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  #1  
Old 01-20-2018, 04:51 PM
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Default Ascend Acoustics, Sierra 2 louspeakers - any experience?

My loudspeakers have now clearly become the weakest point in my setup. I have been considering various options for some time (Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2, B&W 705, SF Venere 2.0, KEF LS50, ELAC Adante, BMR Philharmonitor, and the Salk Sound monitors, were my major considerations). Due to listening space limitations, I cannot accommodate floor standers, and must have monitors. Demo’ing options is also a limited option for me for multiple reasons. So, I am out on a limb with ordering based on careful consideration and trust.

Last week I finally decided on, and special ordered, a pair of Sierra 2 loudspeakers in satin white from Ascend Acoustics. I was won over by a trusted friend who had heard Ascend products, and swore by their value and quality, as well as their responsiveness and exceptional online following. They have US made bamboo cabinets, a very specific RAAL ribbon tweeter, and SEAS woofers. Importantly, I preferred white color (to please the wife), and they allow special orders

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM2/srm2.html

Since they are special order, it will take several months to have them built and delivered. Dave Fabrikant and Dina at Ascend have been very helpful in the ordering process. I was wondering if anyone else on the forum has had experience with Ascend Acoustics, specifically their Sierra 2s?

I am excited about the upgrade! Of course, I plan to update once received.

I appreciate any feedback.

Best,
Shrinky
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:08 PM
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Zero experience with Sierra 2 but the drivers look like quality units, should be a great speaker for the money. Looking forward to your impressions.
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Old 01-20-2018, 09:53 PM
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Ascend focuses on direct online sales. They say it is part of their strategy to keep cost to consumers down. A significant effort is spent in time and development, as well as individually matching pairs of speakers. Their measurements look impressive at this price point. We’ll see if it is worth it. I sure hope so.

So many speaker products have a tremendous amount of time and experience put in by dedicated designers. In the search, one thing I realized, it almost seems we have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in audio. What a blessing. With the choices available, outside of the nuances of individual preference, it seems like it would be hard for me to go wrong with an upgrade into the louspeakers I was considering.
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Old 01-20-2018, 10:52 PM
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I ran a pair of CMT-340SE's and the matching center in my HT setup for almost 8 years. Though not much to look at with their black cabinets they were an excellent speaker for both HT and Music. They make well thought out and great sounding products at fair prices. The Sierra 2 has been well received in both versions.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies!
Jack, It’s good to hear feedback from folks outside the Ascend loop, which seemed somewhat insular. That doesn’t disqualify the info there, but outside collateral is always good. I agree the limited color styles of some models, and the boxy cabinets are what they are. They are not the sexiest of speakers. That’s part of why I went for the special order on color, which I am glad they do. Good to hear sound was great, and appropriate for the price. That’s really what I am after. You ran them for eight years, so that is good experience. I appreciate it!
My best,
Shrinky
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:35 PM
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Default Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 in white built

It’s been almost 4 months, so I called Ascend Acoustics today, just to check on the status of my order. I spoke with Dina, and she told me my Sierra 2 build was just completed today. What timing! Right on schedule. She sent me some pictures (see attached). They look just as I had hoped — matte/satin white. Those ribbon tweeters are calling to me. The pair is waiting in line for testing, and should be shipped soon. I am stoked! Ascend been very responsive and personable, and so far working with them has been a very positive experience.

I let her know I saw the Sierra2’s on Massdrop recently, and she made a clear distinction for me. She said those cabinets are made with Asian bamboo. My custom order cabinets are made with American bamboo. Apparently good bamboo has been difficult to come by for the past couple of years. I didn’t know the difference. A friend explained American bamboo has more fibers, and more density than Asian bamboo. This increased density, reduces cabinet resonance and vibrations. He related it to an idea of reducing “cabinet energy”, to isolate the drivers, so their movement more accurately produces the music. The idea of “cabinet energy” is new to me. I am trying to understand this better, so any more information or clarification on this topic would be appreciated.

Additionally, I ordered a pair of IsoAcoustics Aperta stands in silver to mount the Sierra2’s on. I am really looking forward to it.

Next step after this will be upgrading my amplification. Hmmm...

My best,
Shrinky
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Power: Dedicated 20A line, PSAudio outlet, Bryston BIT15 (2 ch), Furman PST-8D SMP EVS LiFT (iMac, router, WiFi), Pangea PCs; Sources: Cambridge CXC transport, Oppo Sonica SDAC-3, iMac, WW Silver ICs; Amplification: Cambridge azur 851A; Speakers: Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2, REL Acoustics T-zero, KK SCs; Headphones: Sennheiser HD650, audio-technica ATH-MSR7.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-2018, 10:46 AM
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Default Sierra2s in white in the house!

The Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 special order pair in white arrive safely yesterday. Attached are some pictures of the unboxing and initial setup, with the audio engine P4 I was running for size comparison. Let me say, my experience with Ascend Acoustics has been positive from the beginning. They have been on target and pleasant to interact and deal with from beginning to now.

The box arrived in good shape, and was double boxed. Each speaker came in a nice cover. The matte/satin white finish is almost glossy, which I prefer. No noticeable imperfections. They are sturdy and heavy at about 20 pounds each. The special RAAL ribbon tweeters were protected in transport by a magnetic strip that I gently slid off. Rapping the side of the bamboo cabinet with my knuckles gives a nice, solid, dead clink. Just what I was hoping for. Each monitor comes with an individual frequency response printout, from testing. These are each remarkably flat, and nicely paired when overlayed and compared to each other. The binding posts are excellent quality. They fit nicely on the IsoAcoustics Aperta stands I have paired them with, for the initial setup in my small listening room. Very attractive for a box cabinet, and perfect for my space. I currently have them paired with an REL T-zero sub for a 2.1 set-up.

Service, delivery, design, build quality, as well as fit and finish are all first rate, especially for the cost.

Initial listening impressions are very, very favorable! I am trying out various genres, and so far am impressed. Once I have more time with them, I will report more on my listening experience...

Best,
Shrinky
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Power: Dedicated 20A line, PSAudio outlet, Bryston BIT15 (2 ch), Furman PST-8D SMP EVS LiFT (iMac, router, WiFi), Pangea PCs; Sources: Cambridge CXC transport, Oppo Sonica SDAC-3, iMac, WW Silver ICs; Amplification: Cambridge azur 851A; Speakers: Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2, REL Acoustics T-zero, KK SCs; Headphones: Sennheiser HD650, audio-technica ATH-MSR7.
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