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AA Sierra 2, KEF LS50, Focal 906 shoot out!

03:36 PM 04-15-2019
#1
Captain Crunch
Ok so I have an A-B switch that should be in tomorrow.
I will pull stands in from other parts of the house and the shoot out will begin.
NOW..........for you ultra scientific guys out there I'm sorry but you'll be disappointed. This will be just what "sounds good to ME" .
I'm not on the level some of you are but I will report back as to what I hear good and bad and what makes my ears happy.


03:49 PM 04-15-2019
#2
commsysman
I would pick the Focal speakers.
05:06 PM 04-15-2019
#3
aarons915
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
Ok so I have an A-B switch that should be in tomorrow.
I will pull stands in from other parts of the house and the shoot out will begin.
NOW..........for you ultra scientific guys out there I'm sorry but you'll be disappointed. This will be just what "sounds good to ME" .
I'm not on the level some of you are but I will report back as to what I hear good and bad and what makes my ears happy.
Should be a fun shootout, remember to level match as best you can because the louder speaker is usually preferred. Also, if you have someone to switch the speakers for you while you're blindfolded that will ensure only the sound is influencing you, I also find it much easier to pick a winner blind vs sighted. Have fun, that's what this is all about after all.
07:00 PM 04-15-2019
#4
rocky1
Like you im sounds good to me aswell. I’ve only heard the ls50’s from your list. Probably contrary to most i preferred the dynaudio excite x14’s which i eventually got. To each his own no right or wrong to ones ears so to speak. Will be very interesting to hear about your results...


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07:37 PM 04-15-2019
#5
audiofreak38
This will be an awesome comparison. Have a good feeling that the Focal Aria 906's are going to do well. Personally, I find the inverted dome tweeter fascinating to say the least. However, in all honesty anybody would be hard pressed to go wrong with ANY of the three inmho. Just saying...............Looking forward to the OP's findings.


Cheers,

Phil
06:46 AM 04-16-2019
#6
BluesDaddy56
Unfortunately, what we know is that "what sounds good to me" is very much controlled by "what looks good to me", along with preconceptions. As already pointed out, level matching is also essential to ensure that "good" is not just "louder" as humans can distinguish loudness differences as little as .5 db and the louder is perceived as "better" (all things being equal and you're not simply driving speakers into distortion). An ABX switch is really preferred where YOU don't know which speaker is A and which is B and you do blind listening.

In any event, looking forward to your impressions.
08:29 AM 04-16-2019
#7
noway1
Just having each pair in a different position in the room from one another + any proximity effects (waves reflecting off closely adjacent speakers instead of sound directly to your ears) obscures any conclusions you might have. Plus different stands, different wall reflection points, etc., etc...
09:03 AM 04-16-2019
#8
Class A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
Ok so I have an A-B switch that should be in tomorrow.
I will pull stands in from other parts of the house and the shoot out will begin.
NOW..........for you ultra scientific guys out there I'm sorry but you'll be disappointed. This will be just what "sounds good to ME" .
I'm not on the level some of you are but I will report back as to what I hear good and bad and what makes my ears happy.


Have fun w/your shootout. You're taking the right approach,"what sounds best to you". All speakers have compromises. No such thing as a perfect speaker. It comes down to a personal choice.:)
09:12 AM 04-16-2019
#9
rocky1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A
Have fun w/your shootout. You're taking the right approach,"what sounds best to you". All speakers have compromises. No such thing as a perfect speaker. It comes down to a personal choice.:)


Bingo!


