SS8 first impression

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Austin08

SS8 first impression
« on: 16 Mar 2012, 07:56 am »
It has been several days since the SS8 arrived. They have been drove lightly with acoustic jazz and vocal since then. Today, I decide to give the SS8 a real test drive and do a first owner impression report.

First, appearance

"whoa..it is beautiful". The SS8 is look much better in person than all the pictutes that have been posted on the web.  The SS8 red mentador lexus is making a big statement in my living room immediately. Although, they are measured 10x15x43, SS8 are sure look bigger. Fit and finish are first rate. The SS8 came with all the grills which include soft grills for open back baffle and hard grills when open back is not desire. It would be nice if the SS8 come with the base preinstalled. The speaker is very heavy, the paint finish is very smooth and slippery,  fliping the speaker around to install the base is not an easy task. If not carefull, can easily leave a scartch mark on the beautifull finish.

Second, the sound.

If I have to use word to descibe the SS8 sound it would be "Transparent". Even at low volume, the SS8 ruthlessly review the source. During almost 4hrs of listening section. I was throwing all kind of music in the mix, Eva Cassidy, Jennifer Warnes, Dire Strait, Hayley Westenra, Sara K, Wilco...... I never felt fatigue.

The RAAl ribon and the Accuton work their magic beautifully. This combination is best showed when I listen to Allison Krauss and Union sacd, her warm and featherly vocal perfectly display in the center image while the banjo sound floating, dominate  every corner of the front soundstage. There are no glare, no harness just totally perfect. Then came Eva Cassidy - audiophile voices xrcd, "What a wonderful world",  her powerful haunting voice was brilliantly portrait through the SS8. I could not help myself but to scream along ".... What a wonderful world.." So, how does it go in the low region? Very deep, tight, tunefull, never call attention for itself but utra subsonic powerful when needed. This can easily be provent in my favorite bass demo sacd, Mega movies soundtrack - conducted by Erich Kunzel and Cincinnati pops. Who would believe this much quality bass was pump out from a midsize speaker. The SS8 bass saked my room like thunder, push my 4yrs old kid under his bed and make my wife sreamming "TURN IT DOWN......". And the they did it all without any sigh of stress or distortion. They are that good.

Now look back at the past couple months. I can certaintly answer my most fearfull question that I keep asking myself  almost everyday. "what if they are not as good as some of the speakers that I previoussly owned". Totem Wind ( 6 months ownership), Wilson Max ( 2 week audition),  both which I felt in love but could not stay in my home any longer due to my wife's picky eyes. Other speakers are worth mention are Triangle Tratos Luna ( 1.5 year), Thiel CS6 (3 years)... My answer is The SS8 are excellent speaker. I have no regret in my decision of buying them. They perform exactly to my expectation and more. They can easily compete with speakers costing twice as much and still hold its own up high.

 In today high end market, specially high end speaker.$8000-$10000 for a pair of speaker is not cheap but compare to a lot of "HYPE" out there, the SS8 is a great bargain. I am strongly recommend the SS8 to anyone who in the market for a pair of new speaker from $8000 and up.  They were created by the most passionate speaker builders in the industry who always have a careffully design and execute plan along with their incomparable skills and craftsmanship,  "always be there" principle support. They are the best value in the market, now.

Once again, I would like to thank you Jim, Dennis and all the crew at Salksound for a wonderfull product that I can come home and enjoy it everyday.

Quan.


Stereo equipment used in the listening section
Oppo 83 se Nuforce edition.
Bat VK 31 with 6 - 7308 Amperex USN-CEP PQ white lable1964 tubes
Bat vk 6200 power amp
Kimber Kable Hero XLR int
Audio Art SE rca int
Kimber Kable Ultra bi focal, Mit 750 shotgun, Cardass Golden Cross speaker cables (all rotating with minimal audible sound change in characteristic with Kimber Kable stay in the system most of the listening period)
Monster AVS2000 power distributor/conditioner.






yetis

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #1 on: 16 Mar 2012, 09:35 am »
Let me get in here before Nuance does  :D

As a soon to be owner, it was great to hear that you're happy with the purchase. It took me almost a year to decide, with the WAF being the greatest challenge. I will say they look enormous in your picture, I hope it's the angle or color.

I am pretty excited about these speakers.

Good luck with your new toys and let us know how things go as they break in...

Chris

Austin08

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #2 on: 16 Mar 2012, 12:39 pm »
The SS8 are sure look bigger than I expected. Maybe due to the dominant of the red color. My room is 13x20x8. In my room they are fit nicely.

Nuance

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #3 on: 16 Mar 2012, 01:23 pm »
Let me get in here before Nuance does  :D

As a soon to be owner, it was great to hear that you're happy with the purchase. It took me almost a year to decide, with the WAF being the greatest challenge. I will say they look enormous in your picture, I hope it's the angle or color.

I am pretty excited about these speakers.

Good luck with your new toys and let us know how things go as they break in...

Chris

:D  Chris, you're going to love them!

Quan, congrats to you sir; I'm so happy you like them as much as I did.  You're a lucky man!

fsimms

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #4 on: 16 Mar 2012, 01:29 pm »
Thanks for the first impressions.   :thumb:

How much stuffing do you use?  I went to Walmart and got a polyfil stuffed pillow that was very cheap.  It gave me much more polyfil then I could ever use.  I find that a small handfull of polyfil is needed at least, though trust your own ears.

