Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?

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Roninaudio

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Giving Salk some more thought for various reasons (the main one being any upgrade in the Dyn line is going to be major expensive). Given that auditions are rare just thought I'd see if anyone might want to share info and/or contact information and discuss the two "house" sounds if you will?   I know this is a shot in the dark but thought I'd try at least....  Thank you for any responses...

kingdeezie

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #1 on: 29 Dec 2017, 01:31 am »
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=94334.0

This is from a while ago, but a member here on audiocircle had both in their system, and chose to keep the Salks. I think you could probably find someone who has the opposite opinion pretty easily.

The benefit of Salk is the high level craftsmanship, the custom veneers, and your ability to go all in with whatever upgrades in the crossover section you might want. The whole Salk team is great to work with, and if you can stand the build time wait, I don't think you can go wrong with them.

They also have several different lines to offer different sound signatures as well.

Good luck!

Roninaudio

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #2 on: 29 Dec 2017, 02:28 am »
Thanks !   Thread is dated like you mention but still very interesting to read. These might be a fairly close comparison as both speakers are high quality and have excellent drivers.  The finish and custom piece is a given for Salk.  Can't find that many places... Much appreciated...

dB Cooper

Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #3 on: 29 Dec 2017, 05:13 am »
I have heard Songtowers, Soundscapes, and Exoticas, and IMHO if there's a speaker maker that doesn't have a 'house sound', it's Salk. Each of the series I mentioned has a distinctive sound signature compared to the others. Within a line, the Soundscapes are fairly consistent, differing mostly in bass output and extension (ranging from solid to rattle-the-windows). The Song Series- there are different drivers and different driver matrials, ribbon tweeters, dome tweeters- all sound somewhat different. The craftsmanship is second to none, and Mr. Salk has a rep as a very helpful guy with a knack for making really good recommendations once he has an idea of your musical tastes and priorities, associated equipment, and so forth. Sounds like a phone call is in order....  :icon_twisted:

JLM

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #4 on: 29 Dec 2017, 01:51 pm »
This is very much an apples vs. oranges question.  They serve different clientele, so I doubt you'll find many who have A/B'd them at home.  Salk customers value the service and finishes while Dynaudio customers value a top to bottom all in house analytical approach.

Salk uses top shelf drivers from various manufacturers, so as already mentioned no house sound to compare with to others.  Cabinet and crossover design work is farmed out to different individuals.  I've heard Salk Songtowers, Veracity, and Soundscapes at a number of shows.   The Salk Soundscapes I've heard were impressive, but all of the others have a non-coherent sound of separate drivers to me.  (Others have said the same.)

Dynaudio, like some other top end manufacturers, has an extensive R&D department and use their own drivers for consumer and professional customers.  I own Dynaudio BM5 MkIII's ($1400/pair MSRP active 2-way monitors, that I bought at close out).  Dynaudio has a very integrated and professional approach.  The BM5 MkIII's have a dryer and more detailed sound compared to many consumer speakers which is consistent with Scandinavian speakers and professional monitors in general. 

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #5 on: 29 Dec 2017, 02:42 pm »
The Salk Soundscapes I've heard were impressive, but all of the others have a non-coherent sound of separate drivers to me.  (Others have said the same.)

I'm curious; have you heard either of the Exotica models from Salk, and if so what were your impressions of them?  The reason I ask is because those models use (admittedly) very high-end drivers that the driver manufacturer explicitly designed to be used together, which should(?) leave you interpreting your opinions on the Salk cabinet/crossover designs (the "house sound" of Salk, if one were to try to pin a label on it, using your analysis of how Salk designs speakers) without contending with interpreting "mismatched" driver choices.

To be clear, I'm not trying to pick a fight, but rather wondering if it is Salk "design" you haven't been impressed with or if you just haven't been a fan of the various models' chosen driver combinations.

JLM

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #6 on: 29 Dec 2017, 03:59 pm »
No, don't recall hearing the Exotica models, too bad as I'm a fan of AlNiCo drivers and in fact my commissioned speakers use expensive AlNiCo drivers too.  Being from the same vendor and being designed to be used together should certainly help.  Note that I listen at home mostly to single driver speakers, so my sense for coherency is no doubt high, which is why I mentioned that other's have had the same impression. 

