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The Official Salk Sound Owner's And Discussion Thread - Page 262

post #7831 of 9127
W4S sti-1000, 1000+ watts into 4 ohm ht3s- runs cool, sounds cool- spkrs. love the power- sources are cdp and squeezebox
touch to W4S dac2.


PB
Edited by photonblur - 11/6/12 at 8:49am
post #7832 of 9127
Final assembly - FINALLY!!!

I still can't decide if Jim's new project tracking system is a curse or a stroke of customer service genius. smile.gif. Either way, I'd rather have it than not. But it has been excrusating watching that yellow status bar that never seemed to move. Although there is a thrill when I check in and it has ticked forward to the next step.
Shouldn't be long now. At least I won't have to wait for them to be shipped...Jim's shop is about 1/2 hour from me!!
post #7833 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeGuy View Post

Final assembly - FINALLY!!!
I still can't decide if Jim's new project tracking system is a curse or a stroke of customer service genius. smile.gif. Either way, I'd rather have it than not. But it has been excrusating watching that yellow status bar that never seemed to move. Although there is a thrill when I check in and it has ticked forward to the next step.
Shouldn't be long now. At least I won't have to wait for them to be shipped...Jim's shop is about 1/2 hour from me!!

I'm at 'cabinets veneered'. I have no idea how long it is supposed to take... its been about a month so far.
Do the later steps tend to go faster than the earlier ones?

EDIT: My bad--just checked again and my SS8s are in final-routing, my HTC is in finish-sanding. biggrin.gif
Must have been updated since this morning--pretty sure I checked.

I like the tracker.
Edited by Morik - 11/6/12 at 1:34pm
post #7834 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeGuy View Post

Final assembly - FINALLY!!!
I still can't decide if Jim's new project tracking system is a curse or a stroke of customer service genius. smile.gif. Either way, I'd rather have it than not. But it has been excrusating watching that yellow status bar that never seemed to move. Although there is a thrill when I check in and it has ticked forward to the next step.
Shouldn't be long now. At least I won't have to wait for them to be shipped...Jim's shop is about 1/2 hour from me!!
But then you'll miss out on the fun of figuring out to do with about 200 cubic feet of Styrofoam and enough cardboard to cover Rhode Island. But seriously, congrats!
post #7835 of 9127
When you guys get a new piece of gear how do you test it? I'm mostly thinking for amps. There is not an easy way to directly a/b them. I have a ava 400r that i love. But because i'm never satiated I'm auditioning a w4s st 500 for 2 weeks. After 24 hours I'll fell in love with it and couldn't believe how much "better" it sounded. clean, bright, loud, detailed. I was/am stoked. But then for fun i plugged the 400r back in, turned it up, and was like wow. this is just as amazing. And honestly didn't feel like it was drastically different. So what do i do? just keep switching back and forth to test them. There has to be a systematic way. Or is it just a gut feeling? follow your heart? you just know? maybe one is better on certain tracks or genres? Do I keep both? what do you guys do?
post #7836 of 9127
there's always the "accept the science" method... smile.gif
post #7837 of 9127
The only honest way you can A/B amps is by removing all bias and the only way to accomplish that is to do a double blind test (DBT). That involves having 2 setups where the only differences are the amps. You then must level-match the amps so you're getting the same SPL out of both. Finally, someone else, whom you mustn't have contact with, handles the switching back and forth between the amps while playing the same audio sample. Obviously this isn't easy to do, but know that if you don't DBT your observations will be influenced by personal bias. Once bias is controlled for it's very difficult--some say impossible--to tell one amp from another.

