher pitch male and female voices suffered and were too far away. More of a musical speaker. Home theater was ok but not great, the amazing and effortless bass was good though.
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post #4 of 35 Old 10-05-2013, 11:18 PM
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Upcoming Ascend Sierra 2's. Its using a RAAL tweeter which is accurate as you can get. Plays dynamics effortlessly and very neutral and natural sounding that is very clear.
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post #5 of 35 Old 10-05-2013, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
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When are the Sierra 2's coming out? The Sierras are on my list but it's really pushing the limit. Especially when I can get some Focal floorstanders 50-60% off. Maybe they will discount the original Sierras?
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post #6 of 35 Old 10-05-2013, 11:42 PM
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I think it should be soon because from what I read on their website they were done with final real-life testing.
One thing I know is that the Sierra 2's will have a "custom" RAAL tweeter exclusively designed by RAAL to the Ascend speakers so it really depends on the designer if he will make the custom tweeters pricier or less expensive than their traditional 70-20x tweeter they use... If they make the custom tweeter more expensive then I suspect the SIerra 1's price will go down. If not, the Sierra 2's will be cheaper than the Sierra 1's and the 1's will stay the same.
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post #7 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 07:00 AM
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I think of the ones you mentioned Paradigm Studio is probably the least neutral. At least the Studio 20 V.3's that I have are very colored. They are hands down the best jazz speaker I've ever heard, but you must adapt to the beautiful changes they make because the sound stage is not neutral at all. They really sound fantastic on jazz but I think my recommendation will be a lot more neutral and a more perfect all around speaker.

I recommend you look at the Monitor Audio RX-1. It is a very nice speaker and does everything right. I did a comparison between the Cambridge Audio S30, the Monitor Audio RX-1, and the Paradigm Studio 20 V.3 (here) on them if you ever want to read.

Other than Monitor Audio RX-1 I'd look at Focal. A lot of people I respect on the forum recommend them. I have not heard them myself.
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post #8 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porthos01 View Post


Kind of sick of people saying things like "Sierra hands down IMO" but never saying why they thought that.

Even if they took all their time and wrote up a dissertation for you and used all kinds of creative adjectives and descriptive verbiage, it doesn't mean you will end up feeling the same way they do. Everyone has a different preference on speakers even if he listens to the same exact songs you do.

People could say, "RAAL tweeters are the smoothest silkiest most detailed high resolution sound I've ever heard."

It's their subjective opinion. It doesn't mean it is TRUE by all standards and by everyone.

The ONLY way to be sure is for you to listen for yourself. Make sure about their return policies.

NHT, Aperion, KEF offer risk-free 30-day return policy.
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post #9 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

I think of the ones you mentioned Paradigm Studio is probably the least neutral. At least the Studio 20 V.3's that I have are very colored. They are hands down the best jazz speaker I've ever heard, but you must adapt to the beautiful changes they make because the sound stage is not neutral at all. They really sound fantastic on jazz but I think my recommendation will be a lot more neutral and a more perfect all around speaker.

I recommend you look at the Monitor Audio RX-1. It is a very nice speaker and does everything right. I did a comparison between the Cambridge Audio S30, the Monitor Audio RX-1, and the Paradigm Studio 20 V.3 (here) on them if you ever want to read.

Other than Monitor Audio RX-1 I'd look at Focal. A lot of people I respect on the forum recommend them. I have not heard them myself.



I have to disagree with this post regarding Paradigm speakers.Paradigm
Studio speakers have been measured in many publications as
Extremely flat and neutral.
I read thru your bookshelf speaker review (very nice) but the first
Thing I noticed on your listening set-up was that you had the speakers
Placed neatly into corners. This set-up will cause excessive reflections
From the side and back walls...which will color the sound.

In the future you need to bring the speakers out into the room to eliminate
Those undesired reflections.

My humble opinion
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post #10 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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More opinions welcome
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post #11 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Even if they took all their time and wrote up a dissertation for you and used all kinds of creative adjectives and descriptive verbiage, it doesn't mean you will end up feeling the same way they do. Everyone has a different preference on speakers even if he listens to the same exact songs you do.

