***The Official Ascend Acoustics Sierra Thread*** - Page 191 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #5701 of 5838 Old 11-03-2019, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jpw545 View Post
Fyi I did a quick edit to the post above after you replied. I suppose my concerns with smaller woofers are being able to reproduce distorted guitars with the authority and scale to do the music justice. I will be using dual subs, likely Seaton JS-12's, Rythmik F12-300's, or something along those lines. I have heard people talk about mismatching smallish speakers with subs (think it was Gene from audioholics) and want to stay away from that but I suspect people will say that's not the case here. SPL is a concern as well, but my room is 14x12x10, and I've read the Sierra Towers can push over 110db without any issues.

Small speakers is quite a broad term, I think he was meaning more performance wise than physical size.

The Ascends perform like a very large tower, despite being quite small.

There was a reason indeed for the choice of the 5.25” woofers. Larger woofers doesn’t always mean bigger or better bass. In fact the Sierra Towers dig about as low as the Silver 500’s. Says a little something about both designs don’t you think? 5.25” woofers are also lighter and have much higher breakup modes than that of larger aluminum 8” drivers. Transient response and overall resolution should be better. So those 8” woofers are kinda moot on the Silver 500 don’t you think?

Other than SPL concerns, in which the Silver 500’s would take the lead (without subwoofers, mind you!), I wouldn’t be concerned about anything else.

When subwoofers are in the mix however, the Sierra towers will really shine. I would expect much more midrange clarity, and overall resolution from the Ascends. I’m not 100% sure how Monitor Audio voices their speakers, but Ascend’s philosophy is flat on axis and listening window response.

Hopefully this was convincing
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #5702 of 5838 Old 11-04-2019, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jpw545 View Post
Thank you for the detailed explanation, I found it informative. I don't know much about ribbons, so I was indeed making a loose comparison between the two speakers based on the designs. I listen to heavy metal, and many of the newer albums have high-quality recordings. I've been told by a Sierra Tower owner to elect for the dome version because they would have more "meat" to the sound for my music.
The ribbons are more linear, you just might not notice the increased linearity in that type of music to make the ribbons a worthwhile upgrade.

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I'm leaning away from the Sierra Towers (and Evo 4.4) and getting close to pulling the trigger on some Monitor Audio Silver 500's with dual 8" woofers. Anyone want to talk me out of it in favor of Sierra Towers? I will run dual subs (likely Seaton JS-12's or Rythmik F12-300's). Music only.
My concern about those is AVForum reviewed them as being on the bright side, and the previous edition of them was reviewed by Sound & Vision and mentioned them leaning on the bright side. Heavy metal recordings are often very forward in my experience, and I would want a neutrally voiced speaker for that.

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Originally Posted by jpw545 View Post
Fyi I did a quick edit to the post above after you replied. I suppose my concerns with smaller woofers are being able to reproduce distorted guitars with the authority and scale to do the music justice. I will be using dual subs, likely Seaton JS-12's, Rythmik F12-300's, or something along those lines. I have heard people talk about mismatching smallish speakers with subs (think it was Gene from audioholics) and want to stay away from that but I suspect people will say that's not the case here. SPL is a concern as well, but my room is 14x12x10, and I've read the Sierra Towers can push over 110db without any issues.
How loud do you really listen? 105dB peaks at reference on the LCRs in movies to me is very loud, I tend to listen at -10MV or lower even for spirited listening sessions. My LFE channel is run a little hot, and basically runs at reference, but my mains are considerably lower. Music, especially heavy metal, has WWWAAAYYY more sound energy than a movie. A movie you get a quick pop or boom at 110dB, heavy metal it will be very sustained. If you listen at 110dB you are going to get hearing loss very quickly.