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09:29 AM 04-16-2019
#10
Lp85253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A
Have fun w/your shootout. You're taking the right approach,"what sounds best to you". All speakers have compromises. No such thing as a perfect speaker. It comes down to a personal choice.:)
agreed...good advice all around here.. enjoy *the hobby*.. make an event of it.. but don't take it too seriously...:)
09:39 AM 04-16-2019
#11
Billy p
Why must everything be so technical and to a science.
Imo...nothing wrong with just listening to some speakers and making a conclusion.... IK....this is AVS...but just like the NFL...."No fun League"....OP...have fun doing this ..nice selection of speakers...you have to play with.
06:18 PM 04-16-2019
#12
Captain Crunch
So here is what we discovered today first of all "sound leveling" makes a huge difference and while we did adjust the sound it really needs to be done instantaneously. So I am returning the AB switch that I have for a volume leveled one. And I also will be getting my L12 sub in tomorrow.
So that will also help in regards to not concentrating on anything below 80 Hertz it will be a mid-high contest.
As of right now me and my son agreed that the ls50 is out of the equation. The contest is between the 906 and the Sierra2 as they are extremely close and well-balanced the ls50 just couldn't compete. But after the sub is hooked up and the new AB switcher is here I will give the ls50s another chance.
The biggest difference I can tell between the Sierra and the 906 is that the 906 for vocals is very much front forward upfront and in-your-face where the Sierra vocals are much more in the background.
They are very close in just about every category. They are different in a few separate ways not better or worse just different.
Although there was one jazz song ""Take 5 by NY jazz Lounge that me and my son agreed that the sierra really excelled past the 906 but for the most part it was very very close.
That's it for today more updates to come.
06:36 PM 04-16-2019
#13
Captain Crunch
Quote:
Originally Posted by noway1
Just having each pair in a different position in the room from one another + any proximity effects (waves reflecting off closely adjacent speakers instead of sound directly to your ears) obscures any conclusions you might have. Plus different stands, different wall reflection points, etc., etc...
Agreed............ and while I cant fix everything we did take different things into account. We did some switching of positions and a few other things. Sound stage made a big difference in relation to position but we swapped back and forth and have adjusted expectations accordingly.
06:36 PM 04-16-2019
#14
rocky1
I may have missed it but what are you driving them with ? My understanding ls50’s need alot of juice so im told.. either way great to hear . Wish u could add some dynaudio excite x14’s in the mix. Just curious since i took them over the ls50’s..


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06:41 PM 04-16-2019
#15
Captain Crunch
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDaddy56
Unfortunately, what we know is that "what sounds good to me" is very much controlled by "what looks good to me", along with preconceptions. As already pointed out, level matching is also essential to ensure that "good" is not just "louder" as humans can distinguish loudness differences as little as .5 db and the louder is perceived as "better" (all things being equal and you're not simply driving speakers into distortion). An ABX switch is really preferred where YOU don't know which speaker is A and which is B and you do blind listening.

In any event, looking forward to your impressions.
We we both could tell which speaker was which by the sound stage, volume, front forward sound and a few other factors. Me and my son switched back and forth and did sited and blind test. There is enough difference between the speakers that we could quite often tell which one was which even blind. That being said with the new leveled switch and sub coming it will make it harder to tell for here forward.
06:46 PM 04-16-2019
#16
Captain Crunch
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky1
I may have missed it but what are you driving them with ? My understanding ls50’s need alot of juice so im told.. either way great to hear . Wish u could add some dynaudio excite x14’s in the mix. Just curious since i took them over the ls50’s..


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Onkyo 80w I also have a denon 3400 running my HT setup I may hook up "BUT" I will probably be running these in my 2.1 setup with the Onkyo but I may pull out the Denon and hook it up just to see the difference.
To be honest the KEF was just simply out classed as far as me and my son were concerned but as I stated before I will be giving them another chance.
06:58 PM 04-16-2019
#17
rocky1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
Onkyo 80w I also have a denon 3400 running my HT setup I may hook up "BUT" I will probably be running these in my 2.1 setup with the Onkyo but I may pull out the Denon and hook it up just to see the difference.

To be honest the KEF was just simply out classed as far as me and my son were concerned but as I stated before I will be giving them another chance.

Sounds good. Fwiw i heard the ls50’s w/o a sub. Aswell as the dyns w/o .. when i made my decision..running the dyns with a marantz sr8002. Not sure if youll change your impressions when u add a sub in the equation..tend to think outcome wont be any different. But well see. Will wait to hear.. good luck


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07:42 PM 04-16-2019
#18
SouthernCA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
So here is what we discovered today first of all "sound leveling" makes a huge difference and while we did adjust the sound it really needs to be done instantaneously. So I am returning the AB switch that I have for a volume leveled one. And I also will be getting my L12 sub in tomorrow.

So that will also help in regards to not concentrating on anything below 80 Hertz it will be a mid-high contest.

