Need to do a head to head with AA sierra 2s but need with a few copetitors - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 03:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Need to do a head to head with AA sierra 2s but need a few copetitors

So I got my sierra 2s in yesterday and they sound great. I could be happy with these speakers from here on out.

BUT I feel I'm doing them a disservice by NOT doing a head to head comparison with a few other great speakers.

Since Crutchfield has such a great return policy $10 return on bookshelves I would like to order a pair or two to go head to head with the sierra 2s.

I was thinking the Kef ls50s I even considered the Ls50w because Im just doing 2 channel listing and 100% streaming from spotify premium. But I feel like the KEFs LS50W's are kinda limiting but it's a one and DONE no amps receivers just speakers and done. That is appealing HHHMMMM

Bookshelves under $1250 I was considering.

Elac?
focal?
revel?
others?



What do you think?

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post #2 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
So I got my sierra 2s in yesterday and they sound great. I could be happy with these speakers from here on out.

BUT I feel I'm doing them a disservice by NOT doing a head to head comparison with a few other great speakers.

Since Crutchfield has such a great return policy $10 return on bookshelves I would like to order a pair or two to go head to head with the sierra 2s.

I was thinking the Kef ls50s I even considered the Ls50w because Im just doing 2 channel listing and 100% streaming from spotify premium. But I feel like the KEFs LS50W's are kinda limiting but it's a one and DONE no amps receivers just speakers and done. That is kinda appealing HHHMMMM

Bookshelves under $1250 I was considering.

Elac?
focal?
revel?


What do you think?
Focal I never heard but they get some incredible reviews. That might be a good comparison. That tweeter is supposed to be pretty incredible. Focal would be my choice and I'd be very interested to hear what you think between the two.

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post #3 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
So I got my sierra 2s in yesterday and they sound great. I could be happy with these speakers from here on out.

BUT I feel I'm doing them a disservice by NOT doing a head to head comparison with a few other great speakers.

Since Crutchfield has such a great return policy $10 return on bookshelves I would like to order a pair or two to go head to head with the sierra 2s.

I was thinking the Kef ls50s I even considered the Ls50w because Im just doing 2 channel listing and 100% streaming from spotify premium. But I feel like the KEFs LS50W's are kinda limiting but it's a one and DONE no amps receivers just speakers and done. That is appealing HHHMMMM

Bookshelves under $1250 I was considering.

Elac?
focal?
revel?
others?



What do you think?

That's a good list. Maybe consider Polk LSiMs as well?
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post #4 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 08:45 AM
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Good list, I'd be interested in your revel comparison .
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post #5 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 08:59 AM
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Well, the AA sierra 2 list for 1450/pr, so the only fair comparison is the 1500/pr range. I WOULD have said the Phil-BMR, but those are no longer in production. This one would be a pretty good match from Salk Audio, but it is a tower speaker.

EDIT: sorry, didn't see your Crutchfield requirement!
http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=SongBird

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post #6 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 09:22 AM
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The LS50s for sure need to be part of the conversation, I'd say Revel M105 would be a good 3rd candidate. Whatever you do, trust me you need to do this test BLIND and level matched with a way to have someone switch the speakers almost instantly. I use a mini dsp to do this but there are plenty of ways. I also test with a crossover around 100Hz in place just to minimize bass differences since it's not important to me as I use subs with every setup. I didn't realize how strong our biases are with sighted tests until recently but believe me, it makes a huge difference.
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post #7 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 09:29 AM
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Revel m105
Kef ls50
Polk lsim703


Good start for comparisons
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post #8 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 09:36 AM
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LS 50.. dynaudio exite...kef r300...monitor audio gold...aperion ...lots of others

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post #9 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 10:11 AM
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Seems like the ls50s are often compared with the Sierra-2s and from what I've read its a matter of preference. Both are very good. You could also consider the r300. I see Crutchfield is selling scratch & dent pairs that fit in your price range. Not sure the same return policy applies for scratch & dent, but if so that might also be a worthy contender.
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post #10 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by D33vious View Post
Seems like the ls50s are often compared with the Sierra-2s and from what I've read its a matter of preference. Both are very good.
Yes but as someone who has heard a 2-way RAAL bookshelf and the BMR, trust me that you need to do the test blind and level-matched. Many people here can't believe a speaker could beat the mighty RAAL but I honestly haven't been impressed with it, it sounds exactly the way it measures which is a bit too laid back for my tastes. I really believe if more people compared blind, much fewer people would choose the RAAL based speakers.
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post #11 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
So I got my sierra 2s in yesterday and they sound great. I could be happy with these speakers from here on out.

BUT I feel I'm doing them a disservice by NOT doing a head to head comparison with a few other great speakers.

Since Crutchfield has such a great return policy $10 return on bookshelves I would like to order a pair or two to go head to head with the sierra 2s.

