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Thread: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

  1. #1
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    Default Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    I have a pretty nice setup of Sierra 2EX's for my L/R, Horizon for center, Pol RTi A3s for surround, RSL C34E for Atmos speakers, Rythmik FV18 paper cone for my sub.

    Would the upgrade to the Sierra Towers with RAAL be a defining upgrade? It's super expensive at $3k, so I am kinda doubting it will be an amazing upgrade.

  2. #2
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    Question Re: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGuru View Post
    I have a pretty nice setup of Sierra 2EX's for my L/R, Horizon for center, Pol RTi A3s for surround, RSL C34E for Atmos speakers, Rythmik FV18 paper cone for my sub.

    Would the upgrade to the Sierra Towers with RAAL be a defining upgrade? It's super expensive at $3k, so I am kinda doubting it will be an amazing upgrade.
    How big is your home theater room?
    How loud do you like to (or need to) go with movie dynamics?
    What is your power amp source (receiver/separates)?
    Are you thinking that you need more top end output to keep up with that big low end powered Rythmik?

    Ted
    Sierra-2EX, Axiom EP 500, Emotiva USP-1, Emotiva UPA-2, Phillips CD880 (dedicated 2.1 listening room)!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGuru View Post
    I have a pretty nice setup of Sierra 2EX's for my L/R, Horizon for center, Pol RTi A3s for surround, RSL C34E for Atmos speakers, Rythmik FV18 paper cone for my sub.

    Would the upgrade to the Sierra Towers with RAAL be a defining upgrade? It's super expensive at $3k, so I am kinda doubting it will be an amazing upgrade.
    Another question, how much listening do you do in stereo? If that is a significant portion, than I'd imagine the towers would be a decent value.
    Nate

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGuru View Post
    Would the upgrade to the Sierra Towers with RAAL be a defining upgrade? It's super expensive at $3k, so I am kinda doubting it will be an amazing upgrade.
    Depends on what you're looking for. I've listened to both and own a pair of 2EXs. The Towers are definitely better. However, they're a lot more expensive and the real question is whether they're worth the difference in price. If what you're doing is mostly multichannel HT, then IMO the answer is "no" unless you care a lot about speaker efficiency or vertical dispersion. (The RAAL tweeter in the Tower is also a wider design, meaning better vertical dispersion.)

    If you do a lot of 2-channel, then it's a near thing. The real advantage the Towers have over the 2EX for 2-channel—besides the aforementioned vertical dispersion—is the fact that they're 3-way, which means there's a dedicated driver for the mids. The effect of that is the mids are both smoother and more "open" in the Towers. No question the Towers sound better. Enough better to justify the price difference? It's close. Not that the Tower is overpriced, it's more that the 2EX is just such a killer value.
    Luna Duo LCR in HT, Sierra-2 EXs in study, S-1 NrTs in bedroom, S-1s at work, HTM-200s in kitchen. Brother owns CMT-340s and dad has a pair of CBM-170s. I also own a Rythmik L22 sub.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    Wider ribbon = better vertical dispersion? I don't follow.

    Doesn't the ribbon width affect horizontal dispersion, not vertical (which is related to ribbon length, not width)?

    So the wider ribbon has narrower horizontal dispersion. The narrow ribbon in the 2-EX has wider horizontal dispersion.

    But since the two ribbons are similar in length, they should have similar vertical dispersion.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    Hey MrGuru! Didn't realize you're on this thread too (seen you on AVS).

    Overall, the towers are definitely better that's for sure, but if you're happy now, then I'd just keep what you have. I suppose I paid it forward and sent my stimulus money to the Ascend Acoustics tower speaker society, otherwise I'd still stick with the Sierra 2 EX setup as L/R mains. I'm a 75/25 (music/movies) guy and the towers just have a larger soundstage and that is simply due to the fact that they are a 3 way design, have more drivers, higher efficiency, and the tweeter is a bit smoother in performance on the towers. I feel like I'm treated to a live concert every time I listen to them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    Quote Originally Posted by Beave View Post
    Wider ribbon = better vertical dispersion? I don't follow.

    Doesn't the ribbon width affect horizontal dispersion, not vertical (which is related to ribbon length, not width)?

    So the wider ribbon has narrower horizontal dispersion. The narrow ribbon in the 2-EX has wider horizontal dispersion.

    But since the two ribbons are similar in length, they should have similar vertical dispersion.
    Beave is correct. Transducer width (of the resonating area) only affects horizontal dispersion. Vertical dispersion would be determined by the height of the resonating area.

    The advantages of the 70-20 ribbon over the ribbon in the Sierra-2EX are:

    * More than double the resonating surface area
    * ability to be crossed as low as 1.8kHz
    * much higher power handling
    * lower distortion
    * a more linear response both on and off-axis
    * due to a unique ribbon element damping system, unique to the 70-20 (I am under NDA not to disclose), the ribbon element is more durable and significantly less susceptible to the damaging effects of transverse waves (which can be caused by amplifier clipping)
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sierra Towers (RAAL) vs Sierra 2 EX's as front L/R

    Quote Originally Posted by Beave View Post
    Wider ribbon = better vertical dispersion? I don't follow.
    That's because it didn't make any sense.

    Got my axes flipped when I was typing that. I should not post right after an hour of grading.
    Luna Duo LCR in HT, Sierra-2 EXs in study, S-1 NrTs in bedroom, S-1s at work, HTM-200s in kitchen. Brother owns CMT-340s and dad has a pair of CBM-170s. I also own a Rythmik L22 sub.

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