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Thread: S-1 NrT's or S-2 ?!

  1. #1
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    Aug 2007
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    Question Sierra-1 NrT's !!!

    Amazing comparison snaabster! I'm sure the B&W 803D's are no slouch (better not be for $10K)! But, to effectively hear the Sierra 2's as being equal or even better is a wonderful tribute to the efforts of Dave, Ascend, RAAL and Seas!!!

    I'm not a newbie to Music, Audio or a wonderful listening experience (live or recorded). However, it's been quite a few years that I delved into new audio systems (speakers and electronics) and a lot has changed in the industry (or so it seems). As I recently retired, now have the time (not necessarily $$$) to re-energize my love for music (thanks to my Grandmother who taught me and over 400 other students classical piano over a 55 year span of music education)!

    My background: I have formal training in classical piano (10 years) and a BA degree in instrumental education. I taught instrumental music for a few years and have attended many "acoustical concerts" in the past 30+. During the 80's, my tested hearing showed that 75% of my frequency sensitivities were at or below 0db (especially from 1,000 to 18,000hz). Today (40+ yrs later), I still test at the thresh-hold of the equipment (0db) to 10db (thanks mom). SHMBO understands I have "selective hearing"...can't hide or lie! On 2-C Stereo, In the 80's I purchased ADS 1290 Series II studio monitors w\bia-amped PA-1 modules installed. Sounds were very open, detailed and powerful, with a soundstage that jumped out into the room and beyond the wall interiors...Very Nice. Started with vinyl, but moved to CD in 1982 (NAD). I visited many audio salons and heard some very expensive and unbelievable 2 channel stereo systems. I know what acoustical piano, jazz, vocals, BB, symphonic and R&B sounds like Live and wanted those sounds in my listening room presentation...but with 4 children, family became priority for the next 35 years!

    Just finally had the opportunity to set-up my 9ft x 10ft dedicated near field 2-channel intimate "Music Room" in our home! With Dave's patient professional set-up advice, I paired new Sierra 1 NrT's (stored since 2011) with Emotiva Pre-USP1, Power-UPA2, Sub-Axiom EP500 and an oldie but goodie Player-Phillips Reference CD880.

    I now have the Sierra's 6ft apart (8in. away from the 9ft setup wall) and about 8ft from my listening position (.75 ratio-see pic). Due to the near field listening position, I have no toe-in of the Sierras. The small room size with entry and furniture restrictions doesn't allow me much lead way in opening the speakers up or relocating the electronics and sub, sigh...oh well. These past 2 weeks has been a long process and follow up listening sessions to equipment and speaker arrangements, cleaning up equipment boxes, removing a large exterior cabinet enclosure, stabilizing the Sierra stands, trying different interconnects\speaker wires, testing sound with old Sony receiver (vs Emotiva Separates=Big Improvement) and even discovering that the 28 yr old Philips CD player sounds better than the new Emotiva ERC-2 CD player (now going to oldest son)!

    HOWEVER, this current and swift journey into audio bliss has been rewarding and worth it! I'm now at 100% satisfaction with the Glorious Sounds coming forth from the Sierra NrT's!!! Wow, Wow...I'm rediscovering my instrumental and vocal CD libraries with stunning R&B, Jazz, Acapella, Big Band and Orchestral recordings! Soundstage precision, air and dimentionality extends well beyond my 9ft listening wall confinement, both with lateral accuracy and hall\studio ambient depth! Attacks, delays, harmonics, overtones, character, tonalities and timbre are all very realistic and alive in instrumentals, vocals and percussion. It seems there is no audible end to the liquid, smooth and very open top end, the midrange clarity, resonances and resolve, and now, the articulate, natural and quick upper and lower bass (w\o sub)! Overall, superlative descriptions such as Engaging, Emotional, Live, Real and of course, Fidelity all come to mind (and Ears)! I do have some bad recordings, but the great stuff is jaw dropping and mind blowing! It's the Best I've ever heard from any of my recordings, my previous stereo, or any I've Experienced before in audio specialty\salon stores (likes of B&W, Rogers, Spendor, Paradigm, Vandersteen, etc...)...Period!!!

    Other than on-site live music performances, It's difficult to imagine any listening room sound reproduction being much better! But, I've read about and learned much concerning the Sierra 2's, their design work and ultimate successes hear (pun intended)! I'm certainly not ready to throw my Sierra 1's out (just yet), but as I told Dave, would love one day to put my S-1's side by side with the new S-2's to hear, in my listening room, the possible extra realism in my recordings that till now, I don't seem to be missing!? As I've stated my new findings and appreciation for the above NrT's in my intimate music room and with my current electronics, I'm very satisfied with the Sierra 1-NrTs!

