Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 41

Thread: Am I crazy?

  1. #1

    Default Am I crazy?

    After waiting for months I finally got my Sierra Towers (NrT) and Sierra-1 Center (NrT). I had a set of B0se 601 Series II towers, then on a whim picked up a pair of Paradigm Monitor 3 v3 Bookshelves off craigslist locally for $100 along with stands and a matching Paradigm PDR-10 v3 10" Sub, I couldn't believe how much better the bookshelves sounded than my old towers, they really blew me away - I couldn't wait for my towers to come!

    Now I've got these towers up and I don't really know that I can say they sound $2000 better than those old bookshelves... I feel like on some of my records the Bass is almost a bit too much, and after a day of listening to records I've got quite noticeable ear fatigue from these. I know many people said to go RAAL but that was just out of my budget.

    I'm going to keep trying these out, I assume my ears may just need some time to adjust. But as good as they are I'm not instantly sold at all.

    Finally, last night I did watch Dr. Strange on Netflix and was blow away by how good it sounded on these speakers, it really felt like I was at a theater, the sound effects were just really amazing. That said, I felt like I was constantly changing the volume because while the effects and music sounded good, I couldn't hear the dialogue and just had to keep going back and forth, even increasing the volume on the center channel a decent amount didn't fix this.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    Are you using any equalization processes like Audyssey?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    I've mainly been listening using "Pure Direct" mode on my Pioneer VSX-30 Elite, but it also has MCACC and I ran that but it didn't sound better to me afterwards.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    Did you re-run Audyssey after connecting your new speakers? It may need some new distance/level parameters to dial it in better. Even if the speakers are in the same spot as your old ones they may measure differently, it's pretty weird.

    I think part of it is ear break in. Took me a while to wrap my head around what I was hearing from my towers and Horizon. Everything is so much more accurate that it will alert you to tracks that are poorly mastered, even movies that have crappy mixing/mastering.

    A lot of people say they don't hear cost difference at first with high end speakers. To me, this is because with a pair of speakers like the Sierra, the improvements you get in the time domain especially are hard for a person to notice/get used to at first because of what your brain expects from speakers. It's really hard for your brain to combine what it expects to hear with what you actually hear. I was really weirded out by it for at least a month and now I just enjoy the hell out of my speakers all the time.
    -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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    Describe your room size and placement of the speakers in the room. Also describe furnishings. Post a pic if you can.

    Your issue with movies is a pretty common complaint, actually, regardless of the speakers. Your Pioneer might have some sort of dynamic range compression that could help with the dramatically varying volume levels.

    As for the dialogue intelligibility, the Sierra-1 center is significantly lower sensitivity than the towers (ie, it's not as loud for a given volume setting from your receiver). So your MCACC should recognize that and compensate by increasing the gain to the center channel by a few dB. If it doesn't do so, you may have to do it manually. That will bring up the dialogue levels from the center to be more relative to the sound effects coming from the towers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,867

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    Hi kingcrowning

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcrowing View Post
    After waiting for months I finally got my Sierra Towers (NrT) and Sierra-1 Center (NrT). I had a set of B0se 601 Series II towers, then on a whim picked up a pair of Paradigm Monitor 3 v3 Bookshelves off craigslist locally for $100 along with stands and a matching Paradigm PDR-10 v3 10" Sub, I couldn't believe how much better the bookshelves sounded than my old towers, they really blew me away - I couldn't wait for my towers to come!

    Now I've got these towers up and I don't really know that I can say they sound $2000 better than those old bookshelves... I feel like on some of my records the Bass is almost a bit too much, and after a day of listening to records I've got quite noticeable ear fatigue from these. I know many people said to go RAAL but that was just out of my budget.

    I'm going to keep trying these out, I assume my ears may just need some time to adjust. But as good as they are I'm not instantly sold at all.

    Finally, last night I did watch Dr. Strange on Netflix and was blow away by how good it sounded on these speakers, it really felt like I was at a theater, the sound effects were just really amazing. That said, I felt like I was constantly changing the volume because while the effects and music sounded good, I couldn't hear the dialogue and just had to keep going back and forth, even increasing the volume on the center channel a decent amount didn't fix this.
    Since movies sound great but music does not, you really need to look at your source material or various receiver settings. Speakers simply reproduce what they are being sent, and with speakers like our Sierra series - they reproduce nearly everything in the source and the electronics (all the good and all the bad) Even within the Paradigm line, as you move up the line, the more revealing and detailed the speakers become.

    I feel like on some of my records the Bass is almost a bit too much, and after a day of listening to records I've got quite noticeable ear fatigue from these. I know many people said to go RAAL but that was just out of my budget.
    You mention too much bass... but you also state you are using a subwoofer. Bass should be handled by the subwoofer. What crossover setting are you using in the receiver? The speakers should not be set to large, they should be set to small and I generally recommend setting a crossover of 60-80Hz. If you set the speakers to large, you will get double bass -- with the speakers and sub producing the same frequencies and this is bad.

    Keep in mind you will need to adjust subwoofer volume levels to where you are comfortable.

    Also, with music - what is your source material? (CD's, digital files, streaming etc.) You mention records, but are you actually listening to vinyl?

