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Am I the only one who doesn't like Ascend Acoustic's Sierra-1's???

post #1 of 450
Thread Starter 
I'm am VERY uncomfortable writing this, but I'm more interested in what some of you will say than I am worried about you all thinking I'm some kind of moron. So here goes...

I finally received my Sierra's today after waiting a week for shipping. Seemed like forever! I got them home and hooked them up with some temporary stands to get a feel for them. Basically I had nothing better than some old wooden 2-drawer file cabinets. They are the only thing I had that was the correct height.

When I initially fired them up playing Patricia Barber's "Modern Cool", my first impression was that they had a nice smooth clarity to them. They sounded hi-rez in a way. There seemed to be a distinct clarity in the midrange.

Just so you all understand my process. Over the last week I listened to a variety of tracks from various artists looking for subtle nuances and in general anything that I thought sounded cool, interesting, or levels of realism. Here are my brief notes: (note: all initial observations came from my B&W 602 series 3 speakers)

Prince's "Xpectation" album: The track "Xcogitate" has a flute playing about 2 minutes in that sounded VERY flute like. It was airy and metallic sounding; exactly like a real flute sounds to me. The Sierra's do not reproduce this metallic sound at all. The flute sounds like it's made of wood. It doesn't sound metallic in any way.

Prince's "Karmasutra" album (an opera he wrote that is just cool to listen to): The track "At Last... The Lost Is Found", there is a bassy tone that bounces around the stage that I use for identifying how well the stage is focused. The Sierra's stage very well and easily disappear just like my B&W's do. However this bassy tone sounded weird and almost fake. Sorry, but this is the best I can describe it. It sounds produced and not real, but has a distinct clarity...

Prince's "Karmastutra" album: The track "Cutz" is a neat track for metallic percussion. He uses scissors, bells, and other assorted metallic items for a cool track. This was actually reproduces very well by the Sierra's and I wrote down "good" as it sounded similarly pleasant and real like I was used to with my B&W's.

Norah Jones's "Come Away With Me" album: The track "Don't Know Why" sounded wrong. The piano doesn't sound like a percussion instrument. It sounded more electronically produced. It had no metallic quality that I was used to hearing. My kids play piano and I'm very familiar with the sound. The B&W's produce it well, the Sierra's do not. But the worst thing of all is that Norah's voice was piercing and made me squint my eyes a little. Her voice was not sweet or warm and sultry. Instead her voice was smooth and very strongly midrange pronounced. Again, I'm sorry if this sounds moronic. I'm trying here.

Dianna Krall's "The Very Best Of Dianna Krall" album: The track "You Go To My Head" has the drummer with brushes on the snare drum that is way too pronounced. It's like the mic was about an inch away from the brushes and it over takes the song. It sounded like brushes with the B&W's while it CLEARLY sounds like static on the Sierra's. It was shocking to me. I couldn't make out the sound correctly at all. Dianna's voice didn't sounded nice or inviting either. The Sierra's made me not care about her voice at all. Nothing appealing about her voice at all. I feel the opposite about her on my B&W's.

Nine Inch Nails' "Pretty Hate Machine" album: The track "Sanctified" is one that I'm very familiar with. I wanted to hear how the Sierra's would handle Trent's use of distortion. That part was actually ok, but I while I didn't write down anything else in particular for this track, I immediately missing subtleties in the music. Small soft tones are just missing. I'll listen more and try to pinpoint the time where the tones appear to be missing if anyone else has and or likes this album.

In general I'll comment on some Jean-Luc Ponty material. Jean uses a lot of cymbals in his music. I can't describe the tonality of the cymbals other than like this: To me, the cymbals tonality reminded me of when I was doing some critical listening to MP3 compression levels. At anything less than 192kbs, cymbals sounded lifeless and deadened. As if someone was holding a finger on the metal causing it to roll of quickly and die. No air about them and no realness to them. Lifeless is about how they sound to me. Jean also has several tracks with bongos in them. The bongos don't sound correct either. They're sort of there without sounding real. They sound electronically produced instead of sounding like a musician hitting them.

