Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!

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Yog Sothoth

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Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« on: 24 Jun 2022, 05:47 pm »
Hi all,

For any of you who might have Ascend Sierra 2EX speakers, I greatly would appreciate your advice.

I have a pair of Sierra 2's which I love dearly. For me it's hard to beat the speed, accuracy and overall pleasantness of the RAAL tweeters.  Recently I have been considering upgrading them to the 2EXs.  I drive them with either a McIntosh MC300, a Nord Acoustics NC500, or an Odyssey Stratos stereo extreme.  I love all of them and could live with each of them.  I also use them in conjunction with a DIY subwoofer using a Dayton Titanic driver in a sealed enclosure; I drive it with one of the other amplifiers that I'm currently not using.  I use it for 2 channel and HT.  I'm quite happy with it.

But, like many of us, I seek for the next step forward toward something better. 

If anyone has done an upgrade to their Sierra 2's, or heard the EXs, or just has an opinion on anything, anything at all, I would love to hear it! Do you feel the upgrade cost is worth it to your ears?

Thanks!

2bigears

Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #1 on: 25 Jun 2022, 12:13 am »
 :D try it. Don't they give a 30 day trial ?  Not sure ,,  :D

charmerci

Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #2 on: 25 Jun 2022, 05:15 am »
I think that you'd be better off with the Philharmonicaudio.com BMR.

Letitroll98

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #3 on: 25 Jun 2022, 11:06 am »
Since you demand my opinion I'll give it.  I think chocolate ice cream is always the best.  It can only be made better by putting more chocolate in it, flakes, pieces, swirls, whatever, more chocolate is always better.

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jun 2022, 12:24 pm »
Since you demand my opinion I'll give it.  I think chocolate ice cream is always the best.  It can only be made better by putting more chocolate in it, flakes, pieces, swirls, whatever, more chocolate is always better.

Excellent!  Best opinion I've heard all day!  I shall get me some.

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jun 2022, 12:24 pm »
I think that you'd be better off with the Philharmonicaudio.com BMR.

Thank you, I shall check it out!

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jun 2022, 12:26 pm »
:D try it. Don't they give a 30 day trial ?  Not sure ,,  :D

Good point!  They do claim that in big bold letters, but I'm not sure it applies to the upgrade kits.  But I shall ask!  Thanks.

JLM

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jun 2022, 12:27 pm »
The upgrade kit to go from 2 to 2EX is available for $368 each from Ascend Acoustics.  For an extra charge they'll do the work for you.

According to their site: it includes new crossover and the "EX" woofer "which dramatically improves bass extension, mid-bass punch, midrange detail and improves overall power handling."

I've owned the original CBM-170 for 20 years and still love them (use them in FL/FR positions in my AV system).  Like the company's methods for online shopping, high content value including individual loudspeaker testing, and upgrade paths.  Did have the HTM-200 for use as a center channel but it was a dud, finally replaced it with CMT-340SE as movies changed from left/right front channel emphasis to center channel emphasis when I replaced my TV. 

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jun 2022, 04:10 pm »
The upgrade kit to go from 2 to 2EX is available for $368 each from Ascend Acoustics.  For an extra charge they'll do the work for you.

According to their site: it includes new crossover and the "EX" woofer "which dramatically improves bass extension, mid-bass punch, midrange detail and improves overall power handling."

I've owned the original CBM-170 for 20 years and still love them (use them in FL/FR positions in my AV system).  Like the company's methods for online shopping, high content value including individual loudspeaker testing, and upgrade paths.  Did have the HTM-200 for use as a center channel but it was a dud, finally replaced it with CMT-340SE as movies changed from left/right front channel emphasis to center channel emphasis when I replaced my TV.

That is a positive report.  I don't mind doing the work; my background is electronics and this is a fairly simple change.

I also find the BMRs interesting, also using a RAAL tweeter.  Perhaps the kit from Meniscus at some future time. 

charmerci

Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #9 on: 26 Jun 2022, 01:24 am »
I also find the BMRs interesting, also using a RAAL tweeter.  Perhaps the kit from Meniscus at some future time.


That would be so cool!

JLM

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #10 on: 26 Jun 2022, 12:17 pm »
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but not necessarily better.  If you "dearly love" the Sierra 2, why jump ship completely?

charmerci

Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #11 on: 26 Jun 2022, 02:40 pm »
Better do your kits soon because inflation is coming. Components' prices will be going up - a lot.

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #12 on: 26 Jun 2022, 03:16 pm »
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but not necessarily better.  If you "dearly love" the Sierra 2, why jump ship completely?

Because sometimes the grass actually is greener and better!  I dearly loved my original Dali IV speakers too in 1985, but I would have sorely missed out on so many better things if I had not forged forward over the years.

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #13 on: 26 Jun 2022, 03:16 pm »
Better do your kits soon because inflation is coming. Components' prices will be going up - a lot.

