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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 3500cuft home theater, with the listening position about 10' from the main speakers. I'm looking to upgrade my SVS Prime center and towers (they sound good, but there's a harshness to the center on some films that I find annoying). I've got a pair of Ascend Lunas for a smaller system that sound fantastically smooth and transparent, and I want that sound in my home theater.

So for the center, the choice would be between the Horizon (RAAL) and Duo. Is there any reason to get the Horizon over the Duo if I'm crossing over at 80Hz? Is the simplicity of a 2-way design a benefit that outweighs the strengths of the 3-way Horizon (which, if I recall, potentially has better off-axis response due to the 3-way driver configuration)?





 

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The differences aren't just about the bass, a sub will help and the Luna might be fine if you don't listen super loud. The bigger difference is the Horizon is a 3 way with a dedicated midrange and the 70-20 RAAL, not the 64-10 used in the Luna and Sierra 2. If you know your listening levels that would help and also what mains you'll be using. I would think you would want to match the tweeters, so if you're going with the Towers get the Horizon and if you're going with the Luna or Sierra 2 EX, use the Duo or another 2 EX on its side, 3 Duos would be good as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The differences aren't just about the bass, a sub will help and the Luna might be fine if you don't listen super loud. The bigger difference is the Horizon is a 3 way with a dedicated midrange and the 70-20 RAAL, not the 64-10 used in the Luna and Sierra 2. If you know your listening levels that would help and also what mains you'll be using. I would think you would want to match the tweeters, so if you're going with the Towers get the Horizon and if you're going with the Luna or Sierra 2 EX, use the Duo or another 2 EX on its side, 3 Duos would be good as well.

Thanks. Looks like the Duo uses the same woofer as the Luna?


Listening levels are usually -12 (Yamaha receiver, so -12dbFS?) below reference, but can be "aggressive" on some evenings (usually never higher than -6).



I'm leaning towards the Sierra2-EX for the mains since I don't need a full-range tower.
 

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Thanks. Looks like the Duo uses the same woofer as the Luna?


Listening levels are usually -12 (Yamaha receiver, so -12dbFS?) below reference, but can be "aggressive" on some evenings (usually never higher than -6).



I'm leaning towards the Sierra2-EX for the mains since I don't need a full-range tower.
Yeah the Duo should be fine then, if you have an acoustically transparent screen 3 EX's vertical would be ideal but I'm sure the Duo blends fine as well.
 

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I've got a 3500cuft home theater, with the listening position about 10' from the main speakers. I'm looking to upgrade my SVS Prime center and towers (they sound good, but there's a harshness to the center on some films that I find annoying). I've got a pair of Ascend Lunas for a smaller system that sound fantastically smooth and transparent, and I want that sound in my home theater.

So for the center, the choice would be between the Horizon (RAAL) and Duo. Is there any reason to get the Horizon over the Duo if I'm crossing over at 80Hz? Is the simplicity of a 2-way design a benefit that outweighs the strengths of the 3-way Horizon (which, if I recall, potentially has better off-axis response due to the 3-way driver configuration)?





I'm in the exact same position and have a done of research, including on the Ascend Forums. The consensus and what Dave at Ascend himself says is Horizon > Duo > Sierra 2EX. So if selecting between Duo and 2EX for center, get the Duo.
 

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I've got a 3500cuft home theater, with the listening position about 10' from the main speakers. I'm looking to upgrade my SVS Prime center and towers (they sound good, but there's a harshness to the center on some films that I find annoying). I've got a pair of Ascend Lunas for a smaller system that sound fantastically smooth and transparent, and I want that sound in my home theater.

So for the center, the choice would be between the Horizon (RAAL) and Duo. Is there any reason to get the Horizon over the Duo if I'm crossing over at 80Hz? Is the simplicity of a 2-way design a benefit that outweighs the strengths of the 3-way Horizon (which, if I recall, potentially has better off-axis response due to the 3-way driver configuration)?






I think you answered part of your question about the advantages of a very well designed and executed 3 way center speaker. If cost is not a restraint the other consideration for me would be that the center speaker is the anchor of a surround system as it produces the majority of sound most of the time, especially voices (dialog). That's where a good three way makes a big difference. Also consider the Horizon is considerably (meaning worth considering) more efficient than the Duo. Another thing I would consider is whether you will be able to use the center duo in the same vertical position I assume you intend to use the L/R in. It certainly would be interesting to hear some opinions comparing the Horizon to a Duo in the vertical position. My best bet is the Horizon will have much better off axis dialog. Good Luck.
 

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I've got a 3500cuft home theater, with the listening position about 10' from the main speakers. I'm looking to upgrade my SVS Prime center and towers (they sound good, but there's a harshness to the center on some films that I find annoying). I've got a pair of Ascend Lunas for a smaller system that sound fantastically smooth and transparent, and I want that sound in my home theater.

So for the center, the choice would be between the Horizon (RAAL) and Duo. Is there any reason to get the Horizon over the Duo if I'm crossing over at 80Hz? Is the simplicity of a 2-way design a benefit that outweighs the strengths of the 3-way Horizon (which, if I recall, potentially has better off-axis response due to the 3-way driver configuration)?
Yep, I home auditioned the Prime bookshelves a few years ago and sent them back almost immediately...that damned tweeter is annoying AF!

