The Official Salk Sound Owner's And Discussion Thread - Page 104 - AVS Forum
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post #3091 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 07:55 PM
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Varrius:

You are basically accusing Jim of false advertising, bait-and-switch pricing, and price-gouging. You question Jim's profit. Personally, I hope that Jim is making a profit and that Salk Sound is a financially stable company with the economic resources to continue to provide innovative products for audio enthusiasts. I also hope that Jim is able to plan for his family's financial future. My gosh, he has worked hard enough. He took the risk, he had the great ideas, and he built the business. He used to build speaker cabinets in the snow with a table saw. The SongTowers are speakers, for goodness sake. Jim isn't selling life-saving medication to the highest-bidder. You have a lot of nerve.

You wanted the SongTowers but couldn't afford them, and you are bitter. For other listeners, they might prefer other speakers. For others yet, they might not consider the SongTowers to the best "value," and they prioritize "value" over sound quality. Regardless, I find your comments extremely offensive. I don't care who you are, where you came from, how many posts you have, or how long you have been posting. You are a disgruntled troll. You are apparently a very unhappy person, or if you aren't, you should be, IMO. Maybe you should get some help.
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post #3092 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Can someone please explain HOW the STs will actually sound better than 850s, without insisting that the 850s "suck" in comparison? Can someone explain why a few "small but very sharp companies" automatically rate higher than popular brand names? I'm not trying to be a troll here, and I'm sure Salk makes some fine speakers, but to dump on all other brands while proclaiming it's "experience, not elitism" sure does sound like, well, elitism...!

I do believe I explained this to you in a PM a while back. It was just one man's opinion, but it was a very detailed comparison. Nonetheless, here is my experience:

The Rocket's are thin through the mids and lack detail and proper instrument timbre to my ears. The upper treble is a little bright, while the lower and upper treble both suffer from improper instrument timbre (timbre is obviously important to me). The bass response could be better, but it's not a big deal because I have a subwoofer. In short, in comparison to the Salk's, the 850's lack the midrange detail, fullness and overall realness that the Salk's do. The lower and upper treble doesn't have proper instrument timbre and sibilance to my ears. Would I have ever realized this without directly comparing them side-by-side? I honestly don't know. I'd like to think so, but that's a guess. What I do know is that I am very happy to have heard the Salk's, because I am a full believer that a "hi-fi" speaker can actually be had for less than $2000.

Maybe the ST's are an odd anomaly in this price range, I dunno. Maybe nothing in this price range should sound this good, but they do, and for that I will praise them many times over and will continue to do so until something better comes along for the same price or less. Call me a fanboy, I don't care. I certainly am a fan of a product that gives you incredible bang for buck, of which the SongTower's do IMO. YMMV, of course.

Hope that helps dude.

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post #3093 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Well, one thing we can agree on--you're long-winded. I still don't get your point. I was originally intending to sell the ST myself when I retired. That (my retirement) never happened, and so I turned the design over to Jim with the thought that he could source out the cabinets to an off-shore factory and sell them cheaply--maybe $1400. The source for the cabinets proved unreliable, and Jim decided to build them himself. The original price was based on a wing and a prayer, without any hard data on how much those cabinets would cost to produce. After a few had been sold, he costed out everything and sent me the breakdown. At anything resemblng a living hourly wage, let a lone a real profit for reinvestment, he was losing over $100 on every pair. There is just an incredible amount of labor that goes into building cabinets by hand. Plus all the overhead and other parts. I have no idea whether Jim is going to increase prices. He certainly hasn't mentioned anything to me, and the economy isn't exactly overheated right now. What was the question?

Appologies if I insinuated that the ST's are overpriced. Indeed they are a special speaker, I have said that before. My dissapointment, and I don't feel that I've been overly negative to begin with, is only that they aren't really in the same league I thought they were, especially since the price was increased (yes I know it was a while ago, I was looking at them before that too). Perhaps the website could be adjusted to read a "somewhat" affordable loudspeaker, instead of very affordable. IMO, there's just too much competition out there that is close to half the price to consider them "very" affordable. If we are talking "hi-fi" only, then perhaps they are very affordable, or perhaps they wouldn't live up to expectations (I honestly couldn't say personally). But, they are often mentioned with many of the other "mid-fi" options here on the forums. While they may outperform them, they are also considerably more expensive.

