Originally Posted by blackangst
Hey guys...future Salk owner here (once my house is completed and I can move out of this damned apartment!).
In the new house Im essentially upgrading my whole system to accommodate Atmos, and have decided to replace my front (LRC) speakers as well. Ive firmly decided on Salk, but having difficulty deciding between songtowers or the song3. Based on my equipment and listening habits Im gonna guess the ST, but Id love your input. Ive looked for songtower vs song3 comparisons but the 3's being so new there isnt much out there.
Well, the design is so new, no finished speakers have shipped yet. So I am probably the only person who can answer the question.
Starting with the top end, the Song3's ribbon tweeter will result in a speaker that is more open, transparent and extended than the basic SongTower. (Of course, the SongTower RT with a ribbon tweeter will also have this same transparent top end.)
In terms of the midrange, the midwoofers in the SongTower models do both midrange and bass duties. In the Song3's the midrange only handles a narrow band of frequencies. So the demands on this driver are minimal in comparison and that keeps things very clean. The Song3's 3" midrange driver also has slightly superior off-axis response since it is a smaller driver. The cone material is bamboo-impregnated paper which imparts a nice warm glow to the midrange.
One of the biggest differences you will hear is in the bass region. The SongTowers do an incredible job playing down to 38Hz via a transmission line cabinet. In this case, the TL cabinet is responsible for about the last 7Hz of bass extension (that is one of the magic aspects of transmission line designs).
In the case of the Song3's, the ported bass (a transmission line cabinet was not appropriate for this particular driver) plays down to a solid 33Hz. And the 7.5" woofer can move a lot of air down low for added heft and weight in the bass regions.
This particular woofer is really something special. Most driver manufacturers these days are designing drivers that play deep in a small cabinet. That's because speaker manufacturers find it easier to sell smaller speakers. The sensitivity of these drivers usually tends to be around 84db so the resulting speaker requires a bit more power to drive. The only way you can get higher sensitivity with this type of woofer is to use multiple woofers, unless you opt for a higher sensitivity drivers. But if you do that, you generally won't get very good bass extension. And that is the dilemma. (It's the laws of physics.)
In this case, this driver is a native 88db (each 3db being roughly equivalent to halving or doubling power requirements) and yet does not require an overly large cabinet to reach to 33Hz...quite a feat of engineering.
The SongTowers have an 8" wide front baffle while the Song3's are 9.5" wide. They are also 2" deeper. If a slightly larger cabinet works for you, you will be rewarded with a speaker that is extremely transparent with a very clean midrange and solid bass response.
I hope that helps.