The Official Salk Sound Owner's And Discussion Thread - Page 245 - AVS Forum
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post #7321 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post

Thanks. Its a fairly large great room open to the breakfast area/kitchen. I don't plan on a subwoofer. 2.0 channel purely for music. That is what has me thinking SCST. RAAL? Not sure if my 55 year old ears would benefit.

The Super-Charged SongTower's come standard with the RAAL, and I really do think you're ears will benefit from it, unless you're a 55-year-old underground heavy metal fan, of course.

Any idea of the cu. ft. of that entire space? Would you be able to instead move up to the HT2-TL's for another $1k or so? Also, what will you be using to power the speakers?

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post #7322 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 06:46 AM
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It took me a while to unpack the six speakers and get everything set up. (They're packed very well by the way.) I was concerned the espresso dye I chose would too dark and hide the beautiful walnut grain but such concerns were unfounded. Man are these speakers beautiful. They're also quite large. The Towers are about sternum-high, the sub is just this big beautiful cube and the front-ported center is about the size of my AVR. Aesthetically speaking they're just all-out fantastic. As large as these speakers are, a complex or audacious veneer might be a bit distracting and may not age all that well. So I'm glad I went conservative and decided against the ebony.

I managed to get in about 30 minutes of music listening before bed. The upgrade from Polk Monitor 50s to the supercharged SongTowers is radical. The lower end is delicious. I'll reserve critical comments until I run Audyssey and play around with the Rythmik's settings a bit. They're much better than what I had.

I love them.

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post #7323 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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It took me a while to unpack the six speakers and get everything set up. (They're packed very well by the way.) I was concerned the espresso dye I chose would too dark and hide the beautiful walnut grain but such concerns were unfounded. Man are these speakers beautiful. They're also quite large. The Towers are about sternum-high, the sub is just this big beautiful cube and the front-ported center is about the size of my AVR. Aesthetically speaking they're just all-out fantastic. As large as these speakers are, a complex or audacious veneer might be a bit distracting and may not age all that well. So I'm glad I went conservative and decided against the ebony.

I managed to get in about 30 minutes of music listening before bed. The upgrade from Polk Monitor 50s to the supercharged SongTowers is radical. The lower end is delicious. I'll reserve critical comments until I run Audyssey and play around with the Rythmik's settings a bit. They're much better than what I had.

I love them.

Some advice, if I may: Listen without Audyssey entirely for a while. Input the speaker distances and level matching settings yourself using a SPL meter (if applicable with your preamp/receiver). Audyssey can do great things below the Schroeder Frequency but can also muck up the mids and highs. I strongly recommend disengaging it to start. Once familiar with the Salk's, run Audyssey and at that time determine which presentation you prefer. I cannot stress using this method enough good sir! If you think about it, a dedicated 2-channel preamp doesn't come with Audyssey. Just sayin'.

I am very excited to read your listening impressions! How about some pics of your new babies in their natural habitat?

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 #7324 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Some advice, if I may: Listen without Audyssey entirely for a while...... I cannot stress using this method enough good sir! If you think about it, a dedicated 2-channel preamp doesn't come with Audyssey. Just sayin'.

I am very excited to read your listening impressions! How about some pics of your new babies in their natural habitat?

Sound advice but for me (my speakers and room), Audyssey XT32 still won - even in stereo. Before XT32, Audyssey improved 5 channel but not stereo.
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post #7325 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Sound advice but for me (my speakers and room), Audyssey XT32 still won - even in stereo. Before XT32, Audyssey improved 5 channel but not stereo.

Right on, and XT32 seems to be far superior to previous offerings; I just cannot stress how important it is to try both, starting with no Audyssey first. Who knows, maybe he won't benefit from it at all, in which case "don't fix what ain't broke." Or maybe it'll vastly improve things. It'll all depend on the room IMO.

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post #7326 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I just cannot stress how important it is to try both, starting with no Audyssey first. Who knows, maybe he won't benefit from it at all, in which case "don't fix what ain't broke." Or maybe it'll vastly improve things. It'll all depend on the room IMO.

This is very good advice. Audyssey can do wonders in terms of correcting for room modes. But in terms of midrange and tweeter response, the speaker's frequency response is already about as flat as you can get. So there isn't really anything that needs or warrants improvement. Any "improvement" in this area is likely to result in poorer sound quality as you are correcting for the room and the frequency response of the speakers will no longer be flat.

