The Official Salk Sound Owner's And Discussion Thread - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 9206 Old 02-09-2008, 07:50 AM
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Paul Kittinger is the TL guru. He designed the ST bass loading, and has also done TL's using larger drivers. As for any specific driver, you have to model the TS parameters and see which type of TL works best, and whether it's possibe to hit the target bass response in a cabinet size that's practical. I know Paul certainly got excellent results using an 8" ScanSpeak aluminum woofer (I heard it at the Iowa DIY event last October). Paul would have to tell you what challenges might be posed by a TL approach using a larger woofer.
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post #152 of 9206 Old 02-10-2008, 11:38 AM
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Guys,

Anyone running the SongTowers with a Denon receiver?
Any opinions on how well something like the 3808ci woul match up - both HT and 2 channel?

Any performance difference by placing the port on the front? (my room layout is going to require placing the back of the cabinet w/n 2" or so from the wall.)
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post #153 of 9206 Old 02-11-2008, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat2950 View Post

Anyone running the SongTowers with a Denon receiver? Any opinions on how well something like the 3808ci woul match up - both HT and 2 channel?

I use an older Denon AVR-1800 receiver as a preamp along with a B&K EX4420 2-channel amp, 200 watts/channel. The Denon receiver does about 75 watts/channel when in 2-channel mode, and that was plenty to drive the SongTowers. I already owned the external amp before I bought the SongTowers, so I use it. But I once tried the Denon alone with the SongTowers and it was fine. I used it this way for about 10 or 15 minutes just to see what it was like. The overload protection mode never came on. Your 3808ci is more powerful than my Denon. It should be fine.
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Any performance difference by placing the port on the front? (my room layout is going to require placing the back of the cabinet w/n 2" or so from the wall.)

Reread posts 146-147 above that talk about placing the SongTowers near a wall. You should have no problems with the standard vent location if the cabinet is placed 2" or so from the wall.
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post #154 of 9206 Old 02-25-2008, 09:57 PM
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Hey AV Forum, this is my first posting. I saw this tread and thought I had to share my experience about Salk Signature products. First let me say I don't own any Salk speakers but Oh Baby, I am working overtime and eating Top Ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to save up for some Salk speakers. Here's my story.

I recently introduced my friend Merv to the audiophile world. Well he really got into it, he read about audio stuff now day and night. Well after some heavy, heavy research Merv discovers Salk Signature Sound. I've been into audio for about 8 years now however I've always bought my gear from local audio retailers here in San Diego. I thought I had a good sounding system but let me tell you these speakers from Salk have made me so mad, I've had to reevaluate my system and wonder why my speakers aren't giving me the same love Mev's are giving him. I remember we went into one of our local High end audio stores and were talking to the sales guy/ owner and we mentioned that Merv was buying some Ellis 1801's from SALK Sound. He gave us a funny look and said Who and then why would you buy a speaker without listening to it? Merv said I've read a lot of good reviews in Audio Circle about them and I've done the research, I just have faith their going to be good. The sales guy/ owner said good luck with that. I have to say I was skeptical also, but very curious as well, plus it wasn't my money. Well Merv's faith has led him to the sweet spot of Audio Heaven. These speakers blew me away. We were listening to a live concert of Bob Marley and for the first time I heard people in the crowd that I've never heard before. I don't mean the obvious crowd noise, I'm talking about someone way way waaaaay in the back of the crowd, last row or something, I swear you could hear a person cough and then yell wooooooooooo. I think that's the first time I can say I felt speakers melt away and put you right there in the concert. Well that's not actually the first time, there was another time but it involved a bottle of Johnny Walker Red and I try to forget that night. Anyway, I've heard this CD many times on my own system but I've never heard it like this. What kind of voodoo is Salk putting into these speakers? I was so bent and twisted over these speakers after hearing them I ran home, put the same cd on and just got frustrated that I was not getting that sweet honey sound Merv is getting. Well with that said the next day I opened a SALK speaker saving account. I was lost but now I'm SALK found. Hopefully next year I will be able to place my order for some SALK speakers of my own .

