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Thread: NrT upgrade completed!

  1. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Lost in the boondocks of Connecticut, USA, Sol System, Milky Way
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    13

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    I've been quiet these past many weeks because Christmas rearranging of living room furniture meant moving music system out of the way of the tree. (Sigh). Anyway,

    First, I wanted to commend Dave on his position. I have *NEVER* met or heard of a guy who runs a company being so open to criticism or negative customer feedback, whether it's building cars or computers or houses or speakers or whatever. My hat's off to Dave for his focus on building the best speakers he can to make the most customers happy, and his enthusiastic embracing of the chance to learn something about his customers and the products he builds for them.

    Second, my Sierra's continue to amaze me, and whether installing the new tweeters and crossover would make them sound better, worse or simply different falls into the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" category, or possibly more accurately one of Murphy's laws: "if you mess with a thing long enough, you'll break it." At least, for me. I love what I'm hearing, and I don't want to mess with it. Yet. Right now (tree is out, speakers are back) I'm still experimenting with minor changes in location / positioning, and finding the music I'm getting responds enthusiastically to minor nudges this way and that. Surprising how moving one or the other speaker a half inch this way or that can make something sound so different. I do wish I didn't have cables (Blue Jeans Belden 5000 with ultrasonically welded banana plugs, in my case) with plugs that stuck out so far - between the cable connectors and the size of the binding posts on the speakers, I can't get them as close to the wall as I'd like, based on what I hear as I move them to ever closer proximity. My next "upgrade" is going to be to cables that let me move the speakers closer to the wall.

    Anyway. One other point - Mag_Neato said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mag_Neato View Post
    +1

    ... Perhaps a home trial could be setup by Ascend that would include a Sierra-1 AND a Sierra-NrT speaker so the customer could do a side by side in their home. Whichever speaker they preffered they keep, send the other speaker back, Ascend then ships the other matching speaker to the customer and the final costs adjusted. Just an idea that may help avoid this issue in the future.
    uh, sounds good, guy, but Dave indicated they're having trouble filling the orders they've got. Don't see how Ascend could possibly make such a home trial possible at the present time. Plus, think about the logistics and cost of that. Unless you want to see the price of the speakers increase to cover that kind of overhead, can't see how Dave could make that happen. Just my two cents.

    Back to music...
    Music is Art
    Audio is Engineering

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    USA
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    3,630

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mag_Neato View Post
    Perhaps a home trial could be setup by Ascend that would include a Sierra-1 AND a Sierra-NrT speaker so the customer could do a side by side in their home. Whichever speaker they preffered they keep, send the other speaker back, Ascend then ships the other matching speaker to the customer and the final costs adjusted. Just an idea that may help avoid this issue in the future.
    This could be a good option for many people. We have had many customers purchase a pair of 340 SE and a pair of Sierra-1 to audition at the same time and then return the pair that they least preferred. Returns such as these are an expense that is often hard to absorb, even more so with the NrT as the parts are ridiculously expensive these days (thanks to the dramatic price increase in neodymium), but I am most certainly willing to do it. In most cases, it isn't necessary though as we are usually able to determine what type of sound the customer is looking for, based on what he/she is already used to.

    I feel I must stress this, the Sierra-1 NrT is NOT replacing the Sierra-1. It is an upgrade option for the Sierra-1 and will remain so. We have designed the NrT kit to be an easy install option for the majority of our customers and it is a simple task when upgrading one's speakers to compare the sound from one speaker to the other.

    To this date, we have not received a single "kit" purchase returned to us with a customer stating that they prefer the originals -- not one. And I think it a fair assumption that most of these customers are comparing one to another (Sierra-1 to Sierra-1 NrT). Of the 4 customers who are not satisfied with the Sierra-1 NrT, one returned the speakers simply because they were just too small for the room (did not own Sierra-1). Another has room issues but loves the detail of the speakers (he has thus found a pair of speakers that better integrates in his room).