I don't necessarily believe drivers have to come from the same manufacturer to sound good together as I've heard many speakers that don't exhibit such non-coherency. 

dB Cooper

Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #7 on: 29 Dec 2017, 05:14 pm »
I'm curious; have you heard either of the Exotica models from Salk, and if so what were your impressions of them?  The reason I ask is because those models use (admittedly) very high-end drivers that the driver manufacturer explicitly designed to be used together, which should(?) leave you interpreting your opinions on the Salk cabinet/crossover designs (the "house sound" of Salk, if one were to try to pin a label on it, using your analysis of how Salk designs speakers) without contending with interpreting "mismatched" driver choices.

To be clear, I'm not trying to pick a fight, but rather wondering if it is Salk "design" you haven't been impressed with or if you just haven't been a fan of the various models' chosen driver combinations.

I'm not 'unimpressed' with Salk at all! Quite the contrary. In fact, I named one of their products (the Songtower) in a 'contest' here on AC. They make a great product and are renowned for great customer service. All I'm saying is that they don't have a 'house sound' per se. The Exotica and Soundscape are VERY different designs: the Exotica is a monopole, the Soundscapes are dipoles (mid & tweet), and they use completely different driver complements, so inevitably they sound different. I heard the Exotica towers 2 or 3 years ago at Capital Audiofest, driven by van Alstine electronics. I was floored. I would say they are more forward sounding than the Soundscapes, the Soundscapes maybe throw a deeper stereo image, both very detailed but maybe the slightest edge to the Exoticas there. With speakers more than anything else, your ears gotta be the judge. Perhaps a 'listen' could be arranged with an owner in your area. But as I said, Jim is well known for making very good recommendations once he knows something about your tastes/system/budget. If you're comfortable buying a high end speaker unheard (I'll admit I'm not, from anybody), Salk is about as safe a bet as there is and all the ones I've heard have outplayed other much more expensive systems IMHO.

DEP14

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #8 on: 29 Dec 2017, 09:46 pm »
Same time - no.

But I have owned SS8's, and currently own Dynaudio Contour 60's.

In the past several years I have owned/used... Golden Ear Triton 2's (originals), Klipsch Palladium P37's, the SS8's, NHT 3.3's, JBL 3900's, and now the Dynaudio Contour 60's.  I was also able to demo the Exotica's (though not in my home).

What can I try to help with?

I also have a ton of respect for Jim and the work they do.  My changes have had nothing to do with anything Salk related.

Feel free to post, or also DM me.

Roninaudio

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #9 on: 29 Dec 2017, 10:14 pm »
Thanks DEP14.   PM sent. 

Also great discussion guys.. This is greatly appreciated and helpful...

mr_bill

Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #10 on: 29 Dec 2017, 10:46 pm »
DEP14,
Wow what a great list!
Would love to read a brief synopsis on the Contour, Klipsch, NHT speakers - all speaks I would love to hear.
What have you liked the best out of the group?
Thanks,
Bill

DEP14

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #11 on: 30 Dec 2017, 02:53 am »
DEP14,
Wow what a great list!
Would love to read a brief synopsis on the Contour, Klipsch, NHT speakers - all speaks I would love to hear.
What have you liked the best out of the group?
Thanks,
Bill

Ok, I'll try to be brief...

Soundscape 8 (Raal)- Accurate, well rounded.  Plays deep, extended without being crazy bright.  Open sounding, just on the brighter side of dead neutral but not bright.  I liked running them with the rear open. While it plays DEEP, not a thumper in the mid bass.  Can do everything well.  Great imaging speaker, felt it was slighty affected more by where I was sitting, but by no means bad off axis.

Exotica - Coolest/Best imaging I have ever heard.  Instruments seemed suspended in space.  Bass was great (powered 8's so not unexpected)  Definitely on the warm side. You could listen for hours and hours and never be fatigued.  That said, not quite exciting enough for me.  Not my first choice for heavier rock and blues.  But for many other genres I could see how the speaker could be intoxicating.

NHT 3.3 - older design, odd shape, odd placement.  But, full range for sure.  Could get a little bright when pushed.  But, given the time, goals, and what they cost then - a pretty remarkable speaker. 