People could say, "RAAL tweeters are the smoothest silkiest most detailed high resolution sound I've ever heard."

It's their subjective opinion. It doesn't mean it is TRUE by all standards and by everyone.

The ONLY way to be sure is for you to listen for yourself. Make sure about their return policies.

NHT, Aperion, KEF offer risk-free 30-day return policy.

In the case of the RAAL tweeters I have to disagree. Due to the comparatively tiny amount of moving mass of a true ribbon in comparison to the diaphragm/voice coil of a dome type tweeter, there is objective testing that shows their superiority. Look at the time/energy decay waterfalls in the Ascend site Dave has shown for the RAAL 70-20 compared to their excellent Seas manufactured NRT (neodymium ring tweeter), and you will see why their sound is so highly regarded.

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post #12 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 11:08 AM
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I realized that I have not responded to the OP's original request for suggestions in the less than $800 range. Unfortunately, the Sierra 2 will be over your budget, and I have no opinion on the others as I have not heard them.

Given my experience with the NRT Sierra 1s, however, I would seriously consider paying the premium for the 2s when they become available in November. These things will undoubtedly be among the very best two way bookshelf speakers available at any price. Since no one other than the manufacturer has as of yet heard them, I can't tell you how they sound. Going by the design goals posted by the manufacturer, they will be accurate, have a great polar response top to bottom, and exhibit great detail, and dynamics. That sounds just like my Sierra-1 NRTs, only these will be even better both on the high end with the RAALs, and the mid range frequencies are said to also have been improved.

In an effort to provide full disclosure, I was so impressed with the Sierras, that I now have a full complement of 4 Sierra Towers, a Horizon center (all with the RAAL tweeters) and the NRT Sierras are now doing duty as rears in my 7.1 system. Mere words cannot even describe!

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post #13 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Pet Motel View Post

In the case of the RAAL tweeters I have to disagree. Due to the comparatively tiny amount of moving mass of a true ribbon in comparison to the diaphragm/voice coil of a dome type tweeter, there is objective testing that shows their superiority. Look at the time/energy decay waterfalls in the Ascend site Dave has shown for the RAAL 70-20 compared to their excellent Seas manufactured NRT (neodymium ring tweeter), and you will see why their sound is so highly regarded.

Well....yes and no. I've seen those measurements and those of several others as well. There is no doubt the RAAL has superb ETC and CSD, better than perhaps any other tweeters, but the question is this: Are those improvements vs. other tweeters actually audible? If other tweeters have ETC and CSD performance that is beyond audibility, then what advantage is there to having even better measured results?

The measurable difference with the RAAL that is more likely to lead to audible differences is its polar response, both horizontal and vertical. Note how much wider the dispersion is at higher frequency vs most dome tweeters. That will make an audible difference.

IMO people are basing the perceived superiority of the RAAL on the wrong parametrics.

Sorry for the off-topic interjection.

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post #14 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Porthos01 View Post

Need help with these
Has anyone heard/compared any of the following speakers: Aperion Verus Grand, Ascend Sierra, Paradigm Studio, Focal Chorus, Veritas 2.2i and finally Kef Q.

Comparisons and/or opinions really welcome and please state what genre you listen/listened to. Kind of sick of people saying things like "Sierra hands down IMO" but never saying why they thought that. I am open to other speakers but it has to be <$800

A completely legitimate question, but as ADTG alluded to, what others like/dislike won't translate into what you like/dislike, and perhaps even more importantly, other people's rooms/listening environments won't match your own - and a speaker that sounds right to one person in one room won't necessarily sound right to another person when placed in another room.

I do know from limited experience with a couple of those on your list, and experience with the Energy RC series, that practically all the speakers you mention will be brighter than the Energy RC's. But as to which you will like the best, sorry to say that nobody can answer that for you. They're all good to very good speakers with pros and cons.

