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***The Official Ascend Acoustics Sierra Thread*** - Page 7

post #181 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgl View Post

I drank from the happy pitcher and gave my CC number. Now awaiting 3 B-stock Sierra-1s to come available.

So there is not any b-stock now?
post #182 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

So there is not any b-stock now?

I think they are waiting on tweeters.
post #183 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

So there is not any b-stock now?

Sold out pretty quickly, but James thought a couple of weeks, certainly by the end of the month.
post #184 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgl View Post

Sold out pretty quickly, but James thought a couple of weeks, certainly by the end of the month.

I couldn't wait.... I ordered!!

Thats OK, I'll love them, and forget that savings before ya know it!!
post #185 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

I think they are waiting on tweeters.

He said A-stock wouldn't be a problem.
post #186 of 3097
eric...interested in what you think compared to your Classic Threes.
post #187 of 3097
Me too. I will also be compairing them to my home built Seas Odins and 12 year old Platinum Audio Solos.

I wish Craigsub would reconsider a blind comparison with the ACI Sapphires.
post #188 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgl View Post

I wish Craigsub would reconsider a blind comparison with the ACI Sapphires.

I am sure he will end up comparing them in one way or another, and posting.

Judging by other ACI's I have heard....it would be a different style of sound. mziegler and I are trying to find a pair of Sapphire XL's out here to compare, but owners seem to be enjoying them rather than on the boards.
post #189 of 3097
Nice to see a new product come along from David. I don't like playing the upgrade game (i.e. the S.E's) which I'm sure are a wonderful speaker - but is it really worth the trouble of selling classics (and possibly shipping them) just so you can enjoy a marginal (?) improvement in bass (which when using a subwoofer wouldn't be noticable anyway since I cut off my bass at 80 hz to begin with).

But now, these look good. You guys that are waiting for B-Stock - I'm waiting for December... that when it's forcast that my cancuk $ will be back to par with the almight greenback - and I'll order A-stock and be laughing all the way. I just hope David comes out with a dual woofer design on these (like he did when he took the 170's to 340's).

Besides, I have a deck to build, a yard to landscape, and a shed to build (love new homes - that's why you guys haven't seen too many posts from me in the past couple of years - but I've been checking in).

One thing I will say for the curosity seekers and ID doubters out there - I've had my classics for 2 1/2 years now and I still love 'em. For the money I still have not heard a better speaker (there are much better out there - I'm not saying that - but no where near that price). If there is one company I'd buy from (and I have major brokerage fee's to pay that ARE not refundable - when I buy a U.S. speaker- I pretty much have to keep it) sound unheard - it's Ascend. David really does give you value for your $.

Thanks for all the hard work David - I hope your family member recovers 100% and I'll be calling you once my $ is on par with yours

And let's get a second woofer in there if possible - call it the Sierra 2 - I'll be more than happy to own the first one
post #190 of 3097
Hey Kpt! Long time no see.

The differences between the 340 and the Sierra are not marginal, especially bass performance....truly a different league (IMO) all together overall.

Is it worth it? Over the classics? Most definitely. Over the SE's, I think so too. But in reality, it really depends on what you can sell the classics/SE's for, and what you are comfortable with.
post #191 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Hey Kpt! Long time no see.

The differences between the 340 and the Sierra are not marginal, especially bass performance....truly a different league (IMO) all together overall.

Is it worth it? Over the classics? Most definitely. Over the SE's, I think so too. But in reality, it really depends on what you can sell the classics/SE's for, and what you are comfortable with.

I think that the poster was questioning how much better the Sierras would be if one were using a good sub, crossed at 80 hz, with both the Sierras and the 340's. (No one seems to be disputing that the Sierras have more base than the 340's.)
post #192 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerwill View Post

I think that the poster was questioning how much better the Sierras would be if one were using a good sub, crossed at 80 hz, with both the Sierras and the 340's. (No one seems to be disputing that the Sierras have more base than the 340's.)

Understood...and I am saying it is more than just bass. Not easy to quantify how much better a speaker is over another.

