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Hey All I'm building out a new 5.2 home theatre which will also be used for listening to music and video games. Budget for Audio is ~ $8000. I already have a Marantz av7704 preamp and a JTR Growler powered with a QSC RMX 2450 but still need speakers and amplifier(s) and one additional sub. This will be installed in a 28x13x8 basement with seating position about 10 feet away from the front speakers (facing the smaller wall).

I'm currently looking at getting 2 x Ascend Sierra Towers (w/ raal tweeter upgrade) for L/R, Ascend Sierra Horizon (raal tweeter) for center and 2x Ascend Sierra-2 for the surround speakers. I also have a JTR Captivator lined up as my second sub. I'm thinking of the Emotiva XPA-11 for the amplification (eventually I want to expand out to 7.4.2) I was wondering what y'all thought of this setup. I know this is the "Speakers" forum but please don't hesitate to sound off if you have a comment about other aspects of this set up. I posted it in "Speakers" since that is where the majority of my money will be going, not sure what the rules about cross-posting are since I just joined.

Quick note about the subs. I realize that I'm mixing a "pro" sub with a "home" sub and that the Growler is ported while the Captivator is not. I'm planning on using REW to integrate them both. I hope that this won't cause me too many headaches. I can always pull the growler if necessary.
 

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Seriously, I would return/sell the growler and get a pair of Cap 2400s - that will give you pretty much all the bass you need. The Growler is, IMHO, a "sound reinforcement" speaker - designed to be mid-bass monsters in a fully-actively crossed-over PA network.
For music quality, the Sierra LCR probably can't be beat without going to PSA or JTR speakers for HT. There is no need to spend as much on the surrounds, but for gaming it is pretty much a given that your surrounds should match your fronts (that's what I do).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Seriously, I would return/sell the growler and get a pair of Cap 2400s - that will give you pretty much all the bass you need. The Growler is, IMHO, a "sound reinforcement" speaker - designed to be mid-bass monsters in a fully-actively crossed-over PA network.
For music quality, the Sierra LCR probably can't be beat without going to PSA or JTR speakers for HT. There is no need to spend as much on the surrounds, but for gaming it is pretty much a given that your surrounds should match your fronts (that's what I do).
I'm already pretty set on a captivator S1. I'm getting a prototype (slightly larger cab - 1" larger in 2 dimensions) at a pretty significant discount. If I get rid of the growler I could possibly add another captivator (or other JTR sub) at some point in the future but I don't think the budget allows for it right now. Do you not think it's worth it to even try to integrate the growler into the system? I was on the fence about that.
 

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If you were doing a fully-active PA setup with electronic crossovers and DSP I would say go for it.
For HT, subs need to do what subs do best - playing below 80Hz with AUTHORITY.

If you can sell the growler, that cash could go to some Sierra Lunas for Atmos...:eek::D:D:D
 

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Speaking of expanding the system. Do you think the lunas would be ok to use for the left/right surround when moving from 5 to 7. I'm assuming it would be fine to mix them with the sierra-2s. Never thought about using lunas for the top but now that you suggest it it doesn't seem like such a bad idea :D
 

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Speaking of expanding the system. Do you think the lunas would be ok to use for the left/right surround when moving from 5 to 7. I'm assuming it would be fine to mix them with the sierra-2s. Never thought about using lunas for the top but now that you suggest it it doesn't seem like such a bad idea :D
Luna’s will work great. I’m my previous setup I had Five Sierra 2’s as my front stage and surrounds and the setup was fantastic for music and movies. Now I have Sierra 2Ex and Luna duo for my front stage and will probably pick up a pair of Luna’s soon. Listening to surround sound music is seamless you won’t regret it!!!
 

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Luna’s will work great. I’m my previous setup I had Five Sierra 2’s as my front stage and surrounds and the setup was fantastic for music and movies. Now I have Sierra 2Ex and Luna duo for my front stage and will probably pick up a pair of Luna’s soon. Listening to surround sound music is seamless you won’t regret it!!!
What amp(s) are you using to drive your system?
 

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What amp(s) are you using to drive your system?
Marantz 7703 pre + Nad M25 power amp it’s an older beefy (100+ pounds) amp 160 watts per channel. I was using Yamaha rxa 2040 Aventage receiver before that.
 

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How much music vs. HT (movies, video games) will be your usage?

If you are doing more HT than music--than Ascends might not be the best. If more HT- I'd load up on an ALL JTR config meaning speakers & subs
 

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How much music vs. HT (movies, video games) will be your usage?

If you are doing more HT than music--than Ascends might not be the best. If more HT- I'd load up on an ALL JTR config meaning speakers & subs
Probably 20/30/50 (HT/Music/Games). Also I don't typically watch movies at super loud (aka reference) levels. I read somewhere that the Ascends were really good for movies at lower volumes. Now that's not to say I'm not interested in being able to approximate a movie theatre it's just that watching movies at those volumes will probably not be the norm.
 

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Probably 20/30/50 (HT/Music/Games). Also I don't typically watch movies at super loud (aka reference) levels. I read somewhere that the Ascends were really good for movies at lower volumes. Now that's not to say I'm not interested in being able to approximate a movie theatre it's just that watching movies at those volumes will probably not be the norm.
Since you have 70% HT usage---I think you might be better looking at other speakers. My usage about 75-80% HT so not that much different and I prob wouldn't even consider the RAAL based tweeters for HT majority of usage if cost wasn't an issue.
However, despite your 70% HT usage if the 30% music is much more important to you than by all means go with the Ascend's. If you want the best music experience with that 30% probably nothing better for that price range.

