***The Official Ascend Acoustics Sierra Thread*** - Page 157 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4681 of 5837 Old 02-21-2017, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by maggie.svr View Post
Hello Everyone,

I have decided to buy Ascend Acoustic Sierra 2 as my LCR speakers and HTM-200 SE as surround. Could you please, suggest some good stands for Sierra 2 but more importantly good wall mounts for HTM-200 SE.

Thanks,
Mag
Best stands I've ever bought by a mile: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGLS300

Dave Fabrikant, the guy behind Ascend Acoustics, recommends this mount, and I would agree since it's one of very few mounts that supports speakers over 10 lbs, which is what you need for the HTM. This one goes up to 22 lbs: http://www.cotytech.com/content-prod...r_sp_os02.html
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Video: Benq HT2150ST Projector --> Silver Ticket 100" Fixed Screen
5.2 Audio: PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers/Horizon Center with RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM 200 SE (surrounds), Dual Rythmik F12 subs
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post #4682 of 5837 Old 02-21-2017, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie.svr View Post
Hello Everyone,

I have decided to buy Ascend Acoustic Sierra 2 as my LCR speakers and HTM-200 SE as surround. Could you please, suggest some good stands for Sierra 2 but more importantly good wall mounts for HTM-200 SE.

Thanks,
Mag
Best stands I've ever bought by a mile: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGLS300

Dave Fabrikant, the guy behind Ascend Acoustics, recommends this mount, and I would agree since it's one of very few mounts that supports speakers over 10 lbs, which is what you need for the HTM. This one goes up to 22 lbs: http://www.cotytech.com/content-prod...r_sp_os02.html
I went with their other stand for my sierra-2s:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EXF6X0I..._JmtRyb1VW436H

I wanted something I could mass load. Took ~1.5 50lb bags of sand to fill em. They must be a thing least 50-60lbs each now. Tapping on them with my knuckles sounds like a bowling ball .

I can only imagine how heavy they would be if you loaded em with steel or something.
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post #4683 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by amnesia0287 View Post
I went with their other stand for my sierra-2s:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EXF6X0I..._JmtRyb1VW436H

I wanted something I could mass load. Took ~1.5 50lb bags of sand to fill em. They must be a thing least 50-60lbs each now. Tapping on them with my knuckles sounds like a bowling ball .

I can only imagine how heavy they would be if you loaded em with steel or something.
Can you please post pictures of how your speakers look with this stand?
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post #4684 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 09:37 AM
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Can you please post pictures of how your speakers look with this stand?
I had this stand once, bought the 28 inch version for $140 when it was on sale to use with a pair of LS50,

I believe it came in both 24 inch and 28 inch height, very heavy stand with good size top plate

However, I would not buy it at the current price of $229, I really can't see a need to spend more than $120-$140 on speaker stands, a good alternative will be Sanus SF series or VTI RF/DF/ series

You can also try your local craigslist, I once bought a pair of B&W FS-700 stands for $100..
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5.2.4 HT - Sony XBR75X850C, Denon X4400H, Monitor Audio GS60, GSLCR, GSFX, C380LCR x4 and Martin Logan Descent I x2
2 Channel - Ascend Sierra Tower w/ RAAL, Sony HAP-Z1ES, Marantz SA-KI-Pearl, Primaluna Dialogue Three, Parasound Halo A21, JL Audio CR1, JL Audio E112 and ATS Acoustics room treatments
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post #4685 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 02:09 PM
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Can you please post pictures of how your speakers look with this stand?




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post #4686 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 02:27 PM
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Thank you amnesia0287 for posting these pics. This combo looks grest together as they match in scale.
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post #4687 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 02:32 PM
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Thank you amnesia0287 for posting these pics. This combo looks grest together as they match in scale.
I agree, they will look even better once I swap em into my new white boxes :O.
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post #4688 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by amnesia0287 View Post


How do you like those upfiring atmos speakers?

