Salk Sound HT built around SS8 Towers

NINaudio

NINaudio

Audioholic General
Don't over think it too much. Like I said earlier, Jim himself said you could have different tweeters in the surrounds and be fine. I have heard that the accuton mid can be a bit too revealing for classic rock. Its my understanding that the SS 9.5's are the SS series version the song beats and are much more forgiving of lower quality source material than anything with the accuton mid. The most forgiving of the song3 range according to Jim is the beat, and the least forgiving is the 3a.

Definitely get in touch with Jim. He is very helpful and will answer all your questions and give you suggestions based on your music and listening tastes. Don't feel like you're wasting his time because you won't be ordering yet. I emailed back and forth with him for several months before placing my order! I think he's well aware that it is a big purchase for most people and he wants to get them the right product.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Time is short. :( I miss getting to play on AH!

@gr8eyes
I know you’ve said you are looking for your forever system. But I have to ask again:

What is your goal?

I built my rig as a music first system. With that, I listen actively and critically most of the time. As I said before, I also built it around listening to 5.1 music programming.
I knew I had to wait 4-6 mos for my towers and I bought the BMRs to stand in their place. When the towers arrived, the BMRs became my surrounds. This was by design and very intentional because of my desire for the best Music rig I could build.

Any worthy recommendations we make would be predicated on your answer to a simple question. HT to Music ratio? And for music, are you listening critically or passively.

:)

A good example would be that you actively listen to a lot of Stereo Music but are not likely to listen to multichannel audio programming. With that, you want great sound for Home Theater.
Or, you listen passively to Music which you want to sound great (which is fine!), and also want to enjoy the best HT experience you can.
Neither option is judgemental, but the answer could mean the difference between $8k and $16k! ;)

I will agree wholeheartedly that you can build an exceptional system without breaking the bank on Jim’s flagship speaker. But if you want to sit down and pick apart every minutia of any recording you play, I can’t think of a better speaker than the SS9.5!
My Phil3s are a close cousin to the SS8. Though I haven’t heard the 8, I have the 9.5. The best description I can give in the difference is that the 9.5 is a distillation of the Phil3. All the goodness, concentrated and purified!
Would I love to have that as a basis for my system? Yes. Is it worth the extra 6K over what I paid For the Phil3s to get that experience?
:cool:
I know the answer for myself. :)
 
Alex2507

Alex2507

Audioholic Slumlord
If budget isn't a problem, shoot for the moon.

Dennis already got out of speaker manufacturing and Jim has got to be pretty close to 70 by now.

You can still get Philharmonic Audio through Salk but once Salk hangs it up, good freakin' luck.
 
oldgoalie33

oldgoalie33

Junior Audioholic
Would I be right in assuming you prefer Be tweeters vs the Raal ribbons

Your speakers are beautiful BTW

Whatever I wind up with as fronts I'll want to stay as close to that configuration as possible on the rest of the 7 base speakers.
So, if I go with the SS8 ill want Raal ribbons all aroundBut if I go with your speakers or the 9.5's ill stay with Be all around

Would that be the best way to approach it or is there no problem mixing the 2 tweeters/?

gr8eyes
Over the years I've found I prefer dome tweeters vs the RAAL for 2 channel music . HT/Multichannel isn't an issue with either for me.
Thanks for the compliment on the speakers. Jim's craftsmanship is superb no matter what veneer you go with, so the hardest part (after choosing a model) is the veneer choice.

As mentioned before you should connect with Jim on the SS8's availability and also his recommendation before 'deciding' on a particular model. I'm sure he's still catching up on emails as we've just started to open things back up here in Michigan.
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
NINaudio, your right I may be overthinking it a bit, and as I've said my ultimate decision will definitely be based on Jim's recommendation.

