Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2s vs. Chane's A2.4 It has begun - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2s vs. Chane's A2.4 It has begun

Just hooked up Sierra 2s
Listened to music for 30 mins

I can tell you Chane's A2.4 very much in the game. Sierra's not as dynamic as I thought, great clarity and detail, even at highs, seems to be the strength of the speaker, more than Chane's but not dramatic difference. I thought it would be a huge difference but I'm not hearing that we shall see as I play around with these for next week or so. How much more clairty & detail than Chane's will be interesting to try and measure. Mids seem on par with Chane's, little better. Bass/Low's very similar. Will do A/B this weekend. Everything seems to be a little better but not as mind blowing as I thought for price. Also, soundstage very narrow. I leave room and all the sound left between my couch length like 8 ft width.
I would say that the difference with detail and clarity is simply the volume executed with those properties, ex. it feels like the detail and clarity volume would be at like a 10, while Chane's 8
The detail and clarity just shine a little more than the Chane's A2.4 at the same db level= 70s to low 80s
so I guess you can say overall initial detail and clarity advantage is probably 20% greater. Sierra's very detailed and clear.

The problem is also, I'm afraid to crank these babies up that the tweeter may blow. I don't have to worry about that with Chane's. Would Chane's be clearer & better detail with higher volumes?
I dont know if I should try that part of the test??

So the Sierra's are very good, but I am only low 70s- low 80s dbs

Let's not jump to any conclusions yet, just 30 mins into this

UPDATED 7/19/17

FINAL ANALYSIS OF THE ASCEND SIERRA 2s VS CHANE’S A2.4

*Disclaimer- After testing 10+ speakers, I decided to purchase/keep the Chane’s A2.4 for LRC and the Chane’s A1.4s for rears based on their performance.
Also, I have a difficult Florida room that can eat up a speaker due to sun, open floor plan, large glass windows etc...

A LITTLE BETTER

I conducted this audition mostly due to my curiosity. The Sierra 2s with the RAAL tweeter is known for mastering clarity, definition, and highs. To this they did not disappoint. Chane’s A2.4, with its “leaf” tweeter for the most part, known for the same characteristics along with maintaining its composure at high volume.

I would bet if you did a 2 on 2 competition, Chane’s A2.4s & Sierra 2s against another 2 speakers, with 1 speaker less than $2,000 and another less than $1,000, that Chane’s A2.4 & Sierra 2s would win hands down based on these 3 characteristics:

-Detail
-Clarity
-Highs

As we all have guessed, the Sierra 2s ($1500/pr) are better speakers than the Chane’s A2.4 ($560). But the question is How Much better?

In my testing I can say with a pretty decent degree of certainty, the Sierra 2s were A LITTLE BIT BETTER.

I originally thought it would be no contest, but the Chane’s A2.4s held their own. It was not as if the Sierra’s underperformed, more that the Chane’s A2.4 overperformed.

But let’s dig deeper…….

I played a variety of songs with the Sierra 2s (S2)
-jazz
-rock
-R&B
-Symphony
-Easy listening
-heavy metal


Then I made notes along the way.

Here are some of my findings:

Pro’s- Details of the S2 is really really good, clarity very impressive, they hit highs with clarity and shine. Mids were very solid, not exaggerated and not recessed. S2 had good lower reaching sound production.

After a few days of playing, I did notice the speakers open up a bit, bass extension started to come alive along with a so-so midrange at first, and diminished treble.
But like I said, it took a few days of playing music for 6 + hrs.


Let’s talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to Sierra 2s-
HIGH VOLUME

There has been talk about their possible lack of handing volumes at high levels. I had no issues going high 80s/low90s db levels. As I got into mid 90s, they did approach the bright side. I didn’t feel the need to explore into low 100s.
The did keep the majority of their clarity & definition in high volumes.
I still trust the Chane’s A2.4 more in high volume.

Con’s- I’m being tough on these speakers, just know that. There are a few things that I noticed:

-Soundstage wasn’t big or full as I thought it would be
-Sound had a very narrow dispersion, when you leave room and the “path of sound”, things got lost and left behind
-In fast music, I felt like something was missing, like things were off, I’m not an expert but felt like the low end was behind??
-I noticed several times where the drums seemed to be somewhat subdued, almost faint
-I didn’t feel everything was as dynamic as anticipated
But in all fairness, it could be that my ears are accustomed to the Chane’s A2.4s and their very good performance so the end result of the Sierra 2s performance not a major difference between the two.
-They didn’t outperform the Chane’s with faster music, Chane’s won that battle.
Sierra 2s perform great with slower music, jazz, easy listening but faster music something is missing to a small degree.
Also, was a little surprised, but I think Chane’s handled female voices better. With male voices Sierra 2s handled them better than Chane’s. But I give the nod to Chane’s on female voices.
Again, is the Sierra 2 a better speaker? Yes they are. How much better?
A LITTLE BIT BETTER.





