Salk Sound Veracity HT3 Floorstanding Speakers

Veracity HT3

  • Design Full-range, floor-standingWMT 3-way
  • Drivers (1) G2 pure ribbon tweeter, (1) Seas Excel W18 EX midrange and (1) Custom aluminum-coned, low-distortion 10" subwoofer with 21mm XMAX
  • Response 34Hz - 25KHz (+/- 1.5 db) 29Hz - 40KHz (+/-3db) (F10 23Hz)
  • Sensitivity (dB/2.83v/1M) 85db
  • Impedance nominal 8 ohms
  • Recommended Amplification 50 - 200 tube watts 120 -500 solid state watts
  • Box Alignment sealed midrange/ported woofer
  • Dimensions (HWD) 40"x12"x15" (not including plinths and spikes)

  • User Reviews (7)

    Showing 1-7 of 7  
    texas steve   AudioPhile [Apr 27, 2006]
    Strength:

    very detailed and open
    absolutely better with the top grill removed
    Beautiful superb build quality - almost museum quality
    bass is very tight, defined and deep (don't need my sub any more)

    Weakness:

    Only one - build time (3 months average)

    Purchased HT3s and HTC (center)

    Ok, so after one week of use and familiarization I promised you all a review update of my HT3s and HTC pictured above.

    Cabinets and wood work;
    Appearance of the dye/color, style and overall finish is abloutely excellent. I did not have the HTC (center) hand rubbed as it sits up inside a cabinet above Shakespeare (see pictures at http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewtopic.php?t=27255 . The woodwork overall is excellent!

    Sound in Stereo mode:
    The good: Excellent!
    The bad: You can tell that 80% of your Cds suck in quality. So now I have to buy better sounding CDs.!

    In pure stereo the sound is excellent - with good recordings you can easily hear the different air and space between instruments, and the very detail sounds in each instrument and voice. The male and female voices are extremely accurate. I took some time with toeing in and distance against back/side wall etc. I ended up 20" from the back wall, and 35" from each side will. Toed in at a angle that hit each ear. The listening distance from the HT3s are 13'.

    What really strikes me is the detail of the ribbon speaker. The mid an bass is also excellent, (in fact I now only use my Muse 18" sub you can see it in the picture to the hard right for 5.1 LFE effect the sub you see in the picture to the hard left is used for the surround speakers in movie mode). Listening to Aaron Nevel (sp?) his voice is reproduced with absolutely perfect timber etc. On jazz recordings the detail of cymbals is extraordinary, you can not only hear the smallest wave of sound as the sound travels from one side of the cymbal to the other, you can also hear the distance in air between the snare and the cymbal!

    Movies 5:1 etc
    The dynamics required for theater of a speaker is powerful. The HT3 and HTC absolutely stand up to it. In movie after movie the speaker handled the excessive drive required by pounding base with ease. The HTC blended seamlessly in sound and although cant handle the same amount of base at the HT3s (I'm considering adding a subwoofer to the HTC for theater only), it did really well. The HTC handles the detail (ribbon again I'm sure) of voice and other sounds as well as the HT3s.

    The music in DVDs is astounding! Again the small details that I did not hear before are now there. Ruffling of leaves on trees, small things I did not notice before that now appears. No question, this is a major improvement.

    Conclusion:
    When you spend this kind of money I have to believe you WANT them to sound and look good. And truthfully you will LOOK for only good things! After all YOU spent all that money sight and sound unheard, a blind leap of faith deep into the cravats of your wallet! And if it did NOT prove out to be a wise choice............................

    In my opinion, I found some faults (cabinet mentioned above, also remember my speakers were the first or second that Jim did with the new "procedure") but the sound, fit and overall finish is a 9.0 out of 10. I would give them a 10 if it were not for the few cabinet items mentioned. The CD that Jim sends with the speakers has absolutely excellent material and reproduces the best of the HT3s ability.

    They say the "road is paved with good intentions", in this case blind faith has paved and remapped the boundaries to what wonderful listening that is possible with these speakers.

    Happy listening to those who have them, and to those waiting - Keep the faith

    Customer Service

    Jim is GREAT to work with!

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    randybes   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 18, 2005]
    Strength:

    Smooth, great dynamic range, clear.

