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Thread: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    By being actively amped, the LS50W's aren't just a different amp from your Hegel (or Rega). They're actively EQd, and I'm guessing they use DSP for the crossovers and active biamping instead of passive analog crossovers. Apples and oranges, or apples and apples cut up in pieces and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    Quote Originally Posted by Beave View Post
    By being actively amped, the LS50W's aren't just a different amp from your Hegel (or Rega). They're actively EQd, and I'm guessing they use DSP for the crossovers and active biamping instead of passive analog crossovers. Apples and oranges, or apples and apples cut up in pieces and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
    Yes, correct, they are all of the above (DSP crossover, active biamping, active EQ) ... and yes Apples to Oranges. But I am trying to figure out what I (or one) can do to get similar or better performance characteristics that I am hearing with the LS50W's, with my passive system and at what cost. Obviously some DSP (via Roon or otherwise) can mimic some of the simple DSP they offer - bass and treble boost/trim for room - and one can do DRC, but matching the active crossover and phase correction is not really possible at this level. That said, there are some things I don't like about the LS50W's otherwise I wouldn't be playing this game ...

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    So I have moved the Sierra Raal Towers into another small media room - 10' x 15'. The room is not nearly as lively, I would say neutral, with full carpeting, drywall (instead of old hardwood panels), and a ton of books on 2 of the 4 sides. So the image has cleared up of course but the crazy thing is I have lost *all* of the bass. I haven't done a mic/rew sweep test yet but I did play some test tones that slowly go through the frequencies and it's literally like the -3dB point is now up towards 60 - 70Hz. I realize that small rooms are demonized by node issues but this is not specific to any frequencies - there is a clear perceived rolloff around 70Hz and it gets consistently quieter as one moves down below that. Really really bizarre.

    (Edit: yes I checked for speaker cable polarity - seemed like the obvious thing - but it's correct).
    Last edited by nquery; 10-23-2017 at 04:29 PM.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    Quote Originally Posted by nquery View Post
    So I have moved the Sierra Raal Towers into another small media room - 10' x 15'. The room is not nearly as lively, I would say neutral, with full carpeting, drywall (instead of old hardwood panels), and a ton of books on 2 of the 4 sides. So the image has cleared up of course but the crazy thing is I have lost *all* of the bass. I haven't done a mic/rew sweep test yet but I did play some test tones that slowly go through the frequencies and it's literally like the -3dB point is now up towards 60 - 70Hz. I realize that small rooms are demonized by node issues but this is not specific to any frequencies - there is a clear perceived rolloff around 70Hz and it gets consistently quieter as one moves down below that. Really really bizarre.

    (Edit: yes I checked for speaker cable polarity - seemed like the obvious thing - but it's correct).
    Not bizarre at all -- different room, different bass response in the room. Are you going by "ear" or by spl meter?
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    Yep, you might have a large null/dip in the 50H-70z region. That, together with the natural rolloff of the towers as you go down in frequency, can make it appear there's no bass at all. It could be a room mode or SBIR.

    Move the listening position (mic position?) around the room and re-check that frequency region.

    Also consider moving the speakers around (nearer to back wall, farther from back wall, nearer/farther from sidewalls) and re-check.

    In your larger room, and nulls might have been lower in frequency and not as perceptible. With the smaller room, the nulls moved up in frequency to the midbass are are now more noticeable. (That's a semi-guess on my part.)

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    Quote Originally Posted by nquery View Post
    I realize that small rooms are demonized by node issues but this is not specific to any frequencies - there is a clear perceived rolloff around 70Hz and it gets consistently quieter as one moves down below that. Really really bizarre.
    Not really. It's just the laws of physics talking to you. Room modes occur in just about any room and result at peaks and dips in the loudness of certain frequencies at certain positions in the room. This applies to both speaker position and listening position. If your speakers are sitting in a dip their output will produce less loudness at the frequency across the room. If your listening position is in a dip, you'll hear less loudness there but you may hear more loudness just a few feet away in any direction (even standing up).

    That said, the bigger the room (generally) the lower the frequencies effected by room modes. There's more that one reason that commercial movie theaters typically have dimensions no smaller than 60 ft (the wave length of a 20Hz tone in air at standard conditions is 17.17m, or about 60 ft). It's not just to have more seats. It's because this pushes most of the room mode problems below 20 Hz where it's not much of a problem. Smaller rooms have room mode problems at higher frequencies unfortunately. Most of us have listening rooms like yours; most of us have room mode problems in the mid-bass; most of us spend some time tweeking speaker position and moving furniture to get the results we want. Welcome to the club!