Ryanosaur,

Before stating my goals with this system let me first say I'm too ignorant to understand there's a difference in what you might want for 2 channel listening vs a 7.2.4 HT . And I'm not sure I even know what 5.1 music programming is ( embarrassing)

So my goals
I've loved rock music since I first hear jumping jack flash on a juke box when I was 11 years old in 1967. In 69 I got a record player and bought the best of Cream, Jimi Hendrix experience, and Iron Butterfly,s Inna Godda Da Vida LOL
In 71 Panasonic came out with a Quadrphonic stereo system that I bought. When I heard Edgar Winters Frankenstein I was blown away. I had the 4 speakers in each corner of my room and the part of the song where the music goes around the room in a circular motion left me dumbfounded. I was hooked on the SOUND I was hearing.

Through the years I've had various little systems So now bringing multi channel audio in with video is something I want to do in a big way and have it till I die.

So what my real goal is, is to experience the best possible audio if I throw on Led Zeppelin IV or Pink Floyd Dark side of the Moon, or if I want to throw in the Blu-ray of The Eagles last concert in Melbourne or the Pink Floyd Pulse Blu-ray concert, I want to be on the 5 row front and center and feel the bass hit me right in the middle of the chest.

I feel I'm about 50% video/50% audio on how ill use the system. I have felt I was an audiophile but its apparent I'm not. I do want the best possible sounding music but I could care less about being able to tell what breath mint Robert Plant had right before he recorded Stairway to heaven

I think I'm more a music enthusiast vs. an audiophile. I don't know, or maybe a hybrid of both?

I'm having difficulty determining the passive vs active type listener I am,
I love hearing detail in music but not to the point of critiquing it like reviewers do in magazines.

I think I want to hear wide soundstage and depth and be able to pick out where instruments are located and all that stuff but I've never really experienced it I guess.

This might help too. I'm setting aside around 20,000 for speakers. I'm going to do a 7.2.4 system. I would think I could get a really nice system with that amount Im spending. The SS8 , SS8C, and 4bmrs all come out right about there with 2 HSU 15 inch subs. Originally I thought, because of the glowing reviews on the BMRs using them as surrounds would be a fantastic idea to Pair up with the 8's. From good feedback here i'm learning they may be way too nice for surround application. Side note I also thought they would be great speakers to hand down to my children.

Oh and the reason for the SS8 was because of all the glowing words about Dennis and Jim's use of the Real tweeter and integration of it in the BMR.

Alex,

My biggest fear is Jim comes out in September and says he's done.

Old goalie

Appreciate your feedback, A visit with Jim is definitely in the cards

Thanks everyone, I really respect everyones input.

Glenn
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Good point about when Jim may retire, might ask him if his business is setup to continue in some way or simply close.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
With regard to Jim Salk's thoughts on retiring, read this, dated 19 May 2020:
Thanks but do wonder if something like happened to Dennis happens to Jim, what are the plans for the business to close up or keep going?
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
It doesn't sound like he wants to retire anytime soon, so ill keep my fingers crossed.

I texted Dennis about 2-3 weeks ago and he told me he had shut down the business but didn't say why and I didn't ask him.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
… setting aside around 20,000 for speakers. I'm going to do a 7.2.4 system. I would think I could get a really nice system with that amount Im spending. The SS8 , SS8C, and 4bmrs all come out right about there with 2 HSU 15 inch subs.
Your plans should create an excellent system. We're all interested. Who doesn't want to help spend someone else's money :D? I have a few thought & questions.

Do you have two rows (as with two sofas, one in front of the other) of home theater seating? If so, a 7-channel system is useful. Put the two side surround speakers next to the front row seating. If you have a more typical family room with a sofa and some other seats, all in one row, you might consider a 5-channel system instead. Leave out the side speakers while keeping the rear speakers. I think you had mentioned the size of your room, but I don't remember it.

You mentioned having a turntable for vinyl records. I have one, and when I had Salk SongTowers with the standard silk dome tweeters, I found that playback of some older 1960s or 70s records could be quite harsh shounding – especially if they were poorly recorded to begin with. The dome tweeter used by Salk is an excellent tweeter, but it revealed a lot of harsh sounds from poor recordings. I found I couldn't play some older favorites. When I replaced my STs with the Veracity STs, I expected the same trouble or worse with the RAAL ribbon tweeter. I was surprised to find that those old poor recordings sounded better. I didn't expect that. I've briefly heard a Salk speaker, the Song3 BeAT, with the beryllium tweeter, but it was at an audio show where Jim Salk played what he brought along on his lap top. So I can't comment on how those tweeters might sound with older poorly recorded records.

Some people like detailed sound, like what you can get with the ceramic Accouton mid-range driver. I know I like its sound, but I've never lived with one for any length of time. I find the magnesium alloy mid-woofers in my Veracity STs produce high levels of detail, that I enjoy. Others find it too edgy sounding. It comes down to a matter of personal preference. That's why Salk offers speakers with great detail and those with a softer, less edgy sound. The hard part is learning what you prefer.
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
Swerd,

I'm building the HT from scratch, so right now the plan is to have a sofa with the middle of it at the MLP, then i'll also build a 1 foot riser and put another sofa behind the first one.. The room is 18 wide 22 long and 9 high (ft)

Well I tried hooking that old turntable up and it would track across the record so ill have to get a new one eventually, I plan on buying new vinyl anyway, so not worried about my old records.

Since I haven't heard any of the tweeters of Salk speakers for that matter I'm relying a bit on you guys to give your opinions but I can see where its all personal preference. So to tell you the truth I don't know if I'd like a bright sound or warmer sound.

I have a feeling I'll like whatever smacks me in the face to get my attention.
I've been conditioned for that. Im Married. LOL
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The old turntable might just need some maintenance, or a new stylus and being setup again perhaps. They're hard to kill generally altho I didn't see which one you have....
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
You’d laugh out loud if I told you what it was

I got it when I got married back in 77

it’s a realistic from Radio Shack
now before you laugh too hard RS was a bit different then. It not much. Lol
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
You’d laugh out loud if I told you what it was

I got it when I got married back in 77

it’s a realistic from Radio Shack
now before you laugh too hard RS was a bit different then. It not much. Lol
Depends who made it for them, they contracted out to some decent factories for their audio gear back then. Sometimes.
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
Its not worth even putting 10 dollars into I don't think anyway,

I'll get something new when I get my system.
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
Does anyone know if the price quote on Salks speakers, for veneers not the Black or White option, includes the stain and gloss finish?

gr8eyes
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
My advice right now is to not consider the SS9.5. They are stunning speakers, but at 10 Large for the pair, I think it is far and away overkill for your scene. ;) Don't misunderstand: I have no problem supporting you in going whole-hog! I just don't think that those are the right speaker for what you want, and, I am willing to be wrong about that! :D

The Accuton Mid is a very Clean and Detailed driver. Some/many, do not like them. They are so Revealing that the sound has been described as "etched." Though this is not always a bad thing, if you are not used to that type of sound reproduction, it can leave you... let's say, unimpressed. ;) (Too much diplomacy? See earlier comment from OldGoalie.)
Let's talk Tweeters, too. The Raal is a superb Tweeter. So is the Beryllium that Salk uses. The Be Tweeters are the premium. but for most people, the Raal 64-10 and the Raal 70-10 are extremely good. Now, when I asked about your listening habits... is there a reason to surround yourself with the absolute best tweeter? ;) The answer is, again, not necessarily, unless You really want to.
For both of these points, I want to lead you on a very short journey: I'm a trained musician and I know what it sounds like when the lead Oboe player F'd their reed up or had a cold sore. I know the sound... and the look on the Conductors face as they stare down every squeak, squawk and intonation failure perpetrated by that poor, poor human being. Now imagine that applied to your favorite Classic Rock recordings. :) Some will stand up, and others will be... revealed... perhaps in an unfavorable light. Some studio guy got the mix off 'cos Jimi slipped him a hit, or... :p You get the point, I hope.
So the Eton and Audio Technogy Mids are perhaps a little more forgiving, but still yeild a very delectable audio reproduction.
Likewise, for your Main speakers: the Front 3: you want the best detail and matching across these as you can get. Your Surrounds, Rears, and any Atmos speakers really take a back seat.
(Unless you are like me and are pursuing multi-chanel audio. Not a big deal either way! :) I made a choice and took a stand for what I was after. Could I have saved money and still been happy? Yes! Could I have speant twice as mush as I did? Yes. Would I have been better off for the latter option? Not likely.)

