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***The Official Ascend Acoustics Sierra Thread*** - Page 9

post #241 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

Weird I would have considered that pretty balanced. Of course I'm speaking 2ch, 7.1, (seven 850$ speakers) plus a sub, then I might have gone with a 320~330$ receiver

Maybe Ascend can chime in, but wattage requirements varies depending on a few factors. On is room size, bigger rooms require more watts for same SPL in smaller room. Another very important is at what level will you be playing them. If you won't play them loud, then you don't need an amp with a lot of watts.

Rule of thumb is you double watts for 3dB increments.

Sierra is 86.5dB.
340SE is 90dB.

Which means to play the Sierras as the same volume with the 340SE with 50 watts you'd need something like a 110 watts. Or 340SE + 100 watts = Sierra + ~225 watts.

Anyhow, I'll do some tests, I have a 30 watts integrated and a QSC 280 watts pro amp. My old Totem Sttafs (also 87~88dB?) sounded fine with both. IMHO, Sierras shouldn't be much different.

You quoted the anechoic sensitivity. The 'typical in-room' sensitivity is listed as 92 dB for the 340SE, and 87 dB for the Sierra, a very substantial 5 dB difference, suggesting consideralby more than double the wattage for the Sierra to achieve the same dB as the 340.
post #242 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy p View Post

Well I don't know ? Most of what I've read and been taught suggest that's the correct ratio. 30% of budget for avr or amp and 70% for speakers.


I'm pretty sure they are talking about five speakers. If you were buying Sierras, that would cost you around $2000. So $2000 for the speakers and $300 for a receiver, not a good idea.
post #243 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerwill View Post

You quoted the anechoic sensitivity. The 'typical in-room' sensitivity is listed as 92 dB for the 340SE, and 87 dB for the Sierra, a very substantial 5 dB difference, suggesting consideralby more than double the wattage for the Sierra to achieve the same dB as the 340.

I don't think it should matter really... The normal sensitivity rating is anechoic. In room is... I don't know what it is but it isn't normalized... Some companies add 2dB, others 4, others 3, I don't think it's a 'real' measurement, more just a stat to boost the specs, "they're 85dB but in room they're 89dB! Only 1dB less than 90, they're not that bad!". Maybe some can chime in, but I never really give any importance to in room, only anechoic. Rooms vary, so does that rating it seems...

Why would the 340SE 'gain' more sensitivity in room than the Sierra?
post #244 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post


Why would the 340SE 'gain' more sensitivity in room than the Sierra?

I think that is the product of two drivers. Like having two co-located subs.
post #245 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpon View Post

I think that is the product of two drivers. Like having two co-located subs.

Don't think that is it because then speakers with even more drivers would display even more room gain, and they don't.
post #246 of 3117
Here's the specs for a competitor's 2 way with 6.5 inch woofer

SPL in Room1w/1m: 92 dB
SPL Anechoic 1w/1m: 88 dB

It gains a whooping 4dB in room... wow!

for a 5 inch 2 way..
SPL in Room1w/1m: 91 dB
SPL Anechoic 1w/1m: 87 dB

also 4, wow!

for one with 2 woofers
SPL in Room1w/1m: 93 dB
SPL Anechoic 1w/1m: 89 dB

Another 4 dB, wow! That's amazing!

For one with 4 woofers and 2 tweeters
SPL in Room1w/1m(dB): 95 dB
SPL Anechoic 1w/1m(dB): 91 dB

also 4... Really amazing how the speakers from this brand get more sensitive in room than others...

So the general rule to me is that for one competitor, in room = Anechoic + 4dB. Also worth to note that their anechoic specs already seem inflated when looking at measurements... So like I said, in room = useless. Go with anechoic, and even then, take the ratings with a grain of salt, as they're most often than not exaggerated...

Ascend seems to be one of the few who doesn't seem to inflate their specs. (bass extension, sensitivity, +/- X Db, etc...) So should keep that in mind when comparing with some competitors...
post #247 of 3117
Since DaveF is so meticulous, thorough, and honest, though, I tend to believe that the numbers he quotes have meaning.
post #248 of 3117
Right, but since 'in room' doesn't seem like a normalized specification, it can basically mean anything... So it's really not something you should put too much weight on, especially given the fact, like I said, that others have a tendency of inflating their specs... So for a specification which has no predetermined boundaries (can mean anything) they're free to inflate it even more than the usual specs...

It's not really a 'real' specification... It's more a marketing number IMHO. I don't think the Sierra should be worst than other speakers in room vs anechoic... But maybe Dave can weigh in...
post #249 of 3117
hey everyone. i recently pulled the trigger on a set of sierra 1 fronts/center and htm-200s rear. they should be here in about 3-4 weeks. i will be running them in my bachelor pad living room (read: home theater) without a sub (can't justify $532 for a Hsu sub at the moment)

in the last few posts i've noticed people talking about how the sierra-1's won't get as loud as the 340se's given the same wattage. how loud do the sierra-1's get? i'm running an onkyo tx-sr674 receiver, with no other amp.

right now, it's hooked up to a kenwood 5.1 home theater in a box from 2002. they can get somewhat loud, but i'm looking for a little more honestly. will the sierras deliver? i know they will sound better, but will they get louder if i so desire?

also, do you think my bass will be better or worse going from kenwood 5.1 with a sub to the sierras along the front without a sub?
post #250 of 3117
With my older Onkyo (forget which one it is), when I re-calibrated my sound levels with the Sierra-1's, I had to bump my levels to +8 from their prior setting of +0 (+2 in one case) to get back up to the test tone reference level. I receive my Onkyo 805 tomorrow which should have a bit more horsepower. I'll be curious if the Sierra's require an equal amount of boost over my other speakers.
post #251 of 3117
steve...you should have no problem.

The bass on the Sierras will be better than the bass from the Kenwood sub.....but it also depends on what you like or are used to.
post #252 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bennett View Post

With my older Onkyo (forget which one it is), when I re-calibrated my sound levels with the Sierra-1's, I had to bump my levels to +8 from their prior setting of +0 (+2 in one case) to get back up to the test tone reference level. I receive my Onkyo 805 tomorrow which should have a bit more horsepower. I'll be curious if the Sierra's require an equal amount of boost over my other speakers.

It should be the same relative to the other speakers.
post #253 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

The normal sensitivity rating is anechoic. In room is... I don't know what it is but it isn't normalized... Some companies add 2dB, others 4, others 3, I don't think it's a 'real' measurement, more just a stat to boost the specs, "they're 85dB but in room they're 89dB! Only 1dB less than 90, they're not that bad!". Maybe some can chime in, but I never really give any importance to in room, only anechoic. Rooms vary, so does that rating it seems...

Hi Guys,

Good discussion. We calculate anechoic sensitivity based on the 1 meter anechoic frequency response, normalized to 1 watt input. SPL is then based on the average sensitivity from 300Hz to 3 kHz. Because this measurement is based on anechoic frequency response, other "noises" produced by the speaker (cabinet resonance, various electrical and mechanical distortions etc.) and produced be the room (reflections etc.) are not included in the measurement.

We calculate in-room sensitivity by placing a calibrated SPL meter 1 meter from the speaker. The speaker is placed in our sound-room (not testing chamber) 2 feet from the wall behind it. The speaker is then fed a 1 watt white-noise signal and the resulting reading is our in-room sensitivity figure.

Based on these methods, there are many reasons why the difference between anechoic and in-room sensitivity will differ from 1 model loudspeaker to another, even when taken in the same room and same exact position.

1. One obvious reason is that anechoic sensitivity is based on the frequency range from 300Hz to 3 kHz (NRC standards). One speaker might have 4-5 dB more output than another in a frequency range located outside of this calculation. This speaker will certainly sound louder at the same voltage drive compared to another that does not have this boost even though anechoic sensitivity between the two might be the same.

2. Various distortions (both electrical and mechanical) can make a loudspeaker sound "louder" than it truly is. This will not show up in the anechoic sensitivity measurement but will reveal itself for in-room sensitivity measurements.

3. Off-axis response... Compare a loudspeaker with extremely limited off-axis response to one with very wide off-axis response. They might both have the same anechoic sensitivity (since the measurement only looks at the direct-sound output [on-axis, no reflections]) but in-room sensitivity might be considerably different between the two. The speaker with wide dispersion will most certainly produce higher spl at the same voltage drive since in-room sensitivity includes both direct-sound and indirect-sound (reflections off walls).

4. Physical size and # of drivers can also cause variances. For example, a floor standing speaker with a woofer close to the floor will exhibit bass reinforcement which will be revealed for in-room sensitivity measurements, while this additional output will not be reflected in anechoic sensitivity measurements.

I am sure I am missing a few but this should be enough to help explain differences.

From my experience, I would not trust in-room sensitivity measurements that simply add a set amount of "dB" to the anechoic sensitivity reading, it is far more complex.