Palladium P37 - at moderate volumes a great midrange and top end, fast, tight, I didn't really hear any horn honkiness.  Great build quality.  At louder levels - cymbals came too far forward in the mix, did not play deep at all, needed a sub.

JBL 3900 - Looks old school, but was not remotely bright, never, ever got bright.  Didn't play crazy deep, but fast and had an awsome snare and kick drum sound.  Honestly, was closer to warm than bright.  Sounded a bit better when pushed.  Way overpriced at list, but for what you can get them for, a fun, good rock speaker.

Contour 60's - I've always liked the esotar tweeter.  It's accurate, they play deep and will absolutely thump.  First speaker that I honestly believed broke in (but I don't buy new much).  Neutral.  Can listen for hours, but there is excitement there.  Might read like they need less juice than some Dynaudio - I wouldn't run them with less than 150wpc with an amp that can put out some current.  I could see them as getting boomy for some in the wrong set-up, or without an amp that controlled the woofers.  Good imaging, slightly less open than the SS8's, don't image quite as crazy as the Exotica's.  But, have all the bass of the Exotica's, and a more exciting sound like the SS8's.  I dig them.

For me - the 60's or the SS8's are my favorites.

If I could design a speaker...

Give me the bass of the SS8's (with a little more of the dyn's thump), 90% of the SS8's midrange and openness, and a tweeter like the esotar, more of the shape of the contour 60's cabinet, with Jim's custom finishes...

Oh, as far as the matching center channels... for movies.

Jim's Soundscape 3 way center - best I've owned (it's a big boy).  But it's awesome.

One of the things I did to open up the Contour 60's a bit more (I like a huge sound) is to run GIK Gotham diffusion panels behind my speakers and on the walls opposite of them. I did not need to do that with the SS8's.  The Dyn's can absolutely thump though so I added GIK bass traps in all 4 corners (only ran 2 with the SS8's). 














mr_bill

Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #12 on: 30 Dec 2017, 04:25 pm »
Thank you DEP!
Really interesting to read your experiences. I enjoyed it!

DEP14

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #13 on: 3 Feb 2018, 01:28 am »
Had a chance to stop by Salk the other day and listen to the 3a Encores and Soundscape 8's side by side.

3a Encore - very impressive regardless of price, but given the price wow.

Quick review vs the SS 8's.

I felt that the 8's still have just a bit more air and spaciousness around the top end, slightly more open sounding.  The bass is a shade more articulate.

The 3a Encores - a bit fuller sounding through the midrange, and about 85% as articulate in the bass, but with a bit more oomph in the midrange and bottom end. A bit more "thump" if you will.

It's one heck of a speaker for the money.  This was in Jims warehouse space, so I can only imagine at home that the bass in particular would become more prominent.

Typical outstanding fit and finish.  The 3a Encore is bigger than I thought also - more or less the same size as the SS8's.  Like everyone of Jim's speakers I've heard - close to neutral, and coherent from top to bottom. 

My favorite bass section of Jim's speakers though is the twin 8's in the Exotica... LOVE that.

Encore 3a is closer to the soundscape in overall sound than the Exotica. 

Related to DynAudio - I did have a chance recently to hear the Consequence Ultimates (crazy 70k per pair) - holy crap, possibly the best speaker I have ever heard.  Liked them better than some of the expensive Wilsons that I have heard!  But at that price - they should!




Roninaudio

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Re: Anyone have Dynaudio and Salk in their systems at one time?
« Reply #14 on: 4 Feb 2018, 07:53 pm »
Yeah, if you are like me, 70K is not even in the realm of reality.  I actually tapped out on the Dynaudio line. Went all the way to Confidence C1s but in my system (at the time for sure as I was running direct from DAC to Amp) had less than ideal synergy and was producing (especially at volume) a very hi-def but brittle sharp sound. I have since added a Cary Audio pre-amp which made an immediate difference and jumped ship for another speaker. However Dyn will always be a favorite like Focal as well.  If I was close enough to visit Jim's place I would. Salk has always intrigued me.  Fortunately though, here near Boulder,CO, I'm right next to PS Audio, Ayre, Grace, Boulder Amp, TMR, Cresendo Audio so I still feel pretty lucky.  I hope to tour Ayre this week!