    Chris and King prefer the Sierra-1 as is, and I am humbled by this because the Sierra-1 is a FANTASTIC loudspeaker as is. I am actually quite pleased by their preference. To be perfectly honest, the percentage that prefers the NrT to the stock version is much higher than I originally anticipated. My initial guess was around 70% that would prefer the NrT and we are much higher than this. The fact that Chris and King prefer the standard Sierra-1 is a firm testament to just how good the Sierra-1 is, whether they want to believe it or not, it makes me smile ...

    What does bother me is when one person tries to convince another person that what they hear is more correct than what someone else hears. This is not AVS forum I encourage everyone to share their opinions with me, in private or openly. I have been designing speakers for more than a quarter of a century now (oh my ) and one thing I have learned is that no matter how technically correct or incorrect a speaker might be, each will have its fans. Even if technical perfection in a loudspeaker was achieved, some will still chose a different loudspeaker.

    The Sierra-1 NrT is not some thrown together upgrade with off-the-shelf parts. The tweeter itself took over a year to develop by SEAS's most qualified engineer, based on specific parameters and ideas that were set forth by me. It was then fully evaluated by both me and their complete team of engineers. It offers remarkable HF extension for a 29mm soft dome (the best extension I have personally ever measured in a soft dome) while also offering exceptional transient accuracy due to the highly focused and powerful magnetic field generated by the neodymium ring magnet. This transient accuracy might cause problems for some listeners in the upper midrange registers, which are the most difficult for tweeters to reproduce because they do require some excursion. Many tweeters will simply compress and fail to deliver the transient required of them, which will be heard as a softer sound. SEAS actually considers our NrT to be a long-throw tweeter.

    Why do some CD's sound piercing to Chris in the upper mids and others do not? I can not offer a definitive answer just yet. One possibility is that recording engineers will often boost a specific range of frequencies to bring a specific instrument to the forefront. Recording engineers also use speakers of various qualities and also base their mix on what they hear. On Danny Gatton's Elmira St., the focus of the CD is Gatton's stunning guitar work and I would not be at all surprised if the mastering engineer boosted the upper mids to highlight the guitar track. While I don't find it to be piercing to my ears, I do find the CD to be a bit fatiguing to listen to and the guitar is definitely forward sounding (as I think it should). I find it to sound this way on all of our speakers and even other highly regarded speakers. Not piercing to my ear, but definitely a bit uneasy to listen at moderately loud listening levels and I can certainly understand it sounding piercing to some listeners. I played guitar for many years and have sat front row at probably too many concerts, certain guitar notes can and should sound piercing.

    All feedback, both positive and negative is valuable to me. Negative criticism is even more valuable and it is because of feedback that the Sierra-1 NrT was created. Sierra-1 or Sierra-1 NrT - different flavors for different people and there is certainly no right or wrong here. I would LOVE to offer every single one of our customers the most perfect sounding speaker to match their specific taste. Believe me, I truly wish I could but that is impossible of course. Instead, we offer a line of loudspeakers all based on well defined principles but with various flavors…
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  3. #83

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Pull all my troll like posts.
    You give a 30 day looksy/listen period.

    What is more fair than that?
    Which is the true bottom line. The rest is conversation!

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Hoping I'm not reviving a dead issue... But for some reason it seemed like it was not asked... Pretty sure it must have been covered in pms, but could be a room or placement issue?

    A few months ago some measurements were posted, had to browse like 25 pages to find this lol http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...&postcount=239 is there any recommendations vs the regular Sierra for positioning? Minimum distance from side walls for example... I didn't remember this but I also did pick up a bit of high end treble boost when the mic was a few feet away, but it quite settled at the listening position... I do have large absorbing panels on both sides so maybe that helps, could the NrT be more prone to reflections/live room than the Sierra?

    Is there any recommendation for toe in vs toe out? As the stands are sand filled and weigh a ton, I've not experimented with placement yet, just placed them on the same spot with the same toe in as the original Sierras. I'm guessing the NrT shares the off axis characteristics of the Sierra-1, still, could/would the NrTs benefit from different placement vs Sierra1?

    Maybe this should be another thread... hmmm...