Ascend Sierra 2's (LCR & side surrounds) + Pioneer atmos modules. 5.1.4 setup
Marantz AV7703
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post #4689 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 04:39 PM
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How do you like those upfiring atmos speakers?
For $100 a pair they do their jobs well enough. At some point I wanna try some of the PSB ones as I have heard they are way better.

I only really use them with movies that have Atmos/DTS:X though. I don't really like using the upmixers, though they do still sound good. Just hard to justify using an upmixer to pull music from the RAAL towers or Sierra-2s (for 5.1 mixes). I have also noticed that it uses them for SOMETHING with 7.1 mixes, but not sure what.
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post #4690 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 04:45 PM
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We would appreciate it if those who have Sierra Speakers post pictures of their speakers on their stands, and let us know what brand (including model and height) and what you think of the stands that you are using.
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post #4691 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 05:49 PM
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For $100 a pair they do their jobs well enough. At some point I wanna try some of the PSB ones as I have heard they are way better.

I only really use them with movies that have Atmos/DTS:X though. I don't really like using the upmixers, though they do still sound good. Just hard to justify using an upmixer to pull music from the RAAL towers or Sierra-2s (for 5.1 mixes). I have also noticed that it uses them for SOMETHING with 7.1 mixes, but not sure what.
FINALLY! Someone that agrees with me. I only have a 5.2 setup, but have tried upmixing stereo to 5.1 and have tried 7.1 upmixing in my Dad's theater. I don't like a single one of them. It always sounds off. Sometimes it's muddy or muffled and other times the soundstage just blurs together. The most irritating thing is when one of those upmixed channels just blurts out a bunch of sound that gives zero added sense of realism or soundstage. This is why I have stuck to 5.1, I only have a few blu-ray's with 7.1 audio and 99% of all other content is 5.1.

Video: Benq HT2150ST Projector --> Silver Ticket 100" Fixed Screen
5.2 Audio: PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers/Horizon Center with RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM 200 SE (surrounds), Dual Rythmik F12 subs
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post #4692 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 06:41 PM
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FINALLY! Someone that agrees with me. I only have a 5.2 setup, but have tried upmixing stereo to 5.1 and have tried 7.1 upmixing in my Dad's theater. I don't like a single one of them. It always sounds off. Sometimes it's muddy or muffled and other times the soundstage just blurs together. The most irritating thing is when one of those upmixed channels just blurts out a bunch of sound that gives zero added sense of realism or soundstage. This is why I have stuck to 5.1, I only have a few blu-ray's with 7.1 audio and 99% of all other content is 5.1.
My system is 4.2.4. I was originally thinking I would add Custom Slim Horizon as a center, but since I added my Funks I've been debating moving back to bookshelves for mains. I'm also fairy certain that adding a center under the TV would have downsides even if it was a net gain. But yeah, I only have the 4 atmos speakers cause for $200 I figured why not. I do think they are totally worth it for movies that are actually mastered for them. I also got them after my 4k TV and UHD player, so it made sense since I've been snapping up UHD releases and many of those have spatial audio.

It will also be more valuable going forward once Xbox and Windows enable Atmos support...
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post #4693 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 07:46 PM
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We would appreciate it if those who have Sierra Speakers post pictures of their speakers on their stands, and let us know what brand (including model and height) and what you think of the stands that you are using.
http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...-Photo-Gallery

