I visited Jim’s shop yesterday and listened to the SS 9.5's and was mightly impressed. I own a pair of SS 12’s and have always felt they would be the last speaker I would ever own. As I listened to the 9.5’s my “last speaker” declaration started coming under fire.
I was immediately struck by the sense of being immersed into the music unlike I have ever experienced. The speakers had a surround like soundstaging quality to them, with pinpoint imaging. The height and width of the soundstage was larger than that of the SS 12’s. There was also a feeling of warmth to the bass and mid range without loss of definition.
Jim and I talked for a while and I asked him about the SS 9.5 and why I thought they sounded better than my SS 12’s. He told me the 9.5's were more musical than the SS12's. I asked him what he meant by that. Jim said he wanted to design a speaker that produced the soul of music, essentially providing a you are there experience.
Jim also disclosed that ever since he built the first pair of Salk Speakers that his overarching goal was to design speakers that produced the minutest of musical detail. He went on to say that a couple of critics told him that his speakers sounded clinical and didn't reveal the soul of music.
He designed the SS 9.5's and the Song 3 series to incorporate the best of both worlds, musicality and detail. I would encourage anyone intending to purchase speakers to give Jim a call or give them a listen to at the AXPONA Show, April 12- 14TH.