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post #991 of 1777 Old 04-15-2012, 10:21 PM
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Grats Lifeis,
You have some great speakers being built.
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post #992 of 1777 Old 04-15-2012, 10:41 PM
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lifeisbeautiful- Congratulations man! Big step, and a fitting close to a long search. You chose well my friend. I am sure you will not be disappointed. The ST-OW2s are the ones that I heard and they were outstanding. Great, great midrange, "girl from Ipanema" sent chills running up and down my spine (very good thing) and very smooth top to bottom. I still remember that moment (from my audition of the SongTowers) when the sax comes in on that song, and Astrid's vocal... and thinking "thats the way it's supposed to sound." Enjoy.
Cheers

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post #993 of 1777 Old 04-15-2012, 10:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

I look forward to reading your impression of these so called PA speakers if you ever get the chance to listen to them. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

I hope I get a chance to listen to them someday. I almost feel on the floor when I read the $7000 price tag! If someone in a shop showed me those and told me $7k I'd say, "get outta here" they'd say, "no really $7k" and I'd be like, "GET OUT OF HERE". "You serious! Those PA looking speakers! With the fake black oak veneer!", says Solid-State, "those cost $7000 dollars!!!".... "CRAZY!!!" I'd also seriously question their ability to provide accurate high frequencies.

LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I know...that guy is just attacking anyone associated with Salk and Philharmonic speakers a lot lately. The last six posts he has made have been attacks on either me or Salk or Philharmonic. I haven't even posted my impressions on the GTG and the dude already went on attack mode once in this thread this morning. RMK!'s post, while not offending me, did stir up you know who. What can I say - I'll stop using Internet Explorer to surf the forums, as it doesn't seem to apply spell check (underlines the incorrectly spelled words in red). We've been using IE all day...my mistake. I'll be sticking with Google Chrome and be more careful when posting through my Android phone's AVS Forum app.


Thanks buddy. She also says thanks.

Please try to use Firefox as it's part of the free software foundation and I know people that work there and they could really use the support. Due to the fact Google Crome is "push" installed by many free applications Firefox's userbase is dropping. It's not a commercial product like Chrome and it doesn't install a bunch of bloat like Chrome. I'm also sorry to hear about the other poster upsetting you and others. I sure hope I'm not thought of in the same way as my intent was never to insight like that other guy who really comes off like a jerk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fsimms View Post

I like to beat dead horses. I played It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, on the Philharmonic 2s and it sounded just as Mrs. Nuance described. The bass and treble was overpowering and the vocal was weak and recessed. I hit the phase button on my preamp and then it sounded like I remembered it. I did mention it in my review of the Philharmonic but I didn’t describe it nearly as well as Mrs. Nuance.

Bob

I sure hope you guys were capable of setting up the speaker and getting the phase right!!!! Even with the "complicated" two part cab of the Phil! Darn now I'm questioning if you guys even got the phase right... LOL... no come on man... you guys got the phase right! It's a room of AV nuts how the frig could someone get the phase wrong!




One thing I notice and have to comment on... JIM!!! The finish you guys at Salk put on a cab is just BEAUTIFUL!!! It's obvious Salk Signature Sound uses very very skilled woodworkers. The Song Tower's finish is absolutely gorgeous!
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post #994 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 12:26 AM
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Thanks to the hosts and organizers of this event. Thanks to Terry's wife and daughter for sharing their home! Randy and I both really enjoyed the opportunity to drive up from KC and audition so many fine speakers - we arrived home about 9:30PM tonight. This was my first real foray into high end speakers. For just over a year I've been intensely diving into the world of subwoofers. I hosted a couple subwoofer meets in KC (linked in my sig) and have attended a third subwoofer meet hosted in Omaha. Thus far, Subwoofers are my key interest in audio - I believe a good subwoofer is absolutely essential to having an impressive and fully enjoyable system at the volumes I most enjoy. Following this meet, I subjectively subscribe to this theory all the more. All of these main speakers auditioned are surely better than the mains I own -- of that I'm quite sure. Still, I actually think I'd prefer listening to my home system with my current pair of 13 year old Wharfedale towers with my pair of Captivator subwoofers engaged with solid EQ and crossover over anything I heard this weekend played without subs. In my opinion a good quality sub pair matters!

My taste in music varies from blue grass, to hip hop, to top 40, to funk, to dubstep, to vocal talents like Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. I typically enjoy nearly any type of music -- with the exception of heavy metal. That said - few of the demo tracks auditioned at this meet would be on my normal day to day playlist, yet I didn't hate anything I heard. I'll admit I'm not the typical audience for this type of high end speaker gathering. I felt a bit like a fish out of water with some of the initial discussion on Friday night and Saturday morning. I don't know all the audiophile two channel speaker terms, moreover I don't know many of the players involved. To illustrate this, I discovered I was spelling Salk wrong, previously never heard of Philharmonic (outside of the orchestra), and was familiar with Ascend only vaguely by name. In short, I'm not your typical dyed in the wool two channel speaker enthusiast. Thus without a background in two channel audio I tried to listen astutely and take pretty decent track by track notes of my observations.

I've just decided to attach the scans rather than re-write my comments. I didn't alter the comments at all from their initial scribing during each audition. I didn't have anything to write on - except my lap - so I apologize that my writing is especially poor. If you can't read something and need clarification - just let me know. I sat on the floor in the front left center - you can see me in many of the pictures with the gray long sleeve shirt. I heard every speaker from the same spot for most of each audition because I desired to have a standard position from which to judge. I didn't comment much on soundstage or sweetspot because I didn't hear every speaker from the sweetspot nor move around enough to judge soundstage. I didn't fill out a score on every blank - when left a score field blank I didn't have a clear opinion. I do have a good set of ears my audiologist tells me - with no atypical degeneration - despite enjoying music and home theater at louder levels than most. I'll legitimize that claim partially by noting I was the one to notice and point out the SoundScape10s were distorting with the failed driver, where others stated they didn't hear the issue -- be that my position closer to the left speaker or not - - it seemed very apparent to me from the very first track on the SS10.

My opinion is surely as subjective as the rest of the groups' -- and it goes without saying I have my own set of unintended biases based on my history in and tastes in audio. I haven't changed mains often like many of the other auditioners - I've owned my current towers, Wharfedale Sapphire SP-89, since 1999 I think. Biases can't be easily avoided - they can only be revealed, so with that in mind I expect I most enjoyed the sound that mostly mimics or improves upon what I know. I do have a musical background - I played in the band in High School, and played in Marching Mizzou as well. I also sang in Chamber Choir in High School, and sang in choir groups in college, and lead worship teams at church. I do hold an appreciation for musical instruments and how they should sound. That said - I enjoy music and home theater loud. I don't like hitting or hearing limits of speakers. I value clarity and lack of distortion at volume. I am willing to give up just a hair of quality for quantity -- NOT much -- but just a hair. I'm the guy that likes to turn a demo movie clip up to reference with the subs 3dB hot and enjoy the tactile vibration as well as the sound. Feel free to skip the rest of my review if you don't like the same things I do - because you probably won't find my subjective opinion of much value. Terry, I know your and my tastes are vastly different - so thanks for putting up with me this weekend.

Here is a short intro video that shows the room and some of the people who made the event.
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...rent=Intro.mp4

Let me forward my subjective reviews by saying I'm going to be mostly critical, but I don't think these speakers are bad. I think they were overdriven and pushed beyond their means in full range. I liked the sound when they weren't pushed too hard in the dynamics. I think every single speaker except the JTR and Seatons were overdriven and most made multiple bad noises. Bad noises ruin an audition for me. None of these speakers (save the JTR or Seatons) were capable of playing full range at those volumes - this is my opinion based on what I heard from my front and center left listening position. I heard distortion on many of these that could have been avoided had they been turned down a smidge, or not run full range and crossed over to a sub setup. Terry has a big room and IMO we asked too much of these speakers to keep them clean. In moments outside of the big dynamics I could hear what these speakers should sound like - and liked them! -- but in the dynamics most failed to reproduce clean sound IMO.

Philharmonic 2:
I didn't like the look one bit. I am told it is a function over cosmetics design to avoid rectangle box refractions, but these and the Salk SS10's look like droid robots out of a 1980's science fiction movie to me. As for sound, I didn't feel these were the least desirable - despite the lowest price tag. This setup seemed overwhelmed by some of the dynamic peaks at the volumes we auditioned at. I can best describe this effect I heard as listening to a busy music track at 128kb or 160kb mp3 bit rate rather than a 192kb or 256kb bit rate. I understand only lossless audio track demos were used - but the speakers couldn't keep up with the demand and it just sounded messy in dynamics swings. I know it wasn't the tracks because later speakers didn't sound that way on all of the dynamic peaks. In my opinion they needed to be turned down or crossed over to a sub --- just as nearly every other auditioning speaker did. On a positive note - I did get chills with these speakers on the Fanfare for the Common Man track at places. Instruments sounded really good! When you get chills with a speaker you know it's doing something right!