5.2.4 HT - Sony XBR75X850C, Denon X4400H, Monitor Audio GS60, GSLCR, GSFX, C380LCR x4 and Martin Logan Descent I x2
2 Channel - Ascend Sierra Tower w/ RAAL, Sony HAP-Z1ES, Marantz SA-KI-Pearl, Primaluna Dialogue Three, Parasound Halo A21, JL Audio CR1, JL Audio E112 and ATS Acoustics room treatments
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Enrico Castagnetti @ Rythmik Audio - Dialing In Rythmik Audio Subwoofers - REW for macOS
Media Room: Sierra Towers w/RAAL, Horizon w/RAAL, Sierra 2s & Lunas | Rythmik F12SE(x2) + FV25HP | Denon X6500H | Panny 820 + ATV 4K | Bluesound Node 2 | Sony 77A9G OLED |
Desktop: Dynaudio BM5 mkIII | Rythmik L22 | Apogee Quartet | 27" iMac| Bedroom: B&W 685 S2 | Rythmik LVX12 | Marantz SR6013 | Sony X700 + ATV 4K | Sony XBR-65Z9D |
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post #4695 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by amnesia0287 View Post
My system is 4.2.4. I was originally thinking I would add Custom Slim Horizon as a center, but since I added my Funks I've been debating moving back to bookshelves for mains. I'm also fairy certain that adding a center under the TV would have downsides even if it was a net gain. But yeah, I only have the 4 atmos speakers cause for $200 I figured why not. I do think they are totally worth it for movies that are actually mastered for them. I also got them after my 4k TV and UHD player, so it made sense since I've been snapping up UHD releases and many of those have spatial audio.

It will also be more valuable going forward once Xbox and Windows enable Atmos support...
I still plan on upgrading to Atmos one of these days, because yes, it is worth it for titles that are mastered that way, so hopefully it continues to catch on and we keep getting quality titles with that support. It is worth it for me to re-buy those movies for that if enough of the stuff I love gets released that way. I'm just waiting for more of it to pan out.

I've also debated on downgrading my theater to bookshelves and moving my towers to a dedicated stereo rig instead of upgrading subwoofers. Might be the best use of my funds.

Video: Benq HT2150ST Projector --> Silver Ticket 100" Fixed Screen
5.2 Audio: PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers/Horizon Center with RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM 200 SE (surrounds), Dual Rythmik F12 subs
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post #4696 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 09:30 PM
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I still plan on upgrading to Atmos one of these days, because yes, it is worth it for titles that are mastered that way, so hopefully it continues to catch on and we keep getting quality titles with that support. It is worth it for me to re-buy those movies for that if enough of the stuff I love gets released that way. I'm just waiting for more of it to pan out.

I've also debated on downgrading my theater to bookshelves and moving my towers to a dedicated stereo rig instead of upgrading subwoofers. Might be the best use of my funds.
But the F18s are coming
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post #4697 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 11:11 PM
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Looks Good.. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post
Best stands I've ever bought by a mile: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGLS300

Dave Fabrikant, the guy behind Ascend Acoustics, recommends this mount, and I would agree since it's one of very few mounts that supports speakers over 10 lbs, which is what you need for the HTM. This one goes up to 22 lbs: http://www.cotytech.com/content-prod...r_sp_os02.html
Thanks a lot! Those stands and mounts looks good; something I was looking for.

Thanks,
Mag
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post #4698 of 5837 Old 02-22-2017, 11:25 PM
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Thanks a lot for stand suggestions!

Thanks everyone for suggesting stands, I liked all those but i guess I will go with sludgeorge's suggestion as those are in price range I had in my mind.

Thanks,
Mag
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post #4699 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post
FINALLY! Someone that agrees with me. I only have a 5.2 setup, but have tried upmixing stereo to 5.1 and have tried 7.1 upmixing in my Dad's theater. I don't like a single one of them. It always sounds off. Sometimes it's muddy or muffled and other times the soundstage just blurs together. The most irritating thing is when one of those upmixed channels just blurts out a bunch of sound that gives zero added sense of realism or soundstage. This is why I have stuck to 5.1, I only have a few blu-ray's with 7.1 audio and 99% of all other content is 5.1.
I've noticed the same..especially with Neural X. Sometimes I can stack Dolby Surround on a DTS track and it sounds pretty good but I have to agree that I do not like the music being pulled out of the bed layer and thrown to the ceiling. Maybe if I had Ascend in-ceiling speakers (hint hint Dave!)

