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

  1. #21
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by curtis View Post
    The RAAL should always be vertical regardless of cabinet orientation...are you seeing it otherwise in a photo somewhere?
    No combing issues.
    Nope, just hoping that orienting the Horizons vertically and rotating the ribbon would work.

    But you're saying the tweeter/woofers wouldn't be in an optimal configuration.

    Wondering what the cost would be of rotating the tweeter relative to the woofers in order to improve imagining as the result of reducing defraction/reflection?

  2. #22
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorizon View Post
    Nope, just hoping that orienting the Horizons vertically and rotating the ribbon would work.

    But you're saying the tweeter/woofers wouldn't be in an optimal configuration.

    Wondering what the cost would be of rotating the tweeter relative to the woofers in order to improve imagining as the result of reducing defraction/reflection?
    Turning the tweeter doesn't cost anything.

    Whether the cabinet is vertical or horizontal, the tweeter is always turned/rotated so it is in the vertical position.

    It is the alignment of the mid-woofer and tweeter that I think you are referring to, one on top of the other. That was the reason for the "slim" vertical Horizon. The standard "horizontal" Horizon already has the that alignment. What is not optimal, when compared to the Tower, is the width (horizontal) of the front baffle.
    -curtis

  3. #23
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by curtis View Post
    Turning the tweeter doesn't cost anything.

    Whether the cabinet is vertical or horizontal, the tweeter is always turned/rotated so it is in the vertical position.

    It is the alignment of the mid-woofer and tweeter that I think you are referring to, one on top of the other. That was the reason for the "slim" vertical Horizon. The standard "horizontal" Horizon already has the that alignment. What is not optimal, when compared to the Tower, is the width (horizontal) of the front baffle.
    Ah, I got it now. Since my issue is with room placement, could the tower be front ported?

  4. #24
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorizon View Post
    Ah, I got it now. Since my issue is with room placement, could the tower be front ported?
    That's something you can ask Dave. I would imagine, like the custom Horizons, he could do a custom Tower for the right price. Since the "slim" Horizon is already designed, that might be the best way to go...but not cheap.
    -curtis

  5. #25
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorizon View Post
    Ah, I got it now. Since my issue is with room placement, could the tower be front ported?
    Also, the slim Horizon should give you the same imaging as the Tower since the driver configuration is vertically aligned.
    -curtis

  6. #26
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Guys, guys, guys...

    I know how easy it is to get excited about Ascend's flagship speakers, believe me! haha. But I'm seeing a lot of overthinking going on here.

    Let's not forget that these are going in a 12 x 13 room, so there's basically zero chance you're going to be sitting farther than 12 feet away from your Front speakers.

    My current tiny apartment theater room is pretty close to the same size. I do NOT need the custom Horizon RAAL speakers that I have. I don't even come close to needing their output capabilities. The only reason I got them is because I intend to use them in a much larger room one day, and much like TheHorizon, these are my "forever" speakers, so I went ahead and got what will be appropriate for a 16 x 23 foot room with 12 and 18 foot seating distances.

    But in my current, very small room, the Sierra-2 and Sierra-2 Center would easily provide all the output capability I would ever need.

    There's so much concern about concert-level output levels and mid-bass slam. What exactly is the goal with this mid-bass slam? Is it to have horribly overblown, non-linear response? Of course not! The main reason mid-bass slam becomes a problem in so many setups is because it happens to fall right in the crossover region of the speakers and subwoofers. It's important to remember that even with 24dB/octave slopes, the speakers are still producing significant output down at 40Hz, and the subwoofers are still producing significant output up at 160Hz. So the entire mid-bass region ends up being played by two or more sources of sound. And all of that sound wave interaction is the reason so many people's setups end up either lacking mid-bass slam or sounding bloated and overblown in that region.

    So the key isn't to get speakers that can play far louder than you actually need - ie. the Horizon RAAL in this small of a room at these short seating distances. The key is to position and integrate the speakers properly with the room and with the subwoofers. Do that, and the Sierra-2 can provide all the mid-bass slam you could ever hope for in a room this small.

    Don't get me wrong, if these are your "forever" speakers, like they are mine, and if you have even the slightest thought that you might move them to a larger room in the future, then by all means get the larger Tower RAAL or Horizon RAAL speakers! It's not as though they will sound worse than the Sierra-2 in your current room. I can attest to that! But it's just this idea that they're somehow actually needed in this particular setup; that's the only thing I'm taking issue with here.