That said, I'm not your mum, with the Sierra Towers's and Monitor Audio's you'll for sure need an external amp to reach those peaks. So factor that into budget. If you want to reach those levels with a receiver, you might want to consider something horn loaded like Power Sound Audio. They have good service and are very sensitive. Their towers will hit 110dB will just 10-15watts depending on placement at 8ft away.
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post #5703 of 5838 Old 11-04-2019, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Small speakers is quite a broad term, I think he was meaning more performance wise than physical size.

The Ascends perform like a very large tower, despite being quite small.

There was a reason indeed for the choice of the 5.25” woofers. Larger woofers doesn’t always mean bigger or better bass. In fact the Sierra Towers dig about as low as the Silver 500’s. Says a little something about both designs don’t you think? 5.25” woofers are also lighter and have much higher breakup modes than that of larger aluminum 8” drivers. Transient response and overall resolution should be better. So those 8” woofers are kinda moot on the Silver 500 don’t you think?

Other than SPL concerns, in which the Silver 500’s would take the lead (without subwoofers, mind you!), I wouldn’t be concerned about anything else.

When subwoofers are in the mix however, the Sierra towers will really shine. I would expect much more midrange clarity, and overall resolution from the Ascends. I’m not 100% sure how Monitor Audio voices their speakers, but Ascend’s philosophy is flat on axis and listening window response.

Hopefully this was convincing
This is a reason why I'm leaning towards Sierra bookshelf, the small size compared to Polk/Wharf. With the natural finish, it'll just disappear in my room. When I asked my audiophile friend whether he's heard of Ascend, he said "Very good brand. I might have mentioned to you before. Considered audiophile."
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post #5704 of 5838 Old 11-04-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by anjunadeep View Post
The ribbons are more linear, you just might not notice the increased linearity in that type of music to make the ribbons a worthwhile upgrade.



My concern about those is AVForum reviewed them as being on the bright side, and the previous edition of them was reviewed by Sound & Vision and mentioned them leaning on the bright side. Heavy metal recordings are often very forward in my experience, and I would want a neutrally voiced speaker for that.



How loud do you really listen? 105dB peaks at reference on the LCRs in movies to me is very loud, I tend to listen at -10MV or lower even for spirited listening sessions. My LFE channel is run a little hot, and basically runs at reference, but my mains are considerably lower. Music, especially heavy metal, has WWWAAAYYY more sound energy than a movie. A movie you get a quick pop or boom at 110dB, heavy metal it will be very sustained. If you listen at 110dB you are going to get hearing loss very quickly.

That said, I'm not your mum, with the Sierra Towers's and Monitor Audio's you'll for sure need an external amp to reach those peaks. So factor that into budget. If you want to reach those levels with a receiver, you might want to consider something horn loaded like Power Sound Audio. They have good service and are very sensitive. Their towers will hit 110dB will just 10-15watts depending on placement at 8ft away.
I too am concerned about the Silver 500 being slightly on the bright side. I have tried the newer Bronze 5's, and I found them to be a bit hot when it came to snare hits & overly sensitive to vocal sibilance. They did have the much-improved bite and clarity to the electric guitar range I was looking for but at a cost. I am trying to figure out if the Silver 500 and Bronze 5's share the same tweeter because I suspect they do. If that is the case, I don't know enough about speaker design to know if a different crossover or design could tame that in the Silver 500.

I certainly don't listen at 110db. I have a sound meter, and I mostly listen in the 88-92 range. However, I like having plenty of power on tap, should I choose to play a couple of songs at 100-102db. I like to have some horsepower on tap, and for my gear to show zero stress should I choose to exercise it.

I'm currently using an Onkyo NR901, which is an older flagship AVR (pre HDMI) with a large power supply and amp section, fully 4ohm capable. I use it for the bass management mostly. It seems to sound good but I will probably grab an Outlaw RR2160 at some point "just because". My budget doesn't have too many limitations other than whether I feel I'm getting a good value. I'm won't be keen on getting into the territory of diminishing returns.

The PSB speakers do look interesting, I haven't considered them before. I don't have much experience with horns but they scare me because I don't want anything too in my face. I have some Cerwin Vega RE-38's, which are 15" woofers & 102db sensitivity. Overall they sound decent but don't come close to even the older Monitor Audio Bronze B4. In comparison, the CV's sound more two dimensional and boxy, plus lacking in instrument separation. I suppose I am looking for a neutral sound signature (perhaps with a touch of warmth) with excellent mids, a three dimensional sound, and a top-end that is detailed enough before getting anywhere near "bright" territory. I just described the Sierra Tower, didn't I?
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post #5705 of 5838 Old 11-04-2019, 09:33 PM
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Horns vary greatly - listen to JBL Studio 530-590, they don't sound anything like Klipsch horns.

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post #5706 of 5838 Old 11-04-2019, 11:14 PM
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Horns vary greatly - listen to JBL Studio 530-590, they don't sound anything like Klipsch horns.


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post #5707 of 5838 Old 11-05-2019, 07:37 AM
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Horns vary greatly - listen to JBL Studio 530-590, they don't sound anything like Klipsch horns.
I tried to like the JBL 590, but it's just beyond hideous looking in my opinion, and the plastic feet debacle being directly screwed into the MDF also turns me off. I don't doubt it sounds fine though.

Edit: I've also spent a lot of time listening to the JBL E100 Northbridge towers, and while they are decent sounding speakers, I find the bass undefined as well as being a bit too forward for my taste. Not the level of hifi I'm looking for.

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post #5708 of 5838 Old 11-05-2019, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jpw545 View Post
I too am concerned about the Silver 500 being slightly on the bright side. I have tried the newer Bronze 5's, and I found them to be a bit hot when it came to snare hits & overly sensitive to vocal sibilance. They did have the much-improved bite and clarity to the electric guitar range I was looking for but at a cost. I am trying to figure out if the Silver 500 and Bronze 5's share the same tweeter because I suspect they do. If that is the case, I don't know enough about speaker design to know if a different crossover or design could tame that in the Silver 500.

I certainly don't listen at 110db. I have a sound meter, and I mostly listen in the 88-92 range. However, I like having plenty of power on tap, should I choose to play a couple of songs at 100-102db. I like to have some horsepower on tap, and for my gear to show zero stress should I choose to exercise it.

I'm currently using an Onkyo NR901, which is an older flagship AVR (pre HDMI) with a large power supply and amp section, fully 4ohm capable. I use it for the bass management mostly. It seems to sound good but I will probably grab an Outlaw RR2160 at some point "just because". My budget doesn't have too many limitations other than whether I feel I'm getting a good value. I'm won't be keen on getting into the territory of diminishing returns.

The PSB speakers do look interesting, I haven't considered them before. I don't have much experience with horns but they scare me because I don't want anything too in my face. I have some Cerwin Vega RE-38's, which are 15" woofers & 102db sensitivity. Overall they sound decent but don't come close to even the older Monitor Audio Bronze B4. In comparison, the CV's sound more two dimensional and boxy, plus lacking in instrument separation. I suppose I am looking for a neutral sound signature (perhaps with a touch of warmth) with excellent mids, a three dimensional sound, and a top-end that is detailed enough before getting anywhere near "bright" territory. I just described the Sierra Tower, didn't I?
Okay, well then the Sierra Towers would have plenty of output, especially with a 200 watt per channel amp. I'd for sure try it without first and see if you feel like you are pushing them. A lot of people don't need an external amp. If you haven't taken the opportunity yet, I'd recommend emailing or calling Ascend and picking Dave's brain about your setup also.

You talked about aesthetics and I think the new magnetic grills are a big improvement in that regard. Can let your gf pick the wood finish.
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post #5709 of 5838 Old 11-20-2019, 10:29 AM
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Hi guys, I'm hoping I could get some recommendations on what to set my crossovers at. My first thoughts are to set the fronts and center to 80hz and the Luna's to 100hz. Should I set all of my speakers to small? I also recently moved and need new speaker wire. What gauge should I use? I'm guessing the rears don't need anything more than 18g but what about the towers and center? Thanks in advance!