I was thinking the Kef ls50s I even considered the Ls50w because Im just doing 2 channel listing and 100% streaming from spotify premium. But I feel like the KEFs LS50W's are kinda limiting but it's a one and DONE no amps receivers just speakers and done. That is appealing HHHMMMM

Bookshelves under $1250 I was considering.

Elac?
focal?
revel?
others?



What do you think?
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_345X18...tin.html?cc=07

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_893S10...0-Rosenut.html

Geoff A. J., California
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post #12 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
So I got my sierra 2s in yesterday and they sound great. I could be happy with these speakers from here on out.

BUT I feel I'm doing them a disservice by NOT doing a head to head comparison with a few other great speakers.

Since Crutchfield has such a great return policy $10 return on bookshelves I would like to order a pair or two to go head to head with the sierra 2s.

I was thinking the Kef ls50s I even considered the Ls50w because Im just doing 2 channel listing and 100% streaming from spotify premium. But I feel like the KEFs LS50W's are kinda limiting but it's a one and DONE no amps receivers just speakers and done. That is appealing HHHMMMM

Bookshelves under $1250 I was considering.

Elac?
focal?
revel?
others?



What do you think?
The LS50s pretty much have to have a sub.

Try the new RSL CG5 or CG25. The CG25 are $1k/pair 30 day trial, free shipping both ways.

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post #13 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Well, the AA sierra 2 list for 1450/pr, so the only fair comparison is the 1500/pr range. I WOULD have said the Phil-BMR, but those are no longer in production. This one would be a pretty good match from Salk Audio, but it is a tower speaker.

EDIT: sorry, didn't see your Crutchfield requirement!
http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=SongBird
Still not Crutchfield but I'd like to see how these compared


http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=WOW1
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post #14 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Yes but as someone who has heard a 2-way RAAL bookshelf and the BMR, trust me that you need to do the test blind and level-matched. Many people here can't believe a speaker could beat the mighty RAAL but I honestly haven't been impressed with it, it sounds exactly the way it measures which is a bit too laid back for my tastes. I really believe if more people compared blind, much fewer people would choose the RAAL based speakers.
the BMR IS also a RAAL based speaker...and I have heard both, but not double blind. They are both excellent speakers. Sure they are laid back, but you can boost the treble if you want from your AVR. And sure there are other tweeter types that can be really good...other than that, I am not sure your point, other than you aren't a fan of the RAAL!
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post #15 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 02:49 PM
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the BMR IS also a RAAL based speaker...and I have heard both, but not double blind. They are both excellent speakers. Sure they are laid back, but you can boost the treble if you want from your AVR. And sure there are other tweeter types that can be really good...other than that, I am not sure your point, other than you aren't a fan of the RAAL!
I don't think they're bad tweeters but just not worth anywhere near the price and I just try to give another viewpoint because so many people believe the hype around here, that's why I say at least test them blind. The "hype" cost me a couple hundred bucks when reselling them, that won't be a problem with the Sierra 2's at least.
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post #16 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 03:01 PM
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Yes but as someone who has heard a 2-way RAAL bookshelf and the BMR, trust me that you need to do the test blind and level-matched. Many people here can't believe a speaker could beat the mighty RAAL but I honestly haven't been impressed with it, it sounds exactly the way it measures which is a bit too laid back for my tastes. I really believe if more people compared blind, much fewer people would choose the RAAL based speakers.
Not sure if you misunderstood what I wrote. What I was saying was that from my research (having not heard either speaker admittedly though) was that there are a good number of fans on each side of these two speakers. I'm very interested in the Sierra-2s as my long term upgrade some day. I have read countless reviews comparing these two speakers and there are many who claim one blows the other out of the water, but there have also been many who said they compared both and it was very close. These are the reviews I look at even closer. All I meant was that both are very good, and it probably falls into each person's ear on which they would like better. I would love to hear both myself.
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post #17 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 03:22 PM
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Not sure if you misunderstood what I wrote. What I was saying was that from my research (having not heard either speaker admittedly though) was that there are a good number of fans on each side of these two speakers. I'm very interested in the Sierra-2s as my long term upgrade some day. I have read countless reviews comparing these two speakers and there are many who claim one blows the other out of the water, but there have also been many who said they compared both and it was very close. These are the reviews I look at even closer. All I meant was that both are very good, and it probably falls into each person's ear on which they would like better. I would love to hear both myself.
I understand and I'm sure neither speaker would blow the other away but research is what led me to buy a RAAL bookshelf and most likely the OP's as well. You and many people have them already hyped up as your long term upgrade or forever speaker and trust me that bias will be very powerful when you compare them to other speakers. When you compare speakers blind, the sound is the only sense you're using to make a decision, not hype or marketing claims.
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post #18 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 03:29 PM
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In the $1500 price range I would certainly look at the Focal Aria 906's. I find the inverted dome tweeter rather interesting. Really like the Walnut veneer as well. I would venture to say that the 906's would do very well in the comparison. Just saying...............



https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091A90...ut-Veneer.html


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post #19 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 05:51 PM
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Well, one person's "hype" is another persons love for the sound of a speaker...I have heard many "high efficiency" persons say nothing beats a horn loaded tweeter, but there is everything from damn terrible sounding to really good sounding horns. Its all opinion, of course, but I have not heard anyone ANYONE say a RAAL was terrible or even mediocre. RAAL is almost universal praised as the finest ribbon tweeters made...

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most speaker shootouts just tell you what worked best for that room and distances you chose. what works in one setup might not be what works in others.

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post #21 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 06:33 PM
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most speaker shootouts just tell you what worked best for that room and distances you chose. what works in one setup might not be what works in others.
Floyd Toole's research disagrees with this. He found that the best sounding speaker will sound better in any room, good or bad.
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post #22 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 06:42 PM
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Well, one person's "hype" is another persons love for the sound of a speaker...I have heard many "high efficiency" persons say nothing beats a horn loaded tweeter, but there is everything from damn terrible sounding to really good sounding horns. Its all opinion, of course, but I have not heard anyone ANYONE say a RAAL was terrible or even mediocre. RAAL is almost universal praised as the finest ribbon tweeters made...
People are free to prefer whatever tweeter they like of course and if anyone goes back and reads reviews I made of speakers with a RAAL ribbon, I agreed that they were pretty much how people describe them, they sounded fine, did nothing wrong, etc, but when I put together a 2 way with the identical woofer and a $20 titanium dome tweeter to compare, I would expect a $200+ dollar ribbon to wipe the floor with them and they didn't. I actually preferred the dome tweeter, although as I noted in the review they did have a much lower crossover so it was a better designed system overall.

Either way, I wasn't saying RAAL ribbons are bad by any means but I just don't see the point in paying that much extra if a decent dome sounds just as good for 1/10 of the cost. I also still think people should give them a try since they do have a lot of praise around here, but I just stress to try them blind and let the chips fall where they may.
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post #23 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 07:21 PM
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I understand and I'm sure neither speaker would blow the other away but research is what led me to buy a RAAL bookshelf and most likely the OP's as well. You and many people have them already hyped up as your long term upgrade or forever speaker and trust me that bias will be very powerful when you compare them to other speakers. When you compare speakers blind, the sound is the only sense you're using to make a decision, not hype or marketing claims.
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People are free to prefer whatever tweeter they like of course and if anyone goes back and reads reviews I made of speakers with a RAAL ribbon, I agreed that they were pretty much how people describe them, they sounded fine, did nothing wrong, etc, but when I put together a 2 way with the identical woofer and a $20 titanium dome tweeter to compare, I would expect a $200+ dollar ribbon to wipe the floor with them and they didn't. I actually preferred the dome tweeter, although as I noted in the review they did have a much lower crossover so it was a better designed system overall.

Either way, I wasn't saying RAAL ribbons are bad by any means but I just don't see the point in paying that much extra if a decent dome sounds just as good for 1/10 of the cost. I also still think people should give them a try since they do have a lot of praise around here, but I just stress to try them blind and let the chips fall where they may.
I understand where you're coming from. Certainly I'd be excite to (hopefully) hear them some day, but I didn't realize I was hyping them up. I just chime in when someone else talks of them in hopes of getting more peoples' impression of them ..... I suppose that is hyping them, but I don't mean to try to push anyone to do so. If so, then my apologies.

There is another member on here who has the BMRs, and I am hoping we can work it out foe me to get a listen on them sometime to hear a raal before ever buying. That will certainly factor on that long term goal of the sierra-2s. And I certainly don't discount that I may change my mind some day. A blind comparison would be awesome if I could pull it off, but at that price range for me, I will likely only be able to afford one set of speakers at a time, even if they both have generous return policies.

I know that its hard to overcome that bias, too, as you said. I do try to keep an open mind as best as I can though. For example, I bought the kef q150s a few months back thinking they would be nice upgrade over the q100s. In the end, I mostly prefer the q100s, although I can understand why many others would prefer the 150s. And maybe that bias gets stronger as you spend more? That is definitely something I could see happening. Anyways...I'm rambling a bit now so I'll just stop there. You're point is definitely well taken.
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Floyd Toole's research disagrees with this. He found that the best sounding speaker will sound better in any room, good or bad.
to your ears or mine? I really dislike some well measured speakers
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post #25 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I understand and I'm sure neither speaker would blow the other away but research is what led me to buy a RAAL bookshelf and most likely the OP's as well. You and many people have them already hyped up as your long term upgrade or forever speaker and trust me that bias will be very powerful when you compare them to other speakers. When you compare speakers blind, the sound is the only sense you're using to make a decision, not hype or marketing claims.
Of course, everyone is free and human nature to like what you like. And the OP is proposing to compare his Sierra 2 RAALS with a bunch of dome tweeters, so I guess I just don't get your point. However, just because you didn't like the RAAL does not mean they are overhyped. However, If your point is that a really good dome tweeter can sounds as good or better than a RAAL, I agree.

