Speakers around 4K: Ascend vs Tekton vs Vapor


I'm in the market for mains to complement a JTR Orbit Shifter LFU sub.

I've done some looking around online, and honestly it's a nightmare trying to navigate the world of home audio speakers to find the best choice.

So far, based on the reviews I've read, Ascend Sierra Towers, Tekton Pendragons (maybe the SE version), and Vapor Cirrus seem to be getting the best reviews for their price points. They are all very different though.

Has anybody heard all 3 of these? Or thoughts on other things I should consider?

I'd like to narrow the models down to the most promising ones, and hopefully be able to audition those so that I can make the best decision.

Disclaimer: I'm associated with Vapor

Where do you live? If you're near an owner, they might be open to having you over for an audition of the Cirrus.

If you contact Vapor, I'm sure they'll be happy to put you in contact with someone in your area if there's one around.
At that price point, nothing will compare to the Selah Audio Tempestas for truthfullness and musicality. They are a speaker with no sonic compromises except for the lowest bass.
After 44 years in the hobby and over 250 pairs of quality speakers, they have taken me off the market, possibly for good.
AFAIK, no one has ever sold a pair in the used market.
Thanks for the replies. I should add the Selah to the audition list. I live in the SF bay area. I'll give Vapor and the others a call.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen to JTR Noesis. I was pretty impressed by these speakers. I'm not sure how they'd compare for music at the same levels with speakers that use the RAAL for example, which some people consider the best tweeter in the world. They did seem very good though, lots of detail and accuracy without being harsh. I think they can also get as loud as I'd ever want for home theater use without any apparent distortion.

I probably should have mentioned this in the beginning. Whatever I get will have to do dual duty for music and movies. Based on this fact I'll have to consider how loud the speakers can get without distorting. The guy who let me audition the Noesis said he used to have $16,000 Revels, and when watching movies they'd end up distorting when pushed too hard.

I'm wondering how the others I mentioned would compare considering this "dual duty" factor, so I should consider the useable output. Noesis are rated at 134 dBs. I should still listen to as many pairs as I can though. Some others that are recommended are Zu Omen Def and Dali Mentor 6.

One thing I want regarding music is the ability to listen to bass heavy music (electronic, hip hop etc) at club levels. The Noesis are also very efficient at 101 dB. That's not the most important factor for me as long as the speakers can get as loud as I want without distorting, but I don't have unlimited amounts of money to spend on an amp that has tons of power.

Do you all think I should discard some based on their "usable output"? It would save me time, but since the Noesis are the only ones I've listened to so far, I should listen to at least a few others.
I'm not sure if you saw the official JTR on AVS forum.
I highly doubt that the other speakers you are looking at would put out those kind of dbs without distorting.
They look like a ton of speaker for the money.
Are they only two grand ? Good luck on your search!
Hi Todd, thanks for the input. I am aware of the JTR thread and I started my own thread regarding this search at AVS forum.

They're expensive for me, but I'm going to get this right the first time. It seems because I'll be using the speakers for home theater, that will narrow down the choices a lot. The good news is that, to me and apparently a lot of other people, the Noesis did sound very good for music.

The guy who let me audition the speakers has gone through lots over the years and feels like he's settled on his Orbit Shifter/Noesis combo (with smaller surrounds).

The price for a pair would be $4400 plus shipping.

I think I'll start calling the manufacturers and asking them about the usable output and how the speakers should fare for home theater, and see what they say.
I have 2 pairs of Zu Omen Defs and an Omen center channel in a system that has to serve double duty as a 2 channel system as well as a home theater. I loved the Zus for 2 channel music, but they are also exceptional performers in a home theater setup. With the newest Nano drivers, they have a sensitivity of 101 db/watt, so they are very efficient. I'd say the Omen Defs are worth a listen -- Zu has a 60 home trial period.

I have not heard any other speakers on your list, though I did own a pair of original Tekton Pendragons with upgraded xovers. Awesome speakers for the money, they would also sound terrific in a home theater setup. I ultimately preferred the midrange in the Zus for 2 channel music, but the Pendragons were no slouch.
I own the Cirrus, after auditioning quite a few speakers. Initially I was using mine in a mutli-functioning theater room/listening room and I must say they certainly didn't dissappoint. I Had a 10" low end HSU supwoofer in there but it didn't really keep up with the speakers so it was shortly after retired. My Cirrus had no problem keeping up with movies at near reference levels, I am sure they could go louder but I wouldn't be able to take it.

I have since moved the Cirrus into a dedicated listening room as the wife said the living room had too much audio gear in it. So when I took the turntable, phono, and Media PC out of the living room, the nicest speakers in my house followed. Anyways lots of other good stuff on the table, hope this helps. Vapor goes sort of in its own way with cabinet construction, with one of the most beautiful meticulously engineered cabinets along with the best drivers in that price range I have ever seen, that really sealed the deal for me. I have heard the Ascend Sierras but only at a show and I can't honestly say I remember much about them but I might have been kind of showed out by then.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
If you want high SPLs, it may be the Vapor Arcus and not the Cirrus you want (though the Cirrus is excellent). The Arcus is a big prodriver-based monitor, and goes dangerously loud without strain, and without a lot of watts. It is also a splendid speaker: delicate, but lively on the attack (Vapor kindly loaned my a pair for two weeks, so I listened a lot). You would need subs, esp. for movies, but that might also be true for others you are considering.

I agree with the PP to the effect that Selahs are also very worth consideration.

Please take care of your ears,

If you want to get it "right the first time", then an in-home audition is a must. Tekton has a 30-day trial period, Zu a 60 trial.
I agree with Holley. I owned both the Omen Defs and the Pendragons and both are amazingly easy to drive And both have great midrange and bass. Another option if you are using a sub and would definitely beat either the O-D and the 'Dragon would be the new zu Druid V. For two channel it would be better than either without question across the board.
Have you considered seaton sound catalysts? I don't have room for the jtr triple 12's so I had some triple 8's for a while and recently moved to catalyst 8c. I definitely feel its a good step up in sound quality. I'm in sf Bay Area if you'd like to audition.
Hi David, thanks, I sent you a PM...this website is funky so maybe you weren't notified. (I have to log out and back in every time I want to post!)

I think I'm going to pull the trigger on the Noesis. The Cats are more than I'd want to spend. But if you end up seeing this post, send me a PM. I might still want to drop by and check them out sometime!

Thanks :)
Have been super impressed with Vapor Sound's owner/speakers...they most def give you very good bang for your buck

I have really enjoyed the RAAL tweeter on the Ascends. They really punch far above their weight and in my experience give the "tower" experience in terms of sound. Dave Fabrikant's designs are really thought out, and the impedance curve on the Towers is very kind with lower power amps -- that's why I love mine. They play really sweetly with my KT77 tubes and also my Pass XA 25. I wrote about them at (perhaps too much) length, here.