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Thread: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receiver?

  1. #11
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    May 2015
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    If you read the summary on the Ascend site for the S2 EXv2, the upgrade makes the speaker warmer/fuller than the S2, along with improving the bass. One of these days, I plan on upgrading my S2's to the EXv2 but not in a hurry as using them for surrounds (and I'm mostly music).

    Yes, there are at least two Horizon upgrade kits - the V2 (cross-over only, I'm fairly certain) and ELX (cross-over, two LX drivers, 1 EX driver).

    I'm not sure why the S2's are fatiguing & sound bright in your system and/or room. As you mentioned, maybe it will take some more time to adjust to the sound difference from your previous Polks. Also, did you run room correction or are you using any of the Yamaha sound "modes"? Maybe that's impacting the sound negatively.
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM90, Rogue ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2EXv2 surrounds, HTM200SEx4 heights, Rythmik E15HPx2
    * VPI Classic 1+ (VTA & Fatboy Gimbal), PE Eagle/RR, VAS NOVA, Soundsmith Paua, Manley Chinook, Bob's Devices SUT, SugarCube 1 mini
    * Oppo 203 & 103D, EverSolo DMP-A6
    * miniDSP Flex, Audiosensibility & Blue Jeans cables, Symposium & Isoacoustics, GIK
    * For RDJ: Anthem MRX720, Sierra LX, Luna Duo v2 center, CXNv2, TBD

  2. #12
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    Sep 2023
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    Quote Originally Posted by racrawford65 View Post
    If you read the summary on the Ascend site for the S2 EXv2, the upgrade makes the speaker warmer/fuller than the S2, along with improving the bass. One of these days, I plan on upgrading my S2's to the EXv2 but not in a hurry as using them for surrounds (and I'm mostly music).

    Yes, there are at least two Horizon upgrade kits - the V2 (cross-over only, I'm fairly certain) and ELX (cross-over, two LX drivers, 1 EX driver).

    I'm not sure why the S2's are fatiguing & sound bright in your system and/or room. As you mentioned, maybe it will take some more time to adjust to the sound difference from your previous Polks. Also, did you run room correction or are you using any of the Yamaha sound "modes"? Maybe that's impacting the sound negatively.
    I reached out to Enrico and Dina at Ascend today. It sounds like my receiver is probably insufficient to get the most of these speakers.

    I'll probably snag a Denon AVR-X2800H that's on sale at Adorama for $500. And I'll start saving up for upgrades to EXv2 / ELX.

    Thanks again for your help!

  3. #13
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    You're welcome. If you get the Denon, post back on if that's resolved the issue.
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM90, Rogue ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2EXv2 surrounds, HTM200SEx4 heights, Rythmik E15HPx2
    * VPI Classic 1+ (VTA & Fatboy Gimbal), PE Eagle/RR, VAS NOVA, Soundsmith Paua, Manley Chinook, Bob's Devices SUT, SugarCube 1 mini
    * Oppo 203 & 103D, EverSolo DMP-A6
    * miniDSP Flex, Audiosensibility & Blue Jeans cables, Symposium & Isoacoustics, GIK
    * For RDJ: Anthem MRX720, Sierra LX, Luna Duo v2 center, CXNv2, TBD

  4. #14
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    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason08 View Post
    Unfortunately, after a few weeks of movies and music, I've been a little underwhelmed by the Sierra 2's. I don't know the lexicon, exactly, but they seem a bit thin and harsh at high and mid-ranges.
    Hey Jason08. I had a similar experience with the Sierra Towers w/ RAAL (v1) many years ago where I found the RAAL to be too bright and on the cusp of fatiguing. I had the original Sierra-2 speakers as well, and at that time I kept the S2s and sold the Towers.

    Just last month I bought the S2-EX V2 upgrade kit and installed into my first gen S2s. Immediately I found the sound thin and harsh, with very little depth and soundstage. It took me a while to put the pieces together that the S2-EX V2 is really now on par with the original RAAL Tower v1, but along with it came the same issues with Towers from several years ago.

    I have been running the Marantz NR1608 for the last few years. Before that I had a Denon AVR-X4000. I even added an Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2 stereo amp to ensure I had all the power I could need for any tower or 3-way speaker I pick up in the future.

    Last week I grabbed a used NAD T778 Digital AVR and WOW did the speakers suddenly transform! The soundstage opened up, along with way better imaging and the harsh brightness has dialed way back.

    I don't know if these Denon and Marantz mid-level AVRs just are that mediocre, or if these speakers just demand a little more, but I had no idea how much I had been missing with all of these Sierra speakers until last week. I feel like I made a huge mistake selling those Towers now since I'm back in it again and looking at the ELX line!

    My advice (if you can swing it) - jump to something more high end for your AVR/processor. Maybe something in the Anthem realm (which is next on my list). I truly thought adding tons of power with an external amp would fix any flaws from my AVRs, but my experience feels similar to yours and I can at least assure you that the Sierras truly do sound wonderful and I believe you can achieve this with some electronics to drive them.
    Last edited by martinm0; 10-31-2023 at 06:56 PM.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    martinm0 - Anthem is an excellent choice. I've been using them for years (MRX510, MRX720, now AVM70). If you have the amps (and budget), consider either the AVM70 or AVM90. Otherwise, one of the MRXx40 that fits your needs (e.g. # of speakers). I sold the 510 awhile ago. Still using the 720 at our house in Rio and the 70 is here in the States.