    One day I just may have to get the Sierra-2's here and ultimately "Hear" what all the S-2 fuse is about!

    Ted
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    Last edited by theophile; 02-28-2016 at 06:50 AM. Reason: Clarification!
    Sierra-1 NrT's, Axiom EP 500, Emotiva USP-1, Emotiva UPA-2, Phillips CD880 (dedicated 2.1 listening room)!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    2

    Default Re: Sierra-1 NrT's !!!

    For rock i love the sierra 1 nrt. I could not imagine a better speaker. The speakers disappear. It sounds like the band is in my room.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Central NC
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    61

    Default Re: Sierra-1 NrT's !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by theophile View Post
    Just finally had the opportunity to set-up my 9ft x 10ft dedicated near field 2-channel intimate "Music Room" in our home!
    The math makes me think that a 9x10x8 (I'm guessing about ceiling height since you didn't specify) room should have a heck of a room mode problem. Have you done any room treatments to control standing waves, or control reflections? Room treatments may well be as important as the speaker in small rooms. Heck, even large rooms.

    If you haven't treated the room, that may well give you a bigger improvement in sound quality than the difference between an S-1NrT and an S-2. A well treated room will make it easier to hear the difference.
    "If it sounds good, it is good." -- Duke Ellington

  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Sierra-1 NrT's !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crk140 View Post
    For rock i love the sierra 1 nrt. I could not imagine a better speaker. The speakers disappear. It sounds like the band is in my room.
    Crk140...Welcome to AA!

    I'm not a rocker, but in "my room", the Sierra-1 NRT's certainly do disappear. Orchestral, jazz, R&B, BB, choirs and vocals (that are well recorded) Do disappear into what I hear as a "3D" wall of ambience and stage depth, with balanced and realistic "live" as-if-you're-there sound presentation that defies all "2-channel Stereo" logic!

    In other words, What I See (electronics-speakers-small room) and What I Hear (live acoustical music in it's recorded venue) is kind of mind-blowing if you will. In my personal experiences, when you have Live acoustical (non-amplified) references of various musical performances, you become aware of minuscule auditory ques that lets you differentiate a "recording" from "live"! When an audio 2-channel set-up makes you -Believe You Are There-...well, many things in your listening environment are done right (recording-electronics-speakers-room acoustics, etc.).

    In this case I agree, the Sierra-1 NRT's, Do It Right!

    Ted
    Last edited by theophile; 08-21-2017 at 06:51 PM.
    Sierra-1 NrT's, Axiom EP 500, Emotiva USP-1, Emotiva UPA-2, Phillips CD880 (dedicated 2.1 listening room)!

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    S.E. La. - USA
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    Talking Re: Sierra-1 NrT's !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    The math makes me think that a 9x10x8 (I'm guessing about ceiling height since you didn't specify) room should have a heck of a room mode problem. Have you done any room treatments to control standing waves, or control reflections? Room treatments may well be as important as the speaker in small rooms. Heck, even large rooms.

    If you haven't treated the room, that may well give you a bigger improvement in sound quality than the difference between an S-1NrT and an S-2. A well treated room will make it easier to hear the difference.
    Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for your suggestions and input. My music listening room is a small spare bedroom, 9'w x 10'd x 11'h (90sf floor space - 990cf total).

    The only room treatments are the stereo electronics\sub\monitors on the listening wall (see pic post #1), wall furnishings on other 3 sides (30sf of framed oils), 2 large draped french doors to the left, 2 large closet raised panel doors on the right and a love seat listening soft pillow couch on the far end, floor carpeted throughout!

    Overall, I'd consider my room dead. Overall response sounds equal anywhere, especially at my 2 listening positions. I do not hear any room nulls\peaks, or standing waves or unwanted reflections. Top to bottom balance is smooth, equal and very expansive as the soudstage imaging can go 5-10ft beyond my side interior walls and the recording venue ambiance 20 to 30ft behind the listening wall...HUGE (of course, dependent on recordings)...The S-1 NrT's just Disappear!

    With my current listening room dynamics (equipment, furnishings, dimensions), not sure any additional "treatments" would improve the wonderful intimate near-field type listening venue that I currently have. In my audio\music\education\experience background, I feel it is about as good as it's going to get...for This Room! To date, it is my only option for a dedicated music playback environment...believe I have it about as good as it is capable of (or very close to)!

    Could be a little better, possibly yes...but at what cost and trouble!?? Anyway, Still enjoying the S-1 NrT's!!

