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Ascend Acoustics new speaker - Sierra 2EX

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Grateful Ed, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vermont
    What did you not like about the RAAL? I’ve been extremely happy with my Sierra-2s for the last 2 years but have never heard the NrT.

    What is the price for a Sierra 2EX NrT?
     
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  2. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I am no speaker designer, but wouldn't building a Sierra-2 with the NrT tweeter require a lot of work? Wouldn't you have to re-do the entire crossover to deal with pairing the different drivers together? I am a long time Sierra-1 owner and am interested in these as well.
     
    mike catucci likes this.
  3. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vermont
    I am willing to bet that Dave would use a custom crossover for that particular build. I’ve spoken with him about putting the 70-20 RAAL in a bookshelf, and he told me a different crossover would need to be used (too expensive in the end to justify, and he said much more improvement would be gained from upgrading the new woofer instead of the tweeter). Just like the upgrade kits for the 1 to the NrT also include a new crossover.
     
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  4. mike catucci

    mike catucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Price for the 2-EX with the NrT is the same as the ribbon EX, per Dave.


    My first Ascend speaker was the S1 but with the NrT tweeter. I love my highs and that NrT tweeter does them better than any other tweeter I have heard except the tweeter ATC uses in their SCM lineup. The S2 sounds great and is a great speaker especially for it's price. That said, the ribbon in the S2 was too laid back for my preferences. Yes there was very good depth, but again for me and my tastes I missed the excitement and crispness of the NrT dome.

    I think this new EX woofer paired with the NrT dome may end up being a perfect speaker for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
    Grateful Ed and Tim S like this.
  5. mike catucci

    mike catucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Absolutely. Dave does a new crossover for each combo he has, that is why they work and sound so well together. He has built a few EX/NrT combos for customers already.
     
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  6. defmoot

    defmoot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona, USA
  7. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I had a pair of Sierra 1s a number of years ago and thought they were a great speaker. The fact that Dave is making a cabinet with magnetic grilles is a nice touch!
     
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  8. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vermont
    Ah that’s right. I recall asking you about the NrT a couple years ago before I pulled the trigger on the S2s.

    I love that detailed yet laid back sound of the RAAL. I’d like to hear the NrT someday though.

    I’m hoping sometime this year to upgrade my S2s to the EX woofer.
     
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  9. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vermont
    I just did the EX upgrade today - took about 1.5 hours. Pretty straightforward - just a bit awkward at times working in such a tight space. Anyway, on to the sound:

    I was expecting the deeper bass to be the most noticeable improvement. While the bass is certainly more extended (and quite unbelievable for a bookshelf speaker this size at 85dB sensitivity), what struck me more was the clarity - particularly in the midrange but really throughout the entire frequency range. The mids are so clean and smooth, and crossing over at a higher frequency has really opened up the RAAL tweeter’s performance as well. Of course, these are all things that Dave has said on his website and the Ascend forum. I was just honestly surprised that they were this noticeable.

    It was a fun project, and I’m thrilled with the improvements in sound quality - not to mention the big copper phase plug in the new woofers is pretty neat looking!

    I bought the Sierra-2 new for about $1500, and this upgrade set me back another $750. Buying a new Sierra-2EX for $1700 is a great deal, and I can’t imagine anyone looking for a speaker in the sub $2000 range being anything less than thrilled with these speakers.
     
    mike catucci, ds58, defmoot and 3 others like this.
  10. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Ordering mine in the next week or two. I expect this, my amp, and streamer to be the last system I'll own.
     
    Grateful Ed likes this.
  11. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    GR8 looking speakers and I like that the cabinets are made from bamboo. SEAS makes some really nice drivers/tweeters!
     
    Grateful Ed likes this.
  12. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Still very happy with my Sierra RAAL Horizons as my main front L/R speakers!

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    truth is I'm still very happy with my little cbm 170's - I could easily live with them forever.

    I have the ability to make an upgrade now, and that's probably not going to happen again.

    the cbms will be serving as near field monitors in my small studio
     
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  14. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Ordered a pair of Sierra 2 EX today - labor day special still going - domestic cabinet, black matte $1548 + $40 shipping

    Labor Day Special! !
     
