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Thread: Life after Sierra-2: The usual redundant "where next" question (preference 2.0)

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: Life after Sierra-2: The usual redundant "where next" question (preference 2.0)

    Good grief, I thought I'd replied to this thread two months ago. The ingratitude! Life has disrupted my listening and internet time repeatedly and I let this slip through the cracks.

    As far as I can tell, the digital volume on the Oppo was the culprit; and I'm embarrassed it didn't occur to me sooner. Actually, I think I _had_ toggled between 'fixed' and 'variable' volume, but the experiment wasn't controlled enough to yield meaningful results. I've very lately been throwing dozens of very different kinds of recordings at the Sierra-2's and the results have been so much more beautiful than I remember from even two months ago. It might have been a weird, peristent, 'placebic' buyer's remorse as well. I rarely pay this much for anything at once. Whatever the case, I feel a lot better now than before. I'd written off the notion of speakers needing "burning in", but my feelings about the speakers are much better now.

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Changing speaker placement has been almost as easy, and I think it's yielded some significant results.

    I might also soon be in the market for a more powerful amp. For a variety of reasons, that might be an AVR rather than another integrated or separates....but the debate over the (dis)advantages of each of these leaves me dizzy and further confused, so I need to keep researching. I will probably revive a receiver recommendation thread to ask about relatively inexpensive options.
    Apropos sludgeogre's comment above, I don't use a Class D, just a regular A/B 40w integrated amp. I am still concerned about the possibility of clipping, though I've been using the NIOSH sound meter app (albeit on an Iphone 5's internal mic, no external mic....please don't scoff!) and brief highest peaks almost never exceed ~85db(A), with ~80% of listening remaining under ~75db(A). Unless this method of measurement is worthless, that's where I stand with volume. An SPL meter will have to go on the acquisition list.

    Sorry for the delay, but thanks everyone!

  2. #12

    Default Re: Life after Sierra-2: The usual redundant "where next" question (preference 2.0)

    I think that NAD should be sufficient for low listening levels. The s2's are very revealing so if your setup is not right they will let you know.

    You would want to use fixed output volume on the 103 for your setup. Also make sure you have the latest firmware and that the speaker configuration reflects "Large" for the front, and "stereo" downmix. Also recommend that dynamic range control should be off. You can also try pure audio mode on the remote.
    Ascend Sierra Towers RAAL | Ascend Sierra Horizon RAAL | Ascend HTM-200SE | Rythmik F15HP | Anthem MRX-520 | Schiit Modi Multibit

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Default Re: Life after Sierra-2: The usual redundant "where next" question (preference 2.0)

    How's this for a "life after Sierra 2" experience. I sold my Sierra 2's about 3 months ago when I basically replaced my entire system as I'd become disenchanted with it. Moved the new system to a smaller room and began experimenting with my new gear. That's when I realized the speakers I'd acquired to replace the S2 weren't up to snuff. I've got 3 different models of Tannoys and it just wasn't cutting it. Something was missing but I coudn't put my finger on it.

    Finally I brought my Sierra 1's from the theater into this 2 channel system. I nearly dropped my coffee. That's when I realized I never should have sold the S2's. I compared them to some $5000 floorstanders at the time, and preferred the S2, except that the towers had better/more bass.

    So anyway, I'm kind of tapped out at this point! So I ordered a pair of Sierra 1 for the 2 channel system(they sound amazing btw, breaking them in for 50 hours is suggested on this forum), with the sole goal of converting them to Sierra 2 next year. But, I may decide to just bite the bullet and order the Sierra Towers with Raal at that point.

    The moral of the story? Sometimes you never know what you've got 'til it's gone.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: Life after Sierra-2: The usual redundant "where next" question (preference 2.0)

    Regarding the problem of digital volume: are there other 'sneaky' sources of digital volume which could present similar problems, something I should keep an eye out for when upgrading my set-up? I don't understand the way digital volume works, but e.g. I was considering Emotiva's budget pre PT-100, and a Redditor who'd corresponded with Emotiva wrote
    [....]the volume is controlled by a digitally controlled analog volume ladder, meaning the signal remains analog as it is adjusted.
    I didn't know how this differed from the Oppo 103 [used as a pre, with 'variable' digital volume], but I didn't want to buy gear that repeated this mistake and had to be removed completely. That would be a worse embarrassment.

    I am considering the PT-100 with the A-300 power amp. I am not ready for big boy amplification yet, but for my needs, an AVR somehow seems like the wrong kind of overkill. I know that debate is endless and vicious, definitely not trying to open it here!

    I really cannot overstate how much better the speakers sound to me. I'm not sure it was 100% a matter of my gaffe with the Oppo, even if that was the dumb/root mistake. Oddly enough, it was after a couple-few weeks of barely using the speakers at all, after a prolonged intense use of them, that they began to sound amazing to me. It's almost like I had to step away from them for weeks to wake up to them. I listened to some afaik exceptionally beautifully-recorded chamber music (killer Chausson by Devoyon et al on the Hyperion label) and my heart was in my throat.
    Last edited by Octave; 05-29-2017 at 04:00 PM. Reason: minor addition

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