Originally Posted by papashango61
Are you saying the ex2 bookshelfs are better than 702s2? Is the sierra tower much better than 702? When you say they are colored, do you mean there is added "sparkle" in high frequencies? Because 702s sound damn good to me in my small sample size. How do the sierra tower compare if you dont mind?
Yes. The Ascend Sierra 2EX bookshelves have significantly better sound quality (but not bass extension) than my Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 towers that cost 3x the price, and when paired with a subwoofer are better in every way (except perhaps max SPL capability, which I haven’t tested).
When I say colored, I’m mostly just trying to be polite. Any coloration that can be achieved by EQ is pointless to pay for in hardware, and anything you can’t do in EQ (i.e. bad off axis response, resonances, etc.) indicate significant flaws in its performance as a speaker that I was simply blind to until I heard speakers that did not have those flaws.
And as to the Ascend Sierra RAAL Towers: They are in yet another league of sound quality that can achieve indescribably beautiful and realistic music renditions beyond anything the Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 are even capable of, except for the most limited set of music that the 702’s like (which the Ascends still do better).
The Ascends (the 2EX or the towers) are significantly better in every way than the 702 S2, and I don’t just mean neutrality (I have very neutral Mackie studio monitors for example, but their sound quality can’t compete with the B&W even though their neutrality makes them better suited for some music). The realism, detail, transparency, etc. etc. (overall sound quality) is just so far beyond the B&W it’s shameful for B&W IMO due to the price they charge. And, the more I listen to either of them, the more I grow to love the Ascends even more and the B&W even less in comparison. For reference, I used to love those B&W’s, back when they were the best I had!
The only possible exception to the Ascend’s total dominance is bass quantity and extension (but not quality): The 702 S2 have more and larger bass drivers. IMO all speakers that aren’t flat to 20hz need subwoofers, but this is especially true of the Ascend’s (they were designed this way intentionally).
Without a subwoofer, there are still many songs that will sound better on the 702 S2 just because of their greater bass extension. With a subwoofer integrated well with both though, I have been able to find nothing
that the B&W 702 S2 does better, with only a few technical exceptions where some manual equalization was required to fix a badly mastered song (where after EQ, the Ascends still sound better).
I have an EQ preset configured which makes my Ascends sound more like the 702 S2 if/when I want, and in the very rare case during my comparisons where I found a song that sounded better on the 702 S2’s, after turning on the equalizer for the Ascend, suddenly the Ascend’s easily beat the 702 S2’s on those songs too.
I could tell you all about it in as much depth as you want, as I’ve compared side by side in the same room with the same inputs swapped back and forth for hours
, and it’s all pretty clear: The $1500 Ascend Sierra 2EX + subwoofer are a league beyond the Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2, and the $3000 Ascend Sierra RAAL Towers are yet another significant step up (again, when paired with a sub).
In a way it feels bad to have wasted $4500 on the Bowers and Wilkins, but I didn’t know better at the time and was hesitant and suspicious to try the internet direct options. But my journey for subwoofers ironically lead me to Rythmik which outperformed brick and mortar store subs costing many times, which then lead me to give Ascend a shot.
I’m so glad I did. While it may feel bad to have wasted money in the B&W, it feels even better when listening to the Ascends. They’re truly amazing. I’ve bought the towers, the 2EX (for another room), and plan to buy more to complete a 5.1 setup with the towers.
I feel really spoiled to say this, but I can barely even listen to the B&W any more, in comparison they sound so much worse. And, I’m a little upset at how specialized the B&W are because it was dramatically limiting my range of music I listen to at home: they’re good for a subset of things (where the Ascend still beats them, to be clear), and worse are many others where the Ascends continue to blow me away.