Watching StarGate Atlantis blu-rays this week and noticed a huge impact to the dialog when using upmixers.

Ascend Sierra Towers w/RAAL, Ascend Horizon Center w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 2 surrounds, PSB Imagine XA Atmos modules (x4), SVS PB13 Ultras (x2), SVS PB12+ (x2)
Denon X6500H / Emotiva Mini-X a-100
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post #4700 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 09:04 AM
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Hi folks -
Looking to upgrade my current speakers and after reading reviews/feedback for the Ascends, along with the excellent support from Dave in this thread and on their forum, I think I may have settled on a brand I'd like to invest in.

About me:
Love music (rock, blues, jazz), but up until recently it was secondary to my home theater needs. That's starting to change as I age and appreciate a more detailed sound stage over a loud/in your face setup. This started as a basic hobby with a set of Bose Accoustimass 5.1 speakers back in the late 90's, listened to glass breaking in my first DVD (Negotiator) and was instantly sold. I quickly realized the Bose were garbage, moved to separates from mass produced manufacturers and landed on my current setup about 7 years back. The setup works for HT, but it is very underwhelming for listening to music (fatiguing for one which is why the RAALS piqued my interest). I want to make a move into the enthusiast realm to really get the most out of my music, but at the same time still hit my needs for HT.

My current setup:
Polk RtiA9 - Mains
Polk CsiA6 - Center
Polk FXiA6 - Surrounds
Polk RtiA3 - Rear Surrounds
SVS PB12 NSD - Sub
Marantz 7010
Emotiva XPA-5

Room size:
16x22x8 (my HT is on the right side of this room, so MLP really consists of a 16x12x8 focus area, with the rest open air on the left)

My wish list:
Sierra Towers w RAAL - Mains
Sierra Horizon w RAAL - Center
Sierra 2's - Surrounds

My dilemma:
I'd love to have this system for many years to come and trying to figure out how to do it in pieces. I just spent a chunk of change moving to 4K, so I prefer not to do this all at once and since I can't audition these, I'd like to make sure the sound satisfies what I'm looking for. I can go with $2-3k to start, then add the rest over the year.

My biggest questions:
Can the Sierra 2's work for my LRC? Or will I be missing something not going with towers/larger center?
It's hard to believe a speaker with 2 drivers can match one with 6, but that is where my naivety of the ole bigger is better may be setting in. If this would work, then it would be the easiest route to buy 3 of these and replace my front stage and buy a couple more down the road to replace the rear. I'm used to a large center for clear dialogue, so I have some concern with the size of the Sierra 2 on center duties. I also don't want to be left with a Sierra 2 as a center if I choose to move up to the towers.

Do I go with Sierra 2's and a Horizon w RAAL for a center to start, then buy towers down the road? If I do this, will the center overpower my L/R?
This seems like the best path to hit my wish list, but again not sure if I'm shooting for overkill here.

Do I buy the towers to start?
This would satisfy my musical needs, but not sure how they would integrate with my center/rears for HT.

I plan on keeping the sub for now, may add another if I can find one or may upgrade down the road. I also would like to explore Atmos in the future or potentially add a couple rear surrounds to match what I have now. I think I could get by with 5.1 to start.

Sorry for the long post and any noobish questions, but really want to one and done this for the future.

Thanks
Brian
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post #4701 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 11:06 AM
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About me:
Love music (rock, blues, jazz), but up until recently it was secondary to my home theater needs. That's starting to change as I age and appreciate a more detailed sound stage over a loud/in your face setup. This started as a basic hobby with a set of Bose Accoustimass 5.1 speakers back in the late 90's, listened to glass breaking in my first DVD (Negotiator) and was instantly sold. I quickly realized the Bose were garbage, moved to separates from mass produced manufacturers and landed on my current setup about 7 years back. The setup works for HT, but it is very underwhelming for listening to music (fatiguing for one which is why the RAALS piqued my interest). I want to make a move into the enthusiast realm to really get the most out of my music, but at the same time still hit my needs for HT.



