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Thread: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    238

    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    If anyone is interested, I took some output measurements of my Sierra-2s. You can see it here:

    http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...nts-in-my-room

    Maybe Dave can chime in on the "extra power" vs "low power" amplifier discussion.

    From my understanding, both a 25 watt amp and a 500 watt amp can safely power a speaker when played at a level where neither the amp nor the speaker is being pushed beyond it's limits. Turn the volume up too loud with either amp such that you are over-driving either the speakers or the amp, can damage the speaker. So in other words, take caution when turning the volume up, and if you hear distortion coming from the speakers, turn it down.

    p.s. I'm running the XPA-5 with my Sierra-2 and it works just fine. No damage to my speakers. Then again, I don't turn it up super loud and my ears are very sensitive to distortion or any kind of anomaly coming from my system.

    Edit: If I remember correctly, there was a Sierra-2 owner who blew out his RAAL tweeters with two different amps. One was a lower powered amp and then he upgraded to a higher power amp and blew out the tweeters again. My memory is a little foggy on that, but I believe I saw it posted here on this forum.
    Last edited by mikesiskav; 10-08-2017 at 11:18 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    USA
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    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesiskav View Post
    If anyone is interested, I took some output measurements of my Sierra-2s. You can see it here:

    http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...nts-in-my-room

    Maybe Dave can chime in on the "extra power" vs "low power" amplifier discussion.

    From my understanding, both a 25 watt amp and a 500 watt amp can safely power a speaker when played at a level where neither the amp nor the speaker is being pushed beyond it's limits. Turn the volume up too loud with either amp such that you are over-driving either the speakers or the amp, can damage the speaker. So in other words, take caution when turning the volume up, and if you hear distortion coming from the speakers, turn it down.

    p.s. I'm running the XPA-5 with my Sierra-2 and it works just fine. No damage to my speakers. Then again, I don't turn it up super loud and my ears are very sensitive to distortion or any kind of anomaly coming from my system.

    Edit: If I remember correctly, there was a Sierra-2 owner who blew out his RAAL tweeters with two different amps. One was a lower powered amp and then he upgraded to a higher power amp and blew out the tweeters again. My memory is a little foggy on that, but I believe I saw it posted here on this forum.
    With Sierra-2 (or any ribbon based speaker) - I generally recommend having an amp with more power rather than less power as ribbons are more sensitive to amplifier clipping. That said, it all depends on listening distance and how loud someone actually likes to listen. With the ribbon towers, our 70-20 based ribbon is an entirely different beast than the ribbon in our Sierra-2 and can handle much more power and it even handles amplifier clipping with ease - this is due to unique mechanical damping that no other ribbon that I know of has... Unfortunately, I am under contractual obligation such that I can not reveal the technical details of this- but it is quite clever and is what really puts the 70-20 ahead of all other ribbon tweeters.

    Mike -- these measurements are great and that is a ridiculously impressive in-room response. How far back was the mic positioned for these measurements?
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  3. #13
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    Dec 2013
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    238

    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    That is very interesting to hear about the ribbon towers. I'm very happy with my Sierra-2 but it appears that the tower/horizons with RAAL are quite impressive output wise. If I'm not mistaken, they should have about 8dB higher max output capability over the Sierra-2. +5dB sensitivity and +3dB for double the power handling.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    I only* have the basic Sierra-1s, but they have been hooked up to a Parasound 2250v2 (275 watts per channel) for two years now with no trouble at all.

    When listening loud on certain music the woofers really move but I don't go crazy on the volume and I've never heard a hint of distortion.

    Overkill? Probably so. But I like to have lots of power in reserve, and I wanted my amp to be future proof, in case I buy larger speakers at some point.


    *Maybe I shouldn't say "only" as I've spent 7 or so years with the Sierra-1s and love the sound. Accurate, detailed, great imaging and soundstage, amazing sound on anything from a solo vocalist seated at a piano to a full orchestra.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    151

    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    These speakers can handle plenty of juice, but my Marantz HD-AMP1 (35 WPC at 8 ohms) is PLENTY to fill a moderate sized room. I don't ever recall needing to push my Towers or Sierra-2's ever close to their limits. Y'all must have hearing loss already. LOL.

    They were driven by Wyred4Sound mINT for a few years, but the mINT is now out of commission for repair. However, I don't think it will get hooked back up as the Marantz is going to take permanent duty.

    If kept well within amplifier specs, you'll never have problems. But more power is safer than less power as everyone has stated.
    Last edited by bkdc; 10-13-2017 at 12:49 PM.

  6. #16
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    Thanks for the info Dave. I admit my listening can get loud at times. Since I'm buying new equipment that I plan to keep long term then I'll go with more power.

    I thought my Sierra 2 might be the final speakers, but it sounds like I really need to get the towers with the ribbons. If the ribbon can handle that level of output they will be a perfect match for my listening habits.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoppaOptic View Post
    Thanks for the info Dave. I admit my listening can get loud at times. Since I'm buying new equipment that I plan to keep long term then I'll go with more power.

    I thought my Sierra 2 might be the final speakers, but it sounds like I really need to get the towers with the ribbons. If the ribbon can handle that level of output they will be a perfect match for my listening habits.
    The towers can play significantly louder and the ribbon in the tower is pretty much bulletproof. If you want to reach live rock concert listening levels - the towers are the better choice.
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    238

    Default Re: 250 WPC amp with Sierra 2?

    I just came across an interesting document from JBL which explains in depth how a low powered amplifier can damage speakers:

    https://www.jblpro.com/pub/technote/lowpower.pdf

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