Thinking about salk silk.

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Hogues

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 7
Thinking about salk silk.
« on: 14 Mar 2017, 12:45 am »
Hey, everyone. I'm looking to buy some bookshelf speakers for use with my Fisher 400c and I'm thinking of silks. Right now it's only hooked up to a Thorens 160, but that will eventually change with the addition of some sort of dac/music streamer combo. My main problem is that I have a small room so placement is tricky. It's basically 6' 6" by 8'6". How far do the silk's have to be from the back and side walls? Also, is anyone running them with tubes? Thanks!

jsalk

Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #1 on: 14 Mar 2017, 03:34 pm »
The Silk Monitors are front ported, so they can be placed fairly close to the wall and side walls.  Of course, there is another factor here that no speaker can deal with.  In order to get the best performance out of any speaker in your room, you will have to kill first reflections.  The reason is that those reflections will arrive at the listening position very close time-wise to sound coming directly from the speaker.  Human hearing can easily separate room reverb from direct sound if the reflected sound arrives sufficiently late time wise.  But with surfaces that are close to the speakers, these reflections do not arrive late enough and your sense of hearing cannot separate them from the direct sound.

How do you determine where these first reflection points are? Fortunately it is easy.  Sit in the listening position and have someone move a mirror along each wall.  Wherever you see the speaker in the mirror, these are the places where acoustic panels should be placed.  Killing these first reflections will do more to improve sound in your room than almost anything else you can purchase (with perhaps the exception of the speakers).

As for tube amplification, it all depends on the power available.  These speakers are about 84 db sensitive.  That allows them to feature bass extension that is very rare for a speaker of this size.  But it also means that they do require a bit more power.  In your smallish room, you would probably not need all that much power.  But you would not want to underpower them.

Tube amplification produces a silky smooth midrange that many people find very compelling.  But they do not control woofers as well as solid state.  So if you want tightly controlled bass, you may want to re-think tubes.  If you don't care and you love that tube midrange, then tubes are just fine.

I hope this answers your questions.

- Jim

Joe Frances

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Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #2 on: 14 Mar 2017, 09:01 pm »
Jim:

Thanks for your thoughtful comments here to Hogues.  Your reply brings up the issue that I seem to have been thinking about forever, which is the choice of the Silks versus Silk ATs.  The ATs have a bit more generous sensitivity, which might make the tube option more viable, no?  You may have seen one Posters response to my recent inquiry on this issue, namely that going from 83/4 to 87 db and giving up 4kHz in bass is a pretty decent trade off for a lot of people.  I have a 60 watt hybrid tube integrated as you might recall, and while I have toyed with the idea of going with more power to accommodate the lower sensitivity of the standard Silks, I am not sure that the ATs wouldn't be a perfectly acceptable option in this regard.  I guess it depends on how much power the tube amp has.

Also, going a somewhat different way, wouldn't the Exotica or Exotica R monitors with the much higher sensitivity be a good option for tube lovers who would like to take advantage of Salk Sound artistry?  Just a thought, but this might not work in Hogues' small room. 

Joe


jsalk

Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #3 on: 14 Mar 2017, 09:22 pm »
Speaker design is all about balancing trade-offs.  If you want something, you have to give something up.

The original Silk Monitors feature bass extension that is amazing for a speaker of such diminutive size. And the resulting speaker is super-smooth from top to bottom.  Gene DelaSalla of Audioholics called it the best bookshelf speaker in the world.  I wouldn't be so brash as to say something like that, but it is certainly one of the finest bookshelf speakers I have ever heard.  But the trade-off is lower sensitivity.

The Silk AT provides greater sensitivity.  But the trade-off is a larger cabinet and more limited bass extension.  The higher sensitivity sure makes it a more attractive design for tube amplification.  But at 60 watts, at reasonable volumes, the original Silk Monitors would likely perform OK.

At 92db, the Exotica Monitors and Exotica 3's are perfectly suited to tube amplification and sound wonderful when driven by a good tube amplifier.  But they are larger yet again (I wouldn't call them a bookshelf speaker), more expensive and are limited to about 52Hz in terms of bass extension.

