Originally Posted by rlhaudio
I would hate to hide the speakers behind my AT screen since the finish is beautiful. I wonder if I can purchase them unfinished....
That is certainly doable. We are a custom builder, so we work with clients to build the speakers they desire. If unfinished is what you want, that is what you get.
For 2 channel they certainly are at the top of my list and those will be out in the open for everyone to enjoy the eye candy. I visited RAAL website and was reading about the different drivers they build. I also sent an email to learn more, that is when they mentioned the distortion over 90-95db. I sure wish SALK would chime in as im very curious if this is true or not.
All speaker drivers exhibit higher distortion levels as the output increases. This can be due to a number of factors such as increased levels of heat in the voice coil. We have not found this to be an issue with RAAL tweeters. To the contrary, users often report that the RAAL behaves just fine at elevated levels. In fact, whereas many dome tweeters can get bright and edgy at higher output levels, the RAAL behaves very well in similar situations. That is due, in part, because the RAAL plays up to 65 kHz, so anything in the audible range is a piece of cake. Some domes can struggle to cleanly reproduce frequencies at the upper limits of human hearing when driven to higher SPL levels. Not so with the RAAL. At least that's been my experience. (If this were not the case, we certainly wouldn't use them.)
I hope my FLAC music does not sound like crap if I purchase these for 2 channel. Im sure they are revealing but the source was done in a studio with loseless audio. Whey would they mix it to sound like crap. That may be the fault of the speaker itself. I have played tracks on B&W800D, Wilson Audio, Paradigm, Krell Modulari, Klipsch, Monitor Audio, Linn, Golden Ear Triton One and a few other hi-end high prices speakers and they never sounded like crap. Not sure why the Soundscapes would sound terrible but if the music source did then I would skip those speakers and find something else. Most the speakers I auditioned were price $10k - $160K But I am not spending that much on speaker when I know I can purchase a speaker for less that will sound as good or close.
This is a complicated issue and would require a longer response to fully explain. But here's the short version...
The SoundScape 8's were designed to be extremely accurate, detailed and transparent. They do not mask poorly recorded or mastered recordings. But on well-recorded and mastered recordings, they will provide a level of detail that you will not hear with a speaker that masks issues in a poor recording. Great recordings sound glorious. Poor recordings sound, well, poor.
There are many reasons some music is poorly recorded or mastered. In the mid-80's, for example, digital audio was new and it took a while for engineers to figure out how to work with it. Some of these early recordings had too much emphasis and sound overly bright on a very accurate speaker. Other recordings were mastered to sound good in automobiles, boomboxes and other low-fi consumer systems. Highs are sometimes accentuated and there is often a hump placed in the mid-bass response designed to increase the perceived level of bass with these types of playback systems. (Small Yamaha NS-10 monitors, not known for accuracy, are still widely used to mix and monitor music so that engineers can tailor the sound for lesser systems.)
These issues are becoming less prevalent as time goes on. Recordings in general are becoming better and better. But is is true, with respect to music that is poorly recorded or poorly mastered (on purpose or by accident), a highly accurate speaker like the SS8 will not mask the flaws the way some lesser speakers will. The flip side is that these lesser speakers will never be able to provide the "magic" sound quality contained a great recording like the SS8's do. That is the trade-off.