Magic returns in seldom used bookshelves?

Has anyone else pulled out a pair of less expensive ( in this case a pair of Ascend Sierra 2 non ex) speakers and really consider returning them to the "main" system.  I currently have a pair of really really nice Salk Song 3 BeAts ( mine are the ones on Jim's site in Fireburst Carpathian Elm Burl...gorgeous they are) and while I really really like them they have rarely if ever given me that "chills big huge smile" on several songs like the little Sierra's do? Everything else in system has remained consistent, but man on man, am I crazy to be considering selling my Salks and upgrading my little Sierra's to the new ex version for a nominal cost?
Maybe a naive question, but if you like the sound of your little Sierras, why wouldn't you just return them to your system as you say?  Why would you 'upgrade' ('replace') them with something else?
Fair question. I am seriously think of doing exactly that, but am conflicted which is why I posed the question. I don't want to regret selling absolutely gorgeous Salks that sound really good, just not magical. I suppose the upgrade on the Sierra's comes from what others experienced from the upgrade.

I could get a really good buck for these pristene Salks too, but conflicted at possible regret. 
Perhaps it’s a case of familiarity breeds contempt?

Sometimes we can start to overly dwell on the attributes that least please us ahead of those that do.

Perhaps you began to worry about the obvious weaknesses of the Sierras - the lack of deep bass, perhaps the lack of scale?

Maybe that temporarily blinded you to their inherent strengths - a fabulous midrange and clean top end?

The Ascend Sierra 2s will always be excellent loudspeakers within their operating range.

The ribbon tweeter and bamboo cabinets more or less guarantee that.
You may be really sensitive to driver time alignment?  Some people like smaller speakers since they tend to time really well.  Why not keep and enjoy both?
I’ve had the Sierra2’s and very much enjoyed them. Heard nothing but accolades for the ex upgrade.
Since you like the Sierra sound, have you considered the towers with their superior RAAL tweeter?
This stuff happens more often than you’d think. I could share an anecdote on some Vandy 2Ce Sig IIs that would make your experience seem rather vapid but some here would get bent out of shape. 

Trust your ears.
Genuine words of wisdom. That approach and philosophy could alleviate so much angst and regret/anxiety. Maybe too simple for some to adhere to.
I've always been curious about the Sierra's -- right up to the point of buying them. I bought Salk SS6m's. I love them.

One consideration might be the speaker-room synergy or lack thereof. One speaker is a tower and the other is stand mount, no? Perhaps there's something nimble and direct about the Ascend which the Salks, in your space don't have? My Salks are standmounts, and they beat out a variety of towers. 

If I were you, I'd be very sure the Salks were no longer your cup of tea. I think Jim makes heirloom, high quality stuff and I'd expect it would take a long time to tire of them. Still, never know. Sometimes a divorce is just what the doctor (or lawyer) ordered.
Jim does make heirloom one of a kind beautiful speakers. He said he had a hard time letting them go once built. Mine are stunning and that's probably why he has my speakers as the example of the BeAts when visiting his site.  This is so hard. The Salks should be an upgrade in every respect and three times the cost and are regarded above the fine Ascend towers. The berrylium tweeters vs the ribbons on the Sierra's have a similar signature also....... Can't explain my ears preferring and arguably inferior speaker  but I do trust my ears....hence the conflict.

If I list these Salks though and someday regret this decision, I won't be able to replace them exactly. The pictures don't do them justice. 

What to do?  I appreciate all the advice, and will report back after a full month of back and forth listening. I must be insane to be thinking of selling the Salks.
I have a couple different amps and speakers. I almost even bought a pair of used Totem book shelf speakers. They really disappeared. I don’t know why you can’t keep both or start a second system. Just get a pair of stands and put them off to the side. When you want to listen hook them up and listen. If it’s a space or money issue then that’s another thing. Just a thought. 
These debates are frequently hard to sort out on an audio forum, because they come back to what kind of opportunity cost it is for *you* to keep potential money locked up in those speakers. If you had something else valuable to your audio endeavor you were not buying because of the money locked in the Salks, it would make sense to sell them so you could continue your hobby. Otherwise, the suggestion of rotating them in and out (with other amps, positions in the room, etc.) is a valid one.