HT 3 Speakers

PS- After seeing and hearing the quality of the Ellis 1801's Salk made I had to hear some more Salk Sound. Merv and I asked Salk if there was anyone in San Diego who had some HT3's that might let us listen to them. Salk referred us to Craig. It was rainy Sunday Morning in San Diego when we listened to Craig's HT3's but let me tell you there was nothing but sunshine in Craig's house that day.. The first thing that strikes you about these speakers is how beautiful the finish and build quality are. Then Craig fired up his amp popped in a CD. Then the HT3's began to blow several brain cells in my head. I'm only writing you this message with the ones I have left. I'm just a walking zombie now thanks to Salk. I'm totally addicted to the SALK sound. If you don't want to eat Top Ramen for the next couple of months I suggest you don't listen to anything Salk makes it will be your demise, it was mine.



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post #155 of 9206 Old 02-26-2008, 05:06 AM
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So let me get this straight, you LIKE the Salk speakers?

Good energy in your response. Now if we could only get more folks to take the plunge. I ran into 2 gentlemen in a local HiFi shop 2 weeks ago and they were hot to purchase but had no idea what to gravitate toward. I invited them over the next day and that week one of them purchased an entire ST 5.1 set up and a pair of HT2's as well from Jim. All they had to do was hear my V3's and HT3's and they were hooked. It's all good!
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post #156 of 9206 Old 02-26-2008, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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darredon -

Thanks for the response. It sounds like you had the same experience I did with Salk Sound, except I heard the "entry level" song tower's. All I could think to myself upon hearing them was, "if this is only the entry level...!!!???"

I hope you are able to live on Ramen and achieve your goal!

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post #157 of 9206 Old 02-26-2008, 04:30 PM
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Darredon--I forget--is Paypal OK for the bribe payment? It seems to have been worth every penny. I did want to make sure everyone understood that the 1801 is not a Salk design--Jim only adds his cabinetry magic to it. The 1801 is available directly from Ellisaudio.com in both kit and finished form. It is true, however, that the crossover for the 1801 is very similar to the HT1's, and the woofers are essentially identical. The only real difference is the tweeter--the excellent Hiquphon 0W1 for the 1801, the excellent G2 ribbon tweet for the HT1. Thanks again Darredon.
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post #158 of 9206 Old 02-26-2008, 07:10 PM
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Not to mention that he has duplicated this same post in at least two other sites
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post #159 of 9206 Old 02-26-2008, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
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Not to mention that he has duplicated this same post in at least two other sites


Yeah--we had a package deal.
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post #160 of 9206 Old 03-01-2008, 07:20 AM
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I'm so glad for this forum! As a long time and happy user of Henry Kloss products (AR, Advents and Cambridge Soundworks) I decided to try to find an individual speaker maker rather than the big company manufacturers. I have a 104" Carada BW screen and projector set-up as my HT and recently purchased an Onkyo 605 to power my old Cambridge Soundworks Ensamble speakers, along with Cambridge Center, Polk BravoII surrounds and 15" power sub. After about 15 years with the Ensambles I thought it was time to upgrade to towers for my front.

My search for a speaker maker who also sold direct (as did Kloss with his Cambridge line), led me to my two front runners: Salk and Aperion. In all the threads I've read here and other places, these two direct sale manufacturers seem to combine the best customer service, fit and finish and audio quality in the price range I am looking at ($1000-1500). The rave Aperion reviews first caught my attention. There was also mention of a new line, or I should say an update of these speakers coming out in March and April. I settled on the new 6T and was thinking of ordering them when introduced next month. The rave reviews of the current "6" series told me the new ones would be great speakers suitable for both music and HT. The price increase for the new ones jumped a bit but still were in my price range. Plus, Aperion ships free and if you don't like the speakers you can send them back no questions asked AND at their expense. I have not heard of anything like that since when I first bought my Cambridge speakers. I know one should audition speakers if possible but being an advocate of manufacturer direct sales that is not possible.

