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i haven't heard the sierras, altho i have heard the 340s, which are, i guess one step down their food chain, and my recollection is that they were ok-but-unmemorable. i did audition the eras against psb imagine/synchrony, kef xq and paradigm signatureand thoughtthe eras were significantly the worst--boxy, narrowsoundstage and tinny. now, if you read my posts, you'll see i'm not generally such a naysayer--there's lots of monitors in the same range i really like--psb/paradigm/rega/vonscheweikert/energy et al--but i really think you should look elsewhere.
ya know, rebbi, like cars, vacuum cleaners or anything else, it's difficult to find a speaker from a reputable manufacturer that doesn't have scads of good reviews somewhere, if for no other reason than people naturally tend to validate their purchases. to me, the really essential criteria is how the particular speaker stacks up in close comparison to another in the same class. to which end i'd really encourage you to listen to your candidates against their peers (you might also include epos, quad, focal chorus and lesser totems in the mix); at the end of the day your's is the only review that matters. good luck.
rebbi the thing is that you asked for a comparo. I have the D5's and think highly of them. I'm baffled by LoomisJohnsons experience but you can take about any speaker and make it sound bad if you try. Clearly his experience and my own differ and I can think of dozens of reasons why that may be so. Given this I've never heard the Accends at all so I really had nothing to say! I really like the D5's myself and auditioned something like 20 speakers before getting them. BUT ultimately LoomisJohnson is correct IMO that you try and listen to everything you can.
rebbi what i like about the d5's is that they deliver IMO better controlled and thicker base than any bookshelf I've heard (of that size, price, etc) the veneers (mine is rosewood) are great and the size is manageable. I find they are fairly neutral in character (like the era family) and can punch up when given the power. That is sort of why the boxy, tinny thoughts that Loomisjohnston noted surprised me. Unfortunately some folks sort of hang their ego on their stuff. I'm not one of them but given that I did have a budget and am not made of money. I could have done better but I believe that I would have had to spend much more money. I suspect that LJ is either more experienced than me, is more particular, heard a bad system, or something like that. Let us know if you get something and your thouhts if you audition stuff. Also I 2nd the totem thoughts that someone already mentioned. I liked them as well. I thought the paradigms were OK but prefered the D5s.
I have D4s in my desktop rig and am very pleased. I haven't heard any of the speakers that Loomis listed, so maybe I'm missing out. I A/B'ed them with Paradigm Studios and chose the Era's because I thought they sounded a little smoother and looked a little better.
But I've always been curious about the Sierra's. Let us know what you decide on, and your impressions.
looks like loomis disliking the eras unleashed a little squall ...actually, while i do enjoy flapping my jaw now and again, i've got no personal stake in dissing your tastes, or hyping my own--hell, i'm not crazy about some of the gear i've bought and still own. i still stress, however, that choice of speakers (which, in my view, is as important as choice of spouse) shouldn't be made in a vacuum. now, a couple of months ago some yokel off of craigslist came to my office to buy some bose cubes i'd picked up at a garage sale. i set 'em up and played 'em for him, and he was rhapsodic--he couldn't praise 'em enough. until, of course, i connected and played my proac responses, whereby his jaw dropped, he got all gloomy and left bose-less. caveat emptor.
I so appreciate this thread and all of your thoughtful responses, including Loomis. I've never had a pair of small monitors in my room and am very curious about how they'd sound.
There was a time when I'd never have bought any piece of gear without an in person audition, but the existence of Audiogon (you can always sell later and recoup some of your investment) as well as the lack of dealers to hear a lot of good stuff makes that "rule" hard to adhere to.
Although I know that all reviews, even the professional ones, have to be taken with more than a grain of salt, the fact that the pro reviews of the Ascends and the Eras have been so glowing made me interested in them.
