Anyone using Sierra Horizons as mains? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone using Sierra Horizons (centers) as main left and right speakers for stereo and can share thoughts. Like Sierra towers but no room, but have space for Horizons. Any "experienced" comments welcome. Thx
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post #2 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 01:34 PM
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Have you spoken to David @ Ascend? If not then you should give him a call as he's very helpful. I don't recall hearing of anyone using a Horizon as anything other than a center (as I am) but I bet someone is doing it.

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post #3 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 01:55 PM
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post #4 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Horizontal.
Left a couple emails to ascend but no reply yet, not sure about the customer service however I have been hearing about. We will see.
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post #5 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lmwebster View Post

Horizontal.
Left a couple emails to ascend but no reply yet, not sure about the customer service however I have been hearing about. We will see.

I would suggest calling them. David gets a lot of emails, so sometimes it takes him several days to respond.
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post #6 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thx,
I prefer email, just wanted to check if any promotions going to push me over the edge a pull the trigger on a couple.
Comments I read however do not convince me the ribbon tweeter option is worth the extra price being asked over the dome.
Anyone with experience on this issue want to share their opinion?
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post #7 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lmwebster View Post

Thx,
I prefer email, just wanted to check if any promotions going to push me over the edge a pull the trigger on a couple.
Comments I read however do not convince me the ribbon tweeter option is worth the extra price being asked over the dome.
Anyone with experience on this issue want to share their opinion?

All promotions are listed on the Ascend site. There is a lot of info about RAAL 70-20XR vs NRT there and on the Ascend forum as well. The general consensus seems to be that RAAL upgrade is worth it for music but not as justifiable for HT.
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post #8 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 07:05 PM
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I would wait till November since Dave is planning on (hopefully) releasing the Sierra-2's and they will house the RAAL ribbon tweeter, thats what I am waiting for,

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post #9 of 30 Old 10-25-2013, 07:28 PM
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The price Ascend charges for their speakers is already an enormous bargain in the audio world. It's unlikely you will find many other manufacturers offering products at a comparable value considering costs of components vs. asking price. As such, there is not a lot of wiggle room for sales, or promotional deals. Never hurts to ask, but I would be pretty surprised to see a deal on product that can hardly be manufactured quickly enough to meet demand.
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post #10 of 30 Old 10-26-2013, 02:12 PM
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not using my horizon as mains got the towers for that, but using three horizons across the front would sound fantastic if you are short on space I would not hesitate to buy them.
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post #11 of 30 Old 10-26-2013, 06:02 PM
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One of the primary reasons I considered the Horizon as LRC is the front ports. In a HT where the speakers would be pushed close to the wall it made sense to consider front ported speakers. Just a thought. I like the tower tweeter placement in the towers for matching ear level. I had the Sierra-1's LRC for 2 channel and a bit of HT but sold them on a whim when I moved. Now deciding on the Towers/Horizons vs. keeping the investment down with other ID companies. Dave is a great guy to deal with...very responsive to emails (most of the time) but they always answered the phone when I called.
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post #12 of 30 Old 11-30-2013, 07:45 PM
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Reading this thread after finding Ascend Acoustics for the first time on the net, you all have my attention on the Sierra Horizon as mains prospect. The front porting helps as well given my planned application. I am building a house and due to architectural demands, will need to incorporate LCRs in horizontal fashion in an enclosure above the fireplace ( not a real fireplace, so heat will be dispersed well using a fan from the fireplace insert and not used much anyway) . Will seal the enclosure and isolate the LCRs as much as possible. Wondering about using Sierra Horizons 3 across in this array. The room is 40 ft. deep x 21 ft. wide room needing lots of power from the center and mains especially with a seating area at about 18 feet. Will powering the system with an Outlaw 7900 Amp in a 7.1 channel (300 watts per channel) system. Not sure what I will use as surrounds and rears. I see nothing but great reviews on the Sierra Horizon all over the net. Perhaps I should shoot Dave an email, but would like to get thoughts from this knowledgeable group who have no horse in the race first.
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post #13 of 30 Old 12-01-2013, 05:31 AM
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The Horizon would work great as an LCR! If you are primarily listening to music, get the RAAL ribbon tweeter upgrade! That is the best tweeter in the world, and is a pretty significant step up from the Nrt, at least in my opinion as I have heard both, extensively! Although, if you have a huge room, I would recommend that you use the RAAL for the center channel, and the Nrt for the mains. The RAAL can get loud, but not as loud as the Nrt, which might be an issue in a 40' by 20' room! The RAAL is the most life like tweeter that I have ever listened to. Even more lifelike than the B&W diamond tweeters in the 800 series!
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post #14 of 30 Old 12-05-2013, 07:07 PM
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Ok, looks like a go on the Sierra Horizons all with the RAAL tweeters for LCR use built into the mantle as mentioned in my previous post.. I believe the SVS SB-13 ultra will work fine in this system but wondering with the roughly 10 foot ceilings and therefore about 7000 cubic feet, if one is enough. For surrounds, which will need to be mounted in the vaulted (angled) ceiling/attic, I'm thinking Atlantic Technology dipole IWTS-30(s), and for the rears, AT IWTS-155(s). It turns out that the Outlaw 7900 AMP which was a steal at $2629 on Black Friday, got trumped by a Bose (yes BOSE!) 8500N match power amp. Still 300 watts per channel at 8 ohms but has the ability to match the power to the number of channels you desire. Pretty cool piece and getting a great "friend at the factory" sort of deal.

