Sweet Streams from Salk and Van Alstine
Salk’s beautifully finished SoundScape 8 uses the same RAAL ribbon tweeter, Accuton midrange unit, and 12” side-firing passive radiators as the company’s larger SoundScape 10 and 12 floorstanders, but where those designs use single 10” and 12” woofers, respectively, the SoundScape 8 employs two 8” drivers. While the base price for the SoundScape 8 is $8000/pair, custom-finished models such as those seen here, which had a marble-like appearance, can cost up to $12,000/pair.
With a claimed sensitivity of “about 87dB,” the SoundScape 8s seemed comfortable driven with Audio by Van Alstine’s 300Wpc FetValve 600R power amp ($3499) and FetValve preamp ($2499). Music was streamed from Salk’s new StreamPlayer ($1295), which is compatible with signals up to 24-bit/192kHz, handing over to Van Alstine’s FetValve DAC ($2499). Cost-effective Blue Jeans Cables tied everything together.
Texas-style blues (Could it have been Stevie Ray Vaughan?) sounded appropriately smooth, sweet, and articulate.