The left speaker sure does look like it is close to the wall on the left.  Is it too close?

Bob

Austin08

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #5 on: 16 Mar 2012, 02:32 pm »
My buddy has a small shop that do custom drapery and windown treatment so I just went there and got a whole bag of polyfil to play around with. I did end up adding a small portion of polyfil in.
No, the left speaker is about 1.5' away from the side wall. The wall you see 4" 703 that can extending out to cover a portion of the window ( my first reflection is right there, too) and retrack to the corner when not in use.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?action=gallery#

fsimms

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #6 on: 16 Mar 2012, 02:51 pm »
Quote
My buddy has a small shop that do custom drapery and windown treatment so I just went there and got a whole bag of polyfil to play around with. I did end up adding a small portion of polyfil in.
No, the left speaker is about 1.5' away from the side wall. The wall you see 4" 703 that can extending out to cover a portion of the window ( my first reflection is right there, too) and retrack to the corner when not in use.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?action=gallery#

Kewl!

Bob

Vulcan00

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Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #7 on: 16 Mar 2012, 03:03 pm »
Nice review!

The SS8 are 15" in depth. Thats two inches less than the HT2-TL and equal to the depth of the HT3.

IMO, its the angle of the view in the photo that makes the SS8 look so much larger. The HT2-TL don't look nearly as big but its their smaller width that make them look "slim".

I think they look just right! 8)

bigbwb

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Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #8 on: 16 Mar 2012, 03:10 pm »
Wow those look very cool, congrats!  My wifes last IS250 was Matador red mica, great color :thumb:

Wig

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #9 on: 16 Mar 2012, 03:19 pm »
Stunning....

 :thumb:

audiotom

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Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #10 on: 16 Mar 2012, 06:26 pm »
Incredible - these look stunning

great to hear your insights Quan

another innovative niche in the Salk family


GhostintheToast

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #11 on: 18 Mar 2012, 11:36 pm »
Wow those are REALLY nice and great writeup to boot.  You're right about one thing though, you are not a good photographer.   
:tempted:

audiotom

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Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #12 on: 29 Mar 2012, 03:03 am »
Quan

Now that you have had some time with the ss8s  any further insights

Austin08

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #13 on: 29 Mar 2012, 03:40 am »
Nothing really special since I am very busy at work. I do, however, feel that running the SS8 without the poly stuffing seem yield better result ( I put 4" 703 behind each speaker instead of 2" about 2'5 away from back speaker). Also, on some bright recording, "Time to say good bye" xrcd24 -Sara Brightmant, vocal seems to be suffer a bit. I believe my tv is causing trouble (same problem with my other ex-speakers). This is an easy fix, I put my DIY mobile  2" 2x4 703 panel infront of tv, problem is fix but as the same time my soundstage get a little bit smaller. Maybe to much obsorbtion deadened my front wall. I tried to pull my speaker away from front wall a little more without any toe-in and listen without the 703 in the middle, same cd,  sound is awsome. But the world is not end there, I am running into WAF, the speaker is 6' into the room. One possible solution is losing some obsortion and adding diffusion to the front and to the back wall. To bad, I will not have time to play around with it since I am in Asia right now. So far this is one of the best speaker that I have heard. The SS8 is awsome.

Sonix

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #14 on: 29 Mar 2012, 04:34 am »
Thanks for your wonderful impressions on an awesome product. (I really enjoyed your picture too)

But, i am just curious....even though the SS 8's each look like they already come with two built-in sub's :o,
do you ever feel the need to add a sub-woofer?

Austin08

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #15 on: 29 Mar 2012, 05:11 am »
Thanks for your wonderful impressions on an awesome product. (I really enjoyed your picture too)

But, i am just curious....even though the SS 8's each look like they already come with two built-in sub's :o,
do you ever feel the need to add a sub-woofer?

Just to clarify, there are 2 side firing radiator on each speaker. These are not  sub. The SS8 bass is very tight and tunefull, not really call attention to itself.  In most case , I don't feel the need for a subwoofer in 2 channel music. I did tried to integrate my Totem Thunder in the system and the sub blending in nicely, do aid little more weigth to the SS8 bass. But that is only for experimental, I am hardly using my sub when listening music. (Suprisingly, the SS8 do a very good job on some rock material). But on the other hand, in .1 aplication, I do prefer the sub on.






Wig

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #16 on: 9 Apr 2012, 10:27 pm »
I'm still on the fence, considering selling my Avalon Ascendants for the SS8 but they image so well and really disappear and would hate if the SS8 match their soundscape.

Wig :thumb:

Austin08

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #17 on: 10 Apr 2012, 01:48 am »
I'm still on the fence, considering selling my Avalon Ascendants for the SS8 but they image so well and really disappear and would hate if the SS8 match their soundscape.

Wig :thumb:


I am not really good with words, BRM did a better job here, what he said about the SS8 is totally true. IMO, the SS8 is a new reference in its price class. At 6' away from front wall with little toe in, the SS8 is totally disappear, producing a huge soundstage and picture perfect image. The emotional listening enjoyment keep draw me in, isn't it a real reason why we are in this hobby.

Wig

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #18 on: 10 Apr 2012, 02:10 am »
Hopefully someone in the Elpaso, TX or S. NM will buy a pair and invite me over for a listen... :D

Wig

Austin08

Re: SS8 first impression
« Reply #19 on: 10 Apr 2012, 02:15 am »
Once you do, there no turning back. It is a curse. :icon_twisted: