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Thread: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    8

    Default Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    Hello community..

    Long time lurker first time poster. I have had the pleasure of having the Sierra 2ís at home now for coming up on three weeks. I am going to explain my use case, my experiences, and I am openly soliciting any feedback, options, and suggestions.

    Having been a long time Klipsch fan, going back to my younger years with Heresyís, Fortes, etc. So much so, I built a home theater around that sound. All Ref series and it sounds fantastic for what it is used for.

    Recently, I have found myself looking to get back to more traditional 2 channel listening, from my office/desk. Originally tried the typical Logitech setupÖ several iterationsÖthat wasnít going to do it. Then I thought about Klipsch. Ordered some RP16Ms. Certainly better than the Logitech but I found it really hard to listen to them for extended periods of time. Really in my face, bright, and while they certainly were able to get loud, I just found that I wouldnít play music because the sound was not inviting. Sure, some of it is the music, TOOL, Metallica, etc, but also Stanley Jordan, Coltrane, Krall. It didnít really matter. I would eventually get tired of listening it was simply a matter of how quickly, depending on the content.


    What to do? Went to the local HiFi shop. Picked up a few different Integrated amps to see if the amplifying made a difference. Tried, Cambridge, Peachtree, Hegel, Parasound, Rotel, etc etc etc. What I found was that I just donít like the Klipsch, at least for near field listening at all. So, trying different speakers. To date, Klipsch, Ascend Sierra 2, KEF LS50, Focal Aria 906, Sonus Faber Venere 2.0 and I have it down to either the Sierra 2 or the LS50.

    Now the conundrum:

    I like the Sierra 2, a lot, but I find that for near field, they seem TOO bright. The LS50 on the other hand donít, But my problem is when I switch between them I feel like I want the clarity of the sierra2 but with the ease of listening of the LS50. I believe I have the AMP selected in the Parasound HALO integrated or, possibly the Hegel 160. Both have similar sound to me the former having a lot more extensibility (features)

    My ask:

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the best way to make this decision? I fancy myself someone whom appreciates finer things. I place importance on things like engineering, performance, craftsmanship, and value, Based on that I really want the Sierras, but I feel like I am trying to put a perfect round peg in a square hole. I have no doubt, that if given a different placement, ie more traditional setup (not on a desk) that the sharp highs I hear in the Sierras would be seen as an attribute.. its just close up they are piercing, to me.

    Current test bed

    Desk is like 9 feet long by 4 feet deep
    Speakers are placed on ISOAcoustics Aperta stands
    Speakers are at the far edges of the desk slightly toed in
    Left Speaker is in a corner right is not
    MLP is centered roughly 3-4 feet from right and left speaker

    Not concerned with bass. This is just fine. Itís the highs..


    Any help is again most appreciated

    Thanks

    Elliott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    St George UT & Glenwood Springs CO
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    I had the same problem with Sierra-2 speakers and live performances with high sound levels.
    I had a hearing test done and found that I have a form of tinnitus, not the type with constant ringing.
    So, get your ears checked before assuming sound problems are equipment based.
    I wonder how many music enthusiasts have spent a lot of money trying to solve these issues?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    Blu.. i appreciate the feedback. What was the prognosis? I hope all worked out for you. To my point however, no blame is to be assigned here. I am not making any assumptions anywhere. Only stating my experiences If i look at what i can effect change in, the purchase/use of a specific component is one. Placement is another. Acoustic treatments would be yet another. Unfortunately, any hearing deficits i may or may not have would be outside the scope of my immediate control. Was there anything you were able to do to adjust the environment, setup, components to help in your process?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    St George UT & Glenwood Springs CO
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    I am going to get digital hearing aids that can be tuned for my specific hearing. All of those years of live concerts were sure a lot of fun though......

    Your problem sounds a lot like what I am experiencing- Discomfort and shrillness Personally, I found that getting Ascend Towers with the Nrt domes helped, but others might find the RAAL to be better for hearing problems.

    If you are >50 years old, a hearing test is a good thing to do...before you accuse your spouse of mumbling, as I did
    B.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    I think the best thing to pursue is room treatment, absorption on the walls beside and behind you should help with some of the piercing sounds.

    If that doesn't work or is not appealing, I would get a MiniDSP 2x4 and just play with the response a little bit until you get what you want. That way you'd still get all of that detail you love, buy you could shelve the highs a little bit.
    -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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    Alex,

    thank you for the suggestion.. The miniDSP is an interesting option. Currently the DAC built into the HALO supports 32bit. Would the miniDSP take precedence over the amplifier settings? Not sure i need 32 bit but my buying this particular integrated was predicated on some of these forward looking features.

    do i have the topology correct, source (PC in this case) --> miniDSP--> amp?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    Elliott,

    Having carefully auditioned the LS50 and ending up with the Sierra-2, I can understand your dilemma very well. I found after about 2 months of use that the Sierra-2s were giving me a little more high frequency energy than I was comfortable with. Easy solution was to use the tone controls on my stereo receiver. The receiver treble control cuts anything >10,000 hz; setting the control to -3 cuts the treble about 3 db at my chair. After two years, I have absolutely no regrets going with the Sierra-2, and the tone controls stay where they are: -3 for treble, +3 for bass. I would just suggest that you select an amp that has good tone controls. (I believe the Parasound has those, and the Hegel does not; I have a Rotel 2-channel receiver.)

    I never got the chance to audition the LS50 in my own space. My impression, however, is that the LS50 is a bit more forward in the midrange, pushing male voices closer to the listener; it's very involving this way, and really a great speaker. However, I think the Sierra-2 is better balanced, with incredible, natural sounding detail from top to bottom; microdynamics are superb.

    I should add that my space is very small, 10x10x8 ft, and I don't mean in any way to criticize the Sierra-2 design; the treble balance may well work better in a larger room. I did read a post from another respected speaker designer that Ascend's designs tend to put more treble energy in the room than some others; I'll bet the power response (not just the on-axis response) of the Sierra-2 is flatter than most others.

    Good luck!
    Bob
    Last edited by bobola; 12-12-2016 at 02:24 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    Quote Originally Posted by epatt View Post
    Hello community..

    Long time lurker first time poster. I have had the pleasure of having the Sierra 2’s at home now for coming up on three weeks. I am going to explain my use case, my experiences, and I am openly soliciting any feedback, options, and suggestions.

    Having been a long time Klipsch fan, going back to my younger years with Heresy’s, Fortes, etc. So much so, I built a home theater around that sound. All Ref series and it sounds fantastic for what it is used for.

    Recently, I have found myself looking to get back to more traditional 2 channel listening, from my office/desk. Originally tried the typical Logitech setup… several iterations…that wasn’t going to do it. Then I thought about Klipsch. Ordered some RP16Ms. Certainly better than the Logitech but I found it really hard to listen to them for extended periods of time. Really in my face, bright, and while they certainly were able to get loud, I just found that I wouldn’t play music because the sound was not inviting. Sure, some of it is the music, TOOL, Metallica, etc, but also Stanley Jordan, Coltrane, Krall. It didn’t really matter. I would eventually get tired of listening it was simply a matter of how quickly, depending on the content.


    What to do? Went to the local HiFi shop. Picked up a few different Integrated amps to see if the amplifying made a difference. Tried, Cambridge, Peachtree, Hegel, Parasound, Rotel, etc etc etc. What I found was that I just don’t like the Klipsch, at least for near field listening at all. So, trying different speakers. To date, Klipsch, Ascend Sierra 2, KEF LS50, Focal Aria 906, Sonus Faber Venere 2.0 and I have it down to either the Sierra 2 or the LS50.

    Now the conundrum:

    I like the Sierra 2, a lot, but I find that for near field, they seem TOO bright. The LS50 on the other hand don’t, But my problem is when I switch between them I feel like I want the clarity of the sierra2 but with the ease of listening of the LS50. I believe I have the AMP selected in the Parasound HALO integrated or, possibly the Hegel 160. Both have similar sound to me the former having a lot more extensibility (features)

    My ask:

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the best way to make this decision? I fancy myself someone whom appreciates finer things. I place importance on things like engineering, performance, craftsmanship, and value, Based on that I really want the Sierras, but I feel like I am trying to put a perfect round peg in a square hole. I have no doubt, that if given a different placement, ie more traditional setup (not on a desk) that the sharp highs I hear in the Sierras would be seen as an attribute.. its just close up they are piercing, to me.

    Current test bed

    Desk is like 9 feet long by 4 feet deep
    Speakers are placed on ISOAcoustics Aperta stands
    Speakers are at the far edges of the desk slightly toed in
    Left Speaker is in a corner right is not
    MLP is centered roughly 3-4 feet from right and left speaker

    Not concerned with bass. This is just fine. It’s the highs..


    Any help is again most appreciated

    Thanks

    Elliott
    Hi Elliott,

    Can you please post a picture of the setup?

    Thanks in advance!
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    Hello Dave.. Hoping this works..

    https://1drv.ms/f/s!As7cEeQPhaWnhRyNLMdaVldToiCm

    On another note.. I will say, that at volume the sierras sound markedly better than the LS50. How much time will be spent at those higher volumes is questionable as again, this is a nearfield set up really nice PC monitors

    Please excuse the photos. We just built this house and my office is the last thing on the priority list

    Your thoughts and suggestions are very much appreciated.


    regards,

    elliott

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Really wanting to keep the Sierras

    Really pretty setup, well done. I would, however, put the speakers closer to the monitors so you get better soundstaging, they're a bit far apart right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by epatt View Post
    Alex,

    thank you for the suggestion.. The miniDSP is an interesting option. Currently the DAC built into the HALO supports 32bit. Would the miniDSP take precedence over the amplifier settings? Not sure i need 32 bit but my buying this particular integrated was predicated on some of these forward looking features.

    do i have the topology correct, source (PC in this case) --> miniDSP--> amp?
    Sorry, I didn't realize you already had the Halo. The MiniDSP isn't a DAC so you can't use it with the Halo, you have to put it between a DAC and an amp in order to take the DAC signal, perform DSP on it, and then send it to the amp.
    -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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