Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?

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Big Red Machine

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #40 on: 3 Jun 2016, 11:08 am »
I'm pretty sure everyone here wants to help the OP solve the problem and enjoy his set-up. Other than the unknown digital cable there are not any "crappy" devices sticking out in your system that would be immediate culprits to bad sound.

Have you gone to listen to other speakers and found them to be pleasing to your ears? What driver types? What gear in the chain?

Other than a fault with the speakers, upgrading the source gear and cabling, and then re-evaluating, it's very hard for us to know if your system in fact sounds like crap or your ears are sensitive to the drivers. Ship them to me and I'll get you a partial answer :thumb: cuz they would be my ears :duh:

I can send you my TotalDac usb cable to try.

ricardojoa

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #41 on: 3 Jun 2016, 11:52 am »
I would say 30 percent chances is your room.

ddark65

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #42 on: 3 Jun 2016, 12:25 pm »
Id love to see a picture of the room that these speakers are in , can you post one

undertow

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #43 on: 3 Jun 2016, 01:26 pm »
Only because you mentioned in your response to us that you do have some interest in crossover upgrades etc.. Here are a few things to chew on.

I can argue that the Kimber cables could be a less than desirable match. These are also fairly "Zippy", and thinner sounding. Upper echelon stuff from Kimber not so much, but the standard stuff like Hero's can get a bit "Harsh".

Also to be honest the Primaluna gear is good, but you need to find tubes that are much better than stock if that is what is being used. Not to mention once again like in my first post the Salks I believe use SOLEN fast caps, I know for a fact Primaluna uses SOLEN fast caps from the factory they add a lot of harsh highlighted tone to anything I ever hear them in.

And I owned Primaluna guess what the first thing to go was! That's right... Those dam Solen caps here are photos of my upgrades at the time... It's fairly easy, and reasonable cost to change caps in both, and in that speaker even if just on the tweeter, and the preamp. I think it can help a lot in the case of matching up better toward smoother sound overall regardless what speaker is used.

I used Mundorfs EVO, and Clarity cap ESA caps to replace them all. Cheap, and nearly as good as the top of the line caps from any cap company.

The Primaluna is a "Good" preamp, but might not tilt toward the most lush of tubes if you need to inject that I would suggest looking at something more along the lines of Mcintosh, or Conrad Johnson gear I originally suggested. And again Mundorf Evo, or Clarity ESA caps will also work great in your speakers as well.

Besides your not a true "Audiophile" until you tear apart a perfectly good piece of equipment, and replace the caps  :icon_lol:











« Last Edit: 3 Jun 2016, 02:50 pm by undertow »

Anonamemouse

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #44 on: 3 Jun 2016, 01:34 pm »
Besides your not a true "Audiophile" until you tear apart a perfectly good piece of equipment, and replace the caps  :icon_lol:
Seconded!
Those are some mighty fine CAPS there! :D

jd3

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #45 on: 3 Jun 2016, 03:07 pm »
I'll chime in.  If you don't like the way the SS8's sound then I'd move on.  I wouldn't spend big bucks to upgrade the electronics.  Been there, done that.  I've owned a bunch of Jim's speakers, and did have a pair of SS8's.  I found over time that the RAAL tweeter/Accuton combo just wasn't for me.  I started with a Luxman 505 using a Bel Canto dac.  Then I went through a myriad of Pass amps trying to 'mellow' the sound to my liking.  In the end, I just wasn't using the system enough to justify keeping the speakers.  I think in retrospect I stopped listening  because I didn't really like the way they sounded.   I found I prefer dome tweeters vs. ribbons.  Just my experience.

charmerci

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #46 on: 3 Jun 2016, 04:04 pm »
What's your location? Maybe an ACer can come by with equipment or you can go by and listen to theirs/

Austin08

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #47 on: 3 Jun 2016, 05:44 pm »
It seems like the Accuton and Raal combo may not suite your taste. I have owned the SS8s since the first day it was being introduced to the world. Pair them with many brands from Rogue, Bat, Sim Audio, ModWright... and they all sound good. My favorite combo is SS8+ Bat. Now, I am using MW integrate Ki200. While it is a good match to Salk but not as good as when I pair the SS8 with Bat amp and preamp combo. Only I choose using MW integrate is for my own convenient and lack of space.

Over the years, many audio friends has been listened to my SS8+ Bat combo and felt very please with how they sound. Yes, there were also few other Philes felt there was too much energy in the upper frequency range that they wished there was way to reduce it. This was confirm again when I try to sell my whole system to raise fund for my new house, two years go. Lucky me and also thank you my mom for her generous "donation",  I was able to sell all my stuffs and still be able to keep my Salk.