But if you casual music listener and more focused on the HT part, the Ascends will not really impress you on the HT part. I listened to Ascends two years ago. Heard probably a little more clarity in HT, but they didn't have the dynamic HT experience I found in a couple other speakers like Chane's, Emotiva's and now my Tekton's.

Music - Ascends all day every day including twice on Sunday.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Seriously, I would return/sell the growler and get a pair of Cap 2400s - that will give you pretty much all the bass you need. The Growler is, IMHO, a "sound reinforcement" speaker - designed to be mid-bass monsters in a fully-actively crossed-over PA network.
For music quality, the Sierra LCR probably can't be beat without going to PSA or JTR speakers for HT. There is no need to spend as much on the surrounds, but for gaming it is pretty much a given that your surrounds should match your fronts (that's what I do).
I priced out a PSA system (2x MTM-210T, MTM-210C, 2x MT-110SR) and it's not too much more. I'm torn, I love the IDEA of a "reference" home theatre system but Ascend Sierra seem right up my alley for what I'm looking for sonically and I like the way they look. PSA has a 60 day trial - ascend is 30 days. I'm tempted to get them and the ascends and send back whichever I like less but that's a lot of hassle dealing with UPS.

Do you really think the PSA system would be superior?
 

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I have the Sierra 2EX and Horizon with RAAL. I use Sierra 1s as surrounds, and they seem to blend in seamlessly despite the different tweeter.

The Horizon Center is great!
 

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I priced out a PSA system (2x MTM-210T, MTM-210C, 2x MT-110SR) and it's not too much more. I'm torn, I love the IDEA of a "reference" home theatre system but Ascend Sierra seem right up my alley for what I'm looking for sonically and I like the way they look. PSA has a 60 day trial - ascend is 30 days. I'm tempted to get them and the ascends and send back whichever I like less but that's a lot of hassle dealing with UPS.

Do you really think the PSA system would be superior?
They are two completely different speaker types - one is designed for high-quality music playback, while the other is a no-holds-barred pro-audio compression driver and mid-woofer that will play Reference levels with minimal amplification. @imagic did a stereo music review on them, and they performed wonderfully.

If you really want to audition them, I would simply order a pair of Sierra 2s and a pair of MT-210s and audition them in your room with your electronics, and your sources. That way, return shipping wouldn't be a killer - both to you and the companies. Remember, they would have to re-sell them as B-stock, no matter how perfect they may be on return. IIRC a few years ago, too many people were taking advantage of PSA and auditioning complete home theatre setups and returning the entire lot. Tom took a pretty big hit, I believe.
The Sierras ARE prettier, and if they are going to be in the open, then appearances could be important. @Ascend should be able to answer any questions you may have, and Tom V at PSA is usually available on their chat system online and is extremely helpful.
Heck - Jeff at JTR may have some B-stock as well. THAT would be a SIGNIFICANT upgrade... lol


I am surprised, however, that the Cult of Toole hasn't shown up with their Revel/JBL Synthesis hype, but I am starting to read decent things about the JBL HDI-series of speakers. Unfortunately, they are dealer-only, so the usual suspects will probably chime in.

If you have any woodworking skills at all, the DIY designs at https://www.diysoundgroup.com/ could be an option if you want to build speakers that are comparable to the PSA/JTR offerings. That is a rabbit hole even deeper than the one you currently have yourself in though... lol
 
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They are two completely different speaker types - one is designed for high-quality music playback, while the other is a no-holds-barred pro-audio compression driver and mid-woofer that will play Reference levels with minimal amplification. @imagic did a stereo music review on them, and they performed wonderfully.

If you really want to audition them, I would simply order a pair of Sierra 2s and a pair of MT-210s and audition them in your room with your electronics, and your sources. That way, return shipping wouldn't be a killer - both to you and the companies. Remember, they would have to re-sell them as B-stock, no matter how perfect they may be on return. IIRC a few years ago, too many people were taking advantage of PSA and auditioning complete home theatre setups and returning the entire lot. Tom took a pretty big hit, I believe.
The Sierras ARE prettier, and if they are going to be in the open, then appearances could be important. @Ascend should be able to answer any questions you may have, and Tom V at PSA is usually available on their chat system online and is extremely helpful.
Heck - Jeff at JTR may have some B-stock as well. THAT would be a SIGNIFICANT upgrade... lol


I am surprised, however, that the Cult of Toole hasn't shown up with their Revel/JBL Synthesis hype, but I am starting to read decent things about the JBL HDI-series of speakers. Unfortunately, they are dealer-only, so the usual suspects will probably chime in.

If you have any woodworking skills at all, the DIY designs at https://www.diysoundgroup.com/ could be an option if you want to build speakers that are comparable to the PSA/JTR offerings. That is a rabbit hole even deeper than the one you currently have yourself in though... lol
I just messaged Jeff to see what else he has prototype/b-stock-wise. DIY is just more than I'm willing to chew at the moment. I want amazing sound pre-made :D
 
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