In general Fourplay's music is very beautiful. Delicate, inviting, and just cool to listen to. The Sierra's just don't make me care about the music at all. It doesn't have that life to it. Again, I realize how sad my descriptions are.

One think that I've never liked about the B&W's is that they just don't some some music and will stick it in your face; very unpleasant. 30 Seconds To Mars is like this. Their music has very pronounced cymbals and the B&W's just shove that right at you so you can't stand it. To me the Sierra's were worse. The cymbal tones are more lifeless, but they too shove them in your face and it sounds even less attractive.

Now before any of you start to think I'm a complete idiot, I'd like to mention that I've had the Sierra's playing softly the entire time I've been typing this. I'll actually comment that they sound pretty damn good at lower volume. Dianna Krall's voice sounds more pleasant and cymbals sound metallic and more clear and real. I can't really play it any louder as my kids are in bed now, but I'm going to give them a better chance over the next few days.

I don't know much about break-in, but maybe I need to let the Sierra's open up a bit. I was reminded by a friend earlier tonight that I hated my 602's for the first couple of days or so as well. All I remember was adding enough toe-in to get them almost on axis which made them come alive. However, I couldn't listen to them like that now. They sit 13' apart and are toed in about 5 degrees. I sit 15' away from them.

Overall, I'd just like to say that as of right now I could easily put these things back in their box to ship them back and not feel bad about it. I'm not even going to open the center channel speaker up right now. I'll give them the rest of the week and I'll play with placement a little more, but I think there is little to gain there.

Overall all I was worried about the small speakers in my rather large room. Well I can safely tell you that there is nothing small about the sound. My room is every bit as filled with sound as it ever was with the B&W's. Impressive considering that the Sierra's look to be literally half the size of the B&W's. There is a HUGE difference in size.

I'm trying to get a couple of friends to come over later this week to listen to both sets of speakers. Neither of them reads forums and neither of them will hear my comments. I'm just going to ask them over and play one set and then the other to see what they objectively think. I don't think that'll happen until late in the week or the weekend, so if break-in is actually an issue, they should be ready to go by then. I'll run only the Sierra's as much as I can until they come over.

Edit: I just realized that you can't list equipment in your sigs here. FYI: I running an Emotiva MMC-1/ISP-1 (pre-pro/amp) combo to power my speakers. I've only ran the B&W's and Sierra's with a x-over point of 70Hz with my SVS 20-39 PC+ filling in the bottom end.
post #2 of 450
Hey TJHUB... Thanks for taking the time for posting your thoughts on the Sierra's..... I know you were using the SE Wisc. thread as a primer for gathering thoughts on what speakers you could possibly connect with, it sounds to me that the Sierra's didn't hit the mark with you... thats to bad, don't feel bad about it.. everyone's connection is different with any given speaker... I can't say that I really had enough time with the Sierra's to fully wrap my brain/ears around them. From the brief time that I had them here at my house, I thought they were pretty accurate, but like the SVS's to me I couldn't connect with them. Something just wasn't right to me, so I sent them back and went in another direction.

I played Piano for 10 yrs and have an intimate relationship and memory of the sound, so when you brought up the Nora Jones thoughts, I felt compelled to play them on my new to me Paradigm Sig S4's.. I find them to reproduce the Piano perfectly.... In comparison to the B&W's, I found the Digm's to be more engaging, a bit forward on the mid's but that is something that I like and need, where the Piano lives...

Have you had some time with any Paradigms at all? Sounds to me like your adventure isn't complete and you need to sample more speakers to find the love.