Room size:
16x22x8 (my HT is on the right side of this room, so MLP really consists of a 16x12x8 focus area, with the rest open air on the left)

My wish list:
Sierra Towers w RAAL - Mains
Sierra Horizon w RAAL - Center
Sierra 2's - Surrounds

My dilemma:
I'd love to have this system for many years to come and trying to figure out how to do it in pieces. I just spent a chunk of change moving to 4K, so I prefer not to do this all at once and since I can't audition these, I'd like to make sure the sound satisfies what I'm looking for. I can go with $2-3k to start, then add the rest over the year.
First, post here and over at ascend forum to see if you can find a member nearby that can let you audition, it is always recommended to hear them first before you buy

For surround duty, you don't have to go with Sierra-2 (which will be an overkill if you don't listen to multi-channel music), you can use your current polk for surround duty

If you really want RAAL all around, Dave is about to formally announce the release of Sierra Luna (RAAL + 4 inch wooer + front slot port, ideal for surround and atmos duty)

BTW, I assume you are going to sell some of the polk speakers you have (front LCR?) which would account for some additional funds on top of the 2k - 3k budget you currently have right?
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5.2.4 HT - Sony XBR75X850C, Denon X4400H, Monitor Audio GS60, GSLCR, GSFX, C380LCR x4 and Martin Logan Descent I x2
2 Channel - Ascend Sierra Tower w/ RAAL, Sony HAP-Z1ES, Marantz SA-KI-Pearl, Primaluna Dialogue Three, Parasound Halo A21, JL Audio CR1, JL Audio E112 and ATS Acoustics room treatments

Last edited by justthinking; 02-23-2017 at 11:11 AM.
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post #4702 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by justthinking View Post
First, post here and over at ascend forum to see if you can find a member nearby that can let you audition, it is always recommended to hear them first before you buy

For surround duty, you don't have to go with Sierra-2 (which will be an overkill if you don't listen to multi-channel music), you can use your current polk for surround duty

If you really want RAAL all around, Dave is about to formally announce the release of Sierra Luna (RAAL + 4 inch wooer + front slot port, ideal for surround and atmos duty)

BTW, I assume you are going to sell some of the polk speakers you have (front LCR?) which would account for some additional funds on top of the 2k - 3k budget you currently have right?
Thanks for the response. I actually did just sign up and post over in Ascend before coming back here, hoping for an audition.

I'm not sure I need RAAL all around, it was more of an option for starting with the Sierra 2's up front and if I found I needed a little more oomph for 2 channel music, that I could re-purpose them for surrounds (the Luna's sound intriguing now). For music, I've always listened in 2 channel direct at full range, so I don't know if I'd be missing a lot by going with the Sierra 2's for 2 channel and using the sub to make up for the difference. I'd assume I'd cross the sub over at a lower frequency than I would typically do for watching movies (80hz) to have some of the lower notes pass through the 2's (rolls off somewhere in the 40hz range).

I am going to sell the Polk's, but I don't count those funds towards my budget since who knows when I can expect to sell them. I'm budgeting close to $4-5k for the year, but don't want to throw it all at once (or use it all up if overkill). If I sell the Polk's right off the bat, that would speed up my investment if I love whatever I initially settle on.

I realize some of my questions are subjective and tough to answer. Hoping someone had transitioned from similar towers to bookshelves and get some reassurance I wouldn't have a thirst for more (again subjective, but need to start somewhere if I can't audition some). I saw Enrico came from the Polk's LSI series that I was originally looking into, but he went from towers to towers.

