The Official Salk Sound Owner's And Discussion Thread - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 9305 Old 04-21-2008, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

I've spent most of today supplementing my music review of the STs (a few posts up) with a Home Theater evaluation. I have played several DVDs on my OPPO player and think I pretty much gave these speakers a good workout although I think I need to tweak here and there. Unlike my music review which was in 2-channel stereo, I enabled menu options such as dolby surround and dts and compared the results.

The first rule of HT sound is tonal balance. Nothing should be overemphasized or underplayed. This provides a "natural" sound stage, even if the sounds heard are anything but natural (Prime and Megatron's synthesized voices in "Transformers", the organ-like blast of the emerging machines in Tom Cruise's remake of "World of the Worlds", the sound of a laser saber, etc). In other words, whatever sound we are suppose to hear should be natural, even if we hear that particular sound for the first time and is not part of our natural world. In order to achieve this balance it is best to have speakers in the system made by the same manufacturer, especially the front and center speakers. I had this with my Cambridge Soundworks Ensambles Sub/Sat system and the Cambridge Center Channel Plus. The tonal balance was, as to be expected, perfect. In Pro Logic application, my center throws off non-directional bass below 100HZ from its 4 three inch woofers to the Ensambles, which easily took over from there. The results with HT were very good to say the least. That I was able to place and stack my bass modules where I found the best results, leaving the satellites in front, was a big plus too. My test this weekend was to see if my initial impressions indicated I lost any of that with the Song Towers. As my music review above showed, I was more than satisfied with the STs as musical speakers. Although I cringe at the thought of such beautiful, musically accurate speakers shattering windows with the sounds of jet engines and cannon blasts, I really want my main speakers to perform well in home theater as well. Jim Salk says a good speaker is a good speaker period and should do well both ways. We shall now see.

Being an opera lover, the first thing I played was "The Barber of Seville". It was an HD production from the Teatro Real in Madrid and was in Dolby Digital. I am pleased to say the integration of the STs and Cambridge Center was perfect, seamless, just like the Ensambles in this regard. There was no loss of "character" to the sound. Of course Audyseey set everything up so I expected it to be pretty good right out of the box. Neither the center nor the fronts drew attention to themselves. As singers moved in from screen right so did the sound "seem" to come a bit from that direction, ditto from the left and in center stage the voices were where they should be - in the middle.

This was especially true in my bass test where one of my reference disks is the war movie U-571, scene 15 (Depth Charged). I played this scene through my Onkyo both in Dolby 5.1 Digital and DTS. Frankly, I could not tell much difference except in the separation noted above where the DTS showed a "preference" for a certain area. When the depth charges fell on top of the sub, the blast was dead center, when they fell to either side of the sub, the sound was on that side. This is not important on a small screen where you can't tell the difference but on my 104" projector screen it is noticed and appreciated. Speaking of bass, the STs did a fair job when I turned off my sub (a sizable beast of 250 watts and 15 inches). When the depth charges went off you could of course hear the blast and the explosion within, sort of a double whammy. However, I was not shaken nor was the subtle sound below the water detected (this is yet another sound that is within the sound that is within another sound). With the sub enabled (cross-over set at 100Hz), the much deeper, below water detonation was felt a split second before the blast came through the surface. What the sub gives you is a more exacting separation of the different phases of the blast.

Next up was the "Godzilla" remake with Jean Reno and Matthew Broderick. In scene 9 (New Kid in Town) when Godzilla comes to Manhattan, the first steps the big lizard takes on the city streets shakes the camera and makes people jump - or so is the sensation and visual the director gives us. I want to shake with it. I did not with the Sts on their own. In all fairness, I did not with the sub either at the setting Audyssey gave it. As I expected, I had to increase the db level to a +5 to achieve the desired effect. Alone, the STs have a good, not great, bass extension with these sounds and they are never "boomy" and never present the dreaded bass "one note" effect.

I think the STs can go to 40Hz. Jim Salk has written a very good explanation in the past as to why speakers, at certain price points, can not reach the depths we all would like. But with the advent of subwoofers, who cares? Let the sub do everything below 100 or 80Hz or so and forget it. Just set it to where there are no gaps and adjust the level in line of individual movies based on the characteristics of that particular movie. I would rather the STs do as they do overall, than sacrifice their musicality and accuracy in the mid-range for more bass. As someone once said at another forum, in music the only time you need a speaker at 30Hz is to listen to organ music, DEEP organ music. Heck, the lowest note on a bass guitar is calibrated at 41Hz, or so I've been told. I realize in HT the LFE takes on more importance but having said that, just let the sub do the bass work - period. I am satisfied that at this price point at least, the 40Hz or so the STs can muster is more than enough for me.

"Transformers" and "War of the Worlds" have scenes that would tax any speaker system. They are very complex with different sounds coming from different directions all at the same time. This is a good test for imaging. I have to give the STs the credit for presenting the audio to the scene in the proper "space". These complex sounds on an ordinary speaker will run together. The STs gave them a precise location. In other words, the audio was not only heard but "understood".

Finally, that brings me to the intelligibility factor. A couple scenes each from "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Meet the Falkers" showed off the mid-range and clarity of these speakers. Oddly, a lot of voice sounds came from these speakers, more so than from my Ensambles. With the Ensambles, Audyseey configured my Center as "Full Range", which indeed it is. But for some reason, with the STs, it configured it at 100Hz which is the reason (I guess) some voices are moving to and from the STs, or least seem that way. I think I'll tweak some of the db settings, even fool around with cross-overs and see what I can come up with. Sound reproduction is all about Physics and I do not have a clue about how all this stuff works but, whatever, it and the STs do work and work very well indeed.

Bottom line is a big A to the STs for music and looks, a solid B for Home Theater (with an A possible after some experimenting) and a HUGE A for overall value. These things are worth twice the price.

I need to edit something as I noticed that one of my previous posts identified my Surround speakers (which I did not identify during this review) as Polk Bravo II. I don't know why I had Polk on my mind at the time but the Bravos are of course from Boston Acoustics, not Polk.

Great review! Thanks for the write-up!
Quote:
Originally Posted by baumer View Post

That i didn't, but it's possible that those may take more than one application too get that finish! There are so many cabinets in there that i may have just missed them!

For those of you that have ordered from Jim, mine took exactly one month to make. Not too shabby for custom speakers.

Doug

Not too shabby at all!

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post #632 of 9305 Old 04-22-2008, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is Tom Q's killer Salk Sound home theater package:





Quoted from Tom:

"The rear surrounds are an interesting custom design by Jim of an HT1, so the
speakers would have sonic/timbre match. Truly amazing guy, and his workshop and home are great to visit.
"

You've got a great system, Tom! Congrats and enjoy!
LL
LL
LL

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post #633 of 9305 Old 04-22-2008, 06:51 PM
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Tom Q's set up is exactly what I would be looking for if I went with the HT3's. The surrounds would be perfect for my room, with 2 on the side and 2 in the rear. Is the finish on these the black satin?
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post #634 of 9305 Old 04-22-2008, 07:04 PM
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Very nice. I have a while before I can add a center and surrounds, but when I do Jim is the guy I will be calling. I can't wait to post some pictures of my HT3's when they arrive. I am so stoked about these speakers. Both the HT3's and the SongTowers perform well out of their price range. (uh-oh, I am starting to sound like a fanboy)

->>>≈<<<-
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post #635 of 9305 Old 04-22-2008, 07:30 PM
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Gosh, what a great set-up!! Darn it Nuance, I just got the Song Towers and really starting to enjoy them. Now, you have to mess me all up by showing these HT3 beauties in Tom Q's system! At this point all Tom has to do is get rid of that IPod he has hanging on the wall, get him a 100" plus Carada screen, a good DLP 720p or 1080p projector, some light blocking insulating drapes, a few theater chairs and he would have the ultimate.

shortspark
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post #636 of 9305 Old 04-22-2008, 07:58 PM
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Took this pic shortly after setting up the STs. I include a couple of shots from the projector while watching "King Kong".
LL
LL
LL

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post #637 of 9305 Old 04-22-2008, 09:58 PM
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Thank you Nuance for posting these pics for me,
The veneer is fiddleback, with a grey dye Jim sprayed so it was light in the center and dark at the edges, however it does look like polished black.
The surrounds were great , an answer to how to add HT1's as rears, when there is no room for stands or wall shelves. Jim creates a french cleat so they hang on the wall flush, with a sm cutout on the bottom for the speaker wire. Very easy to mount
The Color was important to my wife that they matched the Tv and equipment stand we already had.
Also I used the Integra DTC 9.8 aduyssey setup, it helped the room acoustics which you can see could be a problem, with a large bay window, french doors and open area .
Jim suggested setting the crossover at 40 for the fronts and center, appears to be perfect for surround sound.
However they sound great when played direct through the integra with no processing.
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post #638 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrius View Post

I've been having trouble communicating with Jim recently(I still have a few unanswered questions). Has anyone else experienced email problems with Jim the last week or two?

