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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I heard the Sierra towers courtesy Holt (and that was months ago) and I am going to listen to the 836w hopefully this week.


Now as much as I would love to listen to these things at reference levels, I have a 17 month old and my booming home theater days are def put on hold. So I would say now its 80% much 20%HT and my room consists of 8 ft ceilings, hardwood floors with a big shag rug and curtains in the rear of the room and the dimensions are 25 x 22 and its not a perfectly rectangular room with a 6 ft opening to the kitchen and well I supposed I can post pics to give you guys a better idea.


I am selling my B&W CM5's and I already sold my center.


I have just decided to go with towers because I straight suffer from upgraditis like most of you here. I will def be looking at a L/C/R/ set up and currently am running a denon 3313 pushed by a sunfire cinema 200x5 and a sunfire sds12 sub (which I will be upgrading later)


So as far as my ears are concerned, I feel they are sensitive to a hard high or at least to my ears anyways. I have a studio in my house with a BAT 250 pushing some westlake audio BBSM4's and even those are pushing it when cranked. I suppose everyone is going to say to go for the RAAL's then if my ears are sensitive but I have searched all over and I can't find any comparisons between the Focal 836w's and the Ascend Towers..



SOooooo I am just wondering if any of you have had the experience or does one beat out the other hand over fist?


Personally, neither one wins a beauty pageant in my opinion but I have the WAF on both!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·







so needless to say, I dont have a lot of wall space to really separate whatever I do put there and these bookshelves do fine but I am looking for something to fill this bigger room that I now have.
 

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The Focal uses aluminum/magnesium dome tweeter and the Ascend Towers uses NrT tweeter. The soft dome tweeter will be easier on the ears always over any type of aluminum dome tweeters. So Ascend will be your better choice. Also the Focal is using MDF cabinets while the Ascend uses birch ply wood which will reduce resonance, which then ofcourse translates to dead cabinet, better accurate sound and will offer you more 3d type soundstaging.


If you are looking to spend $3,500 and the towers are not a must, I highly highly recommend the Vapor Audio's Cirrus blacks. They use the best crossovers,RAAL 70-20x tweeters. best cabinets with real birch ply wood (13+ layered) which reduces resonance by 20db and the best woofers. Very good for music and HT. Speakers are fast, natural sounding and organic, huge soundstage depth and great articulate bass while being detailed/refined as hell. And will fill your space no problem.

www.vaporsound.com
 

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Vapor stiff and breeze uses prefabricated partsexpress/dayton mdf curved cabinets with cust front baffle. Not birch as you mention in other post.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofthecrate  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w#post_23813639



So as far as my ears are concerned, I feel they are sensitive to a hard high or at least to my ears anyways.

Are you using Audyssey Dynamic EQ in your system?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w#post_23813804


In that case, the Vapor Stiff Breeze are much better value than the Ascends.

So you actually believe that one speaker is better than another based solely on the cabinet material? That is crazy talk! The Sierra Towers have extensive bracing, and I can assure you that they are just as rigged as the Vaper Audio speakers.


The Sierra Towers with their RAAL tweeter will be more detailed, have better clarity, wider sound stage, and better imaging that the Focal's. The Sierra Towers are in every way a much better sounding speaker, compared to the Focal's.


As far as how the Sierra Towers compare to the Vapor Audio Cirrus, I am not sure as I have not heard the Cirrus, but judging by specs and user reviews, the Sierra Towers will extend lower, and should have more mid-bass kick. If it were me, I would definitely go with the Sierra Towers & a Horizon center channel. That would be an extremely hard setup to beat!
 

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I am reticent about making claims that one speaker is unequivocally better sounding than another speaker in the same price class.


Most comparisons are done by pure memory and the speakers were not in the same room, same system, same setup, or even same music.


And in the end, it's about personal preference.


