Originally Posted by psychdoctor
I will say that the Sierra RAAL towers are flat as hell. Smooth and silky but limited dynamics. The stereo imaging could be better. The Sierra have good mid-range, and I wonder how the JTR 210RT are in the mid-range?
I actually like the midrange better on the 3-way JTRs than the RAALs. It is among the best midranges I have ever heard - so lifelike and dynamic. There's a lot to like, but the midrange is REALLY special.
As far as silkiness goes, it depends a lot on the room and EQ. It's perhaps easier to get the silky sound out of the RAALs, and I haven't heard that in every JTR setup, but I definitely am getting it in mine (very similar to the RAALs) just with more dynamics and focus (less ambiance.) If you don't get that at the start, look into diffusion and EQ. Also, wide LR placement will widen the soundstage and contribute to more ambiance.
It sounds like you are after a very specific sound character. I second the recommendation of Dirac, in order to help hit that in your room. The main thing you kind of give up is a highly ambient sound. The JTRs are more focused. I think the focused sound is preferable for home theater, but that's a matter of taste. Dirac can't get any speaker to sound good, but if you start with a speaker with good frequency response, good off axis response, low distortion, and high output capability, it can do a lot.
As far as sound character goes, like I said, these differences will be swamped by room differences. It's fun to talk about the details, but not particularly useful, I'm afraid.
Imaging: Imaging in general is very dependent on the room and placement. My setup is nuts for imaging, since I have a symmetrical room and placement, so YMMV.