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Thread: NrT upgrade completed!

  1. #21

    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.
    You might want to start reading a bit earlier in the thread that Mag_Neato mentioned and read all the posts. Dave F. comments here:

    http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...5966#post35966

    -Dave
    Last edited by DPlettner; 12-16-2010 at 12:43 PM.

  2. #22

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelG View Post
    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.
    I agree 100%. It is so much easier to perceive dialog articulation when watching TV shows with the NrTs that shows can be enjoyed at lower volume levels.

    At the risk of disturbing all the good karma, Dave did warn us that the NrTs might be less forgiving than the classic Sierra 1s (although he later stated that Californication sounded great). I was watching football last weekend, and there were some local commercials with screechy audio. They would have been bad enough with the classic Sierra 1s, but with the NrTs I thought my ears were going to start bleeding . However, I really can't blame this on the NrTs since they were just revealing the true horrible nature of the commercials' audio.

    -Dave

  3. #23
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    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by pj- View Post
    One of my old crossovers has a weird discoloration around one of the screw holes, and the big black thing (resistor?) has a loose flap, like its wrapper is starting to come off. Are these just cosmetic issues or did something happen?
    Here's a pic of the weird discoloration:
    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5001/...12357afb_b.jpg
    This is odd but I can't see enough detail from your picture. It looks like only the PCB is discolored and not any of the components. This could simply have been due to the board sitting on the flow soldering machine longer than normal. No reason to be concerned and if you send the crossover back to us, I will make sure to check it out.
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  4. #24
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    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
    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!!
    Awesome news and thanks for sharing. I think we are at 100% customer approval with the NrT upgrade and this is quite a bit higher than I expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
    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...
    I am quite proud of this crossover layout but unfortuntately for us -- as you have noticed, it is rather expensive. We get a decent price by purchasing in bulk quantiies but I must admit that I would like to try and figure out a way to get our profit margin up a bit higher.


    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?
    This lighter weight is due to a change in the magnet material from ferrite to neodymium (a neo ring magnet). Neodymium is the strongest permanent magnet material known to man -- such that it requires much less material to generate a strong magnet field.

    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...
    There is actually a lot going on with the tweeter aside from the neo-ring magnet...

    1) We are using a shorter former and a shorter voice coil. This greatly reduces the mass of the diaphragm structure thus reducing inertia / stored energy allowing the dome to move with more precision.

    2) The motor assembly is now an "underhung" design such that the entire voice coil stays within the magnetic field regardless of the frequency or output level required of the tweeter. This greatly improves linearity, dynamics and also lowers distortion. It results in more detail, greater HF extension and improved transparency.

    3) We changed the voice coil winding material to CCAW (copper clad aluminum wire) which improves conductivity while further reducing mass.

    Aside from aesthetics, our NrT has more in common with the SEAS Excel T29CF001 than it does with the standard Sierra-1 tweeter.
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  5. #25
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    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by DPlettner View Post
    One of my woofers was stuck and was very difficult to remove. When I finally got it loose, a small chip of the piano black finish broke off. I was able to glue the chip back in, and it does not look too bad. Also, I use this speaker as a rear speaker, so it is not a big deal. However, people that have not done this upgrade yet should keep this in mind as they are removing the woofers.

    -Dave
    Had the same thing happen One of them got off easily and went on equally easily, the 2nd one was much harder to get off and I had to go through the tweeter/bracing to push it out... When I tried to the woofer put back in, it wouldn't go in, got kinda stuck, then a small bit also chipped off... Also glued it back in, not too apparent, I won't say anything to anyone, they're in the (dark) HT room with projector anyhow so I doubt anybody will notice

    Just a few minutes of listening so far, but I'll second what everybody said so far about the NrT upgrade, fantastic! Makes them a bit more forward than before imho, where before they were slightly recessed, and definitely adds some high end and even mid detail. Definitive improvement! Looking forward to more listening time!

  6. #26

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Finally got around to upgrading my 3 Sierras. Everything went smoothly, so I guess that means I have the newer cabinets (not surprising as I've only owned them for 1.5 years).

    I didn't have the 1/2" hex driver, but all binding post nuts could be finger loosened except one. Instead of the hex driver, I found that my small needle-nose vice grips worked well enough to put a little extra torque on the nuts when re-installing the binding posts.

