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Thread: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

  1. #1
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    Default (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Hi,

    I was pretty gung ho about going 3x Horizon RAAL across the front stage, but an Ascend owner on AVS suggested I go with Sierra 2 RAAL for L/R and Horizon RAAL for center, saving some money for surround/sub upgrade.

    Anyone do this comparison and come to a conclusion?

    My room is 1,400 sq. ft., dedicated, treated, so it's small. Objectives are realism, seamless sound stage, and dynamic range. I really enjoy mid-bass slam as well, but that's not as important as the others. I'd like to position my LCR as close to the front wall as possible to make room for additional seating. 98% home theater use.

    @FirstReflect, I know you've had both setups (right?), so I'd be very interested to hear your comparison. (BTW, you know who I am via AV Rant.)

    I'd like to be awed by my speaker upgrade for the next 15-20 years, so I don't want to wish two years from now that I had made a different decision.

    I also don't want to sink extra money into a front stage that would yield no/marginal benefit, and delay upgrading my surrounds/sub.

    Thoughts appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    I was going to say save some money with the S2, but then you said you want midbass slam, and that's where the Horizon and the Tower really change things. The dedicated midrange driver is a dream. I listen to a lot of death metal, so midrange slam is what I crave, and the Sierra Towers and Horizon Center offer that in spades, so I think you should go with the Horizons.

    Also, since you want to place them close to the wall, going with Horizons for L/R instead of the Towers or S2 is a great idea because they are front slot ported. You can put them very close to the wall and not lose any bass accuracy or midrange clarity.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    1400 sq ft room, or 1400 cubic feet room??

    1400 sq ft room is certainly not small!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by Beave View Post
    1400 sq ft room, or 1400 cubic feet room??

    1400 sq ft room is certainly not small!
    Whoops 1,400 cu ft!

    Thanks for catching that!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    That's about the size of my 2 channel space (converted 3rd car garage, treated, etc.).

    I have S2's and I find them plenty for my room, though am using it for music only.

    Not sure what the definition of mid-bass slam is, but I found that I had to set my sub crossover to 50 hz. to keep the Sierras from competing with the sub in the mid-bass area.

    I listened to everything except the Horizons when I made my decision, and if I had the $$ would have gone with the towers.

    Personally, from what I know of the Horizon I think you'd be fine with the S2s and have more $$ to put into a better sub, which I think would make a bigger difference for HT.

    With the current offer of free returns, you could always give the S2s a shot and upgrade if you really think you need to.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybeez View Post
    Not sure what the definition of mid-bass slam is, but I found that I had to set my sub crossover to 50 hz. to keep the Sierras from competing with the sub in the mid-bass area.
    ....
    With the current offer of free returns, you could always give the S2s a shot and upgrade if you really think you need to.
    Midbass slam: Gunshots, explosions, collisions: highly dynamic, transient, and spanning the frequency range. They sound most realistic (to me) when the mids/midbass are as clear and punchy as the bass and treble typically are.

    Today, Dave told me (via Dina) that the Horizons provide the greatest midbass slam because they are slot ported in the front and will push more air towards you, compared to the S2 and Towers, which are rear ported and will push that air away from you.

    He suggested 3x RAAL Horizons for my needs... It's possible that I wouldn't know what I was missing if I went with S2 RAAL instead of Horizons, but I'm also looking at these speakers as the last ones I buy (if I can manage that at this price point).

    Totally read you on the sub. Upgrading the sub to two, better subs seems to be the overwhelming consensus.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post
    I was going to say save some money with the S2, but then you said you want midbass slam, and that's where the Horizon and the Tower really change things. The dedicated midrange driver is a dream. I listen to a lot of death metal, so midrange slam is what I crave, and the Sierra Towers and Horizon Center offer that in spades, so I think you should go with the Horizons.

    Also, since you want to place them close to the wall, going with Horizons for L/R instead of the Towers or S2 is a great idea because they are front slot ported. You can put them very close to the wall and not lose any bass accuracy or midrange clarity.
    Thanks, sludgeorge. Those were my thoughts exactly. Some people are saying the S2 would be fine for midbass slam but I'm not understanding the physics of that; the Horizons have dedicated mids, greater total surface area, and are front ported, which should equate to more air pushed during any given transient, and more so with mids than S2 which lacks the dedicated mid driver.

    Right?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorizon View Post
    Thanks, sludgeorge. Those were my thoughts exactly. Some people are saying the S2 would be fine for midbass slam but I'm not understanding the physics of that; the Horizons have dedicated mids, greater total surface area, and are front ported, which should equate to more air pushed during any given transient, and more so with mids than S2 which lacks the dedicated mid driver.