    Weakness:

    none

    This is a review of Jim Salks HT'3a, the a standing for active, I believe. These speakers use the DEQX unit for an active crossover. I am not a professional reviewer and when I read some of the adjectivesin magazines I can't really relate well to them. What I think of when I describe Jim's speakers is "clear" as in clear as a bell. I have right now in my home, Energy Veritas 2.4 (not the I), Paradigm S-4's, as well as others that have come and gone. The Salk's HT3a's spank them all. They just are really well balanced, smooth, and most of all clear when compared to the others. One thing about the bass. These speakers will play low but what is really exciting about the DEQX is that you can taylor them to your room either through their autoequalize feature or by making changes on the fly real time. So far, I have just used the autoequalize feature, but will probably fine tune it more in the future. I don't really need to say much about the midrange other than to comment that the Excel driver used is probably the best for the price that can be found. The ribbon tweeter has great dispersion both latterally and vertically. My set-up is an HT'1 for the center speaker, Ht3a's for right and left mains and Energy Veritas i's for the surrounds. I currently have three subs running, Energy 10.2, Velodgyne 1200 and HSU 1220. I have a Sherwood 965 preamp, and two B&K amps. One is a 7270 using six of the channels to do the necessary triamping of the 3a's and one channel biamping the center. The rest of the muscle is a B&K 7250 amp. I have a Dennon 2200 dvd player as well as an Escient DVDM 100 changer system and a Tunebase 200 changer system. Video is a Dish 6000. One thing I should mention. While the DEQX is a fantastic system using the digital input for two channel stereo, it can be used in a home theater setting by using the analog inputs from a preamp. The only problem is that it does give you quite a bit of latency that has to be compensated for in your distance to speakers set-up. You of course, also go through another stage of processing and is not quite as revealing as going through the digital input. I was at the recent Rocky Moutain Audio Show and listened to speakers in the high 5 to low 6 figure range. I found nothing there that the Salks either didn't beat or at least hold their own. I love them and am glad I purchased them.

    Similar Products Used: Maartin Logan Sequals, Energy Veritas 2.4, Paradigm S-4's
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    bingenito   AudioPhile [Sep 22, 2005]
    Strength:

    Tone, Imaging and Sound Stage. This speaker is like a clear view into the music that can be shockingly real.

    Weakness:

    Build time. Not really a weakness but on some of the rock/metal recordings it can be too revealing. I have found this to be a trait of rigid cone drivers based on my last 3 speakers. When the recording and gear are on point you are in for a real treat. Since my system is voiced to be on the warm side of neutral with some richness and body in the midrange this is a match made in heaven. All the detail you could ask for with a smooth, rich midrange. You can have your cake and eat it too!