If you love your AVA, it functions as it's supposed to and it is able to operate within the parameters you're asking of it then you really don't need to replace it do you? If you're just itching to upgrade by all means go for it, but keep your expectations realistic. And if you're looking to donate the AVA to a worthy cause may I suggest an eager recipient?
post #7838 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

The only honest way you can A/B amps is by removing all bias and the only way to accomplish that is to do a double blind test (DBT). That involves having 2 setups where the only differences are the amps. You then must level-match the amps so you're getting the same SPL out of both. Finally, someone else, whom you mustn't have contact with, handles the switching back and forth between the amps while playing the same audio sample. Obviously this isn't easy to do, but know that if you don't DBT your observations will be influenced by personal bias. Once bias is controlled for it's very difficult--some say impossible--to tell one amp from another.
If you love your AVA, it functions as it's supposed to and it is able to operate within the parameters you're asking of it then you really don't need to replace it do you? If you're just itching to upgrade by all means go for it, but keep your expectations realistic. And if you're looking to donate the AVA to a worthy cause may I suggest an eager recipient?

Well, Frank has a switching preamp that will allow you to perform that experiment with amps and speakers. It even has a built-in randomized A-B-X program that will do the set up work for you and provide complete blinding. Jim and I have both used the preamp to compare speakers, and I compared amps for my own amusement at the Capital Audio Fest this summer. I would just love to be a fly on the wall when advocates of particular brands and types of amplifiers tried to pick out a winner. Rots O' Ruck.
post #7839 of 9127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Well, Frank has a switching preamp that will allow you to perform that experiment with amps and speakers. It even has a built-in randomized A-B-X program that will do the set up work for you and provide complete blinding. Jim and I have both used the preamp to compare speakers, and I compared amps for my own amusement at the Capital Audio Fest this summer. I would just love to be a fly on the wall when advocates of particular brands and types of amplifiers tried to pick out a winner. Rots O' Ruck.

That switching preamp is awwwwwwwwesome, but it's going to sell for $2000+, so...

Regarding amps, just sit and listen to one for hours and hours; then switch to the next and do the same. If you believe in break-in, let it do so. If you hear differences - great. If not - great. The only thing that matters is that you like the new amp and that it is solidly built/designed. More power is never a bad thing, but if you don't think there's a difference then you can return it and save yourself a chunk of change. smile.gif

I'll say this, and you guys can flame me if you want to: I don't purchase amps because I am looking to tweak the sound. I purchase one or the other because I want more headroom during dynamic music/movie passages or during transient peaks. In the next year I plan to upgrade my current amp to something more powerful, and I don't expect to gain an increase in sound. In my opinion the preamp and DAC make the biggest difference in sound (after the speakers and room, of course). To each their own, though.
post #7840 of 9127
I don't think you'll get flamed for that Nuance. When you upgrade are you doing so based on specs alone or will you be auditioning? If auditioning will you take any steps to remove observational bias? Have you observed your current amp failing to meet performance requirements? Last, what's your current amp and what do you plan to do with it?
post #7841 of 9127
By the way, I'm really loving the second sub. I really didn't anticipate this much improvement. (Or maybe I am just experiencing observational bias? smile.gif )
post #7842 of 9127
I also love having 2 subs... although if I run them without audyssey its not pretty (phase issues, as audyssey handles all that).
With audyssey (XT32) they are fantastic.
post #7843 of 9127
I'm holding off on running the Audyssey XT32 again until my new sofa arrives (today). Even adjusting by ear it sounds fantastic, definitely greater than the sum of the parts. I'm really looking forward to how it sounds post-Audyssey.
post #7844 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

In my opinion the preamp and DAC make the biggest difference in sound (after the speakers and room, of course). To each their own, though.

Are there any high quality preamps out there that run Audyssey MultiEQ XT32? I don't think I'd want to run my system without it... I know a lot of people do so, but I really like the room correction (I do have some room treatments, but I don't really know what I'm doing with them... have tamed some of the room's liveness, but probably not ideally set up).

I run basically all my media off an HTPC.

Once I get my SS8s in, my setup is going to have:
- HDMI out from computer (so NVidia driver) into Denon 4311CI
- Denon preouts to W4S MC3X500 (fronts & center)
- Denon speaker-level outs for rears & surrounds

I listen to music in stereo only.


If I want to daydream about improving further (my wife would not be happy with me spending more money right now, but maybe in the future), would I instead have something like:
- Some output from built-in soundcard (or would there be any benefit to a separate? I am using the built-in Asus P6X58D-E soundcard) to a DAC
- HDMI to my receiver for video
- DAC into a preamp. If its a stereo DAC, not sure how that would work when I want to watch 5.1/7.1 movies... maybe run my receiver's digital out into the preamp and let the preamp use its own DAC for movies... or get a 7 channel external DAC, though I'd still have issues with my PS3, XBox 360, and cable box)
- pre-amp into amp... I don't think I'd be able to use my Denon to power the 4 surround/rear speakers anymore though... not sure if there is a way to get it to pass video and also amplify some analog inputs. So I'd probably need a second amp for the 4 rears/surrounds

I assume there could be issues with video sync (if going through one chain for sound, another for video), though the Denon does have an adjustable delay (only helpful if the audio is ahead of video.. vice versa and would have to find a way to delay the preamp)
Also, I wouldn't want to give up Audyssey MultiEQ XT32... looking at the audyssey website I see a couple of preamps that have it, but I have no idea if they are high quality or not.

EDIT: Thought of another question: In order to use MultiEQ XT32, the preamp would have to take the DAC signal and digitize it, right? So... there would be no point to an external DAC if I want Audyssey?
(Should I be discussing this in the preamp forum?)
Edited by Morik - 11/9/12 at 9:13am
post #7845 of 9127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

I don't think you'll get flamed for that Nuance. When you upgrade are you doing so based on specs alone or will you be auditioning? If auditioning will you take any steps to remove observational bias? Have you observed your current amp failing to meet performance requirements? Last, what's your current amp and what do you plan to do with it?

Specs and sound, but it's hard to find places that sell amps and allow a trial period (such as Audio Advisor). For things like amps, DACs and preamps I usually purchase used and listen to it for a while in my system. If I don't like what I hear I can usually sell it for just about what I paid for it a month or two later. I could always ask the local dealers for a weekend audition, but they seem to be less willing to do so these days. Plus I'd rather not pay full price (I prefer used). The best way to listen to something like that is in your own system, so that's just the route I take.

I have done the whole blind testing thing before, even to go as far as attempting the double blind thing. Concerning the latter, it was extremely hard and I was rather new at the whole audio thing, so I got told by numerous people I did it all wrong (that happens every time we have a GTG, actually); you just can't please everyone. Due to that I don't bother listening in that fashion any longer. Well, I shouldn't say that: my wife and I perform little experiments (I make her help me smile.gif), and sometimes I have her swap components and not tell me which is which. But beyond that I don't bother anymore, mainly because it's hard to find immediate differences when swapping so quickly. I find that acoustic memory is short, so I would rather listen to a component for days, then swap in another and do the same. By the end of my week or two long listening sessions I am always confident enough to chose a winner, or to say "that's not worth the cost increase." Now if I was holding a GTG and posting the results publicly...well, then I'd have to take the scientific route and go DBT. I will never do that again, however.

My current amp (Parasound A23) hasn't failed me in the slightest; the exact opposite actually. I am just a sucker for more power, and the amp I want to upgrade to is the bigger brother of what I have now (Parasound A21), and offers double the power. You can never have enough power! biggrin.gif So when I am ready I'll sell the A23 and pick up an A21. Then I will likely never purchase another amp again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

By the way, I'm really loving the second sub. I really didn't anticipate this much improvement. (Or maybe I am just experiencing observational bias? smile.gif )

You're not bias, and I'd be willing to bet measurements of your room show an improved bass response. That's the beauty of multiple subs - natural in-room smoothness, almost like applying EQ to fill in the nulls and pull down the peaks.
post #7846 of 9127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morik View Post

Are there any high quality preamps out there that run Audyssey MultiEQ XT32? I don't think I'd want to run my system without it... I know a lot of people do so, but I really like the room correction (I do have some room treatments, but I don't really know what I'm doing with them... have tamed some of the room's liveness, but probably not ideally set up).
I run basically all my media off an HTPC.
Once I get my SS8s in, my setup is going to have:
- HDMI out from computer (so NVidia driver) into Denon 4311CI
- Denon preouts to W4S MC3X500 (fronts & center)
- Denon speaker-level outs for rears & surrounds
I listen to music in stereo only.
If I want to daydream about improving further (my wife would not be happy with me spending more money right now, but maybe in the future), would I instead have something like:
- Some output from built-in soundcard (or would there be any benefit to a separate? I am using the built-in Asus P6X58D-E soundcard) to a DAC
- HDMI to my receiver for video
- DAC into a preamp. If its a stereo DAC, not sure how that would work when I want to watch 5.1/7.1 movies... maybe run my receiver's digital out into the preamp and let the preamp use its own DAC for movies... or get a 7 channel external DAC, though I'd still have issues with my PS3, XBox 360, and cable box)
- pre-amp into amp... I don't think I'd be able to use my Denon to power the 4 surround/rear speakers anymore though... not sure if there is a way to get it to pass video and also amplify some analog inputs. So I'd probably need a second amp for the 4 rears/surrounds
I assume there could be issues with video sync (if going through one chain for sound, another for video), though the Denon does have an adjustable delay (only helpful if the audio is ahead of video.. vice versa and would have to find a way to delay the preamp)
Also, I wouldn't want to give up Audyssey MultiEQ XT32... looking at the audyssey website I see a couple of preamps that have it, but I have no idea if they are high quality or not.
EDIT: Thought of another question: In order to use MultiEQ XT32, the preamp would have to take the DAC signal and digitize it, right? So... there would be no point to an external DAC if I want Audyssey?
(Should I be discussing this in the preamp forum?)

Well, here's the thing: I am anti-EQ above the Schroeder Frequency (200-300 Hz). Ive' studied Floyd Toole and Sean Olive's research pretty intensely, and I agree that EQ below the Schroeder Frequency is the most important, while the frequencies above it can be taken care of with room treatments and various other non-EQ tweaks. I've never had good results with Audyssey, though I admit I haven't tried the new XT32. Regardless, I prefer to not EQ above that frequency, but to each their own and YMMV. Due to this, I have no idea which high end preamps include Audyssey. smile.gif
post #7847 of 9127
From what I've read, XT32 is much better than predecessors, though I can't speak from experience because its my first Audyssey.
post #7848 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Specs and sound, but it's hard to find places that sell amps and allow a trial period...I have done the whole blind testing thing before, even to go as far as attempting the double blind thing...I find that acoustic memory is short, so I would rather listen to a component for days, then swap in another and do the same. By the end of my week or two long listening sessions I am always confident enough to chose a winner, or to say "that's not worth the cost increase."
I don't harp on DBT to nag people or to be a contrarian, but because I honestly don't want people to buy something they don't need. Or rather, I don't want to buy a product that gives me no benefit as a result of perceiving an imagined benefit, a concern which I extend (unsolicited) to others. smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

My current amp (Parasound A23) hasn't failed me in the slightest; the exact opposite actually. I am just a sucker for more power, and the amp I want to upgrade to is the bigger brother of what I have now (Parasound A21), and offers double the power. You can never have enough power! biggrin.gif So when I am ready I'll sell the A23 and pick up an A21. Then I will likely never purchase another amp again.
That's a nice looking amp. I'd like to take the 31 or 51 for a spin myself, but I don't have the room and the price would be difficult to justify.
post #7849 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morik View Post

From what I've read, XT32 is much better than predecessors, though I can't speak from experience because its my first Audyssey.

I've got both the classic Audyssey and the XT32. I didn't think there would be much difference in our current set up, but the upgrade definitely cleaned up the sound above what the older Audyssey had done. The reviews on XT do appear to be accurate.

I'm looking forward to getting my drywall up in the official basement sound lab, then I can get some ears on testing with some sound treatments as well.

My SS's are closing in on final topcoat, so I'll probably be testing them out in our family room for now and have them displace my trusty M&K HT until the basement finishes are up.
post #7850 of 9127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

I don't harp on DBT to nag people or to be a contrarian, but because I honestly don't want people to buy something they don't need. Or rather, I don't want to buy a product that gives me no benefit as a result of perceiving an imagined benefit, a concern which I extend (unsolicited) to others. smile.gif

I hear that. I used to tout it as well, but after having tried it myself, and after having run single blinded tests I realized why people never listened to me: it's simply a royal pain in the butt and can take the fun out of it for some.
Quote:
Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

That's a nice looking amp. I'd like to take the 31 or 51 for a spin myself, but I don't have the room and the price would be difficult to justify.


And that's why I haven't upgraded yet. smile.gif I have to sell the wifey on the idea too, so there's also that...
post #7851 of 9127
I've had fantastic measurable results with versions of Audyssey above XT. The technique of measurement is very important and the guide here on AVS must be followed to the "T".
For a mixed HT environment Audyssey/Multi EQ/Dyn Vol is something ill never be able to live without.
post #7852 of 9127
So after my new sofa arrived I set everything up and ran the Audyssey XT32. I am not entirely pleased with the results. The center channel is way too quiet but the surprising part is the subs, both about 9.5 feet from the main listening position, were measured at 11.5 and 6.5 feet.
post #7853 of 9127
Just got my SCSTs today. The sound quality is amazing but, having never seen a Salk speaker in person, I wasn't prepared for how unbelievable the finish is. I feel like I need to add windows to my house just to better appreciate the finish. It was a bit of a wait but, wow, they are like works of art.
post #7854 of 9127
My SCST's arrive in the next 48 hours....
post #7855 of 9127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

So after my new sofa arrived I set everything up and ran the Audyssey XT32. I am not entirely pleased with the results. The center channel is way too quiet but the surprising part is the subs, both about 9.5 feet from the main listening position, were measured at 11.5 and 6.5 feet.
Have you listened without Audyssey yet?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsdms View Post

Just got my SCSTs today. The sound quality is amazing but, having never seen a Salk speaker in person, I wasn't prepared for how unbelievable the finish is. I feel like I need to add windows to my house just to better appreciate the finish. It was a bit of a wait but, wow, they are like works of art.

That's great news- I am happy to hear you're enjoying them.

So how about some pics?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

My SCST's arrive in the next 48 hours....

Good times ahead! I'm looking forward to your impressions and pics.
post #7856 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Good times ahead! I'm looking forward to your impressions and pics.
"awsome" and

I bought the ones I listened to at the Audioholics GTG; I just didn't convince the wife in time to save shipping.
post #7857 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

That's great news- I am happy to hear you're enjoying them.
So how about some pics?

I don't have a camera nice enough to do them justice. They are curly cherry with black dye, full front baffle and black edges. Maybe not everyones cup of tea but, in low/medium light, they basically look like very glossy black speakers. With natural light from windows, they become bright but smoky and extremely detailed on any surface the light reaches. So, they basically fade into the background at night but, make you pause and admire the finish during the day. Perfect.
post #7858 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Have you listened without Audyssey yet?
I ran Audyssey when I first received my Salks, before the 5.1 became 5.2 and before the the Surrounds had speaker stands. I spent a lot of time cycling through Audyssey, Audyssey Flat, Direct and all the other EQ options on my Denon 4311. It sounded better and the results were quite a bit different the first time around. I will run it again to see if I can get some better results.
post #7859 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsdms View Post

Just got my SCSTs today. The sound quality is amazing but, having never seen a Salk speaker in person, I wasn't prepared for how unbelievable the finish is. I feel like I need to add windows to my house just to better appreciate the finish. It was a bit of a wait but, wow, they are like works of art.

Congrats, I'm still waiting on my SCSTs. They've been stuck on final topcoat for about 3 weeks now, but hoping they'll be on their way soon.
post #7860 of 9127
Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

Congrats, I'm still waiting on my SCSTs. They've been stuck on final topcoat for about 3 weeks now, but hoping they'll be on their way soon.
It's Jerry's fault:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

My SCST's arrive in the next 48 hours....

Congrats on the new speakers guys. Isn't this stuff fun?
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