In addition, the posters here should probably consider that many of the other ID brands may include shipping and whatever veneer (granted it's probably a standard veneer) costs are associated with the speakers. I guess all I'm really saying is, can we just stop recommending Salks alongside Axiom, Ascend, Aperion, Rockets, etc? They really don't fit in the same pricerange when all is said and done.

No doubt my opinions are more suited as a blog than a forum response, which was unsolicited to begin with. If I could go back and delete it all, and the responses, I would. I truly didn't mean for it to get a bit out of hand, as it has. I'd just leave it up to everyone doing their research to determine what the final costs to them would be, and what the competition for their pricerange is.
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post #3094 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Varrius, please read my post and others concerning the quality of parts and labor that go into making the ST's. If you still don't understand why they cost what they do, then oh well...move on. Also, they ARE a "Hi-Fi" or "Hi-End" speaker. If you don't agree, no problem here, but why the complaining then? Just state your opinion and move along. For many people $2000 isn't affordable, but the fact is, they ARE affordable for a "hi-fi" product (in comparison to other "hi-fi" products, of some ID speakers aren't; sorry to say), of which they indeed are (proven by hundreds of owner's testimonies and a few "pro" reviews as well).

If you disagree - cool. But please...you've stated your intent and opinion, and we get it. Wrap it up and move along or ask a pertinent question. Stating opinion based off an assumption is just going to make people angry. You should know better than that.

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post #3095 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:12 PM
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See once a thread gets too active for too long it attracts all the crazies
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post #3096 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Call me a fanboy, I don't care. I certainly am a fan of a product that gives you incredible bang for buck, of which the SongTower's do IMO. YMMV, of course.

Ok... "FANBOY"

Just so everyone knows, Nuance sucked another person into buying Salk speakers today.
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post #3097 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Varrius View Post

Appologies if I insinuated that the ST's are overpriced. Indeed they are a special speaker, I have said that before. My dissapointment, and I don't feel that I've been overly negative to begin with, is only that they aren't really in the same league I thought they were, especially since the price was increased (yes I know it was a while ago, I was looking at them before that too). Perhaps the website could be adjusted to read a "somewhat" affordable loudspeaker, instead of very affordable. IMO, there's just too much competition out there that is close to half the price to consider them "very" affordable. If we are talking "hi-fi" only, then perhaps they are very affordable, or perhaps they wouldn't live up to expectations (I honestly couldn't say personally). But, they are often mentioned with many of the other "mid-fi" options here on the forums. While they may outperform them, they are also considerably more expensive.

In addition, the posters here should probably consider that many of the other ID brands may include shipping and whatever veneer (granted it's probably a standard veneer) costs are associated with the speakers. I guess all I'm really saying is, can we just stop recommending Salks alongside Axiom, Ascend, Aperion, Rockets, etc? They really don't fit in the same pricerange when all is said and done.

No doubt my opinions are more suited as a blog than a forum response, which was unsolicited to begin with. If I could go back and delete it all, and the responses, I would. I truly didn't mean for it to get a bit out of hand, as it has. I'd just leave it up to everyone doing their research to determine what the final costs to them would be, and what the competition for their pricerange is.

You have had your say so the gentle readers can evaluate. We understand your OPINION. Please move on unless you want to post something objective (like measurements etc..).
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post #3098 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I do believe I explained this to you in a PM a while back. It was just one man's opinion, but it was a very detailed comparison. Nonetheless, here is my experience:

The Rocket's are thin through the mids and lack detail and proper instrument timbre to my ears. The upper treble is a little bright, while the lower and upper treble both suffer from improper instrument timbre (timbre is obviously important to me). The bass response could be better, but it's not a big deal because I have a subwoofer. In short, in comparison to the Salk's, the 850's lack the midrange detail, fullness and overall realness that the Salk's do. The lower and upper treble doesn't have proper instrument timbre and sibilance to my ears. Would I have ever realized this without directly comparing them side-by-side? I honestly don't know. I'd like to think so, but that's a guess. What I do know is that I am very happy to have heard the Salk's, because I am a full believer that a "hi-fi" speaker can actually be had for less than $2000.

