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Thread: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Default Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    Hoping owners of these 2 can help me with some impressions, since getting to actually hear these would prove difficult.

    I've auditioned both the Revel Perform3 F208 and C208 as well as the Kef R series equivalent. I had decided on the Revel's in the Walnut finish and was just trying to figure out the logistics of placement, when my incessant speaker research lead me to Ascend and the Sierra Towers.

    Can any current owners who've actually heard the Revel or Kef's weigh in on how they compare? I realize being an Ascend forum that owners obviously are fans, but i'm more interested in contrast/compare of the sound and build quality.

    ? for current owners as well, since these are rear ported, how far from the wall is it recommended to place them to avoid booming bass issues?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by 99Problems; 08-10-2014 at 05:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    8

    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    I was going to buy a set of 208s after listening to a few dozen other speakers and finding the revels to sound the best. Here are some comparisons. Take them with a grain of salt since I listened to the revels in a well treated demo room, but listened to the ascends in my house, so the ascends should get a few more points.

    Low end ( winner revels by a bit): They both do great for cleanliness of sound, the revels go a bit lower. Depending on the sort of music you are planning on listening to you likely need a sub with the ascends, but you might be fine without one for the ascends. I tend to like the bass a bit hot, but am certainly not a "basshead"

    High end (winner ascends, hands down): The ribbon tweeter is both better at resolving fine details and is less shrill at high volumes. For an aluminum tweeter though, the revels are really good. I am extremely sensitive to high frequencies, and the revels didn't hurt my ears at moderate volume, but they started to with the volume turned up. I haven't had that problem at all with the ascends.

    Midrange (I can't remember): I remeber the revels being excellent. The ascends are also excellent. I couldn't find flaws with either. Sorry for lack of detail here, I tend to only look at what a speaker is doing wrong, because it is easy for me to remember compared to subtle details.

    Sound stage: (tie, but there's a big caveat): The revels have better center channel stability off axis, though I suspect this is largely a problem with my current room (I have the speakers in the living room, so sometimes placement must be sacrificed a bit for aestetics). I also only got the towers in the last few weeks and am still fine tuning the placement. I suspect that in a perfect room the ascends would actually win here since the off axis characteristics are excellent. The sound stage on the ascends seems wider and deeper. I never got the feeling with the revels that there were instruments behind the speakers like i did with the ascend. Ascends with perfect placement would almost certainly win.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2014
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    18

    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    Hi JesseNims... this is super helpful, thank you. I intend to also go with a new Sub (Rythmik E15SE is the front runner for that) so i'd be running the towers in 2.1 for music anyway. Part of my initial decision to go with the Revels was the front porting since I need to place the speakers relatively close to the wall. How far off the wall do you have your Towers, and do they seem pretty picky about rear wall placement?
    Lastly, since you've seen both up close, fit/finish of the Sierra Towers vs. the Performa3's?
    thanks!
    Last edited by 99Problems; 08-11-2014 at 09:07 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    Mine are a bit over a foot from the wall and the frequency response is good for an untreated room. They don't seem particularly placement sensitive. Placement is a bit less important when you have a sub producing the deep bass (mine is crossed at 80Hz a bit higher than I would normally go, but I had a serious room issue at 60hz that required it). Also the seperately sealed midrange will also help with placement a bit. If you need them really close (less than a few times the diameter for the port, so in this case less than maybe 8 inches) to the wall for some reason, ask Dave about sealing the port. More than about a foot and you are likely dominated by in phase/out of phase issues that are not unique to rear ported speakers. I don't have the driver and cabinet specs I would need to say how the towers would perform sealed, but Dave should know.

    I haven't heard a rythmic (I built my sub), but people seem to have only good things to say about them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    That's good to hear. i was planning to have about 12 inches from the back of the speaker to the wall, so should be fine. Like a thousand people before me, I'm waffling between the rythmic E15 and an SVS SB13-Ultra. I'm not DIY yourself enough to build my own sub and not have it look like garbage, so I just have to decide and get on with it. I think given my application and preference (80% HT, 20% music, none of it at ear splitting SPL) I'm sure either would pair well with the Ascends.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by 99Problems View Post
    Hi JesseNims... this is super helpful, thank you. I intend to also go with a new Sub (Rythmik E15SE is the front runner for that) so i'd be running the towers in 2.1 for music anyway. Part of my initial decision to go with the Revels was the front porting since I need to place the speakers relatively close to the wall. How far off the wall do you have your Towers, and do they seem pretty picky about rear wall placement?
    Lastly, since you've seen both up close, fit/finish of the Sierra Towers vs. the Performa3's?
    thanks!
    Dave makes some port plugs for the sierra1. Ask Dave if these could be used on the towers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    144

    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by JesseNims
    If you need them really close (less than a few times the diameter for the port, so in this case less than maybe 8 inches) to the wall for some reason, ask Dave about sealing the port.
    can a bass trap or acoustic trap help in this case. I want to order 4" inch thick acousatic panels behind the speakers and the triangular bass traps for the corners.

    Just want to make sure if this is the correct way before splurging close to $1000 dollars.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    NW Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    My Sierra's are about a foot from the front wall. I tried a couple panels behind the speakers and surprisingly preferred the sound without the panels. I mounted the panels on the back wall instead.
    Nate

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers and Horizon RAAL Center comparisons

    Thanks for the responses, they help! Dave responded to a PM I'd sent as well, confirming that placement shouldn't be an issue given that I'm planning to cross the speakers over to the sub, even for 2.1 music.

    So order is placed... now I not so patiently await for them to ship and arrive! Ended up going for the Sierra Tower and Horizon (both with RAAL and in Espresso finish) as well as a Rythmik E15SE... I'm preparing by creating FLAC versions of many CD's to load up on the Macbook Pro (Dragonfly II will handle DAC duties).

    I will of course take a slew of pictures once set up and hopefully get some kind of user review up as well. OR, I will be horribly disappointed and package them up and send them back!! (although I doubt that will be the case )

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