So how can anyone know for sure what someone else's preference is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w#post_23814042


Are you using Audyssey Dynamic EQ in your system?
Yeah I am, i never noticed that bright of a tweeter with the CM5's that most tend to say it has. In fact there is nothing wrong with my cm5's. I just know there is a better option for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I am not looking for anyone to fit their preference to mine however I am sure there are guys out there that have my same sensitive hearing. Now I dont find the CM5's ear blistering at all so if that says anything between the two then I am looking for experiences with the two.



I am not against going with bookshelves again, my concern was being able to dynamically fill that room when mom and baby are out of the house and dad can rock out to some steve wilson
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofthecrate  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w#post_23814171


Yeah I am, i never noticed that bright of a tweeter with the CM5's that most tend to say it has. In fact there is nothing wrong with my cm5's. I just know there is a better option for me.

You mean upgrade fever?



Got to spend that money?



People will say all kinds of things. Internet hearsay is ubiquitous.



Well, it is fun to spend money. I am no stranger.



I've tried to find all kinds of excuses to buy, buy, buy.



So are you going from good sounding B&W speakers that measure "poorly" to other speakers that are good sounding and measure superbly?



If this is the case, I think the Focal 836w is good sounding but may not measure that superbly.


I have the 826v. They do sound very good to my ears. But their on-axis FR is like +/- 3 to 4 dB.


The Ascend, like other accurately measured speakers from Revel, KEF, Salk, Philharmonic, NHT, RBH, TAD, Pioneer, etc., will probably measure a lot better than the Focal 836w.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w#post_23814223


You mean upgrade fever?



Got to spend that money?



People will say all kinds of things. Internet hearsay is ubiquitous.



Well, it is fun to spend money. I am no stranger.



I've tried to find all kinds of excuses to buy, buy, buy.



So are you going from good sounding B&W speakers that measure "poorly" to other speakers that are good sounding and measure superbly?



If this is the case, I think the Focal 836w is good sounding but may not measure that superbly.


I have the 826v. They do sound very good to my ears. But their on-axis FR is like +/- 3 to 4 dB.


The Ascend, like other accurately measured speakers from Revel, KEF, Salk, Philharmonic, NHT, RBH, TAD, Pioneer, etc., will probably measure a lot better than the Focal 836w.


Well what happened was, when I bought the home I am in now, somebody (probably someone I knew since we had a lot of remodeling going on) broke into our garage while I was out of the country for work and stole a lot of things that were dear to me including a pair of infinity kappas that my father gave to me along with other things that held high sentimental value like my bryston 4B (now replaced with a BAT 250) and other music instruments like my 82 fender p bass and a jupiter 8 and Yamaha motif. So I have the room to upgrade and like you, have NO problem spending the money.



I checked out that vapor sounds but I dont even know anyone to even go check them out and we are talking a few thousand above my budget now. I tend to get buyers remorse when I go above 1500 on what I already had planned. Also no offense to the speaker builders but I feel the marketing for upgrade options just leaves me with the taste of dissatisfaction when I go to purchase your product in its standard option knowing I could have gotten the same speaker in a better configuration. If it sounds that much better of a speaker, then just sell it as built with the better components.



however, I wanted to stay within budget of 3500 but I would want a center channel (although I must admit, I haven't noticed much difference running 2.1 in my current set up)
 

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Well i have had the Nrt Sierra towers for about 4 months now and i still smile every time i turn them on. I thought about the RAAL and still think about it, but the NrT is an excellent tweeter and you really can't go wrong (Plus if i ever get upgradeitis i have something to buy haha). I have never heard the focals, but i can say i have heard the CM9's. Mind you it was in a speaker store and probably wasn't the greatest conditions, but i left unimpressed. I have a friend who worked in the speaker selling business for 20 years and he owns a pair of paradigm s8's (which i also liked, although the top end could be harsh). When he came over and listened to the Ascends he was blown away.


Some things i have noticed:

surprisingly deep bass from (2) 5 1/4" woofers. Would need a sub for true home theater, but in 2 channel it is definitely not needed. I scared the crap out of my son cranking the volume one day to test the bass.


