Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround

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eriksven

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« on: 24 Jun 2017, 10:14 pm »
Hello Salk Fans,
I've been a "lurker" on this forum for about a year now.  I've been thinking about many different combinations for my first entry into hi-fi, but have known for a while I wanted some version of Salk speakers.  I basically just want a 2-channel or 2.1. It's going in my 10 X 10' home office.  Given the room limitations, I'm trying to keep things relatively small.  I'm having custom shelves make to hold my integrated amp (I'm planning on getting a W4S mINT with the Kimber upgrades) and, of course, some Salk speakers.  I'm finally joining to get some feedback on which speakers. Initially, I was thinking of floorstanding (really wanted the Song3s), but with the space limitations, it just isn't practical.  So I'm having two custom--basically mini bookshelves--made to go on either side of my desk.  Each shelf is 9" wide (inside, so 10.5" on top) and 29" high (same height as my desk).  In one shelf goes my computer tower, and in the other, I'm putting the Wyred4Sound mINT.
I'm trying to decide which speakers to put on top, and right now it's down to either the Ellis 1801s or the Supercharged Song Surrounds.  Some of my questions:

Tweeter height--the song surrounds on top of the shelves get to just about 42", which seems to be about the height of some of the floorstanding models.  The Ellis' are 6" taller, so 48". My ears in my office chair are at 47" (no slouch). Would either speaker work given the +5" and -1" difference?

Tweeter character--I've read great things about both the RAAL in the supercharged and the Hiquphon in the Ellis'.  However, I've heard the descriptor "non-fatiguing" applied a lot to the Hiquphon.  That's a big factor for me--is the Hiquphon less fatiguing than the RAAL?  Or, put differently, is the RAAL considered fatiguing. My head will basically be between 2.5' and 4' from the speakers, so essentially near-field listening.  I listen to a wide variety of music, everything from jazz to pop to rap to folk.

Bass--the Ellis has a larger woofer.  Is it too large for my room?  Or, conversely, is the Supercharged too small?  I'm more worried about too large, since I've got it in my budget to add a sub if I feel like there's not enough bottom end from either choice.

Midrange character.  Is the smaller W15 better at capturing the human voice than the larger W18?  I've not read anything to this effect, but it was a question that "made sense" to me to ask, since most of the midrange drivers I see in three-way systems seem to be a lot smaller than the W18 (and even than the W15 for that matter). 

OK, that's it for now.  Really looking forward to hear thoughts, and happy to have joined.

Cheers!
Erik Sven

Mudslide

Re: Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« Reply #1 on: 25 Jun 2017, 02:32 am »
Hi Erik and welcome to the forum.

I just have a couple of brief comments for you.  And so that you know my bias...I believe in 'big is better' in most audio environments.  (I have big floorstanders in my 11x12 office.)  So it's my opinion that the 1801 will not overcharge your room. 

That said, there are a couple of ideas I'd throw at you.

Porting.  The front porting of the SCSS makes it a great choice for your setup.  (It can get close to walls and other barriers.)

RAAL.  This driver is many things...all good...and I've never heard anyone say it was fatiguing.  Quite the contrary, it's light and airy when it needs to be, consistent across it's frequency range, and smooth as warm butter.  You'll likely hear this from others...IT is my favorite tweeter.

Yes, the 1801 will offer a tad more bass (not deeper...they measure the same +/-3dB at 45 Hz.) with the larger driver, but you'll almost be in a near-field setting.  Unless you play music to deafening levels, the SCSS bass will make you very happy.

1801.  This speaker was involved in a large get-together (GTG) we had, comparing it to a half-dozen other ~$2,000 speakers.  It garnered the most positive comments and favorable ratings.  If there was a negative heard, and it was minimally reported, the high end was a tad bright...but still better than all the rest that we tested.  It is non-fatiguing for a dome.  That's a great tweeter it has on board, but IMHO is no competitor to the RAAL.

There are a gaggle of things to say about these speakers in which you're interested.  I'm sure others will chime in with some good information and opinions.  Either one of these Salk speakers would make for a wonderful hi-fi gift to yourself! 

