Originally Posted by guf
I took delivery at 9 am. Took me a few hours to get set up. They were packaged well (reminded me of an Apple product.) After reading seeing the recent posts of the incredibly finished other Salk speakers I thought i may be underwhelmed by my simple walnut finish. I was wrong. They are definitely one of the nicest pieces of "furniture" in my home. I'm a little constrained to the placement mostly due to size issues, But i placed them where i could. They are about 14 inces from the back wall and 6 feet from each other. I sit about 10 feet away. I followed instruction and listen to the demo cd all (most) of the way through. I was pretty blown away. I see what they are capable of. I'm no audiophile, I'm not articulate, I'm just a normal guy who got obsessed with getting new speakers and ended quickly end up with these. I'm not sure of the terms you all use, but, I do now think I understand imagery. I also think i may understand transparency. The detail is obvious. I even thought I had the surround sound speakers on. Also obvious is the imperfections. Instead of being grateful on how amazing this all sounds I found myself noticing little imperfections like slightly scratchy drums, or horns, or a little back ground noise In Kind of Blue. I listen to all my music through a mac mini so I wonder how much digital noise I'm hearing. I did send the music through a usb dac to see if i noticed a difference from the optical out. Nothing substancial. I'm realizing it the past few hours how different recordings are. I noticed how it has been easy to listen effortlessly for hours.
I'm so happy I started with these great speakers. I'm scared, financially scared, to try and squeeze every ounce of quality out of them.
Yes, be afraid. Very afraid!
Actually, you are well on your way with amp and speakers. If your Integra has a good enough DAC, get a media player that will bitstream to the Integra if you are concerned about the output from your computer. They range from $100 on up, with lots under $500. I have a Dune. The interface is just ok for music (great for movies with add-on donation-ware like yaDIS) but it fills the player role well. It connects to my network and I have network attached storage with media. It outputs via HDMI to my Onkyo 5508 pre/pro. Very decent sound given a good quality DAC in the Onkyo (not like the high end stand alone DACs, but quite good). I have Emotiva UPA-1 monoblocks that were under $600 for a pair new. I get great imaging, soundstage, detail, etc., even with my Paradigm Studio 40s (they are kind of harsh in the highs though - that's the speakers fault along with lack of room treatment). I have SS8s on order and expect a modest improvement.
Some $ into room treatment next, then may consider a higher end two channel amp, but we'll see.
So that would be my suggestion if your Integra has that good DAC - something to improve your digital source and room treatments. Then stand pat for a while.
Glad you're loving the experience so far. I can't wait for mine!