    I could easily, EASILY use a pair of Sierra-2 and a Sierra-2 Center as my Front 3 in my current room. The real magic was in setting up my pair of subwoofers (which again, are beyond overpowered for my current tiny space, but they are my "forever" subwoofers intended for a much larger room one day - their volume dial goes from 0 to 100. I have it them at 4 ) at the mid-points of my left and right side walls. That positioning got me incredibly uniform, even response across my entire 3-seater sofa. That uniformity allows me to very easily equalize my bass response to be extremely linear and accurate. And by carefully selecting the crossover frequencies and getting a perfect, seamless blend, NOW I have excellent, delineated notes, and percussive, tactile mid-bass slam that sounds realistic, not enhanced or overblown, but just a very good facsimile of the way bass sounds in real life!

    So if that is your goal, and I happen to know that it is ( ), then the worry needs to be far less about the Sierra-2 vs. the Horizon RAAL and a lot more about just ensuring that you get your subwoofers (and yes, there need to be at least two, although four would be even better) positioned properly and calibrated in phase and output properly to produce even, uniform bass across all of your seats. Then have those subwoofers carefully integrated with your speakers so that the blend is truly seamless.

    Getting more mid-bass and bass output from your speakers is unnecessary in such a small room with such a close seating distance. And trying to just get your Front speakers to play lower and louder can be detrimental rather than a benefit. We are not listening outdoors in a wide open field. We are not listening in a massive auditorium where the dimensions of the room exceed the wavelengths of the bass sound waves being produced. We are listening in a very small room, in this case, so we should be worried about what is appropriate, not just out-and-out, never-to-be-used capabilities.

    Again, if the plan is to eventually move to a larger room, then by all means, get the speakers that will be suitable for those future plans. That's what I did. But if getting three Horizon RAAL speakers means you'll have to postpone getting a pair (or better yet, quad) of excellent subwoofers, then that is a poor choice and trade-off, IMO.

    And I agree that many people go completely overboard with subwoofer output capabilities, as well. I mean, I'm hardly one to talk in my current situation - haha! But truly, a pair of SVS SB-1000 subwoofers would be perfectly adequate for this room size, while a pair of PB-1000 could practically blow the door off its hinges.

    So I think we all could benefit from taking a breath here. I have zero problem with over-buying when future plans and ideas are involved. Obviously! haha. But if these speakers are going to stay in this very small room, let's not get caught up in capabilities that will never, ever be needed or used.

    Sitting as far away as is physically possible in this room, the Sierra-2 would deliver something very close to 82dB of output using just a single Watt of power. And yet, they can utilize 150 Watts of power continuously. So how about something in the range of 102-103dB playing continuously? Is that not enough mid-bass slam for you? And they'll take a short term peak of 300 Watts, so hitting full 105dB Reference Volume peaks is no problem.

    So if anything, maybe be more concerned about adding a really solid external amplifier that can deliver a really nice, silent noise floor plus more continuous power and higher peak power than your AV Receiver can likely muster. Again, probably not even necessary, but there's at least a possibility you'll actually use it, unlike the output capabilities of the Horizon RAAL speakers, which will just never come close to being used in your small room.

    That's my thinking on this, in any case. And I'm not disagreeing that the Horizon RAAL can deliver more mid-bass slam than the Sierra-2. I'm just saying you really don't need it. The Sierra-2 can already hit 105dB if you feed them enough clean Wattage. Do you honestly believe you need/want 115db+? There's slam, and then there's silly, and then there's downright painful. So let's not worry ourselves too much with capabilities we'll never use. That's all

    - Rob H. - AV Rant Podcast Co-host

  7. #27
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstReflect View Post
    Guys, guys, guys...

    ...much like TheHorizon, these are my "forever" speakers, so I went ahead and got what will be appropriate for a 16 x 23 foot room with 12 and 18 foot seating distances.
    Rob H. with the clear and practical truth once again! Thanks buddy, as usual 😄

    I am thinking of these as the last set of speakers I buy.

    I didn't start off that way with this speaker hunt, however. I started with a budget of $2,750 across the front, thinking that in 5-10 years I would upgrade them and move them to surround duty or another room.

    But then I started looking into the performance of these Ascend speakers (at least on paper and from owner opinions since--still working on finding an owner in Austin to let me demo them) because of Rob's strong recommendation for what I am looking for.