http://worldwide.bose.com/pro/en_us/web/pm_8500_8500n/page.html

Thinking about the Marantz 7701 as the pre-amp but may wait to see what offerings come up in 2014. (house not finished until June 2014) Good news too is that my bro designs commercial sound system installations and can fine tune this system with his 8 microphone acoustics analyzing system to get this thing dialed in nicely.

If anyone sees any holes in this creation, please jump in. Will use this system 70% HT and 30% music. I wonder a little about the LCRs rattling the fireplace insert as it is not a real wood burning fireplace. My hope is the stone encasement of the cabinet will minimize that possibility. The fireplace insert has glass on both sides as it is a see through unit with the other side of the fireplace on the outside of the house on the deck side. Wondering about glass and the metal box both getting in on the act. Not the kind of 'tin can' effect desired here.
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post #15 of 30 Old 12-06-2013, 06:19 AM
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That sounds like a great plan! Although, that SVS will not come any where close to filling a 7000cuft room with plenty of bass. You would need 3 or 4 at a minimum. My advise would be to order 4 Dayton RSS460HO-18's, ($250 each), and a Behringer iNuke6000, (under $550), and build 4 ported enclosures. You can have your local car audio shop build the enclosures and mount the drivers if you don't feel comfortable doing it your self. Most charge between $75 and $125 per enclosure if you buy the wood. That would give you a great bass response and would trump 4 or even 6 of those SVS subs for less than half the cost!
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post #16 of 30 Old 12-06-2013, 02:14 PM
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Interesting idea Martycool007. What I am up against is a very formidable WAF. I am lucky to get the one in the room and only convinced her of that when I explained the enclosure for the sub behind the wall with a hole in the wall and passive sub issue so it has to be enclosed with the proper materials so it won't burn up as well as the additional separate amp for it. I MIGHT be able to get 2 subs in the long run, but we shall see. I actually already have a Mackie HRS 150 that kicks some pretty good butt, but that is too big and ugly to put in there for her taste. Hence the piano black and slightly smaller SVS. Matched subs could fill the bill but I KNOW that 2 of the Mackies won't fly with her. Baby steps…..
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post #17 of 30 Old 12-14-2013, 10:58 AM
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After studying the thermal issues of the fireplace insert, it is clear that I do not want to put $6500 worth of AV gear in harms way. Therefore, the TV and LCR will be moved to the right of the fireplace. Nice benefit here besides not cooking the gear is that everything can be lowered to accommodate acoustics and ergonomics of the cervical spine. I have a question though about how to best orient the L and R. The center Horizon will of course be horizontal. The L and R could be horizontal or tweeters laterally in a vertical orientation. There are a couple of sonic implications here. First of all, I only have about 7 feet for spacing the speakers. If I orient them vertically, there is a slight compromise of the sound quality as these are designed to be horizontal . The advantage, though, from a sound stage perspective is that from edge to edge the spacing is maximized at 5 feet. If all three are horizontal, the L and R are in there sweetest orientation, but the edge to edge spacing is about 3 feet. This is clearly not the spacing I want in the room, but as this is not a dedicated theater room, it is about choosing the best suboptimal option. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Another update is that indeed I will be using the Mackie HRS 150 as the lone sub in the room. At some point down the road though a dual sub setup is a possibility. The surrounds and rears will remain the same with the Atlantic Technology surrounds and rears.
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post #18 of 30 Old 12-28-2013, 11:46 AM
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Cogipro: It appears that you want to do the very same thing as I. My room is 25x25 with 8 foot ceilings and I have an area to the right of my fireplace that I want to set up for AV and music using the Horizons (LCR) across the front. The area is 9 feet across from wall to fireplace. Due to the current set up with the shelving and cabinets the Horizons would work with little modification to the cabinets. I've thought about ripping it all out and starting from scratch then use the Towers with the Horizon. But I like the idea of the Horizon as LCR and not having speakers on the floor.