Video
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...lharmonic2.mp4

ScoreSheet


Salk SongTower RT:
I thought these speakers were way overdriven. I noticed quite a bit of distortion through many of the tracks on the peaks. For example, during each of the dynamic peaks in Red Rain the orchestra would blur together, and the mids seemed to cut out The same problem occurred with the phils -- only worse on these. This problem was repeated in every speaker except the JTR for this particular track. It was like as the bass swelled, the mids cut back and sounded distorted. I also thought the voices in the big dynamics sounded a bit harsh or strained on the Song Towers at this spl level and in full range. They needed to be turned down, or crossed over to subs. I felt they distorted the worst of the day. I didn't get any chills with these speakers. I didn't really like them compared to the other auditions - most likely because I just felt they were pushed too hard. I actually thought they were on the edge of damage during the Black Eyed Peas track - the sound they produced was not how that song's bass is supposed to sound!!!

Video
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...ongTowerRT.mp4

Scoresheet


Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower with RAAL ribbon:
Of the first three auditions - these were my favorite. less distortion than the previous two. The speakers sounded a bit smaller - this is hard to describe, but the sound seemed to come from a smaller speaker than the first two auditions on several tracks. I thought the bass was generally the best yet - outside of the Black Eyed Peas track which I thought the Phils bested to this point. These speakers gave me chills again on Fanfare for the Common Man --- more so than the Phils. A good speaker.

Video
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...ierraTower.mp4

Scoresheet


JTR Triple 12-LP:
Talk about bringing a machete to a knife show...
These speakers were the opposite end of the spectrum from the Salk speakers. If the Salk are designed to sound refined within limits, the JTRs seemed designed to represent live audio sound without limits. I liked them 3rd best. These speakers had the least bass of the day which hurt their review for me. The cabinet naturally rolled off - I thought Jeff or Mark said around 60hz or so was the design cutoff, but Jeff stated today when we toured his shop on the way back through to KC that the Triple 12 isn't actively cut off with a 60hz crossover so perhaps we can get some clarification on this? At the time of the audition I was thinking Jeff said it had a 60hz crossover - but I was apparently wrong. At any rate it had the least bass by design choice because it is meant to be complimented by a sub. I never saw the drivers move - they produced sound effortlessly with their sensitivity rating of 101dB. They were the only sub of the day that didn't make any distortion noise to me on any track. The JTRs made me have chills on the Red Rain track which the previous auditioned speakers had loaded with distortion and they were the only subs to do so all day. They had a bit too bright sound generally, but without the complement of full range it is somewhat expected. They were not the same type of sound as the other previously auditioned speakers, but they excelled on the live sound from AC/DC so much that they actually put a forced smile on my face. Electric guitars were awesome. Dynamics seemed very strong. I had to keep trying to ignore the fact they weren't full range. I think perhaps the lack of full range both hurt and helped them because they didn't have any of the dynamic overwhelming issues that the others encountered when trying to reproduce full range frequencies at once. As to other's distaste for these speakers???? What can I say? - I love live audio sound. one of my comments during this demo was "Just dang clean" ***Yes, I asked for the Justin Bebier track from the new SuperLeo BluRay on the post meet play time because I wanted to hear these things in their element. I don't care for Justin Bebier especially - I just wanted to hear a modern song in a rock concert setting and that was the only like demo material available. These speakers were very impressive and effortless on that track -- sounded just like a live concert. The cabinets are not that attractive by comparison but are imposing and solid.

Video
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...riple12-LP.mp4

Scoresheet



Salk Veracity HT2-TL:
I liked these second best - perhaps the most refined sounding speaker I've ever heard. I enjoyed their private audition on Friday night more than the meet audition on Saturday because on Friday night I didn't hear distortion when we had the LMS-5400 pair of subs engaged and the towers crossed over at 70hz with an FMOD inline resister. On Saturday we had no subs, the towers were run full range and I heard a bit of distortion on a couple of occasions. Again - they needed to be turned down, or not run full range - just like the other speakers aside from JTR thus far. Despite hearing a few distortions from these speakers as noted on my comment sheet - these speakers have just amazing bass for so small a driver. I believe Terry said they are 7" - I was floored to hear just how much bass they have -- unfortunately I heard a bit of distortion when pushed beyond their limits in full range with the Black Eyed Peas song as well as a few other tracks with large dynamic swings. Not only do they have phenomenal bass, they had very clear and realistic audio. The flute sounded like it was in the room with us. I got chills again on the Fanfare for the common man track. I did think they lacked some dynamics immediately following the JTR audition - but they have a beautiful sound! Fantastic male and female voices. Had these been crossed over at 60-80hz and the lows passed off to the subwoofer I may have liked these the best. Hard to know. I did think these were without a doubt the best looking cabinets of the meet. The look of these towers next to the very sharp looking LMS-5400 driver cabs was sexy indeed!

Video
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...HT2-TL-BEP.mp4
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...-TL-Chorus.mp4

Scoresheet



Seaton Catalyst:
These were my favorite at this meet. Right after the HT2-TL audition I felt it was nearly impossible to tell the difference between the HT2 and the Seatons in the first three tracks. I thought the audition may be a tossup -- I didn't get chills on the Fanfare track which I had gotten three other times in previous auditions - not good for the Catalyst - but I did feel clearly that the Seatons had more headroom than the HT2-TL in dynamics. Mark had adjusted the DSP prior meet to give them full playback to 20hz so they could be more competitive at a full range meet, rather than sticking with the normal rolloff at 55hz. That change worked to his favor. The xylophone based track was excellent on this speaker - best so far. There was a bit of distortion again on the Red Rain track again. I would have thought it was just the track - but I didn't hear it with the JTR. It could be the fact that the JTR was the only speaker that didn't attempt full range - at any rate the distortion sound was there. AC/DC was fun - (2nd best live sound). And then it happened. A female vocal track auditioned and I had chills for the entire track -- WOW! First time of any of the speakers I had chills with that track, and it lasted the entire time clip! What's more -- when the track was replayed by request at the end of the full audition - I immediately got chills once more through the duration of the track. That won the nod for the Seatons from me. FANTASTIC! I thought the hand claps on the Spanish track stood out more than any of the other speakers for some reason. Excellent representation of Black Eyed Peas track. Massive headroom and long lasting chills during the female vocal tracks won me over. The Seaton's seemed to me a balance between the refined sound of the Salks and the live sound of the JTR. It is a good balance to find! Dynamics are still available, and there is still a strong element of refined balanced sound.

Video
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...talyst-BEP.mp4
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...emalevocal.mp4

Scoresheet




Salk SoundScape 10:
I don't really want to review these. I didn't like the looks one bit, and there was a problem with one of the drivers. To me they were distorting nearly the whole time outside a couple clips in the middle of the demo session. I was sitting closest to the left speaker, which was determined to be damaged. From the very first track I thought something was wrong. I didn't know whether to interrupt the audition or if I should just wait and confirm it wasn't just being overloaded like some of the other speakers. By the third track I knew something was up and tried not to make much commotion as I asked Terry to come outside and talk to me about what I was hearing. Terry agreed something seemed off. Brandon and Terry both sat next to me on the floor to hear what I was hearing (closer to the speaker on the floor). We all agreed something was up. We sought out Pete and Jim Salk -- the next few demo tracks didn't exhibit the problem, and the speakers sounded great - but the last track of the Black Eyed Peas clearly exhibited the problem once again. It was a warble in the tone - it sounded terrible from my seating position. That does not represent the sound of these speakers and so I didn't finish my review of the speakers, and I'm not sure you should credit anyone's review of this speaker unless they were sitting immediately in front of the right channel - because the left channel was distorting pretty badly at places. When I stood by the right channel as we were trying to figure out the problem - it sounded fantastic. I'm sorry we missed a solid audition of these speakers in stereo.

Video
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...10-Cymbals.mp4
http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...ape10-ACDC.mp4

Scoresheet




PS --- Terry I really liked your LMS-5400 drivers and cabs. Excellent compliment to your very nice Salk HT2 towers. Friday night's audition including LMS-5400 subs was excellent. You need to loosen up the old volume control - give it a strong spin to the right and enjoy! Oh and should you listen to the Justin Bebier track on the SuperLeo Bluray --- I give you permission to not feel ashamed!