If you have the space and budget, by all means get the Horizon with RAAL.

Personally, I'd just get the Emotiva C2 or even C1, not because I think they'd beat the Horizon, but I think they'd come plenty close enough for me not to care, and they would certainly be a big improvement over the Prime center.

Oh, and also because I'm a shameless cheapskate. :D
 

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As amazing as the Duo is supposed to be, I’d go for the Horizon. It’s an amazing center channel. I’d like to have a front stage of all Horizons.

I actually have mine crossed at 90hz as it measured slightly better in my room than 80hz.
 

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Thanks. Looks like the Duo uses the same woofer as the Luna?


Listening levels are usually -12 (Yamaha receiver, so -12dbFS?) below reference, but can be "aggressive" on some evenings (usually never higher than -6).



I'm leaning towards the Sierra2-EX for the mains since I don't need a full-range tower.


If you occasionally listen up to -6 dB from reference I’d definitely get towers. Regardless of crossing to subs, approaching reference level with a single low sensitivity 5” woofer trying to handle bass in the 80-300 Hz range is a bad idea IMO. Movies at -6 dB from reference require 99 dB peaks from each speaker....factor in 3-6 dB of eq below 300 Hz and a single 5” driver will be crapping the bed. Physically impossible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I agree with Bear123, go with Horizon and Towers. You are listening at quite loud levels and at 10’ I’d say your yammy would probably clipping with an 85db efficient speaker.

I sit about 12’ from my speakers and limit my volume to -12 (maybe -10 if I’m demoing movie scenes) and I have a 200w/channel amp feeding mine. It’s plenty loud for me, but if I could accommodate towers I would go that route.
 

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If you occasionally listen up to -6 dB from reference I’d definitely get towers. Regardless of crossing to subs, approaching reference level with a single low sensitivity 5” woofer trying to handle bass in the 80-300 Hz range is a bad idea IMO. Movies at -6 dB from reference require 99 dB peaks from each speaker....factor in 3-6 dB of eq below 300 Hz and a single 5” driver will be crapping the bed. Physically impossible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I think Sierra 2EX has 6" woofer not 5"
 

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This is all assuming -6 on his receiver is set relative to reference, if it is then I agree towers are the smart way to go but if the OP has an SPL meter I would get some actual Max level readings at your listening position.
 

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Listening levels are usually -12 (Yamaha receiver, so -12dbFS?) below reference, but can be "aggressive" on some evenings (usually never higher than -6).
What % of your usage is HT/TV/gaming, and what % is critical music listening?

If the latter is minimal or zero, I'd say forget the Sierras and just go with the 340SE x 3.

They will be already be a big improvement over the Primes (no annoying harsh tweeter) and being the highest sensitivity speakers that Ascend makes, will be the easiest load to drive to high volumes. As long as you have a quality sub or two for that 3500ft space, I seriously doubt you'd notice much difference from the Sierras during HT/TV/gaming usage.

Don't assume that the highest priced product is the best one for every application.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is all assuming -6 on his receiver is set relative to reference, if it is then I agree towers are the smart way to go but if the OP has an SPL meter I would get some actual Max level readings at your listening position.

Thanks. I dialed it in using REW and a calibrated UMIK-1, so it should be pretty close to being objectively correct. But the max readings aren't a bad idea.
 

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What % of your usage is HT/TV/gaming, and what % is critical music listening?

If the latter is minimal or zero, I'd say forget the Sierras and just go with the 340SE x 3.

They will be already be a big improvement over the Primes (no annoying harsh tweeter) and being the highest sensitivity speakers that Ascend makes, will be the easiest load to drive to high volumes. As long as you have a quality sub or two for that 3500ft space, I seriously doubt you'd notice much difference from the Sierras during HT/TV/gaming usage.

Don't assume that the highest priced product is the best one for every application.

Well, your suggestion won't be hard to test out, because my office actually has several sound rooms with different home theater setups with varying Aperion, Ascend and Blue-sky configurations depending on the need. And one of them actually has three 340SE's that I picked up from a forum user a while back! I've been too lazy to set up a blind test with all the speakers I have, but maybe I'll finally do it in the next few weeks with some time off.



There's also a guy near me selling a Revel C12 for pretty cheap, so I'm going to go pick that up and try it out. Because half the fun for me is getting the best performance for the best price!
 

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Well, your suggestion won't be hard to test out, because my office actually has several sound rooms with different home theater setups with varying Aperion, Ascend and Blue-sky configurations depending on the need. And one of them actually has three 340SE's that I picked up from a forum user a while back! I've been too lazy to set up a blind test with all the speakers I have, but maybe I'll finally do it in the next few weeks with some time off.

There's also a guy near me selling a Revel C12 for pretty cheap, so I'm going to go pick that up and try it out. Because half the fun for me is getting the best performance for the best price!
With a sub in play, I would expect the Ascends to easily outclass the Aperions. But it would be interesting to do some AB comparisons if you can.

HT really does not require high dollar speakers IMO...all you need is adequate detail and dynamics and reasonable sensitivity, which is not difficult to find at very down-to-earth prices.

A very interesting AB comparison would be the Ascend 340SE vs the Chane A2.4 since these are both dual woofer bookshelves.
 
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