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Thread: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    Hello all

    I wanted to contribute to both the community and Ascend with a user review. I've been very happy with my purchase, and I think it's important to share experiences. I've had my system since July 2016, and have been tweaking for a very long time. So, with that said, onto the details.

    The speaker equipment:
    Sierra towers
    Horizon center
    Sierra 2s for surrounds
    Dual F15HP subs
    Satin espresso finish, black matte for subs. Raals all the way around.

    Driven by:
    Marantz AV7702mkii
    Emotiva XPA 5
    Oppo bdp-103

    The room:
    Large room 30x60 10 ft ceilings
    Basement
    Opens up to smaller rooms in the back
    Lots of concrete with drywall for walls and floor

    Let's start with ordering and shipping. Dina rocks – she made sure everything matched, and she went out of her way to make sure I understood the cabinetry options available to me. Great customer service, good communication, all the way around positive experience.

    The speakers were shipped UPS. UPS sucks. Thankfully, the speakers were packed well, double boxed, wrapped in felt, styrofoam, etc. They arrived perfectly despite the UPS crunch-o-matic.

    Unboxing: Just beautiful. The bamboo cabinets need to be seen in person to be appreciated. The speakers are the nicest looking piece of furniture I own. The finish matched perfectly across all five speakers. They ooze cabinetry quality and are just awesome looking.

    The sound: WOW. Do I need to say more than that? Ok ok…. I would put them in a similar category to, but better sounding than say Focal Arias, B&W 804s, but at a price point that just blows those brands away. Now speakers are subjective, but I like how “un-modified” these sound. They strive for accuracy and an even response – and I like that in speakers so it's a good match for me. No "signature sounds" here, no boosting of certain frequencies to impress on the showroom floor. These babies deliver at all frequencies. The towers dig deep and play great down to about 40hz. They go lower, but they start to trail off. The raal tweeters are very bright, yet non fatiguing. No bleeding eardrums here, even at very loud volumes (and they can play plenty loud with very little distortion). They also image like crazy. I think the only way you would fail to get a great soundstage is to put one speaker outside. Seriously, I've never heard anything like it before in my life. No matter how you place them (within limits) you've got your vocals dead center and a few feet back, and you can hear other people/instruments on the sides of the stage. Close your eyes and listen, it's simply crazy. The towers and horizon are awesome as expected, but let's talk about those Sierra 2s a bit more. How they packed that much into a bookshelf is beyond me. It's a shame they are doing surround duty because they are totally capable on their own. I feel guilty now for making them play second fiddle. I think they’d be a bit small for my size room – but I'm telling you, they'd put up a respectable fight. They really sound as good as the towers with less bass (obviously) and a little less oomph. But man, those are some impressive bookshelf speakers. I’ve become fond of putting my pre pro into multi channel stereo and letting all five speakers go at it. Ascend are simply awesome speakers. I'm so glad I gave the internet direct thing a try (it was hard to buy speakers without hearing them – thus why it's important to have these types of reviews).

    Let's talk Rythmik subs. I have to admit, at first I bought one and I didn't like it. It was very clean and that was good. But it lacked punch, and I didn't feel it could keep up with the towers. It was hard for me because I was hearing bass “things” I had never experienced before. They dig so deep, so accurately. So much precision so low. I wanted to love them – but I couldn't. I guess I'm a bit of a bass head, and I had to shamefully admit that I liked at least a little bit of the "boom boom room" sound I could get from a large flappy SPL monster sub. After a lot of deliberation, I doubled down and bought a second identical Rythmik sub. I had strong suspicions that the problem was more my room acoustics as opposed to the sub. I also felt I wasn't pressurizing the large room properly and I simply needed more power. So the second one arrived just a little while ago. I can't even begin to tell you how much of a difference two subs made over one. Night and day. All my nulls and weird acoustics were instantly resolved, and my house was bumping with chest thumping bass. But not just the "boom boom room" bass - this bass was clean, and accurate, and revealing things unheard before. Truly a music lover's sub. Subs can be a bit of work to integrate properly, but once I got them integrated completely, I found they were a fantastic match to the towers. But seriously – get two, not one. You’ll be much happier.

    After tweaking things for about ¾ of a year, I've finally got things dialed in just the way I like them. I really do think I'd have to spend an insane amount of money to beat this setup (at least 10x the $).

    So there you have it. I love these friggin speakers, and I'm so glad I took a chance on the Ascend experience (did I mention how hard it was for me to buy speakers without hearing them?). I have super clean sound, tight accurate bass, ridiculous imaging, and they look great while doing it. Have I heard better? Yes. At anywhere close to this price point? No friggin way. In fact, I seriously wonder if I'll ever be rich enough to afford an upgrade. I feel I need to jump an order of magnitude to get just an incremental gain, and that's simply out of my budget range. And the best part is that's ok - I've spent a lot of time listening to these speakers and I'm happy with things just the way they are…image1 - Copy.JPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,535

    Default Re: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    Quote Originally Posted by kongar View Post
    Hello all

    I wanted to contribute to both the community and Ascend with a user review. I've been very happy with my purchase, and I think it's important to share experiences. I've had my system since July 2016, and have been tweaking for a very long time. So, with that said, onto the details.

    The speaker equipment:
    Sierra towers
    Horizon center
    Sierra 2s for surrounds
    Dual F15HP subs
    Satin espresso finish, black matte for subs. Raals all the way around.

    Driven by:
    Marantz AV7702mkii
    Emotiva XPA 5
    Oppo bdp-103

    The room:
    Large room 30x60 10 ft ceilings
    Basement
    Opens up to smaller rooms in the back
    Lots of concrete with drywall for walls and floor

    Let's start with ordering and shipping. Dina rocks – she made sure everything matched, and she went out of her way to make sure I understood the cabinetry options available to me. Great customer service, good communication, all the way around positive experience.

    The speakers were shipped UPS. UPS sucks. Thankfully, the speakers were packed well, double boxed, wrapped in felt, styrofoam, etc. They arrived perfectly despite the UPS crunch-o-matic.

    Unboxing: Just beautiful. The bamboo cabinets need to be seen in person to be appreciated. The speakers are the nicest looking piece of furniture I own. The finish matched perfectly across all five speakers. They ooze cabinetry quality and are just awesome looking.

    The sound: WOW. Do I need to say more than that? Ok ok…. I would put them in a similar category to, but better sounding than say Focal Arias, B&W 804s, but at a price point that just blows those brands away. Now speakers are subjective, but I like how “un-modified” these sound. They strive for accuracy and an even response – and I like that in speakers so it's a good match for me. No "signature sounds" here, no boosting of certain frequencies to impress on the showroom floor. These babies deliver at all frequencies. The towers dig deep and play great down to about 40hz. They go lower, but they start to trail off. The raal tweeters are very bright, yet non fatiguing. No bleeding eardrums here, even at very loud volumes (and they can play plenty loud with very little distortion). They also image like crazy. I think the only way you would fail to get a great soundstage is to put one speaker outside. Seriously, I've never heard anything like it before in my life. No matter how you place them (within limits) you've got your vocals dead center and a few feet back, and you can hear other people/instruments on the sides of the stage. Close your eyes and listen, it's simply crazy. The towers and horizon are awesome as expected, but let's talk about those Sierra 2s a bit more. How they packed that much into a bookshelf is beyond me. It's a shame they are doing surround duty because they are totally capable on their own. I feel guilty now for making them play second fiddle. I think they’d be a bit small for my size room – but I'm telling you, they'd put up a respectable fight. They really sound as good as the towers with less bass (obviously) and a little less oomph. But man, those are some impressive bookshelf speakers. I’ve become fond of putting my pre pro into multi channel stereo and letting all five speakers go at it. Ascend are simply awesome speakers. I'm so glad I gave the internet direct thing a try (it was hard to buy speakers without hearing them – thus why it's important to have these types of reviews).

    Let's talk Rythmik subs. I have to admit, at first I bought one and I didn't like it. It was very clean and that was good. But it lacked punch, and I didn't feel it could keep up with the towers. It was hard for me because I was hearing bass “things” I had never experienced before. They dig so deep, so accurately. So much precision so low. I wanted to love them – but I couldn't. I guess I'm a bit of a bass head, and I had to shamefully admit that I liked at least a little bit of the "boom boom room" sound I could get from a large flappy SPL monster sub. After a lot of deliberation, I doubled down and bought a second identical Rythmik sub. I had strong suspicions that the problem was more my room acoustics as opposed to the sub. I also felt I wasn't pressurizing the large room properly and I simply needed more power. So the second one arrived just a little while ago. I can't even begin to tell you how much of a difference two subs made over one. Night and day. All my nulls and weird acoustics were instantly resolved, and my house was bumping with chest thumping bass. But not just the "boom boom room" bass - this bass was clean, and accurate, and revealing things unheard before. Truly a music lover's sub. Subs can be a bit of work to integrate properly, but once I got them integrated completely, I found they were a fantastic match to the towers. But seriously – get two, not one. You’ll be much happier.

    After tweaking things for about ¾ of a year, I've finally got things dialed in just the way I like them. I really do think I'd have to spend an insane amount of money to beat this setup (at least 10x the $).

    So there you have it. I love these friggin speakers, and I'm so glad I took a chance on the Ascend experience (did I mention how hard it was for me to buy speakers without hearing them?). I have super clean sound, tight accurate bass, ridiculous imaging, and they look great while doing it. Have I heard better? Yes. At anywhere close to this price point? No friggin way. In fact, I seriously wonder if I'll ever be rich enough to afford an upgrade. I feel I need to jump an order of magnitude to get just an incremental gain, and that's simply out of my budget range. And the best part is that's ok - I've spent a lot of time listening to these speakers and I'm happy with things just the way they are…image1 - Copy.JPG
    Absolutely fantastic looking system and thank you for the wonderful review! I know how difficult it is purchasing speakers unheard and unseen (aside from some pictures). I wrestled with that 24/7 when we first started Ascend Acoustics (most of my colleagues thought I was nuts) - I can't thank you enough for putting your confidence in us....

    Enjoy!
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    I know how difficult it is purchasing speakers unheard and unseen (aside from some pictures).
    So to that point. I'm in the Boston suburbs. If anyone wants a demo, feel free to send me a private message and I'd be happy to host a little listening session. Speakers are so subjective, demos really help.

    I'm also happy to answer any questions forum folks may have.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    Quote Originally Posted by kongar View Post
    So to that point. I'm in the Boston suburbs. If anyone wants a demo, feel free to send me a private message and I'd be happy to host a little listening session. Speakers are so subjective, demos really help.

    I'm also happy to answer any questions forum folks may have.
    Thanks for the very informative review! Just an unrelated question but what is that white thing in your picture that looks like a pixelated Pac Man?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    That is indeed a pixelated Pac-Man. It's a light powered by usb port. He either phases colors, or he will change colors to the beat of the music. Works great sitting on top of the sub

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    Great review! I also took the plunge on the Towers and Horizon with RAAL without hearing them, and am also extremely glad that I did so. I just desperately need some room treatments next and I should be good to go.
    -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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    Quote Originally Posted by kongar View Post
    That is indeed a pixelated Pac-Man. It's a light powered by usb port. He either phases colors, or he will change colors to the beat of the music. Works great sitting on top of the sub
    Haha.. so it really is that! I was staring at it and wondering what the heck is that thing. Anyway, enjoy your new gear. I have the Sierra 2's and they are wonderful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Review w/ Picture - Towers, Horizon, Sierra 2, and dual Rythmik 15 sealed subs

    Great review, and beautiful system!

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