Three Sierra 2's upfront would be very budget friendly vs going with towers and needing the Horizon for a center, but I'm willing to invest the money in the right speakers if it makes sense.
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post #4703 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ballen420 View Post
I'm not sure I need RAAL all around, it was more of an option for starting with the Sierra 2's up front and if I found I needed a little more oomph for 2 channel music, that I could re-purpose them for surrounds (the Luna's sound intriguing now). For music, I've always listened in 2 channel direct at full range, so I don't know if I'd be missing a lot by going with the Sierra 2's for 2 channel and using the sub to make up for the difference. I'd assume I'd cross the sub over at a lower frequency than I would typically do for watching movies (80hz) to have some of the lower notes pass through the 2's (rolls off somewhere in the 40hz range).
I started with the 2's as mains before I moved them to surround duty and got raal towers for mains.

That said, this was all before I had subwoofers.

The RAAL towers are great, and they definitely have a little bit more, well something, my audiophile vocab is small, maybe sharpness or clarity.

The Sierra-2s are just barely below them though, and if you have decent subs that cross well around 80hz, that reduction in low end excursion seems to open them up a bit more and helps close the gap a bit (a higher cross can help with the towers in some ways as well but they are more comfortable going lower to begin with).

If you were just buying 1 pair of speakers with no future upgrade plans, I'd say start with the towers and just skip all the doubt and second guessing. They are better and more capable, plus they are more efficient.

BUT, if you are planning a 4.1+ system, I would strongly urge you to start with the Sierra-2s. Then if you like them enough just keep em as mains and if not move em to surrounds. If you did keep em you could also go for the Lunas for surrounds. I would PERSONALLY recommend at least for the surrounds (and center if you get one) sticking with ribbons. There is a surprising amount of like soundtrack data that goes to them. And they do get more to do with object mixes.

For heights it's more complex because the radiation pattern of a ribbon is really not ideal for a downfiring speaker. But it also matters less.
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post #4704 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by amnesia0287 View Post
If you were just buying 1 pair of speakers with no future upgrade plans, I'd say start with the towers and just skip all the doubt and second guessing. They are better and more capable, plus they are more efficient.

BUT, if you are planning a 4.1+ system, I would strongly urge you to start with the Sierra-2s. Then if you like them enough just keep em as mains and if not move em to surrounds. If you did keep em you could also go for the Lunas for surrounds. I would PERSONALLY recommend at least for the surrounds (and center if you get one) sticking with ribbons. There is a surprising amount of like soundtrack data that goes to them. And they do get more to do with object mixes.
Thank you. Planning beyond a 2 channel system is exactly my dilemma, but I think you may have opened me up to starting with a pair of Sierra 2's instead of replacing my whole front stage.

Any issues with keeping the Polk for center duty for the short-term?

This would provide me with an opportunity to see how the 2's up front handle music and HT without committing to a center. I'm mainly afraid of being stuck with a Sierra 2 center if I bought all three at once and found the need to move to towers/horizon center.
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post #4705 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ballen420 View Post
Thank you. Planning beyond a 2 channel system is exactly my dilemma, but I think you may have opened me up to starting with a pair of Sierra 2's instead of replacing my whole front stage.

Any issues with keeping the Polk for center duty for the short-term?

This would provide me with an opportunity to see how the 2's up front handle music and HT without committing to a center. I'm mainly afraid of being stuck with a Sierra 2 center if I bought all three at once and found the need to move to towers/horizon center.
I actually did what you did, I started with Sierras as LR and kept my paradigm. Dialog in movies sounded decent. And calibration volume matched the speakers. You can tell by the test tones that the sound is different but I wasn't listening to much multi-channel audio, 90% movies and TV so it wasn't bad. Just sold the center and so now I'm replacing it with a Horizon center. I have the space and dialog is so important in HT so that's how I'm justifying the horizon over the sierra 2 center. I have a thread in the ascend forum on the topic NRT vs RAAL Horizon, Dave moved it to user reviews. The natural and piano black 2's are still on sale so you might want to jump on the 2's while you can.