OK. If you are still with me, here's the fun part:
Song3 BeAT
Song3 Encore
Veracity HT3
Veracity HT2TL
Veracity ST
Supercharged Song Tower
That's a price range, with standard veneer, from $3800-6900 for the mains.

Center channels to match, from $1600-2000.
Supercharged Song Center
Song 3 Center
Veracity HT Center
(I would prefer that last in a ported allignment. Regardless, Jim may very well have already done some custom variants and might be able to pull something out for you that will match drivers even better, if you insist. My gut is that Jim will steer you right!) :)

Now for Surrounds and Rears... This is where you can split the difference, or match them up some more. And if you choose to buy Speakers to mount at the ceiling for Atmos... well all bets are off! (Atmos should be a separate conversation once you get your Bed Layer set and Finalized!)
I would consider, depending on the Mains you choose, to look at the following:
Surround Only
If you have Be Tweets up front and really need them at your Side:
SS6M $3800
Otherwise,
Silk AT Monitor $3800 (If you want to match an AT driver from another speaker)
Veracity ST Monitor $3500 or Veracity HT1 $3200
Surround and/or Rear
Supercharged Song Surround $2200
Song Surround Plus $1700
WOW 1 $1400

OK, lastly. My opinion on using the BMRs:
If you wanted to, these are basically (as has been said before) a Mini-Tower and are fully capable of running a full 5-channel system on par with any OEM speaker set costing say$5-8K, if not more. I would not waste these on the rears as there just isn't that much info that gets sent to those that require something like these. I use a simple 2-way speaker at Rear with my Phil 3s and BMRs... a simple $50 Aluminum Mid-Woof with a Raal 64-10 Tweeter and they sound great.

This is a lot to unpack. I hope it makes sense why I suggest what I did, and as you gain familiarity with the lineup you can see how the different options mesh together. Moreover, Jim is a Master at what he does. Listen to him. He may very well recommend the Song 3, which is a great speaker! Don't be bashful about those options.

At the end of the day, you are looking to buy your Forever Speakers, and you should get what you want. It would be a shame to buy something that breaks the bank, and you can't get the AVR or AMPs or Subwoofers that you should be planning for.

Cheers!
 
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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Does anyone know if the price quote on Salks speakers, for veneers not the Black or White option, includes the stain and gloss finish?

gr8eyes
He offers two prices, the higher of the two is for his Standard veneers, which are the prices I listed in my above post. If you want more exotic veneers or more finicky Dye Work, it may cost extra based on material and labor cost required. :)
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
Alright ryanosaur,

Now we're cooking with hot sauce, so I'll chill on the SS8 and 9.5 for now and study your suggestions more thoroughly. A cursory glimpse has me looking at the Song Encores and those Veracity HT3 the HT2C and HT1 as surrounds. I'll look more at your matches with the Encore. Oldgoalie seems really high on them.

This is great info, it looks like i'll get out of this a bit cheaper than I thought, and to think this all started with me thinking I'd use BMR's for surrounds. LOL

Thanks
gr8eyes

Again really Jim will have the last word, but this gives me something to talk to him about.

PS regarding finish : I just want the curly maple but can't decide between the silver/gray dye or that blue dye.
Either way ill want the shiny finish.
 
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gr8eyes

Junior Audioholic
OK,
I've got 2 systems that come out to within 500 dollars of each other that look very appealing. One with RAAL tweeter, one with beryllium. It'll be interesting to me to see which Jim likes best or if he comes up with something completely different.

Veracity---HT3 towers 6,500
HT2 Center 2,000
HT1 surrounds 6,400
HSU VTK 15 MKII x2 1,800
TOTAL 16,700

Song3----Encore towers 6,300
Supercharged center 1,500
SS6M surrounds 3,800
HSU VTK 15 MKII x2 1,800
TOTAL 17,200

This is FUN
gr8eyes
 

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