Among other things the Sierras are cleaner and more resolving/revealing.
post #193 of 3097
Kpt_Krunch: The cdn $ is already very high at .94$ for 1$US, and might as well grab the Sierras at their introductory price & if you can B-stock... It'll make a much bigger difference than exchange rate, plus Ascend's sales/b-stocks seem to be extremely rare compared to other ID companies.

About brokerage fees, there's none if you get them shipped by USPS. Well 5 bucks... Almost nothing Me I just couldn't resist... Like you, Ascend would be the only company I'd be ready to buy unheard, can't wait for mine to get here!
post #194 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Understood...and I am saying it is more than just bass. Not easy to quantify how much better a speaker is over another.

Among other things the Sierras are cleaner and more resolving/revealing.

Thanks, CS. Yes, from what I have been hearing, the Sierras are even MORE clear, clean, and revealing than the 340's--which is saying a lot!
post #195 of 3097
I read KptKrunch's comment as between the Classics and the SEs not the Sierra as he intend to buy them.
post #196 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpon View Post

I read KptKrunch's comment as between the Classics and the SEs not the Sierra as he intend to buy them.

If that's the case, then I totally misunderstood the post and apologize.
post #197 of 3097
First the disclaimers:
- Different makes of speakers, more than any other component, vary greatly
in how they sound.
- Everyone has personal preferences and likes/dislikes in speakers.
- Everyone listens for, and notices, different things in the music they like.
- I think ID speakers provide a good value in sound quality for their cost.
So, before getting upset about what I, or what anyone, writes about speakers please, please, please, go listen for yourself. These are just my opinions.

Curtis was kind enough to let me invade his home and play lots of my CDs/dvd-a's last week so I could hear the Sierras myself. (Thanks Curtis!!) I'm a big fan of my current Ascend 340s, but then I started reading the descriptions about the new Sierras and how others thought they were a really worth while upgrade, so I had to get a chance to listen for myself.

The short version is that for me personally I'm really excited about the Sierras. I think they are going to be a really nice upgrade for me.

My observations:
The biggest improvements that I noticed were the definition and incredible imaging/placement of sounds. For 2 channel material I felt that each instrument was placed with great stability and with noticeable depth in the soundstage.
The tracks that stood out the most in my listening were Yello - Fat City, Santana - The Calling, and Gnarles Barkley - Who Cares. Vocals and instruments were so distinct and the imaging was so solid. I also noticed much more depth in each sound's placement. I could even perceive some of "space/ambiance" around each sound. Listening to Santana gave me tingles. I would anticipate the percussive hits and as they would strike they would be so clean/fast/tight/pow-bam. Sorry, I'm not sure what adjectives to use here. (go listen yourself ~2:50 in the track

We then watched some movie clips, and I thought the Sierras really helped in improving dialog intelligibility. I felt that I was able to hear the dialog much better because it seemed easier to "lock onto" and distinguish the dialog from all the other sound effects. Technically, it might be the new tweeter or because of the smooth off axis response?, but whatever the cause, I really liked it.

Lastly we listened to a dvd-a of Alan Parson's On Air for a test of multi-channel music. I wanted to hear if the Ascend 170s would match well enough to the Sierras or if I would need to get 7 Sierras for my surround setup. While it would be nice if I could do Sierras all around, I thought the 170s matched quite well. The Sierras need space behind them (they're ported) so I was worried about how I would mount them above me and give them enough space. Luckily, I think I can go with the 170s (and not push my budget as hard

For you all in LA, once I get mine and get them all setup you're all certainly invited over to give them a listen yourself.

Woo who, new speakers! Thanks again Curtis.
post #198 of 3097
Thank you for actually giving a review on this thread.
post #199 of 3097
Bleair- Nice summary of the differences. I continue to be amazed at how different familiar pieces sound with the added resolution, imaging, soundstage, and bass extension of the Sierra.

I'm listening to Joshua Redmond's Freedom in the Groove right now and I've heard it hundreds of times before but there are things with the Sierras I've never heard before.
post #200 of 3097
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleair View Post

Lastly we listened to a dvd-a of Alan Parson's On Air for a test of multi-channel music.

Thanks again Curtis.

You are welcome...and I just ordered that disc from Amazon.
post #201 of 3097
Slacker chimes in...