I heard a few comments recently about emails not getting through. Last Friday, a customer ordered some speakers and I never received his email. Yesterday he called to confirm that we were all set and I told him I never got it. (He later sent it to another address and we got things worked out.)

I did a little research and found that it was the spam filter on the server that was preventing some emails from getting to us. The server checks to make sure the address of the sender is legitimate. If it cannot confirm the address, it trashes the message. This eliminates a good deal of spam. But it also eliminates legitimate emails as well.

At any rate, if you have tried to contact us and have not received a reply, you can try one the following addresses: jimsalk(at)comcast.net, jimsalk(at)att.net and jsalk(at)salk.net (subsitute "@" for "(at)".) One of them should get through with no problems.

If you have a more detailed question, feel free to call (248) 814-8062. This is my personal cell phone number and I carry it with me at all times. (If I'm tied up and can't answer, simply leave a voicemail and I'll get back to you ASAP.) Often this is a more efficient way of answering detailed questions. Emails take a while to write and sometimes I don't have time at the point I receive them.

We always try and answer emails promptly. Sometimes we're so busy, we simply can't do it. But you should never run into a situation where it would take more than a day or so for an answer. In that case, if would be safe to assume we never received your message.

I hope this helps.

- Jim

SalkSound.com
Custom-crafted Speakers
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post #639 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 11:23 AM
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I was glad I was able to get a hold of Jim. I think that my first e-mail fell victim to the spam catcher. I have ordered a pair of SongTowers, SongSurround IIs and a SongCenter in Crotch Mahogany. I am REALLY looking forward to these.

Here is the information on the JBL Flix 1 surround speakers I am using currently:

First Manufactured 1993
Last Manufactured 1997

Surround System Adjacent Channel Separation
Recommended Power Amplifier Range 10 - 35 watts
Nominal Impedance 8 ohms
Woofer 4.5" high polymer laminate
Frequency Response 12Hz - 16kHz
Sensitivity 87dB (1 watt/1 meter)

There is a typo on the freq. response as I know they are not capable for 12Hz and up. 1200Hz, maybe.

My other speakers are a great pair of vintage Polk Monitors in MTM + 2 woofer layout and an Energy Center and Sub. Brands don't match, drivers definitely don't match.

I will be selling those JBLs for $1.87 + shipping, so be sure to check the AVS market in the next few months. Haha, just kidding!

Doug
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post #640 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

Gosh, what a great set-up!! Darn it Nuance, I just got the Song Towers and really starting to enjoy them. Now, you have to mess me all up by showing these HT3 beauties in Tom Q's system!



Jim -
Thanks for the info. I thought something was up, and I guess that explains it. We appreciate you looking into the issue.

Doug -
Croth Mahogany is going to look amazing! Great choice!

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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post #641 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 04:52 PM
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Today I made the plunge. I ordered a set of ST's in fiddleback. Man they look like a black tiger. Awesome!

I bought these speakers merely on research and this forums advice. I'm going to feature them in my New HT. But I need your guy's help once again. I need you to give me opinions and suggestions on building a system.

Here's what i have so far:

Song Towers (being built)
Song Center (being built)
Sony wega 1080p
PS3
Cerwin vegas dx9

What i want to do:
Upgrade to 7.1
Amp out to my Cerwin vega's on zone two
Amp out to Song Towers on main
Run 4 indoor outdoors zone 3

So what should i buy? Like receiver and amps,dsp what?
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post #642 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usfscaptain14 View Post

Today I made the plunge. I ordered a set of ST's in fiddleback. Man they look like a black tiger. Awesome!

I bought these speakers merely on research and this forums advice. I'm going to feature them in my New HT. But I need your guy's help once again. I need you to give me opinions and suggestions on building a system.

Here's what i have so far:

Song Towers (being built)
Sony wega 1080p
PS3
Cerwin vegas dx9

What i want to do:
Upgrade to 7.1
Amp out to my Cerwin vega's on zone two
Amp out to Song Towers on main
Run 4 indoor outdoors zone 3

So what should i buy? Like receiver and amps,dsp what?

I'd go with amps for the Song Tower's and maybe sneak in a preamp if you can afford it. Otherwise, you could do what I'm going to do and eventually make your 2-channel audio setup your home theater setup as well. When the funds become available I will most likely buy an integrated 2-channel piece with a home theater bypass. Then I use my receiver for movies (once I get the center, rears and subwoofer), but won't have to use the receiver for 2-channel music listening.

If you are primarily concerned about Home Theater, get yourself a receiver with all of the features you want (like an Onkyo 605) and then nab a 2-channel power amp for the Song Tower's to really give them the juice they need (200 watts per channel is a good start IMO). You can find a really nice used 2-channel amp on audiogon.com. From there get yourself the center, subwoofer and rears. Finally, if you do want to go the 2-channel music route, get a dedicated 2-channel preamp with home theater bypass (so you don't have to keep un-connecting and reconnecting cables).

Hope that helps!

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
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post #643 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usfscaptain14 View Post

Today I made the plunge. I ordered a set of ST's in fiddleback. Man they look like a black tiger. Awesome!

I bought these speakers merely on research and this forums advice. I'm going to feature them in my New HT. But I need your guy's help once again. I need you to give me opinions and suggestions on building a system.

Here's what i have so far:

Song Towers (being built)
Song Center (being built)
Sony wega 1080p
PS3
Cerwin vegas dx9

What i want to do:
Upgrade to 7.1
Amp out to my Cerwin vega's on zone two
Amp out to Song Towers on main
Run 4 indoor outdoors zone 3

So what should i buy? Like receiver and amps,dsp what?

I ordered a 5 channel Song series and am just going to run them off my Sony STR-DA3100ES receiver. I have heard that they aren't difficult speakers to drive at all, so it will do for the near term.

After that, I am thinking about Either an Integra 9.8 Pre/Pro or Emotiva XMC-1 Pre/Pro and Emotiva XPA-5.

Doug
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post #644 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Your receiver should run them fine, Doug. I will be using an Onkyo 805 until I acquire the funds for a 2-channel integrated or dedicated 2-channel preamp and amp. The receiver will be fine, but the Song Tower's will really come to life when the extra muscle is put into place. Until then, something is better than nothing, right?

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Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #645 of 9305 Old 04-23-2008, 08:58 PM
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I have figured out how to post pics, so here is my HT with HT3s, and HTC and a pair of HT1s for surround. Also have Speakercraft in the ceiling for rears in a 7.2 system.

gthomas
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post #646 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 03:37 AM
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Sweet...... What veneer and color are those speakers?
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post #647 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nethomas View Post








I have figured out how to post pics, so here is my HT with HT3s, and HTC and a pair of HT1s for surround. Also have Speakercraft in the ceiling for rears in a 7.2 system.

Wow, that is one of the nicest setups I've seen! Me likey!

What TV is that?

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #648 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 05:44 AM
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The speakers are South American Rosewood with the hand rubbed finish. The TV is a Sony 70XBR2. Pre-Pro is the new Denon AVP A1HD. Amp is a Gemstone and the subs are twin JL Audio F113.

Gene

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post #649 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Dual F113's? Wow, you must be boomin'! Very nice system; I'm jealous.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #650 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 06:20 AM
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They work!!

gthomas
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post #651 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 09:11 AM
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I saw two individuals listed on the Frappr map near me but no contacts....I'd like to hear someone Songtowers and see what all the commotion is about. Please PM me if you are available and close.

Thanks
Ron
near Tulsa, OK
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post #652 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsalk View Post

I heard a few comments recently about emails not getting through. Last Friday, a customer ordered some speakers and I never received his email. Yesterday he called to confirm that we were all set and I told him I never got it. (He later sent it to another address and we got things worked out.)

I did a little research and found that it was the spam filter on the server that was preventing some emails from getting to us. The server checks to make sure the address of the sender is legitimate. If it cannot confirm the address, it trashes the message. This eliminates a good deal of spam. But it also eliminates legitimate emails as well.

