Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10

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strat95

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Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« on: 8 Nov 2014, 04:35 am »
I don't hear much about the SS10 or even the SS12 for that matter and they have not been demoed for some time in AVA/Salk rooms.

I'm sure Jim has another winner on his hand with the Exotica 3 and there are many comparisons to the SS8 which is similar in size and shape, but there is a $4K price difference.  If looking at price alone the Exotica 3 is priced the same as the SS10.  For those that have heard both speakers I'm curious to know how they compare.

TV

Phil A

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #1 on: 8 Nov 2014, 05:03 am »
Note the post from Jim about the woofer availability issues -  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=121968.0

That's probably part of the reason they were not demoed for a bit

strat95

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #2 on: 8 Nov 2014, 05:16 am »
Ah, I missed that thread so that may explain the absence of the SS8 and SS10.  Thanks Phil.

Still, I'm interested to hear a comparison described between the Exotica 3 and SS10 if anyone may have one to offer.
 

Phil A

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #3 on: 8 Nov 2014, 05:25 pm »
Ah, I missed that thread so that may explain the absence of the SS8 and SS10.  Thanks Phil.

Still, I'm interested to hear a comparison described between the Exotica 3 and SS10 if anyone may have one to offer.

It is the 10s and 12s (not the 8s and 10s) that went unavailable.  In Jim's post at the end of last year he indicated he found a source for the woofers for the 10s.  I have not heard the Exoticas.  I attended the 2013 Capital Audiofest (and all prior years) but due to a move from the DC area did not make it to the show last July.  I have heard the 10s and the 8s.  Really like the 8s.  I do think the 8s seem like they are easier to drive (and the specs show about 3db more in efficiency).  I can live with a hair less bass (it is almost a negligent difference per the specs and from what I heard).  There are no specs on the Exotica floorstanders on the Salk site (perhaps I missed it in a post somewhere in the circle) but there are comparisons to the 8s here - http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=128739.0  and also there is a discussion here that may help - http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=128739.0


strat95

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #4 on: 8 Nov 2014, 06:17 pm »
Oh Damn!!  Thanks Phil for catching that.  I understood it was the SS10 and SS12 but it was late last night when I responded and I obviously messed that up.

The SoundScape SS8, SS10, and SS12 all have the same tweeter and mid range with open back.  The bass section is different in each and that's where some differences will be heard for sure and the link to the thread you gave does mention the difference in bass between the SS8 and SS10 is not that big.

I have read the other threads comparing the SS8 to the Exotica 3 and being an AVA customer know that Frank at AVA ordered his own Exotica 3 so that says quite a bit to me.

The last time I heard Salk products was when the HT3 was their flagship speaker and I liked what I heard very much.  I have not had the pleasure of hearing any newer Salk designs.  I'm considering new speakers sometime in the future and Salk is on my list.  I'm hearing such good things about the Exotica 3 but it is $4K more than the SS8 and $12K takes us to SS10 territory.  The Exotica 3 does offer an amplified bass section of course which the SS8 does not.

Maybe I'm asking a question that has an obvious answer but I'm curious what a difference (if any) can be heard due to the different tweeter/midrange enclosures between the SS8 and SS10 and how that compares when the Exotica 3 is in the mix. 

Before the Exotica 3 I was seriously looking at the SS8.  However I can't ignore all the favorable reviews of the Exotica 3.

I guess the only solution would be to audition all 3 if possible and decide for myself, but being in Canada does limit my access.  So perhaps a drive to Salk for an audition one day would be the best thing?

TV

Phil A

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #5 on: 8 Nov 2014, 06:32 pm »


I guess the only solution would be to audition all 3 if possible and decide for myself, but being in Canada does limit my access.  So perhaps a drive to Salk for an audition one day would be the best thing?

TV

Until the Capital Audiofests, I had never heard Salk Speakers (although I had heard of them).  Don't have a pair yet, but have multiple systems (and almost sold off the speakers from one just before a move last year) and would have likely ended up with Salks or Philharmonics, but the sale didn't happen.  Just got my systems together a few months back after the move (late last year) and at some point there is a good possibility I'll end up with a pair (always watching Audiogon or the Salk circle of speakers available for immediate delivery which may be in reasonable driving distance).  Depending on where you are in Canada, you may be closer to Salk that I am (I am 1200 miles away).  If I sell speakers at an appropriate time and make it to an audio show (like the Capital Audiofest) and drive, I could end up with something to take back.  There are people who own the speakers who may be near to where you live as well.

