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Thinking of getting three front speakers, Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1's. I can get the three for just a bit over $1000.


What speakers are worthy competitors to look at?


Thanks for your suggestions,


Jeff


EDIT: I tried to summarize first 50 responses in post #52. (Folks seem to really like the Sierra-1's and like the NrT upgrade even better!)
 

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Which Sierras are you talking about? The regular Sierras or the NrTs?



About the NrT, was posted on the Ascend forum:
Quote:
ediblestarfis wrote:

I'm comparing the NrT to the Thiel CS1.6 's I have setup in another room as I did with the stock Sierra-1's. The Thiels are sharp and bright sounding to me. They are not very enjoyable due to the fatigue, but they definitely capture the sizzle off metal instruments as well as strings in crisp definition. The Thiels also image that illusionary sound stage incredibly well, and it's something the stock Sierra's have not been able to replicate to the same degree; they sound a little soft at the top end.


The NrT gets very close to that bar, without going over the edge for what I can tolerate. I did notice that they require a moderate listening level around 50 db or more to really open up. Any lower and the difference between the stock Sierra-1 and the NrT are difficult to perceive.


I also did the one-speaker-can't-wait-test, which did yield a slight improvement, but was nothing like stereo with both; the NrTs image much better. Sounds seem to be floating further off to the sides of the speakers as I listen to them.


I'm ecstatic about the upgrade. It's rare at this price range to spend a few hundred and get anything significant. It's hard to imagine how much better the new Ascend towers will sound (if I can justify purchasing them...). I was happy with the Sierra-1's before, even more with the NrTs, which I wasn't sure was going to happen.

Personally, haven't really found anything which does too well vs the Sierras... Either they're priced higher (although can definitely surpass them), or there's just something missing, be it bass extension/quality, resolution, etc... Just a very solid package for the price. Also hoping the NrT upgrade brings them "the next level"
 

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I wonder how the Aperion bookshelf speakers do against them. Another speaker from a ID company that looks interesting to me is the Elemental Designs EL6.3b, I'd love to see how they compare as well.
 

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As an owner of other speakers who now uses Serria 1s at that price point nothing. A year later they continue to impress me whether playing a blu-ray or listening to a SACD. There are a lot of great speakers - but it will be difficult to find three timber matched speakers for your fronts at that price that sound better. Plus Dave and company provide excellent support and you have 30 days to audition them in your home risk free.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ /forum/post/19630399


I wonder how the Aperion bookshelf speakers do against them.

The "APERION VERUS GRAND" was sorta compared to the Sierras in a GTG:

Quote:
This was a brand new speaker for us AND for Aperion. This pair was from their first production run and just might end up being a huge hit for the company. They were easily the smallest of the speakers present but they packed a wallop. While not the best of the best according to the auditioners, it was by far the least expensive and judged an excellent value. Because these were just available within days of the GTG, they were personally brought by Aperion designer, Ken Humphries. Also, because he left shortly after the event (in pouring rain) we were unable to snap any decent photographs. Hopefully one or more pictures will be available in a few days. Meanwhile I included a photo from their sales brochure.

Resolution - Being so tiny, these speakers still surprised many of us with their big sound. "Smooth, but a bit congested", "Bit sibilant, but clear", "Good, not great", "Detailed", "Very good".

Bass - Big things from a little source. "Emphatic bass", "Natural sounding", "Good weight", "Clean", "Very good".

Midrange - The mids seemed to be heard with equivalence by all. "Natural", "Okay", "Good", "Bit flat".

Transparency - A little more mixed bag, here. "Little smeared", "Very good", "Reserved", "Lifelike".

Transients - Here the Aperions spiced a little variation amongst the listeners. "Decent, but needs more air", "Smooth, but didn't excel", "Lifelike", "Good".

Visceral Impact - Impact from the little guys was still hanging in there, but barely. "Reserved a bit", "Slightly aggressive", "Nothing outstanding", "Highs bothersome", "Smooth".

Soundstage - Soundstage was decent but not special according to the group. "Nice", "Very good", "Average".

Dynamics - Again, not the best, not the worst dynamics. "Average", "Fine", "Nice and tight".

Other Comments - "Left me smiling", "A bit dull", "Detailed but non-fatiguing", "Solid performer, but bright", "I'd buy", "An amazing value".
Quote:
The Sierra-1's have been receiving kudos from the audio community for a long time. We were very pleased to have this pair sponsored by Ascend and to allow us to compare and contrast them with other quality stand-mount speakers. We had hoped to hear their new flagship Sierra-1 Nrt units. But they are still pending production, probably until October.

Resolution - According to our auditoners, this pair's weak link may have been its ability to resolve the finest details. But it was still competitive. "Bit sibilant", "Nice and detailed", "Very good but could be better", "Bold vocals", "Bright", "Clean but a bit thin".

Bass - The pair did better with the bass production. "Clean", "Super", "Lacks ultra-deep but is strong", "Rich".

Midrange - Mids appear to be another element of strength for the Sierras. "Neutral", "Nice", "I like, but they could be a bit warmer for me".

Transparency - And the beat keeps on as we understand what all the fuss is about over these speakers. Obviously the folks at Ascend are doing something right. "Clear", "Distinct", "Naturally clear", "Smooth", "Fine", "Good".