Comparison Chart

Highs-
Sierra 2s- 9.0
Chane’s A2.4- 8.7

Mids-
Sierra 2s- 9.0
Chane’s A2.4- 8.6

Soundstage-
Sierra 2s- 8.5
Chane’s A2.4- 8.9

High Volume Music Playing
Sierra 2s- 8.5
Chane’s A2.4- 9.5

Imaging-
Sierra 2s- 8.5
Chane’s – 9.0

Low End-
Sierra 2s- 8.5
Chane’s – 8.5

Tie both did good

*The above scores were mostly for 2.0 music

In HT, both excelled at their responsibilities. The Sierra’s did come out a little bit clearer/detailed with background noises. I just heard them a little bit more. As example, with Star Wars Rogue One, I could hear things like footsteps in the speakers as what was perceived a high volume vs. Chane’s A2.4.
With the Chane’s A2.4 the same footsteps seemed faint. Never noticed til my testing vs Sierra 2s. If I had to put a volume mark on the “footsteps” it would be Sierra 2s at 5, Chane’s A2.4 at 3.
Remember, this was the background noise which for the most part is insignificant to most.
The footstep example is just one specific with regards to the clarity and detail.
Other than that, wasn’t much that separated these two in HT. I used both HSU VTF2 MK5 subs in HT.

Overall, two very good speakers. I was much harder on the Ascends Sierra2s. They are very good speakers. From a value perspective, its hard to get anything to match with the Chane's A2.4. It really is.
They just do everything so good.
As I said when I tested all the speakers before, with so many sub $1,000 speakers that perform so well, if you have a speaker over $1,000, you better blow my socks off for me to buy them.

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Last edited by mpk1970; 07-19-2017 at 01:45 PM.
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post #2 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 05:58 PM
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Very plausible. A 300% jump in price for a 5-10% improvement is not unusual in this hobby, once you go past a certain threshold...for bookshelf speakers that seems to be around $200-400 apiece.

I would email Ascend and ask them if going up to 90-100db is recommended or not for these speakers, given that you have a very capable external amp. I'd be surprised if they say don't do it.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #3 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 07:25 PM
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Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2s vs. Chane's A2.4 It has begun

Amazing how well the Chanes are doing recently vs. more expensive speakers in many compares on this forum.

I have been a big advocate since I bought A3's 2 years ago. Was shocked how good they were for the $. But then I upgraded to Revel F206s as a treat for myself after receiving a work bonus.

But the A3's and my current A2 center are both great. I sold the A3's but still a huge fan, tremendous bang for the buck

Enjoy rest of compare!

PS: you can push the Chanes to no end; the split gap woofer & flat plane tweeter have amazing muscle, I was very impressed

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Secondary 5.1: Denon S900W, Polk LSiM703/704C, Polk RC80i in-ceiling rears, RSL Speedwoofer 10s

Last edited by yanks1; 07-12-2017 at 07:40 PM.
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post #4 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yanks1 View Post
Amazing how well the Chanes are doing recently vs. more expensive speakers in many compares on this forum.

I have been a big advocate since I bought A3's 2 years ago. Was shocked how good they were for the $. But then I upgraded to Revel F206s as a treat for myself after receiving a work bonus.

But the A3's and my current A2 center are both great. I sold the A3's but still a huge fan, tremendous bang for the buck

Enjoy rest of compare!

PS: you can push the Chanes to no end; the split gap woofer & flat plane tweeter have amazing muscle, I was very impressed
Must have been a nice work bonus, you guys hiring?
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post #5 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 07:59 PM
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post #6 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 08:00 PM
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One thing that helped; I purchased the Revel F206s Christmas week leading to NY's for Qtr-end; was able to obtain great deal from out of state vendor.

Liked them sooooo much 1 month later purchased Revel M16s for my rear surrounds on eBay (open box sale for 35% off), those little bookshelves are awesome; Shame to use them for just rear surround and multi-channel music ; awesome speakers for $900 MSRP
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post #7 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 10:03 PM
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Sound quality aside, how the look of those 2?
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post #8 of 141 Old 07-12-2017, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Very plausible. A 300% jump in price for a 5-10% improvement is not unusual in this hobby, once you go past a certain threshold...for bookshelf speakers that seems to be around $200-400 apiece.
I haven't heard the Chanes, but in comparing the Sierra 2's to the CBM 170's, which cost 1/4 as much, I struggled to hear a difference initially.