    Right?
    Definitely that, and also with the woofers covering up to 200 Hz, they allow the midrange to play it's band much more effortlessly and without distortion, and the woofers get to totally focus on bass, and if you cross them to a sub, they handle all of the midbass (edit here). It's the same has setting a speaker to small and running a sub really high, using it as a sub and midbass driver. Just my thoughts. You are on the right track.

    I haven't heard the S2, but a couple of guys here that own the Towers/Horizon and the S2 all agree that the Towers/Horizon have more slam. The only thing is that the Horizon is designed as a center channel speaker, so it images right at you, whereas the towers feel much wider, so it'll be really intense in stereo mode. If that's what you're after, I can't imagine a better system.

    On the subwoofer front I honestly think most people go way overboard with subs. I bought two Rythmik F12's and tons of people led me to believe that I'd be happier with a ported sub and I might not get all the output I'd ever desier and yadda yadda, all not true. I run my F12's at less than half power and it makes my whole giant living room/kitchen/dining room area filled with deep, rich bass, and it only cost me 1500 bucks for the pair. I've seen people spend 4k to 6k on tiny REL subs or massive SVS subs. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Like I said, I'm also after midbass slam, so I'm glad that I invested as much as I did in the towers and Horizon, as I could be happy with them running music without a sub, and sometimes do run them that way with my Bifrost DAC, although overall I would have to say I prefer them with the subs.
    Last edited by sludgeogre; 06-04-2016 at 08:46 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post
    I haven't heard the S2, but a couple of guys here that own the Towers/Horizon and the S2 all agree that the Towers/Horizon have more slam. The only thing is that the Horizon is designed as a center channel speaker, so it images right at you, whereas the towers feel much wider, so it'll be really intense in stereo mode.

    ...

    On the subwoofer front I honestly think most people go way overboard with subs.
    Curious about your comment re: imaging of the Towers vs. the Horizons...

    They share the same tweeter so their dispersion pattern should be similar, unless the Horizon's woofers are interfering with its tweeter. If nothing else, I'd imagine the Horizon's cascading driver arrangement to make its dispersion wider than the Towers.

    As for imaging, you only get imaging when you have two or more speakers. Are those guys running a pair of Horizons and experiencing a narrower image than running a pair of Towers?

    @davef Could you chime in on this one please?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorizon View Post
    Curious about your comment re: imaging of the Towers vs. the Horizons...

    They share the same tweeter so their dispersion pattern should be similar, unless the Horizon's woofers are interfering with its tweeter. If nothing else, I'd imagine the Horizon's cascading driver arrangement to make its dispersion wider than the Towers.

    As for imaging, you only get imaging when you have two or more speakers. Are those guys running a pair of Horizons and experiencing a narrower image than running a pair of Towers?

    @davef Could you chime in on this one please?
    Dave said this over at AVS ( http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...l#post44441529 )

    "A center speaker is designed to specifically focus any of it's content dead center. It doesn't really "image" per say. Many 2-channel audio enthusiasts hate center channels as they prefer that stereo image center (which would have depth to it) as opposed to the monaural image created by the center (which does not have depth).


    Our Horizon center is really an unbelievable center channel, you should not discount it because one customer ended up preferring a phantom center. That is simply personal preference and out of all the Horizons we have sold ( a LOT), the first I have ever heard of a customer preferring phantom center mode. While all of our products have very high satisfaction rates - our horizon is our highest with only 2 customer returns in 3.5 years, which is remarkable. And one of those customers, after trying many other speakers, just came back to us and has re-ordered the same products he returned. That translates to only 1 horizon customer return in 3.5 years, an honest satisfaction rate of over 99.99%, crazy good"

    ........

    He actually only referenced the imaging when used as a center, so you actually are probably right and I probably misspoke. Dave can chime in to speak about it further. I've only used my Horizon as a center channel and I definitely agree with what Dave said, where it feels like the Horizon really puts it's content right in your face and the Towers can throw sound all around the room and behind your head. I don't know if that is because of the design of the speakers or just because the Towers are L/R channels and the Horizon is playing center channel content.

    Dave has said before that he listened to the Horizons in Stereo and was blown away by them. Don't listen to me too much. I'm not that experienced in this hobby, I just love my speakers. I don't think the issue that I mentioned is a big one, and I think I used the wrong terminology. Dave will chime in soon.

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