Well I finally got a chance to get my Sierras fired up last night after watching the Cavs dominate the Pistons (GO CAVS!). I ran them "large" without my Servo-15 directly from a Denon 3805 (bypassed the Anthem MCA-20 that usually powers our Studio 100s) and threw on a few very familiar CDs and SACDs. First of all, I'm pretty impressed with the build quality of the cabinets, though mine seem to have a few blemishes at the corners that I'll be contacting Ascend about. Furthermore, one of the Sierras is about 1/8" taller than the other...not that it's that big of an issue (and may just be a small-shop kind of thing), but I was surprised by this when I unpacked them and had them sitting right next to each other. Also, I was a bit surprised by the flimsiness of the grilles. Maybe I'm spoiled coming from Paradigm's Studio line, but the Ascend grilles seem pretty cheap in comparison. Not really an issue if the performance is there...

Well after hooking them up and listening, I'm pretty impressed so far. They are very clean and detailed, not bright or harsh at all, though I wasn't listening at very loud levels. The soundstage is very well defined and accurate, especially noticeable listening to "Brothers In Arms" stereo SACD and Beck's "Sea Change." I also listened to "Graceland" and various tracks from Tortoise and Beth Orton and was very pleased with the smooth vocals and tight percussion and the separation of the instruments, a clarity and conciseness that could never be achieved on my kitchen-duty Atoms ($189/pr), but easily managed by the Studio 100s($2399/pr). I'm not trying to put the Sierras in one league of speaker or another, but simply comparing them to what I have connected to my rig and what I'm familiar with. The Sierras seemed very detailed, but laid back compared to my Paradigms...probably the difference between the tweeters, but they had a much less "in your face" presence than what I'm used to. Still very detailed and accurate, but more neutral than what I'm used to. I'd really like to A/B the Sierras with the Studio 20's, but I'm hesitant to drop another $800 on another gorgeous pair of speakers, only to ultimately have to return one or the other. Maybe I can get my local dealer to let me borrow a pair for a weekend, or else I might bring the Sierras in and do the comparison there, though I'd rather do it in my environment with my gear. We'll see how accommodating he's feeling this week!

Unfortunately, last night has been the only time I've had to really sit down and listen to these beauties...finals week starts tomorrow (I'm the giver, not the taker) and I'm taking 3 supercompressed Master's degree classes right now, so more intensive listening isn't on the horizon until next weekend, but I'm looking forward to more time with the Sierras. I'd like to know what other owners are using for stands. I considered building my own, but bamboo veneer/plywood seems to ship from the west coast and I'm not a big fan of buying lumber (not speakers) sight unseen. Just curious what everybody else is using. I haven't seen a Sierra-specific stand mentioned at their forum yet.

J.
post #202 of 3097
I don't think Dave even likes grilles... My 170SE's have serious cutouts in the grilles(around the tweeter), to avoid reflection as much as possible.

He's obviously worried about that, so IMO he makes them thin for a reason.......
post #203 of 3097
Hi Jason,

I am very pleased you are enjoying the Sierra's! Hopefully, you will be able to find a bit more free time to really get to know them, but for now, please spend your time now preparing for your finals!!!

I felt it was important to address a few of your concerns

Regarding our grilles, -- Muzz has it exactly right. I am definitely not a fan of grilles but I do realize that they are a necessary evil (more so now then ever with 2 kids of my own )

Quote:
Originally Posted by muzz View Post

I don't think Dave even likes grilles... My 170SE's have serious cutouts in the grilles(around the tweeter), to avoid reflection as much as possible. He's obviously worried about that, so IMO he makes them thin for a reason.......