My setup:

Denon AVR-X4300H
Towers with RAAL - L/R
Sierra with RAAL - C
Luna's with RAAL - Rears
Klipsch R-115SW - Sub
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Originally Posted by Nibrok View Post
Hi guys, I'm hoping I could get some recommendations on what to set my crossovers at. My first thoughts are to set the fronts and center to 80hz and the Luna's to 100hz. Should I set all of my speakers to small? I also recently moved and need new speaker wire. What gauge should I use? I'm guessing the rears don't need anything more than 18g but what about the towers and center? Thanks in advance!

My setup:

Denon AVR-X4300H
Towers with RAAL - L/R
Sierra with RAAL - C
Luna's with RAAL - Rears
Klipsch R-115SW - Sub
Nice setup. Kinda similar to what I'm planning. Post some listening impressions when set up.
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post #5711 of 5838 Old 11-24-2019, 07:50 AM
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What speaker stands are best for the Sierra 2EX? (I use Kanto 26" stands at present but would like to upgrade.)
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post #5712 of 5838 Old 11-24-2019, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Nibrok View Post
Hi guys, I'm hoping I could get some recommendations on what to set my crossovers at. My first thoughts are to set the fronts and center to 80hz and the Luna's to 100hz. Should I set all of my speakers to small? I also recently moved and need new speaker wire. What gauge should I use? I'm guessing the rears don't need anything more than 18g but what about the towers and center? Thanks in advance!

My setup:

Denon AVR-X4300H
Towers with RAAL - L/R
Sierra with RAAL - C
Luna's with RAAL - Rears
Klipsch R-115SW - Sub
Start with 80Hz all around and go from there. Set all speakers to small to enable bass management.

Most of us use 12-14 awg copper wire from Amazon or Monoprice.
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post #5713 of 5838 Old 11-24-2019, 12:43 PM
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Start with 80Hz all around and go from there. Set all speakers to small to enable bass management.

Most of us use 12-14 awg copper wire from Amazon or Monoprice.
Thanks, I actually called and talked to Dina and she gave the same advice. I ended up grabbing 14awg from Monoprice and set all my speakers to small and 80hz. They sound incredible. Just got done watching all the three episodes of The Mandalorian.

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Thanks, I actually called and talked to Dina and she gave the same advice. I ended up grabbing 14awg from Monoprice and set all my speakers to small and 80hz. They sound incredible. Just got done watching all the three episodes of The Mandalorian.
Just as a side note, Disney Plus movies/shows have excellent sound. Mandalorian looks incredible, HDR is really well done and the DD+ sounds awesome.
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What speaker stands are best for the Sierra 2EX? (I use Kanto 26" stands at present but would like to upgrade.)
I do not know how much of an upgrade it would be, but I use 29" VTI VSP stands.
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post #5716 of 5838 Old 11-24-2019, 07:18 PM
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I do not know how much of an upgrade it would be, but I use 29" VTI VSP stands.
I have VTI DF 29" stands under my Sierra 2 L&R. Very happy with them.
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I have VTI DF 29" stands under my Sierra 2 L&R. Very happy with them.
Ah I knew my 26" stands were too short. I kept thinking it was psychological and that the soundstage was fine but I was somehow unhappy with the height of the sound. It didn't help propping up the front of the speakers. I'll look at these 92" stands and see about getting them.

Hmmm they don't seem to have the VSP ones anymore, they have DF and RF, what's the difference?

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post #5718 of 5838 Old 11-25-2019, 05:39 AM
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Ah I knew my 26" stands were too short. I kept thinking it was psychological and that the soundstage was fine but I was somehow unhappy with the height of the sound. It didn't help propping up the front of the speakers. I'll look at these 92" stands and see about getting them.