    ARC Genesis is really a very good RC program.

    The WebUI on the newer models works great and makes set up / tweaking so much easier.

    Sound is awesome for both music and movies, as is immersion for movies
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM90, Rogue ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2EXv2 surrounds, HTM200SEx4 heights, Rythmik E15HPx2
    * VPI Classic 1+ (VTA & Fatboy Gimbal), PE Eagle/RR, VAS NOVA, Soundsmith Paua, Manley Chinook, Bob's Devices SUT, SugarCube 1 mini
    * Oppo 203 & 103D, EverSolo DMP-A6
    * miniDSP Flex, Audiosensibility & Blue Jeans cables, Symposium & Isoacoustics, GIK
    * For RDJ: Anthem MRX720, Sierra LX, Luna Duo v2 center, CXNv2, TBD

  6. #16
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    Sep 2023
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    Thanks so much for your thoughts, martinm0.

    I purchased an open box Denon X3800H from Adorama for $930. It was an improvement over the Yamaha TSR-700. However, I still feel like the sound is missing depth. Audyssey room correction helps but still lacking. I've considered adding an Emotiva BasX A3. I think my room is a big problem: it's an open-concept apartment with high ceilings and mostly hard surfaces.

    I'm wondering if I should return the Denon X3800H and look for a used high-end receiver locally. I really have no idea what to look for, though. I'm only running a 3.1 system; future expansion possible to 5.2 at the most.

    With the X3800H, I can upgrade to Dirac down the road.

    EDIT:

    Found these locally:
    Anthem MRX720 $900
    NAD T748 $200
    Last edited by Jason08; 11-01-2023 at 08:41 AM.

  7. #17
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    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason08 View Post
    Thanks so much for your thoughts, martinm0.

    I purchased an open box Denon X3800H from Adorama for $930. It was an improvement over the Yamaha TSR-700. However, I still feel like the sound is missing depth. Audyssey room correction helps but still lacking. I've considered adding an Emotiva BasX A3. I think my room is a big problem: it's an open-concept apartment with high ceilings and mostly hard surfaces.

    I'm wondering if I should return the Denon X3800H and look for a used high-end receiver locally. I really have no idea what to look for, though. I'm only running a 3.1 system; future expansion possible to 5.2 at the most.

    With the X3800H, I can upgrade to Dirac down the road.

    EDIT:

    Found these locally:
    Anthem MRX720 $900
    NAD T748 $200
    You are most welcome! My space might be similar to yours - a large open concept ranch, where the room is 30x20 but opens up into a kitchen and dining area, as well as some cutouts to hallways. Ceilings are high, and one wall is all glass sliders, though there is carpet.

    Regarding the Denon you bought, I really wish I could give you an authoritative response that is a yay or nay on it, but on paper it has plenty of power and all the typical items you would ever need in your AVR. Keep in mind I even added the very powerful Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2 stereo amp (300w/ch at 8 ohms), but the sounds signature from the receiver never changed. I also run a large subwoofer with the S2s crossed over at 80Hz, so in theory I had all the power I needed without the external amp (and even adding the amp did not change things dramatically).

    I have not yet experienced the Anthem products, but with several models of Denon and one Marantz AVR, I feel like I would say if you can swing picking up the used Anthem, do it and see how it compares. I would think it would be better than the Denon you picked up, so while the Anthem is used and can't be returned, I expect it to be better overall for the speakers.

    I hope you can find a solution that works for you. The speakers really great. I wish I had tested the S2s with the NAD before I did the upgrade to S2-EX v2 so I could give you a more like for like experience.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    The MRX720 is a nice unit. I had one in my main system before moving to the AVM70. The 720 is now at my other house in Brazil.

    ARC is a really good room correction program. That said, I didn't use ARC with the 720 for music. In my room / system, it seemed to dull music. Worked great for movies, though.

    You may want to check out usaudiomart or other used equipment sites and see if you can find one of the newer Anthems (x40 series). The WebUi for the new units is awesome for set up and tweaking. They also have additional features for use with Genesis (distance, phase, etc.)
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM90, Rogue ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2EXv2 surrounds, HTM200SEx4 heights, Rythmik E15HPx2
    * VPI Classic 1+ (VTA & Fatboy Gimbal), PE Eagle/RR, VAS NOVA, Soundsmith Paua, Manley Chinook, Bob's Devices SUT, SugarCube 1 mini
    * Oppo 203 & 103D, EverSolo DMP-A6
    * miniDSP Flex, Audiosensibility & Blue Jeans cables, Symposium & Isoacoustics, GIK
    * For RDJ: Anthem MRX720, Sierra LX, Luna Duo v2 center, CXNv2, TBD

  9. #19
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    Mar 2016
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    3

    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    Thanks! I actually spend quite a bit of time using HiFishark.com searching used gear across a variety of AV classifieds! The webUI is definitely something I look forward to, especially with NAD's limited app/remote options for this model.

    Now I just need some time to actually sit and enjoy it all (and try and dial things in more). All my experiences have been mostly just watching basic TV with only being able to play a few songs since I got the unit last Friday. (I am giving a lot of praise without even scratching the surface yet!)

  10. #20
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    With any decent Sub, this should sound ridiculous.

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