    I felt like I was constantly changing the volume because while the effects and music sounded good, I couldn't hear the dialogue and just had to keep going back and forth, even increasing the volume on the center channel a decent amount didn't fix this
    Yes, this is a common issue with many soundtracks these days as there is just no standard as to how to set the various levels. This is not a speaker issue - the speakers are just doing what is as expected of them. I have found many movies streamed from Netflix to sound horrible for some reason. That said, there are settings in modern AVR's to help improve this. Night mode (or similar) sets up dynamic compression such that it limits the volume level of various peaks, thus making subtleties in the soundtrack much easier to hear.

    Also, did you properly calibrate the center channel level to match the left/right speakers? The Sierra-1 center has much lower sensitivity than the towers and that will need to be compensated for...

    Please feel free to contact me directly
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    I did re-run it with the new speakers, I actually always used pure direct with my old speakers so I just ran it for the first time with the new Sierras so I'm pretty sure it's setup fairly correct.

    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I've got a month to test them out so I'll definelty keep trying them out before making a decision because I have heard that it can take a while to adjust to better speakers, and these are by far the best speakers I've ever owned or listened too. I'm just wondering if they're maybe "too much" for my space or something.

    With the issue of dialogue being too low compared to the music/effects, is the only way to correct that by increasing the center channel volume? It seemed to make the dialogue even in Dr. Strange (which being a new big budget movie I assume the audio tracks are solid) sound kind of strained... when I had it loud enough for the dialogue to sound good the music was so loud I felt like the floor was shaking! Which while cool is too much for where I live.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    Dave to answer your questions:

    I have all my speakers set to small, and my crossover set to 80hz, I felt like there was too much bass when running in pure direct so no sub at all! The album in question was Junta by Phish on vinyl in mint condition.

    My source for music is vinyl records, I've got a Shure SC35C cartridge with N35X stylus, on a Pioneer PLX-1000, using a cork mat. I'm using Blue Jeans Cables and a Bugle2 phono preamp. With my other speakers it sounds great... I'm also using blue jeans speaker cables with their sonically welded banana plugs.

    For movies I'm currently using Netflix, so I'm not going to give any full judgement until I can listen to DVDs or Blu rays (I have an Xbox One S, but I had to send it in for repairs so I can't try out dvds or blu rays until it gets back)

    I added about 4-5db to the center channel, and the dialogue from the center was still quite low - is that a fair number?

    I just want to be clear that these do sound amazing! I'm just trying to get them calibrated as well as possible.

    I can post some pictures of my layout tomorrow. Unfortunately I don't have a great room layout, I've got them in a corner and about 6-8" away from the wall, but it's the only spot I can have them. I do have a hardwood floor and windows mear by. I tried pulling curtains down and putting a yoga mat on the hardwood floor but it didn't make a very noticeable difference.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,867

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcrowing View Post
    With the issue of dialogue being too low compared to the music/effects, is the only way to correct that by increasing the center channel volume? It seemed to make the dialogue even in Dr. Strange (which being a new big budget movie I assume the audio tracks are solid) sound kind of strained... when I had it loud enough for the dialogue to sound good the music was so loud I felt like the floor was shaking! Which while cool is too much for where I live.
    What Beave and I are trying to explain is that there might be a setting in your receiver that enables dynamic compression. Your receiver has both dynamic range control and a midnight control. I suggest you check your owner's manual on how to best configure these. However, I must stress that every movie is different -- some are mixed perfectly, others are not. So you may or may not want to enable these options, depending on the movie. When listening in my home, I generally prefer a small amount of dynamic compression.

    Please answer the following questions for me:

    1. What is your source for your music listening?

    2. Are you running the speakers as "large" or "small". MCACC Room EQ is horrible, do not trust the settings it chooses.

    3. How far back are you sitting from the front speakers?
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,867

    Default Re: Am I crazy?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcrowing View Post
    Dave to answer your questions:

    I have all my speakers set to small, and my crossover set to 80hz, I felt like there was too much bass when running in pure direct so no sub at all! The album in question was Junta by Phish on vinyl in mint condition.

    My source for music is vinyl records, I've got a Shure SC35C cartridge with N35X stylus, on a Pioneer PLX-1000, using a cork mat. I'm using Blue Jeans Cables and a Bugle2 phono preamp. With my other speakers it sounds great... I'm also using blue jeans speaker cables with their sonically welded banana plugs.

    For movies I'm currently using Netflix, so I'm not going to give any full judgement until I can listen to DVDs or Blu rays (I have an Xbox One S, but I had to send it in for repairs so I can't try out dvds or blu rays until it gets back)

    I added about 4-5db to the center channel, and the dialogue from the center was still quite low - is that a fair number?

    I just want to be clear that these do sound amazing! I'm just trying to get them calibrated as well as possible.

    I can post some pictures of my layout tomorrow. Unfortunately I don't have a great room layout, I've got them in a corner and about 6-8" away from the wall, but it's the only spot I can have them. I do have a hardwood floor and windows mear by. I tried pulling curtains down and putting a yoga mat on the hardwood floor but it didn't make a very noticeable difference.
    Thanks for getting back to me.

    Vinyl is full of various distortions (lows and highs), and with a speaker like the Sierra Towers, you are going to hear it. I would recommend listening to some high quality sources with music (CD's / DVD's etc.) You have taken a major step upward with your speakers and you need to feed them the food they deserve
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •