Ascend Sierra Towers or Salk Songtower RT - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 47 Old 09-27-2014, 04:20 PM
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It's the woodworking that would kill me. No proper workshop. But for born DIYers this package looks very nice.
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post #32 of 47 Old 09-27-2014, 05:39 PM
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[QUOTE=ClarkeBar;27770465]Thanks for that Dennis. I thought when I posted I might (wait a minute, that's way too many I's) hear something from someone with your knowledge, hence the question marks. I thought a customized version of a known tweeter in a specific tower design meant more tweaking than that. But would the ST's with RAAL be able to chart similarly to the Sierra Ribbon towers? Obviously the differences in cabinet, drivers and X-overs should affect this, for better or worse. Does Jim provide such info, do you know? Not questioning the SongTowers, in any version. They are wonderful, with an understandably loyal fan base.

I guess a revisit to the Salk website is in order. Haven't been there in a while.[/QU

The tweaking that an OEM buyers can specify will affect sensitivity, and to some extent the number of crossover components they might want to use, but the basic response, distortion, and dispersion are set by other elements of the design. Which is to say that all OEM RAAL's measure superbly. I don't know why Jim hasn't provided measurements for the ST RT. There's certainly nothing to hide.
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post #33 of 47 Old 09-27-2014, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
I'm not taking a position on the choice, and I may be reading something into your post that isn't there, but for the record, the ST's and Ascends use the same RAAL tweeter. The sensitivities differ a little to match the specific crossovers and drivers, but there's no difference in the basic performance.
Thank you, I was wondering if that was the case, but assumed it was not. Surprise surprise I guess.

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Originally Posted by Cvetan1 View Post
Using more drivers or using a 3-way config does not mean its a better choice or value. Personally, I'd rather have a speaker with a 2-way MTM configuration as the Salks, compared to the Ascends. Just my personal preference.

Also, Salk uses at least 3/4" or 1" MDF on their speaks, and are built like tanks. Using bamboo is a wash and a tree-huggers preference. Jim also uses MDF on his top of the line SoundScape 12's, that cost 18K. If bamboo made a difference, Jim would use it. AFAIK, Ascend outsources his cabinets from China, Salk's are all made in house(USA).

Mike
I thought Ascend's cabinets were made in the USA. I have nothing against MDF, but do wonder which material is better. Nothing wrong with being environmentally sustainable, but if it negatively impacts the sound, then it is a step backwards. Especially since one can be sustainable using recycled cardboard for packaging, or other means. Liking the all USA built though. I was pretty sure Ascend was as well though, but I could have been mistaken as well.

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Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post
It's the woodworking that would kill me. No proper workshop. But for born DIYers this package looks very nice.
Could you clarify please? I am not certain what you mean exactly, or which company you are mentioning in that statement.

[quote=Dennis Murphy;27766905]
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Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post
Thanks for that Dennis. I thought when I posted I might (wait a minute, that's way too many I's) hear something from someone with your knowledge, hence the question marks. I thought a customized version of a known tweeter in a specific tower design meant more tweaking than that. But would the ST's with RAAL be able to chart similarly to the Sierra Ribbon towers? Obviously the differences in cabinet, drivers and X-overs should affect this, for better or worse. Does Jim provide such info, do you know? Not questioning the SongTowers, in any version. They are wonderful, with an understandably loyal fan base.

I guess a revisit to the Salk website is in order. Haven't been there in a while.[/QU][/QU]

The tweaking that an OEM buyers can specify will affect sensitivity, and to some extent the number of crossover components they might want to use, but the basic response, distortion, and dispersion are set by other elements of the design. Which is to say that all OEM RAAL's measure superbly. I don't know why Jim hasn't provided measurements for the ST RT. There's certainly nothing to hide.
That certainly would make things easier. I noticed Ascend has alot of different measurements available compared to Salk, I do wish there was more to go on.
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post #34 of 47 Old 09-27-2014, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cvetan1 View Post
Using more drivers or using a 3-way config does not mean its a better choice or value. Personally, I'd rather have a speaker with a 2-way MTM configuration as the Salks, compared to the Ascends. Just my personal preference.

Also, Salk uses at least 3/4" or 1" MDF on their speaks, and are built like tanks. Using bamboo is a wash and a tree-huggers preference. Jim also uses MDF on his top of the line SoundScape 12's, that cost 18K. If bamboo made a difference, Jim would use it. AFAIK, Ascend outsources his cabinets from China, Salk's are all made in house(USA).

