Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 Bookshelf Speakers: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sierra 2 Speakers are top of the line bookshelf speakers from internet direct speaker manufacturer Ascend Acoustics inc, which retail at $1448 + $36 for shipping within U.S. I'm no stranger to Ascend products, previously I had Sierra NrT tower speakers in my system for a while (About 2yr) but I sold them to replaced with KEF LS50 speakers, Sierra NrT Towers were very good sounding speakers but it was missing the emotionally pleasing musical sound signature that I'm looking for in the long term of ownership.
Build quality of my sample Sierra 2 speakers is excellent, however SVS Ultra & KEF LS50 speaker cabinets are more solid and dead silence in comparison.
Out of the box sounded some what thin at the place of my KEF R300 speakers, but improved after adjusting the placement with some toe in to get best possible stereo image at my listening couch, After a few adjustments I let them break in for 5 days straight streaming Pandora 24 hour non stop in second system.
On sixth day, I made a few more adjustments, which I settled at about 25* toe-in, 7ft apart before I sit down and listen to my music selection by playing Heavy Metal, Jazz, Soul, Pop and many different genre of music. Overall sound is very good, highly praised RAAL tweeters sounds very clean and transparent with every detail can possibly hear by human ears, which I really appreciate details and transparency of Sierra 2.
Instrument placement was easy and effortless, 6” driver from SEAS is pushing out impressive clean bass notes but as I’m getting more playing time with them I would like a little more body in high frequencies but some may find it suitable to their taste, a little lack of warmth in high frequencies range although it never sounded bright in anyway but I need more body and warmth in upper frequencies to better suit my taste, high piano notes are accurate but left hand keys notes from piano were a little unnatural, missing the striking impact of weighted keys in each notes like I used to with KEF LS50 speakers, it just a tad soft and less realistic.
Also drum strikes are not dynamic enough for me otherwise very good speakers and I realized this Sierra 2 speakers are not going to be great all around speakers for my taste of music, as everyone knows it is hard to find a speaker with clarity and neutrality with good balanced sound.
Male vocal performance was very good but female vocal is a little less accurate as I’m used to with LS50, which is closest to reproducing Diana Krall voice to what I’ve heard in her concert.
I did not like Sierra 2 with 80s, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal or Orchestra music, the problem for me was very detail sound but missing realistic musical impact, dynamism of musical emotion that connect to the artist creation, well extended non fatiguing highs but lack of weight and neutrality to me but these speakers really do excel with Jazz, Pop and slower music.
In my opinion Sierra 2 are fine sounding speakers with tonally a little bit on lean side but it doesn't mean that lack of bass response, it's plenty of bass, a little bit better bass response than LS50s in my system but I much prefer LS50 balanced sound overall for my music because I felt that Sierra 2 high frequencies duty RRAL tweeters are slightly disconnected from lower frequency range of music and vocal, natural, spacious, lively dynamic sound is very important in my everyday music.
Also, low level music listening late at night playing smooth jazz is not so smooth due to disappearance of lower frequencies, a lot of speakers failed this task but not at this price point, it may not be important for everyone but very important for me because I do listen to music in my bedroom at night.
Sierra 2 speakers are for someone who must have RAAL ribbon tweeters otherwise not so much to brag in rest of frequencies range, there are other offering like The New Philharmonitor($1,150) with RAAL ribbon tweeter from Philharmonic Audio which will be very much comparable to Sierra 2 yet much cheaper option to have.
Pros: Quality Components, Clarity & Transparency.
Cons: High Price, Smaller Sound Stage.
YouTube Sound Demo.
Speakers: KEF R300, KEF LS50.
Analog: Denon DP47F w/DL-301mk2.
Digital: Marantz UD-7007 SACD/HiRes Player.
Pre & Power Amp: Parasound Halo P5 & Halo A21.
Cables: AudioQuest Gibraltar 72 DBS, King Cobra, Big Sur & Diamondback XLR & RCA Cables.
Power: PS Audio Detect Power Center, PerfectWave AC-12 & Oyaide BlackMamba-∑ AC Cables.
20Amp AC line.