    As to your roll off problem, it's entirely possible that the room mode that's giving you your trouble is at just the right frequency that it extends the natural roll off of the bottom end of the Sierra Towers. So instead of having a knee in the response curve at, say 50 Hz, it sounds more like the knee has moved up to 70 Hz. If you've got a similar dip at your listening position... sounds like all your bass fled the room. Not all that unusual.

    A few hours spent moving things and listening to the results can usually get you to a satisfactory compromise.
    "If it sounds good, it is good." -- Duke Ellington

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    So moving the towers around - a foot in various directions is all i have to play with - doesn't help much. Adding in my old/flabby subwoofer does help a lot of course. I have yet to do an REW sweep but I think you are all right - the null nodes are simply at a higher frequency.

    So given that, even with my terrible sub, I am really getting into the sound of the Raal towers in their new room. Sounds fantastic and I have just been sinking in and listening. (I have given up on the living room as it's just acoustically awful - even when people are just talking). I will be replacing the sub with an F12 and likely getting Luna's for surrounds in HT application.

    However, I now feel like the towers are simply too large for this small room not only aesthetically but also because the sound is in my face a bit too much. Not sure its quite the same thing as a 'forward' presentation but maybe. My listening position is roughly 7' from the speakers. For both of these reasons, I am strongly considering selling the towers and getting some b-stock Sierra 2's for the front L/R. I have a pair of great stands waiting for them as well I would also be able to apply the difference in price to the sub/lunas.

    Am I crazy?? Given that the towers aren't really providing any bass in their current positions I figure I won't lose anything on the sonic level. And I have read in some other posts that the image of the Sierra 2's is a little further back/recessed and so might give me that bit of perceptual sonic space I am looking for between me and the speakers. (and my wife will be much happier with the standmounts ) Again, is this a crazy idea?
    Last edited by nquery; 11-01-2017 at 11:53 AM.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    I am exactly in same boat and have exact same observations.

    I bought sierra 2 first. Liked it a lot. Then i thought sierra tower will be even better and bought it.
    i did lot of A/B comparison between them and both sounded very similar with tower being winner for me (and few friends)
    So i returned sierra 2.
    Now after few days, i feel that i liked sierra 2 better as sierra 2 sound was a little recessed comparatively which made music listening more enjoyable and sweet sounding specially at higher volumes.
    I have a 7' triangle setup as my living room is small. Smaller space could be the reason why sierra 2 is giving better music listening experience. Towers might need some more space to breath.
    tower is for sure better for movies.

    Its very difficult decision for me now as some of the songs i listen to are shockingly clear, live and enjoyable on towers while most of others were more enjoyable on sierra 2.

    I am waiting for some feedback from Dave to decide.
    Last edited by vicky; 11-01-2017 at 03:58 PM.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    I have owned Sierra-2 for about a year now and absolutely love them. One of the best purchases I have ever made as they seriously get used for a few hours every day of the week.

    I bought a pair of ribbon towers about 2 months ago and have been using them for 6 weeks or so. The ribbon towers outperform the 2ís in every possible way. The level of detail and realism is astounding and in order to achieve this they must reveal even more detail. What I have found in direct A/B comparisons with my 2ís is that with poor source material the towers simply reveal more flaws which can make them sound harsher than the 2ís. Switch to better source material and I found the ribbon towers to really stand out from the 2ís. I believe this is what a truly high end speaker is supposed to do. I have some old Bob Dylan live concert bootlegs (yeah Iím old) and I canít listen to this recording on the towers but I also canít listen to it with a $100 pair of headphones. This sounds a bit better to me on the 2ís but only because there is less detail coming through.

    I visited Ascend last year when I bought my 2ís and had the same experience when I compared the 2 speakers directly.

    We were going to sell the 2ís as my entire family prefers the ribbon towers, but in a unanimous family vote, decided to relegate the 2ís to a different room.

    If this helps any, late at night when my family is asleep and I need to relax to some music, I always end up in my living room where the towers are. I am confident that the ribbon towers will be my last pair of speakers, the realism of these speakers when I close my eyes and just listen gives me chills. No other speaker has ever made me feel this way.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Sierra Raal Towers soundstage vs LS50 Wireless

    I have no doubt that in a larger room the towers are the preferred choice. But the room I have moved the speakers into now in is only 10 x 14 *and* the speakers are against the long wall, firing across the short wall, resulting in the listening position being only 6-7' feet from the speakers, and the speakers around 10+ feet apart, maybe a foot off the back wall. Yes, I know it would be better the other way but not possible as the opening to the rest of house is on the short wall. The thing is that I keep wanting to push them out right into the corners so that they aren't so close to my listening position I also think that bass management might be easier - whatever bass the towers are currently producing is not being heard due to room nodes and might just be muddying things up with a sub in play.
    Last edited by nquery; 11-02-2017 at 09:10 AM.

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