At any rate, if you have tried to contact us and have not received a reply, you can try one the following addresses: jimsalk(at)comcast.net, jimsalk(at)att.net and jsalk(at)salk.net (subsitute "@" for "(at)".) One of them should get through with no problems.

If you have a more detailed question, feel free to call (248) 814-8062. This is my personal cell phone number and I carry it with me at all times. (If I'm tied up and can't answer, simply leave a voicemail and I'll get back to you ASAP.) Often this is a more efficient way of answering detailed questions. Emails take a while to write and sometimes I don't have time at the point I receive them.

We always try and answer emails promptly. Sometimes we're so busy, we simply can't do it. But you should never run into a situation where it would take more than a day or so for an answer. In that case, if would be safe to assume we never received your message.

I hope this helps.

- Jim


Jim, Thanks so much for this reply. I was getting worried that you weren't interested in selling me speakers.. or something. I've sent a couple of emails in the past few weeks with no response, but I will try the other emails you have listed and see if that works better. If not, I'll just call (I'm not in a big hurry so I don't feel any need to call at the moment).
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post #653 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 10:53 AM
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Count me as a future Songtower owner!!!! I put in my order for a set with Oak fronts, and black satin sides and back. Also matching SongCenter as well. Will be moving my Dana 630 (hope to soon be 630i's) to the rear for surrounds. I already have an eD A3-300 for the low end fill (love it by the way, my walls may need reinforcements)
I previously had a sub-sat Polk Audio RM system before...while great little speakers, they are not audiophile level. I'm so excited about this order. I've never spent this much on a pair of speakers. BTW, never listened to them either. I am also going to order the Emotiva LPA-1 for my amp. Connecting to my Sony reciever (has low level outputs), Oppo DVD/DVD-A/SACD player, and Pioneer 42" Plasma hanging from the wall above the oak fireplace....like a kid waiting for Christmas to arrive right now!!
I'm located in North Iowa....according to the Frapper Map....I've got the exclusivity down for 100's of miles!!!

Question....I've got a class reunion coming up, and am in charge of providing music. Class of 88!!! It was going to be pretty simple, just do some mixing, and have it on my notebook, or Zune, and have them play the order I want, and hook it to either a portable Fender amp and speaker system. But my other thought is to bring the Salk's and Emotiva along, and get a much nicer sound quality for everyone to enjoy....am I crazy to dare bring them? I don't think they would have anyone near them to worry about them much. Will they provide enough output for a dance like setting??
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post #654 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 11:02 AM
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BTW, never listened to them either.

Isn't it ironic how many of us are willing to take a leap of faith based on other's reviews and buy something we've never heard, especially when the number one answer here when someone asks "what speakers should I buy" is always "go and listen to some". For me, it was reading Mr. Salk's posts/responses on here and other forums and in emails with him, as well as the fact that nobody has anything bad to say about these speakers. I haven't placed my order yet, as I'm not in a hurry, but it will be coming soon.

Fortunately, I have the opportunity to go listen to an ST setup today!. I can't wait to hear them, but I've already made up my mind that these are what I'm getting. I'm doubtful that actually listening to them will have any impact on my decision, but I'll certainly report back after hearing them.
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post #655 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Count me as a future Songtower owner!!!! I put in my order for a set with Oak fronts, and black satin sides and back. Also matching SongCenter as well. Will be moving my Dana 630 (hope to soon be 630i's) to the rear for surrounds. I already have an eD A3-300 for the low end fill (love it by the way, my walls may need reinforcements)
I previously had a sub-sat Polk Audio RM system before...while great little speakers, they are not audiophile level. I'm so excited about this order. I've never spent this much on a pair of speakers. BTW, never listened to them either. I am also going to order the Emotiva LPA-1 for my amp. Connecting to my Sony reciever (has low level outputs), Oppo DVD/DVD-A/SACD player, and Pioneer 42" Plasma hanging from the wall above the oak fireplace....like a kid waiting for Christmas to arrive right now!!
I'm located in North Iowa....according to the Frapper Map....I've got the exclusivity down for 100's of miles!!!

Question....I've got a class reunion coming up, and am in charge of providing music. Class of 88!!! It was going to be pretty simple, just do some mixing, and have it on my notebook, or Zune, and have them play the order I want, and hook it to either a portable Fender amp and speaker system. But my other thought is to bring the Salk's and Emotiva along, and get a much nicer sound quality for everyone to enjoy....am I crazy to dare bring them? I don't think they would have anyone near them to worry about them much. Will they provide enough output for a dance like setting??

