So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...

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DEP14

  • Jr. Member
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So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« on: 13 Jun 2020, 01:22 am »
Picked up today.  Longer but fun story. Suffice it to say Jim, Mary and the team at Salk really are all that.   Picture of just one for now.  Have to get back to breaking them in and getting my streamer back up and running! That and for my left ear to clear up.  Fortunately I have had some moments where the hearing is close to normal again.

Special Assist to Marty who posts here... and has an early pair of SS12's in Bamboo that I can fully blame for my Indiana Jones like search for the Ark.. aka the tops, woofers and beyond.

Figured I would edit this and fill in the story...

A few years back I bought BRM's Blue (at the time) SS8's.  TamoAsh and blue, they were cool.  The Blue just didn't work in my room.  So, that's how I met Jim.  I took them to Jim and he re-finished them a nice dark brown.  I was super impressed by the work they did, thought Jim and Mary were just great people building right here in Michigan.

I would tell you that I like a bit of bass, and that is where I found the SS8 a bit lacking. 

Really liked them, but had a budget issue at the time so I sold them off, I think audiocrazy here bought them from me. 

Fast forward a few years, better budgets and rifling through a few speakers.  Never, ever felt they did the mids and highs like the SS8's. So I reached out here and Marty (mritschdorff) was kind enough to have me over a couple times for demo's.  I was convinced I had to figure out a way to get them.  They just do SO much right.  I had almost bought a used pair of SS10's Jim had in house, but they were gone. 

Jim and I talked about a few ideas and I happened to e-mail Dennis, in talking Dennis mentioned he had one pair of tops at his place that were test mules, I suspect the originals.  They were wood, the front of one had a bit of an issue where the tweeter had been attached, but were otherwise intact.  He also... had a set of woofers (discontinued!).  Both of these were key.

So Dennis shipped them back to Jim, we took a look.  I asked him if it was doable - Jim "everything is doable, though we can't quite tell how they will turn out"  They needed sanding, some repairs, and while the internal volume is the same, they were cut a bit shorter than the production ones.  Good news was they were cut for the RAAL, and since they were wood (not the molded ones production ended up being) they could be worked on.  And work on them Jim and the team did.  They turned out really well. 

So off to work Jim and the team went, last June. A few bumps in the road, and oh yeah 8 lost weeks to Covid and yesterday - wholla, what I suspect is truly the last pair of "new" SS12's that will ever be built.  The bass bins are all new of course, the tops well, they are probably a decade old, but completely re-finished, wood (stacked as you can see in the pictures, much like Marty's bamboo pair.) 

Hardest part besides patience, is figuring out Veneer's.  I had eyed monkey pod for a while, when I mentioned it to Jim he said he had also.  There was a good batch and Jim bought all of it I think. The Walnut colored 9.5's recently built has what I consider to be just an awesome shape and batch of it on them. 

Meanwhile, my hearing issues appeared and I had been thinking maybe I should sell these.  I've had some progress and ups and downs with my left ear but I have enough hope I'm going to break these in and enjoy them.  The days my hearing seems good it's actually pretty good.  But, I think it would only be prudent to give them a proper breaking in and give my ear some more time. 

Only small change I made, Jupiter bypass caps.  These puppies use some huge value caps and sized caps.  I thought about really going expensive but in talking to Jupiter they said the bypass caps would do a decent amount of magic on their own. 

I won't have a chance to side by side these.  Audio memory is fleeting... but I will tell you that back when I had my SS8's there were some tracks I thought could get just a bit bright and edgy.  So far, these are pretty darn smooth.  But, my electronics are also better.  So... I'll keep breaking them in and adjust the room and go from there.





« Last Edit: 13 Jun 2020, 08:07 pm by DEP14 »

WGH

Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #1 on: 13 Jun 2020, 01:43 am »
Looks like big fun! Don't stay up too late.  :lol:

stlrman

Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #2 on: 13 Jun 2020, 02:10 am »
Veneer is so pretty!!!!!! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

jd3

Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #3 on: 13 Jun 2020, 11:57 am »
They look fantastic!  Great veneer choice Doug.  I'm sure they sound as great as they look.