There are really no set standards for any of this which makes it very difficult to compare specs from one manufacturer to another. We try to be as honest and consistent as possible with our specs and measurements but, unfortunately, other manufacturers may not, so never purchase a loudspeaker based on specs alone. I am often shocked at how some manufacturers embellish specifications. Use our specs and measurements to compare one model in our line-up to another, or use a resource like Stereophile or Soundstage (measurements that are taken at the NRC and are brutally honest) to compare specs between different models from different manufacturers.

Hope this helps!
post #254 of 3117
d
post #255 of 3117
I have had MY Sierras a couple of days and have only had the chance to play about 7 hours worth of concert videos...Do they deliver?? Yes Do they get loud enough for me?? Yes. I had to bump up +3 across my front to match my 170s in the rear. I feed them with an Outlaw pre/pro, a Parasound 1205 and an Oppo. Punchy they are! The Sierras are crossed over at 60Hz. The bamboo cabinets are gorgeous! I will let them break in before I give serious impressions of the sound, but what I have heard so far seems to be true of what has been written about them already.
Thanx again Dave, for all the blood sweat and tears that you put into these gems!
post #256 of 3117
Thanks for the explanation for room sensitivity

I received my piano black B-Stock this past weekend. I think there was an error because they don't appear to be b-stock Some very light scratches (looked it up with a LED flashlight), but really, for 100$ off I'm actually glad they were b-stock! (anyone wants to see pics?) The finish is really gorgeous, built seems impeccable!

Not much listening time so far and they're far from being broken in (maybe they have 5 hours on them), but imho, they do somehow suffer from diminishing return, but they definitely seem to improve on the 340SE. Obvious improvement areas are bass, imaging, and they seem to also improve resolution, albeit not as evidently as the bass & imaging, somewhat slight improvement so far (maybe more after break in), I'm guessing this is where the diminishing return kicks in, bass & imaging can be 'easily' improved from 340SE, but resolution is already very good on the 340SE, so maybe a bit less room for improvement there.

Imaging on the 340SE was good, but not really to the level of other excellent imaging speakers (Totem Arros for example), the Sierras really up it up a notch, and really have more precise imaging, and wider, deeper soundstage than the 340SE (maybe one of 340SE weakness if you were to be very severe). The Sierras also seem to have better focus; instruments are more 'precise' in space.

Bass is the other very evident improvement so far, very tight, punchy and goes pretty low. So far I have then on their own (had the 340SE with a 12 inch sealed DIY sub), and they definitely have enough low end to play on their own for pretty much 99% of music. Definitely go low enough to my taste to stand alone. Maybe a bit of issues with my room, as I seemed to have some issues with sub around 80ish hz, maybe some more room treatment/placement would be in order.

Resolution, I haven't done an A/B with the 340SE, but they seem to improve resolution, somehow able to go dig out an extra layer of detail. Not the most detailed system I've heard, but then again it's driven with a QSC1450 pro amp, NAD 541i & Behringer DEQ2496 PRE/EQ/DAC (1000$ total), where the more detailed systems I've heard were on 5000-50000$ worth of electronics... So I'd probably see an improvement when driven with top quality stuff instead of the rather budget components I'm using. Still, definitely excellent detail/resolution, and we're talking <1000$ speakers, not 2500, 5000 or 25000$ like others

Nevertheless, definite improvement over the 340SE in pretty much all fields. One of the 'weird' thing, they seem to be able to somehow resolve up/down soundstage... Sometimes it seems like some sounds can appear above the speakers!

Some say things like "It's definitely a Totem" about a new Totem speaker for example.. Well this is definitely an Ascend Very well balanced sound (neutral), very very good resolution/detail, at a very reasonable price! 760$US for (b-stock) piano black? Almost ridiculous.. Killer performance/price ratio, actually cost me almost as much as the 340SE + stands cost me (due to cdn/USA exchange & shipping), I could never find a piano black speaker around here <1000$, and finding one with as good sound on top would be a very challenging and probably expensive task around here...

No sub, for 2ch music, I say the Sierras are easily a better choice than 340SE. With sub, for HT, it becomes a tougher choice, as I don't think most could tell the difference while watching a movie (and not specifically listening to speakers) as the 340SE are already excellent. If you already have a good sub, the Sierra bass advantage somewhat get reduced importance, and the 340SE upper registers are already really good so both are good choices, I guess it would depend on amplification, budget & style. Well maybe as some have said, maybe a bit clearer dialog for HT... Not sure many non-audio oriented people would notice... Not because there's not a difference to be heard, because they'd listen to the movie, and not the speakers, and the 340SE are also very good at resolving details.

