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Thread: NrT upgrade completed!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Alright,
    I finished up my sierra center Nrt upgrade and spent some time listening to it last night. First off, I had the old cabinet, so installation was a bear, but I managed

    Setup...
    I brought down the sierra Nrt into my theater room(lots of sound deadening paneling and a yamaha receiver) and setup one center on speaker A and the other on speaker B of my receivers input, both left channel. I then was able to use the remote to toggle between the two center channels to compare the differences.
    Like pj, my first track on my own custom demo disc is Nils "Keith dont go". First thing I noticed was the extra top end sizzle, the guitar plucks and etc had more sizzle and energy. Then switching back to the original sierra, it sounded dull or veiled in comparison. I felt the guitar notes on the Nrt sounded much more realisitic regarding timbre accuracy compared to listening to a live guitar. I also noticed the male vocals sounded much more forward (more weight to them), where as the original sounded a bit boxy and hollow. As I listened to some other material (Jack Johnson, Dire Straits, Jesse Cook, and Fleetwood mac) I realized the imaging / soundstage was quite different among the two. I came to the conclusion that the Nrt produced material with an "airy" quality to all the notes, it made it seem like the soundstage grew and the imaging was more pronounced. Cymbal notes hung in the room longer while the original sierra seemed to play the note and it was gone. The sound of the Nrt was a large improvement in my mind. The extended high frequencies were very noticeable without any trace of sibilance. I can attest to Dave's measurements and how far the Nrt tweet extends on the top end!

    Overall, I was most impressed I was surprised at the male vocal improvements as the midrange became more forward and fuller in my mind. The cymbals, hi hats, and guitar plucks all sounded so much more accurate, were more pronounced, and seemed to float in the air with better separation with the other notes being produced.

    Congrats to Dave F and crew, the Nrt upgrade was well worth the price of admission Normally I am not one to notice subtle differences in the audio world(nor am I an expert) but the differences were very noticeable when comparing them side by side.

    Equipment -
    Yamaha Rx-v1600
    Toshiba 4800 DVD player - source
    Treated theater room, great for mids and highs, although I have no bass traps, so the bass is overly emphasized. Fine for movies

    Tracks-
    Nils Lofgren - Keith dont go, man in the moon
    Daryl Stuermer (Genesis band player) - man on the corner, in too deep
    Fleetwood mac - Go insane live, family man, and seven wonders
    NIN - into the void
    Santana - corazon espinado
    Jack Johnson - rodeo clowns, upside down, breakdown
    DIre Straits - ride across the river
    Rob Thomas - all that I am
    Jesse Cook - switchback, virtue, cafe mocha

    Next on my list.....

    Arrival of my Ascend Towers, name TBD


    Thanks!
    Brandon

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Just outside Pearland, TX
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    OK, upgraded my pair of Sierra-1s last night. The videos are excellent guides! Great that you took the time to make those.

    A few thoughts on the process:

    * You need a really deep socket for the 1/2" nut. I have a standard socket set and I couldn't use it because it wasn't deep enough—the posts stick out pretty far. However, they're also not on that tight; one good turn with a wrench and I was able to get them off them by hand.

    * If you have a glossy finish, I'd also recommend keeping the cotton gloves that came with the speakers handy. I got no end of fingerprints on mine and had to wipe them down a lot once I was done. Should have used the gloves!

    * Took me about 30 minutes for the first speaker and maybe 15 for the second. It's pretty quick and not at all difficult. The toughest part was getting the crossover unscrewed, as there was a little glue or resin or something on those screws that made it hard to get a good bite with the screwdriver. Plus, you can't really see the left rear screw while you do it. But that's pretty minor.

    Now, the final product: FANTASTIC! Does indeed provide that extra sizzle; cymbals are a little crisper, acoustic guitar is a little sharper, overall a little more detail, etc. Pretty much exactly as promised, they sound more like metal domes, but without the occasional harshness you get from metals. I've always kind of preferred metal domes and always tolerated the fatigue but this seems like the best of both worlds. Amazingly, it doesn't seem to have affected the overall balance of the speaker, it's not brighter or more forward, just clearer and crisper. I thought very highly indeed of the Sierra-1s before, and my only negative was the crispness at the top end. Now they're as close to perfect as can probably be achieved for that size and price of speaker. Kudos, Dave!!

    BTW, the new crossover is quite something. Those are some pretty serious-looking inductors and capacitors, there, Dave. I hope you got a good deal on the parts...

    Also interesting that the new tweeter is substantially lighter than the old one. Smaller magnet, yet feels faster. Some serious engineering in these beasties as well--what's the secret, Dave?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, California
    Posts
    6,222

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
    Also interesting that the new tweeter is substantially lighter than the old one. Smaller magnet, yet feels faster. Some serious engineering in these beasties as well--what's the secret, Dave?
    Dave can elaborate more, but I think it is because the tweeter magnet/ring is made of neodymium, which is lighter and more powerful.
    -curtis

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Just outside Pearland, TX
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Indeed, neodymium is probably a major part of it, but I bet that's not the whole story. I'm wondering if the huge capacitors in the crossover play a role, too...

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SouthWest of Cleveland
    Posts
    1,529

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    The NrT tweeter use a Neodymium Ring magnet. Much stronger than a ferrite magnet thus the lighter weight.

    I'm loving the NrT upgrade!
    Ed

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, California
    Posts
    6,222

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
    Indeed, neodymium is probably a major part of it, but I bet that's not the whole story. I'm wondering if the huge capacitors in the crossover play a role, too...
    Sure, the crossover is also tweaked...but we were addressing the reason why the tweeter is lighter.
    -curtis

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Andover MN
    Posts
    122

    Thumbs up Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    After many hours of breaking in my ears, I am in love with my Nrt upgrades. My wife and I feel it was a significant upgrade for our speakers and worth every penny. My wife out of the blue sent me a text at work "These speakers are AWESOME".

    I agree with everyone elses observations. Also with the Sierra-1s I always felt I had to crank up the volume and with the Nrt upgrade I find that music, movies and TV sound more complete and detailed at lower levels. There is another level of joy added and I find myself cycling through all my old DVD concerts and enjoying them all over again in a new way.

    Dave, finally I would like to thank you for how you approached the upgrade. It had to have taken a lot of time and engineering to get that new crossover to replace the old one EXACTLY! The upgrade was really easy and to have that as an option vs buying all new speakers says volumes on how you take care of your customers well after the purchase. Your approach to business makes it personal and keeps me connected to Ascend Acoustics. I have never felt that way about any other purchase in my experiences.

    Michael

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    My NrT Upgrade is going very badly...

    Most importantly, the holes in the NrT crossover are no where close to the holes from my old cross over. So as it stands, the NrT crossover is laying loose at the bottom of the cabinet.

    I encountered other random, and less important, problems too having to do with the binding posts.

    Anyone else encounter these problems? Do I have a freak speaker here or what? I only half-upgraded one of my three Sierras so far.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    You might try calling Ascend and see what they say. I'm sure they would be interested in your upgrade problem. And post back.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SouthWest of Cleveland
    Posts
    1,529

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by logicology View Post
    My NrT Upgrade is going very badly...

    Most importantly, the holes in the NrT crossover are no where close to the holes from my old cross over. So as it stands, the NrT crossover is laying loose at the bottom of the cabinet.

    I encountered other random, and less important, problems too having to do with the binding posts.

    Anyone else encounter these problems? Do I have a freak speaker here or what? I only half-upgraded one of my three Sierras so far.
    I posted my upgrade process with the 1st generation cabinets/crossovers here, post #37. Hope this helps.
    http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...?t=4526&page=4
    Ed

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