Originally Posted by Meature
I appreciate your comments. You own Ascend both towers and Sierra 2 and are much more knowledgeable than I am. Nonetheless, I stand by my perspective. Based on his original post, the way he listens and the size of the room he is going to want towers. He should start there. If the towers give him the extra SQ he is looking for in music (which I suspect they will) he can fill out the rest of his system. If not Ascend is not for him and he can send them back. I also think this approach gives him more flexibility in how he builds out his system. The Horizon is not inexpensive, he would have the option of not using Sierras in the back possibly using 170s or HTM and using the extra cash for Horizon or subs.
Have you even HEARD any of the speakers being discussed? To me it seems like you are just going with the "go with the best/most expensive thing you are willing to buy" approach. I'm not sure how you can even make a choice for yourself without hearing them let alone for other people.
What is it you think he's going to be be gaining? The Sierra-2's are already capable of approaching and/or hitting reference levels (though I think people are nutz if they are listening at 105db (peak) lol...
For example, you mention the size of his room, but my room is somewhat ironically setup very similar to his as my living room is connected to my diningroom/kitchen. I also have more cubic feet. I STILL THINK the Sierra-2 is more than capable. And given what he is coming from, if it was on a scale of liek 1-100 SQ, and the RAAL Tower was 100 and the RtiA9 was 10, then I think the Sierra-2 would probably be like 90-95.
I also think that coming from the Polks all the way to the RAAL towers, would take away some of their magic without that step in the middle... Either the Sierra-2 or the Towers are both going to sound substantially better than the polks (imo), to the point that either would be equally impressive. What makes it more fun to start with the little ones, is someday, you decide you are ready to upgrade, and you get to be blown away again.
For further perspective, for subwoofers I have a pair of Funk 18.0c's that cost as much as 3 pairs of Sierra-2's, and I don't think the Sierra-2s would be out of place paired with them in a 2.1/2.2 system. Even their bass without the subs is surprisingly effective. It's actually been somewhat frustrating as I'm an upgrade junkie, and so I'm super tempted to level up to some even higher end speakers just to see what they can do, but it's really hard to justify when most any bookshelves I can find that seem like they might actually be a worthy upgrade are all like 5-10k+ AND I'd have to give up the RAALs.
Realistically speaking if I was the OP, I would get a pair of Sierra-2s, and then put whatever the remainder of the budget for "right now" was toward a better or pair of better subwoofers. That would have the biggest overall SQ improvement at the budget he's talking about now. Then in a few months when he's ready to spend more, he can decide if he needs more up front, or if he just needs to fill out the surrounds and center. I'd be willing to bet when the time comes he would actually favor just adding a pair or two of Lunas either a Sierra-2 or Luna MTM Center (whenever that actually happens :P).