From my experience, while the Salk SS8s is the most natural, clear, clean mid with explosive bass speaker, they are also a very revealing and unforgiven speaker. If you want to stick with these speaker you have to spend more time and money to explore their potential. If you have space and want another pair of speaker which offer similar performance but warmer tone, I would recommend you should give MG 3.7i a listen. I own both speakers and think they are world class speaker despire their low retail price.

kingdeezie

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #48 on: 3 Jun 2016, 07:16 pm »
I love when someone has speaker issues and people suggest multi thousand dollar boxes full of capacitors for AC.

The problem is, there isn't any evidence to suggest that the SS8s are the problem. Swapping in a much cheaper speaker, that isn't nearly as resolving, and claiming the source of the issue has been identified is ridiculous.

If you are unhappy with the picture on your television, you don't smear vasoline over your glasses to remedy your displeasure. You calibrate the TV, and complete the due diligence needed to locate and solve the issue.

Blaming "glare," "hardness," "harshness," and "brightness" on just the speaker, whose primary job is to transduce what it is being fed, is crazy.

Why would anyone purposefully design a speaker with those attributes?

SurgeX, Furman, Brickwall, PI Audio, Torus, Bryston, Equitech, etc, etc, all make products to service various AC issues and needs, in both the audiophile and professional audio demographics.

Are they just all peddling snake oil?

Also, multi-thousand dollar units? Huh?

I suggested a PI Audio Magikbus. $850 new, probably used for less than $500. Not out of place for a system spearheaded by a pair of $9K speakers.

Deep,

Did you mention that you have the DAC plugged into a common circuit, and not the dedicated circuit? Try switching it to the dedicated circuit. Digital equipment is notorious for being susceptible to noise.

Also, I would agree with the audiocircle member who suggested looking for someone local with a conditioner. I would also try and call PI Audio and see if they have anything lying around you could demo. The units are small, so space is not an issue.


Folsom

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #49 on: 3 Jun 2016, 07:30 pm »
Find a manufacturer for a power conditioner that does a trial period. PI Audio does this. Contact Dave to ask which you should try. The digibuss probably works with SMPS based units, while the Uber is for linear (your amp).

Tomy2Tone

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #50 on: 3 Jun 2016, 07:47 pm »
I'll chime in with my 2 cents worth. I had auditioned a pair of SS8's from a local owner and thought they sounded great so I ordered a pair from Jim brand new. When I received them and set them up in my room with my electronics I was initially shocked and disappointed as they did not sound like what I had previously heard. Very bright and sterile.

Chatting with a couple forum members here I was told,but never actually verified from Accuton, that the Accuton drivers need several hundred hours to fully break in. So for the next 6 weeks while I would be at work I had the ability to play loud rock and r&b music for hours on end and they indeed began to smooth out and sound better. Much better...

I had attended the NewPort show last year and got to hear the new Von Schweikert vr55 speakers with Accuton drivers. I thought they sounded like finger nails on a chalk board and couldn't understand the appeal. Later that day I talked to one of the guys running that room and he mentioned the drivers were just installed before the show and had very little time on them. Fast forward to RMAF I got to hear them again but this time they were much smoother and very delicate sounding. To me it was almost a night and day difference. Guys in the room said they made it a point to get the drivers fully broken in or close to it for RMAF so that told me there must be something to it.

All that said, there are so many variables at play with trying to get a good sounding system put together in your home that it could be a number of reasons. But, if your SS8's have been seldom used then maybe you just need some time..

Stercom

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #51 on: 3 Jun 2016, 08:03 pm »
I'll chime in with my 2 cents worth. I had auditioned a pair of SS8's from a local owner and thought they sounded great so I ordered a pair from Jim brand new. When I received them and set them up in my room with my electronics I was initially shocked and disappointed as they did not sound like what I had previously heard. Very bright and sterile.

Chatting with a couple forum members here I was told,but never actually verified from Accuton, that the Accuton drivers need several hundred hours to fully break in. So for the next 6 weeks while I would be at work I had the ability to play loud rock and r&b music for hours on end and they indeed began to smooth out and sound better. Much better...

I had attended the NewPort show last year and got to hear the new Von Schweikert vr55 speakers with Accuton drivers. I thought they sounded like finger nails on a chalk board and couldn't understand the appeal. Later that day I talked to one of the guys running that room and he mentioned the drivers were just installed before the show and had very little time on them. Fast forward to RMAF I got to hear them again but this time they were much smoother and very delicate sounding. To me it was almost a night and day difference. Guys in the room said they made it a point to get the drivers fully broken in or close to it for RMAF so that told me there must be something to it.

All that said, there are so many variables at play with trying to get a good sounding system put together in your home that it could be a number of reasons. But, if your SS8's have been seldom used then maybe you just need some time..

Yep, totally agree. However, this is what the OP had to say:

Stercom suggests the speakers may not be broken in. They have been played almost daily between 4 and 10 hours daily for over a year.

So I guess he played them 4 - 10 hours a day for over a year :D

Tomy2Tone

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #52 on: 3 Jun 2016, 08:10 pm »
Yep, totally agree. However, this is what the OP had to say:

So I guess he played them 4 - 10 hours a day for over a year :D

Didn't see that, thanks! 

So who the hell knows,  :D

I know I've tried placing the speakers off different walls and different angles in the same room and could get really different sound and imaging.

undertow

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #53 on: 3 Jun 2016, 08:35 pm »
I don't want to start a flame war on this, but here is some truth.

 I can say this after having some personal conversations of owners in the past, and other owners of all kinds of similar speakers in the past that use some of the more exotic drivers it ultimately comes down to "Overrating" industry trends, and end up in many overpriced materials used in designs because everybody jumps on the supposed most advanced bandwagon to compete at your local Audio Hotel shows.

First off the more "Exotic" the materials used in acoustic designs from my experience, and in my opinion the more risk they are not going to be as stable, or musical to the average human.

Take Kevlar drivers, or ceramics like the Accuton, some composites, etc...

The only thing I have truly heard that can be used really well for the money is the Diamond, and Beryllium tweeters in some designs. However, honestly from owning multiple designs using Aluminum, Kevlar, Ceramic, and even "Polyglass"... The best of the best for midrange, mid-woofers, even SUB woofers 9 times out of 10 ends up being the most natural material, and cheapest still available... PAPER!

Obviously depending on the treatment of the paper for durability, deterioration, and implementation will vary, but it sounds good. You want musical go with the companies that get the basics right, and get you to the promise land without overhyped / overpriced drivers..

You can argue all you want that paper, or more standard drivers are not as capable of the dynamics, or accuracy many of these off the shelf exotic drivers produced in the last 10 years provide, but you would be wrong sorry.

Not the best analogy, but live music for P.A. Reinforcement, and many professional applications including all your run of the mill guitar amps, speakers whatever still use ... That's right PAPER! And they are as efficient, and in-destructible as any exotic 86 to 88 db home drivers, and they ain't got no ceramic drivers that made that music, or mastered that music most of the time. All these super Audio materials are simply a business within a business if you know the real sound results.

So sometimes this could just be a case that the simpler the better. I have a 30 year old pair of high efficiency horns with Titanium tweeters that can slay anything from these newer box designs, even the newest Avantgarde Horns don't surprisingly add much to the equation with advanced horn designs. In the end synergy is everything when you want to get the to best results not the most exotic box with exotic European drivers dropped in it.

I am not saying there is ultimately a right or wrong here, but sometimes you gotta realize you need to go with what works, and makes you happy so maybe a few in this thread are correct... Stop fighting yourself, and change the speakers. You want less ringing, or abnormal response a lot of the time basic materials will excel in your extended listening sessions regardless of acoustic conditions.

I figured the name of the thread was "Are the SS8's the wrong speaker for me?" so the answer is simply they might be!
« Last Edit: 6 Jun 2016, 08:02 pm by undertow »

genjamon

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #54 on: 3 Jun 2016, 08:46 pm »
From what I've read, it sounds like the OP is trying to get by without investing a lot into electronics, power management, and other tweaks to optimize the sound.  But in my experience with speakers of this calibre, mating with similar calibre electronics and working with other system tweaks is definitely needed to chase down gremlins getting in the way of my connection to the music.  A few observations based on the posts:

1) Dedicated circuits do not fully isolate the components from noise.  Power conditioning still matters.

2) Digital sources are keenly susceptible to noise.  Get those things onto the dedicated line, and definitely invest in power conditioning - at the very least for the digital side of the equation. 

3) Off the shelf computers are very noisy beasts, even if used as a dedicated music player.  And running JRiver would be just the very tippy-toe start to what is needed for a clean source of digital files without a bunch of hash that can easily create glare in the irritating upper mids/lower treble.  There's a reason people invest in CAPS servers, or any number of other audiophile music servers in the exploding market for optimizing digital playback.  Optmizing the handling of all those bits is essential for getting the most out of your system.  And even if you're not trying to get the absolute most out of your system, dirty digital can definitely create a harsher, more sterile sound with glare in the upper mids.  Probably a bad combo with those Accuton drivers.

4) Ditto using just a standard USB cable to connect to DAC - at the very least using one of a variety of cheap solutions to disconnect the noisy 5V power leg from the computer to the DAC would be an excellent test of how much noise from the computer is contributing to what OP is hearing

5) While his electronics are certainly nothing to sneeze at, and perfectly competent, they may not be an excellent match to the speakers for his tastes.  If this is the case, even with getting rid of the noise in the computer-DAC source realm, he still wouldn't be satisfied.  And so, still may end up either needing to change speakers, or change pre/amp for the right synergy. 