NHSkier

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #4 on: 13 Jun 2020, 12:14 pm »
Those look incredible. May I ask what kind of music you pump through them and which streamer you’re using?

DEP14

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 259
Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #5 on: 13 Jun 2020, 12:24 pm »
They look fantastic!  Great veneer choice Doug.  I'm sure they sound as great as they look.

Thanks!.  These are Monkey Pod, which I think is a bargain for the grain and tones you can get, they even look great natural.  Jim then used a Walnut that's dark on the edge (I thought they were black on the edges before I saw them in a different light) with a bit of a fade to the middle.  The tops of course are satin black on the top with the same burst on the edge. 

I actually really like a lot of Monkey Pod raw, it has a Koa like tone in some batches.  There can be a slight sparkle.  I had some real thoughts about leaving these raw, but with the black on top and the burst required on the edges it would have been too much of a contrast.  Ultimately Jim is really, really good at knowing what will work. 

I think that Monkey Pod, like Koa can look really good raw but I think with a gloss, hand rubbed finish.

I thought it might be fun for people to see it in different stages and IMO how much adding the drivers and slightly different light can change the look of a speaker also.  Here are some shots.













DEP14

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 259
Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #6 on: 13 Jun 2020, 12:29 pm »
Those look incredible. May I ask what kind of music you pump through them and which streamer you’re using?

Well, I'm a rock/blues/reggae listener primarily with some jazz thrown in. 

I use a Salk Streamer (though I'm struggling to get it set back up as I had Jim throw an SSD in it, my network doesn't want to see it and assign an IP address.  I'm solid technically but not great).  Currently I have an Oppo Sonica DAC.  Fortunately the Sonica can stream from my Tidal account so I'm not without any source right now. 

ratso

Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #7 on: 28 Jun 2020, 02:44 am »
beautiful. they're very, whats a good word... smokey

Mudslide

Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #8 on: 28 Jun 2020, 05:17 am »
Congrats.  These are beautiful.  The SS12s are my favorite all-time speaker.  The wonderfully musical presentation from the pair Jim brought out here was absolutely fabulous. 

It's a forever pair for sure, DEP14.   :thumb: :drool:

DEP14

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 259
Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #9 on: 29 Jun 2020, 11:08 pm »
Congrats.  These are beautiful.  The SS12s are my favorite all-time speaker.  The wonderfully musical presentation from the pair Jim brought out here was absolutely fabulous. 

It's a forever pair for sure, DEP14.   :thumb: :drool:

Thanks Mudslide.

Honestly, the SS12's are a ridiculously good speaker.  I wish Jim could bring them back, though not sure what the market was.  But I'm convinced in a shoot-out among speakers below 50k they would do quite well.  Had a neighbor by the other night, he has a couple nice systems at his place.  He just was slack-jawed at how good these sound.  My "bad" ear has had some days lately where it's pretty normal and on those days I just sit smiling at my good fortune.





Mudslide

Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #10 on: 30 Jun 2020, 02:23 am »
Thanks Mudslide.

Honestly, the SS12's are a ridiculously good speaker.  I wish Jim could bring them back, though not sure what the market was.  But I'm convinced in a shoot-out among speakers below 50k they would do quite well.  Had a neighbor by the other night, he has a couple nice systems at his place.  He just was slack-jawed at how good these sound.  My "bad" ear has had some days lately where it's pretty normal and on those days I just sit smiling at my good fortune.

I honestly can't think of one area of audio presentation that they're lacking.  My wife (who wears hearing aids) and I were spellbound for hours listening to them.  Image, resolution, attack, balance, coherency, and fluidity throughout the massive frequency response.  You're absolutely right about these playing in the big boys' game.  Jim and Dennis (and Mike) put together and instrument that had it's goal of the finest quality speakers they could build.  And that is your set, DEP14...the SS12 (aka HT4, Soundscape 12).

If I sound like I'm in awe of these speakers....guilty.  I was privileged to spend a day with them.

Rocket

Re: So, there is a story behind these "new" SS12's...
« Reply #11 on: 30 Jun 2020, 11:49 am »
Hi Dep14,

I'm really glad for you that you've got your dream speakers.  It was a really interesting story.  Good luck.

Cheers Rod