That extra 5-10% didn't manifest itself until after several months, and under much more relaxed & mentally 'open' listening conditions.

Being under the gun, trying to justify the difference and constantly having the question "are these really worth $XXX more than the other?" hanging over your head- it's hard to come down on the side of the more expensive ones. That sense of getting a bargain is a heady feeling that always puts me in a more receptive mindset to that thing over a higher priced competitor .

TBH, I think you would have to immerse yourself in the Chane's over the course of a year or so, listening to all kinds of content- and then give something like the Sierra 2's several months of the same before you heard or appreciated whatever the differences were between them.
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post #9 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 12:10 AM
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MPK, you're a firm believer in speaker burn-in. Perhaps you should give the Sierras the same benefit as the Cranes.

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post #10 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 12:57 AM
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Sound quality aside, how the look of those 2?
I can speak for the A2.4's. It isn't going to win any beauty contests with other speakers but it feels like it's stuffed full of bricks when you pick it up which to me is usually a good sign. It's kind of like the sleeper car your buddy had in high school. Plain Jane stock on the outside but full of fire under the hood and it wins it share of races.

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MPK, you're a firm believer in speaker burn-in. Perhaps you should give the Sierras the same benefit as the Cranes.
Well I don't see any posts from him saying he's not so my guess is he will. I'd love to break them in for him though. I'll PM him my mailing address😊.
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MPK, you're a firm believer in speaker burn-in. Perhaps you should give the Sierras the same benefit as the Cranes.
Agree. I am doing that which is why I said for nobody to draw any conclusions yet. Will have them play all weekend. Then come back Monday for some testing.

A good 72-100 hrs Sierra will have by Monday
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Well I don't see any posts from him saying he's not so my guess is he will. I'd love to break them in for him though. I'll PM him my mailing address😊.
And prob $300 shipping charge lol

Just shipped out a pair of JAmo C93 $45 to midwest

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I was always under the impression that what you were really paying for in the Sierra's was the RAAL tweeter and a 'sexier' cabinet. Very much looking forward to your impressions on them and up against the A2.4s. Dude, you're going to need to take out a second mortgage eventually if you keep all this auditioning up! But hell, I'd advocate you do it, your threads have been a good read
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post #15 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 08:14 AM
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Really wish you'd put those Chanes up against an HSU CCB-8 or the KEF Q300. It would be nice to know how the Chanes compare in their ability to stay clear/separated while sitting out of the sweet spot, like these coax speakers are supposed to be good for.
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And prob $300 shipping charge lol

Just shipped out a pair of JAmo C93 $45 to midwest
Worth a try. I'm out of my speaker budget money for this year anyway. The Sierra's at a little disadvantage with one less driver but I've heard great things about that tweeter so this will interesting.

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Really wish you'd put those Chanes up against an HSU CCB-8 or the KEF Q300. It would be nice to know how the Chanes compare in their ability to stay clear/separated while sitting out of the sweet spot, like these coax speakers are supposed to be good for.
I was tempted to buy the CCB8. I'd like to compare the volts, fusions, CCB8, HB1 (since a buddy has them), chane and my Sierra2s.

I went from pioneer AJs to S2s and the difference is staggering. The S2s sound substantially better than HB1s, especially for music but not as much for HT.

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post #18 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 12:19 PM
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Just hooked up Sierra 2s

Listened to music for 30 mins



I can tell you Chane's A2.4 very much in the game. Sierra's not as dynamic as I thought, great clarity and detail, even at highs, seems to be the strength of the speaker, more than Chane's but not dramatic difference. I thought it would be a huge difference but I'm not hearing that we shall see as I play around with these for next week or so. How much more clairty & detail than Chane's will be interesting to try and measure. Mids seem on par with Chane's, little better. Bass/Low's very similar. Will do A/B this weekend. Everything seems to be a little better but not as mind blowing as I thought for price. Also, soundstage very narrow. I leave room and all the sound left between my couch length like 8 ft width.

I would say that the difference with detail and clarity is simply the volume executed with those properties, ex. it feels like the detail and clarity volume would be at like a 10, while Chane's 8

The detail and clarity just shine a little more than the Chane's A2.4 at the same db level= 70s to low 80s

so I guess you can say overall initial detail and clarity advantage is probably 20% greater. Sierra's very detailed and clear.



The problem is also, I'm afraid to crank these babies up that the tweeter may blow. I don't have to worry about that with Chane's. Would Chane's be clearer & better detail with higher volumes?

I dont know if I should try that part of the test??



So the Sierra's are very good, but I am only low 70s- low 80s dbs



Let's not jump to any conclusions yet, just 30 mins into this


I owned the Sierra 2's and now own the Chanes, and I think your findings are right on the money. I found the Sierra's to cast a slightly deeper soundstage and slightly more detail, but the Chanes dug lower and are more dynamic. The Chanes value proposition is off the charts. I actually blew one of the woofers on my Sierra's, but had no tweeter issues for the 2 years or so that I owned them. In my opinion, they make better music speakers than home theater. Good discussion!


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The problem is also, I'm afraid to crank these babies up that the tweeter may blow. I don't have to worry about that with Chane's. Would Chane's be clearer & better detail with higher volumes?
I dont know if I should try that part of the test??

So the Sierra's are very good, but I am only low 70s- low 80s dbs
FYI. I have 2 Sierra 2s powered via Outlaw mono-block amps, they don't even break a sweat at reference. Full disclosure I don't do it often since I value my hearing. Rated to handle 150 watts continuously, never known Dave to not be straight regarding what his speakers can and can't do - no fudging the specs plus its nice to see the graphs/measurements.

No need to worry about blowing the Sierra 2s or its RAAL custom tweeter with your Outlaw 5000
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post #20 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 12:46 PM
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Lets get ready to rumble...

As other have stated, when you start getting into the more expensive speakers, the amount of "gain" you get in terms of sound quality doesn't always match the dollars spent. My Phil-BMR is clearly a better speaker than my EMPs, for instance...but I am not sure they are 6 times better.

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post #21 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 12:51 PM
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Lets get ready to rumble...

As other have stated, when you start getting into the more expensive speakers, the amount of "gain" you get in terms of sound quality doesn't always match the dollars spent. My Phil-BMR is clearly a better speaker than my EMPs, for instance...but I am not sure they are 6 times better.
Agree! These are both very nice speakers. The "value" gets to be subjective and having had both in my place at the same time, I would be happier with either one.
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post #22 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Paulidan XM View Post
I haven't heard the Chanes, but in comparing the Sierra 2's to the CBM 170's, which cost 1/4 as much, I struggled to hear a difference initially.

That extra 5-10% didn't manifest itself until after several months, and under much more relaxed & mentally 'open' listening conditions.

Being under the gun, trying to justify the difference and constantly having the question "are these really worth $XXX more than the other?" hanging over your head- it's hard to come down on the side of the more expensive ones. That sense of getting a bargain is a heady feeling that always puts me in a more receptive mindset to that thing over a higher priced competitor .

TBH, I think you would have to immerse yourself in the Chane's over the course of a year or so, listening to all kinds of content- and then give something like the Sierra 2's several months of the same before you heard or appreciated whatever the differences were between them.
I think David Fabrikant suggested something similar in a post I read somewhere once, that the best way to evaluate speakers is to listen to one exclusively and a lot over a solid week or two, then switch back to the previous pair and see what you notice the old pair is "missing" or "has" vs the new pair.

Good advice when comparing 2 sets of speakers, but not so doable with a multi-speaker comparison like what MPK did recently.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #23 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by AudioNewGuy View Post
I was always under the impression that what you were really paying for in the Sierra's was the RAAL tweeter and a 'sexier' cabinet.
What you're paying for is this ...



... outside of Revel, Philharmonic and Mackie studio monitors, that level of flatness is rarefied air in that price range.
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post #24 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post
FYI. I have 2 Sierra 2s powered via Outlaw mono-block amps, they don't even break a sweat at reference. Full disclosure I don't do it often since I value my hearing. Rated to handle 150 watts continuously, never known Dave to not be straight regarding what his speakers can and can't do - no fudging the specs plus its nice to see the graphs/measurements.

No need to worry about blowing the Sierra 2s or its RAAL custom tweeter with your Outlaw 5000
Good to know

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post #25 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 02:38 PM
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What you're paying for is this ...

... outside of Revel, Philharmonic and Mackie studio monitors, that level of flatness is rarefied air in that price range.
Especially when you combine it with the polar response:

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post #26 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 03:31 PM
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So how about picking up a pair of them CCB's?

Didn't you save quite a bit of money on the Sierras? Just put that toward the CCB's and get your comparison out there before everyone else does. You know you want to...
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post #27 of 141 Old 07-13-2017, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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So how about picking up a pair of them CCB's?

