The Salk Sound "Lineup"

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OC

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The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« on: 6 Jan 2017, 06:13 am »
Hello!

I've owned SongTower RTs for about 6 years now and have been very happy with them.  Recently, I've been tempted into revamping my system in search of more audio resolution, 'authenticity' and getting that emotional 'falling into the music' response. Coming back to the Salk Sound site, I can see there are tons of options.  I'm having trouble understanding what to think about each Salk Series...

Is the philosophy the same across the board: bass extension, flat response, clear top end and neutral sound and therefore all the speakers can be lined up by price, using higher and higher end components to come closer to fulfilling this philosophy? Or is each series after something different?

I think I have a rudimentary understanding of some of physical properties... From what I gather -
The bigger the woofers, the more air that's moved. Greater sonic impact. This will separate the 5" SongTowers and the 8" SS8s.
Ribbons are highly accurate and fast. Dome tweeters may have more impact but are slower, having more mass.
Song series save on space. The transmission lines give good low freq response - but this doesn't help me understand what sounds different between Veracity HT2-TL, HT2 and HT3s.
Soundscape series is probably highly dependent on room size and the SS8s are really the standard Soundscape unless one has a large room.
Exotica 3 seems like a departure from the rest... no ribbon and powered woofers.

Speaking of powered woofers, how does that play with type of amp? It lends itself to low power/tube systems but is it a waste if one has an amp that delivers high Watts and Amperes?

Eventually, I'd like to hear as many as I can but I doubt I'll hear all of them.
How would you sum up all these types of speakers?

Thank you, OC.

qwknuf6

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #1 on: 6 Jan 2017, 04:35 pm »
I had a pair of HT2-TLs W/Raal tweeters  for several years and I would rate them a great speaker ,  I now have Exotica 3s and they are very  engaging , the bass portion of the speaker is great ,  I had a well known calibrator over and he was very impressed with the Exotica 3  speakers as I am also  .  I have not heard the SS8 yet but there is a gentleman close by that has pair of SS8s and he owes me a listen . 

dB Cooper

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #2 on: 6 Jan 2017, 05:39 pm »
Interesting thing about Salk is that, unlike many speaker makers, Salk doesn't seem to have a "house sound" per se. If you compare the Soundscape models and the Exoticas, for example, those speakers sound quite different. And the Songtowers sound different from either of those (in fact, there are differences in voicing just within the Songtower line). This differs from some manufacturers who have a "reference" of what sounds 'lifelike' to them and try to make all their models sound as close to their reference model as possible within cost constraints. A good example would be Allison. I used to have a pair of Allison three-way towers, and a friend had a smaller two-way model. Those speakers were difficult to tell apart on most source material. Not so the Salk models mentioned (except the Soundscapes seem to have generally similar voicing). They love an interesting experiment and quite a few good speaks have sprung forth as a result, some becoming production models.

Bottom line, they are great speaks and great values in today's audio market, but due to the factors I outlined above, liking this one doesn't necessarily mean you'll like that one. Listening, as always, is the answer.

Paul K.

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #3 on: 6 Jan 2017, 07:02 pm »
I hope I don't come across as dense, but what do you mean by "a well known calibrator"?
Thanks,
Paul

I had a pair of HT2-TLs W/Raal tweeters  for several years and I would rate them a great speaker ,  I now have Exotica 3s and they are very  engaging , the bass portion of the speaker is great ,  I had a well known calibrator over and he was very impressed with the Exotica 3  speakers as I am also  .  I have not heard the SS8 yet but there is a gentleman close by that has pair of SS8s and he owes me a listen .

DMurphy

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    • SalkSound
Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #4 on: 6 Jan 2017, 09:14 pm »
Interesting thing about Salk is that, unlike many speaker makers, Salk doesn't seem to have a "house sound" per se. If you compare the Soundscape models and the Exoticas, for example, those speakers sound quite different. And the Songtowers sound different from either of those (in fact, there are differences in voicing just within the Songtower line). This differs from some manufacturers who have a "reference" of what sounds 'lifelike' to them and try to make all their models sound as close to their reference model as possible within cost constraints. A good example would be Allison. I used to have a pair of Allison three-way towers, and a friend had a smaller two-way model. Those speakers were difficult to tell apart on most source material. Not so the Salk models mentioned (except the Soundscapes seem to have generally similar voicing). They love an interesting experiment and quite a few good speaks have sprung forth as a result, some becoming production models.