DEP14

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #6 on: 14 Nov 2014, 11:37 pm »
Ok,

So I feel qualified to answer this now for you as I got to spend about 90 minutes at BRM's house auditioning his Exotica's (and damn they are the pinnacle of craftsmanship, pictures are nice, but in person - WOW!).  Just got back a little while ago.

I own the SS8's.

Short Versions for now - this is assuming you can afford both and simply are deciding between the two.

Rock, Blues, Movies - Get the SS8's.

Female Vocals, Classical - Get the Exotica.

Jazz - Depends on the amount of attack that you want.  If you prefer a bit more attack - SS8's, a bit more Organic - Exotica.

Both are incredible speakers, both have very distinct sounds in my opinion. For me, I loved the Exotica but wouldn't trade my SS8's for them straight up.  But, I listen to 80% rock and Blues.  I'll post some other thoughts here soon, but that would be my short version.


Tomy2Tone

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #7 on: 14 Nov 2014, 11:50 pm »
Ok,

So I feel qualified to answer this now for you as I got to spend about 90 minutes at BRM's house auditioning his Exotica's (and damn they are the pinnacle of craftsmanship, pictures are nice, but in person - WOW!).  Just got back a little while ago.

I own the SS8's.

Short Versions for now - this is assuming you can afford both and simply are deciding between the two.

Rock, Blues, Movies - Get the SS8's.

Female Vocals, Classical - Get the Exotica.

Jazz - Depends on the amount of attack that you want.  If you prefer a bit more attack - SS8's, a bit more Organic - Exotica.

Both are incredible speakers, both have very distinct sounds in my opinion. For me, I loved the Exotica but wouldn't trade my SS8's for them straight up.  But, I listen to 80% rock and Blues.  I'll post some other thoughts here soon, but that would be my short version.



Thanks DEP14!

Ever since I put in my order with Jim for SS8's there's that little part of me that every once in a while says "whar if" you had listened to some Exoticas. I listen to a lot of rock and blues so what you just shared will put to rest that little voice. Especially after seeing what BRM has as a pre and amp.

SCompRacer

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #8 on: 15 Nov 2014, 12:01 am »
I go along with DEP14's opinion. My SS8's are staying. I heard the Exoticas at the Axpona show. My pre is a Krell KRC-HR with Krell KSA-250 amp.

DaveC113

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #9 on: 15 Nov 2014, 12:18 am »
I'd 3rd DEP's opinion on that, Alnico drivers are different... more laid back and mellow, it takes a minute to adjust to them if you're used to a conventional hifi speaker. For acoustic music they do deliver a bit more depth and detail, but modern drivers have gotten so good, including the ones in the SS8, that it's more of a different presentation than the Alnico being obviously superior. For my preferences and the music I listen to I'd go with the SS8s between the two but it'd be nice to have both and switch them in and out depending on mood.  :green:  For people who hate the modern "hifi" sound, think Focals (just for example) are way too hot, and listen to primarily acoustic music... then the Exoticas would be perfect.

fsimms

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #10 on: 15 Nov 2014, 03:15 pm »
Ok,

So I feel qualified to answer this now for you as I got to spend about 90 minutes at BRM's house auditioning his Exotica's (and damn they are the pinnacle of craftsmanship, pictures are nice, but in person - WOW!).  Just got back a little while ago.

I own the SS8's.

Short Versions for now - this is assuming you can afford both and simply are deciding between the two.

Rock, Blues, Movies - Get the SS8's.

Female Vocals, Classical - Get the Exotica.

Jazz - Depends on the amount of attack that you want.  If you prefer a bit more attack - SS8's, a bit more Organic - Exotica.

Both are incredible speakers, both have very distinct sounds in my opinion. For me, I loved the Exotica but wouldn't trade my SS8's for them straight up.  But, I listen to 80% rock and Blues.  I'll post some other thoughts here soon, but that would be my short version.