    In the process, I noticed that I installed the binding post tabs (the plastic discs that sit against the inside of the cabinet) for the first speaker backwards (raised ridges against cabinet instead of facing inward). But I doubt this makes any real difference and am debating whether or not it is worth taking the speaker apart again to correct.

    I did a sort of A/B comparison between the right and left channels with a new NRT and original Sierra. To my initial horror, I preferred the sound of the old Sierra. The NRT sounded as if the treble was overly airy and fake sounding compared to the original Sierra. Then I discovered that I had somehow activated a DSP setting Turning this off, I was rewarded with a similar impression to what everyone else has been reporting. The NRT sounded more detailed, more airy, without sounding too tinny or metallic.

    I don't know if this is just my perception, but the NRT sounds slighty more sensitive then the original Sierra. Background hiss (when I put my ear next to the tweeter) seems a bit louder and I am generally finding that I can get away with turning the volume up a hair less to achieve usual listening levels. Or maybe this is all in my head and what I am hearing is a product of the improvement in resolution.

    Whether it is worth the upgrade price (fairly modest in my opinion) is up to the individual, but I was definitely able to perceive an upgrade in SQ. Just make sure you turn off all signal processing when testing the results for yourself
    Last edited by cynan; 01-13-2011 at 01:18 PM.

  7. #27

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    I prefer the original Sierras-1's
    The NRT can sound tinny on some recordings with highs sounding Overstated
    I own both styles.
    But only on day 2 with the NRT upgrade. So we will see....

  8. #28
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    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by King View Post
    I prefer the original Sierras-1's
    The NRT can sound tinny on some recordings with highs sounding Overstated
    I own both styles.
    But only on day 2 with the NRT upgrade. So we will see....
    Weird, the NrT Sierras are more forward but sounding tinny? Do you have examples of recordings where this happens? This might be caused by the recording itself...

    I've noticed that low quality MP3s get exposed a lot more by the NrTs with the added detail in the high end... Then some records just don't have good quality to begin with, that's what sucks, the better the equipment the more the short comings of recordings become evident...

  9. #29

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    [QUOTE= Then some records just don't have good quality to begin with, that's what sucks, the better the equipment the more the short comings of recordings become evident...[/QUOTE]

    True story!

    I am a Sierra-1 fanboy. Maybe my ears will adjust to the upgrade.
    Krall "Girl in the other Room " sacd
    I preferred the original Sierra's sound because the cymbals seemed pronounced and to linger out front with the NRT. One example.
    1/2 way through track one, is a good spot for comparison.
    Plus all of track two at mid level db's (not low).

    The more revealing your system becomes, leaves you with less material to play. Soon I will be down to one cd on a loop...
    Last edited by King; 01-17-2011 at 03:35 PM.

  10. #30

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by King View Post
    I prefer the original Sierras-1's
    The NRT can sound tinny on some recordings with highs sounding Overstated
    I own both styles.
    But only on day 2 with the NRT upgrade. So we will see....
    Too each their own. My girlfriend told me that she thought she preferred the original Sierras... They certainly are more forgiving. It's a good thing, seeing that I am generally preferring the sound of the new NrTs, that they're my speakers and not her's

    Then again, maybe part of the reason that I prefer the NrTs is because I'm the one that paid for them. Cognitive dissonance can be quite powerful - but I'm fairly certain that my preference for the NrTs is not merely "all in my head". I love the increased resolution on well-mastered string recordings (ie, Beethoven's late quartets). Pianos generally sound more lifelike. Guitar riffs on well recorded rock music sound like they have more energy. I do agree that the soundstage with the NrTs does seem more forward, and imaging, while slightly improved, produces a sound that's a bit more in your face. But overall, I like it. I will have to give Diana Krall a go - haven't done too much listening to vocal centered music - maybe this is where the NrTs will display a chink in the armor.

    I've always thought that the Sierra-1s were an excellent neutral sounding hi-fi monitor, but with the NrT upgrade, most well-mastered music just seems that much more exciting and intimate, providing that hint of character that if done just right, can make a good hi-fi speaker great. So far so good.
    Last edited by cynan; 01-17-2011 at 01:30 PM.

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