Originally Posted by ESSNEFF
The main difference to me is cabinet design. The Salk's are TL designs and the Ascend's are Bass-Reflex. The Ascend's are 3-way and the Salk's are 2-way.
The Ascend's have Bamboo construction standard, the Salk's are MDF (upgradable to Bamboo @ $300).
The Sierra's play into the mid 30's hz. and the Salk's @ 42hz.
Ascend's warranty is 7 years, Salk says they have an "Informal Warranty Policy".
I don't see a Spec sheet on Salk's website for the Songs with the Raal upgrade. Maybe you can contact them about the specific specs.
You might want to checkout the Philharmonic Slims line also as they also use Raal's.
I would think they all would sound great for that price point and much higher as well.
I did consider philharmonic, but decided against it. My main reason being is that such a low end extension isn't very helpful when you have a subwoofer (hsu vf-1 in my case). My hsu lower extension is roughtly flat to either 32hz or 25hz.
The ascends will sound similar to the philharmonics in low/highs, assuming the tweeter upgrade, the low end I imagine would be significantly more responsive on the ascends.
So from what I gathered the salk and ascend are twice as loud as the philharmonic, thus my reason to limiting it to those two.
Good point! It would be great to get some measurements along the lines that ascend has on their site.
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy
I don't think the OP should worry about whether the crossovers are first order. Neither Dave at Ascend nor I use that approach because it isn't possible in a tower with a vertical baffle, and it places too many constraints on the choice of drivers (ribbons need not apply). I think perhaps you're confusing a first order electrical topology with a first order acoustic slope. The former will usually produce roughly a second order slope once the natural roll-offs of the drivers are taken into account. The latter is extremely difficult to achieve and usually requires a very complex network. I've never heard any advantage to the sound, and have heard disadvantages, but it's academic for this particular comparison. This is one case where you would absolutely have to hear both speakers to judge them, or find some reliable feedback from someone who has. I suspect, however, that you would be happy with either.
Useful information, thank you. Unfortunately auditioning these two is a little harder than possible. I will be auditioning a Sierra -1 (with RAAL tweeter upgrade) this monday, so that will give me a rough idea of the sound signature, but it would be nice to compared apples to apples so to speak. Though I do wonder where I'd be able to audition the song towers.
For now I will have to rely on other people's accounts and insight for the sound of the two towers. Rather difficult since each has its own following, and hard to say one is better than the other overall, so I will need to figure out and get insight on what each tower excels at compared to the other.
I do wonder what the extra midrange driver managed to accomplish compared to the song towers though. And what difference the phase plug makes as well.
Though I must admit some of the finishes offered by Salk are just downright gorgeous. If I was going by looks alone, I'd be tempted to go with Salk.