Then, I started to really study and read the experiences of Salk speaker owners, especially the Songtowers. The continuous input here and at other forums by Jim Salk and others who work with him in design has impressed me. They seem straight forward and answer questions honestly. That means as much to me as the generally positive reviews of his products.

Of course it would be wonderful to read a comparison of Aperion "6" series and Songtowers but I doubt many people have heard them both. But for you Songtower owners I have a couple of questions. First a perspective note. I will be 60 years old this year and no way do I have the hearing ability I had in my youth to detect the subtle differences you "audies" talk about. For this reason, although I could afford more, I decided the best value in speakers at this stage of the game for me rests in this $1500 range. Am I correct in assuming that Songtowers are built basically on an order basis, one at a time? I see where there are custom applications and custom cabinet woods available. Also, how is their packing? Everything I read about Aperion indicates they go overboard with their packing, including even gloves to prevent damage during set-up and I am wondering if Salk takes similar precautions. Does Salk charge shipping? I can't tell from the website and how about their satisfaction guarantee? Finally, how long does it take to build and deliver the Songtower once ordered?

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to provide enough details for informed responses. Thanks in advance!

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post #161 of 9206 Old 03-01-2008, 07:38 AM
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Hi Just one quick note concerning the age of your ears. I have it on good authority that the crossover designer's ears have been around a couple of years longer than yours. Anyone can design a speaker that has extended and smooth response above 15 kHz. Just use a good tweeter and don't mess it up. The hard part, and the source of 99% of the important differences among speakers, is below 15 kHz, and often in the 1500-3500 kHz range. Well, there's the bass--but that's not usually an issue for aging ears anyhow. I'm not trying to get you to upgrade from the $1500 range--just trying to assure you that you can probably still hear even subtle differences in quality between speakers.
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post #162 of 9206 Old 03-01-2008, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

But for you Songtower owners I have a couple of questions. I will be 60 years old this year and no way do I have the hearing ability I had in my youth to detect the subtle differences you "audies" talk about.

I bought my SongTowers last September and I turned 59 in November. Nuff said!

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Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

Am I correct in assuming that Songtowers are built basically on an order basis, one at a time? I see where there are custom applications and custom cabinet woods available.

Yes, they are built when you place an order.

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Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

Also, how is their packing? Everything I read about Aperion indicates they go overboard with their packing, including even gloves to prevent damage during set-up and I am wondering if Salk takes similar precautions. Does Salk charge shipping?

Salk's packing is exactly what I expected from someone who takes such great care in building and finishing his speakers. Two layers of cardboard was used, with each layer separated by ~1.5 thick Styrofoam. My speakers were delivered by DHL Express (yes shipping costs are extra) and they arrived in completely undamaged condition.

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I can't tell from the website and how about their satisfaction guarantee? Finally, how long does it take to build and deliver the Songtower once ordered?

Jim Salk offers a 30-day money back guarantee. I certainly did not exercise that option.

You should follow the contact link on the Salk website. The email goes directly to Jim Salk. He can best answer what his current building time is like, as well as answering any other question you have.
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post #163 of 9206 Old 03-01-2008, 12:27 PM
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Thanks, that's what I needed to know.

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post #164 of 9206 Old 03-01-2008, 06:50 PM
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Jim has been working 12-hour shifts to build up an inventory of completed cabinet shells for the SongTower. So when an order comes in, it's just a matter of doing the veneer work and parts assembly. He also said he's planning to take a vacation sometime early in 2010.
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post #165 of 9206 Old 03-01-2008, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Jim has been working 12-hour shifts to build up an inventory of completed cabinet shells for the SongTower. So when an order comes in, it's just a matter of doing the veneer work and parts assembly. He also said he's planning to take a vacation sometime early in 2010.