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10

    Smile Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Hey Guys and Gals!?,
    Not a sierra owner yet but based on questions asked of Dave and his answers, it is probably going to be the nrt. He says it is closer in sound to the cbm-170 which I bought many moons ago when Soundstage reviewed them and then bought the special edition when they were introduced.
    Just a couple thoughts from my past experience. 18 years ago when my wife and I got married, we were on a "TIGHT" budget. I couldn't afford to buy the speakers I wanted retail so after some research (at the library using their computer to surf the brand new WWW) I discovered David Weems and Vance Dickason. Bought both their books and started making sawdust. After building a few I thought I found a winner.
    The next week my wife rearranges the furniture as she did every 2 or 3 months(God bless her) and all of a sudden I am hearing something extremely irritating in the mid to uppers. It was a weird first reflection of some sort because after beating my brains out for a couple days it was gone!!! What happened? I put a coat hook up on the inside of our entrance door! Irritating sound gone. Strange thing acoustics. I always look there first after that experience.
    Years down the road enter the cbm-170. I bought these without hesitation after seeing the frequency response plot. No dreaded midbass hump that a lot of reviewers just raved about in reviews of other speakers. I want truth in my music even if it hurts some of my albums and cd's feelings.
    Yes I did sometimes have to tweak the "dreaded" bass and treble but it made some pieces listenable and the cbms made the well recorded ones shine all the more.
    So, just my two pennies. The Sierras will be replacing a pair of cbm-170se's in the living room. The wife wanted something to match our cherry cabinet and the cbm don't quite do that.
    Dave, keep the faith brother and thanks for the awesome speakers.
    Louis Sipes
    Nicholasville, Ky

  6. #86

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    A bit more listening on the new NrTs, and I've got to say, I'm really liking what I'm hearing, more and more with each session.

    Is a lot of this opinion my brain acclimatizing to the new sound and forgetting what the original Sierras sound like? Probably.
    Is some of it cognitive dissonance? Not unlikely...

    The increase in detail and airiness in the upper mid and high range is just something that I really appreciate. Maybe it's because I don't generally listen at loud levels so there just isn't enough sound pressure to drive what might be piercing notes home.

    What I do know is I like it. And that's really all that matters.

    That said, I'm sure there's some material out there that I'd prefer the original Sierras with. But I'm pretty sure that proportion makes up a very small minority of what I actually listen to.

    Regarding first reflection points. I remember reading about how having highly reflective surfaces at reflection points can cause non-systematic accentuation of high frequencies as your ear is being bombarded by the high frequency soundwaves from all angles, instead of mostly from angles originating from the point source. It makes sense to me that this might over-emphasize high frequencies, but particularly those that your ear finds problematic.

    What type of wall surface do you have a few feet in front of the Sierra NrTs? I've heard you can combat this by sliding a mirror along the wall toward the speaker at about tweeter height until you can see the face of the speaker in the mirror. At about this location, the idea is to place some sort of absorptive material between the off-axis path of the speaker and the highly reflective surface (most likely the surface of the wall, or perhaps windows, etc).

    Does anyone who knows more about room treatment think this is worth a shot for those who think their NrTs could use a little taming in the higher registers?

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Sorry to revive an old thread...

    In light of the renewed discussion regarding a perceived upper-midrange "bite" or emphasis (for some listeners) for the Ascend towers at the recent Wisconsin GTG, I'm curious about the outcome of the crossover modifications to ctbarker32's NrT Sierra-1s. Does anyone have any follow-up to report?

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    USA
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    Default Re: NrT upgrade completed!

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryB View Post
    Sorry to revive an old thread...

    In light of the renewed discussion regarding a perceived upper-midrange "bite" or emphasis (for some listeners) for the Ascend towers at the recent Wisconsin GTG, I'm curious about the outcome of the crossover modifications to ctbarker32's NrT Sierra-1s. Does anyone have any follow-up to report?
    Hi Gary,

    The Sierra-1 NrT and towers are completely different with regard to how the mids are handled. The towers have a considerably higher crossover point...

    That said, Chris was ecstatic with the modifications we made for him
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

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