Grilles (the frames in particular) have tremendous influence over the performance of a loudspeaker (and never in a good way). In general, the more frame the more of a hit on performance. I like to use as little frame material as we can get away with to minimize the effect on performance. The Sierra grille frame (much like our other products) is thin for a reason. I assure you that it is quite sturdy and will hold up for years to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman View Post

though mine seem to have a few blemishes at the corners that I'll be contacting Ascend about

Can you please forward me a picture of this? I suspect what you are seeing is common with every natural pair of Sierra's. This is not a blemish, more of a reveal. It is important to keep in mind that the Sierra cabinet is not wrapped with a veneer; it is a true natural wood finish. In order to hide seams at every edge, the cabinet is assembled using a very specific technique. At each corner, three panels meet together, each with a different pattern to the grain. The front baffle edge is radiused, this cuts into the wood at the corners and reveals part of the grain of the top baffle. Our vendor does a remarkable job of blending in the grains of each baffle so that seams are practically invisible but because we decided to radius the front baffle vertical edges, a reveal such as you see in the attached heavily magnified picture is unavoidable. The reveal would not be visible if we used a straight edge but we like the look of the radius and it also helps minimize diffraction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman View Post

Furthermore, one of the Sierras is about 1/8" taller than the other...not that it's that big of an issue (and may just be a small-shop kind of thing), but I was surprised by this when I unpacked them and had them sitting right next to each other.

Now THAT is not acceptable to me. Standard tolerance is 1/32 so it is possible that one cabinet can be on the high end of the tolerance and another on the low end, thus resulting in perhaps a difference of 1/16 - but 1/8 difference is not acceptable. Please do me a favor and email or PM me the exact heights of each speaker. I am very curious about this and of course we will take care of it for you.

Enjoy!!!
LL
post #204 of 3097
David-

Thanks for the quick response and for addressing my concerns so thoroughly. I've taken a few pics that I will upload and e-mail to you when I get a chance at work today. I really do like the Sierras quite a bit, both physically and sonically, so I'd like to hold onto them, so hopefully we can work something out.

On a different note, what do you recommend for stands?

J.
post #205 of 3097
David-

Here are the pics that I took this morning:

First pic...angled shot of the two speakers sitting side by side. I didn't have a chance to measure the exact difference, but it's probably right around 1/8".

Second pic...close-up shot of the back left top corner of one of the speakers. It seems like the corner was filled with whatever the speakers are finished with (acrylic?).

Third pic...same shot, but with no flash.

Two final pics in next post.

J.
LL
LL
LL
post #206 of 3097
Fourth pic...shot of the exposed end grain. Probably unavoidable, but still a bit odd.

Final pic...another shot of the end grain at the top of the cabinet.

I'll email you the pics as well, but I thought it was prudent to share with other owners/prospective owners the concerns I voiced.

Thanks,

J.
LL
LL
post #207 of 3097
A somewhat relevant question for David:

Is there an amount of time you like to have the Sierras "broken in" before someone does any critical listening ?
post #208 of 3097
Hi Jason,

Thanks for the pics! That gives me a much clearer picture. The cabinet edges, where 2 panels are joined, are 45 degree mitre joints. I suspect that either the mitre edge or the actual thickness of one of the panels was slightly off so that the edge of one baffle was slightly extended past the edge of the other baffle. The cabinet maker then shaved down the edge of the baffle that hung over, thus revealing more of the internal grain of bamboo.

The difference in height that you detailed is more dramatic than I thought, that is not acceptable to me and I have now implemented an additional QC procedure in our factory. Since this is the first production run of cabinets, it is critical that we give as much feedback to the cabinet vendor as possible, both good and bad.

Send me an email and let me know how you want to proceed. Of course, I would be happy to replace the pair. Far too much going on with the cosmetics of this pair for me to feel good about them so I can only imagine how you feel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

A somewhat relevant question for David: Is there an amount of time you like to have the Sierras "broken in" before someone does any critical listening ?

Hi Craig,

I recently took home a "fresh" pair specifically for this reason. Every other set I have heard were very well broken in from the start (numerous tests on the components etc.) I normally gauge break-in time from customers but it is too early to collect this type of data. From my experience, the fresh pair I took home sounded quite good right out of the box. However, after a week of use I compared the woofer TS data from new to used and noticed a compliance change for the better. Based on this, I would recommend 40-50 hours break-in.

Take care!
post #209 of 3097
For those of you interested, a couple of forum members and I are thinking of having a leisurely listening session this coming Sunday afternoon with other speakers and subs:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post10707421
post #210 of 3097
Curtis ... The GTG looks pretty good.

David - Thanks for the response. Mine have about 15 hours on them now.
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