But for me...this would be an easy decision...for the setup you describe and your favorite music listening...go with the SCSS.

eriksven

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« Reply #2 on: 25 Jun 2017, 03:35 am »
Mudslide,
Thanks for the detailed response.  I really (was gonna do a RAAL pun there, but figure it's been done) appreciate it. Yes, I didn't think necessarily about the front porting advantage, but that's true.  In the meantime since the original post, I did some searching on RAAL and fatigue, and found a post where some guy actually recommends speakers with RAAL for folks that have tinnitus but want to remain audiophiles and listen to lots of music.  To me that's a ringing (there's the pun) endorsement for the RAAL and it's smooth character.   Just curious if you had any thoughts on my last question about midrange and human voice:  any reason to think either the W18 or W15 would have an advantage for reproducing it?
Anyway, thanks again.  Cheers!

srb

Re: Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« Reply #3 on: 25 Jun 2017, 07:21 am »
Just curious if you had any thoughts on my last question about midrange and human voice:  any reason to think either the W18 or W15 would have an advantage for reproducing it?

I think a very slight advantage might go to the W15 based on my experience comparing vocals between some otherwise identical 2-way speakers differing only in 5" and 6-1/2" (actually 125mm and 170mm) versions of the same midbass driver, the Quad 11L and 12L.

But the W15 would still also have to reproduce bass down to ~ 45Hz just like the W18, which always muddies up the midrange a bit compared to using them as midrange drivers in a 3-way speaker.

Steve

TWINSKI66

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  • Posts: 21
Re: Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jun 2017, 02:03 pm »
Contact Jim Salk...he'll answer your questions & offer advice (suggestions) based on your input & budget. I think there's a contact link on the Salk website. 

R Swerdlow

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 318
Re: Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jun 2017, 03:55 pm »
I completely agree with Mudslide's opinion of the RAAL ribbon tweeter.

I had standard SongTowers with the Hiquphon dome tweeter for 9 years.  In the past year, I replaced them with Veracity ST speakers with the RAAL ribbon tweeter and 6" magnesium alloy W16 woofers.

Early on, I was of the opinion that both tweeters were very good and it would be hard to tell the difference.  With better quality recordings, the difference between those two was indeed hard to tell.  It's subtle and does depend on the type of music.

However, I was surprised when I listened to poorly recorded music (Nuggets CDs, one-hit wonders from the mid 1960s).  With the SongTowers they were so harsh sounding that I declared them un-listenable, and put them away in a distant place.

I had assumed the new Veracity ST speakers, with the metallic mid woofers and the RAAL tweeter, would be as bad or worse with those recordings.  I was surprised to hear that I was wrong.  The harshness was much improved or even gone, and these recordings became listenable again.

Mudslide

Re: Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jun 2017, 09:55 pm »
Contact Jim Salk...he'll answer your questions & offer advice (suggestions) based on your input & budget. I think there's a contact link on the Salk website.

^ This!

ctviggen

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 5111
Re: Ellis 1801 monitor VS Supercharged Song Surround
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jun 2017, 10:42 pm »
Mudslide,
Thanks for the detailed response.  I really (was gonna do a RAAL pun there, but figure it's been done) appreciate it. Yes, I didn't think necessarily about the front porting advantage, but that's true.  In the meantime since the original post, I did some searching on RAAL and fatigue, and found a post where some guy actually recommends speakers with RAAL for folks that have tinnitus but want to remain audiophiles and listen to lots of music.  To me that's a ringing (there's the pun) endorsement for the RAAL and it's smooth character.   [cut]

I would think it's more speaker design than tweeters.  I'm currently listening to Linn 5140s, which have a dome tweeter.  I also have Salk HT3s, but they're in the basement.  I used to have VMPS RM40s, with ribbon tweeters.  I could listen to any of these all day.  Put certain B&Ws in my listening room, and I run screaming from the room.  It's like fingernails grating on a chalkboard.  I believe the ones I couldn't stand used dome tweeters.  So, it's likely a combination of tweeter, configuration, and design.