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Feedback on Sierra-1s? Hsu Enthusiast? Others?

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   ericc22



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Posted August 23 2011 - 03:12 PM

Greetings, I am aiming for Sierra-1s for fronts and center. I listen to music mostly and do some home theater. My budget is $1,500 for speakers. I am basing this decision on a lot of reading and speaking to people. And, I have lost my faith in my local dealers! I like the idea of going direct - at this point I think that has to be the best value. I have heard good things about the Hsu Research Enthusiast package. Can anyone offer any comparison? Or opinion on either one? Any and all advise is most appreciated! And any other recommendations are appreciated. I think I am about ready to pull the trigger on this but a final confirmation would be great. Thanks! Eric

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson



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Posted August 23 2011 - 11:33 PM

I'm very pleased with my Hsu sub, but I haven't seen many comments on the Hsu mains on the forums (here and elsewhere). Just looking at the Siera site I see they use horn speakers. People who have listened to Klipsch, who also use horns, say horns are a love it or hate it experience. So you might want to try and listen to them first; or at least be prepared to pay the return shipping. I'd probably go with the Hsu sub and the Siera's; although the Siera's are expensive and would appear to break the budget.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   ericc22



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Posted August 23 2011 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. Yea, I think I will go with the Sierra-1s and give them a try. The natural Sierra's fit just into the budget fortunately. Now I just have to finalize the AVR. I am trying to figure out if I need the Onkyo 809 or if the 709 will be good enough, given my small room and that I use only BD and HD for viewing. Almost done researching and all feedback is welcome!! Thanks again.

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted August 25 2011 - 12:33 PM

No reason to get the 809 over the 709 unless it has a feature you need. Power wise, it makes no difference.

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#5 of 5 OFFLINE   David_Rivshin


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Posted August 27 2011 - 09:15 AM

I have Sierra-1 (in the "natural" finish) for my LCR, so I obviously think they're a good value for their price. My side and rear surrounds are CBM-170's, which blend well with the Sierra-1's. Part of my decision do go with Ascend speakers was due to it being a relatively small and personal company, and their reputation for excellent customer service. My understanding of Mr. Fabrikant's design philosophy is that the speaker should be true to the source, rather than adding any of it's own coloration, which is a philosophy I whole-heartedly agree with. The presence of detailed frequency response charts on the site also indicated honesty and pride in the product to me. In case you're not aware, there are some new options that are shipping in small quantities right now. There is an "NrT" tweeter option for the Sierra-1 which provides even better high frequency response, and a new Sierra Tower model. You can find more info on both of them in the Ascend forums. I'm not familiar with the Hsu speakers you reference, so I won't offer any opinion on them. I know Hsu has had a good reputation for subwoofers, but I wasn't aware they had a speaker line now.

Just looking at the Siera site I see they use horn speakers

Are you sure you were looking at the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 speakers? While Sierra-1's do have a wave-guide on the tweeter, it's not nearly the depth of what I'd call a horn. It looks like the HSU enthusiast speakers are horn-loaded, perhaps you just got those confused? As far as subs, I enjoy my current SVS 20-39CS (discontinued), but plan to upgrade to a Rythmik audio F15 at some point. The relatively flat frequency response and low extension of the direct-servo system appeals to me. Hope this helps, and good luck with whatever you decide on. -- Dave

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