Kef R300 vs Salk songtower - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Av forms,
I'm yet another new person to AV forms and have some questions about speakers or more so between Kef R300 vs Salk songtower, and a far 3rd is the Paradigm studio 60 as the set I'd like to buy.

But for simplicity of this question I'd more so like to ask about Salk song towers Vs. Kef R300.

I've heard the Kef R300 and I think they sound great for their size and the two local Denver Kef dealers have offer them to me for around $1800.00 a pair so just off the $1995.00 plus shipping of $175.00 for the speakers that Jim Salk wants to offer.

The reason I'm here I talked to Jim about auditioning a pair of song towers in the Denver area and he had no one available for me to go to and listen to them, and I feel this is a big investment so I want to know I'm I getting my money's worth? So are the Kef R300 better then Song towers or is this comparing Apples to Oranges? I've heard so many good things about Salk and there quality that I had to find out if they are worth the extra amount of money.

Right now I have a Marantz SR6006 as my AV receiver and a Bose Acoustimass 6 which I hate but it was given to me. I'd say 50% of the time is gaming 30% of the time is movies and 20% in to music. (new age rock mostly but love bands like the Eagles, or Steve miller) I'd like to create a 5.1 surround system for under $5000.00 and willing to buy an Amp if needed.
So any help with be much appreciated!!!!!
Thanks everyone

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #2 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 01:56 AM
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From what I know the Salk Songs are an absolutely fantastic deal for the money. Usually with ID manufacturers you get much more value for your dollar. I would think that they are quite a bit better than the KEF's.

Disclaimer: I have no direct experience with either speaker, but people on here that I trust have raved about the Salks.

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post #3 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 06:43 AM
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First I'd like to state Kef makes fantastic speakers, and you already know you like the R300. With that said, Salk also makes fantastic speakers, and you generally get more for your money because they are Internet Direct. However, you really need to hear them yourself.

Jim Salk offers a 30-day trial period on the SongTower's if you order a pair in a standard veneer. Why not try them out, and perhaps even get your local A/V dealer to allow a weekend in-home audition of the Kef R300's once the SongTower's arrive. This will allow an in-home comparison, which is the absolute best way to compare speakers. Then you simply return the loser, knowing full well you made the best choice for your ears. Win win!

By the way, the standard Veneers for Salk Speakers are as follows:

Curly Maple
Curly Cherry
Curly Walnut,
Red Oak
White Oak
Straight Mahogany

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post #4 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 12:56 PM
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another suggestion in your price range you could look at

ascend acoustics sierra tower

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #5 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

First I'd like to state Kef makes fantastic speakers, and you already know you like the R300. With that said, Salk also makes fantastic speakers, and you generally get more for your money because they are Internet Direct. However, you really need to hear them yourself.

Jim Salk offers a 30-day trial period on the SongTower's if you order a pair in a standard veneer. Why not try them out, and perhaps even get your local A/V dealer to allow a weekend in-home audition of the Kef R300's once the SongTower's arrive. This will allow an in-home comparison, which is the absolute best way to compare speakers. Then you simply return the loser, knowing full well you made the best choice for your ears. Win win!

By the way, the standard Veneers for Salk Speakers are as follows:

Curly Maple
Curly Cherry
Curly Walnut,
Red Oak
White Oak
Straight Mahogany

and anecdotal evidence would suggest he won't have to send them back... "we" have seen very few posts from disappointed salk buyers...

i don't disagree on the kefs either...

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post #6 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone,

What I think I will do is go ahead and order the Salk Songtowers and do Nuance suggestion of testing the Kef's by the Salks, but I have a feeling I will be A-ok with Salk alone and the love on the internet and forms seems to be amazing for these speakers. What I think I will do is work on the 2 fronts and then find a good sub from either HSU or SVS for them and build from there a 5.1 system.

Will the Salk's need any more power outside of the Marantz SR6006 or will that be plenty?
Thanks again everyone!

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #7 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 06:31 PM
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If you want floorstanders, why not take a look at the r500's? It would be a more valid comparison.

One thing to keep in mind is the KEFs are new and everything I've read says they're fantastic. Which is good. What's bad is KEF is having trouble keeping up with demand. Unless the dealer has them in stock, you may have to wait as long as a few months to get them.
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post #8 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

If you want floorstanders, why not take a look at the r500's? It would be a more valid comparison.

One thing to keep in mind is the KEFs are new and everything I've read says they're fantastic. Which is good. What's bad is KEF is having trouble keeping up with demand. Unless the dealer has them in stock, you may have to wait as long as a few months to get them.

yeah if the R300 sound amazing I would be willing to try the R500 as well, but I thought they were way more expensive then the R300, are they close in price to the Salks?

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #9 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 07:32 PM
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Please review both and let us know.
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post #10 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 07:55 PM
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Salk towers w/center and an Epik Legend suits me just fine!
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post #11 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterwaste View Post

Thanks everyone,

What I think I will do is go ahead and order the Salk Songtowers and do Nuance suggestion of testing the Kef's by the Salks, but I have a feeling I will be A-ok with Salk alone and the love on the internet and forms seems to be amazing for these speakers. What I think I will do is work on the 2 fronts and then find a good sub from either HSU or SVS for them and build from there a 5.1 system.

Will the Salk's need any more power outside of the Marantz SR6006 or will that be plenty?
Thanks again everyone!

Very cool man. I look forward to your impressions of both.

The Marantz has plenty of power to drive the SongTowers and Kefs. Enjoy!

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
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post #12 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

If you want floorstanders, why not take a look at the r500's? It would be a more valid comparison.

One thing to keep in mind is the KEFs are new and everything I've read says they're fantastic. Which is good. What's bad is KEF is having trouble keeping up with demand. Unless the dealer has them in stock, you may have to wait as long as a few months to get them.

I was gonna suggest the same thing. I think the MSRP on the r500 are 2600 per pair. So more, but not horribly more.

I am also in the Denver area. Curious as to which to shops you went to and what your experience was. Feel free to PM me if you don't want to respond on the forum.

Also, in the 2000 range for towers, did you in your shopping listen to the Kef Q900, PSB Image or Imagine towers, Monitor Audio RX-8, or Paradigm Monitor 11? Just curious.

Nuance's idea to test him home is what I would do. I hope to upgrade in a year or two and I will probably be looking in the same price range you are in. I had looked at the Ascend towers mentioned above and the Aperion Versus Grand towers. I kinda forgot about the Salks, so I would love to hear what you think of them.

Thanks!

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post #13 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I will totally be willing to do a review on both of them as soon as I get them and let everyone know my thoughts and how they sound, it should be fun.
Great to hear NewHTbuyer I been to Listen Up, Cherry Creek Audio, Blu Note and Hear no Evil so far and yes I have had the chance to listen to PSB image T’s at Listen Up and they were great sounding speakers but the sells man was being a butt to my wife and killed my wife’s wants to go look at speakers with me for a few months so that killed that experience, but worth taking a look at if you don’t mind spending 1100 pre speaker.

I started my whole speaker hunt with Kef Q900 and B&W CM8, (CM8 at listen Up or best buy) and Kef Q900 at Cherry Creek Audio. CM8 was alright sounding to me but seem to be missing something on the low end and Q900 are also the same way for me, they sound better then the CM8 in my opinion but still was missing something I was craving from a speaker which I was able to find with Kef R300’s, Totem Hawks (which are a must to look at), Paradigm Studio 60’s and Monitor Audio (which sitting by the studio 60’s sounded bad but still had a nice full range on the RX8’s).

I also had a chance to look at Martin Logan ElectroMotion, and they felt almost too bright to me and missing some detail that drove my wife nuts so she said no and so did I.

My best recommendation for companies around Denver with the best staff I’ve had the chance to deal with so far is Hear No Evil in Broomfield. If you go up there talk with Andy which is their rep and he will be happy to do any auditions for you with Kef R300’s, Totems, Paradigm and Monitor Audio.

Also if you want a good book shelf speaker go to Blu Note and take a look at the ATC SCM11 which might fit yours needs as well and sounds amazing, not many dealers in the US have that brand.

If you have any other companies I should go to in the Denver area let me know I'm always willing to listen to new things.

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #14 of 75 Old 02-15-2012, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh yeah one last one which was my Wife's favorite alongside the R300's was the Focal Chorus 826 V at Cherry Creek audio, but more so she loves the finishes that Jim Salk was able to do on the cabinets as well as the piano finish on the R300's so that’s why its Kef R300 vs Salk Songtowers. I hope that helps.

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #15 of 75 Old 02-16-2012, 12:57 PM
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What kind of music do you listen to?

I heard one member on AH forum say that he did not like his Salk speakers for certain music:

"...Nirvana, AC/DC, Barry White, Chris Rea and many more, I can honestly say that I cannot enjoy listening to about 1/3 of my collection..."

I guess you must audition either in store or in home.

No guarantees.
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post #16 of 75 Old 02-16-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterwaste View Post

yeah if the R300 sound amazing I would be willing to try the R500 as well, but I thought they were way more expensive then the R300, are they close in price to the Salks?

The msrp on the 500 is 50% higher than the r300. So based off that, I wouild guess they would cost you around $2,700/pair.

Here's a place that carries them, but is out of stock. In your price range though.
elegant audio video

I can't wait until the initial purchase wave is over and they start discounting. It may take a year or so, but paying MSRP is psychologically brutal.
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post #17 of 75 Old 02-16-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

What kind of music do you listen to?

I heard one member on AH forum say that he did not like his Salk speakers for certain music:

"...Nirvana, AC/DC, Barry White, Chris Rea and many more, I can honestly say that I cannot enjoy listening to about 1/3 of my collection..."

I guess you must audition either in store or in home.

No guarantees.

yea true no guarantees... everyone likes different things...

the ah member's post you mention brings up something i never could wrap my head (or ears, ftm) around though... i've never owned (or heard) a "good" speaker that only sounded good for "certain types of music"... either i liked the way the speaker sounded, or i didn't...

while most of our listening here is "classical" in nature, we still listen to head banging stuff every now and then, and swmbo listens to a lot of that techno stuff (fortunately, not when i'm around... )... my speakers sound good no matter what they are fed...

- chris

 

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post #18 of 75 Old 02-16-2012, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

yea true no guarantees... everyone likes different things...

the ah member's post you mention brings up something i never could wrap my head (or ears, ftm) around though... i've never owned (or heard) a "good" speaker that only sounded good for "certain types of music"... either i liked the way the speaker sounded, or i didn't...

while most of our listening here is "classical" in nature, we still listen to head banging stuff every now and then, and swmbo listens to a lot of that techno stuff (fortunately, not when i'm around... )... my speakers sound good no matter what they are fed...

^ This.

I'm betting that AC member has room issues going on, or just really bad recordings. A good speaker won't make a bad recording good.

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post #19 of 75 Old 02-16-2012, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

^ This.

I'm betting that AC member has room issues going on, or just really bad recordings. A good speaker won't make a bad recording good.

totally agree with you, I work with live bands doing light and sound in Colorado and you can't make a bad band sound good with good equipment, and it goes the same with speakers.

Well I talked to Jim about ordering a pair of speakers today and I'm waiting for his replay with the finish I want and OW4 upgrade tweeter. Once every thing if final and I get them I will post pictures, thanks everyone for the advice!

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #20 of 75 Old 02-16-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

^ This.

I'm betting that AC member has room issues going on, or just really bad recordings. A good speaker won't make a bad recording good.

Not only will a good speaker not make a bad recording sound good, it might well reveal how bad the recording truly is.

I've found that as my system gets better, so too has my source material. There is a natural synergy between accurate, dynamic speakers and good source material. I'ts come to the point that it is hard for me to listen to some of my old, poorly recorded CDs that have a ton of post production processing.

I figure an accurate, dynamic sounding speaker should sound bad with poor material, and should be exceptional with good material.

If I were auditioning speakers, I would only test them with well recorded, high resolution SACDs, or DVD-As.

Of course some might not be willing to give up on their current music library, if much if it is not great source material, so YMMV. As always, different strokes.

I find it interesting that folks on these forums will so often argue about the smallest of details in regards to their equipment that likely doesn't amount to too much, and yet ignore the quality of their source content. In the grand scheme of things, that source material is of far greater significance.

Jay

Heavily addicted SACDBA member, starting the twelve steps tomorrow!
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post #21 of 75 Old 02-16-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterwaste View Post

I will totally be willing to do a review on both of them as soon as I get them and let everyone know my thoughts and how they sound, it should be fun.
Great to hear NewHTbuyer I been to Listen Up, Cherry Creek Audio, Blu Note and Hear no Evil so far and yes I have had the chance to listen to PSB image T's at Listen Up and they were great sounding speakers but the sells man was being a butt to my wife and killed my wife's wants to go look at speakers with me for a few months so that killed that experience, but worth taking a look at if you don't mind spending 1100 pre speaker.

I started my whole speaker hunt with Kef Q900 and B&W CM8, (CM8 at listen Up or best buy) and Kef Q900 at Cherry Creek Audio. CM8 was alright sounding to me but seem to be missing something on the low end and Q900 are also the same way for me, they sound better then the CM8 in my opinion but still was missing something I was craving from a speaker which I was able to find with Kef R300's, Totem Hawks (which are a must to look at), Paradigm Studio 60's and Monitor Audio (which sitting by the studio 60's sounded bad but still had a nice full range on the RX8's).

I also had a chance to look at Martin Logan ElectroMotion, and they felt almost too bright to me and missing some detail that drove my wife nuts so she said no and so did I.

My best recommendation for companies around Denver with the best staff I've had the chance to deal with so far is Hear No Evil in Broomfield. If you go up there talk with Andy which is their rep and he will be happy to do any auditions for you with Kef R300's, Totems, Paradigm and Monitor Audio.

Also if you want a good book shelf speaker go to Blu Note and take a look at the ATC SCM11 which might fit yours needs as well and sounds amazing, not many dealers in the US have that brand.

If you have any other companies I should go to in the Denver area let me know I'm always willing to listen to new things.

Those are pretty much the places I know about. Haven't yet been to Hear no Evil, but definitely will if/when I upgrade.

The only other one I know of is this


http://www.denveraudiodesigns.com/

But I have never been there.

I had a pretty good experience at ListenUp. Bought most of my current system there except the sub (SVS) and the surrounds which I bought at Cherry Creek. The guy even came by to help me set up the AVR I bought.

You seemed to have hit pretty much all the brands and models I would look at. Must have been fun. Did you actually get a chance to listen to the r500s? Why did the Totems not make the final cut?

It is good to know that someone the Denver area might have some Salks to listen to!

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post #22 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Those are pretty much the places I know about. Haven't yet been to Hear no Evil, but definitely will if/when I upgrade.

The only other one I know of is this


http://www.denveraudiodesigns.com/

But I have never been there.

I had a pretty good experience at ListenUp. Bought most of my current system there except the sub (SVS) and the surrounds which I bought at Cherry Creek. The guy even came by to help me set up the AVR I bought.

You seemed to have hit pretty much all the brands and models I would look at. Must have been fun. Did you actually get a chance to listen to the r500s? Why did the Totems not make the final cut?

It is good to know that someone the Denver area might have some Salks to listen to!

Wow I didn't know about Denver audio design so I might have to go check them out, but man there 31 miles from my house!!! They have Thiel and I so wanted to hear their products too so I might have to take a road trip down there.

As for the Totem speakers I look everyday on Audiogon in hopes to find a pair I could afford but as of right now they are going for nearly 3k a pair and its outside of my price range otherwise I would have already had a totem 5.1 setup with Hawks, Rainmakers, and a SVS sub. They do however have the sttaf loud speakers in my price range and I just don't know how they would compare to the hawks so I'm a bit hesitant to buy them without doing an audition.

As far as the Salks go when they get into town you are more than welcome to do an audition to hear them for yourself, and that is one set of speakers I'm willing to chance it on! It only seems like Dynaudio, SVS, and Salk have praise everywhere you go on the internet so here goes nothing. But even if this fails on some amazing level I still have a good fall back of Kef R300's. As for the R500 I haven't had a chance to hear them because no one seems to have them right now. 

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #23 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 08:10 AM
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Wow I didn't know about Denver audio design so I might have to go check them out, but man there 31 miles from my house!!! They have Thiel and I so wanted to hear their products too so I might have to take a road trip down there.

As for the Totem speakers I look everyday on Audiogon in hopes to find a pair I could afford but as of right now they are going for nearly 3k a pair and its outside of my price range otherwise I would have already had a totem 5.1 setup with Hawks, Rainmakers, and a SVS sub. They do however have the sttaf loud speakers in my price range and I just don't know how they would compare to the hawks so I'm a bit hesitant to buy them without doing an audition.

As far as the Salks go when they get into town you are more than welcome to do an audition to hear them for yourself, and that is one set of speakers I'm willing to chance it on! It only seems like Dynaudio, SVS, and Salk have praise everywhere you go on the internet so here goes nothing. But even if this fails on some amazing level I still have a good fall back of Kef R300's. As for the R500 I haven't had a chance to hear them because no one seems to have them right now. 

Did you ever get a chance to look over Nuance's speaker journey thread? He auditions the Hawks in particular and compares them directly to his final choice, which was the Salk SongTower with ribbon tweeters. You might look over this lengthy (but informative) thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=919069

Cheers,
Chad
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post #24 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye11 View Post

Did you ever get a chance to look over Nuance's speaker journey thread? He auditions the Hawks in particular and compares them directly to his final choice, which was the Salk SongTower with ribbon tweeters. You might look over this lengthy (but informative) thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=919069

Cheers,
Chad

Whoops... While I've heard the Totem's I never wrote about them (there's actually a lot I didn't end up writing about in the thread). That was my buddy Greg (funkmonkey), and his thread can be found here and is also linked in my signature called "A great read."

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post #25 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Whoops... While I've heard the Totem's I never wrote about them (there's actually a lot I didn't end up writing about in the thread). That was my buddy Greg (funkmonkey), and his thread can be found here and is also linked in my signature called "A great read."

I actually realized that Greg did the Totem comparison after I wrote this, but the good news is you both came to the same conclusion and ended up with different Salk speakers. I think the Totem Hawk's were one of his early favorites too!
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post #26 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by thirdeye11 View Post


I actually realized that Greg did the Totem comparison after I wrote this, but the good news is you both came to the same conclusion and ended up with different Salk speakers. I think the Totem Hawk's were one of his early favorites too!

Yup, you said it buddy. I too liked the Totems when I heard them from what I recall, but the SongTowers took the crown, and have yet to be beat for that matter.

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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #27 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 10:44 AM
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I think there is a 99% chance you will be very happy with Salk, Philharmonic, Ascend, or KEF R.
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post #28 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

The msrp on the 500 is 50% higher than the r300. So based off that, I wouild guess they would cost you around $2,700/pair.

Here's a place that carries them, but is out of stock. In your price range though.
elegant audio video

I can't wait until the initial purchase wave is over and they start discounting. It may take a year or so, but paying MSRP is psychologically brutal.

Hi,
Elegant Audio Video is not an Authorized KEF Dealer. Any Products bought from them will void the 5 year KEF Warranty.

Sincerely,

KEF America
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post #29 of 75 Old 02-17-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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That is great news and a good read! Thank you for showing me that, now I’m super happy with my end choice with the Salk’s. I I’ll end up playing 1300 pre-speaker with the finish I want and up graded tweeter. Now does anyone know if I can get a RAAL tweeter later on or will I be stuck with the one I have? Either way I’m sure it will sound amazing for the years to come.

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #30 of 75 Old 02-18-2012, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterwaste View Post

That is great news and a good read! Thank you for showing me that, now I'm super happy with my end choice with the Salk's. I I'll end up playing 1300 pre-speaker with the finish I want and up graded tweeter. Now does anyone know if I can get a RAAL tweeter later on or will I be stuck with the one I have? Either way I'm sure it will sound amazing for the years to come.

The RAAL has a different cutout size in the baffle, so you cannot "upgrade" to one down the road unfortunately.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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