As of right now me and my son agreed that the ls50 is out of the equation. The contest is between the 906 and the Sierra2 as they are extremely close and well-balanced the ls50 just couldn't compete. But after the sub is hooked up and the new AB switcher is here I will give the ls50s another chance.

The biggest difference I can tell between the Sierra and the 906 is that the 906 for vocals is very much front forward upfront and in-your-face where the Sierra vocals are much more in the background.

They are very close in just about every category. They are different in a few separate ways not better or worse just different.

Although there was one jazz song ""Take 5 by NY jazz Lounge that me and my son agreed that the sierra really excelled past the 906 but for the most part it was very very close.

That's it for today more updates to come.
Based on what I have read, measurements I have seen, and my own experience living with them for the last 3 years as well auditioning them with other great speakers, I feel you will like LS50 when combined with a sub or two. Without a sub, they can not compete. Remember 30 to 50 percent of our sound preference is driven by deep bass which is lacking in lS50.

On top of that, if you enjoy transparency and imaging, LS50 should shine for you.

On the other hand, if you listen to your music very loud, LS50 will not be able to compete.

Good luck.
08:17 PM 04-16-2019
#19
MinHeadroom
I am excited for the results, as I have wondered the same thought!
11:20 AM 04-17-2019
#20
D33vious
All of these speakers interest me for a possible upgrade somewhere down the road, so I am especially interested in your impressions. Thanks for doing this shootout. Shootouts are probably the most fun things to read on this forum.

Can't wait to hear more.
12:19 PM 04-17-2019
#21
aarons915
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
As of right now me and my son agreed that the ls50 is out of the equation. The contest is between the 906 and the Sierra2 as they are extremely close and well-balanced the ls50 just couldn't compete. But after the sub is hooked up and the new AB switcher is here I will give the ls50s another chance.
One way you can negate the bass differences is by using your crossover even without a sub on, I usually use 100Hz. Can you give more detail on how the LS50 couldn't compete? What kind of music were you guys mainly using? Oh and when you give them another chance, try pointing them straight ahead(without any toe in), many people think they sound better like that but it's not a dramatic difference.

The only odd thing to me was how you seemingly narrowed it down so fast and said you both could tell which speaker was playing even blind. I know for me, I could have swore I was preferring 1 speaker and it ended up being the other one when I was listening blind. I also owned that speaker the previous 9 months so you would think I'd have no problem knowing which speaker was mine but I didn't.

Do you have any pics of all 3 speakers by chance or the setup? I'm curious about the size differences between them.
01:17 PM 04-17-2019
#22
Captain Crunch
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915
One way you can negate the bass differences is by using your crossover even without a sub on, I usually use 100Hz. Can you give more detail on how the LS50 couldn't compete? What kind of music were you guys mainly using? Oh and when you give them another chance, try pointing them straight ahead(without any toe in), many people think they sound better like that but it's not a dramatic difference.

The only odd thing to me was how you seemingly narrowed it down so fast and said you both could tell which speaker was playing even blind. I know for me, I could have swore I was preferring 1 speaker and it ended up being the other one when I was listening blind. I also owned that speaker the previous 9 months so you would think I'd have no problem knowing which speaker was mine but I didn't.