Mike
Mike--what makes you think the Ascend cabinets are Asian? I don't know for sure, but I did speak with a high-end speaker manufacturer in California who said he was making the Ascend cabinets. I don't care one way or another, but some do, so I think you should either document their Chinese origins or say you don't really know.
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post #35 of 47 Old 09-27-2014, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
Mike--what makes you think the Ascend cabinets are Asian? I don't know for sure, but I did speak with a high-end speaker manufacturer in California who said he was making the Ascend cabinets. I don't care one way or another, but some do, so I think you should either document their Chinese origins or say you don't really know.
I said, as far as I know, the cabinets were made in China. When I inquired about the piano black finish cabinets a couple years back, I was told they were outsourced from China. Maybe the rest of the finished cabinets are made in USA?

Maybe that is why the cost is down, compared to Salk? Piano black cabinets from Jim, cost a pretty penny.
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post #36 of 47 Old 09-27-2014, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
Mike--what makes you think the Ascend cabinets are Asian? I don't know for sure, but I did speak with a high-end speaker manufacturer in California who said he was making the Ascend cabinets. I don't care one way or another, but some do, so I think you should either document their Chinese origins or say you don't really know.
Acoustic Zen, Vandersteen, and Magico.... those are the 3 that come to my mind. Based on location...

Dynaudio Contour 20, Focus 210C, DM 2/6, Hsu VTF3 MK5 HP, Oppo BDP-103, Naim Uniti Star, Marantz SR5010, 60" 4K Samsung LED LCD, XBOX ONE S
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post #37 of 47 Old 09-27-2014, 11:06 PM
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I believe the older sierra bookshelves cabs were made somewhere in asia, but the new ones are made in USA. Not sure about the towers.
Nothing wrong if it were made in CHina, i can attest the sierra 1 cabinets are pretty dam well built.
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post #38 of 47 Old 09-28-2014, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mepstein10

Could you clarify please? I am not certain what you mean exactly, or which company you are mentioning in that statement.



Sorry for the confusion. My post was referring to the speakers in the post preceding mine. Like many here, I will often not use any quote feature when quickly replying to the last current post in a thread, especially if that post is overly long or has embedded images, etc. But for short posts like the one in question, I should probably rethink.

In this case, it was the GR Research DIY package referred to by mrburns (post # 30). It supplies the drivers, electronics and accessories but you must build/supply the finished cabinet, detailed plans for which they include.

Here is the link: http://gr-research.com/n3.aspx

We can now return to our scheduled programming ...

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post #39 of 47 Old 09-28-2014, 07:26 AM
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Sierra towers/horizons are US built.
Sierra 2's are either US or Asian. US built 2's match towers/horizons and are slightly higher in cost.
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post #40 of 47 Old 09-28-2014, 07:38 AM
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Nothing wrong with Asian built cabinets... I'm sure if Ascend outsources some cabinets, they are as good as any. The great thing about Ascend, you can get their product almost immediately, compared to Salk its going to take a couple months at least. Salk is built to order, unless you find a sale on Audiocircle that fell through.
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post #41 of 47 Old 09-28-2014, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cvetan1 View Post
Nothing wrong with Asian built cabinets... I'm sure if Ascend outsources some cabinets, they are as good as any. The great thing about Ascend, you can get their product almost immediately, compared to Salk its going to take a couple months at least. Salk is built to order, unless you find a sale on Audiocircle that fell through.
That is true, on the other hand if you are going to have them for many years, a few months of waiting is not that bad, especially when you know that yours is custom built to your personal tastes.
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post #42 of 47 Old 09-28-2014, 09:38 AM
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That is true, on the other hand if you are going to have them for many years, a few months of waiting is not that bad, especially when you know that yours is custom built to your personal tastes.
Between marginal driver differences and custom Salk veneered cabinets, the choice is a toss-up. If you'd like to match speaker veneer to your furniture, than Salk will be your choice.
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post #43 of 47 Old 09-30-2014, 02:42 AM
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Just a quick comment to answer some questions.


All current Ascend Sierra Towers and Horizons use fully US built cabinets. We did have a large piano black batch made by one of our overseas manufacturers (Asia) but those are now sold out. This was really the only possible way to offer this finish at a reasonable price.