Didn't you save quite a bit of money on the Sierras? Just put that toward the CCB's and get your comparison out there before everyone else does. You know you want to...
I'm leaving that for Zorba don't want to steal his audition coming up in August.
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post #28 of 141 Old 07-14-2017, 10:38 AM
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I can speak for the A2.4's. It isn't going to win any beauty contests with other speakers but it feels like it's stuffed full of bricks when you pick it up which to me is usually a good sign. It's kind of like the sleeper car your buddy had in high school. Plain Jane stock on the outside but full of fire under the hood and it wins it share of races.
Understood.
It would be cool if they can make their speakers a little more appealing.
Low cost Emptek or HTD L3 can easily win a contest. I want Chanes on the podium also but they have to do something.
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post #29 of 141 Old 07-14-2017, 12:14 PM
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Understood.
It would be cool if they can make their speakers a little more appealing.
Low cost Emptek or HTD L3 can easily win a contest. I want Chanes on the podium also but they have to do something.
Yeah I get that ( I also own Emp-tek speakers and HTD corporate is located right down the street from me) but there's things those speakers don't have sound wise that the A2.4 does and I don't believe the HTD center can have it's tweeter rotated like the Chane to be used as a LCR so looks is part of it but in the end Jon spent the money elsewhere for this series and the better looks( I've read) can be had when his newer L series arrives here in a few months to compare better to the Sierra 2's.

Personally I don't care for the white drivers on the HTD's but I do love the red burl on my Emp side surrounds and wish I had gotten that same finish on my Emp bookshelves as well. If you're looking for the combo of eye appeal and function then the Sierra 2's or upcoming Chane L series would be my recommends. My setups have always been in a bedroom setting so the looks always takes a backseat to the sound but in most homes living rooms and dedicated theater spaces have different considerations so I understand what you're saying.

Luckily for me it's a lower priority but that doesn't mean I don't have any taste. It just means I see( hear really) where the money went and I'm fine with it. Everyone's different and that's ok. I call my Chane's my Swiss Army knife speakers because they can do so much. Not perfect mind you but no speaker is. Good luck with whatever you finally decide to buy and I'm sure you'll have years of listening bliss until the itch comes back. I keep scratching mine😉.

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post #30 of 141 Old 07-14-2017, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mpk1970 View Post
Just hooked up Sierra 2s
Listened to music for 30 mins

I can tell you Chane's A2.4 very much in the game. Sierra's not as dynamic as I thought, great clarity and detail, even at highs, seems to be the strength of the speaker, more than Chane's but not dramatic difference. I thought it would be a huge difference but I'm not hearing that we shall see as I play around with these for next week or so. How much more clairty & detail than Chane's will be interesting to try and measure. Mids seem on par with Chane's, little better. Bass/Low's very similar. Will do A/B this weekend. Everything seems to be a little better but not as mind blowing as I thought for price. Also, soundstage very narrow. I leave room and all the sound left between my couch length like 8 ft width.
I would say that the difference with detail and clarity is simply the volume executed with those properties, ex. it feels like the detail and clarity volume would be at like a 10, while Chane's 8
The detail and clarity just shine a little more than the Chane's A2.4 at the same db level= 70s to low 80s
so I guess you can say overall initial detail and clarity advantage is probably 20% greater. Sierra's very detailed and clear.

The problem is also, I'm afraid to crank these babies up that the tweeter may blow. I don't have to worry about that with Chane's. Would Chane's be clearer & better detail with higher volumes?
I dont know if I should try that part of the test??

So the Sierra's are very good, but I am only low 70s- low 80s dbs

Let's not jump to any conclusions yet, just 30 mins into this
I auditioned the Sierra 2’s at Ascend Acoustics (in a heavily treated room). Like you, I found them to be a nice and very detailed speaker. And no, they didn’t blow away that many of the speakers I auditioned that were a lot less money. I actually preferred some of the sonic characteristics (at certain frequencies) of a few less expensive speakers slightly better, but the Sierras were indeed better overall, and didn’t have many weaknesses. Matter-of-fact, I enjoyed the Sierra 2’s slightly over the Sierra towers for certain types of music (there were some intimate jazz numbers that stood out to me). On most other music, I preferred the Sierra towers.

I think you’ll find the Sierras to be very capable and will stand out a bit more once you put the pedal to the metal. They can take it.

Zorba is right that it is not unusual to hear only marginal quality differences in widely different priced speakers, provided the inexpensive speakers are solid performers, like the ones you tested. It’s a simple case of diminishing returns and personal preference.

I look forward to your thoughts when you have spent more time with the Sierras.

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