Well, my path to Salksound is a finally over. I am the happy owner of the HT2-TLs that Bill Baker at Response Audio listed for Jim on Audiogon. Frankly, it all started with getting back into audio about 6-7 years ago. A friend laughed at me trying to listen to music on my Ascend 5.1 surround sound set-up. He found, fixed and sold me a 1960s era Fisher integrated tube amp and reconed by 1977 era Altec-Lansing Stonehenge IIs. The sound was "incredible". The music sounded just like what I recalled listening to in my youth on tubes and old speakers.
About a year and a half ago, I ran into a review on Jim's HT3s and began reading everything I could find of Jim's speakers. That lead to a call to Jim and a long discussion (can you believe that he fields all of these calls, gives you his time and expertise and does that over and over again?). Jim actually talked me out of the HT3s or HT2s because he didn't think my Fisher would drive them to their best ability and the HT3s would overwhelm my room. He recommended I look at the SongTowers so I read everything I could on the SongTowers and started drooling. A few months later, I thought I had put the cash together and convinced the wife to take the dive on new SongTowers then a minor financial crisis arose and the cash was spent to cover it.
A year later, I made the "mistake" of deciding to upgrade my system and bought a Unison Research Unico off of Audiogon. It is a lovely amp and it worked well with my CD player. Immediately, I noticed a huge difference in the soundstage coming from the Altecs. It had depth, width and location. That was good news. Suddenly, I noticed that the "warmth" was gone, detail was present and the Altecs weren't doing a very good job of letting me hear music as I should be hearing it. Passages that had been "warm" revealed themselves as instruments being slurred together and any kind of rock sounded like every instrument, voice and sound was coming from a cave.
Another call to Jim. That lead to an order for new SongTowers in a slightly darker and orange, standard walnut veneer and the wait began. Now, you guys know how painful that wait is, right? You reread every review sixteen times, you read every post on this site about the SongTowers some more, stare at the galleries and drool over Jim's speakers.
Last Sunday night, I made "mistake" number 2. I looked on Audiogon and typed in "Salk". Now, I have done this before. The typical scenario is that you find never find a pair of Jim's speakers. On rare occasions, you find a pair but by the time you find them, they're already sold. Well, much to my surprise, I find 4 pairs of Salksound speakers - 2 HT3s, the Audio Response HT2-TLs and a fairly new pair of SongTowers. (Now, I tell you this not so that you can run to Audiogon and buy any of the speakers because, frankly, I was a little disturbed by the thought of buying speakers off Audiogon and depriving Jim of income after all the time he spent with me and because you want to see this business continue and thrive. So, you can imagine my relief when I learned that they were actually Jim's speakers and he would see the money.)
Back to my initial discussion with Jim and me drooling over the HT3s and HT2s. (I don't believe that Jim was doing the HT2-TLs just yet). Anyway, I knew that I didn't want to move up the product line to the HT3s for the reasons that Jim described before. But, the HT2-TLs were the speaker I would eventually buy and Jim agreed that it made sense to buy the HT2-TLs and forego the SongTowers, if I could pull off the dollars. So, now the question, how to convince the wife that this made financial sense now. Well, that's a long story but the short version is she agreed it made sense to purchase them rather than buy the SongTowers now, sell the SongTowers down the road and purchase the HT2-TLs later. So, the waiting, reading, rereading and pouring over this site haven't stopped but the end is in sight.
Jim, any idea how much 1 round trip ticket to Binghamton and 1 ticket from to Binghamton, NY to Spokane might cost? I can ride back with the HT2-TLs in the seat next to me. It might be cheaper than Fed-Ex ground, right?