Maybe the ST's are an odd anomaly in this price range, I dunno. Maybe nothing in this price range should sound this good, but they do, and for that I will praise them many times over and will continue to do so until something better comes along for the same price or less. Call me a fanboy, I don't care. I certainly am a fan of a product that gives you incredible bang for buck, of which the SongTower's do IMO. YMMV, of course.

Hope that helps dude.

Thanks for the response, I do recall that you've always been above board in your speaker reviews! My exception was obviously to the sweeping generalizations (of others) in regards to ID speakers in comparison to Salks. Since the majority of my speaker purchases have been "value leader" ID brands I tend to take such attacks somewhat personally. I would still love to audition Salks someday, pity there don't seem to be any around SW florida!
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post #3099 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

His statements about Jim and his business model and poverty means we should ignore him. Please put him on the ignore list. I don't buy the "I auditioned" gives him the right to write what he did...because it doesn't..other than "it his own fault". The real thing is when he gives his opinion of the sound he heard without qualification and then declares a value on the sound for anyone but himself. How arrogant. He just makes me mad.

Wow! And here I was trying to be civil. I don't recall saying that nobody else should value the ST's sound enough to purchase them, quite the opposite.

Let me rephrase my long winded posts into a summary:

Jim, your speakers are exceptional, however I will not be purchasing them because they are out of my price range, and there are many good value options priced below yours. If your intentions are to create a mainstream loudspeaker that competes with the masses, you've got the speaker, but not the price. If you could care less, Happy Valentine's day and have a great year!
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post #3100 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

You have had your say so the gentle readers can evaluate. We understand your OPINION. Please move on unless you want to post something objective (like measurements etc..).

Fair enough, it's way out of hand as it is. I'm done, provided I can avoid any additional personal attacks.
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post #3101 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

See once a thread gets too active for too long it attracts all the crazies

Uh.. doesn't really apply. My first post in this thread was on page 21. But that is funny as hell
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post #3102 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 08:55 PM
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[QUOTE=Varrius;15824806If your intentions are to create a mainstream loudspeaker that competes with the masses, you've got the speaker, but not the price. If you could care less, Happy Valentine's day and have a great year![/QUOTE

That part of your posts says it all....it is so personal and well anyone can understand...Please move on.
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post #3103 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Thanks for the response, I do recall that you've always been above board in your speaker reviews! My exception was obviously to the sweeping generalizations (of others) in regards to ID speakers in comparison to Salks. Since the majority of my speaker purchases have been "value leader" ID brands I tend to take such attacks somewhat personally. I would still love to audition Salks someday, pity there don't seem to be any around SW florida!

If you ever take a trip to the midwest, give me a shout and I'll have you over for some brews and good tunes.

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post #3104 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Varrius, I just read your review (again). Other than the speakers accidentally not being set to full range and the way the ST's didn't make up for some poor recordings, you seemed to have loved them.

I know you think you were led on, but you weren't. I think you you did it to yourself, and now you're upset. But please, don't take that out on anyone else, especially Jim.

P.S. You have no idea if the SongTower's will go up in price this year. Why say something like that when you have zero proof? You just having a bad week dude? No offense to you, but I've heard Aperion's stuff, and there is no comparison, so perhaps you have buyers remorse? Whatever it is, please just suck it up and get over it. Jim nor Dennis did anything to deserve some of the stuff you said, especially the false accusations.

Anyway, enough of all this. Back on track people...

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post #3105 of 9206 Old 02-14-2009, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Varrius View Post

Brandon, your very perceptive. There is indeed a little more to it, hopefully I can clear everything up with just one more post (*fingers crossed*). I can see why this appears off topic, HOWEVER the Salk's resale value WAS being discussed (to answer your question Dennis, as to what the topic was) at the time, and I don't think it can be argued that their original purchase price greatly effects resale value.

I took some liberty extrapolating that discussion to their original purchase price, no doubt. Perhaps I'm guilty of being a troll in this case, but I have been reviewing (and occasionally posting and contributing to) these forums for almost a year now, and I've not been guilty of that yet, so perhaps a little slack can be cut on my behalf.

First off, I'll be the first to admit that I'm long winded. My posts are overly verbose, and for that I do appologize. I'm not a forum regular (at any forum), by any stretch, and I don't seem to have grasped the "one-two sentence" response and out method yet. Perhaps my teachers in my youth, which required a 2 page essay when I could explain myself in 2 paragraphs, are haunting me.

To clear this up first, Brandon, I have auditioned the ST's. You've made several mentions about how I should listen to them before saying some of the things I've said, we'll I have, I wouldn't have said what I've said otherwise. See my (very unprofessional) review about 50 pages ago. I also posted a quick bit about 2 pages ago about why I wasn't going to be purchasing the ST's, but that I still felt they were an exceptional speaker, better than what I did purchase (Aperion 6T). To me, that is the highest form of compliment. Why else would I bother touting a speaker I don't own.

I don't know that I will even argue that they are worth the $2k to $2.5k that most people have paid to put them in their home. I suspect that their quality does warrent that price tag (and so now, most of you are saying "what the heck IS this guy getting at?"). Well, as I've mentioned, my PERCEPTION was that they were intended to compete with other ID brands such as those that have been mentioned. I quote from the Salk website "This design is the end result of a year-long project to develop a very affordable (under $2000) speaker that..". In addition to that, my emails with Jim led me to believe that this speaker was "cheaper" than he really wanted to deal with, initially.

I guess my point is, I consider the other ID brands very affordable for an entry into "audiophile" grade loudspeakers. But, I don't really consider the ST's "very affordable", relatively speaking. There is an abundance of competition in the $1k to $1.5k price range (all of which are very well regarded FOR THEIR PRICE RANGE), and the ST's are not in that price range, IMO. Shipped to your door, I suspect most people have paid over $2k for their ST's, recently. This makes them close to 2x the cost of the other ID's (and more than 2x in some cases). So again, back to my F150 vs EXT example. Twice the cost is substantial. Add in the cost of matching a center and surrounds (if your going 5.1 or 7.1 as I am) and your talking several thousands of dollars more than the competition.

Just to toss this in, I do recall reading a review of a GTG involving both the 850's and ST's (which I believe you were at Brandon), and the 850's reviewed very comparably to the ST's, with some people even preferring them.

So back to what my deal is, and why I've even brought this up. I merely wanted to point out that, for one potential shopper, the ST's are not in competition with many of the other well regarded brands (especially the ID's that have been mentioned) on these forums in terms of price. I don't dispute that they are superior in many ways, and may even be well worth their price tag. I simply wanted to point out that if I were going to spend what I'd spend on a Salk 7.1, I would be auditioning and considering many other brands in higher price ranges than the "mainstream" brands which are normally discussed here for the "average" price range shopper. The Salks are often mentioned in conjuction with these other ID brands as recommendations.

Why do I bring this up? Because of the statement I took right off the Salk webpage. My personal opinion is that they really aren't all that affordable, relative to other "entry" (YES, the ST's are ENTRY Salk's) level speakers. So the real truth. I was very set on Salk's being in my home theater room. The downturn of the economy (which any business owner in their right mind cannot ignore), the fact that my wife had 20k on her CC that I didnt' know about, and the fact that I've got many expenses related to owning a new home, have helped me determine that it simply would not make sense for me to spend that much on speakers, given my personal value of good sound. So, no doubt much of my dissapointment is more with my personal situation than with Salk Sound. When shopping, I typically search for the item(s) that are of exceptional value, thereby getting the most for my money. Salk's may indeed be that for most of you, but they simply didn't make sense for me in their price catagory. Hopefully that tells you what "more" there was to my posts that you couldn't figure out Brandon.

The real reason I'm dissapointed isn't necessarily the fault of Salk Sound, it's that I was led to believe (by my own doing or not), that the Salk's were in direct competition with the others mentioned. I derived, from the quote from Salk's website above, to mean that they *should* be in competition with the other *affordable* ID "audiophile" speakers available, but in reality I don't feel that they are.

