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Music Speakers

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am looking to buy new speakers for 2ch music listening. I've narrowed it down to the Nola Boxer and Ascend Sierra-1. Any help or opinions would be appreciated. If there is anything else I should look at, tell me.
post #2 of 15
The Sierra 1 is a nice-sounding speaker. It sounds a lot like the PSB Alpha B1 speaker. I think the PSB sounds a bit better, though, and sells for $299, whereas the Sierra 1 sells for over $800. IMO many less-expensive speakers outperform the Sierra 1 in every way. The same is true of the Nola.

A MUCH better speaker than either the Alpha 1 or Sierra 1, IMO, is the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-2, which sells for $489/pair on the Audio Advisor website. It also goes down to 42 Hz; in addition to sounding better in every way, it has much better bass response. This is an EXCELLENT speaker!! (see the Audio Advisor website for specs and details)

Another one that is much better than the Sierra 1 is the PSB Image B6. It sounds better and has more bass, and is $549; another excellent speaker.

Both of the above speakers have a 6 1/2 inch bass driver and have better bass than the Sierra 1, which has a 5 1/4-inch. The Sierra 1 specs claim it goes down to 39 Hz, but their own frequency response graph shows that it is 3db down at 46 Hz, so 39 Hz is nonsense.

The Nola Boxer is very comparable to the MA Bronze BX-2; they have very similar sound characteristics and capabilities. I have no idea why one would spend $1500 for the Nola, however. That is a ridiculous price for that speaker when there are many that better it for less than $800.

For $1200, one can buy the Dynaudio Excite X12, which is worth $1200! It is incredible! It has no competition at that price, IMO, if you want a small speaker rather than a tower speaker. It is truly an amazing speaker.

If the Dynaudio interests you, I suggest that you read the recent Stereophile review on it. Since you are apparently prepared to spend that much money, it should be of great interest indeed.

For $1300 you can buy the excellent PSB Image T6 tower speaker, however, which is another story entirely.






Quote:
Originally Posted by musicfan333 View Post

I am looking to buy new speakers for 2ch music listening. I've narrowed it down to the Nola Boxer and Ascend Sierra-1. Any help or opinions would be appreciated. If there is anything else I should look at, tell me.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The Sierra 1 is a nice-sounding speaker. It sounds a lot like the PSB Alpha B1 speaker. I think the PSB sounds a bit better, though, and sells for $299, whereas the Sierra 1 sells for over $800. IMO many less-expensive speakers outperform the Sierra 1 in every way. The same is true of the Nola.

A MUCH better speaker than either the Alpha 1 or Sierra 1, IMO, is the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-2, which sells for $489/pair on the Audio Advisor website. It also goes down to 42 Hz; in addition to sounding better in every way, it has much better bass response. This is an EXCELLENT speaker!! (see the Audio Advisor website for specs and details)

Another one that is much better than the Sierra 1 is the PSB Image B6. It sounds better and has more bass, and is $549; another excellent speaker.

Both of the above speakers have a 6 1/2 inch bass driver and have better bass than the Sierra 1, which has a 5 1/4-inch. The Sierra 1 specs claim it goes down to 39 Hz, but their own frequency response graph shows that it is 3db down at 46 Hz, so 39 Hz is nonsense.

The Nola Boxer is very comparable to the MA Bronze BX-2; they have very similar sound characteristics and capabilities. I have no idea why one would spend $1500 for the Nola, however. That is a ridiculous price for that speaker when there are many that better it for less than $800.

For $1200, one can buy the Dynaudio Excite X12, which is worth $1200! It is incredible! It has no competition at that price, IMO, if you want a small speaker rather than a tower speaker. It is truly an amazing speaker.

If the Dynaudio interests you, I suggest that you read the recent Stereophile review on it. Since you are apparently prepared to spend that much money, it should be of great interest indeed.

For $1300 you can buy the excellent PSB Image T6 tower speaker, however, which is another story entirely.

Not that I doubt you, as you are far senior to me on the forums, but I am interested in this as well, and was hoping you could provide something to back that up? It seems to disagree with every other opinion I've seen.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by awolf97 View Post

Not that I doubt you, as you are far senior to me on the forums, but I am interested in this as well, and was hoping you could provide something to back that up? It seems to disagree with every other opinion I've seen.

+1
Anyone else have anything to say?
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The Sierra 1 is a nice-sounding speaker. It sounds a lot like the PSB Alpha B1 speaker. I think the PSB sounds a bit better, though, and sells for $299, whereas the Sierra 1 sells for over $800. IMO many less-expensive speakers outperform the Sierra 1 in every way. The same is true of the Nola.

A MUCH better speaker than either the Alpha 1 or Sierra 1, IMO, is the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-2, which sells for $489/pair on the Audio Advisor website. It also goes down to 42 Hz; in addition to sounding better in every way, it has much better bass response. This is an EXCELLENT speaker!! (see the Audio Advisor website for specs and details)

Another one that is much better than the Sierra 1 is the PSB Image B6. It sounds better and has more bass, and is $549; another excellent speaker.

Both of the above speakers have a 6 1/2 inch bass driver and have better bass than the Sierra 1, which has a 5 1/4-inch. The Sierra 1 specs claim it goes down to 39 Hz, but their own frequency response graph shows that it is 3db down at 46 Hz, so 39 Hz is nonsense.

The Nola Boxer is very comparable to the MA Bronze BX-2; they have very similar sound characteristics and capabilities. I have no idea why one would spend $1500 for the Nola, however. That is a ridiculous price for that speaker when there are many that better it for less than $800.

For $1200, one can buy the Dynaudio Excite X12, which is worth $1200! It is incredible! It has no competition at that price, IMO, if you want a small speaker rather than a tower speaker. It is truly an amazing speaker.

If the Dynaudio interests you, I suggest that you read the recent Stereophile review on it. Since you are apparently prepared to spend that much money, it should be of great interest indeed.

For $1300 you can buy the excellent PSB Image T6 tower speaker, however, which is another story entirely.

Have you actually heard the Sierra-1, or are you just throwing your opinions about PSB and Monitor Audio around as facts again? What exactly do you claim makes the Alpha B1, BX-2, and Image B6 much better or outperform the Sierra-1 "in every way"?

You keep popping into threads, not just offering suggestions, but throwing around bold claims, and talking about how all of the other options mentioned in the thread are decidedly inferior. Not surprising, there are few who seem to agree with you. And to top it off, you plug Audio Advisor every time.

At least this time you qualify some of your comments as opinions, and not everything comes off as you stating "facts."



To the OP.... don't discount the Sierra-1 based on one man's post... The reviews (and measurements) of the Sierra aren't hard to find, and they're overwhelmingly positive. Not to say you shouldn't give some offerings from PSB and Monitor Audio a listen... but try to audition all you can, including the Sierra-1 (many Sierra owners are happy to arrange a demo - Ascend's forum has a thread to help new folks find owners in their area), and decide for yourself.
post #6 of 15
Given the price of the speakers you are looking at, it would seem best to audition both in home. If you have a local dealer for the Boxers and you can return them after trial, then you risk at most the cost of shipping the Ascends if you don't like them; they have a 30-day guarantee. If that refund includes the initial shipping, you are only out $30 to $40 if you don't like them. Seems worth it for knowing you made the right decision and it would be fun
post #7 of 15
Contact Dennis Murphy@Philharmonic Audio about his bookshelf speakers.
post #8 of 15
BTW, given your budget, if you're considering PSB, consider auditioning the Imagine B as well.

NHT offers a 30-day guarantee... So an audition of the Classic Three would be no risk to you, and it's another highly praised speaker.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

Have you actually heard the Sierra-1, or are you just throwing your opinions about PSB and Monitor Audio around as facts again? What exactly do you claim makes the Alpha B1, BX-2, and Image B6 much better or outperform the Sierra-1 "in every way"?

You keep popping into threads, not just offering suggestions, but throwing around bold claims, and talking about how all of the other options mentioned in the thread are decidedly inferior. Not surprising, there are few who seem to agree with you. And to top it off, you plug Audio Advisor every time.

At least this time you qualify some of your comments as opinions, and not everything comes off as you stating "facts."