If you really want improved bass and/or imaging/soundstage, I'd say it's worth it, detail/resolution, it seems to improve slightly on my system & in my room, but not drastically, but maybe with better electronics the difference would become more evident, or maybe after break in... There seems to be a difference, but there's not a world of a difference so far, but I think we're at a point where diminishing returns kick in, where adding a lot of $$$ only improves things slightly in that area.


Probably more to come after more listening/breakin, but so far sooooo good!
post #257 of 3117
Thanks for the write up Grandarf.
My pair is coming in this friday and can't wait!
Your impressions are about what I expected from the sierras.
post #258 of 3117
Grandarf - your thorough evaluation pretty much sums up what James at Ascend told me w/ regards to the two speakers. He felt if you're using the speakers primarily for HT/movies, the CMT would serve the purpose just fine and suggested that I look into the Sierra if listening to music was a more important variable.

I, too, bought the piano black Sierra's across the front as "B-Stock." I couldn't find any flaws either although I didn't go through it in great depth. I told Dave he could have sold them as A-Stock and I wouldn't have blinked. To me, that says a lot about him and the company.
post #259 of 3117
Quick update...just received my replacement pair from Ascend this afternoon. In a word, they are simply flawless. I've been enjoying my first pair of Sierras a little bit more now that school (on the instruction end) is out, but I've still got one more 8-hour session of School Law on Tuesday that is effectively consuming all of my time right now...who likes to read Supreme Court case law? Not me.

Anyways, I was happy that Dave was very eager to replace the pair at no cost, and I'm delighted to say that he called me this afternoon just to make sure that the replacement pair was to my liking. We had a nice chat, I congratulated him on an excellent product (and told him to take a break at his earliest convenience), and thanked him for personally taking care of the situation. It's not everyday that you get a call on your cell phone from the owner of the company on the other side of the country making sure that you're happy with what you purchased...

Kudos to Ascend and to Dave in particular! In an age of dying customer service, they have stepped up and delivered.

Looking forward to more listening over the next few days...

J.
post #260 of 3117
Can the sierra be played fairly loud on a denon 1707 75wpc with good sound quality?
post #261 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangvtien View Post

Can the sierra be played fairly loud on a denon 1707 75wpc with good sound quality?

I would think it would be fine.

How large is the room and how loud is loud?
post #262 of 3117
about 12by13, listening to pop not metal rock just want to hear loud vocals, enough but not ear deafening levels.
post #263 of 3117
You'll be fine with the Denon and the Sierra.
I run them on a 75W/channel receiver in a 20x14 room and they get plenty loud enough before my receiver runs out of juice.


Mitch
post #264 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch G View Post

...they get plenty loud enough before my receiver runs out of juice...

Best not to run them loud enough to find out. You're likely to damage your receiver and speakers if you're running out of juice!

J.
post #265 of 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman View Post

Best not to run them loud enough to find out. You're likely to damage your receiver and speakers if you're running out of juice!

J.

I agree 100%. My point was that in my room, I'm not even close that point and they are loud enough. In other words, their 86db (or whatever) sensitivity shouldn't scare away someone with a 75W/channel receiver.


Mitch
post #266 of 3117
How about 5 Sierras and sub and a Sherwood Newcastle R-771 (100 Watts per Channel, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 8 ohms, w/ <0.2% THD ) in a room of 17.5 x 11.5 x 8.2 with a loudness level not too high, it is an apt. condo. Would that be a good AVR with power to spare?
post #267 of 3117
More than enough.
post #268 of 3117
Thanks. I have a two more questions.

The Sierra front speakers will be sitting on 24" high credenza.
For the back speakers, I seem to recall they should be higher.

If so, are 30" high speaker stands good?
If not, I can get 23" high instead.

The Sierras are W 7.5" X D 10.5"
Would a top plate of 6" x 6" be good?
post #269 of 3117
Yes, that top plate size is just fine.
post #270 of 3117
Hey everyone,

My sierras are on order and will hopefully be shipped in a week or so. My question is in regards to placement of them close to a wall. My current 340SE's are about a foot or so out from the wall, whats the minimum the new sierras can be placed from the wall? I ask because someday they may be placed in a shelf and not freestanding like my current setup.

Thanks guys,

Brandon
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