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or buy Adam Audio f5 nearfield studio monitor with proprietary accordion tweeter and get comparable sound for under $500 per pair
Can these compete with a pair of Harbeth shl5 or c7es3? How do they compare in terms of soundstage width or depth?
Are these active or passive monitors? I'm looking for a good pair of active studio monitors to sit on my desk. These will be paired with my Mac, as well as a pair of M50X headphones. Possibly with a pair of openback headphones in the future. Thanks!
Ktt2
these are passive, you'll need an external amplification source
"DESIGNED, ENGINEERED, AND ASSEMBLED IN THE USA" - love seeing this.
Not to seem trollish, but would these speakers sound 5x better than, e.g. the new Monoprice Monolith bookshelf speakers, or the new Emotiva equivalents? Both have a similar RAAL tweeter, smaller, but high quality midrange drivers, are well reviewed, sold direct to consumer, yet cost around $300/pair.

I'm not even sure there are significant build quality differences, either. The Monoprice cabinets, at least, are surprisingly well constructed, feature the nicest binding posts I've ever used, and to me at least, aren't aesthetically inferior when compared to the Sierras.

I'm certainly not golden-eared, and don't engage in any critical listening, but if the Sierra's can be expected to sound significantly better in a 5.1 home theater setup, I might try them.

Can anyone comment on their sound quality versus bookshelf speakers such as those I mentioned above?
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whaletail
I had the emotivas before my Sierra 2s and can tell you with certainty they sound significantly better.
whaletail
You don't have to do any critical listening to enjoy good speakers. I have a pair of Emotiva speakers and they are fine for what they are, but it's not really a fair comparison. I don't really like them as they are very flat sounding. There is no separation of sounds, all the highs bleed together, same with the lows, and the soundstage is very narrow meaning there is no spaciousness in what you hear. I don't own the Sierra-2's, but I do own the towers and a center with RAAL tweeter. For surrounds, I have the Acend 340's, which you could say is a closer comparison by price. The 340's are hands-down better than the Emotivas. It's not even close.

Since you can't quantify opinion, it's hard to determine value. Will a McDonald's burger fill you up? Yep. Is a Saltgrass Steakhouse Rib-eye 15x better than a McDonald's hamburger? It is to me.

So, the answer to your question is, yes, the Sierra's can be expected to sound significantly better. Until you try them or another good pair, though, it's hard to know if you will find value in them. To figure this out, Ascend offers an in-home trial. I'm not sure if it applies through Massdrop, though. In either case, you could try the Sierra's in stereo and get something cheaper for surrounds. Don't skimp on the center channel, though. I would get a 3rd Sierra for center when you are ready.
Another owner here. I bought them with the last drop and have them paired with the Linear Tube Audio Zotl 10 MKII which pushes 10 watts per channel and I cannot go past half volume [someone has to explain that to me]. At any rate, easy to drive and they sound fantastic no matter where you are in the room, but they sound incredible in the ribbon sweet spot which I have found to be fairly large and to be where you would normally sit for a listening session. I bring people into my listening room, sit them down, start a song, and watch that smile come across their face. Feel free to ask any questions that you might have.
KingMob
" sound fantastic no matter where you are in the room" - This is so true
On KEF Q100 , if i dont sit in the sweet spot and shifted slightly to the right, i can hear the center image shifted left in the plane of speakers. This means on music, movies, Youtube vids, you always hear the dialogue coming at an angle
With Sierra 2, sound comes from the point in the plane between speakers, that is located straight across from your position. This image follows you if you move left or right. This, along with the detailed sound brings the feeling of realism, i think.
BTW, speakers are relatively large in size. So 28 inch stands are probably the correct height for most users with sofas/recliners, as it puts tweeter at ear level
Has anyone compared the Sierra's with the LS50's in nearfield desktop? The KEF's with the concentric tweeter are very coherent in super nearfield, but have considered trying the Sierra's.
Owner for 2+ years. Paired with Anthem 310 and either streaming through Bluesound node or vinyl on a Rega Planar 3 for sources. Couldn't be happier. The customer service is stellar. I can't believe people are complaining on the price... these are rarely this cheap unless you buy B-stock (which I did; I never found the flaw). Things that standout to me are the accuracy, soundstage, and bass. Probably the single best audio purchase I've ever made.
AscendAc Dave i dont know if you send review samples to youtube reviewers. If yes, Z Reviews shud help get the word out on these amazing speakers. Zeos is also on massdrop @ZeosPantera
mahee
Thanks -- I will consider it!
Can anyone confirm if these include the 30 day trial period from Ascend? Or is that only if purchased from them directly? Would love to audition them, but nervous that I wont be happy paired with my amp.

Also, has anyone used tube amps with these speakers? I run a Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum 2 (KT-120 power tubes, roughly 100 watts per channel output). I am curious if this would be a good pairing but haven’t been able to find anything online .
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Class A brings in a whole new bundle of improvements as well... given my somewhat inefficient speakers the lower powered amps are a bit outside of my use case right now. Wouldn't mind building some full range, high efficiency speakers in the future but I'm gonna need more space for that :)
ElectronicVices
I have a few full range I run open baffle. Highly recommended. Zenith 49cz852 is unreal. You'll think Etta James is in the room with you. The dynamics are unreal. And that's just with them laying on the bed with no baffle. For real! Coral Holey Baskets are great if you don't have much room. I own two pair I like them so much. Very efficient for small speakers, and they actually do a little bass. Can find a pair for $100, and build some small vented cabinets. I assure you. They don't need much power at all. They get loud on my low powered 6L6 SET/SEP (it's switchable) in an open baffle. So ported they should get really loud.
I own the Towers and Horizon Center from Ascend and can't recommend their gear highly enough. I've been more than happy with them for a couple years now and the system has cured my itch to upgrade, which is really not an easy thing to do.
I've had these in Satin Espresso for about 3 years. Hooked them up to an AVR, and several quality integrated amps (Marantz, Teac and Plinius). These are phenomenal speakers with incredible detail and surprisingly good bass.
I have the Monitor Audio Gold 100 speakers with their ribbon tweeter and love them!

Seriously thinking about getting a pair of these for my office. Everything I have heard about them is very positive.

Hoping they do a drop on the smaller Ascend Acoustic Luna speakers, I really liked the way those looked in the photos I found online.

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