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post #4706 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 02:17 PM
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We would appreciate it if those who have Sierra Speakers post pictures of their speakers on their stands, and let us know what brand (including model and height) and what you think of the stands that you are using.
Paradigm S30 stand that I originally used with my mini monitors.

https://www.paradigm.com/products-cu.../page=overview
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post #4707 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 04:09 PM
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I am a noobie and know less than you do. I do not own any Ascend product but I am thinking I will soon. So take this for what it is worth.
I have a different take. Order the RAAL towers. Two reasons for this:
1) Coming from where you are and how you like to listen, anything less then towers will not do it for you.
2) If you get the Sierra 2s you won't have the information you need. You may find that they don't quite satisfy and you won't know if it is because Ascend is not for you or because they are bookshelves.

If this works out, you've got the foundation and you can fill it in over time with a number options.
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post #4708 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 04:27 PM
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Hi Brian,


I urge you to stick to your "Big" plan . You will definably like it . I know, as I have the exact system your hoping to get your hands on ... Raal Towers,Raal Horizon, Sierria 2's and 2 PSA 18's in a room just a tad bigger than yours .. I power it with a 7500 (250/5) Outlaw amp.a Marantz 8801 pre and an Oppo 103 ... I gotta say, I'm just tickled ... Last Friday night ( for example) I had the place to myself as my wife spent the night down to her moms and I just bought 6 new Video Concerts ... I fired up the Pretenders Live in LA and spent 2 hours down there just rocking my ass off ! I play it loud ,well over 105 DB ( plus 8.5 ) and this thing just sits there and Sizzles, Rocks,Thumps,and Surrounds you in over the top " Liveness " ... I could not be happier ... Good luck with your project, but Id start with the towers and build towards the back ... For what its worth,I think the PSA's really help the overall fullness, and overpowering thump and warmth of the system, and I don't think,at these volumes, that the system would be nearly as impressive without them ...

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post #4709 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ballen420 View Post
Thanks for the response. I actually did just sign up and post over in Ascend before coming back here, hoping for an audition.

I'm not sure I need RAAL all around, it was more of an option for starting with the Sierra 2's up front and if I found I needed a little more oomph for 2 channel music, that I could re-purpose them for surrounds (the Luna's sound intriguing now). For music, I've always listened in 2 channel direct at full range, so I don't know if I'd be missing a lot by going with the Sierra 2's for 2 channel and using the sub to make up for the difference. I'd assume I'd cross the sub over at a lower frequency than I would typically do for watching movies (80hz) to have some of the lower notes pass through the 2's (rolls off somewhere in the 40hz range).
If music is top priorty, I would go with Sierra Tower w/ RAAL to start, you can try to use your Polk center channel and it doesn't match well with the Sierra, you can always go phantom center for a bit until you order the Horizon w/ RAAL

Once you have the front L/C/R in place, I would then add a second subwoofer, which I believe is more important than matching surround as 2nd sub will help flatten the in room response (especially if you are going to have more than 1 listening/viewing position)

After that, if you decide to upgrade the surround, either Luna or Sierra-2 will be good choice, a lot will depend on your placement, Luna will be easier to place closer to wall, to wall mount, or if you can accommodate Sierra-2, you can always find savings when Ascend has b-stock sale or ever look for a used pair of Sierra-2

(Tower and Luna probably won't have any b-stock sales since they both will be using US made cabinets...)

