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Best speakers for ~ $1000 for a fairly small room? - Page 2

post #31 of 90
Thread Starter 
Are Dynaudio x12's better all-around than Sierra-1's? What about Sierra-1 NRT? I ask because I can get these used for roughly the same price as the Sierra-1 standard right now.

Reviews of the x12 look very good but again, it's impossible for me to compare. "Silky midrange" "detailed highs" are said about both speakers, so I have no clue as to which is better.
Edited by ac500 - 10/9/12 at 12:52pm
post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Are Dynaudio x12's better all-around than Sierra-1's? What about Sierra-1 NRT? I ask because I can get these used for roughly the same price as the Sierra-1 standard.

Not sure. I have never heard the Sierra myself. Best would be to audition. Try to find someone local. I believe there is an Ascend owners thread on here.
post #33 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewTT View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Are Dynaudio x12's better all-around than Sierra-1's? What about Sierra-1 NRT? I ask because I can get these used for roughly the same price as the Sierra-1 standard.

Not sure. I have never heard the Sierra myself. Best would be to audition. Try to find someone local. I believe there is an Ascend owners thread on here.

He's setup to come to my place Thursday...
post #34 of 90
Thread Starter 
I've also located where I can audition Dynaudio x12s, so fortunately it looks like I will be able to listen to these and decide which I like best smile.gif
post #35 of 90
Auditioning them for yourself is a good thing - but try to do it in the same room at the same time.

If you audition them in different rooms, you're really auditioning the rooms as much as the speakers.
post #36 of 90
Thread Starter 
I was able to audition Dynaudio x12s, KEF Q300s, KEF R300s, and Paradigm Studio 20s all in the same room.

Dynaudio x12: I thought this sounded absolutely underwhelming, don't ask me why. They were "okay" at best IMO. Maybe they were too laid back, or lacking detail, or something. I don't know.

KEF Q300s: Very good, but didn't thrill me. Treble wasn't quite as detailed as I'd like, and bass seemed a bit thin too. Overall I did like the general timbre though.

KEF R300s: Loved these. Sounded really great all-around, from the low end all the way up. IMO these sounded perfectly balanced to my ears, detailed, yet smooth, etc. Very happy with the sound.

Paradigm Studio 20s: Also loved these. Honestly I couldn't really decide which I liked better, these or the KEF R300s. I think the Studio 20s have a tiny bit too much treble presence, but I really liked the quality all-around. No sibilance at all like I heard in another audio shop, so it must have been the recording, or the room. So the treble isn't at all a deal-breaker, although I don't know how they'd sound in my smaller room without treatment.

If the Ascend Sierra-1s NRT sound close to as good as the Paradigm Studio 20s, or KEF R300s, I'll be quite happy. I'd be happy with any of those two I just mentioned, except they're a bit above my target budget for now. I'll shop around used though and see what I can learn.

On another note, I've sold some more of my old headphone equipment, so I can fairly comfortably raise my speaker-only budget to $1300 ish (I already have the Harmon Kardon receiver on its way in the mail!) This means the Ascend Sierra-1 NRT is exactly what my sights are on, versus the Studio 20s or KEF R300 I heard and liked so far.
Edited by ac500 - 10/9/12 at 6:14pm
post #37 of 90
Just goes to show how important auditions are. I am not that surprised that you didn't really like the Dyns if you are used to your HD800's sound. The Dyn's are smooth but you really need to be in their Focus line. That's where it gets really good, IMO. I auditioned the Focus 160 and loved it but they are $2,900.

To me, Kef and Paradigm sound more "crisp". Although, I think Paradigm's Signature line sounds just right with the Beryllium tweeter, the little time I've spent with the S1s.
post #38 of 90
Another good used speaker would be either the PSB Synchrony B One or the Monitor Audio GX50. I haven't heard either of these myself but they have gotten really good reviews. The GX50 has a ribbon tweeter.
post #39 of 90
Thread Starter 
Yeah. I really need that "crispness" to make violin, brass, etc. sound "right". Otherwise it sounds muffled versus real life (have you ever heard a trumpet in front of you? :P) What I did really like about these speakers though, versus my HD800s, is that they are simultaneously capable of that crisp sound without sacrificing a smooth lush lower end, which is extremely important too. Obviously there are a lot of other advantages too. I'm happy that the treble is not disappointing on these, although it's not as good as my HD800s, it's certainly satisfyingly detailed enough.

On this topic, I hope the Sierra1 NRTs are detailed enough in the treble as well. I guess I'll find out soon enough, in any case.

Edit: Thanks for the additional suggestions. Hmm.. Too bad it's so tedious tracking down ways of auditioning so many different things, especially used / older versions.
post #40 of 90
Just get some Martin Logan CLX's and you'll be set smile.gif

I was gonna ask if they still made the Sierra-1's.... I looked them up and found threads from 2008, so I guess they don't. So now I understand why this is going to be so hard on you. Especially if you want to demo them. I'm personally not much of a "bookshelf" speaker guy... but from reading many reviews, some of the best speakers are just that.

How much did the Sierra-1's MSRP at when they first came out? Sorry I'm just gathering info, I don't have much to add. I currently have Martin Logan Motion Series speakers (12's, 4's and 8) I may be looking to upgrade soon and I'm not sure what direction I should go in.

Good Luck in your search AC.
post #41 of 90
Thread Starter 
> I was gonna ask if they still made the Sierra-1's.... I looked them up and found threads from 2008, so I guess they don't.

What do you mean? The Sierra-1's are still in production and available to order on Ascend's website, unless I'm missing something here.
post #42 of 90
Really?? I found this thread from 2008 and I assumed these were the same speakers.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1000092/am-i-the-only-one-who-doesnt-like-ascend-acoustics-sierra-1s
post #43 of 90
I looked at the website and looked at the thread and they are the same speakers.... Very strange, I don't remember seeing a line of speakers being made for 4 straight years... normally they upgrade some things within that time and make a new model. I guess if it's not broke, Don't fix it!! smile.gif
post #44 of 90
Thread Starter 
In any case, I don't really care if they haven't been upgraded in the past 4 years. As long as they're still better than the competition at this price point, I'll be happy. And it appears (from every recent review I find) that they're still better. After 4 years, that's pretty impressive if you think about it.

Anyway, I'm really glad I'll have a chance to hear them before buying, so I can find out for myself if I like them better than the Paradigm Studio 20s or KEF R300s.
Edited by ac500 - 10/9/12 at 10:04pm
post #45 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

In any case, I don't really care if they haven't been upgraded in the past 4 years, as long as they're still better than the competition at this price point -- which does still seem to be the case today. Pretty impressive if you think about it.
Anyway, I'm really glad I'll have a chance to hear them before buying, so I can find out for myself if I like them better than the Paradigm Studio 20s.

I agree 100% with that!! Very impressive indeed.

I know that when I bought my Martin Logans they had an MSRP of $1500 a pair and got them for $600, that was a steal.

Anyway, I'm glad that you get to hear them first it's the only way to buy speakers... more then that, for your sake, I hope they are as good or better then the Paradigm. I'll check this thread later to see what you have to say about them.
post #46 of 90
I just read a review on the Ascend Sierra-1 and they mostly said really good things about them. It sounds like they will be great for you. Just be sure to spend the extra $$ for the NRT tweeter/xover upgrade.

EDIT... acutally you don't "have" to get the upgrade, it was just suggested by the person reviewing the speakers. He said the mid range was excellent but the highs were lacking.... but getting that upgrade takes care of that issue.

AC, I have a question about your setup. What are you planning on using your new speakers for? HT or Music? Both? If you plan on running a HT, what center channel are you planning on pairing with these speakers? I'm guessing the Sierra-1 Center? http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1C/srm1c.html
Also, what about bass.. do you have a sub?
Edited by wichitadisciple - 10/9/12 at 11:08pm
post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by wichitadisciple View Post

I looked at the website and looked at the thread and they are the same speakers.... Very strange, I don't remember seeing a line of speakers being made for 4 straight years... normally they upgrade some things within that time and make a new model. I guess if it's not broke, Don't fix it!! smile.gif

Wow 4 whole years without new marketing, that is something, isn't it? It has been done before, though that's not everyone's business model. In the Sierra's case I believe it's 5 years actually, the "official" Sierra thread here is from May 2007. That's not their oldest speaker line either. There is the new Sierra tower, though, and with even newer tweeter tech upgradability, to a Raal over the NrT in the base model (the guy I bought my Sierras from was getting the new towers).

My Sierras were from the first gen (I bought a set of L/C/R used earlier this year, the center already had the NrT upgrade, I installed the upgrade for the L/R recently). The difference between the stock and NrT is subtle, one could be very happy with the base model. I have two other Ascend models, think they're very good and very reasonably priced (170SEs and 200SEs).
post #48 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Wow 4 whole years without new marketing, that is something, isn't it? It has been done before, though that's not everyone's business model.

Yes, it's actually pretty amazing. While reading on the Ascend website it says they have put 4-5 year into those speakers, so it sounds like they have been making improvements the entire time. Which is good to hear IMO. Most companies would have made a new model number for each enhancement they made. Ascend sounds like a very solid company, I do like their business model. Some companies use different model numbers because they put out junk and have to change the name to give the impression that the "new version" will be better.
post #49 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by wichitadisciple View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Wow 4 whole years without new marketing, that is something, isn't it? It has been done before, though that's not everyone's business model.

Yes, it's actually pretty amazing. While reading on the Ascend website it says they have put 4-5 year into those speakers, so it sounds like they have been making improvements the entire time. Which is good to hear IMO. Most companies would have made a new model number for each enhancement they made. Ascend sounds like a very solid company, I do like their business model. Some companies use different model numbers because they put out junk and have to change the name to give the impression that the "new version" will be better.

I think the 4-5 years you refer to was the original development period. I don't think there have been continual changes but only Dave Fabrikant can really answer that and maybe he will. I've been really happy dealing with them and the three models I have are all solid performers.
post #50 of 90
I'm not trying to hijack this thread, I've learned a bunch about book shelf speakers here... There is another AVS member in a different thread. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432946/need-help-picking-a-subwoofer-for-my-situation

He is looking for bookshelf speakers in the $600 range. I'm positive that you all would be able to help him out way more then I ever could.

Thanks
post #51 of 90
Thread Starter 
Thanks to lovinthehd's generosity, I got a chance to listen to the Ascend Sierra-1 NRTs. They definitely sound good. I think it's really hard to compare due to totally different rooms, but they reminded me a bit in sound signature/style to the Dynaudio x12s, but I liked the Sierra-1 better than the Dynaudio now that I think about it. This is a hard choice, because the Sierra-1 is really incredible value, but after having listened to Paradigm and KEF again, I think I realize I prefer more harsh treble than the Sierra.

This is probably because I'm so used to my HD800 though, which is why I'm still tempted to order the Sierra-1 and give it a try for a month. However, I absolutely loved my Sennheiser HD800 while I had it, and the Paradigm Studio 20 v5 sounds very much like an HD800 with meatier lows. It looks like I'll end up with a Paradigm Studio 20 v5 if I can find one used (since it seems they sell for $1400 or $1500 retail?)
post #52 of 90
post #53 of 90
Question about the Paradigm Studio 20s..... What is the difference between V3 and V5. Is there a huge difference in sound quality? How would Paradigm Studio 20 v3 compare to Ascend Sierra-1?

As far as the Paradigm Studio 20 v3's... what center channel goes with these speakers?
post #54 of 90
every 3-4 years paradigm refreshes thier lines of speakers either by adding something new or changing the style abit so every time they up the number. the v5 being the newest and the v4 came out around 2007,the v3 2004 and down theline.i would imagine that the newer versions sound better i owned the studio20 v2 back in 1999 and they where great then. and i also recently auditioned the sierras within the past few years and they where great also. but for me to compare them now wouldn't be fair. maybe someone who has heard the newer studios and the sierras can give you some insight.
post #55 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

every 3-4 years paradigm refreshes thier lines of speakers either by adding something new or changing the style abit so every time they up the number. the v5 being the newest and the v4 came out around 2007,the v3 2004 and down theline.i would imagine that the newer versions sound better i owned the studio20 v2 back in 1999 and they where great then. and i also recently auditioned the sierras within the past few years and they where great also. but for me to compare them now wouldn't be fair. maybe someone who has heard the newer studios and the sierras can give you some insight.

OK, thanks for your input though
post #56 of 90
I just went and auditioned the Paradigm Studio 20's... I really like them. The sales guy wanted to know why I was looking at the 20's, I was told that the only people who buy the 20's have small rooms and not enough space for the towers. He then showed me the Studio 60's and Studio 100's.

The 100's are out of my price range... but the 60's are doable.

What are your thoughs on what I was told by the sales guy?
post #57 of 90
Thread Starter 
I read a review where someone said the latest 100s didn't sound as good to him as the 20s.

What he probably meant though was that in general floorstanders will "fill the room" better than a bookshelf because they have more woofers and can spread the sound out more evenly. However I read a lot from people who say they much prefer bookshelf speakers plus subwoofer(s). Studio 20s do a very good job of filling the room with sound, but if your room happens to be particularly massive, some say that for the same price, you'll do even better with bookshelf speakers + sub, than just floorstanders. But again, this is probably an opinion that varies.

Maybe the salesman was trying to convince you to pay more for Studio 100s :P.
post #58 of 90
So then the 20's would work fine for me then. They do fill the room with sound, very rich and full sound at that. I have areally nice sub already so I don't need the woofers that the 60's or 100's provide.

How do the different versions of the Monitor speakers vary from eachother? ie... v2 vs. v3, v3 vs. v4, v4 vs. v5. The dealer told me the main difference was the frequency response. v5's will play higher and lower frequencies then the v3 will, for instance.

How do the 60's sound compared to the 20's?
post #59 of 90
Thread Starter 
I'm not really an expert, I'm quite new to this too. However from reviews the later versions seem distinctly superior all around, not just frequency response. I hope your dealer wasn't just reading off the spec sheets, because that means nothing. In addition to the reviews, the later versions also cost more as they include higher end components.

For example, Paradigm merged down technology from their higher end signature series into the Studio's. This increased the price of the Studios a bit, but it also means that a late version studio can sound better than an old SIgnature series, from what I've read.
post #60 of 90
The dealer also showed me the Monitor 7, 9 and 11's. From what I understand these are lower class then the Monitor 20's and 60's.
I priced the Monitor 60's + the Center Channel speaker... 1200 for each speaker and 600 for the center channel = 3K.... they do give 20% off Paradigm speakers though so that brings the total to $2400.

The monitor 20's are $800 each, if I recall correctly.
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