We offer Sierra-1/Sierra-2 cabinets using both Asian built cabinets and US built cabinets. The US built cabinets are designed specifically to match the US built tower cabinets.


In all honesty, the quality from the particular Asian manufacturer we use is every bit as good as our cabinet maker here in the states, and this cabinet maker builds for some of the most prestigious brands available.


Hope this clarifies things!

David Fabrikant

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post #44 of 47 Old 09-30-2014, 02:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ascend View Post
Just a quick comment to answer some questions.


All current Ascend Sierra Towers and Horizons use fully US built cabinets. We did have a large piano black batch made by one of our overseas manufacturers (Asia) but those are now sold out. This was really the only possible way to offer this finish at a reasonable price.


We offer Sierra-1/Sierra-2 cabinets using both Asian built cabinets and US built cabinets. The US built cabinets are designed specifically to match the US built tower cabinets.


In all honesty, the quality from the particular Asian manufacturer we use is every bit as good as our cabinet maker here in the states, and this cabinet maker builds for some of the most prestigious brands available.


Hope this clarifies things!
Thanks Dave. I was hoping I was right in regards to this. Does this mean the piano black finish will no longer be offered? Are there any plans or ideas about offering more options for finishes in the future or by request (i.e. custom order/special order)?
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post #45 of 47 Old 09-30-2014, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mepstein10 View Post
Thanks Dave. I was hoping I was right in regards to this. Does this mean the piano black finish will no longer be offered? Are there any plans or ideas about offering more options for finishes in the future or by request (i.e. custom order/special order)?

We can still do piano black, but manufacturing it in the states is very expensive. We are considering dong another run of piano black from our overseas vendor, but this finish just isn't as popular with towers due to how reflective it is (a true mirror finish).


We already offer more standard finishes for our towers than just about anyone. Natural, Satin Dark Cherry, Satin Espresso, Black Matte and Black Bamboo. That said, custom options are absolutely available -- and we do them regularly. We are currently making a pair of high gloss metallic yellow Sierra-2 cabinets for an Australian customer of ours.


Send me an email so we can discuss.

David Fabrikant

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post #46 of 47 Old 09-30-2014, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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We can still do piano black, but manufacturing it in the states is very expensive. We are considering dong another run of piano black from our overseas vendor, but this finish just isn't as popular with towers due to how reflective it is (a true mirror finish).


We already offer more standard finishes for our towers than just about anyone. Natural, Satin Dark Cherry, Satin Espresso, Black Matte and Black Bamboo. That said, custom options are absolutely available -- and we do them regularly. We are currently making a pair of high gloss metallic yellow Sierra-2 cabinets for an Australian customer of ours.


Send me an email so we can discuss.
Sounds good. Will do.
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post #47 of 47 Old 02-24-2015, 09:31 PM
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I am in the same boat, thinking of the Sierra Towers or the Salk SongBirds. A 47" high SongTower is too tall for my room. I would like to try the transmission line Salks but the Sierra Towers seem to offer a lot for the money. I would probably use either of them with Soundocity's SEV9 outriggers instead of the plinths. Also, I do not plan on going with the ribbon tweeter with either choice (for now, can the ribbon tweeter upgrade be done at a later time on the Sierra Towers?).

What did the OP decide? I know how bass reflex (roughly) interact with my room as I have some Tekton 6.5t monitors with a rear port. Room (14 feet wide by 16 feet deep with 8 foot ceilings). I am sbrownnw in audiogon with my detailed system profile (audio refinement pre5 / multi5, mogami wire with furutech connectors, rega rpt6 with mods, jasmine lp 2 mkII, Audio-Technica AT-33PTG/II and more).

I've read both speakers work well close to the wall and I plan to have them 12" - 14" from the front wall. Will the Salk transmission line design interact less with the room or about the same as the bass reflex? Really want to try both in my room but I don't want to pay $200 extra in shipping charges as one set of speakers has to go back. I do not like forward sounding speakers like B&W or others like them that have kevlar mids. With that said, I do like punchy midrange as I tried some Tekton mini lores in my room and they were more refined and went back, maybe because they had a front port compared to my 6.5t monitors with a rear port.

Any insights, ideas and opinions would be helpful. Thanks!

Scott
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