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Thread: My thoughts about my new S-2EX Speakers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    246

    Default My thoughts about my new S-2EX Speakers

    Yesterday, on Monday, I received an upgrade set of S-1 to S-2EX drivers/crossovers that were used in a pair of gloss espresso cabinets. The installation process was quick and painless. I wanted to use these speakers in a 2.0 system, and I used an old Yamaha RX-550 receiver, and an Oppo BDP-83 special edition sending the signal through the dedicated outputs to the Yamaha. Blue Jeans Cables interconnects, and 12 gauge speaker wires with banana plugs from the same vendor were used. The Yamaha was set to pure direct which removes all tone controls from the signal path. This was purposely chosen as a simple, modest system with components I have owned and trust for a very long time.

    For clarities' sake my philosophy concerning sound reproduction is that the quality of the source material, and the abilities of the speakers are far and away the most important ingredients of the overall sound quality. That being said, my first selection was a Japanese mastered CD of Dire Straits' debut album which is one of my favorites. Let me tell you that I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that the S-2EXs brought tears to my eyes! I was simply awe struck by what I was hearing. Probably the best analogy I can think of is a cartoon of a tiny tent from the outside but when looking inside there is a massive ballroom. It just seems inconceivable that a speaker of this size with a woofer as diminutive as it is can perform at the level that it does. It reproduces very low bass notes and even does a nice job with kick drums. The bass is tight and precise, the transient response nothing short of incredible! Of course they can't give you that visceral chest thumping output of a powerful sub, but using these without a sub, run full range, you are going to experience everything the source has to deliver, except those subterranean frequencies that are more felt than heard. Very few music titles contain much of this type of content, I did notice the low rumble present in Jennifer Warnes' "The Well" was beyond the range of the EXs as I had expected.

    When I first read about the new woofer developed for the Sierra Diamonds, and that it surpassed the S-2 woofer in several areas, I struggled to wrap my brain around the concept of substantially improving on what was the best bookshelf woofer I had previously ever heard. And yet, once experienced, there can be no doubt that Dave has once again raised the bar several notches. All I can say is WOW!!!! After listening to many well recorded titles of many different genres, I can report the S-2EX speakers are extremely well balanced and deliciously capable from the top of the frequency band to the very bottom. These bookshelf speakers will put many full size towers to absolute shame, they punch waaaaay above what their weight class would suggest.

    Jay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: My thoughts about my new S-2EX Speakers

    Thanks for sharing your impressions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SouthWest of Cleveland
    Posts
    1,697

    Default Re: My thoughts about my new S-2EX Speakers

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jay.

    Yes, running the EX's full range with good source material containing powerful, deep bass messes with your brain. I've been compelled more than once to put my hand on my sub's woofer to check that I had actually turned it off! Feed them lots of clean power and they will reward you. They still sound fantastic at lower volumes, but cranking them at times with plenty of power is a treat.
    Ed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,291

    Default Re: My thoughts about my new S-2EX Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by petmotel View Post
    Yesterday, on Monday, I received an upgrade set of S-1 to S-2EX drivers/crossovers that were used in a pair of gloss espresso cabinets. The installation process was quick and painless. I wanted to use these speakers in a 2.0 system, and I used an old Yamaha RX-550 receiver, and an Oppo BDP-83 special edition sending the signal through the dedicated outputs to the Yamaha. Blue Jeans Cables interconnects, and 12 gauge speaker wires with banana plugs from the same vendor were used. The Yamaha was set to pure direct which removes all tone controls from the signal path. This was purposely chosen as a simple, modest system with components I have owned and trust for a very long time.

    For clarities' sake my philosophy concerning sound reproduction is that the quality of the source material, and the abilities of the speakers are far and away the most important ingredients of the overall sound quality. That being said, my first selection was a Japanese mastered CD of Dire Straits' debut album which is one of my favorites. Let me tell you that I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that the S-2EXs brought tears to my eyes! I was simply awe struck by what I was hearing. Probably the best analogy I can think of is a cartoon of a tiny tent from the outside but when looking inside there is a massive ballroom. It just seems inconceivable that a speaker of this size with a woofer as diminutive as it is can perform at the level that it does. It reproduces very low bass notes and even does a nice job with kick drums. The bass is tight and precise, the transient response nothing short of incredible! Of course they can't give you that visceral chest thumping output of a powerful sub, but using these without a sub, run full range, you are going to experience everything the source has to deliver, except those subterranean frequencies that are more felt than heard. Very few music titles contain much of this type of content, I did notice the low rumble present in Jennifer Warnes' "The Well" was beyond the range of the EXs as I had expected.

    When I first read about the new woofer developed for the Sierra Diamonds, and that it surpassed the S-2 woofer in several areas, I struggled to wrap my brain around the concept of substantially improving on what was the best bookshelf woofer I had previously ever heard. And yet, once experienced, there can be no doubt that Dave has once again raised the bar several notches. All I can say is WOW!!!! After listening to many well recorded titles of many different genres, I can report the S-2EX speakers are extremely well balanced and deliciously capable from the top of the frequency band to the very bottom. These bookshelf speakers will put many full size towers to absolute shame, they punch waaaaay above what their weight class would suggest.

    Jay
    Happy you are enjoying them and thanks for posting your feedback!
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: My thoughts about my new S-2EX Speakers

    After having spent a good deal of time with my new Sierras, I've reflected on what I have seen other owners refer to their S-2EXs as, and would have to agree. I think they should have been designated the S-2VT (for virtual towers). I think anyone whom has had the privilege to spend time listening to these amazing speakers would probably agree with this sentiment. I would be willing to bet that under conditions of a blind listening test, the participants would be absolutely shocked to see a bookshelf speaker revealed after listening to them. It still blows my mind what these speakers are capable of.

    I was just listening to my Mobile Fidelity SACD of Patricia Barber's "Modern Cool", the EXs reproduced this amazing work with a power, and a presence that truly boggle the imagination. The receiver I've been using to drive the speakers is only rated at 60 Watts RMS per channel into an 8 Ohm load, and it is capable of providing more volume than I'm comfortable listening at.

    Jay

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