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.
"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.
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.