So you could look at these three examples of how trade-offs impact a speaker design.  There is no free lunch in the world of speaker design.  If you truly want something (high sensitivity, bass extension, small cabinet size, etc.), you must be willing to give something else up.

I often get a kick out of someone commenting on a specific speaker design (ours or others).  "Why don't you make the sensitivity higher."  "Why is the cabinet so large?"  "Can't you make it play deeper?" 

The drivers you choose determine these sorts of things and are chosen with some critical performance attribute in mind.  When you pick a combination of drivers, you get what they provide...nothing more, nothing less.  It's all about trade-offs.

- Jim

Hogues

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #4 on: 14 Mar 2017, 11:01 pm »
Thanks, Jim, for the great answer.  I just ordered a rug and I intend on slowly building up the room treatments starting with the first reflection point.  Generally, I like midrange better than bass, but I was also thinking about a small svs sub.  I was going to listed to the speakers first then decide if I wanted to try to add a sub.  I'll be at AXPONA on the Friday and I think that your rooms will be my first stop.  Thanks again!

Rektifier

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #5 on: 23 Mar 2017, 06:03 pm »
What are the subjective and objective characteristics of the two mids? I've read a bit on them and they seem somewhat close from a distortion standpoint. The SS seems a bit smoother uptop, but zaphs measurements show it being a bit ragged.
Which one is warmer? Which has a bigger soundstage?
 

jsalk

Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #6 on: 23 Mar 2017, 06:30 pm »
What are the subjective and objective characteristics of the two mids? I've read a bit on them and they seem somewhat close from a distortion standpoint. The SS seems a bit smoother uptop, but zaphs measurements show it being a bit ragged.
Which one is warmer? Which has a bigger soundstage?
 

The Illuminator is probably slightly warmer as it has a paper cone.  The poly cone on the AudioTechnology driver is more stiff, so the sound would likely be just a tad more detailed. Both are excellent drivers.

As for soundstage, the Illuminator may have a very slight edge due to the smaller cone size, but I doubt you'd hear a difference in that regard.

- Jim

ClarkFan

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #7 on: 26 Mar 2017, 02:18 am »
The Illuminator is probably slightly warmer as it has a paper cone.  The poly cone on the AudioTechnology driver is more stiff, so the sound would likely be just a tad more detailed. Both are excellent drivers.

As for soundstage, the Illuminator may have a very slight edge due to the smaller cone size, but I doubt you'd hear a difference in that regard.

- Jim

Jim.
What would be involved in creating a Silk AT Tower?  I am intrigued by that or an AT version of the Song3 (with the RAAL).  In particular, I think the efficiency pickup would be useful, and as a subwoofer user I wouldn't really miss that few hz of bass extension.

Jim Iverson

jsalk

Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #8 on: 27 Mar 2017, 02:16 pm »
Jim.
What would be involved in creating a Silk AT Tower?  I am intrigued by that or an AT version of the Song3 (with the RAAL).  In particular, I think the efficiency pickup would be useful, and as a subwoofer user I wouldn't really miss that few hz of bass extension.

Jim Iverson

We already have a design that is quite close.  It is a Song3 with an AudioTechnology midrange and a beryllium tweeter.  About a year ago, we did a version of the SoundScape 8 with the same beryllium tweeter and compared it to a pair with the RAAL tweeter.  It was very difficult (bordering on impossible) to hear any difference.

- Jim

johzel

Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #9 on: 27 Mar 2017, 02:41 pm »
We already have a design that is quite close.  It is a Song3 with an AudioTechnology midrange and a beryllium tweeter.  About a year ago, we did a version of the SoundScape 8 with the same beryllium tweeter and compared it to a pair with the RAAL tweeter.  It was very difficult (bordering on impossible) to hear any difference.

- Jim

 :thumb: I happen to have a pair of these speakers and can attest to how wonderful they are.

boniccie

Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #10 on: 30 Mar 2017, 10:51 pm »
Very happy with mine and i see no reason to upgrade for years to come mine is in gorgeous curly walnut BURST.

boniccie

Re: Thinking about salk silk.
« Reply #11 on: 1 Apr 2017, 04:25 am »