Hmmm they don't seem to have the VSP ones anymore, they have DF and RF, what's the difference?
92" might be going a little overboard...
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post #5719 of 5838 Old 11-25-2019, 07:03 AM
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Ah I knew my 26" stands were too short. I kept thinking it was psychological and that the soundstage was fine but I was somehow unhappy with the height of the sound. It didn't help propping up the front of the speakers. I'll look at these 92" stands and see about getting them.

Hmmm they don't seem to have the VSP ones anymore, they have DF and RF, what's the difference?
Manufacturer's website: http://www.vtimanufacturing.com/prod...peaker-stands/
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post #5720 of 5838 Old 11-26-2019, 07:28 PM
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hi everyone

i just received my Sierra 2EX. very very nice speakers. the piano black finish is really good. out of the box, they sound great, and are a definite improvement over my B&W 606. mids and bass are fantastic, so much so i had to turn off my REL subwoofer (left it on standby mode with gain and crossover settings for the B&W). the highs are crystal clear and detailed, but not thinned out like the B&W.

i'm a believer of burn in; is there a recommended or supposed duration before the speakers will really open up and sing?

Dave at AA was easy to work with, although communication was somewhat slow; i guess he is just a very busy man.
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hi everyone

i just received my Sierra 2EX. very very nice speakers. the piano black finish is really good. out of the box, they sound great, and are a definite improvement over my B&W 606. mids and bass are fantastic, so much so i had to turn off my REL subwoofer (left it on standby mode with gain and crossover settings for the B&W). the highs are crystal clear and detailed, but not thinned out like the B&W.

i'm a believer of burn in; is there a recommended or supposed duration before the speakers will really open up and sing?

Dave at AA was easy to work with, although communication was somewhat slow; i guess he is just a very busy man.
Dave doesn't make any suggestions about burn-in. If you believe in it, then take as much time as you need, and once the speakers sound "perfect", burn-in would be complete!
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post #5722 of 5838 Old 11-26-2019, 07:54 PM
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Dave doesn't make any suggestions about burn-in. If you believe in it, then take as much time as you need, and once the speakers sound "perfect", burn-in would be complete!
thanks for chiming in. they sound great out of the box. i guess any additional improvement from perceived burn in will just be an added bonus!
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post #5723 of 5838 Old 11-26-2019, 08:06 PM
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Sierra 2 EX and Luna Duo

Slowly but surely I'm getting my basic 5.2 system installed. I decided to go with an Anthem MRX 520 and got a great deal on their recently discontinued PVA 5 series power amplifier (bye bye PVA former Sonic Frontiers amplifier series!). I moved my previous PSB speakers downstairs for a 3.1 system, powered by an older Anthem MRX 520 unit as well.

After removing the protective tweeter cover (shown in the photo), I really enjoy the Sierra 2 EX speakers and the Luna Duo center speaker. I haven't finished wiring up the Lunas that I purchased for surround duty. The Satin Expresso colors of the domestic Luna Duo and Luna surrounds match very close to my imported Sierra 2 EX cabinets (thanks Dina!). At the moment, I'm working on subwoofer integration and room treatments, as well as better cable management. I'd say the Luna Duo and the Sierra 2 EX speakers make a great team for those with small to medium sized rooms.
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Originally Posted by Roasty View Post
thanks for chiming in. they sound great out of the box. i guess any additional improvement from perceived burn in will just be an added bonus!
I was being a bit facetious :-). But the good thing is that real or not, Dave doesn't ask for "100's of hours" of burn in. I would say "take it out of the box and enjoy the music"!
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post #5725 of 5838 Old 11-26-2019, 08:19 PM
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Slowly but surely I'm getting my basic 5.2 system installed. I decided to go with an Anthem MRX 520 and got a great deal on their recently discontinued PVA 5 series power amplifier (bye bye PVA former Sonic Frontiers amplifier series!). I moved my previous PSB speakers downstairs for a 3.1 system, powered by an older Anthem MRX 520 unit as well.

