Originally Posted by rlhaudio
Do you guys that use your Salk speakers for Home Theater feel the Raal tweeter is the way to go or are conventional domes a better choice? I keep having a debate inside my head concerning the Raal tweeter with or without Accuton drivers. I listened to Klipsch horns and Waveguides but they cause fatigue too quickly. I built a pair of DIY Tempest but they lack any midrange or soundstage depth. Horns and Waveguides were recommended due to their high spl/db but I prefer "clarity with my vocals and a deep realistic sound stage" I once owned B&W 802D which were my favorite speaker. I also like the sound of Wilson Sasha's, Klipcsh Palladium only, Monitor Audio platinum (they use a ribbon). I have auditioned Magnepan but they were too laid back for my taste however I don't want "in your face" sound either. If I am looking at purchasing a speaker should I include the Raal ribbon or stick with a conventional dome? I know Salk offers both but leans heavily toward the Raal in most of your speakers.
So, for those Home Theater only or 80/20 split, which Salk speakers do you prefer and why? If I were to audition commercially available speakers, which brand closely resembles the Raal tweeter? My theater room is 24x16x9 and I already have 4 1000watt 15" subwoofers.
So I can help you on a few things here.
First the blue speakers that are now brown (and let me tell you, it looks SO much better in person it's scary) are mine. The brown is deeper and richer. The light makes them look a shade more orange than they are in person. Awesome.
As for the RAAL. I actually sold Klipsch Palladium's to move to the SS8's. While the Palladiums are quite good for a Klipsch speaker, or really any speaker (though the P37's don't play particularly low), they can suffer from a bit of brightness still, particularly the tweeter when pushed at loud levels. I do think they were better than the Diamond series from B+W, other than not playing as low though. Very articulate speakers and no honkiness at all. But I always felt that cymbals in particular really get pushed forward when pushed to high DB's. I was using a Marantz AV8801 pre-pro with them and a Butler 5150 amp. I had that same gear in making the move to the SS8's and now the SS7 center channel (which is awesome). I did have the Palladium center channel also.
Now the Salks are just as articulate, detailed and uncolored as the Palladiums, but they just aren't as bright on the high end. The Palladiums are very nice through the midrange, nothing snaps a snare drum like a klipsch IMO. BUT the Salks have 95% of that snap, and the accuton midrange is really the star of the speaker IMO. It does vocals and voices better than anything I have ever heard. It's also unreal on guitars etc. But, for a HT speaker I think you would be THRILLED with the Salks, but I would pony up for the Soundscape center also to get that midrange. It's a big center (and the SS8 center is bigger) But I can't tell you how clear and accurate voices are now from my center.
Now I did start with the Butler 5150 and Marantz with the SS8's and it was a very, very nice combo. But I had the opportunity to move to some used Classe gear (ssp-800 and ca5200) and it's unreal. It is smoother than the Marantz for sure. I would have liked to hear the Palladiums with the Classe pre-pro as it's smoother for a comparison, but the SS8's are better IMO. Play lower, and just do everything right.
They are 95% as dynamic as the Klipsch (one of the great Klipsch home theater attributes) and smoother, more accurate, play lower and I couldn't be happier. The Raal tweeters are outstanding. They play sky high but really are not bright.
I would tell you that the SS8's are revealing of your sources though. Even moreso than the Klipsch.
Now I am a 60/40 guy music to blu-rays (I love concert blu rays).
I would tell you this though as I don't hate klipsch like many. If I were doing a "budget" home theater I would likely have Klipsch at the top of my list as you don't need big power to drive them, they are dynamic and the brightness isn't quite as big of a deal in a theater. Some may prefer it.
But, if you are going to step up the pricepoint the SS8's and matching center are just fantastic. I actually still use my Klipsch THX bi-polar rears in my 5.2 theater. They are fine. I don't listen to 5 channel audio often.
Feel free to PM or post here with more questions.