Thanks Dep13.   As a SoundScape owner, I am very interested in comparisons.  Kewl thought provoking comments.  Looking forward to your extended thoughts.

Bob

ctviggen

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #11 on: 15 Nov 2014, 05:49 pm »
Ok,

So I feel qualified to answer this now for you as I got to spend about 90 minutes at BRM's house auditioning his Exotica's (and damn they are the pinnacle of craftsmanship, pictures are nice, but in person - WOW!).  Just got back a little while ago.

I own the SS8's.

Short Versions for now - this is assuming you can afford both and simply are deciding between the two.

Rock, Blues, Movies - Get the SS8's.

Female Vocals, Classical - Get the Exotica.

Jazz - Depends on the amount of attack that you want.  If you prefer a bit more attack - SS8's, a bit more Organic - Exotica.

Both are incredible speakers, both have very distinct sounds in my opinion. For me, I loved the Exotica but wouldn't trade my SS8's for them straight up.  But, I listen to 80% rock and Blues.  I'll post some other thoughts here soon, but that would be my short version.

I hate to be the curmudgeon here, but you're comparing speakers in two different rooms with two completely different sets of electronics?  To me, that renders your comparison useless.  Now, if you would have the two different speakers in the same room with the same electronics, at least that comes closer to being a real comparison. But without that, the comparison is meaningless.

I compared the VMPS RM40s with the Salk HT3s, but I had everything the same:  same electronics, same room, same cables, etc.  That's at least closer to fair than different rooms and different electronics.  And even with everything the same but the speakers, it's still hard to make a good comparison, as my memory isn't great and it's hard to determine what I really heard.

strat95

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #12 on: 15 Nov 2014, 06:48 pm »
I hate to be the curmudgeon here, but you're comparing speakers in two different rooms with two completely different sets of electronics?  To me, that renders your comparison useless.  Now, if you would have the two different speakers in the same room with the same electronics, at least that comes closer to being a real comparison. But without that, the comparison is meaningless.

I compared the VMPS RM40s with the Salk HT3s, but I had everything the same:  same electronics, same room, same cables, etc.  That's at least closer to fair than different rooms and different electronics.  And even with everything the same but the speakers, it's still hard to make a good comparison, as my memory isn't great and it's hard to determine what I really heard.

I agree, two different rooms with different electronics introduces many variables.

As the originator of this thread, I was hoping this was not going to turn out to be an SS8 vs. Exotica 3 comparison as there are already many threads dedicated that.  I appreciate input but with $4000 price difference between the SS8 and Exotica 3 I was asking to hear comparisons between the SS10 vs Exotica 3 which are equally priced.

Regards,

TV

kingdeezie

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #13 on: 15 Nov 2014, 07:01 pm »
I hate to be the curmudgeon here, but you're comparing speakers in two different rooms with two completely different sets of electronics?  To me, that renders your comparison useless.  Now, if you would have the two different speakers in the same room with the same electronics, at least that comes closer to being a real comparison. But without that, the comparison is meaningless.

I compared the VMPS RM40s with the Salk HT3s, but I had everything the same:  same electronics, same room, same cables, etc.  That's at least closer to fair than different rooms and different electronics.  And even with everything the same but the speakers, it's still hard to make a good comparison, as my memory isn't great and it's hard to determine what I really heard.

I think it is also important to note that BRM has his room dialed in extremely well with a multitude of well placed treatments. I don't know what DEP's room is like, but at BRMs, you are probably getting a very clear sense of what the recording is supposed to actually sound like, and what the equipment sounds like.

This is going to present a very different perspective.

In my own experiences, as you treat your room, you come to find that most recordings that you thought were bright, or had high energy, were actually a product of reflections within the room.

Most bad recordings tend to sound lifeless, dull, and two dimensional to me anymore, not so much brittle, or reeking of high energy. Most of all of my recordings now are very listenable.

I think you would need to compare the SS10 and Exoticas like ctviggen stated, or else the comparison is useless. High resolution speakers like the SS series, and Exoticas are very sensitive to upstream equipment. 

I also never really understood how a speaker can be good for one genre, and bad for another. I also don't understand how a speaker that is very efficient, dynamic, and has servo subs kicking down to 20HZ can't be good for rock and blues.

I guess I'll find out in a couple of months.  :thumb: 

SCompRacer

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #14 on: 15 Nov 2014, 07:37 pm »

I also never really understood how a speaker can be good for one genre, and bad for another. I also don't understand how a speaker that is very efficient, dynamic, and has servo subs kicking down to 20HZ can't be good for rock and blues.



I'd offer up ESL (electrostatic) speakers as an example. I had hybrid ESL's with a folded transmission line bass module for several years. Bi-amped with active crossover. They had great bass. My ESL's were a di-pole so the soundstage was quite expansive.  The ESL's had excellent transparency, very fast and detailed. The RAAL tweeter and the Accuton mid in the SS series are both extremely low mass so they are also very fast and detailed. I can also open up the back for some di-pole action. However, the mid bass impact with my ESL's wasn't as good as my SS8's. I felt the ESL's excelled with classical, acoustic and female vocals, but were just OK for rock. And I've had acoustic treatments in my room since 2006.

I've heard the Exoticas and SS8's on the same gear in the same room so I still second DEP's opinion regarding the SS10's and Exotica.

strat95

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #15 on: 15 Nov 2014, 07:56 pm »
I've heard the Exoticas and SS8's on the same gear in the same room so I still second DEP's opinion regarding the SS10's and Exotica.

In DEP's post he talks of SS8 not ss10.  Please keep in mind the HF and midrange enclosure is different between the SS8 and SS10 and that can contribute to differences as well.

If I'm ready to drop $12K on a pair of speakers, I'm looking at comparisons that are at least equally priced to start with.

TV

kingdeezie

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #16 on: 15 Nov 2014, 08:10 pm »
I'd offer up ESL (electrostatic) speakers as an example. I had hybrid ESL's with a folded transmission line bass module for several years. Bi-amped with active crossover. They had great bass. My ESL's were a di-pole so the soundstage was quite expansive.  The ESL's had excellent transparency, very fast and detailed. The RAAL tweeter and the Accuton mid in the SS series are both extremely low mass so they are also very fast and detailed. I can also open up the back for some di-pole action. However, the mid bass impact with my ESL's wasn't as good as my SS8's. I felt the ESL's excelled with classical, acoustic and female vocals, but were just OK for rock. And I've had acoustic treatments in my room since 2006.

I've heard the Exoticas and SS8's on the same gear in the same room so I still second DEP's opinion regarding the SS10's and Exotica.

This sounds more like a comparison between speaker technologies and sound presentation, versus being genre specific. If someone prefers the sound of ESL, then anything on the panels is going to sound good to them. There are plenty of people who greatly enjoy all types of music on ESLs.

If you, on the other hand, prefer the sound of dynamic speakers, the same principle would apply.

 

kingdeezie

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #17 on: 15 Nov 2014, 08:13 pm »
In DEP's post he talks of SS8 not ss10.  Please keep in mind the HF and midrange enclosure is different between the SS8 and SS10 and that can contribute to differences as well.

If I'm ready to drop $12K on a pair of speakers, I'm looking at comparisons that are at least equally priced to start with.

TV

I think the same comparison would apply. If people prefer the SS8, they are going to prefer the SS10, to the Exotica. A direct comparison, which is highly unlikely given the expense, as well as the relative newness of the Exotica, would most likely reveal the same preference between the two as the SS8.

I always got the impression that the SS8 just had less bass extension than the SS10, but from 30HZ up, was pretty similar.

DaveC113

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Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #18 on: 15 Nov 2014, 08:18 pm »
The SS vs Exoticas are such an apples to oranges comparison I think DEP's comments are valid despite the room and systems being different. Plus, everyone else seems to agree.

SCompRacer

Re: Exotica 3 compared to SoundScape 10
« Reply #19 on: 15 Nov 2014, 08:22 pm »
This sounds more like a comparison between speaker technologies and sound presentation, versus being genre specific. If someone prefers the sound of ESL, then anything on the panels is going to sound good to them. There are plenty of people who greatly enjoy all types of music on ESLs.

If you, on the other hand, prefer the sound of dynamic speakers, the same principle would apply.

 

There is no denying the ESL's are not as dynamic or have less impact in the mids as a box speaker, thus some genre sound better than others. With audio, you get what you accept.