To the OP.... don't discount the Sierra-1 based on one man's post... The reviews (and measurements) of the Sierra aren't hard to find, and they're overwhelmingly positive. Not to say you shouldn't give some offerings from PSB and Monitor Audio a listen... but try to audition all you can, including the Sierra-1 (many Sierra owners are happy to arrange a demo - Ascend's forum has a thread to help new folks find owners in their area), and decide for yourself.

I have to agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. I recently bought an LCR set of Sierra NrTs. They are decidedly better than the full size Mirage OM series they are replacing. No small feat for a speaker so diminutive in size compared to the Mirages.

I haven't heard any of the other speakers mentioned in the thread, but I can say the Ascends would be a hard act to follow. Crystal clear, incredibly detailed, very tight, and articulate. The bamboo cabinets alone cost more than the entire PSB Alphas. Cabinet resonance is a significant factor influencing sound quality, and Ascend has went well beyond the standard MDF boxes of small, inexpensive monitors.

There is a good reason to suggest auditioning speakers that meet your particular criteria, opinions, as the saying goes, are like (you know the word), everybody has got one.

Jay
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Both of the above speakers have a 6 1/2 inch bass driver and have better bass than the Sierra 1, which has a 5 1/4-inch. The Sierra 1 specs claim it goes down to 39 Hz, but their own frequency response graph shows that it is 3db down at 46 Hz, so 39 Hz is nonsense.

Our published full-range quasi-anechoic frequency response graph clearly shows a bass response of -3dB at 44Hz, which perfectly correlates to our published specifications.

The Sierra-1 specs as copied from our website:

Specifications

Typical In-Room Frequency Response 39Hz - 22kHz ± 3dB
In-Room Sensitivity 87dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter
Frequency Response (Anechoic) 44Hz - 22kHz ± 3dB


The -3dB @ 39Hz spec is, as stated, typical in-room response and I have personally measured the Sierra-1 flat to as low as 35Hz in some rooms. I hope you understand the difference between an anechoic and in-room response.

While you are certainly entitled to your opinions, although something tells me you have never even listened to our Sierra-1, please try to avoid such bold claims about published specifications without anything to back up your claim
post #11 of 15
Those are two noteworthy "finalists" you have chosen. The best advice I can give you is try to find someone locally that has them and see if they will demo for you.

There are lots of good speakers out there. Only way to know if you like them is listen to them. Bit just remember that the room acoustics has a lot to do with what you hear. A good speaker can sound like crap in a bad room/setup.

Good luck!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend View Post

. . . please try to avoid such bold claims about published specifications without anything to back up your claim

People here have repeatedly encouraged him to back off on all kinds of bold claims that can't be supported. Perhaps hearing from a well-known speaker designer will be a wake up call.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

People here have repeatedly encouraged him to back off on all kinds of bold claims that can't be supported. Perhaps hearing from a well-known speaker designer will be a wake up call.

That wake up call needs to be on Mars.

----------------------------

musicfan333: I know many owners of speakers who are brand loyal and will vouch for a favorite brand over another brand, even if they have not heard the second. I also know some who run from brand to brand in a frenetic search for the next BIG thing. I also know a few who look for obscure brands in the quest for a unique and "secret" find that makes them feel different and special. I know very few who've heard a wide range of speakers in the same environment who can then make reasonably accurate comparisons, and I know of no one who's heard a wide range of speakers in my house who can tell me how they'll sound.

In the final analysis, each can find justification for his or her approach, but the more practical way is to narrow your choices down as you have, get some opinions if you'd like, but more importantly listen to them at home. (I'm echoing this already-given advice.)

All the good will that can be found here still does not place the speakers in your home, which is the only place you'll know for certain how they sound. You have two good choices, and you'll know right away if one disappoints while the other delights if you hear them in your room. If they both equally delight, then you can choose the one that pleases you on some other level: finish, shape, whatever.

Good luck!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicfan333 View Post

I am looking to buy new speakers for 2ch music listening. I've narrowed it down to the Nola Boxer and Ascend Sierra-1. Any help or opinions would be appreciated. If there is anything else I should look at, tell me.


Music fan, what speakers did you end up going with????
post #15 of 15
Yeah, what did you end up choosing?
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