When you turn the volume up it almost seems like they gain more presence rather than just get louder.


They have great detail even at low volumes


The finish is stunning. I got the satin espresso. (though in hindsight i wish i would have went for the natural)


Music has never sounded better even my girlfriend who couldn't believe i was spending this kind of money on speakers has even admitted they sound great.


Last, but not least it took about 7 weeks from purchase to getting my speakers and Dina gave me weekly updates on the status and even pictures as they were being built. You simply can't get better customer service!


If you liked what you heard while listening to them i would definitely go for it. Either way you will probably like both i have heard great things about focal and want to hear them for myself someday.
 

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Heh...I had a couple of fellows come over this weekend having recently auditioned the Klispch rf7s...I believe have dual 10's...sure they (my Asends) wouldn't dig as low BUT were very surprised on how well the Ascends handled the bass strictly in 2ch direct mode...one of them commented that my home needed better sound proofing because he could hear the bass from across the street upon arriving at my home.....lol.


Fwiw...I always use a sub for music and H/T...just a personal choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a sub even though I plan on upgrading to maybe another sunfire or perhaps go different route so my low and capability is there. If I went ascend I would go with the nrt in the towers and raal in the center. I feel that would be best for dialog but I'm having doubts of going raal in the towers for I felt they were a tad bright for my ears. So I'm sure the soft dome would satisfy me there. Not that I didn't like the raal, I just felt at higher levels it made my ears a but uncomfortable. Though I Dont normally listen loud alone. it seems the consensus on the tweeter with the vocals are going to be harsh. Only one way to find out. Go give them a listen and judge it. I found a great deal on a member selling them used here so it would save me money but with all the current findings in better enclosures with a higher grade density would that is helping me lean more towards the ascend
 

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we have the towers in nrt tweeter and the center in raal could not be any happier brings a smile to me every time I turn my system on.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w#post_23813721

The Focal uses aluminum/magnesium dome tweeter and the Ascend Towers uses NrT tweeter. The soft dome tweeter will be easier on the ears always over any type of aluminum dome tweeters. So Ascend will be your better choice. Also the Focal is using MDF cabinets while the Ascend uses birch ply wood which will reduce resonance, which then ofcourse translates to dead cabinet, better accurate sound and will offer you more 3d type soundstaging.


If you are looking to spend $3,500 and the towers are not a must, I highly highly recommend the Vapor Audio's Cirrus blacks. They use the best crossovers,RAAL 70-20x tweeters. best cabinets with real birch ply wood (13+ layered) which reduces resonance by 20db and the best woofers. Very good for music and HT. Speakers are fast, natural sounding and organic, huge soundstage depth and great articulate bass while being detailed/refined as hell. And will fill your space no problem.

www.vaporsound.com

More nonsense. The tweeter material has little or nothing to do with being "easier" on the ears. It's all in the implementation. A poor design with a soft dome could easily be harsh, bright, etc. Not to say that is the case with the Ascends, just that the statement above is false.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicardoJoa  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w/0_100#post_23813778


You sound like a fortuneteller.


Anyway, the sierra T cabinets are made of bamboo not birch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101  /t/1493975/ive-narrowed-my-choices-down-to-ascend-sierra-towers-or-focal-836w/0_100#post_23813804


In that case, the Vapor Stiff Breeze are much better value than the Ascends.

Naim101,


I am not sure of your logic in coming to your conclusion -- The layered bamboo we use is actually stiffer than birch ply. It is also considerably more expensive. With regard to wood materials, I know of no other material that is stiffer/stronger than bamboo. Besides being beautiful and a true "green" material, compared to MDF (which is similar in density), bamboo ply has 8 times greater compressive strength, and slightly greater than 10 times the bulk stiffness-to-weight ratio. The Sierra series cabinets are more comparable to the Vapor Cirrus cabinets, which use layered birch ply.
 
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