I realize Salk's are a far cry from Wilson's in term of price. However, if you believe Jim is living in poverty so we can all have good sounding speakers, I'm sorry your sadly mistaken. Last I checked (I didn't), Salk is not a non-profit organization. As a business owner, I can assure you Salk Sound is in business to make money, and as much as they can. ST's WILL increase in price again this year (or at least relatively soon), economic downturn or not, so long as they continue to get rave reviews by owners and Jim's shop stays busy, regardless of their parts expenses. I don't fault Jim for getting what he can for his speakers. I'm sure it is my own fault that I'm bitter that they don't really compete with what I was looking for, misled by my own interpretations or not.

Raspberries
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post #3106 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

Ok... "FANBOY"

Just so everyone knows, Nuance sucked another person into buying Salk speakers today.

Guilty! Yes he did. I sent my deposit into Jim for a satin black pair of ST's
I still plan to keep at least 3 sierras considering I still enjoy them very much. The salks are simply a step up in terms of clarity in the mids & highs and should be considering they are twice the cost

I want to thank nuance(Brandon) for lugging his down to my place yesterday. They survived the journey unscathed(thanks in part to my sleeping bag transportation idea).....he he. We had a great opportunity to A/B them directly against my sierras in my room with my music, perfect! I would not call nuance a fanboy just because he praises his speakers. Heck, I still love my sierras and will always recommend them depending on ones budget & needs. Nuance kept his opinions to himself mostly and let my ears determine the differences. Us WI boys are keeping Jim busy lately

I love the idea of moving up to a tower speaker and can't wait to integrate them into my 2.1 ch system!

On a side note, we auditioned the parasound 2100 preamp and loved it! It outperformed the proceed pre in terms of top end clarity and the mid range was fuller. It was extremely neutral sounding and what a great price(so who bought one out of the two on a-gon yesterday)

Take care guys!
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post #3107 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by merrymaid520 View Post

Guilty! Yes he did. I sent my deposit into Jim for a satin black pair of ST's
I still plan to keep at least 3 sierras considering I still enjoy them very much. The salks are simply a step up in terms of clarity in the mids & highs and should be considering they are twice the cost

I want to thank nuance(Brandon) for lugging his down to my place yesterday. They survived the journey unscathed(thanks in part to my sleeping bag transportation idea).....he he. We had a great opportunity to A/B them directly against my sierras in my room with my music, perfect! I would not call nuance a fanboy just because he praises his speakers. Heck, I still love my sierras and will always recommend them depending on ones budget & needs. Nuance kept his opinions to himself mostly and let my ears determine the differences. Us WI boys are keeping Jim busy lately

I love the idea of moving up to a tower speaker and can't wait to integrate them into my 2.1 ch system!

On a side note, we auditioned the parasound 2100 preamp and loved it! It outperformed the proceed pre in terms of top end clarity and the mid range was fuller. It was extremely neutral sounding and what a great price(so who bought one out of the two on a-gon yesterday)

Brandon

Excellent to hear that news! I'm not entirely surprised because you've been able to hear Nuance's SongTowers. Once I first heard STs, it was impossible to forget their sound. I had no choice, I had to buy them. And I am quite far from an impulse buyer. Which tweeters did you get? It would be of interest to many here if you got the Hiquophon dome tweets so the two Wisconsin Brandons could become the AVS resident experts on their differences.

Because of yours and TJHUBs earlier posts about room EQ and using REW, I got interested in this. I've been watching AudiogoN for used B&K receivers or preamps to buy. The receivers and preamps share the same preamp circuitry and processor chips. These B&Ks have built-in parametric EQ that functions only in the range of 20-300 Hz - just the thing to EQ room anomalies in bass performance. It is entirely manual, unlike Audyssey. The other day I found this receiver, and bought it. I've also ordered the measurement microphone and connection box to use with the REW software. So when I get all that stuff up and running, I'll be trying my hand at room EQ. I should publicly thank Tim (hifisponge) for his very useful help and advice he gave me on room EQ and REW.

Thank you for the inspiration, and congrats on your new SongTowers.

Richard
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post #3108 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

Brandon

Excellent to hear that news! I'm not entirely surprised because you've been able to hear Nuance's SongTowers. Once I first heard STs, it was impossible to forget their sound. I had no choice, I had to buy them. And I am quite far from an impulse buyer. Which tweeters did you get? It would be of interest to many here if you got the Hiquophon dome tweets so the two Wisconsin Brandons could become the AVS resident experts on their differences.

