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

  1. #1
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    Question This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receiver?

    Hi -- I'm a neophyte audiophile.

    I first dipped my toe into the home theater ocean about 10 years ago with the purchase of a 5.1 system assembled from Polk Monitor Series II 40/30's, CS1, and PSW505. They worked when I plugged them in and sounded alright. I didn't learn any more than that. I've definitely been wading around in the kiddie pool here.

    I still don't know how to swim, but last week, I jumped in head-first into the depths after finding a great deal locally on second-hand Ascend Sierra 2's and a Horizon center. I heard them before purchase with the seller and they were incredible. Of course, he had paired them with two Rythmik subs and knew how to configure the system properly. I have yet to set them up and hear them in my own space.

    Even second-hand, this purchase was way over my initial budget. Now, I'm looking at spending even more on a decent subwoofer and, possibly, a receiver to outfit a killer 3.1 system for film, games, and music. I am hoping that the folks here can share some recommendations that won't melt my wallet. It's easy to get carried away.

    1. I already own a Yamaha TSR-700 (7.2, 100 watt) receiver. Is this sufficient? Would I be that much better off with a Denon X3800H ($999 on sale recently) with Audyssey MultEQ XT32 or Dirac ($259)? I could also tune down the bass/LFE for the benefit of my neighbors?

    2. I already ordered a couple of SVS subwoofers last week at clearance pricing. Emotiva is also having a clearance sale. As an apartment resident, I want to be considerate of my neighbors and I'm interested more in musical depth than rumble.

    Considering:

    1. Rythmik L12 ($690)
    2. Emotiva Airmotiv XS10 ($400)
    3. Emotiva Airmotiv Se12 Flex ($269)
    4. SVS SB-1000 ($350)
    5. SVS PB-1000 Pro ($500)


    What's the best value?

    Thanks!

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

    My opinion on the subs
    Rythmik, then SVS, and wouldn’t touch Emotiva

    I think the Yamaha would be fine. I’d use it for awhile and listen. Then maybe consider a different AVR

    Are the S2’s the original version? If so, maybe consider upgrading to EXv2 or LX (with the LX, could delay a sub purchase). You might want to call Ascend to get their thoughts.
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM70, Rogue RP5 & ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2 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

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

    I had a ported SVS sub a long time ago but wasn't happy with the way it sounded. Always was boomy in my small room. I much prefer Rythmik. I have 2 L12s and they sound great to me. They drop down to $600 each if you buy two.
    Nate

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

    Quote Originally Posted by racrawford65 View Post
    My opinion on the subs
    Rythmik, then SVS, and wouldnt touch Emotiva

    I think the Yamaha would be fine. Id use it for awhile and listen. Then maybe consider a different AVR

    Are the S2s the original version? If so, maybe consider upgrading to EXv2 or LX (with the LX, could delay a sub purchase). You might want to call Ascend to get their thoughts.
    Thanks for your thoughts. They are original Sierra 2's. Beautiful sound: I can't imagine anything better. But spending on an upgrade might make more sense than a subwoofer for all the other benefits plus deeper bass. And my neighbors might prefer that I skip the sub...

    I'll give Ascend a call; that's a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by natetg57 View Post
    I had a ported SVS sub a long time ago but wasn't happy with the way it sounded. Always was boomy in my small room. I much prefer Rythmik. I have 2 L12s and they sound great to me. They drop down to $600 each if you buy two.
    Thanks! Yeah, I definitely don't want boominess . From everything I've read online, the consensus seems to be Rythmik. I could also plan a weekend road trip to Austin from Houston to save on shipping.

  5. #5
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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 for your thoughts. They are original Sierra 2's. Beautiful sound: I can't imagine anything better. But spending on an upgrade might make more sense than a subwoofer for all the other benefits plus deeper bass. And my neighbors might prefer that I skip the sub...

    I'll give Ascend a call; that's a good idea.



    Thanks! Yeah, I definitely don't want boominess . From everything I've read online, the consensus seems to be Rythmik. I could also plan a weekend road trip to Austin from Houston to save on shipping.
    If you love the raal tweeter, then consider eventually upgrading to 2EX V2, even though the LX sound amazing with rock. The Raals are a little better for acoustic guitar and violin. But what you have now is good too!
    Nate

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

    Where in Houston are you?
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM70, Rogue RP5 & ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2 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

  7. #7
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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
    Where in Houston are you?
    Hey, another Houstonian? I'm near Memorial Park.

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

    Cool. I live near Spring
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM70, Rogue RP5 & ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2 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. #9
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    Default Re: This newbie bought used Sierra 2's & Horizon center. What now? Subwoofer? Receive

    One other thought. I’m wondering if you are in an apartment or townhouse - thus your concern about a sub/neighbors? Who cares. Lol just kidding. If you watch a lot of movies and feel the tactile response isn’t good, you could consider some shakers/transducers. I started with some buttkickers (they were just ok). I then moved to a pair Crowsons and they are awesome. They are expensive and a couple of month waitlist, but being the feel to movies. I sometimes even use them with music. Enrico at Rythmik recommended them to me when I spoke with him about possibly adding another (3rd) sub nearfield for more tactile response. Rythmik, like Ascend are a great value and you’ll get honest/best recommendations
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM70, Rogue RP5 & ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2 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

  10. #10
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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
    Enrico at Rythmik recommended them to me when I spoke with him about possibly adding another (3rd) sub nearfield for more tactile response. Rythmik, like Ascend are a great value and you’ll get honest/best recommendations
    I actually bought my Sierra speakers from Enrico. Great guy. He spent an afternoon auditioning the speakers and shooting the breeze with me. If I ever decide to buy a sub, I'll buy a Rythmik from him.

    But, yes, I'm in an apartment and worried about the neighbors. It's a solid building with robust walls, though, so I can get away with more than most. That said: I find the Sierra 2's already have plenty of low-end. If the 2EX V2's can reach deeper, that would probably be all I'd need.

    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. Maybe it's because I've had old Polk Monitor 30's previously and I prefer a warmer sound rather than sweet. (I think that's the way to describe it.)

    I hooked my old Polks along and a $160 RSL CG23M center to an entry-level Onkyo (150W) AVR in my parents' living room. I was enveloped and immersed in the sound and I didn't want to stop listening. I haven't had that experience with the Sierra 2's. On some music, and most TV, I'm fatigued from listening pretty quickly. On other music, it has incredible clarity and accuracy. But I still just don't relish the sound.

    The S2's really shine with percussive sounds and the low-end. Hearing every pebble hit the ground after an explosion is remarkable. Guitar, piano, drums, and the like are clear and crisp. Bass is excellent. Baritone voices are sublime. But higher voices and wind and string instruments (violin, horns) can be simply grating. I'm having a hard time discerning if it's the source material -- or my room, but I haven't found anything that sounds good in these ranges.

    I placed the speakers on Iso-Acoustics stands to add isolation, elevation, and tilt and that was a significant improvement.

    But I've also ordered some RSL CG25's on a free trial to see if I just like their sound better.

    It seems like the obvious path is upgrading both Sierra 2 bookshelves and the Horizon center (is there a Horizon upgrade kit?), but that's a significant additional expenditure. Whereas I could probably recoup the cost of Sierra 2's by selling, and go with the RSL's for $1180 and be done.

    Anyway, kinda bummed and not sure what I'll end up doing.

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