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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2023

    Thumbs up Hello from SoCal

    I had been reading about Ascend Acoustics Sierra series both here, the Hoffman Forum and Audiokarma for several weeks and decided I needed to hear them. Fortunately I am only two hours from San Clemente so I drove down there yesterday and spent much of the afternoon in their demo room. Dina played host. (She's a wonderful person. Dave was out of the office.)

    I have been using Wharfedale 80th Anniversary Dentons driven by a 40 watt NAD integrated for the last two and a half years. I am vinyl-only (except for occasionally hooking up my phone for Spotify and You Tube with a cheapy bluetooth adapter.) Front end is Technics SL-1500c / Ortofon 2M Blue. This system has served me well but I have had the upgrade bug recently. I wondered if their was a petite, affordable bookshelf speaker that would improve bass performance and project more pinpoint imaging and a wider and deeper sound stage than the Dentons are capable of.

    First up was the LX. I was immediately struck by their overall character. The highs were nicely extended but still sweet. Mids were pure and natural. And everyone knows about their bass performance. So more solid and extended bass, check. What I was unprepared for was the sound staging and imaging. Miles', Coltrane's and Cannonball Adderley's horns were big and practically in my face on Kind of Blue, with the rhythm section spaced out evenly behind them. On Dire Straits' "Water of Love" the percussion and acoustic guitars literally jumped out the speakers. Same with Muddy Waters' Folk Singer. Norah Jones's voice was huge and right there on "Cold Cold Heart". They have a hard drive filled with perfect demo music. I spent about two hours enjoying one favorite and another.

    Next was the 2EX. This had many of the same qualities but I just felt on some recordings they were just the tiniest bit shrill in the highs. The LX's top end was a little bit silkier. Now of course this wasn't level matched immediate switching, and my auditory memory isn't the greatest when auditioning equipment, but at the end of the day, I decided on the LX in a light natural finish. They let me pick out the cabinets they were going to use and assembled them in time for UPS pick up at five. They will be here today and I cannot wait!
    Last edited by modalmood; 02-10-2023 at 02:21 PM.

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