Congrats on your purchase!

Honestly, I wouldn't bring your speakers. I don't think your old class mates will be worrying about what the sound quality of the speakers is like. It's likely they will be too distracted by conversing with their old chums and pigging out on the food. Keep those gems at home!

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Congrats on your purchase!

Honestly, I wouldn't bring your speakers. I don't think your old class mates will be worrying about what the sound quality of the speakers is like. It's likely they will be too distracted by conversing with their old chums and pigging out on the food. Keep those gems at home!

I'd be the type who would be inclined to want to show off my new purchase, but the truth the matter is most people just don't care what the music sounds like as long as it's good music.
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post #657 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Congrats on your purchase!

Honestly, I wouldn't bring your speakers. I don't think your old class mates will be worrying about what the sound quality of the speakers is like. It's likely they will be too distracted by conversing with their old chums and pigging out on the food. Keep those gems at home!

+1

Why risk it?
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post #658 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 12:39 PM
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Just go rent a cheap pa system, I would never take home speakers to a space that large and expect much from them, not to mention risk of damage etc. If you want to show them off invite a few friends over after the reunion.

Class of 88 here also.
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post #659 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Varrius View Post

Isn't it ironic how many of us are willing to take a leap of faith based on other's reviews and buy something we've never heard, especially when the number one answer here when someone asks "what speakers should I buy" is always "go and listen to some". For me, it was reading Mr. Salk's posts/responses on here and other forums and in emails with him, as well as the fact that nobody has anything bad to say about these speakers. I haven't placed my order yet, as I'm not in a hurry, but it will be coming soon.

Fortunately, I have the opportunity to go listen to an ST setup today!. I can't wait to hear them, but I've already made up my mind that these are what I'm getting. I'm doubtful that actually listening to them will have any impact on my decision, but I'll certainly report back after hearing them.

Wow, there are a lot of new SongTower owners, or owners-to-be, on this page. Congratulations to all of you, Varrius, UT-Driven, usfscaptian14, and rickneuropa!

Varrius, the reasons you cite for buying speakers from Jim Salk without ever hearing them are similar to what many of us have gone through. As far as I know, no one has regretted it - myself included. Dealing with Jim Salk has been a pleasure that I am happy to recommend to strangers.

Once you get speakers, I hope you put yourself on the Frappr map of Salk owners, and allow others to hear them. I have had two people call me in the last month or so to hear my SongTowers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickneuropa View Post

Question....I've got a class reunion coming up, and am in charge of providing music. Class of 88!!! It was going to be pretty simple, just do some mixing, and have it on my notebook, or Zune, and have them play the order I want, and hook it to either a portable Fender amp and speaker system. But my other thought is to bring the Salk's and Emotiva along, and get a much nicer sound quality for everyone to enjoy....am I crazy to dare bring them? I don't think they would have anyone near them to worry about them much. Will they provide enough output for a dance like setting??

Like all the others, I say keep your SongTowers at home. Even if you never damage them by playing them loud in some large room, you might ding the finish when moving them. And that would be a shame. I have built some speakers as a hobby. I've even veneered some, sweating intensely over microscopic flaws in the finish. Nothing I can do comes close to the quality of Jim Salk's woodwork. The photos look great, but when you see your speakers for real, you'll understand that the last thing to do with them is to throw them in a van for a road trip!
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post #660 of 9305 Old 04-24-2008, 09:47 PM
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So as promised, I will write up my impressions of the Salk Song Towers.

Hieu (rockets97) and I went over to Micky's (I don't know his handle, Heiu set it up) house this afternoon to check out the ST's. So first, let me thank Micky for having us, it was a real treat. Unfortunately, I was very limited on time since I had to get back to work later that afternoon. I think the total audition was around 30 minutes, with some talking in between. Definately a lot shorter than I would have liked, but long enough for me to know I'm making the right purchase.