Then again, the answer may just be as simple as this: your ears are your ears, and speakers are just speakers. I wish I liked lobster better than I do; I know people say it's a delicacy, but I really prefer a good steak. I don't order lobster in a nice restaurant, because I know my tastes (and tastebuds) are not lying to me.

I own tannoy legacy eatons ($5500), and formerly used wharfedale diamond 225’s bookshelves/standmounts (still own them, 2 pairs, $449). I’ve often thought of putting them back into the system, they are that good! Believe it or not, they tended to do a better disappearing act than the much more expensive tannoys, and they were no slouch in both the bass and the imaging department. If someone told me I had to dump the tannoys and return the little 225’s back to the system, I can honesty say I would remain a happy camper! They just do so many things right to my ears. They are not the last word on detail or accuracy, but it seems no matter what I played through them, they did their darn best to satisfy. It is no wonder they won budget component of the year from both Stereophile and the absolute sound. That’s why I will never let them go!

It is no wonder that Herb Reichert said,

"Forget the Diamond’s modest price. This humble wooden box is actually a connoisseur-level audio component. It could satisfy any sane music collector for decades." HR

I have owned speakers before that were technically very proficient. You could point to all the "audiophile" hot buttons and they hit them all. But the involvement factor was missing. I couldn't sit for hours and be pulled into the performance, it just didn't all come together. 

This very much applies to my last pair of speakers, the Spatial Audio X3. When dissected, they had all the right ingredients. But I wasn't moved like I am by my current Cornwall IVs. So yes, I get what you are saying.


It sounds like you are more enamoured with the looks of the Salks than the sound.
Can't blame you, anything with 'carpathian' in it is bound to look good!
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Personally, I would upgrade to the ex now. 
That way you can compare them to your Salks.
You may well find the Salks increasingly satisfying over time.  Like some, I suspect that much of what commonly is reported as speaker "burn-in" instead reflects the assimilation of the listener to unfamiliar sound dynamics.  It is unlikely that your Salks will lose much resale value in the meantime, so little need to rush.  As for the Sierras, perhaps the lesson is that you just love that particular sound, and if so, why even upgrade to the EX?  You may invite the same phenomenon again, particularly going to tweeters more similar to those in the Salks.  
These Salks are well past "burn in" stage and have been satisfying for well over a year now. I debated when ordering the Salks if I should stick with the ribbon option or "upgrade" to the berrylium tweeters along with the specific midrange the "BeAts" version of the Song 3 offer, and after talking with Jim, the decision was made.

Again nothing at all wrong with the Salks and I know they would sell quick (especially with this stunning finish) but am nervous I would regret selling them down the road. 

Based on the recommendation above, I think I will upgrade the Sierra's to the EX model and then listen to these side by side and report back what I decide. Can I keep them both? Yes, but could I use the proceeds from the reluctant sale of the Salks elsewhere? Indeed

Appreciate all the feedback here. 

Time to drop the needle

I like the plan. Report back when you get the upgraded Sierras in the system.
I have noticed over the years that the same set of speakers can sound very different depending on the room that they’re in. I’ve moved into a new house before and the speaker that worked so great at the previous location now leaves me less desiring to listen and vice versa with a speaker I wasn’t that crazy about now sounds great. 
I say if you don’t plan on changing rooms or houses then maybe consider selling the Salks but if things do change and you move you’ll never know if they would be ideal in the new location. Salk Songtowers were my first real “audiophile “ set of speakers and wish I had never sold them, just for nostalgia sake. They were wonderful.

Hi menosavy,

It has been a little over a year now.  Any update on this?  I own a pair of the Ascend Sierra 2EX, and they are currently in a box as I bought a pair of ATC SCM11 v2. I am about to swap out with the Ascends to see how they interact with my new amp (Black Ice Fusion F35).

Just curious as to your thoughts.