Because of yours and TJHUBs earlier posts about room EQ and using REW, I got interested in this. I've been watching AudiogoN for used B&K receivers or preamps to buy. The receivers and preamps share the same preamp circuitry and processor chips. These B&Ks have built-in parametric EQ that functions only in the range of 20-300 Hz - just the thing to EQ room anomalies in bass performance. It is entirely manual, unlike Audyssey. The other day I found this receiver, and bought it. I've also ordered the measurement microphone and connection box to use with the REW software. So when I get all that stuff up and running, I'll be trying my hand at room EQ.

Thanks for the inspiration, and congrats on your new SongTowers.

Richard

Hey Richard,

My experience hearing nuances ST's was very similar to your explanation in the PM you had sent me. I did prefer the upper mids & highs on the ST's over my sierras which are great in there own right! I ordered the soft dome version for the fact that I only listen to rock and NEVER classical or jazz. Both Jim and Dennis typically recommend this same option for others in my position. Yes, the Brandons will have each version of the ST's and who knows, someday we can bring them together and have a mini Salk shootout and maybe Terry's HT2's too

The B&K processor should work out well for you then. I had a B&K 200.3 amp a while back and liked it. What mic setup did you go with? I just use my RS meter now considering its fairly accurate for the low end stuff and thats all I am looking to EQ now anyway. REW and my BFD work great on flattening my rooms low end response and I could not be happier! Even running the setup "flat" sounds good in my mind. If you have any questions on REW or etc, let me know, I might be able to help What sub are you runnning? Keep us posted on your results.

Thanks for welcoming me into the group.

Brandon
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post #3109 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrymaid520 View Post

Thanks for welcoming me into the group.

When you get your STs, Nuance can show you the Secret Salk Handshake, but you must wait for delivery. If he has already revealed that secret prematurely, we'll have to hunt you down .

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Originally Posted by merrymaid520 View Post

The B&K processor should work out well for you then. I had a B&K 200.3 amp a while back and liked it. What mic setup did you go with? I just use my RS meter now considering its fairly accurate for the low end stuff and thats all I am looking to EQ now anyway. REW and my BFD work great on flattening my rooms low end response and I could not be happier! Even running the setup "flat" sounds good in my mind. If you have any questions on REW or etc, let me know, I might be able to help What sub are you runnning? Keep us posted on your results.

I also have a two channel B&K amp, an EX4420, running the STs. It is similar to the 200.2 they now sell. I plan on using the receiver's amps to drive my center and surround speakers.

I ordered the Behringer ECM8000 microphone, but it seems like the RS meter might do the job as well. When I have questions about using REW, I'll be sure to contact you.

My sub is a DIY using this driver. Its in a roughly 2 ft³ sealed cabinet that should give tuning at 25 Hz. I drive it with this plate amp.
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post #3110 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

When you get your STs, Nuance can show you the Secret Salk Handshake, but you must wait for delivery. If he has already revealed that secret prematurely, we'll have to hunt you down .



I also have a two channel B&K amp, an EX4420, running the STs. It is similar to the 200.2 they now sell. I plan on using the receiver's amps to drive my center and surround speakers.



I ordered the Behringer ECM8000 microphone, but it seems like the RS meter might do the job as well. When I have questions about using REW, I'll be sure to contact you.

My sub is a DIY using this driver. Its in a roughly 2 ft³ sealed cabinet that should give tuning at 25 Hz. I drive it with this plate amp.

I am unaware of this, but excited to be part of it

Looks good! I think when the times comes I will order the Behringer mic also in order to do full sweeps including my mains. I have heard good things about the parts express DIY sub kits. You should follow our sub GTG thread(warp's house) coming on the 28th. I will have my Rythmik sub along with many other DIY subs, a JL, a SVS Ultra & etc there.

Later,
B
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post #3111 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Swerd - great find concerning the receiver bud! Let me know how it works out for you.

Brandon, we are very happy to have you joining the Salk family. Welcome!