6) IC's and speaker cables can make differences - but should be used as final tweaks, not as initial ones. 

7) I just moved from a house with very lively surfaces with lots of reflections to a house with a much larger audio room and heavy carpeting.  The system had been tweaked for the lively room, and now sounds very lush, languid, and overdamped.  I'm having to play with a lot of tweaks to make the system sound more lively.  Speaker placement, moving around acoustic treatments, ceramic ball bearings in footers instead of stainless steel have all helped.  And last night, swapping tubes in my DAC from 300b's to 45's made a really nice difference - I'm almost to where I like things again.  Before this, I wasn't really listening much because the system was sounding too boring.

Overall strategy: First, get rid of the noise in your system, so you can clearly hear what your electronics, speakers, and cabling are all contributing to the sound.  Then find the right system synergy for you by trying different combinations.  And everything matters.

It sounds to me like the OP is not willing to go through all that effort, even though his speakers are clearly worth doing so.  It also sounds like others with SS8's have had similar issues and have valued moving on to either Exotica's or other speaker brands.  Given that's the case, I'd recommend heading out to Newport this weekend and having a listen to a bunch of other speakers and seeing what kind of speakers will be your next exploration in this hobby. 

Easy test for susceptibility to source noise: get a cheap USB solution that interrupts the 5V from the computer to your DAC, and eliminates it entirely (if your DAC doesn't need the 5V), or provides its own clean 5V to your DAC. 


Ern Dog

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #55 on: 3 Jun 2016, 08:52 pm »
The problem is, there isn't any evidence to suggest that the SS8s are the problem. Swapping in a much cheaper speaker, that isn't nearly as resolving, and claiming the source of the issue has been identified is ridiculous.

I suggested a PI Audio Magikbus. $850 new, probably used for less than $500. Not out of place for a system spearheaded by a pair of $9K speakers.

Agreed.

 I would try a different source as an experiment.  Your dac combined with your PC could be a huge factor.  I've heard that your dac leans toward the analytical side.  Try a friends audiophile CD player or try a different dac. 

I've been in a similar situation, where a friend let me borrow his speakers, which were more resolving than mine and the result was that my rig sounded too bright and etched.  All that happened was that his speakers revealed all the problems I had upstream, that were being masked by my speakers. 

I also like all the suggestions about tweaking the speaker placement.  Check out Jim Smith's book 'Get Better Sound' as he is a master at speaker placement.  The Uberbuss power conditioner is also an excellent suggestion.  I took mine over to a friends house to demo and we all heard the music sound less etchy.

sfox7076

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #56 on: 3 Jun 2016, 09:31 pm »
I officially went down the rabbit hole of caps last weekend.  Out went the Solens' and in went Jupiter VT Caps.  Also changed to Jantzen wax foil inductors.  I really like the changes.  Detail is up and the speakers still just disappear. 

advanced101

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #57 on: 3 Jun 2016, 09:41 pm »
Maybe he just doesn't like the speakers  :scratch:

undertow

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #58 on: 3 Jun 2016, 09:55 pm »
Sorry... I never even heard of  Duroche Capacitors to be honest, and from a quality standpoint can't say whether or not they differ much from Solen's anyway in this case. I assume some earlier versions used the Solens like my Prima did, maybe they have been changed over the years again I can't really say.

Mundorf Silver/Oils are decent in electronics, Silver/Gold/Oils are slightly better, but honestly both are better used in Speaker crossovers not electronics from a tonal point of view in my experience, but also you would never get Standard Mundorf's to fit the Prima chassis most likely.

advanced101

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #59 on: 3 Jun 2016, 10:01 pm »
Sorry... I never even heard of  Duroche Capacitors to be honest, and from a quality standpoint can't say whether or not they differ much from Solen's anyway in this case. I assume some earlier versions used the Solens like my Prima did, maybe they have been changed over the years again I can't really say.

Mundorf Silver/Oils are decent in electronics, Silver/Gold/Oils are slightly better, but honestly both are better used in Speaker crossovers not electronics from a tonal point of view in my experience, but also you would never get Standard Mundorf's to fit the Prima chassis most likely.

Haha, I deleted my post, didn't want to go off topic.  I tend to like Mundorf SGO in electronics, but its all personal taste.  A few companies use them: Rogue, Melody, K&K, etc.  I find them true to the source and detailed. I think they work well in tube electronics, probably wouldn't use them in a solid state unit.  Anyways, nice work again on your unit.