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Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 Bookshelf Speaker Review

by August 07, 2007
Contributors:
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1

Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1

  • Product Name: Sierra-1
  • Manufacturer: Ascend Acoustics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: August 07, 2007 20:00
  • Buy Now

Typical In-Room Frequency Response: 39Hz - 22kHz ± 3dB

In-Room Sensitivity: 87dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter

Frequency Response (Anechoic): 44Hz - 22kHz ± 3dB

Sensitivity (Anechoic): 86.5dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter

Average Impedance: 8 ohms

Minimum Recommended Power: 45 watts

Maximum Continuous Power*: 200 watts

Maximum Short Term Peak Power*: 400 watts

Cabinet: Exclusive V-LAM™ construction featuring vertically laminated bamboo. Bass reflex via flared rear port tube

Dimensions H x W x D**: 14.25" x 7.5" x 10.5"

Weight (each): 20 lbs each

Shipping Weight (pair): 43 lbs per pair

Tweeter: (1) 26mm high-definition soft dome tweeter w/integrated elastomer wave guide, wide surround, low-viscosity magnetic fluid cooling, pole-piece damping chamber. Fully manufactured by SEAS of Norway

Woofer: (1) proprietary 5.25” long throw mineral-filled polypropylene cone, non-resonant cast aluminum frame, copper shorting rings, low-inductance motor assembly, vented pole-piece and vented spider.

Connectors: (2) gold plated all metal 5 way binding posts.

Inserts: (1) ¼” x 20 inserts for mounting to stands

Warranty: 7 year parts and labor

 *Unclipped peaks

 **Grille Off

Pros

  • Imaging
  • Bass response
  • Treble extension
  • Two beautiful finish options
  • 7 year warrantee

Cons

  • A tad bass heavy? (is this really a con?!?)

Introduction

If I had to describe it in a word, that word would be "pandemonium." That was what seemed to be happening in the audiophile community as Ascend Acoustics announced their new "reference" bookshelf speakers, the Sierra-1's. Long time lovers of the brand were putting their beloved speakers up for sale with the Sierra-1's on pre-order. Sight unseen, ear unheard, the Sierra's were being compared and debated against speakers many times their price. As bookshelf speakers go, they aren't the cheapest but this is definitely a case of "you get what you pay for." And you're getting a lot. The bass and treble extension seems out of place in the same box. Usually you hope for one or the other. In this case, you get both and in a bookshelf package.
About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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Recent Forum Posts:

jp_over posts on January 06, 2011 05:37
Nearprairie,

Any update on your purchase now that you've lived with them a while? Have you many a sub choice yet?

Thanks!
dcherne posts on April 10, 2010 22:22
nearprairie, post: 677565
The Sierra-1s arrived in time to offer some relief for the cabin fever running rampant on the glacier bound, near prairie.

WmAx, post: 677741
Nearpraire, now if you want the ultimate in SQ possible, you need to add a pair of stereo subs of high quality. You MUST use a proper active xover to split the signals to the subs and mains properly. I can recommend a very compact solution, that meets the absolute highest possible standards for music reproduction, if you are interested in making this critical upgrade. Do as I instruct exactly, and you will gain improved mid-range clarity at moderate to high levels, increased radically LF SQ and extension, and increased realism(solid extension to the low 30Hz range improves the realism and apparent ‘depth’ of recordings). Warning: my recommendation will not be the typical retail product advice you typically hear. I give usually unique, higher performance advice to make the most difference for dollars spent in the relevant situation.

-Chris

Ok Chris, I'll bite. What's your recommendation?
dcherne posts on April 10, 2010 22:16
nearprairie, post: 677565
The Sierra-1s arrived in time to offer some relief for the cabin fever running rampant on the glacier bound, near prairie.

WmAx, post: 677741
Nearpraire, now if you want the ultimate in SQ possible, you need to add a pair of stereo subs of high quality. You MUST use a proper active xover to split the signals to the subs and mains properly. I can recommend a very compact solution, that meets the absolute highest possible standards for music reproduction, if you are interested in making this critical upgrade. Do as I instruct exactly, and you will gain improved mid-range clarity at moderate to high levels, increased radically LF SQ and extension, and increased realism(solid extension to the low 30Hz range improves the realism and apparent ‘depth’ of recordings). Warning: my recommendation will not be the typical retail product advice you typically hear. I give usually unique, higher performance advice to make the most difference for dollars spent in the relevant situation.

-Chris

Ok Chris, I'll bite. What's your recommendation?
nearprairie posts on January 23, 2010 16:57
Roughly 26' x 28'
AVRat posts on January 23, 2010 14:23
Nice review, what's the size of your great room?
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