    I saw that the RAAL Horizons, which are above my original budget, met all of my criterion (big soundstage, realism, imaging--mostly anyway but for those horizontal baffles--dynamic range, midbass slam), but also, critically, easy placement against/near the front wall because of their front firing ports, and for a price that was much less than what I thought I would have to pay for similar performance across the front stage down the road.

    After a lot of emailing with you (you're very generous), it is clear to me that 3x Horizons are overkill for my room.

    Truthfully, my current little two-and-half-way, 5" satellites, can play more than loudly enough in my room, though they don't play very clearly at that volume (or any volume).

    The funny thing is that @davef doesn't think they are overkill for my room, but I think that's because he wants me to get the very best experience I can afford to pay for. And I get the feeling that he want to get Horizons into more people's homes because he believes in them so much.

    That all said, the Horizons are the only front ported offered by Ascend today (@davef, how about front porting those Towers? &#128516, so I have to go with the Horizons or wait until September for the Satellites, but I can't hold out that long.

    And anyway, I wouldn't consider the Satellites the permanent upgrade to the front stage as I would the Horizons.

    I'm sure you'd all agree to that!

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstReflect View Post
    The key is to position and integrate the speakers properly with the room and with the subwoofers. Do that, and the Sierra-2 can provide all the mid-bass slam you could ever hope for in a room this small.
    Got it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstReflect View Post
    But it's just this idea that they're somehow actually needed in this particular setup; that's the only thing I'm taking issue with here.
    Agreed, they aren't needed in my room. I do worry that I won't get the same kind of mid-range resolution with the S2 that I could get with the dedicated mid-range driver on the Horizon/Tower, but that's a case of future proofing. Because I'm looking at these as the last fronts I buy, I'd rather overshoot a bit than have buyer's remorse later when someone shows off their B&W Diamond 804s 😄

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstReflect View Post
    And by carefully selecting the crossover frequencies and getting a perfect, seamless blend, NOW I have excellent, delineated notes, and percussive, tactile mid-bass slam that sounds realistic, not enhanced or overblown, but just a very good facsimile of the way bass sounds in real life!
    You can be sure I'm going to be emailing you about how to get this result, as well, once I get my pair of subs! 🍻 Don't worry, I will walk in with my homework already done.

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstReflect View Post
    But if getting three Horizon RAAL speakers means you'll have to postpone getting a pair (or better yet, quad) of excellent subwoofers, then that is a poor choice and trade-off, IMO.
    I get it. But it looks like I'm stuck with the Horizons for the reasons above, so I'll have to wait until end of summer to upgrade the subs. But I'm ok with that--I don't yet know what I'm missing by not having dual subs 😆

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstReflect View Post
    So if anything, maybe be more concerned about adding a really solid external amplifier that can deliver a really nice, silent noise floor plus more continuous power and higher peak power than your AV Receiver can likely muster.
    Definitely going to upgrade my AVR to get better and more power, and Atmos. It's in the budget.

    So the last issue I'm facing is the imaging of the Horizons placed horizontally doing mains duty.

    Waiting to hear from @davef on this and whether he can front port the Towers, in which case I would get imaging and placement!

    I appreciate all of you guys' help on this upgrade. It will be my first HT upgrade in TEN years and comes after I feel like I've squeezed every last drop of performance out of my current--and very modest--setup.

    Can't wait to see how much performance I can squeeze out of my new Ascend setup, whichever one it might be.

    It's an exciting time!

  8. #28
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by curtis View Post
    Also, the slim Horizon should give you the same imaging as the Tower since the driver configuration is vertically aligned.
    Yes, but boy is it expensive to get custom cabinets! I checked with Dina.

    Hoping Dave will consider front porting the Towers...

  9. #29
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorizon View Post
    Yes, but boy is it expensive to get custom cabinets! I checked with Dina.

    Hoping Dave will consider front porting the Towers...
    But that will also be custom cabinets...just not as "custom". Not sure if Dave would have to do anything to the crossover for the front porting as well.
    -curtis

  10. #30
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    Default Re: (3x Horizon RAAL) vs. (Sierra 2 RAAL + Horizon RAAL)

    I went totally overboard with my setup for what I need as I don't ever want to upgrade again either, but I still don't feel like it's overkill for my room even though I sit between 7 and 10 feet away from the speakers, and I can't even play them past 50-60% of what my amp can do. I will be getting a better room eventually, but it's not going to be enormous either. I still think that going with the 3 way Sierras for the front stage instead of the (still incredible) 2 way speakers is important. That midrange driver is a real treat no matter how you look at it. Still, can't wait for my Sierra Sats for surround duty.
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

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