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"

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post #995 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 02:43 AM
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Awesome review Archaea! I loved the videos. Almost as good as being there.

Bob
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post #996 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 03:03 AM
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Excellent and detailed review. Thanks for this !
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post #997 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 03:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

I look forward to reading your impression of these so called PA speakers if you ever get the chance to listen to them. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

hmm...

I've never heard those B&C 8CXTs before. They are a rather expensive coaxial compression driver at $275 a piece. I've always noticed that compression coaxial speakers are ragged on the top end due to horn loading of the compression driver by the woofer's cone and that 8CXT has a high Fs of 76 Hz.

That Digimoda DSP amp though is very interesting. Can you feed those speakers an SP/DIF or SPI signal? That would avoid ADC-DAC.

I just did a BOM on it and the prices are not THAT outrageous at $8k a pair for a standard 65% markup. For the coin though it really needs a better finish. If you really want to have an AMAZING cabinet I suggest BAMBOO or even a more exotic wood like PALM. Both are totally ecological as well. Great marketing points about the fact it uses digital amps and perhaps in the future that ecologicaly sound bamboo and palm. Another marketing point should be the use of DSP/active xover and no passives. Another big one IMHO is to use cultured granite used for counter tops for a front baffle!

Interesting loudspeaker... perhaps I might build one someday!



HINT: Here is a granite front baffle... Ben and I got ya thinking ehh loudspeaker designers!

http://www.baniels.com/completed/
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=225037

B&C sure make drivers that remind me of Eminence a lot. Dated designs for sure BUT that doesn't mean jack. There are many classic drivers made of even rough manilla mash (horrible looking cones) BUT sound just beautiful.

I really have to say that Catalyst sure looks like this DIY speaker!

http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...mid-tweet.html

Hey Seaton are you the user Zeitgeist over at the Shack? If not it's sure a similar design DUDE! If not it's a reverse engineering of your work Mark... FLATTERING and a sign it's a very good design if people bother to build a DIY clone!

PS Catalyst is strong evidence to support active xovers and bi/tri amping... but hey we in the know were already aware of this!
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post #998 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

As per a request via PM, here are the speakers and their respective prices. Please correct me if I am wrong:

Philharmonic 2: $2000/pair
Salk SongTower RT: $2700.pair
Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower with RAAL ribbon: $2700/pair
JTR Tripple 12-LP: $3000 (per pair?)
Salk Veracity HT2-TL: $4500/pair
Seaton Catalyst: $7000/pair
Salk SoundScape 10: $12,000/pair

The SongTower Supercharged is $3500 but the RT which has the same RAAL and lesser quality woofer is only $2700? Does the woofer really differ that much or is there something else that's different?

The Sierra RAAL Tower is $2600.
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post #999 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 05:02 AM
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Just look at the number of views of this thread. It speaks to how many of us are dying to hear speaker a vs b, or someone else's impressions of them. Kudos to all of you to take a slice of it to display for public consumption. Someone should build a Disneyland for audio nuts to audition anything their heart desires. I'd spend a week or two there and would pay for the opportunity.

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post #1000 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 05:04 AM
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Archaea, thanks for the very honest review of those speakers. Amazing that the slim Sierra can hold up to those more expensive speakers or at least placed in the middle of the ranking. Sounds like from your opinion the best buy would be Veracity HT2-TL. Very interesting...

Very nice finish on Nuance's ST. Pau Ferro rosewood? I might get that same finish when I have the space for a bigger Salk someday.
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post #1001 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post


hmm...

I've never heard those B&C 8CXTs before. They are a rather expensive coaxial compression driver at $275 a piece. I've always noticed that compression coaxial speakers are ragged on the top end due to horn loading of the compression driver by the woofer's cone and that 8CXT has a high Fs of 76 Hz.

That Digimoda DSP amp though is very interesting. Can you feed those speakers an SP/DIF or SPI signal? That would avoid ADC-DAC.

I just did a BOM on it and the prices are not THAT outrageous at $8k a pair for a standard 65% markup. For the coin though it really needs a better finish. If you really want to have an AMAZING cabinet I suggest BAMBOO or even a more exotic wood like PALM. Both are totally ecological as well. Great marketing points about the fact it uses digital amps and perhaps in the future that ecologicaly sound bamboo and palm. Another big one IMHO is to use cultured granite used for counter tops for a front baffle!

Interesting loudspeaker... perhaps I might build one someday!



HINT: Here is a granite front baffle... got ya thinking ehh loudspeaker designers!

http://www.baniels.com/completed/

PS Catalyst is strong evidence to support active xovers and bi/tri amping... but hey we in the know were already aware of this!

In my opinion marks cabinets are top notch- you can see the build process on his forum and no shortcuts are made. He does offer a variety of veneer options that are simply gorgeous. The black oak might have been all he had available to bring at this time ( remember this veneer was made to be behind an AT screen)
As for pricing out the components, all are made custom and to his specs so that is irrelevant.
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post #1002 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 05:25 AM
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Btw, what was the exact dimensions of the room? This may change my building plans to match the speakers I'll be using.
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post #1003 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 05:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehoeft View Post

In my opinion marks cabinets are top notch- you can see the build process on his forum and no shortcuts are made. He does offer a variety of veneer options that are simply gorgeous. The black oak might have been all he had available to bring at this time ( remember this veneer was made to be behind an AT screen)
As for pricing out the components, all are made custom and to his specs so that is irrelevant.

Are you telling me the drivers are custom wound/pole piece etc? I highly doubt that as I don't think he does the numbers to be able to order stuff like that from Italy. I don't think it's any different than the driver available at PE for $275 bucks. If you're talking the DSP xover/parameters/settings sure I'll give ya that. By no means am I try to put down this speaker though! I can only imagine it's performance given the sensitivity and those three ice modules! Plus the active DSP xover...

Fair competition for that speaker would have been something like Jeds massive WWMTMWWSS with powered Dayton RSS 10", quad RS-180, dual Zaph mids and the Air Circ 6600. The Zaph mid/AirCirc 6600 would ace the 8CXTs without question IMHO. Probably come in at around the same price as well. Jed's speaker is friggin HUGE though... never heard it but I can only imagine you guys would call it "dynamic"!

LOL
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post #1004 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 05:51 AM
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The SongTower Supercharged is $3500 but the RT which has the same RAAL and lesser quality woofer is only $2700? Does the woofer really differ that much or is there something else that's different?

The Sierra RAAL Tower is $2600.

Thanks for the correction. The woofers in the Supercharged version are the smaller version of the ones in the HT2-TL's (the W15's vs. the W18's). Is it that much different? I don't know - I have not heard them yet.

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Very nice finish on Nuance's ST. Pau Ferro rosewood? I might get that same finish when I have the space for a bigger Salk someday.

Thank you. Yes, Pau Ferro rosewood.

Thanks for the reviews, Archaea! I agree that the "smaller" speakers couldn't keep up on dynamics with the JTR's and Seaton's. I did not hear all the distortion you did with most speakers, though, especially not with the Seaton's. To each their own. Oh, and I am in complete agreement with you that a quality subwoofer system is extremely important. I will never be giving up my TC2000's subwoofers!


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post #1005 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 05:57 AM
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lifeisbeautiful,

Great post sir - thanks for much for that. I think you made the right decision and look forward to your opinion of the SongTower's. Do keep us posted.


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post #1006 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:19 AM
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Remember folks, we're talking about 2 high efficiency speakers (Seaton and JTR), one self-powered, that can reach extremely high decibel levels versus standard stereo speakers that are less efficient and will never play as loud as easily and are not meant to.

From my experience, and certainly recertified with me at this event, the two shall never be able to do what the others do when it comes to bass, imaging, dynamics, realism, etc. Pretty much compromises are made in both camps.

Sure was fun though. The best equipped audio store any of us have been to in, like, ever!
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post #1007 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:25 AM
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It would nice to throw in some high-end monitors if this is ever done again with subs being used. Something like the Soundscape M7, Selah Tempestra or Vapor Cirrus.
I've been thinking that with a sub being used for the real low end, these types of speakers may be a better value, less money being spent on the cabinets.
The Tempestra is especially intriguing, top end drivers, well respected crossover designer and pre-built, inexpensive but sturdy cabinet.
They obviously won't compete in the high DB arena like the Seaton, but I really feel that's a different animal all together those like the Salk, Phil, Ascend.
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post #1008 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:38 AM
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Excellent review Archaea! I am glad that you had some appreciation for the JTR speakers as well. You mentioned in your review of the Catalysts about the female vocal song. That was the "Dream On" song, which I requested to hear for a 2nd time on the Catalysts beause I thought that same song was excellent on the JTR's. Would you agree that the JTR did excellent on the "Dream On" song as well? I thought that the Dynamics of the JTR were showed off nicely by the female vocal "Dream On" song.That "forced smile" on your face that you mentioned in my review is what I experienced in the Dream On song.

BTW, it was great meeting you at the GTG
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post #1009 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:46 AM
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Remember folks, we're talking about 2 high efficiency speakers (Seaton and JTR), one self-powered, that can reach extremely high decibel levels versus standard stereo speakers that are less efficient and will never play as loud as easily and are not meant to.

From my experience, and certainly recertified with me at this event, the two shall never be able to do what the others do when it comes to bass, imaging, dynamics, realism, etc. Pretty much compromises are made in both camps.

Sure was fun though. The best equipped audio store any of us have been to in, like, ever!

Exactly right. The non-high efficiency stuff will never hang with the JTR and Seaton stuff concerning dynamics and clean output up to 100dB and beyond; Jonathan (Archaea) nailed that one dead on. We calibrated each speaker to 80dB at the sweet spot seat, but some of the dynamic peaks hit at least 15dB louder than that. In retrospect that was too loud, but something we didn't discover until it was too late; we couldn't go back, level match to 75dB instead and start over. Now we know for future reference, though. The speakers with smaller drivers just won't maintain their composure at high output levels. It's all about tradeoffs. In the case of hearing distortion on all speakers except the JTR's, I'm guessing it was the combination of loud dynamic peaks and the room modes and reflections/interactions at certain frequencies. Terry has a large bass peak in the 40's due to room interaction, and the fact that the JTR's didn't extend that low leads me to wonder if the room interaction/mode played a role here. I am glad Archaea was sitting there, though, else some things would have gone unnoticed. I'm curious to know if anyone else heard the compression/distortion with all of the speakers (minus the JTR's)? If not, I can only attribute it to the room and how it effected response. The smaller speakers certainly couldn't hang with the JTR and Seaton stuff, but I heard hardly any compression with most of the other speakers (especially not the Seatons), so I'm curious.


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You mentioned in your review of the Catalysts about the female vocal song.

Though you should keep in mind that people may have completely different impressions coming out from events like this. Like the SongTower sounding harsh on vocals while praised by others on that sole merit. This wasn't a true blind test so people could be biased due to a number of factors not excluding the alcohol
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post #1011 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:50 AM
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Frankly, an "honest" review is nearly impossible on this site. All anyone's honesty is met with 99% of the time is controversy. You all know the usual comments.

From what I gathered at the GTG, there were a lot of varying opinions. I didn't agree with many of them, but I'm not going to say any of them are "wrong," and I wouldn't challenge any of them. You are all welcome to like what you feel sounded best to you.

Everyone is different. Everyone has a different preference. We all know what we like. We are used to what we like.

Not even the $22K Salon2 or $20K KEF 207/2 or $15K Orion or any other speakers will sound better than what we are used to hearing from our $2,700 speakers.
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post #1012 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:54 AM
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Not even the $22K Salon2 or $20K KEF 207/2 or $15K Orion or any other speakers will sound better than what we are used to hearing from our $2,700 speakers.

I totally disagree. I'll take those Salon2's in a heartbeat over my $2700 SongTower's. No offense, Jim. On the other hand, I'd take the $8000 SoundScape 8's over the Revel Salon2's. For some of us it's very easy to hear something we like better than what we own/are used to. To each their own.


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post #1013 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by PAD View Post

From my experience, and certainly recertified with me at this event, the two shall never be able to do what the others do when it comes to bass, imaging, dynamics, realism, etc. Pretty much compromises are made in both camps.

Sure was fun though. The best equipped audio store any of us have been to in, like, ever!

How would you rate each and describe those qualities on the different speakers presented. I'm curious to know as it hasn't really been discussed.


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post #1014 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:57 AM
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I definitely see your point about people forming different impressions regarding the same material. I can safely say that I was alcohol free, but as I have freely admitted, I was very curious about the JTR and Seaton speakers in particular. I liked the female vocal "Dream On" on each of these songs, however, Mrs. Nuance did not like how the female vocals sounded on these particular speakers. I certainly can respect another person's perspective, but I do think that I would have taken notice of how the crescendo/climax in the "Dream On" song sounded even if there was blind testing. I would close my eyes during certain songs anyways. In fact, there is a picture of me in meditation mode in the "red cup" picture that Nuance posted.

To each their own

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Though you should keep in mind that people may have completely different impressions coming out from events like this. Like the SongTower sounding harsh on vocals while praised by others on that sole merit. This wasn't a true blind test so people could be biased due to a number of factors not excluding the alcohol

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post #1015 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:57 AM
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Terry,

Thank you so much for hosting a most awesome event. Please thank your
wife and kids for allowing the masses to invade your home. It was really nice to meet some really down to earth people who enjoy this hobby.

Jim Salk, Mark Seaton and Jeff Permanian,

Thank you for joining us and providing some great gear to listen to.

Brandon,

Thanks for bringing the Ascends. I enjoyed listening to them.

Mrs. Nuance and Archaea,
Thank you for posting your reviews. The contrast between the reviews is the exact reason why you have to audition speakers for yourself. For me, I really enjoy how Jim Salk has voiced his speakers. I'll own a pair one of these days.

I've been away from posting in audio forums for a couple years. I've met some wonderful people and have gotten lucky enough to find a few who listen for and hear tracks like I do. That's very important when it comes to reading someone's opinion. Terry is a very good example. I know after spending some time with him, that if he says x,y,z about a piece of gear, I'll usually agree with him. If you don't have the same "ear" as the person giving the review, you'll be disappointed making a purchase based on it.

Just in the last hour or so reading the posts in this thread, I've been reminded of why I don't read them much anymore. 99% of them are great. The other 1% are from people that think way too much of themselves and shouldn't be posting. They ruin it for the 99% er's. Just to be clear, everyone at the GTG is part of the 99%. ... really great people.

Enjoy the hobby and find people you respect.

Gregg
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post #1016 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:58 AM
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Oh, forgot to add a big thank you to all who attended this and took their time to do these writeups. It's been greatly anticipated and I appreciate the effort that went into this. I wish I could attend an event like this some day.
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post #1017 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 06:59 AM
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lifeisbeautiful, it's uncanny how similar our situations parallel! I started looking for replacement speakers over 3 years ago and have listened to well over 20 popular brands in that time. I walked away from every session impressed, but still had this nagging feeling something wasn't right, I still had something I was looking for that had yet to present itself.

I had finally narrowed it down to Totem Hawks or Sttafs as my next speakers but decided to dive into AVS and other sites to try and find out what was nagging me. It was here that I found Nuance's journey thread, and ultimately made my decision on Dennis Murphy speakers, at first Salk and ultimately Philharmonic 2.

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post #1018 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by pennynike1 View Post

I definitely see your point about people forming different impressions regarding the same material. I can safely say that I was alcohol free, but as I have freely admitted, I was very curious about the JTR and Seaton speakers in particular. I liked the female vocal "Dream On" on each of these songs, however, Mrs. Nuance did not like how the female vocals sounded on these particular speakers. I certainly can respect another person's perspective, but I do think that I would have taken notice of how the crescendo/climax in the "Dream On" song sounded even if there was blind testing. I would close my eyes during certain songs anyways. In fact, there is a picture of me in meditation mode in the "red cup" picture that Nuance posted.

To each their own

Hehe, yes there is a picture of that. I think your opinions are awesome and am very thankful you posted them. I imagine some people won't post them for one reason or the other, so kudos to you for being first. I think you stayed very objective regardless of you're open admittance that you're a HT guy and were interested in the Seaton's and JTR's. But here's the $64,000 question: Which ones will you be purchasing?


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post #1019 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 07:08 AM
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I believe this is a first for me, multiple reviews of different speakers from one group listening to the same source material in the same room. The different perspectives, divergent tastes, even the different levels of experience among the listeners is most enjoyable and refreshing. I am fascinated, grateful and eager for more. Thank you so much for the privilege.

Next?

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post #1020 of 1777 Old 04-16-2012, 07:09 AM
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Not even the $22K Salon2 or $20K KEF 207/2 or $15K Orion or any other speakers will sound better than what we are used to hearing from our $2,700 speakers.

That really depends on what the listener is looking for, the room, and the speaker design. I'm convinced that the Phil 2's would do much better in a different room due to the open back design. Then there's an issue of certain speakers having better off axis. If it's really that simple to choose speakers, I wouldn't be keeping my old Newforms having auditioned "top brands" such as Wilsons etc in my room.
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