Transients - Transients played into this speaker's hands. "Handled shifts nicely", "I want this speaker", "Good", "Very good".

Visceral Impact - Pretty good impact on the audience. "Nice, present", "Very good", "Good but a little intense".

Soundstage - From this problematic element, the Sierras received a nice approval. ""Okay", "Very good", "Great".

Dynamics - These speakers kept up with the more dynamic and lightning fast units. "Very good", "Great", "I'm there", "Superb".

Other Comments - "Bit intense, but overall excellent", "Stood out for fullness of bass", "I'd buy".

But as I'm rereading the Aperion bit, looks like they might not be in the same price point as the Sierras... Yeah, 299$ per speaker, vs 450$ for Sierras, both in gloss black... Which Aperion did you have in mind? None seems to be similar in pricing, except the towers...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf /forum/post/19630470


Very nice! Doesn't seem like anyone who did the upgrade regretted the move, actually I think all who have posted their impressions so far have been most were impressed at the improvement!

Thanks! I did my best with describing what I heard, hope it made sense
The impressions thus far have been unanimous, well worth it!


when are you upgrading yours?



Brandon
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ /forum/post/19630399


I wonder how the Aperion bookshelf speakers do against them. Another speaker from a ID company that looks interesting to me is the Elemental Designs EL6.3b, I'd love to see how they compare as well.

IMO, any Aperion I have ever heard, has never really impressed me in value when compared to some other ID companies sound wise, although the cabinets were always well done. I have had three different pairs in my home.


Also, somewhere, someone compared the Aperion 6T to the Sierra-1.
 

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The Swan D2.1 SE competes very favorably with the Sierra1s. I have a pair of each, and while they do sound very different, lets put it this way, if you robbed me at gunpoint and took one of the pairs, I could still be very content with whichever pair you left behind.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark russ /forum/post/19630620


The Swan D2.1 SE competes very favorably with the Sierra1s. I have a pair of each, and while they do sound very different, lets put it this way, if you robbed me at gunpoint and took one of the pairs, I could still be very content with whichever pair you left behind.

If you promise not to prosecute and leave them both on the porch I'll be happy to take both and return the ones I don't care for.
 

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Went and A&B'd the dynaudio Excite 12 with my Stock Sierra's today.. not even close the Sierras were the better speaker. the dynaudios cost 30-50% more but the Sierras imo were the better speaker, and I really liked the Excite 12 to start with. The sierras just did everything better, bass extension, treble smoothness, soundstaging, open sounding, etc..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark russ /forum/post/19630620


The Swan D2.1 SE competes very favorably with the Sierra1s. I have a pair of each, and while they do sound very different, lets put it this way, if you robbed me at gunpoint and took one of the pairs, I could still be very content with whichever pair you left behind.

Mark, I believe you mentioned in another post that you also have NHT Classic 3s. How would you compare those to the Sierra1s?
 

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^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark russ /forum/post/19534561


I have both the Sierra1s and NHT Classic Threes. When comparing the two, the NHTs definitely have the edge in detail/resolution and imaging/soundstaging IMO. I'd give the edge to the Ascends on bass, but if you're crossing over to a sub at 80 Hz, that may be pretty much irrelevant. If you are going to use them in a surround system, the matching 3-way NHT center channel speaker, the 3C, is definitely an upgrade over a horizontal Sierra 1 IMO.


The Swan D2.1 SE and it's Custom version should also be on your short list at that price point IMO, along with the Revel M12 Concerta. The Revel also has a true 3-way matching CC speaker, the C12, as well.

Note that this was based on the stock Sierra1, which may or may not still apply to the NrT as I still have yet to hear it.


My previous comments about the Swan D2.1 SE was also based on it's stock version as well, and not the new upgraded custom version which I still haven't heard yet either.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ride525 /forum/post/19629273


Thinking of getting three front speakers, Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1's. I can get the three for just a bit over $1000.


What speakers are worthy competitors to look at?


Thanks for your suggestions,


Jeff

First i dont always get how some companys call some of their products ''reference''...uhmm...for that price and what i read on their site i would and i could get better speakers and towers one!....just the paradigm monitor 9v6 is a better speaker im sure and its consider a ''mid end'' speaker and even going lower with monitor 7v6 or even titan monitor bookshelves...not promoting paragigm it is just a comparison....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf /forum/post/19630421


The "APERION VERUS GRAND" was sorta compared to the Sierras in a GTG:


But as I'm rereading the Aperion bit, looks like they might not be in the same price point as the Sierras... Yeah, 299$ per speaker, vs 450$ for Sierras, both in gloss black... Which Aperion did you have in mind? None seems to be similar in pricing, except the towers...

You can get 3 Aperion 6B's, which is their 'biggest' bookshelf speaker for $1,035.


I'd be surprised if they didn't compare 'favourably'.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by serge71 /forum/post/19632133


First i dont always get how some companys call some of their products ''reference''...uhmm...for that price and what i read on their site i would and i could get better speakers and towers one!....just the paradigm monitor 9v6 is a better speaker im sure and its consider a ''mid end'' speaker and even going lower with monitor 7v6 or even titan monitor bookshelves...not promoting paragigm it is just a comparison....

I auditioned both the paradigm studio 10 and 20 bookshelves...for two channel my opinion is that the sierra bests both of them.
 
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