Do you have any pics of all 3 speakers by chance or the setup? I'm curious about the size differences between them.
aarons915
I will give a more detailed description of how all 3 did at a later date including the LS50. Like I said I want to give them another chance Iv been trying to burn them in for a few days and nights hoping they will improve. To put it simply the LS50 was just out matched by the other two. The LS50 was just fighting out of it's weight class. Before I get into specifics I want to get some more burn in time and some more time with them I want to try and be accurate and fair. BUT come this weekend me my son and my girlfriend all 3 will all be listing and I will report back with what we all think.
03:08 PM 04-17-2019
#23
Lp85253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
aarons915
I will give a more detailed description of how all 3 did at a later date including the LS50. Like I said I want to give them another chance Iv been trying to burn them in for a few days and nights hoping they will improve. To put it simply the LS50 was just out matched by the other two. The LS50 was just fighting out of it's weight class. Before I get into specifics I want to get some more burn in time and some more time with them I want to try and be accurate and fair. BUT come this weekend me my son and my girlfriend all 3 will all be listing and I will report back with what we all think.
i'm glad you have 3 people involved, it will make a "blind a/b" an easier task... you can always have 2 sets of ears on each pair that don't know what they are listening to at the time.. i think that you may end up with more than 1 favorite speaker in the group by the end of testing.. and my guess is the ls50 will hold it's own with equal (hi)crossover or a sub..
03:11 PM 04-17-2019
#24
D33vious
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lp85253
i'm glad you have 3 people involved, it will make a "blind a/b" an easier task... you can always have 2 sets of ears on each pair that don't know what they are listening to at the time.. i think that you may end up with more than 1 favorite speaker in the group by the end of testing.. and my guess is the ls50 will hold it's own with equal (hi)crossover or a sub..
I would agree. From all that I heave heard about the LS50s, they obviously lack in bass, so they suffer in a 2.0 comparison. but many have stated that once a sub is added to the equation, they more than come into their own.
04:23 PM 04-17-2019
#25
rocky1
Ref the shootout the op favored the other speakers over the ls50 w/o a sub i believe. Adding the sub to the ls50 makes them better as stated. But adding a sub to the other speakers aswell i would assume make them better aswell therefore still overtaking the ls50 ?


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04:33 PM 04-17-2019
#26
aarons915
Quote:
Originally Posted by D33vious
I would agree. From all that I heave heard about the LS50s, they obviously lack in bass, so they suffer in a 2.0 comparison. but many have stated that once a sub is added to the equation, they more than come into their own.
This has been my experience, being a coaxial 2 way, the more bass you can remove from the LS50 through high-passing them the better. With a 2nd order high pass that most receivers use, I'd be in the 100-120Hz range personally. With subs in the mix and properly setup, I preferred the LS50 to even the BMR, which should best the Sierra 2 in every way, so it's odd that someone would think they're outclassed by Sierra 2s but we all have our preferences.
05:46 PM 04-17-2019
#27
SouthernCA
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915
This has been my experience, being a coaxial 2 way, the more bass you can remove from the LS50 through high-passing them the better. With a 2nd order high pass that most receivers use, I'd be in the 100-120Hz range personally. With subs in the mix and properly setup, I preferred the LS50 to even the BMR, which should best the Sierra 2 in every way, so it's odd that someone would think they're outclassed by Sierra 2s but we all have our preferences.
Yep. 4th order crossover over at 80 or 2nd order cross over at 120 is the best for LS50. Also if you use a sub, better to plug the port on ls50.

On a side note, I have been trying to figure out if Denon AVR-X3500 uses 2nd order or 4th order crossover for subs.
10:47 PM 04-17-2019
#28
noway1
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915
This has been my experience, being a coaxial 2 way, the more bass you can remove from the LS50 through high-passing them the better. With a 2nd order high pass that most receivers use, I'd be in the 100-120Hz range personally. With subs in the mix and properly setup, I preferred the LS50 to even the BMR, which should best the Sierra 2 in every way, so it's odd that someone would think they're outclassed by Sierra 2s but we all have our preferences.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCA
Yep. 4th order crossover over at 80 or 2nd order cross over at 120 is the best for LS50. Also if you use a sub, better to plug the port on ls50.

On a side note, I have been trying to figure out if Denon AVR-X3500 uses 2nd order or 4th order crossover for subs.
So if you use a 12dB/octave high pass at 120Hz what low pass setting on the sub would be your preference?
07:16 AM 04-18-2019
#29
aarons915
Quote:
Originally Posted by noway1
So if you use a 12dB/octave high pass at 120Hz what low pass setting on the sub would be your preference?
Well most receivers are going to low pass at 120 as well, setup becomes more tricky at 120 because localization could start to be an issue but you can always use your subwoofer crossover and put it up to like 150Hz for a bit of overlap to keep out the higher frequencies.
10:46 AM 04-18-2019
#30
sigpig
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915
Well most receivers are going to low pass at 120 as well, setup becomes more tricky at 120 because localization could start to be an issue but you can always use your subwoofer crossover and put it up to like 150Hz for a bit of overlap to keep out the higher frequencies.
Might as well run your subwoofer full-range...

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