By the way, the Ryhmik is just an awesome subwoofer. For under $1000 I haven't heard a better commercial subwoofer.

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post #3112 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Dennis agreed to post his workshop pics, so here they are:






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post #3113 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 10:52 AM
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Nice, Dennis. Thanks for letting us into the magicians dungeon.
I was hoping to get a sneak-peak at "the Beast" (HT4) but I would have to guess that you managed to avoid that one with your lens...

->>>≈<<<-
Speakerquest
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post #3114 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 10:54 AM
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Kind of an orderly mad scientist feel, and I must say, I was not expecting to see the floor at all, much less clean-ish..

Music stains everywhere, though. Like the room has been drenched with notes and tones.
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post #3115 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 11:46 AM
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I read a post here the other day that seemed to require a response. I see by the number of responses since then that I probably should have set aside work on the HT4 (or whatever it will be called) to answer sooner.

Varrius - sorry you took such a beating for your comments. Actually, you have every right to your point of view and I understand it fully. It deserves a response if for no other reason than to let you and others know how we approach competition and pricing.

In terms of the former, we do not look upon other ID companies as competition. A few years ago, I tried to explain this to the head of another ID company who considered us his competition. At the time, we were just starting out and he was irritated that he had lost a sale to us. He, too, was a very small company. I explained to him that if he were able to garner all of our business, he would still be a very small company. So, in my mind, "competing" with us (or us competing with him) was a waste of time.

At that time, the ID marketing model was not looked upon in the most positive light. After all, legitimate speaker companies had dealers. But we chose the ID model because we knew it would allow us to deliver higher quality speakers at far lower cost. The ID model allowed us to eliminate the 40% dealer margin and a whole host of other marketing costs. This meant we could invest in better drivers, crossovers and cabinets, resulting in superior speakers for the money.

Based on this thinking, we consider our competition to be large speaker manufacturers selling at retail and offering less speaker for the money. This is a HUGE market. Our thought was that if we could work in conjunction with other ID companies to demonstrate the clear advantages of the ID model, the ID market segment would grow substantially and we could all benefit - all ID companies and customers included.

So, we do not regard other ID companies as competition. Rather, we regard them as compatriots in a joint effort to deliver far higher quality speakers to a very grateful group of owners. And if, as a group, we do that well, we will all prosper.

I might point out that since that time, the ID model has become well accepted and we feel it will continue to grow. It is simply the most economical way to deliver high quality products to the consumer.


Now on to the second topic - pricing.

One way to develop a product is to pick a market segment, choose an appropriate price target and let that drive the development process. If you want to sell a speaker for $1000, you set appropriate budgets for drivers, crossovers, cabinets, packing, etc. You then develop the best speaker possible within those budgets.

That is not the development model we utilize.

We develop not to a price point, but rather to a performance point. We eliminate non-essentials to keep the costs as low as possible, but we establish minimum performance criteria that simply must be met. We then let the price fall where it may and let the customer decide if that price is warranted.

There are many ways to cut costs with a speaker like the SongTowers. The most obvious is having cabinets produced off-shore. The cost would be FAR lower than we could produce them in-house and this would allow us to sell the SongTowers at a lower price. But we ran across far too many horror stories about quality and delivery problems. It doesn't do any good to offer a low price based on a cabinet that you can't reliably get. It is one thing to sell a speaker at a low price. It is another thing entirely to actually deliver that speaker in a timely and consistent fashion.

For us, another negative aspect of off-shore production was the inability to offer our customers unlimited finish options - something we have done from day one.

Finally, there is something that feels right about providing a few jobs here in Michigan.

So we decided early on to build the cabinets ourselves and worked very hard to develop production methods and processes that would allow us to do it at the lowest possible cost. (I'm rather proud of what we were able to accomplish in this regard.)

The next cost-cutting area to consider would be finishing. We use very expensive finishing materials from Italy. We could certainly use lower quality finishing materials and fewer coats of finish. But the results would look more mass-produced. So we decided to stick with the methods that provided us with a lot of very positive owner feedback in the past.