After removing the protective tweeter cover (shown in the photo), I really enjoy the Sierra 2 EX speakers and the Luna Duo center speaker. I haven't finished wiring up the Lunas that I purchased for surround duty. The Satin Expresso colors of the domestic Luna Duo and Luna surrounds match very close to my imported Sierra 2 EX cabinets (thanks Dina!). At the moment, I'm working on subwoofer integration and room treatments, as well as better cable management. I'd say the Luna Duo and the Sierra 2 EX speakers make a great team for those with small to medium sized rooms.
Looks really nice. I would add that you'll get better sub bass response if you move that sub to the mid point along the wall behind the TV. Subs are subject to SBIR, too, just like speakers.

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post #5726 of 5838 Old 11-26-2019, 08:33 PM
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Looks really nice. I would add that you'll get better sub bass response if you move that sub to the mid point along the wall behind the TV. Subs are subject to SBIR, too, just like speakers.
Thanks. I now have the two in opposite corners which fills in the nulls quite nicely I might add.

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post #5727 of 5838 Old 11-26-2019, 11:19 PM
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i'm a believer of burn in; is there a recommended or supposed duration before the speakers will really open up and sing?

Not sure where you’d like the burn in to happen, but if you believe it, it’ll exist in your mind as thats how our brains work.

IIRC, Dave runs his speakers for a few hours before being sent out to customers, so any “burn in” would happen there at Ascend HQ.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #5728 of 5838 Old 11-27-2019, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Speaker Robert View Post
Slowly but surely I'm getting my basic 5.2 system installed. I decided to go with an Anthem MRX 520 and got a great deal on their recently discontinued PVA 5 series power amplifier (bye bye PVA former Sonic Frontiers amplifier series!). I moved my previous PSB speakers downstairs for a 3.1 system, powered by an older Anthem MRX 520 unit as well.

After removing the protective tweeter cover (shown in the photo), I really enjoy the Sierra 2 EX speakers and the Luna Duo center speaker. I haven't finished wiring up the Lunas that I purchased for surround duty. The Satin Expresso colors of the domestic Luna Duo and Luna surrounds match very close to my imported Sierra 2 EX cabinets (thanks Dina!). At the moment, I'm working on subwoofer integration and room treatments, as well as better cable management. I'd say the Luna Duo and the Sierra 2 EX speakers make a great team for those with small to medium sized rooms.
What are your impressions on the Duo as a center channel ? In particular, how does it do with movie dialog ? Also, can you give me the height of the Duo ?
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post #5729 of 5838 Old 11-27-2019, 04:01 AM
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Just as a side note, I think it's "break in" with speakers. Most speakers do have a break in period. My specific speakers have a little bit longer break in period, took 2 months for them to fully relax and sound the way they should.
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post #5730 of 5838 Old 11-27-2019, 07:17 AM
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What are your impressions on the Duo as a center channel ? In particular, how does it do with movie dialog ? Also, can you give me the height of the Duo ?
I've got one also. I gave my impressions here. Longish story shorter, they do excellently with dialog. The Duo punches *way above* its weight class. I was thoroughly surprised (and thrilled) to get so much performance from such a small package. All that, and WAF too. What's not to like?

If you scroll back one post in that thread you can see my pix of my Duo sitting on top of my Sierra-2 center to see relative size. I just measured height of mine, which is right at 14.5 cm tall. If you scroll back on that same thread to post #1048 you can see Dave's pix of the first run of Duos at the factory.

And somewhere further back in that thread are the full lists of specs for the Duos, but I don't remember where. Search and you'll find it.

Also, you won't find much on the website about the Duo yet. You'll have to pick up your phone and call Dave or Dina and talk to them about it.
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