    Ted
    Last edited by theophile; 08-21-2017 at 07:00 PM.
    Sierra-1 NrT's, Axiom EP 500, Emotiva USP-1, Emotiva UPA-2, Phillips CD880 (dedicated 2.1 listening room)!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    S.E. La. - USA
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    Exclamation Re: Sierra-1 NrT's !!!

    It's been over 2 years since I settled in with my S1 NrT's. Been enjoying a wide genre of 2.1 music, especially acoustical small ensembles, solo and acapella vocals and a mix or R&B and jazz! I already know my environment quickly became my most critical weakness in this journey, but have done pretty well in achieving a life like replication of my greatest recordings.

    For the past 42 years, a good friend and I have delved into higher-end recorded music, realistic stereo sound reproduction and electronic\speaker building. We've leaned a lot, listened to and experienced some Great sounds and had many successes (and failures) as to attempting to recreate an emotional "live Venue Experience" in the confines of our humbled Listening Rooms! A few weeks ago, loaded up my S1 NrT's and stands, then trekked 900 miles away to enjoy a speaker\recording blow out in his well balanced and natural sounding dedicated\open 2-channel listening room (16'X26' basement, 8ft acoustical ceiling, wood floors and furniture sound treatments). Speaker stand placements were out 2' from the rear 27' wall, with around 13' of separation and center equilateral listening positions on the opposing long wall. We used a mix of superb CD's and high-end digital recordings. His well designed and beautifully built 2-way monitors (Adelphos designed by Jeff Bagby, using high-end SB Acoustic drivers) and other kit speaker systems were all thrown in the mix for a blow-out week of musical bliss!! For 75% of all listening, the satellites were crossed over @ 80hz with low pass being handled by a newly refirbed Paradigm sub. The other 25% of the time was full range playback of each system.

    Through the many hours of day and night intense speaker auditions, music and recording evaluations and room placement\experimentation, it became very obvious to me the contribution the wonderful listening environment imparted on my Sierra 1 Nrt's! They obtained a level of realism, clarity and disappearance that I'd not heard before in my small 90sf listening room...these babies Really Sang beautifully in his larger, much better acoustic listening room...Amazing! More details, better definition, better balance top to bottom and a greater sense of "out-of-the-box" sound staging were all there with any of my favorite 24 CD's I had brought!! His Adelphos were very impressive, especially how close they performed to the S1 NrT's. It's hard to imagine overall better 2-channel sound reproduction from the S2's (especially the S2Di's), but his "listening environment" Topped any and all reproduction environments (treated audio salon rooms, high-end audio stores, quality home environments) that I've ever experienced in my past 42 years! No doubt, the S2's or the S2Di's would have had us constantly picking up our jaws off the floor!

    Over the week, we enjoyed other hobby activities and were able to catch up and reminisce about life and how we got to where we are. The visit was an eye opener for me and once home, had the NrT's reset-up in my small intimate environment on a "new twist". Half of my past listening sessions were enjoyed with the NrT's full range (sub turned off). My Pre-amp control requires switching RCA cables to go from full range to high pass, so just left the NrT's FR. Depending on the music, I always enjoyed this arrangement, so never took the initiative to try the LP+HP separation. After this trip, I was Finally resolved to listen with the NrT's not full range, but HP crossed over around 70hz, with the very musical Axiom EP500 LP @70hz (not the 50hz I had before).

    WOW!!! My ignorance and stubbornness has robbed me of some Superb musical enjoyment these past years! I now come to realize that most of my known stereo issues have been my lack of a better set up in my room integration. Removing the full range challenges to the S1 NrT's has created a greater listening experience than I ever had before...more dynamics, greater definition and detail, improved clarity and an even more accurate sound stage, with higher precision pin-point width and depth placements!! Bass is tighter, smoother and better integrated, midrange is more open and clear and the tweeter smoothness and detail has soared! Overall, there is a more Cohesive, Realistic and Live emotional involvement with any genre I listen to...what an Amazing Revelation (should have just listened to Dave & Mike)!!!

    Sorry for the long winded post...wanted to share for anyone that might benefit from my "mistakes"!

    Ted
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Sierra-1 NrT's, Axiom EP 500, Emotiva USP-1, Emotiva UPA-2, Phillips CD880 (dedicated 2.1 listening room)!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
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    Default Re: Sierra-1 NrT's !!!

    Thanks so much for the update Ted, yes -- relieving a speaker of having to reproduce deep bass is extremely beneficial to overall sound quality and dynamics.
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

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