Don't feel bad about not connecting with this product or that, your in search for that speaker that gives you the goose bumps... for me its obviously the Digm's.... for others its something else... find "The One" for you..
post #3 of 450
I've never heard the Sierras but I'd say the same thing for any speaker....give them some time....run them and let them break in just in case, and definitely invite your friends over and have them also give some opinions

Your account is very interesting....I'd be interested to see what you think after a week or two. After all, the Sierras are practically giant killers based on the hype and I'd like to see whether they are really some kinks in the armor
post #4 of 450
From what I gathered from your post you seem to be looking for that detail and separation in the highs without dealing with a slightly forward midrange. From this I think you would be a perfect candidate for Dali speakers. Try to get a hold of a pair of the Dali Ikon 2 to see if they fit the bill. They don't have much low end grunt but you are using a sub so it won't matter. I believe they will deliver the separation and detail you are looking for.
post #5 of 450
Wow, that is really too bad. You say the Sierras make you feel like not listening to music. Mine do the exact opposite.

You really should not put them on wooden file cabinets. Put them on the speakers stands you have, even if it's a little low.

p.s. Should a piano sound metallic? I've never heard it described that way.
post #6 of 450
Along with putting them on your stands, I would also check to see if they are in phase/connected correctly.

Other than that, listen some more, and if they don't float your boat, pack them up and send them back.
post #7 of 450
Could be metal tweeter vs soft dome i wonder? I always felt metal tweeters were always a little more detailed, definitely percussion instruments sound different on soft dome vs metal.
post #8 of 450
Thread Starter 
First of all I'd really like to thank you guys for not crusifying me. I didn't know what to expect as I'm relatively new to this forum. I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm used to the Audi guys (tough group!).

I am COMPLETELY disappointed. I'm not sure what to think, but I will absolutely give them more time to either have the speakers or my ears "break-in".

Here are a few pics of how I set them up for tonight only. I also have one of my 602's for size comparison:







I wanted to put the Sierra's on some cheap stands I had, but they are just too big for the other design. Then I tried to remove the B&W's from their stands and that's a no go as I apparently used too much double sided tape. I already damaged one stand trying to remove the speaker. I'll have to fix that tomorrow... I do have some Sanus SF26 stands coming Thursday for the Sierra's (as I thought is was a no brainer I would love them), but now that I'm not in love with them I really don't want to open the new stands. I'll try the Sierra's on stools or something tomorrow. I just need to find something better than to file cabinets...

Warpdrv: Yes I was using your get together and a boat load of other sources when I picked the Sierra's. I'm just not yet hearing what you guys did. I'm hoping my friends can give me their opinions as well to help me out. We'll see what happens.

I have listened to Paradigms often. I've always liked them, but I was never sure if I'd pick them over my B&W's. I'd hate to buy Paradigms and be stuck with them. That's why Ascend was so attractive. Buy 'em, try 'em in MY room, and if you're not happy, send them back. What's better than that?

Again, I'll give them at least through the weekend to settle in. I'll play them as often as I can. We'll see what happens from there. I'll try to keep this thread updated if things are changing.

Thanks.
post #9 of 450
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Along with putting them on your stands, I would also check to see if they are in phase/connected correctly.

Other than that, listen some more, and if they don't float your boat, pack them up and send them back.

As in my previous post, I really can't put them on my current stands. I have some small stools I use for shows at work. I'm going to bring those home tomorrow, but I'm not hearing issues with the way I have the speakers mounted (even though I realize it's bad).

I would have picked up a phase issue quickly, but I did check anyway. They are wired correctly (at least on the outside ).

If I do have to send them back, I can't begin to tell you how disappointing that'll be to me.
post #10 of 450
Besides the horrible speaker stand, they are too close to your cabinet. You need to bring them forward about 7-8 inches and about 7-8 inches away from the cabinet. I guess right about where the B&Ws are. Having them on that wooden file TV cabinet is REALLY bad for the sound.

p.s You also need to move the B&W speaker. Sound from the Sierras is bouncing off the B&W.
post #11 of 450
From the pictures, I'll add another suggestion, get the Sierra on the same plain as the B&W and in front of the entertainment center. If that is the position you are listening to them, then the B&W is causing an immediate reflection.
post #12 of 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

If I do have to send them back, I can't begin to tell you how disappointing that'll be to me.

Yeah...but someone else will get a deal on "B" stock.
post #13 of 450
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post

Could be metal tweeter vs soft dome i wonder? I always felt metal tweeters were always a little more detailed, definitely percussion instruments sound different on soft dome vs metal.

This is my thought as well. I was really hoping that the Sierra's would help broaden my genre specific B&W's (as they love jazz, but hate anything like Korn, etc.). I'm just not hearing that either.

I run soft domes in my car (A/D/S 346cs components) as metal domes get way too harsh for car environements to my ears. I've always liked the B&W's even though they are the lowest in the line up. I was hoping to move up in the world with the Sierra's.
post #14 of 450
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

From the pictures, I'll add another suggestion, get the Sierra on the same plain as the B&W and in front of the entertainment center. If that is the position you are listening to them, then the B&W is causing an immediate reflection.

I just moved the B&W in for the pics. During all of my listening, both B&W's were sitting in my foyer about 12' away. I have the Sierra's sitting exactly where I normally had the B&W's, but a little more toed so that the Sierra's are more on axis (trying to add some "life").
post #15 of 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

(trying to add some "life").

I think that's the key. You like the treble of the B&W's better.
post #16 of 450
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I think that's the key. You like the treble of the B&W's better.

I think so too. I think I'm looking for that delicate detail that the Sierra's don't seem to have.

Do you think the Sierra's need some break-in time? Or is my audition already over?
post #17 of 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

I think so too. I think I'm looking for that delicate detail that the Sierra's don't seem to have.

Do you think the Sierra's need some break-in time? Or is my audition already over?

I actually think the Sierras excel in detail, nothing in excess.

If you are looking for the highs or lows that the 60x series has, you are not going to get it with the Sierra. As I mention on the Ascend forum, the sound is very different. They have different goals.

IMO, with you owning and liking the B&W for so long, the only chance the Sierra has is an extended listen and your taste changes, but I think the odds are against it. Heck, you have 30 days though.
post #18 of 450
You should at least put them on proper stands.

http://ultimateavmag.com/speakersyst...BW/index4.html

It looks like the 602s have a bit of a peak around 9khz. That would definitely give them more presence in the high frequencies.
post #19 of 450
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I actually think the Sierras excel in detail, nothing in excess.

If you are looking for the highs or lows that the 60x series has, you are not going to get it with the Sierra. As I mention on the Ascend forum, the sound is very different. They have different goals.

IMO, with you owning and liking the B&W for so long, the only chance the Sierra has is an extended listen and your taste changes, but I think the odds are against it. Heck, you have 30 days though.

Thanks. I will give them more time and I'll figure out what I like as well.
post #20 of 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcjago View Post

You should at least put them on proper stands.

http://ultimateavmag.com/speakersyst...BW/index4.html

It looks like the 602s have a bit of a peak around 9khz. That would definitely give them more presence in the high frequencies.

It is a saddle curve with also a peak at 1.5khz....right in the region where the ear is most sensitive. With the saddle curve of the 602, I definitely understand the Sierra being not as lively and not your cup o' tea.
post #21 of 450


http://www.audioxpress.com/reviews/media/AX201DA.pdf

I wonder if there's any relation between the brightness and the 7KHz breakup mode for the 602s. The reviewer, Joseph D'appolito (who I believe is famous for MTM designs) points this out. Actually this review in general is excellent, probably one of the best i've ever seen with great commentary.

Now i don't know if the drivers were replaced in the S3s...maybe this 7KHz peak is gone? Who knows. Reading some of the reviews it's hard to tell, although the driver enclosure/cabinent/crossovers had a pretty big overhaul from S2 to S3. Maybe someone can clarify.
post #22 of 450
That reviews the series 2, not the series 3.

Joseph D'appolito actually designs speakers for Usher now....and yes, well known for his MTM designs.

1.5khz is right in the middle of the flute's range. I wish the chart showed high-hats and cymbals.
post #23 of 450
I have been doing some comparison between my Sierras and a pair of NHT Classic 3s which are a 3 way all metal design.

