Please rank and discuss these 4: Jade 3, NHT C3, and Ascend Sierra 1/2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Please rank and discuss these 4: Jade 3, NHT C3, and Ascend Sierra 1/2

I think I have my search for speakers around $1000 narrowed down to the following. This would be for a 2.1 system listening to only music (no HT).

Wharfedale Jade 3 ($999)
Ascend Sierra 1 or 2 ($748 or $1272)
NHT Classic 3 ($998 for the newer model)

What are your thoughts and rankings on these 4?

WHARFEDALE JADE 3


ASCEND SIERRA 1


ASCEND SIERRA 2


NHT C 3
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Also are there any professional review on the Sierra-2? I can't seem to locate any.

Thanks!
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post #3 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 09:25 AM
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I'd add these to your list:

http://philharmonicaudio.com/New%20Philharmonitor.html
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 10:25 AM
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[quote=assassin;50424257]Also are there any professional review on the Sierra-2? I can't seem to locate any.

Thanks!

http://positive-feedback.com/reviews...2-loudspeaker/

I have owned 2 of the 3 speakers in your list. I had the original NHT Classic 3 (which I believe are almost the same, other than a different cabinet) in my Home Theatre System (for 3 years) which is used for 50/50 Music/Movies in a 2200 cu. ft. living room with 2 open doorways. The Classic 3 were a great speaker, with great dynamics and a huge soundstage without ever sounding bright or fatiguing. I got the upgrade bug and wanted to try a speaker with a ribbon tweeter for music, to see what the buzz was all about. If you have never heard a true ribbon tweeter they are really magical in the way they reproduce fine details of music and movies for that matter. When Ascend comes out with their new Sierra Luna compact bookshelf (with the same tweeter as the Sierra 2), I will probably pick up a pair to replace as my surrounds. If you have the ability to order a few/several sets of speakers and compare them in your home I would suggest doing it. If you are going to spend this kind of money, you should try to audition as many speakers as you can and send back the losers. I compared Paradigm Studio 20's, NHT Classic 3's, Klipsch RB-61ii and the Sierra 2's. The Sierra's had better detail in highs and a tighter bass than the rest without ever being harsh or fatiguing like the Klipsch were for me. The Classic 3's did have a bigger soundstage, but overall the Sierra's were a better speaker to my ears. For you, building a music only system the Sierra's should be at the top of your list, paired with a quality subwoofer should bring you many years of enjoyment.

Good Luck!!
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the reply.

Guess not many people own these speakers here.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else?

Big decision coming up!
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post
Anyone else?

Big decision coming up!
Wish I could help more, but I only have heard the
Sierra speakers (both) on your short list.

Some of the other bookshelf speakers I've compared at one
Time or the other...
B&W 685/686
B&W CM1
Lots of Paradigm bookshelf speakers including
Studio 40, SE1 and the Signature S1 (with the Berryllium tweeter)
The closest match was the Sig S1. The Be tweeter is very
Highly regarded in audio circles. I found that I liked the
RAAL ribbon tweeter better.

I don't know what genre music you prefer but the only
Music that I don't see a benefit of the RAAL with would
Be metal, electronic and rap. The ribbon does very well
With acoustic, jazz,classical and vocals.

Hope that helped a bit.

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post #8 of 25 Old 02-02-2017, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Not much rap. I like the occasional 1990s Tupac and Biggie (back when rap didn't suck)

Mainly I like acoustic, rock, jazz, vocals, etc.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 04:18 AM
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Note that the Sierra 1s use a custom version Sees tweeter that is similar to the one used by NHT, but supposedly a bit better.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
Living room HT: Energy RC-50, Ascend Sierra Horizon w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 1, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
Other rooms: CBM-170 SE | SVS SB-1000 | Audio-GD NFB-11 | Parasound Zamp | JBL LSR305
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Note that the Sierra 1s use a custom version Sees tweeter that is similar to the one used by NHT, but supposedly a bit better.
That's good info.
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post #11 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 11:19 AM
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It has even been mentioned by a member in Ascend forum that their entry level HTM-200SEs/CBM-170SEs tweeter's are better than the NHT Classic 3's tweeter. Yep...

The new NHT C3 speakers are virtually identical to the Classic 3's sound wise. Only real difference is the design to make it look more "modern" and serviceable.
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post #12 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultra_Sound View Post
It has even been mentioned by a member in Ascend forum that their entry level HTM-200SEs/CBM-170SEs tweeter's are better than the NHT Classic 3's tweeter. Yep...

The new NHT C3 speakers are virtually identical to the Classic 3's sound wise. Only real difference is the design to make it look more "modern" and serviceable.
Yep.

Would expect that in a forum for the speakers the poster owns.
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post #13 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Yep.