Every once and a while, a new customer will call to say the speakers sound good but not great. My first question is whether or not they have Audyssey and if they are using it. If they say yes, I advise them to turn it off. In EVERY case so far, they indicated the speakers sounded much better when they turned it off.

The problem, as I see it, is that Audyssey is a very powerful tool. But you can give me all the tools in the world and I still wouldn't be a capable brain surgeon. If used wisely, Audyssey can work very well. But in the hands of a novice, it can be somewhat problematic.

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post #7327 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 09:26 AM
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I've been using ARC in it's default settings with my current setup. When I get my new SCSTs I think I'm going to run it, but set the upper limit as low as possible, I think it can be set as low as 500hz. I'm also going to make sure the SCSTs cross over to the sub as low as possible. It's not hard to setup two inputs, one with, one without so I can compare. It really does help with bass management, but I don't want to mar the excellent response these speaker should already have.
I may run ARC for movies, but let the SCSTs run on their own for 2 channel music.
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post #7328 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Right on, and XT32 seems to be far superior to previous offerings; I just cannot stress how important it is to try both, starting with no Audyssey first. Who knows, maybe he won't benefit from it at all, in which case "don't fix what ain't broke." Or maybe it'll vastly improve things. It'll all depend on the room IMO.

Nuance, tell me this. May be this is a stupid question. If we are going to let the room correction software like Audyssey or whatever to adjust the EQ, what is the whole point in trying to get a speaker with ruler flat frequency response?
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post #7329 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Some advice, if I may: Listen without Audyssey entirely for a while. Input the speaker distances and level matching settings yourself using a SPL meter (if applicable with your preamp/receiver). Audyssey can do great things below the Schroeder Frequency but can also muck up the mids and highs. I strongly recommend disengaging it to start. Once familiar with the Salk's, run Audyssey and at that time determine which presentation you prefer. I cannot stress using this method enough good sir! If you think about it, a dedicated 2-channel preamp doesn't come with Audyssey. Just sayin'.

I am very excited to read your listening impressions! How about some pics of your new babies in their natural habitat?

My old Onkyo had Audyssey. I didn't like what it did so I just level-matched by ear using the test tones. However, the XT32 is considerably better, at least on the ol' Polks. I'm going to let the new speakers breathe a bit before I run it.

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post #7330 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

The Super-Charged SongTower's come standard with the RAAL, and I really do think you're ears will benefit from it, unless you're a 55-year-old underground heavy metal fan, of course.

Any idea of the cu. ft. of that entire space? Would you be able to instead move up to the HT2-TL's for another $1k or so? Also, what will you be using to power the speakers?

No, I won't move up to the HT2-TLs. Its a large area, vaulted ceiling to boot. I'll be retiring in 3-5 years and plan to downsize houses, maybe even to a condo or townhouse. So I'm looking ahead as well. HT2s would be a little much. Powering with a Denon 3311ci right now. Once I purchase new speakers, I'll probably start shopping around for an integrated 2.0. Although streaming lossless files via airplay is convienient.

Not a heavy metal fan per se. Although I like to give "Live at CBGBs" a listen every now and then.
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post #7331 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

The Super-Charged SongTower's come standard with the RAAL, and I really do think you're ears will benefit from it, unless you're a 55-year-old underground heavy metal fan, of course.

Any idea of the cu. ft. of that entire space? Would you be able to instead move up to the HT2-TL's for another $1k or so? Also, what will you be using to power the speakers?

Advice on Audyssey is very good. I generally use audyssey flat with dynamic eq as I frequently have low level background music going. Loud listening in sitting position is usually off.
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post #7332 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Right on, and XT32 seems to be far superior to previous offerings; I just cannot stress how important it is to try both, starting with no Audyssey first. Who knows, maybe he won't benefit from it at all, in which case "don't fix what ain't broke." Or maybe it'll vastly improve things. It'll all depend on the room IMO.

from a frequency response perspective, what i have found is that audyssey pro leaves pretty much everything above 500hz alone in my room... of course, there's very little for it to do anyway... i have pretty darn flat response in that region.... this obviously was true of xt32 too...

however, it kicks major tail up to the schroeder fq, especially the part of the energy contributed by the subs... and in the "tweener" zone, it don't hurt, that's for sure...

on a side note, subjectively, pro has had other positive effects in my room...

however, i think that because my room/setup is at least decent enough that it's not mucking with the radiant energy zone, the effective range of xt32/pro in here is constrained to the area where it can be the most helpful and least hurtful...

also as jim noted.... the tool is only as good as the person using it (not implying anyone on this thread is incompetent or is running it wrong), and "trust but verify" definitely rings true... any automated rc results should be confirmed by independent measuring... this cannot be stressed enough, and anyone who is spending the kind of money required to buy jim's speakers (as well as an avr with a 4 figure price tag) is doing themselves a disservice by not acquiring measuring tools if they do not already have them...

also, the automated tool can only do so much... there's limitations to the algorithms (like any piece of software)... after the "automated" part is done, further manual adjustments to crossovers and sub delays is almost always beneficial...

ymmv, of course... just wanted to stick a "positive" experience in here... i've had great success with both xt32 and pro in my room...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

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post #7333 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 01:43 PM
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Unfortunately most people with Audyssey don't go the Pro route, I don't think you can see any charts or tweak anything without it. That was one of the reasons I went with ARC.
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post #7334 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 01:51 PM
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^^^

with xt32, you can change the xovers/delays, and that can be used to great effect...

the "graphs" provided by pro aren't really of any value, as they are predicted, not "real"... they only have value if they aren't flat in the predicted result... the user needs to measure themselves if they want to see what is really happening...

pro does give you the ability to set a target curve, which is nice if you want to dial in a bit of a house curve... and as noted, there are some subjective improvements of pro vs. xt32...

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post #7335 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisbeautiful View Post
Nuance, tell me this. May be this is a stupid question. If we are going to let the room correction software like Audyssey or whatever to adjust the EQ, what is the whole point in trying to get a speaker with ruler flat frequency response?
It's not a stupid question. EQ adjusts the input signal, not the speaker, and it does it pre-speaker, so you're not changing the actual speaker. If the speaker measures poorly and is flawed EQ won't change that. The issues in most rooms are the frequencies below 200-300Hz, so if you can resolve those there is usually no reason to change the signal above that provided the speakers are well designed (having a good polar and sound power response). The human ear can detect a change in volume of as little as 1dB, so that's why we probably prefer "ruler flat frequency response."

See Dr. Sean Olive's speaker case study regarding a flat on and off-axis frequency response and the overall preference (it's attached).

 

Olive_2003.pdf 270.64453125k . file

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post #7336 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 06:21 PM
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EQ adjusts the input signal, not the speaker, and it does it pre-speaker, so you're not changing the actual speaker. If the speaker measures poorly and is flawed EQ won't change that. The issues in most rooms are the frequencies below 200-300Hz, so if you can resolve those there is usually no reason to change the signal above that provided the speakers are well designed (having a good polar and sound power response).

While I understand this, what I can't seem to grasp is if the speaker measures well, without flaws, what justification does Audyssey have to adjust the EQ above 300Hz? I may be wrong, but my understanding is that Audyssey XT32 is not discerning with regard to frequencies across the spectrum.

I know, I have much experimenting (and learning) to do with my upcoming speakers, but even now I prefer 2 channel listening without MultiEQ. I doubt very seriously with the increased accuracy of the new speakers this will change, but I still wonder why a change may (although it may not) be forthcoming. I base this on two presumptions - that I like my music 'raw' now may be an indication that my room is ok, and many people, yourself included, dismiss Audyssey while listening to music.

One caveat - I definitely appreciate the difference after Audyssey in HT.


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post #7337 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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While I understand this, what I can't seem to grasp is if the speaker measures well, without flaws, what justification does Audyssey have to adjust the EQ above 300Hz? I may be wrong, but my understanding is that Audyssey XT32 is not discerning with regard to frequencies across the spectrum.

I know, I have much experimenting (and learning) to do with my upcoming speakers, but even now I prefer 2 channel listening without MultiEQ. I doubt very seriously with the increased accuracy of the new speakers this will change, but I still wonder why a change may (although it may not) be forthcoming. I base this on two presumptions - that I like my music 'raw' now may be an indication that my room is ok, and many people, yourself included, dismiss Audyssey while listening to music.

One caveat - I definitely appreciate the difference after Audyssey in HT.


It's all room dependent. If Audyssey deems it necessary to make changes above the Schroeder Frequency then there may be issues such as excess decay/ringing, nulls and peaks, cancellations etc., most (if not all) caused by the room. There are other ways to fix those issues besides altering the input signal, but placing a mic in a few locations and letting a software program go to town is likely more convenient for most people, and the results below the Schroeder Frequency are significantly improved (hence your more enjoyable HT experience perhaps) so it's appealing. I'm not saying Audyssey is bad; I'm just saying try listening with and without for a good period of time and decide which you prefer. If your room is "sound" you may decide you don't like or need Audyssey. If it's a poor acoustical space Audyssey might work wonders...or it might not. There's only one way to find out, and whichever option you choose should not be challenged if you put in the time to compare both. Only your happiness matters.

I take a different approach: I use a dedicated preamp with HT bypass for music, then bypass to the receiver but running the subs through an external parametric EQ. The EQ only gets applied to the frequencies below the crossover, never effecting those above it (only the subs run through it, not the speakers). I handle the "major" issues with the PEQ and bass traps, and any issues above 300Hz with room treatments and placement experimentation. Like I said, Audyssey is a lot easier; I have just never liked the results above the Schroeder Frequency. YMMV and to each their own. Just try both - you owe it to yourself and your amazing speakers.

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post #7338 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 07:26 PM
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Back to Salk talk, I've been talking to Jim about a pair of SCSTs in a veneer and a satin black custom sized SC CC. This was in an email from him this morning, I ordered them a few hours later:

"If you are looking for something VERY unusual, here is a link to pictures of a batch I just purchased yesterday. I have worked with makore before and even bees wing figuring patterns, but I have never seen a spalted, bees wing makore before and just had to purchase it. I was told the German company that cut the veneer indicated that they had never seen a log like this before. It would add about $300 to the cost of a pair of speakers, but you would have a unique finish no one will have ever seen before and likely would never be able to get in the future."

The wait begins...
LL
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post #7339 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saeyedoc View Post

Back to Salk talk, I've been talking to Jim about a pair of SCSTs in a veneer and a satin black custom sized SC CC. This was in an email from him this morning, I ordered them a few hours later:

"If you are looking for something VERY unusual, here is a link to pictures of a batch I just purchased yesterday. I have worked with makore before and even bees wing figuring patterns, but I have never seen a spalted, bees wing makore before and just had to purchase it. I was told the German company that cut the veneer indicated that they had never seen a log like this before. It would add about $300 to the cost of a pair of speakers, but you would have a unique finish no one will have ever seen before and likely would never be able to get in the future."

The wait begins...

Bad Ass - and no (Audyssey) correction needed!
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post #7340 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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That's one incredible looking veneer! Welcome to the Salk family buddy!

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 #7341 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saeyedoc View Post

Back to Salk talk, I've been talking to Jim about a pair of SCSTs in a veneer and a satin black custom sized SC CC. This was in an email from him this morning, I ordered them a few hours later:

"If you are looking for something VERY unusual, here is a link to pictures of a batch I just purchased yesterday. I have worked with makore before and even bees wing figuring patterns, but I have never seen a spalted, bees wing makore before and just had to purchase it. I was told the German company that cut the veneer indicated that they had never seen a log like this before. It would add about $300 to the cost of a pair of speakers, but you would have a unique finish no one will have ever seen before and likely would never be able to get in the future."

The wait begins...

While I am not an owner, I always like coming into the Salk thread and seeing all the very brilliant veneers and speaker craftsmanship Man these are some gorgeous looking speakers. I am sure they sound as amazing as they look.

The more I read about Jim's speakers and his building process the more I think about taking the plunge myself.
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post #7342 of 9213 Old 05-24-2012, 11:30 PM
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saeyedoc- That veneer is awesome! I thought I saw the Buddha there! Dig it man, they are going to be truly unique, can't wait to see pics of the finished product.

->>>≈<<<-
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post #7343 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 06:52 AM
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saeyedoc- That veneer is awesome! I thought I saw the Buddha there! Dig it man, they are going to be truly unique, can't wait to see pics of the finished product.



Oddly enough I think I see him too Must be the tea I'm drinking...

Awesome finish.

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post #7344 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 08:22 AM
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Oddly enough I think I see him too Must be the tea I'm drinking...

Awesome finish.

Djoel

That's just the veneer, can't wait to see what the SCST's look like after Jim works his magic. Luckily they come with a full baffle.
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post #7345 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 02:40 PM
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Well, here they are as promised. As you can see, things are a bit tight, but they're settling into their new home nicely. (The Surround I rears, not pictured, are against the back wall.) Everything in my place is so beige and bright that I wanted a nice dark veneer for contrast, so I went with espresso on walnut. I was afraid the dark dye might hide the grain, but it shows through much more nicely than these pictures indicate.


I think they're beautiful and I love looking at them, but hearing the new sounds and lower frequencies on familiar sountracks have been making me downright giddy. Thanks again Salk and company.
LL
LL
LL
LL


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post #7346 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

Attachment 247623

Attachment 247624

Attachment 247626

Attachment 247627

Well, here they are as promised. As you can see, things are a bit tight, but they're settling into their new home nicely. Everything in my place is so beige and bright that I wanted a nice dark veneer for contrast, so I went with espresso on walnut. I was afraid the dark dye might hide the grain, but it shows through much more nicely than these pictures indicate. (The Surround I rears, not pictured, are against the back wall.)

I think they're beautiful and I love looking at them, but hearing the new sounds and lower frequencies on familiar sountracks have been making me downright giddy. Thanks again Salk and company.

Beautiful!

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post #7347 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 03:20 PM
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those are VERY nice...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #7348 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 03:46 PM
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Saeydoc,
I thought I saw you were also considering the Vapor Cirus and the Selah Tempestas. How did you decide on the SCST's? Thanks and congrats on your choice.
Steve
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post #7349 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 04:53 PM
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Saeydoc,
I thought I saw you were also considering the Vapor Cirus and the Selah Tempestas. How did you decide on the SCST's? Thanks and congrats on your choice.
Steve

With the Vapor I was a little concerned about spending that kind of money on a fairly new company that's been having trouble meeting estimated delivery times. I couldn't see waiting 6 months+, I know I'd find something else I wanted more by then. It does seem very well engineered and built though.

With the Tempesta, I think the version in the standard cabinet is a great value, but I wasn't sure the standard Dayton cabinets would pass aesthetic muster with my wife. The upgraded version is just veneer over the pre-built cabinets and was pushing the high end of my budget. I wouldn't hesitate to buy something from Selah in the future though.

The other speaker I was seriously considering was the Pioneer EX series. You can pick up the $7k S2-EX monitor including the $1500 stand for $5k. It looks really well built and uses TAD drivers. The deal breaker there was that they wouldn't sell me 3 and their CC wouldn't work well in my situation.

After exchanging a few emails with Jim, he was pointing me away from the monitor route and gave me several good reasons for looking at the SCST or HT-2 TL instead. I chose the SCST due to the slimmer profile and easier placement with the TL design. It has a smaller footprint than the monitors I'd been looking at and with his reputation for superb cabinetry, it has high WAF. It will also go quite a bit lower than the monitors and is significantly more sensitive. When he mentioned the unusual veneer he had just found, it felt like everything was coming together and I jumped on it. I was getting a lot of resistance on my idea of an identical CC speaker in front of our fireplace so I went with having Jim make me a custom one to fit my space.
I think the combination of Paul Kittinger's TL designs, Dennis Murphy's crossover and Jim Salk's cabinetry is tough to beat and they're a stable company that's been around for a while.
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post #7350 of 9213 Old 05-25-2012, 05:15 PM
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The other speaker I was seriously considering was the Pioneer EX series. You can pick up the $7k S2-EX monitor including the $1500 stand for $5k. It looks really well built and uses TAD drivers. The deal breaker there was that they wouldn't sell me 3 and their CC wouldn't work well in my situation.

That is a damn shame! The S-1EX is one of my favorite speakers. Andrew Jones is my favorite designer. The S-1EX can be had for about 5K. I had a dealer offer me the floor model for 5K, but I could have talked him into new.

Idk why they wouldn't sell you three S-2EX. I would have been uber mad and gone to another dealer. What dealer did you go to?

**By no means do I want to take away from Jim & Dennis. They makes some very nice looking and sounding speakers. I was just saying. :P

HAVE:

Receiver: Marantz SR6004
Speakers: Philharmonic 2; TagMclaren Calliope; Pioneer BS-22
Sub: W15GTI MKII (Tuned to 20hz; 300 liter enclosure) X 2
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