How about drivers? When we introduced the SongTowers, Dennis Murphy developed a crossover version for the Vifa DX-19 tweeter. This tweeter would have cost us about $75 - $100 less per pair and the performance hit would not have been that great. But Vifa discontinued the tweeter. So even if we were willing to give up a little quality here (which we probably would not have done anyway), we no longer had the choice.

If you look at sites like Parts Express or Madisound, you will see literally hundreds of low cost drivers to choose from. In the industry, these are often referred to as "mid-fi" drivers. These drivers are the bread and butter of the driver manufacturers and end up in most mass-oriented designs because they offer fairly decent performance at a very good price.

But these same driver manufacturers also like to demonstrate their prowess and develop what are often referred to as "hi-fi" drivers. A lot of R&D goes into these drivers. So the drivers are higher priced - too high for most mass oriented speaker designs built to a price point. Of course, the driver companies sell comparatively few of these drivers. This lower volume, in conjunction with higher R&D costs, results in much higher prices for hi-fi drivers. But it you are looking to develop truly great speakers (and after all, that is our goal), these are the drivers you want to use.

Keep in mind, every driver has a given level of distortion and a certain amount of veiling. And there is nothing the crossover designer can do to change those performance characteristics. Hi-fi drivers will have less distortion and less veiling than mid-fi drivers. So if you want speakers with accurate, low-distortion performance and minimal veiling, you simply have to use higher performing, more expensive drivers (which means the resulting speaker design will be more expensive). There is no free lunch here.

I could go on and on. The point is, there are many areas where we could cut costs in order to lower the selling price. But would we want to put our name on the resulting speaker? In the end, if we don't feel confident enough to put our name on a speaker, we simply will not sell it.

So in terms of the SongTowers, we have cut costs everywhere we think it makes sense. The resulting bill of materials is what it is. Would we like to sell them for less? Sure we would. But we simply will not cut quality in order to meet some arbitrary price point (which some people would still feel is too high anyway).

I realize that this means there are a group of people, Varrius included, that will not see fit to purchase our speakers. And that is perfectly OK. There are plenty of ID companies (some would refer to them as our "competitors") out there ready to fill his needs. So we are not leaving him out in the cold by any means. That market segment is currently being met and there is no real need for us to go there.

Are our philosophies on competition and pricing right? Who knows - only history will tell. But last year we enjoyed our best year ever and so far this year, despite the economy, sales are more than double what they were at this time last year. I don't know if I'd care to grow much faster. So, for the time being at least, we'll leave these philosophies intact.

I hope all this makes sense and we can now move on to other topics. Got to go now, I have to get back to those HT4's...

- Jim

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post #3116 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 12:40 PM
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Varrius, Jim, Dennis, et al.

I apologize for my harsh comments to Varrius. I should have exercised restraint and minded my own business.
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post #3117 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 12:43 PM
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Dennis:

Ah, the secret laboratory.

I think that you deserve a better desk chair (even if that chair is your better desk chair).
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post #3118 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 01:56 PM
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Dennis,

I have the identical desk chair you have only it is part of my dining set. I bought the set in the early 90's from Scandals which was a knock off of the old Scandanavian Design furniture places at the malls back then. As with speakers you get what you paid for, the set is not of the highest quality.

Bill

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Denon 4311 (in preamp mode), Parasound 2100, Boston Acoustics A7200 amp, Oppo BDP-103, Consonance CD120, Panasonic TC-P60GT50 plasma, Panamax 5100EX, Salk Song Towers, Song Center, ADS 300C (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #3119 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Nice, Dennis. Thanks for letting us into the magicians dungeon.
I was hoping to get a sneak-peak at "the Beast" (HT4) but I would have to guess that you managed to avoid that one with your lens...

Not likely--besides, the beast is upstairs. If you have a keen eye, you can spot some of the drivers I tried out before settling on the final mid and tweet.
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post #3120 of 9206 Old 02-15-2009, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by oneinthepipe View Post

Varrius, Jim, Dennis, et al.

I apologize for my harsh comments to Varrius. I should have exercised restraint and minded my own business.

I guess I am old and cranky. I know I am not as nice as Jim (my wife will attest to that), but I just read the posts and they made me upset. I know Jim and became defensive....not because of the speakers but for the comments about Jim's business model. I will bow out.
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