Bottom line, they are great speaks and great values in today's audio market, but due to the factors I outlined above, liking this one doesn't necessarily mean you'll like that one. Listening, as always, is the answer.

Of course, the best House Sound is No House Sound--each speaker should just let the program material come through unscathed.  If there's a difference in the various Salk speakers, it's not due to deliberate and differing voicing decisions.  It's due to inherent differences in the sound and reach of the drivers, or to 2-way vs 3-way configurations, or to open-back midranges vs. close-backed. 

qwknuf6

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #5 on: 7 Jan 2017, 12:03 am »
I hope I don't come across as dense, but what do you mean by "a well known calibrator"?
Thanks,
Paul

I mean a calibrator that has been around a long time with a good reputation , has no stake in what kind of audio gear you have , he only sells his service of Audio/Video calibration , he (Jeff)  is very positive about Salk speakers , I have used Jeff  for the last 8 years .

Jeff Meier of Accucal  is who I am speaking of , I just don't want to sound like I am pushing his services , I have seen a very positive review of Salk speakers from Jeff posted by Jim Salk somewhere on this website . Jeff had a unbiased review of Jim's speakers from some years ago ,one of the reasons I ended up with Salk speakers .

I found the post from 2006 , nice read ------     http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=30021.msg266753#msg266753

OC

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Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #6 on: 8 Jan 2017, 05:29 am »
I'm pleased that it's not just one 'sound' or line up, although it makes them harder to compare! Thank you for the responses.

It's difficult to describe the differences I suppose.  Well, taking just the SS8 and Exotica 3s...

I have looked through the threads here.  I gather there's some consensus to say the Exotica is musical/engaging and the SS8 is accurate/neutral. What might the difference be characterizing having dual 8" powered woofers vs dual 8"+12" passives? Any words about using a Accuton or a Seas W8. I imagine they're paired well as a system, but paired well to achieve what - the same thing?




Big Red Machine

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #7 on: 10 Jan 2017, 07:06 pm »
I'm pleased that it's not just one 'sound' or line up, although it makes them harder to compare! Thank you for the responses.

It's difficult to describe the differences I suppose.  Well, taking just the SS8 and Exotica 3s...

I have looked through the threads here.  I gather there's some consensus to say the Exotica is musical/engaging and the SS8 is accurate/neutral. What might the difference be characterizing having dual 8" powered woofers vs dual 8"+12" passives? Any words about using a Accuton or a Seas W8. I imagine they're paired well as a system, but paired well to achieve what - the same thing?

The bass is tighter in the 8's on average. It will machine gun you if you tell it to do so and it will keep up. The 3's play deeper ime and while accurate, will not be as "toight" (as Austin Powers would say it) as the 8's play. Both will make your chandeliers sway, but to me, the 3's will totally fill the room from nook to cranny with the deepest of notes. Not boomy, just more fulfilling. In my room I call it prodigious. :thumb:

dbx

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Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #8 on: 26 Jan 2017, 10:47 pm »
As far as the bass on the SS8 vs. the Exotica 3s -

The SS8 uses a Woofer and Passive Radiator combo.  There is absolutely no shortage in bass.  The bass is deep.  It is well layered.  It is very engaged.  And it sounds very natural.  It blends well with the rest of the audio spectrum.

The Exotica 3s use powered subwoofers.  The subwoofer, amp, or the sub/amp combo is made by Rythmic I believe.  They sound great in itself.  They have great impact, and engage well with the rest of the sound.  But I do not find them to be layered in bass or do I find them to go as deep the way the SS8 does.

I always wonder how the Exotica 3s would sound if they used a woofer/passive radiator combo like the SS8 does.

Big Red Machine

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #9 on: 26 Jan 2017, 11:47 pm »
That made me chuckle because I was thinking that the powered bottoms of the Exoticas are so awesome that the tops should be optioned out to have the fun with. I think the top of E3's with the passive bottom of the 8's would be the most boring speaker ever! So ymmv! :duh:

I'd like to see the E3's powered section with Be tweeters, Scanspeak mid, and some kind of fast mid-woofer for the ultimate 4 way. Go Jim!


WGH

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #10 on: 27 Jan 2017, 01:09 am »
I'd like to see the E3's powered section with Be tweeters, Scanspeak mid, and some kind of fast mid-woofer for the ultimate 4 way. Go Jim!

Well Pete, it has been over 2 years since you ordered a new pair of Salks.  :P

dbx

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Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #11 on: 27 Jan 2017, 02:49 am »
I think the top of E3's with the passive bottom of the 8's would be the most boring speaker ever! So ymmv! :duh:

If jim has anything to do with it.... there is nothing boring about salk speakers.

And you forgot to mention to add the ss8 woofers to be paired with the passive radiators.  If you listened to the ss8. You will be blown away by the amount of bass the ss8 puts out.

dbx

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Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #12 on: 27 Jan 2017, 02:51 am »
That made me chuckle because I was thinking that the powered bottoms of the Exoticas are so awesome that the tops should be optioned out to have the fun with.

The powered subwoofers are in a seperate chamber from the mid/woofer tweeter section all in a single cabinet.

Big Red Machine

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #13 on: 28 Jan 2017, 12:26 am »
You forget I have owned 8's and my E3's are separate cabinets in my setup. :green:

audiocrazy

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #14 on: 30 Jan 2017, 04:42 pm »
You forget I have owned 8's and my E3's are separate cabinets in my setup. :green:
I'm the lucky guy to own BRM's SS8's pair and let me tell you the bass on these speakers amazes me. The other day I was playing BassMechanic's Tranquility Bass from Tidal and the bass that SS8 produces was stunning!!! It was really tranquil.
Have not heard E3's yet so can't comment on that.

mcgsxr

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #15 on: 30 Jan 2017, 05:30 pm »
BassMechanic!  You're taking me back to car audio and Miami Boys bass tracks.

dbx

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Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #16 on: 30 Jan 2017, 06:39 pm »
You forget I have owned 8's and my E3's are separate cabinets in my setup. :green:

If I spoke with you in the past, then I do not remember your Salk Speaker lineup.  But had you kept your SS8, alongside your E3, then you may find yourself agreeing with my comments about both.  Especially when comparing the bass section between the two speakers.

I don't know if you ever had both in your possession, or if you traded in the SS8 for the Exotica 3s.  Both are great choices.  And both make great comparisons between each other.

dbx

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Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #17 on: 30 Jan 2017, 06:41 pm »
You forget I have owned 8's and my E3's are separate cabinets in my setup. :green:

Love your pic by the way !!!!

Big Red Machine

Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #18 on: 31 Jan 2017, 08:09 am »
Well Pete, it has been over 2 years since you ordered a new pair of Salks.  :P

Yes. Outboard crossovers would be a great project first for the E3's.

And then the 4 way, with a super-tweeter as well! :green:

OC

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Re: The Salk Sound "Lineup"
« Reply #19 on: 1 Feb 2017, 05:54 am »

I just hooked up a pair of borrowed Tannoy DMT 15 studio monitors and I think they say a lot for neutral presentation.  They would never fit in my room but the 15" drivers really give a sense of presence. I need to see if there are some Exotica 3 or SS8 around for a listen.

I've gone through the original 11 page thread about the Exotica 3s and noticed the cabinets now look more like the SS8 ones.  Any other adjustments to the Exoticas?

Seems like 3-ways are a sweet spot but I've a friend with an active crossover and added super tweeters and they sound really good.

Thank you for all the comments!

The Tannoys aren't positioned or anything but that's a Salk Song Center in there for comparison...