Originally Posted by benguin
I am way overdue for a post to the Official Salk thread here on AVS. My 'ultimate' audio set up has been in the planning stages for the past 20 years or so, and we have finally gotten to the state in our home renovations where it was time to get serious. This is the part where the internet can be your greatest friend or worst enemy when it comes to research. However, Jim Salk's name kept coming up in a variety of places during my searches, and I loved what we saw on his site and from all the Salkies out there. I saw a few owners that were semi-local, but nothing within a couple of hours.
(Story pre-amble starts here, so feel free to skip ahead) As luck would have it, we were planning a rather lenthy drive to visit our various family members, and would be coming back to IL from Maryland when it hit me... "Hey, I think Salk might not be too far out of the way....". Sure enough, checking on the map meant we could pick up a short detour on the way home (and visit Greenfield Village with the kids in nearby Dearborn). Next thing up was contacting Jim via email and setting up a time.
Now, if you EVER get a chance to stop by Salk Signature Sound, it is worth it. Originally, we had planned a quick stop by to check out either the SCST or the HT2s, which both fit within our planned budget, however fate had other plans for our visit.
Jim and Mary were such excellent hosts. We had a chance to see the entire construction process, along with getting to see a huge selection of raw veneers and speakers in production. It was almost overwhelming to see the variety that was there in the shop. Then came the part I had really been looking forward to- the audition. Jim had a nice set of bubinga Supercharged Song Towers, as well as a claro walnut HT3 set up.
We started with the SCST, which had an amazing clarity and tone- it well exceeded our expectations. We listened, we talked, we got our Holly Cole Trio CD out that we had used during a painfully long set up session with our 5.1 family room set up. This particular CD has some vocals that are actually painful on some systems (dogs running down the street). I figured we'd found what we were looking for, but let's listen to that HT3. It had a slightly different feel, as expected, with a warmer bass. Hmmm- which to get? Ok, just on a whim, could we hook up that SS8 in the pepperwood burl that had just recently been completed? As you may know, these are rather hefty, but Jim and his crew got them into position for us.... Then fired them up. Wow. It was that simple, my wife and I just looked at each other. The SS8 actually can bring out an emotional impact.
Our short visit turned into 2 hours, and it went by in a flash, well maybe not for the kids, We definitely knew we wanted to try to build around that SS8 system though. Jim has been very helpful in answering follow up questions, and I think we have finally worked through some placement, wiring, AV, and cash flow considerations
We are planning the SS8s, SoundScape Center, Salk/Rythmik 18", and SongSurround I's. This is definitely more system than we had planned, but we were seriously floored by our visit.
Hope to post more as we finalize everything!