I do hear some difference in the upper mids and high frequencies. With the NHTs this range seems a tad clearer. The Sierras sound just a bit softer here.

On the other hand, the sierras seem to have more detailed upper bass as well as a bit more impact in this range. With the NHTs, kick drums sound weaker.

On the NHTs I find my attention drawn too much towards the cymbals. Overall I prerfer the Sierras.

I just listened to some Norah Jones and I think I know what you mean about the piano on "Don't know why." I actually don't like that track very much compared to the other tracks on the album.

In particular - "Seven years" - Around 1:15, "Come away with me" or "The Day is Done."

In most of her songs it does seem like the piano is in the background and not that clear. You should hear "Somewhere over the rainbow" by Tori Amos. I think it's the most beautiful song I've ever heard. And the piano around 3:00 is very clear and realistic. I can send it to you to try.
post #24 of 450
Hi Tjhub,

First and foremost, I am quite pleased that the Sierra-1 are managing to fill your large room as well as your B&W. I recall that being your primary concern. The size difference in your pictures is rather shocking; I didn’t realize the Sierra-1 were that small in comparison!

As you know, you have been used to listening to your B&W speakers for a long time now. Unless we regularly listen to many different loudspeakers, what we are used to listening to generally becomes our frame of reference, such that something that sounds different from your reference, might sound “not quite right”.

My best advice to you would be to put those B&W’s away for a week or two, become better acquainted with the Sierra’s (you would be shocked at what a difference a few days can make) and after some time, go back to the B&W’s. These are very different loudspeakers, with different design goals. This line of B&W’s is typical of the “British Sound” or a “smile” curve response, where the highs and lower mids and midbass are accentuated in comparison to the midrange, which will indeed make the speaker sound more lively. In comparison, the Sierra-1, which is more neutral – providing a more accurate response will not sound as lively in the highs and lows, yet the midrange will be more forward… From reading your descriptions, this is precisely the differences you are hearing…. - that and the differences between a metal dome and soft dome tweeter.

One item you mentioned several times is that you are not getting a “metallic” sound with the Sierra-1, that you prefer with your B&W. You mentioned that even a flute passage sounded metallic with the B&W --- that is one instrument that should never have a metallic sound to it. You might be hearing cone resonance which is typical of metal dome tweeters. This distortion, or metallic sound you hear should not be there even though you might actually prefer it, it can actually make a speaker sound more detailed.

What you are getting with the Sierra-1 is a speaker that is delivering a more accurate representation of your source material, while your 602 is providing a response with a bit more “flavor”. For many listeners, that added “flavor” is something to avoid at all costs, for others it is preferred.

For you, at this time – with only a few hours on the Sierra-1, you prefer the flavor and that is absolutely OK. After a week or two, you still might prefer the sound you are used to and that too is perfectly OK – or, you might find that this different type of sound begins to grow on you a bit.

You have received some excellent setup advice so far – definitely give the Sierra-1 more “space” – you have close reflections on both sides of the speaker (not a good thing) and a speaker stand can do wonders. Either way, spend some time – take advantage of the trial period and get to know them. Try to avoid making constant comparisons with your B&W’s until you have had a week or two with the Sierra. If after a few weeks you still prefer your B&W’s – send them on back to us. It is perfectly OK and you should not feel bad or feel guilty about it… I don’t expect every customer who listens to the Sierra-1 to love them. It would be quite nice if we could achieve 100% customer satisfaction, however, I have been doing this for ¼ century now and have learned and accepted that 100% customer satisfaction is an absolute impossibility. Nice to strive for, but never achievable… If it were, there would be very few loudspeaker brands and models out there

One item that is important to note is that the 602 is considerably more efficient than the Sierra-1 (not surprising considering the difference in size). The Sierra-1 will require a good deal more power from your receiver/amp to deliver the same listening levels that you are used to. If you don’t mind me asking, what amp or receiver are you using?