 

Let me know how it works for you.

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post #19 of 30 Old 12-29-2013, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogipro View Post

After studying the thermal issues of the fireplace insert, it is clear that I do not want to put $6500 worth of AV gear in harms way. Therefore, the TV and LCR will be moved to the right of the fireplace. Nice benefit here besides not cooking the gear is that everything can be lowered to accommodate acoustics and ergonomics of the cervical spine. I have a question though about how to best orient the L and R. The center Horizon will of course be horizontal. The L and R could be horizontal or tweeters laterally in a vertical orientation. There are a couple of sonic implications here. First of all, I only have about 7 feet for spacing the speakers. If I orient them vertically, there is a slight compromise of the sound quality as these are designed to be horizontal . The advantage, though, from a sound stage perspective is that from edge to edge the spacing is maximized at 5 feet. If all three are horizontal, the L and R are in there sweetest orientation, but the edge to edge spacing is about 3 feet. This is clearly not the spacing I want in the room, but as this is not a dedicated theater room, it is about choosing the best suboptimal option. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Another update is that indeed I will be using the Mackie HRS 150 as the lone sub in the room. At some point down the road though a dual sub setup is a possibility. The surrounds and rears will remain the same with the Atlantic Technology surrounds and rears.

It was suggested to me on the Ascend Acoustic forum that placing the Horizons vertically would give them a wider sound stage due to the placement of the tweeter.

 

Update - If you have not checked out the Ascend Acoustic forum I would highly recommend it. Dave gives good info about the placement of the Horizon and what to expect..it's also a great forum.

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post #20 of 30 Old 02-16-2014, 10:16 AM
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Have you finish your set up with the Horizons? If so, what are your impressions using them as mains?

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post #21 of 30 Old 02-16-2014, 09:01 PM
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+1 Inquiring minds (ears?) want to know wink.gif
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post #22 of 30 Old 02-26-2014, 09:54 AM
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I've communicated with Dave of Ascend on the set up I want to use the Horizon for and he assures me that I will be very happy with what I want to accomplish...and as always, If I am not I can return them. Dave has told me that he has a lot of customers that have used them as mains and are very pleased. Once I am done with the remodel of the cottage and I purchase the Horizons I will post my impressions, however that will be another 6 months or so.

 

So we may have to wait till then to find out.

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post #23 of 30 Old 02-26-2014, 01:41 PM
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I recently posted another positive opinion on the Horizon in a companion thread:

_______________________________

Originally Posted by Billy p View Post

" Hey Guys...I had just had a wonderful time with another member who came by today to demo my Sierras. As a matter of fact he stopped by a local HiFi shop and auditioned some Psb Synchrony One B...to use as a barometer...for his visit.....other recent auditions include the Focal Aria 906 & 807v, MA and Def Tech to name a few. I know the S2's are on his radar(so are the psb) and he has already talked with Dave and awaiting a reply. He never heard a ribbon or for that matter the RAAL and within a very short time he was able to discern its likely the best tweeter he has experienced...he really like the One B but he preferred RAAL in the STC....he is now actually thinking about going with the RAAL Horizon across the front....he enjoyed the Towers with the NrT but in his words the Horizon is the best speaker he has heard to date...I agree, with him... the RAAL it's so realistic and lifelike it must be heard to be fully understood.

Anyhow...I just thought I'd chime in to complete an earlier post...I don't know if he'll post his experiences here on AVS...in a current thread he has started. I welcomed him to post his thoughts about today. I don't want to start paraphrasing what he said...he can better describe what he heard....if inclined..cool.gif

Cheers, Bill

Btw...he really liked the subs too....never experienced <30hz LFE before...I was more than glad to help out in that area as well....biggrin.gif"

________________________________
" I am that member who enjoyed a fine afternoon today in Billy's audio playground. What a gracious host. Spared no effort and courtesy to make me feel like I was sitting in my own living room (except surrounded by far better equipment).

Indeed Billy has paraphrased my thoughts accurately with the exception that I also auditioned the Paradigm Studio 20 v5 and PSB Imagine B offerings today. I'm not sure if anyone in this thread is really that interested in hearing about my specific observations on the various speakers, as it will merely amount to yet another opinion by someone who may have an altogether different set of ears. However, what may be most relevant to this thread is that to these ears, the 70 20 Raal fitted Horizon represented an exceptional experience surpassing all other speakers I've yet auditioned. Some by a wide margin.

I'm very sensitive to midrange coloration from speakers. Particularly those caused by cabinet resonance at certain frequencies. Anomalies created by improperly crossed driver frequencies resulting in 'bump's and other unnatural 'additives' to the sound for the purpose of getting around design/component limitations, are other characteristics I can usually detect. Of course, it goes without saying that harsh tweeters and bloaty woofers are more obviously discerned and as far as I'm concerned, unilaterally discarded as possible buying options.

The Raal Horizion without doubt is devoid of such imperfections, at least to my ears. The cabinet construction is among the most robust, inert, effectively designed units I've yet encountered and the crossover wizardry seems to be spot on for that cabinet. For my benefit, Billy was kind enough to put his NrT towers and Horizon (Raal) through a series of AB tests using multiple source materials and I believe the comparisons were quite revealing as to the characteristics of each. While personal tastes in this regard can certainly vary, Billy made a valid case for the STC holding the advantage for music while the towers, due to their perceived slightly more dynamic character, held the advantage for HT. Personally, I preferred the Horizon for both functions but the distinctions here are more subtle than dramatic. Besides, for my application, towers are out due to space restraints. The Raal Horizon was to my ears extremely clear, realistic, flat, detailed, uncolored, dynamic and non-fatiguing.

One thing became clear to me...that it would represent a travesty should anyone regard a Raal-equipped Horizon as 'merely' a center speaker for clear speech. It is much more than that. I'm currently rethinking my initial urge to simply order 3 of the new S2's for the front stage; perhaps 3 x Raal Horizons would work better for me. But we are certainly talking a major increase in price here as between the two choices so I'm still on the fence.

I tip my hat to David. His first class designs and considerable efforts appear to have manifested in truly outstanding products.

I would indeed be interested in learning more about a 3-S2 front stage vs. a 3-Raal Horizon setup and the differences as between the two that one may expect. Where Raal's are concerned...does size really matter?

Oh and thanks for the sub-30hz experience too Billy, my pant legs have finally stopped moving."

___________________________________


It would be most interesting to hear opinions from those that have heard a 3x Sierra2 front stage vs. 3xHorison (Raal). My gut feeling tells me the 3xHorizon setup would likely sound superior across several categories but whether any perceived improvement is worth double the price is also a question.

The 70 20 Raal used in the Horizon vs. the Raal in the Sierra 2's appear to differ dramatically in size and one might also wonder how they would compare to each other in an AB test.
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post #24 of 30 Old 02-26-2014, 05:05 PM
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Hi fuzzione:

I know one of the guys over at the Ascend Forum feels the Tower/STC RAAL hold a slight edge over the S2's....I realized having you over this weekend help open my mind a bit more with your observation and ability to discern even the slightest detail...unfortunately for you...you're a candidate for the 70-20...biggrin.gif

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post #25 of 30 Old 02-26-2014, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy p View Post

Hi fuzzione:

I know one of the guys over at the Ascend Forum feels the Tower/STC RAAL hold a slight edge over the S2's....I realized having you over this weekend help open my mind a bit more with your observation and ability to discern even the slightest detail...unfortunately for you...you're a candidate for the 70-20...biggrin.gif

Hey Billy! Well, your effective A/B comparison methodologies were most instrumental in allowing such differences to be detected. Thanks again for all your efforts. It was an extremely interesting and pleasant exercise.

I fear I may indeed be a candidate for the 70-20. So sweet. And that Horizon cabinet ... so expertly designed and constructed; it's uncanny how well controlled it is with resonance. You will recall the 'kick drum' test you put them through; The slight 'ringing' exhibited in the towers was completely absent with the Horizon. As you know, the Horizon design, particularly with the front ports, will likely prove most beneficial to my intended placement.

I've also been in touch with David who indicated the differences between the two Raals are not that far apart. My impression is the S2's are the better value but if you want the very best, 3 Horizons are likely the way to go but it's going to cost accordingly. I'm still accumulating info. The deal angel in me wants the S2's but the fiend on the other shoulder keeps shouting 'look to the Horizon!' wink.gif

Does anyone here know about anticipated longevity or vulnerabilities of the Raal design? How long can a Raal tweeter last?
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post #26 of 30 Old 02-26-2014, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

I recently posted another positive opinion on the Horizon in a companion thread:

_______________________________

Originally Posted by Billy p View Post

" Hey Guys...I had just had a wonderful time with another member who came by today to demo my Sierras. As a matter of fact he stopped by a local HiFi shop and auditioned some Psb Synchrony One B...to use as a barometer...for his visit.....other recent auditions include the Focal Aria 906 & 807v, MA and Def Tech to name a few. I know the S2's are on his radar(so are the psb) and he has already talked with Dave and awaiting a reply. He never heard a ribbon or for that matter the RAAL and within a very short time he was able to discern its likely the best tweeter he has experienced...he really like the One B but he preferred RAAL in the STC....he is now actually thinking about going with the RAAL Horizon across the front....he enjoyed the Towers with the NrT but in his words the Horizon is the best speaker he has heard to date...I agree, with him... the RAAL it's so realistic and lifelike it must be heard to be fully understood.

Anyhow...I just thought I'd chime in to complete an earlier post...I don't know if he'll post his experiences here on AVS...in a current thread he has started. I welcomed him to post his thoughts about today. I don't want to start paraphrasing what he said...he can better describe what he heard....if inclined..cool.gif

Cheers, Bill

Btw...he really liked the subs too....never experienced <30hz LFE before...I was more than glad to help out in that area as well....biggrin.gif"

________________________________
" I am that member who enjoyed a fine afternoon today in Billy's audio playground. What a gracious host. Spared no effort and courtesy to make me feel like I was sitting in my own living room (except surrounded by far better equipment).

Indeed Billy has paraphrased my thoughts accurately with the exception that I also auditioned the Paradigm Studio 20 v5 and PSB Imagine B offerings today. I'm not sure if anyone in this thread is really that interested in hearing about my specific observations on the various speakers, as it will merely amount to yet another opinion by someone who may have an altogether different set of ears. However, what may be most relevant to this thread is that to these ears, the 70 20 Raal fitted Horizon represented an exceptional experience surpassing all other speakers I've yet auditioned. Some by a wide margin.

I'm very sensitive to midrange coloration from speakers. Particularly those caused by cabinet resonance at certain frequencies. Anomalies created by improperly crossed driver frequencies resulting in 'bump's and other unnatural 'additives' to the sound for the purpose of getting around design/component limitations, are other characteristics I can usually detect. Of course, it goes without saying that harsh tweeters and bloaty woofers are more obviously discerned and as far as I'm concerned, unilaterally discarded as possible buying options.

The Raal Horizion without doubt is devoid of such imperfections, at least to my ears. The cabinet construction is among the most robust, inert, effectively designed units I've yet encountered and the crossover wizardry seems to be spot on for that cabinet. For my benefit, Billy was kind enough to put his NrT towers and Horizon (Raal) through a series of AB tests using multiple source materials and I believe the comparisons were quite revealing as to the characteristics of each. While personal tastes in this regard can certainly vary, Billy made a valid case for the STC holding the advantage for music while the towers, due to their perceived slightly more dynamic character, held the advantage for HT. Personally, I preferred the Horizon for both functions but the distinctions here are more subtle than dramatic. Besides, for my application, towers are out due to space restraints. The Raal Horizon was to my ears extremely clear, realistic, flat, detailed, uncolored, dynamic and non-fatiguing.

One thing became clear to me...that it would represent a travesty should anyone regard a Raal-equipped Horizon as 'merely' a center speaker for clear speech. It is much more than that. I'm currently rethinking my initial urge to simply order 3 of the new S2's for the front stage; perhaps 3 x Raal Horizons would work better for me. But we are certainly talking a major increase in price here as between the two choices so I'm still on the fence.

I tip my hat to David. His first class designs and considerable efforts appear to have manifested in truly outstanding products.

I would indeed be interested in learning more about a 3-S2 front stage vs. a 3-Raal Horizon setup and the differences as between the two that one may expect. Where Raal's are concerned...does size really matter?

Oh and thanks for the sub-30hz experience too Billy, my pant legs have finally stopped moving."

___________________________________


It would be most interesting to hear opinions from those that have heard a 3x Sierra2 front stage vs. 3xHorison (Raal). My gut feeling tells me the 3xHorizon setup would likely sound superior across several categories but whether any perceived improvement is worth double the price is also a question.

The 70 20 Raal used in the Horizon vs. the Raal in the Sierra 2's appear to differ dramatically in size and one might also wonder how they would compare to each other in an AB test.

The RAALs in the Sierra 2s are probably more like the RAAL 70-10s than the 70-20s.
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post #27 of 30 Old 02-26-2014, 08:11 PM
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From the RAAL webpage regarding any reliability concerns....granted it's only a 2 year window...maybe Dave can elaborate further...I dunno..redface.gif

RIBBON REPLACEMENT KIT: ribbon replacement is made easy by our ribbon replacement kit, which is easily replaced by the user. This “kit” is in fact our SYMMLEAD® signal leading frame, holding the stretched ribbon, allowing it to snap into perfect position between the magnets.

This feature might be an obsolete one, because RAAL ribbons are destructible only by really extreme abuse or curiosity. In two years, we sent away only 3 replacement kits to customers who destroyed the ribbons by opening the drivers out of curiosity. Aside from that, our reliability record is 0% failure rate.


http://www.raalribbon.com/technology.htm
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-27-2014, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfitch View Post

The RAALs in the Sierra 2s are probably more like the RAAL 70-10s than the 70-20s.

Is the raal in the 2's better than the one in the 1's?

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Originally Posted by tdogroeder View Post

Is the raal in the 2's better than the one in the 1's?

There is no RAAL in the 1s. Some of us have upgraded our 1s to 2s using the upgrade kits which involves replacing the speaker's components (tweeter, woofer and crossover).
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post #30 of 30 Old 02-27-2014, 06:55 AM
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A few people do have the 70-20xr refitted into their Sierra 1's...my guess, that could have caused some confusion. As for how they would compare...really depends on the actual individual.

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