5.2.4 HT - Sony XBR75X850C, Denon X4400H, Monitor Audio GS60, GSLCR, GSFX, C380LCR x4 and Martin Logan Descent I x2
2 Channel - Ascend Sierra Tower w/ RAAL, Sony HAP-Z1ES, Marantz SA-KI-Pearl, Primaluna Dialogue Three, Parasound Halo A21, JL Audio CR1, JL Audio E112 and ATS Acoustics room treatments
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post #4710 of 5837 Old 02-23-2017, 06:05 PM
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I am a noobie and know less than you do. I do not own any Ascend product but I am thinking I will soon. So take this for what it is worth.
I have a different take. Order the RAAL towers. Two reasons for this:
1) Coming from where you are and how you like to listen, anything less then towers will not do it for you.
2) If you get the Sierra 2s you won't have the information you need. You may find that they don't quite satisfy and you won't know if it is because Ascend is not for you or because they are bookshelves.

If this works out, you've got the foundation and you can fill it in over time with a number options.
This doesn't actually make a lot of sense if his ultimate goal is still going to be 4.1+. It's not as if he's trying to decide if he should use towers for surrounds (he could tho lol).

The idea is, if he is going to do 4 channels or more, then even if he deems the Sierra-2s are not good enough for mains, a fact I personally disagree with. I believe the Sierra-2's should STILL outperform the RTi A9's over MOST of the range by a good margin. They may CLAIM f3 of 30hz, but that doesn't make it true. In testing the RTi A9s f3 is at 45-50hz.

You have to keep in mind how the RTi A9's crossovers are setup. The fast majority of the speaker is only there for the sub 120hz range (where the 3x 7" woofers are crossed), which means in a normal system, you have 3 woofers covering 80-120hz and then a redundant crossover (that is likely not as good as the one in the sierra's) for pretty much no benefit at all. Then is has the 2 5.25 mid woofers crossed at 1.8kHz (for comparison the Sierra-2's cross at ~3k). It's also a giant power hog as it wants hundreds of watts to sound it's full potential. Especially when you factor in that the Polks are a high margin product (They have been sold on sale for $399.99 a speaker) with more components, from a mass-market speaker company which means you are also paying for part of their marketing budget. They are by no means bad speakers, but they are not comparable to the quality custom built parts of the Sierra-2.

So let's compare. From 3kHz up, I personally believe the RAAL will beat the Polk handily, at 3khz, we move to the drivers, I believe the Ascend driver is a custom variant of this one: http://www.seas.no/index.php?option=...ers&Itemid=461, which as you can see has a recommended range of 45-4000hz so we are safely within it's abilities. Especially when you consider the midwoofers of the Polk are sealed and thus lose a good deal of the efficiency gained from using two of them (and we only have ~30% more surface area to begin with). Given that the Sierra-2 Woofer is also likely capable of more excurision, it seems to me this is likely a wash or the Sierra-2 will still pull ahead because of the better crossover and driver. Plus there are less issues to worry about with phase alignment.

Realistically, the only place the RTI COULD have an advantage would be in the 80-120hz area. First, we could solve that, at least temporarily (if it was actually a problem) by running our subs to 120hz. No more advantage at all. BUT, we also have to remember this means there is another crappy crossover and then 3 woofers covering less than an octave. Without a sub the difference would be more significant, but you have to remember that 20hz requires 100x the excursion of 80z (40hz is 10x). By the time you remove that strain from the woofer, the advantage start to disappear.

Yes, the towers ARE better. But truth be told, I've considered moving back to Sierra-2s for mains just because I like the aesthetics of bookshelves and with the subs the gap is much smaller. I really wish there was a 3-way bookshelf with the midrange of the tower. The point being the Towers are better, but the Sierra-2s are still VERY VERY GOOD. If he is going to end up with surrounds anyway, might as well start with the -2s and see what he thinks. Best case he keeps them as mains and adds more or lunas for surrounds. Worst case he moves them to surrounds and adds towers.

Starting with the towers doesn't make much sense to me unless he only wants 2.1, as it's not like he's gonna move them to surrounds and use sierra-2s for mains?

As to the question about the Polk center, i think you could manage, but I would probably try a phantom center too just to compare and see what you prefer. One of my favorite parts of the RAAL tweeters is the dialogue clarity, and that's with no center, I imagine it would be even better with one.
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