Thank you Dennis. It is obvious why you and Jim work so well together - you are both customer oriented. I emailed Jim and he responded right away, even though this is a weekend when he should be playing golf! I can believe what you say that he may not take a vacation until 2010!! He answered all my questions completely and laid to rest any caution I had about my "60 year old ears" (and he should know - if you know what I mean). He explained the importance of mid-range accuracy as one grows older in terms of the "intelligibility" factor, a term I have seen him use many times in various posts. If there is one common thread among the reviews and comments I have read, including some of yours, it is the superb mid-range of the Songtowers. Jim even sent me photos of the finishes that would best fit my room's decor (which I described briefly to him in my email).

I have no idea how good my other option speakers are (Aperion) but the customer service and honesty I have seen displayed by Salk, et al, tells me this is a company I want to do business with not only for my fronts but other speakers in the future. Maybe Aperion is just as good in all these areas but I have to make a decision and the Songtowers it is. I'll call Jim on Monday and place the order. Thanks again for your input.

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post #166 of 9206 Old 03-02-2008, 07:01 AM
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milacqua

Glad to hear of your decision . From my own experience, I think you're gonna love these speakers. What type of veneer are you getting?

I don't know if you've seen the SongTower threads on audiocircles. There are lots of photos, and several nicely written listeners' impressions (look for Boybees) that you might enjoy reading. At least one guy included photos of the boxes and assorted packing material! I have also posted my listening impressions and photos of my cherry veneer SongTowers.
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post #167 of 9206 Old 03-02-2008, 09:37 AM
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After 4 years of spending my annual bonus check on house repairs and improvements, this looks like it can be the year to upgrade my mid grade hi fi/hometheater system. Ideally the V3's are what I am most interested in because of the ribbon tweeters, 3 way design,(not necessarily a must have) and the 3 way center that puts the midrange in the middle. The minuses for me are the total cost of an L/C/R combo is out out of my price range. (which is about 4 grand for all 3) and the V Monster center is too big.

I have never been a big fan of MTM speaker set ups so I am leary of considering the Song Towers and Center without auditioning them. I've only heard a couple of other MTM set ups and was not impressed. If someone has the Song L/C/R setup within a few hours driving distance of the middle of SC, I would like to hear them.

This leads to my question. Any chance that Salk will be doing a slightly scaled down version of the V3s and V center?

FYI, my listening room is 15.5' wide, 22 feet long, and the ceiling is sloped from 9' at the equipment end to 18' at 2/3rds of the way to the other end of the 22' dimension. I have not done any serious auditioning yet, but I wanted to at least audition the Dali Ikons and Revel Concertas, (at least for a reference standard even if I can't afford them). I've heard the small Ushers with the ribbon tweeter and was impressed. I used to be into serious high end equipment back in the eighties (and I have passed the 1/2 century mark age wise.) I still have my old DCM TW3 speakers and RGR amp and preamp but they don't get used much. I am making do with a Yamaha AVR, Cambridge 640 CD player, small NHT speakers with an HSU VTF 3 sub.

Salk products do look like excellent product and value. All help appreciated.
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post #168 of 9206 Old 03-02-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlanman View Post

I have never been a big fan of MTM speaker set ups so I am leary of considering the Song Towers and Center without auditioning them. I've only heard a couple of other MTM set ups and was not impressed. If someone has the Song L/C/R setup within a few hours driving distance of the middle of SC, I would like to hear them.

What MTM speakers did you hear, and what was it about them that didn't impress you? It might be something inherent to the MTM design that you don't like, or it might be the poor execution in those models you've heard.

I can understand your attraction to ribbon tweeters, but I think the SongTower tweeters are not lacking. I find that their general midrange presentation is what makes them such winners.

I'm afraid that Columbia, SC is more than 6 hours driving to Maryland.
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post #169 of 9206 Old 03-02-2008, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

milacqua

Glad to hear of your decision . From my own experience, I think you're gonna love these speakers. What type of veneer are you getting?