  15. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    Lately I've been reading about the Sierra-2 and Sierra-2EX. There are a pair of Sierra-2s for sale locally but wonder if the Sierra-2EXs would be the best choice. Of course I really like the domestic cabinet with the magnetic grilles. Which currently are $400 more than the standard cabinet. I owned a pair of Sierra-1s years ago and really liked them.

    I currently have Salk speakers but would like to try the Sierra-2 or Sierra-2EXs in a small second system. In that system I currently have Salk Surround Is which will be powered by a Yamaha A-S1000 integrated amp (arrives tomorrow) and an Oppo 105 as a source. The specs of the Sierra-2 and Sierra-2EX look to be a significant improvement over the Surround Is.

    Salk Sound
    Sierra-2EX Specifications
    Sierra-2 Specifications
    A-S1000 - Specs - Yamaha - United States

    As a side note I tried to re-register on the Ascend Acoustics forum but it's a bit frustrating. I was a member years ago and want to re-register under a updated email address. But when attempting to register it asks for the last three digits of my CBM speakers. I've never owned CBM series Ascend speakers. I tried "123" but that was rejected. I emailed Ascend about it and hope to hear back.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  16. mike catucci

    mike catucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Bill,

    I owned both the S1 NrT's and the S2. Both very excellent speakers with the NrT catering to the "in your face" highs and the S2 offering those buttery mids and nice tight bass. From everything I have read and spoke to Dave about, the S2-EX is a real upgrade over the S2 and should be the one you target.
     
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  17. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    Mike,

    Thank you for your thoughts... much appreciated. Most likely I'll go with the Sierra-2EX with the domestic cabinet. It's a little more than I wanted to spend but they look like an incredible speaker. Thanks again :)!
     
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  18. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vermont
    Hey Bill,

    I had the stock Sierra-2 for a few years and then did the at home upgrade to the EX. The improvement was much greater than I had expected. My initial comments on the upgrade are posted above. A couple a months later I’m still thrilled with them and definitely recommend going for the EX if funds allow. That said, the stock Sierra-2 kept me very happy for several years and I would also highly recommend it.
     
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  19. malagacoolers

    malagacoolers Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Been debating between upgrading to the Sierra-2EX or just jumping straight up to the Sierra towers.
     
  20. mike catucci

    mike catucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    If you read the posts on the Ascend forum, there are more than a few suggestive comments that it was very hard to tell the difference between the 2-EX and the towers. Take that for what it's worth but I thought I would mention it. Of course that would be the Raal version of the towers.
     
    SteelyNJ, Bill Mac and Grateful Ed like this.
  21. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    I have the Sierra-1s and am interested in the upgrade kit. How simple is it for a laymen such as myself to do? I’ve swapped out a damaged woofer on an old Scott brand speaker before and it was really easy, just needed a screwdriver and the wiring was basically plug and play. I have no idea about the crossover though. Is soldering involved?
     
  22. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vermont
    No soldering necessary. I would plan about an hour per speaker. The instructions included were very detailed and Dave has videos you can watch too. All you need is a screwdriver and some sockets. The connections are all just simple plugs that you can crimp down a bit with pliers if necessary. Just make sure you have a short Phillips screwdriver - mine was too tall and I couldn’t use it to unscrew the crossover from the bottom of the speaker. I used a Swiss Army knife screwdriver for that portion because I already had taken the speaker halfway apart and was too excited to waste any time going to the hardware store! Also make sure you have a very long socket extender or a straight screwdriver type socket driver to be sure you can reach the speaker terminals in the back of the speaker.

    Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s complicated at all. It’s just tedious and can be awkward at times working in such a tight space.
     
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  23. malagacoolers

    malagacoolers Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Very interesting!
     
  24. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    Will they take back the old parts? Seems like a waste to throw them out once you do the upgrade.
     
  25. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vermont
    They will take them back. After I did the upgrade I just emailed Dave and he sent over a return label. Unfortunately, they don’t offer any sort of credit or discount for returning the parts.
     
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