I'll start with their appereance. The were a bit bigger than I had expected, but not overbearingly big. I guess I had just never used a tape measure and figured out how big they were based on measurements from the Salk website. As far as tower speakers go, they are somewhere in the middle size wise. The finish was a custom stained oak (to match Micky's other furniture). It appeared to be very well done, I saw no flaws in the finish. They do look a little boxy, since that's basically what they are is a box. I've seen fancier designs (rounded edges, angles, etc) but with their shiny woodwork, they were still a treat to look at. My overall impression of their appearance: Acceptable, and if you get a nice wood/stain combo the wife like's you shouldn't have any problems with the WAF as the woodwork is clearly well done.

Sound quality:

They were driven by a Onkyo 505 (I think it was?). I was very surprised to find that this 75 WPC receiver could take these so loud. At one point we had them up where I couldn't hear myself yelling at the other guys.. and I'm pretty sure the receiver still had more power to give. The sound filled his room quite well. I'm not sure on dimensions, but it was a fair sized living room with a hallway and kitchen attached. If I had any concerns that my future 3808 (probably) could drive these, they were subdued.

The room: Hardwood floors, normal sheetrocked walls, and no acoustical treatments that I noticed. I don't have personal experience with sound treatments (yet), so I can't comment on that aspect of the audition, but I thought I'd include the information to be thorough.

Forgive me for not knowing what the pieces of music we listened to are called. Neither Heiu or I brought an audition CD, so we mostly stuck with what Micky had. So, we began with a piece that featured trumpets at one point. It wasn't really what I'd call clasical music, more along the lines of band music. The sound of the trumpet was amazing, as if someone was playing in the room. I couldn't believe the detail I was hearing in the mid's and high's. This particular piece of music featured little to no bass, so I couldn't evaluate that yet.

Then he switched over to some classical music, I believe it was a symphony piece, albeit one that I wasn't familiar with. For some reason, my memory isn't recalling a whole lot about this piece. Odd, because I really wanted to check out how classical music sounded on the ST's. I do recall noticing the exceptional detail in the midrange, it really is just there.

After that we decided to pop in a DVD and see how they did on movies. Micky also has a modified (no port) center channel to match his ST's. The dialogue was very clear, again the midrange on these speakers is just phenominal. I didn't find myself struggling to hear dialogue like I do with my current setup. For home theater, I'd say these speakers are superb.

Finally, I asked if I could bring in a CD of my own. I wanted to get a perspective on their sound with some music I knew fairly well. I happened to have a Buckcherry CD in the truck, so we popped it in. We only listened to one track, Sorry. I chose this track specifically to check out the bass response, since I hadn't had a chance to do that yet. I will say, I felt it was lacking for the size tower the ST is. HOWEVER, I believe Micky had his receiver running crossed over to use his subwoofer, which he simply turned the volume down on when we asked. It's very possible this was the cause of the low bass response. Besides, I'm planning to use them with a sub as well, so it doesn't really concern me too much (although I wouldn't mind hearing what they are capable of if sent a full spectrum signal).

After confirmation by Micky (below), his receiver was indeed left crossed over for use with his sub. This obviously explains the lack of low end response, to no fault of the Songtowers.

So I've commented on the low end response and the midrange, so let me address the high's. For the classical type music, it sounded great. I'm not very up to speed on terminoligy, like airy or whatever, so I'll just say that they produced the high end very accurately, instruments sounded like they were right there in front of me. For the more rock related music, it was a little piercing. Perhaps my listening skills are undeveloped (I've never owned high end speakers before), or perhaps the lack of sound treatments had something to do with it. Or perhaps it was even the particular music that was chosen, given it was a very small sample (as I mentioned, I was very limited on time). In any case, I would say that from classical to rock to home theater, I enjoyed listening to them a great deal. I can't wait until my home is closer to being finished and I can get mine on order!

Many potential explanations of the somewhat harsh high end follow this post. And, while I do believe several of the explanations could have contributed to my perception, I have also since carefully listened to that track at loud volumes in other systems and also noted that the high end in that particular track can be piercing. I believe more than anything, the track itself is the biggest issue here, although I'm sure some of the other suggestions below might have contributed as well.

Edited to include explanations of criticism I had originally posted. Had we had more time to audition the speakers, it's quite possible I would have come to those conclusions before ever writing the review. Alas, I did not, so I thought it fair to provide the likely explanations of what I had heard here in my initial review for completeness. I still don't feel the ST's themselves were at fault in any case, I was simply reporting what I heard.
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