All that being said, of most importance – don’t feel any stress and pressure; just have some fun with it all…
post #25 of 450
yeah, don't feel compelled to love a speaker just because everybody else does. Back when Axiom was flavour of the year, everybody kept raving about their value, and how you save money and they sound neutral etc, I heard them and go "what the hell?". Utterly disappointing to the max. The one I heard was completely wrong. I was wondering if my hearing was bad and then I went and listened to more speakers and found the one I liked.

I will say that if your ears are accustomed to a certain sound, others will sound a bit wrong, and sometimes your ears will adjust. But in this case I don't think the Sierra will ever please you. There are probably dozens of other speakers you should consider instead of trying to adapt to the Sierras. I'm not a fan of soft domes myself, I like a detailed sound but not overly bright. Whenever I hear live music, I'm always amazed how cymbals, flutes, high hats sound in real life, very crisp, and too many speakers I've heard blunt that sound.
post #26 of 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

I will say that if your ears are accustomed to a certain sound, others will sound a bit wrong, and sometimes your ears will adjust. But in this case I don't think the Sierra will ever please you. There are probably dozens of other speakers you should consider instead of trying to adapt to the Sierras.

Not sure if "adapt to the Sierras" is the proper term. It's more like re-calibrating your ears as to what sounds right. To take an extreme example, moving from a pair of Klipschorns to a pair of Quad 989s would not be an easy transition, but ultimately one would prefer one over the other. Listening for a week or two to the Quads will help put the overall sound into perspective.

And he does have 30 days to do it. If the OP has to place the Sierras up against the wall as they are now, I agree they won't be right for him. But if he can give them the necessary space and place them at the proper height, then it makes sense to take the trial to the max to make sure. He does have them in his home, after all. Ultimately they may not float his boat, but he really should give them a chance and proper setup.
post #27 of 450
Looking at the pictures, they deserve to be placed on stands where the B&Ws are on. Or at least temporarily move the B&Ws away and bring the cabinet forward and outward.

Placement is so important. Perfect excuse for new stands?
post #28 of 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

Not sure if "adapt to the Sierras" is the proper term. It's more like re-calibrating your ears as to what sounds right.

And what makes the sierra the authority on what should sound right?
post #29 of 450
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend View Post

Hi Tjhub,

First are foremost, I am quite pleased that the Sierra-1 are managing to fill your large room as well as your B&W. I recall that being your primary concern. The size difference in your pictures is rather shocking; I didn't realize the Sierra-1 were that small in comparison!

As you know, you have been used to listening to your B&W speakers for a long time now. Unless we regularly listen to many different loudspeakers, what we are used to listening to generally becomes our frame of reference, such that something that sounds different from your reference, might sound not quite right.

My best advice to you would be to put those B&W's away for a week or two, become better acquainted with the Sierra's (you would be shocked at what a difference a few days can make) and after some time, go back to the B&W's. These are very different loudspeakers, with different design goals. This line of B&W's is typical of the British Sound or a smile curve response, where the highs and lower mids and midbass are accentuated in comparison to the midrange, which will indeed make the speaker sound more lively. In comparison, the Sierra-1, which is more neutral - providing a more accurate response will not sound as lively in the highs and lows, yet the midrange will be more forward From reading your descriptions, this is precisely the differences you are hearing. - that and the differences between a metal dome and soft dome tweeter.

One item you mentioned several times is that you are not getting a metallic sound with the Sierra-1, that you prefer with your B&W. You mentioned that even a flute passage sounded metallic with the B&W --- that is one instrument that should never have a metallic sound to it. You might be hearing cone resonance which is typical of metal dome tweeters. This distortion, or metallic sound you hear should not be there even though you might actually prefer it, it can actually make a speaker sound more detailed.

What you are getting with the Sierra-1 is a speaker that is delivering a more accurate representation of your source material, while your 602 is providing a response with a bit more flavor. For many listeners, that added flavor is something to avoid at all costs, for others it is preferred.

For you, at this time - with only a few hours on the Sierra-1, you prefer the flavor and that is absolutely OK. After a week or two, you still might prefer the sound you are used to and that too is perfectly OK - or, you might find that this different type of sound begins to grow on you a bit.

