Large Scale Orchestral Music

I’ve never heard that said about Maggies and Macs. I can’t offer any first-hand opinion on the statement’s veracity, since I’ve never even heard, let alone owned, any Mac gear. But I do know that I see posts all the time in FB Maggie groups that show Mac/Maggie pairings, and their owners seem to love the love the result.

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In my informal research there seems to be a split in opinion on the Mac/ Maggie pairing. Some folks really love it and others discourage it. I finally emailed Mike at Audio Classics in New York to ask his opinion. For those not familiar with Audio Classics, they sell and refurbish Mac’s as well as selling Magnepan. He mentioned the autoformer as having something to do with a less than optimal pairing. It’s not that they sound bad but that you just wouldn’t get the full potential of the Magnepans. I really wanted the LRS, but decided against once I received that advice.

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So Thanks to Theo for recommending the Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2EX’s. They came in yesterday and they are exhilarating and they’re not even broken in yet!

Their tonal characteristics are to die for. I started with Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances (Kubelik) and was able to be drawn into a deep soundstage with rich timbral contrast. Flutes sounded more like real flutes and violins didn’t sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. There was lots of air and separation between the instruments. They were also very dynamic, bringing out the big moments without breaking a sweat but also presenting subtle dynamics very convincingly.

They have a very relaxed feeling as if they can handle anything you give them vs. the UB5’s which always seem to be trying too hard. Are they $1100 better than the UB5’s. Yes! They’re probably more like $2,000 better. So much for diminishing returns.

Cheers,
Paul

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Paul,

Great News…Happy you are pleased with the Sierra-2EX’s!

Mine took 10-20 hrs to break in and Really shine, especially in the bass through midrange bandwidth. Then at about 50 hrs, they lit up the room and totally disappeared. IMHO, they’ll compete, and even better, stand-mount monitors costing 3X to 4X more…Believe you are heading for even greater audio bliss!! :slight_smile:

Hope to see you on the AA Forum!

Any pics of that beautiful PB finish would be welcome…Enjoy and keep us informed of their progress!

Ted

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Congratulations Paulo70…!!!

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Here’s a pic. Hey Ted, how much do you toe yours in?

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Paul,

As per my small intimate near field listening room (9’x10’), the Sierra-2EX are just 60" apart, 2’ from the walls and 87" from my listening position. Since they have very smooth and wide horizontial dispersion, to really open up the soundstage I have No “toe-in”, but a -5 degree “Toe-Out”! Center image is still rock solid and well focused, with the soundstage opening up beyond all my room boundaries…very 3D like!

Your setup looks great…those PB cabinets are very elegant! Thanks for including the pic! Nothing as nice in my listening room, but the main achievement of music’s live presentation “says it all”!!

Ted

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That looks like a nice rig as well. :+1:

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Yep, looks Mid-Fi (it is), but Sounds like I invested Tons more $$$$ than I did!!! :grin:

Ted

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So Paulo70…

Are you enjoying your new Sierras ?

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They sound great. Might be regretting the piano black a little bit. Sometimes they look a little too fancy for their surroundings and other times they kinda seem to match with the Mac gear. Just getting used to the look.

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That’s good to hear…Piano black while gorgeous maybe a
challenge keeping them smudge free…but will surely match
your Mac gear !!!

Have fun enjoying them…

Update on the Sierra’s…

The puppy love phase is wearing off a little and I can hear a lot I like and some things that could be better and yes, I realize there’s always a trade-off with audio.

Tonally, they are excellent with lots of accuracy and detail. I can really “hear into” the music on certain recordings.

There is some difficulty in getting a focused center image. I find that sometimes the left and right channels will bring attention to themselves. I’m still playing with toe-in and distances to see how I can refine that.

There is also a craving for more presence in upper and mid bass. Of course these are tiny boxes and I may be asking too much of them in that arena.

The speakers I owned for 15 years were Paradigm towers so I may be craving a little of what floorstanders provide.

One tends to get critical when spending half of a month’s salary on speakers. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks for the update. It is always interesting to see ow things are going.

I am certain you will get them dialed in,

Paul, I’ve had similar experiences, but always found that many recorded center image placements are a little left or a little right of center. My Pre has a “mono” button, so I can quickly confirm this. However like you, my right side speaker is placed near an opening (alcove entrance to 30" door way) that sometimes plays with the center image stability.

Not sure how much adjustments in your room you can make, but my 2EX front baffles are 24" from the listening wall (seem ideal). Further out I found the mid\upper bass a little lean…closer in I find that area a little overpowering. Is your setup full high pass to the EX and low pass to the sub…at what frequency? Or do you run the 2EX full range?

Ted

Hey Ted,

Thanks for the input. The speakers are exactly 24" from side walls. I run them full range. My vintage gear doesn’t have high pass. Sub is crossed over in the mid 50’s.

Hi Paulo70…

One of the things that could hinder a consistent “phantom
channel” between the speakers has to do with what is on the
wall behind and between the speakers the speakers…

Try toeing in toward your listening point…you can use a laser
pointer to align them. Mine are pointed to as spot just behind
my head would be …this might go a long way to gaining the soundstage
you are looking for…

Adjust speaker toe in to your taste…give it a go will probably
improve you sounstage good bit…

Best wishes Paulo70

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Paul,

In your picture, appears they are at least 36" away from the rear reinforcement wall (where eq. rack is). You may also have little reinforcement from the sides due to room decor and furnishings. Together, you have a lot of absorption along the speaker staging walls that may also contribute Mid and Upper bass thinness.

Your Rel T5i can be crossed over much higher (low pass set to 120hz) and should contribute tight reinforcement in that critical 50-150hz region. If you haven’t tried yet, I’d recommend shifting the sub low pass slowly up at a time in hopes of augmenting that critical band width!

FWIW, when I tried the 2EX full range with my setup (and in my music room), low/mid bass was very overpowering. Thus I settled on the LP/HP on both sub & monitors at 50Hz. Now the hand off, low and mid punch and presence/tonality of the bass is very natural and linear! :relaxed:

Ted

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Thanks davida. Yup, toe-in experimentation is ongoing. You just gave me an idea, which is to pull them further out. The media center is back and in between. Maybe things can get focused with them further out.

It’s so confusing though. I’ve kept them where they are because I’ve read that I’m not supposed to bring them into the middle third of my room which is where they’d be if I pulled them out more.

Stereo|666x500

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Ted, I’ve tried avoiding crossing the sub over too high because, with only one sub, I don’t want it to become directional. It’s worth a try though.

In saying upper bass, I may be using the wrong term. Maybe I mean lower mids. I’m basically talking about the baritone range, i.e trombone, cello etc. Craving a little butter there.

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