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post #26 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Yes but as someone who has heard a 2-way RAAL bookshelf and the BMR, trust me that you need to do the test blind and level-matched. Many people here can't believe a speaker could beat the mighty RAAL but I honestly haven't been impressed with it, it sounds exactly the way it measures which is a bit too laid back for my tastes. I really believe if more people compared blind, much fewer people would choose the RAAL based speakers.
I own a few speakers with different tweeter types: ribbon (BMR), dome (B&W), ring-radiator (Polk LSiM), sans horns. While I like the RAAL tweeters on my BMR, I also appreciate the other tweeter types on my other speakers.

The RAAL tweeters are fast while dome tweeters in general have longer decay which add to the sparkle. That's why I prefer the domes on my B&Ws over the RAALs for movies, the reverse for music. I also found that the BMR RAALs (and my B&W carbon domes) scale better to equipment compared to the LSiM ring radiators (or some Elac domes that I tried at home in the past). To elaborate, the domes on the Elacs, for example, did not benefit much switching from Denon receiver to integrated amps, or using better DACs and interconnects.

I mentioned on another thread that the key to improving your system is to identify, acknowledge and upgrade the weakest link. Depending on your preference and current equipment level, a RAAL based speaker may or may not improve your experience. The speakers may no longer be the weakest link after the upgrade. That's why acknowledgement is one of the key points mentioned above.

Last edited by Gyroscopics; 04-03-2019 at 08:46 PM.
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post #27 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 08:38 PM
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Well, one person's "hype" is another persons love for the sound of a speaker...I have heard many "high efficiency" persons say nothing beats a horn loaded tweeter, but there is everything from damn terrible sounding to really good sounding horns. Its all opinion, of course, but I have not heard anyone ANYONE say a RAAL was terrible or even mediocre. RAAL is almost universal praised as the finest ribbon tweeters made...
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post #28 of 62 Old 04-03-2019, 09:37 PM
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I know that its hard to overcome that bias, too, as you said. I do try to keep an open mind as best as I can though. For example, I bought the kef q150s a few months back thinking they would be nice upgrade over the q100s. In the end, I mostly prefer the q100s, although I can understand why many others would prefer the 150s. And maybe that bias gets stronger as you spend more? That is definitely something I could see happening. Anyways...I'm rambling a bit now so I'll just stop there. You're point is definitely well taken.
If you like the Q100s more than the Q150, the LS50 may be the speaker for you since it seems like you like "detailed" highs. The 2 way RAALs generally sound laid back because they have to cross them over at 3k, which is too high for a 5-6" woofer in my opinion. The BMR fixes that issue and I would think you would like them a lot more than the 2 ways, I actually thought they were a little bright but not fatiguing, the audioholics measurements back that up as well.

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Of course, everyone is free and human nature to like what you like. And the OP is proposing to compare his Sierra 2 RAALS with a bunch of dome tweeters, so I guess I just don't get your point. However, just because you didn't like the RAAL does not mean they are overhyped. However, If your point is that a really good dome tweeter can sounds as good or better than a RAAL, I agree.
I'm saying they're overhyped because I compared the basically identical 2 way bookshelf except with a $20 dome tweeter and I didn't hear anything that would warrant spending an extra $200+ for the RAAL, if a tweeter costs 10x more than another, I expect it to be noticeably better. I remember someone asked Floyd Toole awhile back his thoughts on ribbons and he basically said in blind listening tests they did no better than other tweeter types, it was basically just whatever measured better on and off-axis was preferred, it's boring I know, but I have found that to be true with all the comparisons I've done.
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post #29 of 62 Old 04-04-2019, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, the AA sierra 2 list for 1450/pr, so the only fair comparison is the 1500/pr range. I WOULD have said the Phil-BMR, but those are no longer in production. This one would be a pretty good match from Salk Audio, but it is a tower speaker.

EDIT: sorry, didn't see your Crutchfield requirement!
http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=SongBird

Actually I got them on sale for $1250 but valid point.

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post #30 of 62 Old 04-04-2019, 03:43 AM
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to your ears or mine? I really dislike some well measured speakers


I’m betting it would depend if we did an accurate test or not. Double blind, level matched, 85% chance we’d agree. Inaccurate, sighted, biased test? No telling.


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