You have received some excellent setup advice so far - definitely give the Sierra-1 more space - you have close reflections on both sides of the speaker (not a good thing) and a speaker stand can do wonders. Either way, spend some time - take advantage of the trial period and get to know them. Try to avoid making constant comparisons with your B&W's until you have had a week or two with the Sierra. If after a few weeks you still prefer your B&W's - send them on back to us. It is perfectly OK and you should not feel bad or feel guilty about it I don't expect every customer who listens to the Sierra-1 to love them. It would be quite nice if we could achieve 100% customer satisfaction, however, I have been doing this for ¼ century now and have learned and accepted that 100% customer satisfaction is an absolute impossibility. Nice to strive for, but never achievable If it were, there would be very few loudspeaker brands and models out there

One item that is important to note is that the 602 is considerably more efficient than the Sierra-1 (not surprising considering the difference in size). The Sierra-1 will require a good deal more power from your receiver/amp to deliver the same listening levels that you are used to. If you don't mind me asking, what amp or receiver are you using?

All that being said, of most importance - don't feel any stress and pressure; just have some fun with it all

Dave,

I'd like to thank you for your post. As in every post I've seen you make, I really appreciate your thoughts. You're a class act and that's inspiring.

You've seen some of my posts where my biggest concern was the small size of the Sierra's. The immediately ended when I fired them up. I'm not going to say they sound like multi-driver floor standers, but they certainly don't sound like their size either. They seem to effortlessly fill my room with full sound. I can tell the efficiency is down. My 602's are 90db and at my preset max volume, the 602's put out about 93db at my listening position. I'd say the Sierra's at the same volume level are about 85-88db. They played that volume without sounding stressed at all.

I've read every review, get together, and post I could find on the Sierra's and I think I'm the first to have much of anything negative to say. Don't think for one second that this doesn't make me wonder just what the heck is wrong with me.

I am going to take your (as well as others on this thread) advice and only play the Sierra's for a while; at least through the weekend at a minimum. I will listen as objectively as I can and continue to bounce through my eclectic music collection.

I also want to mention that I have an RTA setup, and while not the greatest, it has proven to be a good tool. My B&W's actually run pretty flat at my listening position from about 70Hz up with a slight roll-off at around 18kHz. They do have a wide 250Hz bump which from memory was about +4db or so. I think I can hear this difference in frequency response between the B&W's and the Sierra's. The B&W's have a fuller bottom end which may account for some female vocals having a more sultry tone to them over the Sierra's.

It's interesting that you think I may have become accustomed to the typical "British sound". Maybe I have. I've never really considered that as a possibility, but I suppose it's certainly possible.

I will do everything I can to properly setup the Sierra's and give them some time to grow on me. I have them and I've spent the money, so I'll try to get the most out of them I can. Maybe I'll come to some sort of realization of sorts one way or the other...

As I stated at the end of my original post, I'm powering the speakers with an Emotiva setup I've owned for about 3 weeks now. I have the MMC-1/ISP-1 combo. The ISP-1 amp is a class H 150wrms/channel @ 8ohms. I really believe this is enough to drive the Sierra's louder than I want to listen.

I'm off to spend a week or two of listening (objectively) to the Sierra's with no B&W's anywhere in sight. We'll see what happens.

As a side note: Listening to the Sierra's this morning, I'm going to retract my negative comment about the flute tone in that first track I listed. Today for some reason it sounded perfectly fine and this was right after switching to Sierra's again from the B&W's. Cymbals, Piano, and female vocals still not good for me.

Thanks to everyone for being cool about this thread.

FWIW: Here is a link to one of the better reviews I've seen of the B&W 602.s3's The review is from 2003 and includes some measurements as well.
post #30 of 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

And what makes the sierra the authority on what should sound right?

I guess you conveniently missed this part of my reply:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

Ultimately they may not float his boat, but he really should give them a chance and proper setup.

The OP will know his authority when he's heard it.
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