Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 vs. KEF LS50 Comparison Review

Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 Bookshelf Speakers: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sierra 2 Speakers are top of the line bookshelf speakers from internet direct sales speaker manufacturer Ascend Acoustics inc, which retail at $1448 + $36 for shipping within U.S. I had Sierra NrT tower speakers in my system a while back but I sold them to replaced with KEF LS50, it was good speakers in my distance memory.

Build quality of Sierra 2 speakers is excellent, however SVS Ultra & KEF LS50 speaker cabinets are more solid in comparison.

Out of the box sounded some what thin at the place of my KEF R300 speakers, but improved after adjusting the placement with some toe in to get best possible stereo image at my listening couch, After a few adjustments I let them break in for 5 days straight streaming Pandora 24 hour non stop in second system.

On sixth day, I made a few more adjustments, which I settled at about 25* toe-in, 7ft apart before I sit down and listen to my music selection by playing Heavy Metal, Jazz, Soul, Pop and many different genre of music. Overall sound is very good, highly praised RAAL tweeters sounds very clean and transparent with every detail can possibly hear by human ears, which I really appreciate details and transparency of Sierra 2.

Instrument placement was easy and effortless, 6” driver from SEAS is pushing out impressive clean bass notes but as I’m getting more playing time with them I would like a little more body in high frequencies but some may find it suitable to their taste, also a little lack of warmth in high frequencies range although it never sounded bright in anyway but I need more body and warmth in upper frequencies, high piano notes are accurate but left hand keys notes from piano were a little unnatural, missing the striking impact of weighted keys in each notes like I used to with KEF LS50 speakers, it just a tad soft.

Also drum strikes are not dynamic enough for me otherwise very good speakers and I realized this Sierra 2 speakers are not going to be great all around speakers for my taste of music, as everyone knows it is hard to find a speaker with clarity and neutrality with good balanced sound.

Male vocal performance was very good but female vocal is a little less accurate as I’m used to with LS50, which is closest to reproducing Diana Krall voice to what I’ve heard in her concert.

I did not like Sierra 2 with 80s, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal or Orchestra music, the problem for me was very detail sound but missing realistic musical impact, dynamism of music emotion that connect to the artist creation, well extended non fatiguing highs but lack of weight and neutrality to me but these speakers really do excel with Jazz, Pop and slower music.

In my opinion Sierra 2 are fine sounding speakers with a little bit on lean side but it doesn’t mean that lack of bass response, it’s plenty of bass, a little bit better bass response than LS50s in my system but I much prefer LS50 balanced sound overall for my music because I felt that Sierra 2 high frequencies are slightly disconnected from lower frequency of music and vocal, natural, spacious, lively dynamic sound is very important in my everyday music.

Also, low level music listening late at night playing smooth jazz is not so smooth due to disappearance of lower frequencies, a lot of speakers failed this task but not at this price, it may not be important for everyone but very important for me because I do listen to music in my bed room at night.

For someone who must have RAAL ribbon tweeters:
Also there are offering like Philharmonitor with same RAAL ribbons from Philharmonic Audio which will be very much comparable to Sierra 2 yet much cheaper option to have.

Pros: Quality Components, Clarity & Transparency.
Cons: High Price, Sound Stage.

Mid-Range: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
Bass: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
Sound Stage:⭐️⭐️⭐️½
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

I made this video for the people who can’t audition the speakers or the equipments.

Note: This video is posted straight out of the camera and recorder. No video or audio post processing other than adding titles.

This video/Audio will not sound 100% accurate as auditioning in the real world, however I would recommend using good monitor headphones and play in HD to get best sound quality for your reference. (My reference headphones are Sony MDR7506 & Audio-Technica ATH-M50)

Main System:
Speakers: KEF R300, KEF LS50.
Analog: Denon DP47F w/DL-301mk2.
Digital: Marantz UD-7007 SACD/HiRes Player.
Pre & Power Amp: Parasound Halo P5 & Halo A21.
Cables: AudioQuest Gibraltar 72 DBS, King Cobra, Big Sur & Diamondback XLR & RCA Cables.
Power: PS Audio Detect Power Center, PerfectWave AC-12 & Oyaide BlackMamba-∑ AC Cables.
20Amp AC line.


Mike B says:

Nice video, two really good speakers. One question, where did you get those stands?

worstalentscout says:

i’m writing this even before i hear the comparison………i know the Ascend will win hands down……..i’m very familiar with KEF’s upper models and they’re crap………

Danny G says:

why do you talk that way? Its so boring and feels sleepy

Amuffin says:

Hello there, may I ask what is the software on your television?

M Slaw says:

Hi T,
Speaking of “low level listening” what would you recommend, as far as speakers? Thanks!

tsujimasen says:

They’re not 70-10, according to David F at Ascend. They’re customized RAALs.

pitis2flie says:

Great videos. Have you listened to the Martin Logan Motion 15 or 35 bookshelf speakers? If so what our your opinions about them how do they compare against other speakers you’ve reviewed?

Pedro Luis Guillemain says:

Hello again Tharbamar. Do you like any speaker good enough to compete with Kef R300 in sound, but with a smaller price? something between 700 to 1000 dollars. I am really tempted with the R300, but the price is quite high. It doesnt matter if they are bookshelfs or floorstanders. Thank you.

bridgebolt51 says:

what is your top 5 speaker.. thanks

Jan Kristjan Süld says:

could you review selah audio anniversario?

Mike E says:

So you’re saying that when playing both the kef and Sierra, the kef drowns out the Sierra. Does it mean the the kef goes louder/more dynamic? if that’s the case than the kef would be better for movies? Also would the R300 be even louder than both of these? Thanks so much for the vid, it’s very helpful!

funk toon says:

blah blah blah WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL YOU all talk and no demo youtubers?!!! big waste of time & thumbs down!

FURY says:

You got quite technical in this review.
Which brings this question:
What element did Andrew Jones do different in the
ELAC B5 vs Pioneer SP52
that would give the ELAC B5 better sound?

I ask this because my front channel upgrade choice
is in a tie between

Pioneer SP52 Towers
Fluance Signature Bookshelf

I found that the Pioneer Towers are small enough
for me to use in my 12×12 room.
So, it’s a question of theater level sound quality for movies
as I’ll be using the speakers for
80% movies
20% music

Good Review.

Byron N says:

Can’t wait for you to do a review on
JBL 530. Thanks !

BoltAPureSource says:

Has anyone compared these to the Proac Tablette Anniversary’s?

Eduardo Peignand says:

Tharbamar nice video, which one LS50 or Sierra did you find easier to drive with a smaller amp?Thanks.

59seank says:

Thanks for comparing these two speakers.

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