I've also thought of Dynaudios, but they're out of my budget, new, and on the used market, there are so many older models floating around out there that I kind of got discouraged about figuring out what to look for.
hey loomis no squall at all. I merely was surprised at the tinny and such comments as that is maybe the first time I've heard that particular comment associated. Now as I am not tied to my speakers and am a big boy I take criticism of them as it is given and considering the factors involved one mans treasure is another's garbage. I was just puzzled, thats all. Other that that I could not agree more with the listen to everything ethos, especially while removing all the variables that it is possible to remove.
i've made a mental note to audition the eras again to ascertain whether i'm delusional, which is certainly possible. when i heard them previously, they were paired in a dealer showroom with a really good integrated (i believe a classe) and music server, so i don't think the associated gear or room setup was the issue, but obviously system synergy can be quirky. paulsax et. al., feel free to rip me any time--after most of my marriages, public pillorying would seem like club med.
Rebbi - If all you want to do is satisfy your curiousity, try to find someone local who owns decent monitors and have them bring them over to your place.
That said, I highly doubt you're gonna have any kind of an epiphany when you go from the Ohms to a small, inexpensive monitor, unless that epiphany is what an incredible value the Ohms are, and that there is no replacement for displacement, even in modest sized rooms. I also doubt you'll find any speaker, of any size, under $5K, with better detail retreival that is not fatiguing and overly-bright. Just MHO, YMMV, of course.
You may very well be right, especially since I upgraded my electronics, which have the Ohms singing at a new level. But I am curious. This audiophile thing is as much a disease as a hobby sometime, as you know.
I think you should copyright the phrase "there's no replacement for displacement" now, before somebody else grabs it. ;-)
Well, this is a reply to what is an old thread but all I can say is that I find the D5's to be a phenomenal performer for their price. The fit and finish is very good. I find the D5s to do all the things that a monitor speaker is supposed to do and do them well; imaging,soundstage, pinpoint accuracy, and very musical. I would tend to call them a touch on the warm side, but then again I use these with tubed amps. I once had some Totem Model 1s for many years and had regretted selling them. I find the D5s fill that void left by the Totems and yet, are somewhat better than the Totems. By this I mean I (to me anyway)got a feeling at times that the metal tweeter was a little too hard sounding; the D5 gives me a warmer sound but not at the expense of being involving or with a loss of detail. My D5s replaced some very expensive floorstanding speakers, and by expensive I mean 5X what I paid for the D5s. I have never missed the floorstanders and I listen more now, and longer to the music than I did with the floorstanding speakers. There are times in the land of Audiophilia that a giant-killer comes along, or at least a product that is an over-achiever. I consider the D5 to be one of those products. I have had mine for almost two years now and I have not thought about replacing them; a rare event in my house! Go give them a listen, or even buy a pair. You will not regret it.
Equipment: LP12 w/ Ittok arm, Acurus P10 phono preamp, CJ Premier 16 preamp, Lumley Signature 150W monoblock amps, CJ MF2200 amp, Naim CD5 CDP with Flatcap, Analysis Plus and Morrow Audio cables. Listening room: 13.5 w x 18 l x 10 h. Music preferences vary but mostly female vocals, classical, anything with a piano.
I hope this helps someone.
Re-reading my post from 11-06-12 I would like to add one thing should anyone still be reading these threads and it is this: the D5 needs quality electronics with which to be partnered. At a price of $999, I am afraid the D5 will be partnered with midfi equipment. These need a topnotch tube or solid state amp or integrated. These are relatively inefficient speakers and need some solid power behind them, at least 60 watts of tube or 70-75 watts of solid state, and from quality manufacturers. I would even say one would be better served with 100WPC. I run mine with 150WPC tubed monoblocks and I love what I get from the D5s. My wife has threatened me if I even speak about selling the D5s, and honestly, I cannot imagine ever doing that. I am evening think of buying a spare tweeter and mid-woofer to keep on hand in case one of my speakers fails or just gets old. I am amazed at these speakers, and will always consider myself lucky to have come across a speaker that performs as these do for a price that is so reasonable, at least in the high end.