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post #15 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 07:40 PM
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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1489493/do-audio-measurements-correlate-with-sound-quality

Interesting reading here pertaining to the correlation between measurements and sound quality. In particular, read the posts by Dr. Olive from Harman Industries. Speaker sound quality really isn't as purely subjective as many would have you believe.

Again, apologies for the off topic post.

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post #16 of 35 Old 10-06-2013, 09:49 PM
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I think the real question with the Sierra-2 will be the woofer, not the tweeter. The original Sierra went with extension over midrange playback (originally SEAS recommended the MCA15RCY woofer instead); the tweeter was always excellent, the real issue IMO was the slightly boxy midrage due to the bass driver that was selected.
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post #17 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 04:30 AM
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I would go with the standard Sierra-1 and never look back. I have compared my former stock Sierra-1's to the Paradigm Studio 20's and I feel that the Sierra-1's were vastly superior! Plus, if you go with the standard Sierra-1's then later on if you get the upgrade bug, you can then have them modded to using the Nrt tweeters, or if you really want to have an upgrade down the road you can upgrade the tweeters to the RAAL's!
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post #18 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pet Motel View Post

In the case of the RAAL tweeters I have to disagree. Due to the comparatively tiny amount of moving mass of a true ribbon in comparison to the diaphragm/voice coil of a dome type tweeter, there is objective testing that shows their superiority. Look at the time/energy decay waterfalls in the Ascend site Dave has shown for the RAAL 70-20 compared to their excellent Seas manufactured NRT (neodymium ring tweeter), and you will see why their sound is so highly regarded.

You mean there have been double-blinded studies showing that people preferred RAAL tweeters over other tweeters like diamond, beryllium, titanium, magnesium, etc.?

I don't think so.

I respect Ascend for those measurements, especially when so many companies even refuse to furnish any kind of measurements. But measurements do not guarantee that the tweeters are superior when it comes to ACTUAL sound.

My Phil3 have RAAL tweeters. IMO they are excellent, but nothing special compared to other types of tweeters.
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post #19 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 10:09 AM
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Well....yes and no. I've seen those measurements and those of several others as well. There is no doubt the RAAL has superb ETC and CSD, better than perhaps any other tweeters, but the question is this: Are those improvements vs. other tweeters actually audible? If other tweeters have ETC and CSD performance that is beyond audibility, then what advantage is there to having even better measured results?

The measurable difference with the RAAL that is more likely to lead to audible differences is its polar response, both horizontal and vertical. Note how much wider the dispersion is at higher frequency vs most dome tweeters. That will make an audible difference.

IMO people are basing the perceived superiority of the RAAL on the wrong parametrics.

Sorry for the off-topic interjection.

Exactly.

The reason I bought the Phil3 was because I listened to people saying RAAL tweeters this and that. biggrin.gif

No offense to anyone.

But I've tried to compare the RAAL to other speakers with aluminum, magnesium, titanium, beryllium, and diamond tweeters. There is nothing special about the RAAL when it comes to actual sound IMO.

But I guess everyone is different. Some people may just hear their special sound. I don't know. biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 11:59 AM
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Exactly.

The reason I bought the Phil3 was because I listened to people saying RAAL tweeters this and that. biggrin.gif

No offense to anyone.

But I've tried to compare the RAAL to other speakers with aluminum, magnesium, titanium, beryllium, and diamond tweeters. There is nothing special about the RAAL when it comes to actual sound IMO.

But I guess everyone is different. Some people may just hear their special sound. I don't know. biggrin.gif

I'd love to post my thoughts concerning some of the issues that are coming up here, but this is the wrong venue. I regret posting at all in this thread due to having taken it so far off track. Again my apologies to the OP! Probably the best advise given in these types of threads is to make every effort to listen to brands that fit your budget, that you are considering buying.

Even at that, unless you are able to compare side by side, audio memory has been shown to be relatively fleeting, so it's quite difficult to come to meaningful conclusions listening to various speakers, in various locations. Best of luck, hope you come up with something you really enjoy!

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post #21 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 01:04 PM
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First I know that the Veritas 2.2i i are a very good speakers but why you want to buy speakers that the company doesn't carry replacement parts anymore? I think that's kind of risky.

