Salk with Van Alstine

I had heard much positive buzz about the fascinating-looking Salk SoundScape loudspeakers. Equipped with the excellent RAAL custom ribbon tweeter, an Accuton midrange, and a separate Acoustic Elegance woofer, the Soundscape 10 ($9999/pair base price, or $13,999/pair with a 12" woofer) is said to perform from 21Hz–60kHz, ±3dB. It also offers adjustable tweeter and midrange ambience, and looks like a baby that will attract lots of positive attention in your living room.

Completing the system were a Denon CD player, Squeezebox, Van Alstine Vision DAC/Preamplifier ($1599), Van Alstine AvaStar hybride tube preamp ($1799), Van Alstine FET Valve Ultra+ 550 hybrid tube amplifier with double-die output MOSFET option ($2399+$22), and custom made cables.

The pairing was less than fortuitous, at least for CD. The presentation was rather gray and toned-down until the volume was turned up (which is not a good sign). Thankfully, with sufficient volume, the opening passages of Mahler's great Symphony No.2 began to take on color. There was also a lovely sense of air.

One member of the Bay Area Audiophile Society, who thinks very highly of Salk loudspeakers, urged me to get them over to Casa Bellecci-Serinus in Oakland, CA for our forthcoming demo with Aaudio Imports on August 7. And given that Salk Signature Sound is also located in Oakland, albeit Oakland, Michigan, the connection is strong. These are definitely speakers to audition under other circumstances.