Good point.

charmerci

Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #14 on: 26 Jun 2022, 05:27 pm »
Because sometimes the grass actually is greener and better!  I dearly loved my original Dali IV speakers too in 1985, but I would have sorely missed out on so many better things if I had not forged forward over the years.


+1  :lol:  it sure can be!

AllanS

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #15 on: 27 Jun 2022, 07:45 am »
To answer-ish your original question I demo’s the 2EX and really liked them but ultimately went with Salk Supercharged Song Surrounds.  The 2EX low end occasionally surprised me and overall sound, build quality, and value were well balanced. 
I would never discourage anyone from trying Ascend but since someone introduced BMR into the mix I will say the BMR is in another class - at least the generation I own.
I have a pair of the originals in Salk boxes.  I cannot imagine a better value.  Read any review or thread.  You’ll not find a negative comment.  Nothing but praise for the product and Dennis Murphy.  That said, my BMR use a 7” Scan Speak woofer compared to the current 6’ SB Acoustics. I can’t compare low end grunt, but one reason I love the BMR is one of the reasons I bought the Songs;Dennis’ cross over magic.
What sets Dennis’ speakers apart may be less about what you hear and more about where you hear it.  What I mean are subtle but very noticeable sound stage details.
Either way you can’t go wrong.  Dave and Dennis are passionate about their product and the people who enjoy them.

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #16 on: 27 Jun 2022, 12:44 pm »
To answer-ish your original question I demo’s the 2EX and really liked them but ultimately went with Salk Supercharged Song Surrounds.  The 2EX low end occasionally surprised me and overall sound, build quality, and value were well balanced. 
I would never discourage anyone from trying Ascend but since someone introduced BMR into the mix I will say the BMR is in another class - at least the generation I own.
I have a pair of the originals in Salk boxes.  I cannot imagine a better value.  Read any review or thread.  You’ll not find a negative comment.  Nothing but praise for the product and Dennis Murphy.  That said, my BMR use a 7” Scan Speak woofer compared to the current 6’ SB Acoustics. I can’t compare low end grunt, but one reason I love the BMR is one of the reasons I bought the Songs;Dennis’ cross over magic.
What sets Dennis’ speakers apart may be less about what you hear and more about where you hear it.  What I mean are subtle but very noticeable sound stage details.
Either way you can’t go wrong.  Dave and Dennis are passionate about their product and the people who enjoy them.

Thank you very much!  I shall check them out. 

I too had questions about the Scan speak vs. the SB Acoustics in the 2EX, so that is something to look further at also.

Woodsage

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #17 on: 29 Jun 2022, 01:10 am »
I have the Sierra 2 EX and like them a lot. I can’t comment on how they compare to the Sierra 2 as I haven’t heard them. This is what the website says the improvements the SEAS midrange brings.

With the development of this shockingly high-performance new woofer, we have improved upon every aspect of our award winning Sierra-2. Truly stunning bass extension and midbass punch, mids are cleaner - smoother and more detailed, improved dynamics and better composure at higher volume levels.

As you mention,  a lot of the magic of the Sierra 2’s is in the RAAL tweeter. My pair was custom ordered with the RAAL 70-20 XR upgrade which I think takes them to another level.


So if you like the speaker I would say the upgrade is probably worth it. Although only you can decide if the upgrade kit yields enough improvement for the money.

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #18 on: 29 Jun 2022, 02:43 pm »
I have the Sierra 2 EX and like them a lot. I can’t comment on how they compare to the Sierra 2 as I haven’t heard them. This is what the website says the improvements the SEAS midrange brings.

With the development of this shockingly high-performance new woofer, we have improved upon every aspect of our award winning Sierra-2. Truly stunning bass extension and midbass punch, mids are cleaner - smoother and more detailed, improved dynamics and better composure at higher volume levels.

As you mention,  a lot of the magic of the Sierra 2’s is in the RAAL tweeter. My pair was custom ordered with the RAAL 70-20 XR upgrade which I think takes them to another level.


So if you like the speaker I would say the upgrade is probably worth it. Although only you can decide if the upgrade kit yields enough improvement for the money.

Excellent, that you very much!

Yog Sothoth

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Re: Ascend Sierra 2 upgrade -- I DEMAND your opinion!
« Reply #19 on: 11 Jul 2022, 02:38 pm »
After much research and soul searching I have decided to build a pair of Philharmonic BMR monitors rather than upgrade the Ascends.

I ordered the parts from Meniscus and the flatpack cabinets from Speakerhardware.  I'm excited about building another pair of speakers; I've been so ill for so long I've not been able to do much. While I wait, I must also clean out my garage (workshop really, as a car has never been in it!).

Thank you all for your input; your suggestions have been very helpful.  If anyone has built these and has any advice I would welcome it gladly.  I've also turned up plenty of information online.