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post #22 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking of getting the Veritas because many people put them on par with B&W Nautilus. I already decided against it because they are probably too similar to the RC line, which didn't really suit my tastes. I also considered the "used" part and the fact that I can't audition to ensure that they are in 100% working order.

At the moment I am down to: Boston Acoustics M25, KEF Q300, Aperion, and Definitive Technology StudioMonitor55.

Really can't decide. Would the SM55's be considered "laid back"? Kind of hard to find info on Boston Acoustics and the Deftech SM55's
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post #23 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
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I was thinking of getting the Veritas because many people put them on par with B&W Nautilus. I already decided against it because they are probably too similar to the RC line, which didn't really suit my tastes. I also considered the "used" part and the fact that I can't audition to ensure that they are in 100% working order.

At the moment I am down to: Boston Acoustics M25, KEF Q300, Aperion, and Definitive Technology StudioMonitor55.

Really can't decide. Would the SM55's be considered "laid back"? Kind of hard to find info on Boston Acoustics and the Deftech SM55's

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/boston-acoustics-m25-speaker-system

http://www.stereophile.com/content/definitive-technology-studiomonitor-55-loudspeaker

http://hometheaterreview.com/definitive-technology-studiomonitor-55-reviewed/

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/definitive-technology-studiomonitor-55-speaker-system

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post #24 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the time to help me find these reviews. What I meant though was on opinions from owners. Also opinions of "laid back/forward" and which is brighter. It is so hard to use professional reviews because it is so rare for any speaker review magazine/website to ever really give out a bad review for any speaker.

Now if someone can help me understand these charts and what the most crucial frequencies are to human hearing that would be very helpful. For example what frequencies translate to a warmer/brighter sound. And which frequencies mean forward/laidback.

Also the fact that the frequency charts are for the sm55's are so different when comparing the charts from Stereophile, SoundandVision, and Soundstage complicate things.
http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=789:nrc-measurements-definitive-technology-studiomonitor-55-loudspeakers&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements
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post #25 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porthos01 View Post

Thanks for taking the time to help me find these reviews. What I meant though was on opinions from owners. Also opinions of "laid back/forward" and which is brighter. It is so hard to use professional reviews because it is so rare for any speaker review magazine/website to ever really give out a bad review for any speaker.

Now if someone can help me understand these charts and what the most crucial frequencies are to human hearing that would be very helpful. For example what frequencies translate to a warmer/brighter sound. And which frequencies mean forward/laidback.

Also the fact that the frequency charts are for the sm55's are so different when comparing the charts from Stereophile, SoundandVision, and Soundstage complicate things.
http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=789:nrc-measurements-definitive-technology-studiomonitor-55-loudspeakers&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements
Hello Port, you can find some owner's opinions on the DT web site: http://www.definitivetech.com/products/studiomonitor-55
See what they say and go from there. Best regards, Joe
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post #29 of 35 Old 10-07-2013, 05:38 PM
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I just have to place another vote for Ascend in whatever configuration you can afford. I bought them on deaf and blind faith based on AVS threads on the Ascend speakers. I am not disappointed smile.gif . I am loving the sound....I am mostly HT but listen to music too.... Plus the Ascend designer/owner (Dave) is very hands-on with everything and provides custom finishes if wished for and provides excellent customer service too.smile.gif He is like a dream come true, the kind of internet direct seller that you always hoped existed when you are buying expensive equipment. This is why I love the AVS forums so much I would have never gotten to the point of getting speakers internet direct like this without AVS posters. wink.gif
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post #30 of 35 Old 10-20-2013, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I have decided to buy Kef. Has anyone compared the Kef q100's to the Kef q300's? Would a Pioneer SW-8 negate any difference between the two Kef q speakers? Is an amplifier necessary to get the best out of these speakers? I currently have a very powerful B&K amp and if I sell it I can get a new TV or PS4. Would my Denon 2808 suffice?

If my Denon isn't up to the task with Kef's how will the Ascend cbm-170 compare in sound quality?
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