Would expect that in a forum for the speakers the poster owns.
That doesn't mean it's not true. In fact, @cschang , an AVS member whom I've never had reason to doubt, posted over at Ascend that

Quote:
The tweeter in the CBM is outstanding. In fact, SEAS will tell you it is a better tweeter than what they sell to NHT for their Classic line.
http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...3509#post43509

I would guess that it's probably accurate or Curtis wouldn't have said it.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
Living room HT: Energy RC-50, Ascend Sierra Horizon w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 1, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
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post #14 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
That doesn't mean it's not true. In fact, @cschang , an AVS member whom I've never had reason to doubt, posted over at Ascend that


http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...3509#post43509

I would guess that it's probably accurate or Curtis wouldn't have said it.
Anyone care to actually rank these? 😀
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post #15 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 04:51 PM
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just think if ribbon tweeters were the best, everyone would use them. think it thru and listen.
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post #16 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post
Anyone care to actually rank these? 😀
Sierra 2 is better than Sierra 1

Sorry. I haven't heard the NHT C-3 or the Wharfedale. But I do own the Sierra 1 and a Sierra Horizon Center.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
Living room HT: Energy RC-50, Ascend Sierra Horizon w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 1, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
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post #17 of 25 Old 02-03-2017, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Note that the Sierra 1s use a custom version Sees tweeter that is similar to the one used by NHT, but supposedly a bit better.

Just a minor correction. The C3 uses a tweeter similar in design to the tweeter we use in our 170 and 200, a compact 25 mm with a neodymium magnet. C3 tweeter is a chambered aluminum dome, while the tweeter in our 170 & 200 is a double chambered soft dome built specifically for us.


The tweeter in the Sierra-1 is very different, a larger dome (29mm) - with a very wide roll surround and a completely different motor system. It is a nice step up from the already exceptional tweeter in our 170/200.
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post #18 of 25 Old 02-05-2017, 02:43 AM
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The system notified me that my name was mentioned. FWIW at this point, I stand by what I posted years ago in regards to the SEAS tweeters in the NHT Classic 3 and the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE. Back then, people were comparing the CBM-170SE and the CMT-340SE with the NHT Classic 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
just think if ribbon tweeters were the best, everyone would use them. think it thru and listen.
I agree with this. I hope you can listen for yourself. I don't think ribbons are the best..they are not all created equal, I have heard plenty I don't like. I do think the RAAL tweeters are some of the best that I have heard for the money. I currently use Sierra-2's.

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post #19 of 25 Old 02-05-2017, 05:26 AM
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To the OP, it's a losing battle asking people to 'rank' these speakers. For one, it would be pretty rare for a number of people to actually own all of the ones you listed for comparison. Secondly, the Sierra's get a lot of love on this forum, they come out on top of any list and always seem to dominate the conversation, and I am not knocking them one bit, it's just an observation.
As for the Wharfdales, I too have been very interested in the Jade series and was very close to pulling the trigger on a pair. There's not a huge following for them it seems but there are some glowing reviews, I'm sure you've read the Stereophile review. Also MusicDirect offers a 60 day return policy if you wanted to try them out.
http://www.stereophile.com/content/w...CPjB7BB2hPc.97
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post #20 of 25 Old 11-04-2017, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Yep.

Would expect that in a forum for the speakers the poster owns.
However it's entirely reasonable to assume it's true since NHT isn't exactly known to have high bill of materials for their drivers. Even their $6000 XD system uses a derivative of a $150 Seas tweeter, whereas Ascend uses a tweeter (70-20XR) that costs around $850-1k to buy just in the used market in a 3k speaker (Sierra Tower).
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post #21 of 25 Old 11-04-2017, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakeshields View Post
However it's entirely reasonable to assume it's true since NHT isn't exactly known to have high bill of materials for their drivers. Even their $6000 XD system uses a derivative of a $150 Seas tweeter, whereas Ascend uses a tweeter (70-20XR) that costs around $850-1k to buy just in the used market in a 3k speaker (Sierra Tower).
Somebody's making a lot of money in the used market.
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post #22 of 25 Old 11-04-2017, 07:48 PM
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Somebody's making a lot of money in the used market.
I meant per pair, sorry.
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post #23 of 25 Old 11-05-2017, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
just think if ribbon tweeters were the best, everyone would use them.
Totally disagree. If good ribbons were equal in price to domes and didn't have different technical requirements (e.g., crossovers), then sure, but that's not the situation. If true ribbons cost the same as domes, sure, more companies would use them. The cheapest true RAAL tweeters I've seen are Dennis's Mini Philharmonitors, and they come it at $700. I'm guessing that Dennis is one of the lowest-margin speakers you can buy.

Are there bad ribbons out there? Sure. First, a lot of "ribbon tweeters" aren't true ribbons, though; many are AMTs. But even true ribbons can be botched. I heard some ribbons several years back that were bad, but they were clearly using ribbons as a gimmick. They sounded terrible because the engineering was poor--they had clearly just slapped some ribbons in place of domes and hadn't done their homework on the crossovers, because there was a huge and audible gap around 2500 Hz. Ribbons don't go down that far, and the mids weren't crossed over high enough. High mids were just a disaster. I thought the right plan was to just avoid ribbons in the future.

Then I heard some Salks. What ribbons are supposed to sound like. Just awesome. But not cheap.

There's a reason that Ascend and Philharmonic (and even Salk) get so much love on these forums—they are about as cheap as good implementations of true RAAL ribbons get.

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post #24 of 25 Old 11-05-2017, 07:24 PM
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well im not here to knock any of above...but my point still stands....raal isnt the end all be all.

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post #25 of 25 Old 11-06-2017, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
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well im not here to knock any of above...but my point still stands....raal isnt the end all be all.
Who said they were?
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