I don't know if you've seen the SongTower threads on audiocircles. There are lots of photos, and several nicely written listeners' impressions (look for Boybees) that you might enjoy reading. At least one guy included photos of the boxes and assorted packing material! I have also posted my listening impressions and photos of my cherry veneer SongTowers.

Thank you for the reply and links. When I first became interested in these speakers I read those threads at audiocircle and I recall reading your review at audioholics. It was an excellent review (although I must say some of what you wrote was way over my head).

As far as pictures are concerned I have looked at many and still can't decide. My furniture is reddish/brown leather sofa and love seat and dark walnut colored tables. My 104" projector screen has a rather large jet black felt border but my components are mostly silver. Black would probably work best but I think it is high maintenance. Besides, I love the look of the wood - yours are beautiful although a tint light for my room! My insulating drapes are dark brown so I think I will have Jim just build the cabinet in his darker wood (maybe that is walnut but I'm not sure). Anyway, its people like you who know what they are doing and talking about that gives credibility to the performance and quality of the Songtowers. Not quite as good as an audition perhaps but such opinions have had a great deal of merit and influence on my decision. Thanks for that!

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post #170 of 9206 Old 03-02-2008, 06:59 PM
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RSwerdlow, I have not auditioned any in a while, I ones I am speaking of were some older model Ushers and some Polk speakers. I don't even recall the model numbers. They just did not image as I had expected, that could have been related to source or amplification issues too.

Once upon a time I had Polk Model 10s and thought they were much better than the large Advents I traded in until I heard the original DCM Time Windows, which I later traded for DCM Time Window Threes, so maybe I am just fooling my self. I really would like to hear the Song series, to prove or disprove my thinking.
In my area, we are woefully lacking in really good high end audio/video dealers. We have one in town that fits the description and loves Acoustats. The others are pretenders or custom installers with no showroom to audition in. So I will have to do some traveling to audition many of the ones on my possiible choice short list.
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post #171 of 9206 Old 03-03-2008, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

As far as pictures are concerned I have looked at many and still can't decide. My furniture is reddish/brown leather sofa and love seat and dark walnut colored tables. My 104" projector screen has a rather large jet black felt border but my components are mostly silver. Black would probably work best but I think it is high maintenance.

If it were my choice, I would get walnut. It is one of the standard priced finishes - no extra cost . It might not be an exact match for your existing walnut furniture, but they would be similar tones. If the speaker cabinets are a little lighter than your other furniture, I think that would look great. They would stand out without clashing. Walnut might also darken with time. Jim Salk has a lot of experience with matters like this. Send him some photos of what you have.

I agree about the glossy black being high maintenance. It shows every smudge and fingerprint.
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post #172 of 9206 Old 03-03-2008, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlanman View Post

...I really would like to hear the Song series, to prove or disprove my thinking...

In my area, we are woefully lacking in really good high end audio/video dealers... So I will have to do some traveling to audition many of the ones on my possiible choice short list.

If you ever travel to Washington, DC as a tourist, or for business, send me a PM. I'm always glad to show my STs off.

You might also post a question at the audiocircles Salk forum. You might find someone with STs who is closer to you.
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post #173 of 9206 Old 03-03-2008, 07:58 AM
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Thanks for that photo - beautiful! I discussed this with Jim and gave him a good description of the room and setting. We decided on the Walnut with just a tint of dye for a darker hue. I think it will look fantastic. I'll post photos when they get here.

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post #174 of 9206 Old 03-03-2008, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlanman View Post

RSwerdlow, I have not auditioned any in a while, I ones I am speaking of were some older model Ushers and some Polk speakers. I don't even recall the model numbers. They just did not image as I had expected, that could have been related to source or amplification issues too.

I have HT2s and I can tell you that imaging is not a problem.
The imaging can be downright scary it's so real.
I have not heard SongTowers but they are very popular.

