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Thread: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Hi, Everyone,

    I’m a newcomer to Ascend. I’m a personal audio guy, and went through so many permeations of headphones and earphones and sources and amps, but had never heard good speakers. Well, I demo’d a set of Audioengine’s once and wasn’t convinced to go down the rabbit hole with passive speakers, amps, and pres.

    But some weeks back I finally settled on a good dac/amp and headphones for laptop listening, and I got a Walkman and earphones for portable listening. Having satiated my head-fi lust, I wondered what a good 2Ch. front end and passive setup might sound like.

    I thought of getting a set of Dynaudio or Totem bookshelves, but someone on Reddit turned me on to Ascend. Long(er) story short, I found a gentleman in Austin who was selling a set of L/C/R Sierra 1’s, and CBM-170 SE surrounds. We settled on a great price and I’m now a happy owner of a set of Ascend speakers!

    I’m driving these in my small study/office with an old JVC amp, an A-X1 (30W into 8ohms, Class A/B), with a Resonessence DAC as a source, and Blue Jeans Cables all around. My front-end is not high-end by any stretch of the imagination, but it’ll have to do for now. The setup sounded wonderful with the CBM-170 SE’s and I doubted it could get better than that but when I hooked up the Sierra 1’s I was blown away! I am worried, however, of any adverse effect the JVC can have on the Sierra 1’s.

    The recommended minimum for the Sierra 1’s are 45W, per the specs. I’ve been doing some reading about under/overpowering speakers and most say to be wary of clipping when underpowering. I’m listening to the Sierras at low levels. My vol. pot sits at the 9’oclock position mostly, and never goes past 12’oclock.

    Still, I thought I’d ask the experts about this. Should I hook the CBM-170’s back up until I can save up and get an amp with at least 45w, or will I be alright with my 30W JVC?

    Thank you all and greetings from TX!

    EDITED
    Last edited by Teamjoe; 07-04-2019 at 08:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default Re: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Quote Originally Posted by Teamjoe View Post
    Hi, Everyone,

    I’m a newcomer to Ascend. I’m a personal audio guy, and went through so many permeations of headphones and earphones and sources and amps, but had never heard good speakers. Well, I demo’d a set of Audioengine’s once and wasn’t convinced to go down the rabbit hole with passive speakers, amps, and pres.

    But some weeks back I finally settled on a good dac/amp and headphones for laptop listening, and I got a Walkman and earphones for portable listening. Having satiated my head-fi lust, I wondered what a good 2Ch. front end and passive setup might sound like.

    I thought of getting a set of Dynaudio or Totem bookshelves, but someone on Reddit turned me on to Ascend. Long(er) story short, I found a gentleman in Austin who was selling a set of L/C/R Sierra 1’s, and CBM-170 SE surrounds. We settled on a great price and I’m now a happy owner of a set of Ascend speakers!

    I’m driving these in my small study/office with an old JVC amp, an A-X1 (30W into 8ohms, Class A/B), with a Resonessence DAC as a source, and Blue Jeans Cables all around. My front-end is not high-end by any stretch of the imagination, but it’ll have to do for now. The setup sounded wonderful with the CBM-170 SE’s and I doubted it could get better than that but when I hooked up the Sierra 1’s I was blown away! I am worried, however, of any adverse effect the JVC can have on the Sierra 1’s.

    The recommended minimum for the Sierra 1’s are 45W, per the specs. I’ve been doing some reading about under/overpowering speakers and most say to be wary of clipping when underpowering. I’m listening to the Sierras at low levels. My vol. pot sits at the 9’oclock position mostly, and never goes past 12’oclock.

    Still, I thought I’d ask the experts about this. Should I hook the CBM-170’s back up until I can save up and get an amp with at least 45w, or will I be alright with my 30W JVC?

    Thank you all and greetings from TX!

    EDITED
    Hi Teamjoe,

    Welcome to our family!

    Wattage vs Sensitivity and preferred listening levels are directly related to listening distance. With that in mind, how far back are you sitting from the speakers?
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Hi, Dave,

    Thank you!

    So, the Sierra 1s are ~9ft. in front of my listening chair, with slight toe in, and L/R are ~5ft. apart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default Re: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Quote Originally Posted by Teamjoe View Post
    Hi, Dave,

    Thank you!

    So, the Sierra 1s are ~9ft. in front of my listening chair, with slight toe in, and L/R are ~5ft. apart.
    Very welcome!

    At 9 feet back and with max of 30 watts per channel you can safely reach an overall volume level of ~95dB. I consider 95dB to be quite loud so my guess is that you are safe with your current amp. If you turn up the volume quite loud and hear distortion, this means you are clipping your amp -- simply turn the volume back down quickly....

    Hope this helps!
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Got it! ~95dB is plenty loud. Another thing I love about loudspeakers is I can measure the dB for safe listening quite easily, unlike with headphones or earphones. I'll keep an eye(ear) out for the clipping. The last thing I want to do is damage the Sierra-1s. In the black piano finish these speakers are knockouts!

    Thanks so much, Dave. Oh, wait! I almost forgot. How much lateral movement is safe and/or normal in the woofers? A track in my library made the woofer push and pull a little too much for my comfort. I didn't hear any distortion---in fact, that song has never sounded as clear or dynamic on any headphone I own---but I was afraid of causing any harm so I immediately lowered the vol. and changed the song.

    Should I put that track on my banned list?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default Re: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Quote Originally Posted by Teamjoe View Post
    Got it! ~95dB is plenty loud. Another thing I love about loudspeakers is I can measure the dB for safe listening quite easily, unlike with headphones or earphones. I'll keep an eye(ear) out for the clipping. The last thing I want to do is damage the Sierra-1s. In the black piano finish these speakers are knockouts!

    Thanks so much, Dave. Oh, wait! I almost forgot. How much lateral movement is safe and/or normal in the woofers? A track in my library made the woofer push and pull a little too much for my comfort. I didn't hear any distortion---in fact, that song has never sounded as clear or dynamic on any headphone I own---but I was afraid of causing any harm so I immediately lowered the vol. and changed the song.

    Should I put that track on my banned list?
    The woofers in the Sierra-1 are quite durable and they have a lot of excursion. You will know without any doubts when you hit the mechanical excursion limits - you will hear it having difficulty, when that happens simply turn it down. I would not necessarily stop listening to a specific track simply because the woofer was exhibiting quite a bit of movement - if it sounded clean and dynamic at that volume level - it is fine
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Noted! Sounding cleaner and more dynamic than I’ve ever been exposed to. These are my first set of good speakers and they’ve set the bar way high. Thanks again, Dave, for the help and for the Sierra-1. The level of fit and finish on these is incredible. Like an old-school Vanson or a Schott Perfecto, these speakers are heirloom-quality products. I’m over the moon.

    Happy listening and have a great weekend!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default Re: New Member of the Ascend Acolytes

    Quote Originally Posted by Teamjoe View Post
    Noted! Sounding cleaner and more dynamic than I’ve ever been exposed to. These are my first set of good speakers and they’ve set the bar way high. Thanks again, Dave, for the help and for the Sierra-1. The level of fit and finish on these is incredible. Like an old-school Vanson or a Schott Perfecto, these speakers are heirloom-quality products. I’m over the moon.

    Happy listening and have a great weekend!
    Very welcome and I am happy you are enjoying the Sierra-1!!!
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

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