 

It ain't ignorance causes so much trouble; it's folks knowing so much that ain't so

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post #175 of 9206 Old 03-06-2008, 01:29 PM
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Got a great opportunity recently to listen to HT3 speakers with the man himself and was totally blown away. It was snowing real bad on tuesday and I had to drive over an hour on 3 inches of snow on the roads but it was very well worth it. I was originally thinking of going with the song towers but after listening to HT3 speakers, I just can't think of anything else. These almost remind me of studio reference monitors - no bias, no agenda, just great sound. Thanks Jim Salk for the opportunity, I look forward to owning these.
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post #176 of 9206 Old 03-06-2008, 07:52 PM
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Just curious--did Jim have the SongTowers there for comparison? If so, other than bass extension, what differences did you hear?
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post #177 of 9206 Old 03-13-2008, 06:30 PM
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Here are my recent Salk purchases. Cherry with Mahogany stain and an upgrade to bi-wire connections.

Attachment 104642

Attachment 104643

Attachment 104644

I tried to show these at audiocircle, but couldn't get registered.

I have the SongCenter too, and now fantasize about the SongSub. I will be adding 4ohm in-wall speakers for the rear 4 channels. I'm running the speakers with the new Onkyo PR-SC885 Pre/Pro (love it too) and a Sunfire TGA-7400. All better than I've ever had. Thrilling and beautiful music and movies.
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post #178 of 9206 Old 03-14-2008, 05:13 AM
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The following started as an email to funkmonkey here on AVS. He mentioned the email in a post and someone requested he post the contents. He then emailed me and asked me to post them (which I did). The someone else suggested I re-post it here. So here it is...

THE $2000 CHALLENGE

funkmonkey wants a great speaker with bass extension down to a solid 30Hz and has a budget of $2000. This is a real challenge for a speaker designer.

It is possible to design a great speaker that plays to 30Hz. The problem is, it will exceed funkmonkey's budget. Here is why:

Speaker design is the art of balancing trade-offs. The speaker world is controlled by the laws of physics. You can't violate them. So you have to deal with the trade-offs involved.

Before we get going, let me say that there are many "good" $2000 speakers on the market today. But there are no "great" speakers that will play to 30Hz in this group.

First, it is important to realize that 80% of information is found in the midrange. If you don't get this right, you may have a speaker some will find acceptable, but certainly not what we will refer to as a "great" speaker. Herein lies the first trade-off.

Every driver excels in a certain frequency range and no driver can produce great midrange (accurate and detailed) and also produce deep, extended bass.

In a 2-way design, you can select a driver that plays deeper, but you will generally have to give up performance higher up in order to get more extended bass response.

Let's examine how this choice impacted our SongTower design as an example.

One major reason the SongTowers have been so well received, is that they reproduce an exceptionally accurate and detailed midrange and, at the same time, exhibit superb imaging (very deep and wide sound stage). All of these are the result of using a smaller (5") high-quality midwoofer with the extremely good dispersion characteristics a smaller driver can provide. (Most companies will publish FR plots 15-degrees off axis. We have published one at 60-degrees off axis.)

The trade-off is that a 5" driver will not play exceptionally deep. That is an issue we had to deal with and is where the SongTower's transmission line cabinet comes into play.

Unlike a sealed or ported cabinet, the transmission line cabinet is actually part of the speaker rather than an inert box holding the drivers. The energy radiating from the back side of the midwoofer excites air in the transmission line and the "line" is tuned to extend the bass response below where it would be using the same driver with any other type of cabinet. TL cabinets are difficult to design and not all drivers work in them. But, in this case, it works out quite well and many people are surprised by the bass extension of the SongTowers.

But even with the TL cabinet, we can't get to funkmonkey's 30Hz. So what are the alternatives at our disposal?

Well, going with a larger midwoofer in a 2-way design will allow greater bass extension. But the trade-off will be less detail and accuracy in the midrange and far more limited dispersion, resulting in a narrower and shallower sound stage.

In speakers sold at retail, midrange quality is often sacrificed for bass extension. When listening in an audio showroom, people are generally impressed by two things: the amount and extension of the bass and the "air" in the tweeter section. Only after they purchase them and spend some time with them, do they realize that there is a notable lack of midrange quality and relatively poor imaging. You can often add one-note, boomy bass as well.

And that "air" in the tweeter section can also be a problem. Since the larger midwoofer utilized cannot play as high, a tweeter must be chosen that can cross relatively low. In many cases, the top end "air" may result in pushing this larger tweeter to levels of distortion that can contribute to listener fatigue.

There are other alternatives in a 2-way speaker design, but they all involve advanced technology and very expensive drivers. The Seas Excel W18 in our Veracity series speakers is a good example. It uses a very low mass and extremely stiff magnesium cone to generate a great deal of midrange detail. But it is a very expensive driver in comparison to the drivers in the speakers in your price range. And even then, 30Hz is generally not obtainable.

In short, it is highly unlikely that a 2-way design of any consequence could meet the 30 Hz criteria.

Another alternative is a 3- or more-way design. But it is extremely hard to to successfully integrate 3 or more drivers. Integrating drivers, even in a 2-way, is difficult. Only a very small number of 3- or more-way speakers in the world get this right and they are very expensive.

In this situation, finding a combination of 3 or more great drivers and, at the same time, keeping the finished cost under $2000 is basically impossible.

This is especially true if you are designing a speaker that will be sold at retail. An audio dealer needs a 40 - 50% margin in order to carry a product. So the manufacturer must deliver the $2000 speaker to the dealer for around $1000.

In order to do that, and also cover overhead, marketing, R&D, the cost of the cabinets and provide for a profit, the manufacturer can't spend more than about $150 on parts (drivers, crossovers, binding posts, etc.).

To put that into perspective, the Hiquphon tweeters in our SongTowers would already exceed that parts budget. And the woofers in our Veracity HT3's cost more than that each.

Great musical reproduction starts and ends in the midrange. If you don't get that right, you may have an acceptable speaker, but it will not be a "great" speaker. Again, 80% of what you hear is in the midrange. The "you are there" experience most experienced audiophiles look for can be found in the midrange.

That is why we concentrate so hard on midrange performance. It is the foundation of every great speaker design.

Beyond that, you should have detail in the tweeter section as well. The more detail you have here, the better the speaker will re-create the overtone structure of instruments (the level of which is down considerably in volume from the fundamental tones). The more detail you have in the top end, the more "real" instruments will sound. It takes a very good tweeter to provide this detail without causing listener fatigue.

While bass extension is important, if your intention is to design a truly great speaker, you should pursue this only after the midrange and top end are addressed. Because unless you have those two elements well in hand, you will not have a truly great speaker.

So the problem in creating a $2000 speaker with bass extension to 30Hz comes down to accepting some trade-offs that really aren't all that acceptable if you want the best in audio reproduction. You will have to give up a detail, accuracy and imaging, which are attributes that contribute to the "magic" most experienced audiophiles look for.

The bottom line is this: If you are looking for a "great" $2000 speaker with bass extension to 30Hz, your search will likely be in vain. It just doesn't exist.

Well, I could go on forever. But that is probably enough for now.

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post #179 of 9206 Old 03-14-2008, 05:58 AM
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Excellent explanation Jim. The "intelligibility" factor you often speak of as the foundation in the Songtower's design is why I ordered them. As one ages (I'll be 60 soon), this becomes more and more important and my quest for the best mid-range qualities at the most affordable price led me to the Songtowers. As far as bass is concerned I have a 200 watt 15" sub and that takes care of things. I'm looking for other things for my fronts and I am sure the Songtowers will meet those expectations.

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post #180 of 9206 Old 03-14-2008, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I couldn't agree more, Jim. You nailed it! With that said, the Song Tower is as close to perfect in that price range as I've ever heard, though. And no folks, I am not being paid or given free merchandise to say that.

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