    Speakers: Salk Sound HT3’s with Sonic Caps, Sonic Cap Platinum- Teflon bypass caps, Alphacore Inductors, Acoustic Zen internal tri-wiring, 3 sets of Cardas standard posts, and Black Hole 5 dampening material. Finish is Macassar Ebony with Black Lacquer baffles and plinths. Source: Sim Audio Eclipse Limited Edition- Balanced Preamp: Blue Circle BC3000MKII- Balanced Power Amp: Blue Circle BC26MKII- Balanced PLC: Blue Circle Music Ring MR1200 Racks and Stands: Ultrasonic Audio- custom Speaker Cables: Acoustic Zen Hologram II bi-wire on woofers and mids and Absolute on the ribbons Interconnects: Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II XLR (CD-Pre), Matrix Ref II (Pre-Power) Power Cables: Blue Circle BC62 on everything Power: Dedicated circuits with 10 awg Romex and Cryo Pass & Seymour 5362A receptacles Room treatments: 6- 13” tube traps, 6- R705 panels and a few R703 panels Room Size: 24x14x8 Placement: The room is divided into 3rds. That places the speakers 8ft out into the room (measured front wall to speaker baffle). The speakers are a hair under 8ft apart and toed in 5.5”. With the rule of 3rds my ears are equal distance from the rear wall. I listen to just about anything except for most country and all rap. In a typical day I can go from classical to female vocals to live Metalicca so it is important that my reference system have the latitude necessary to produce all music as it was intended to be heard…and at real world volumes. Some of recordings used to evaluate the speakers are as follows: * Herbie Hancock- Head Hunters: Tracks 1, 2 * Copland- Fanfare for the Common Man: Track #1 * Gladiator Soundtrack: Track #3 * Kodo- Ibuki: Entire CD * James Taylor- October Road: Track #1 * Ben Harper- Fight Your Mind: Tracks 5, 13 * Buddy Guy- Blues Singer: Track #1 * Sonny Rollins- Saxophone Colossus: Entire CD * Al di Meola- Flesh on Flesh: Tracks 1, 8 * Spyro Gyra- The Deep End: Tracks 3, 8,9,11 * Joe Satriani- Strange Beautiful Music: Track #1 * Bozzio Levin Stevens- Black Light Syndrome: Track #3 * Metalicca- S&M- Track #8 * Steely Dan- Show Biz Kids: Pick one! * Diana Krall: Girl in the Other Room: Track #3 * Tierney Sutton- Dancing in the Dark: Track #1 * Ray Brown, John Clayton and Christian McBride- Super Bass 2: Tracks 4, 11 Overall these speakers just put a smile on my face which is the only thing that really matters. Some highlights: Listening to Joe Satriani and SVR at concert levels with the lights off in a dark room is the way to live I tell ya! Track 1 of the Strange Beautiful Music CD is just insane for imaging and sound stage. If you have not heard this track on a reference system you have not heard anything. Tierney Sutton’s voice just comes out of nowhere and honestly shocked me the first time I heard it on the Salk HT3. Her vocals just hang in mid air and will give you chills. The acoustic bass on Super Bass 2 is the best reproduction of a floor standing bass I have ever heard. You not only hear the strings but you can also feel the body of the bass resonate. I have heard this recording many times before and it was never like this. The Head Hunters CD is not a CD I would pop in to kick back and listen but it has some awesome material to test imaging. It is very easy to forget that you are listening to an audio system. Copland, Gladiator and Kodo are perfect for evaluating DEEP bass capabilities and the HT3 is not disappoint Overall Clarity, Articulation and Speed: A+. This is where is speaker excels beyond all others that I have heard. Details are everything and these speakers certain have attention to detail. The sound is extremely spacious, open and airy. Dynamics: Instantaneous volume range is very life like and true to the recording. With a good amp these speakers will pelt out some serious sound that you can feel. See your favorite band live in the privacy of your home. Sound Stage and Imaging: Deep and wide. The size is very realistic. Height is also very good. I have to stand up on something to get over 6ft high to hear any difference in the treble. Playing around with speaker positioning I landed on 5.5” of toe in. The image really locked in and the soundstage depth was way back past the speaker baffles. To my surprise the sweet spot is much larger then what I am used to. Driver Integration: Treble in proportion to midrange is seamless. Bass in proportion to midrange is also flawless. Treble Quality: It’s a ribbon…one I have heard before. I loved it then and love it now! Midrange: There has been some discussion about the Seas Excel W18 being used as a midrange crossing over to the G2 ribbon. People have voiced concerns about the cone breakup, etc. The midrange is absolute magic on this speaker. If those with concerns could hear this speaker their concerns would quickly be a distant memory. Bass quality: Tight, articulate, deep and impactful. The bass easily fills my room and is excellent at all volumes. Emotional involvement: All of the above qualities add up to the emotion that can be created by a well put together system. The music just flows. Depending on what you are listening to you can be at the end of your seat with goose bumps or fall asleep in your chair and wake up at 2am because the music relaxed you so much.

    Similar Products Used: Selah Audio Incredarry, Custom Focal JM Labs Fullrange speakers with a ribbon, Other Seas Excel ribbon monitors, various speakers at shows.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    kschac   AudioPhile [Sep 18, 2005]
    Strength:

    Imaging, clarity, truthful to timbre, beautiful.

    Weakness:

    Long wait while they are built.

    I am the proud owner of a pair of Salk Veracity HT3s. Let me cut to chase and then fill in the details. These are the best speakers I’ve ever owned, and I have owned quite a few of excellent speakers. They may be the best speakers I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard many more than I’ve owned. Perhaps some exotic, huge (and hugely expensive) speakers might sound “better” on certain program material in a very large room. But, in the environment of a fairly normal-to-large listening room like mine, considering the fantastic sound of the speakers, their striking appearance, modest cost and manageable size, I don’t know of any speaker that is remotely competitive. The hardest part about owning these speakers is that you have to wait for Jim Salk to build them by hand. These speakers are custom-built to your specs so, obviously, they are not sitting on a dealer’s shelf, waiting for you to purchase them. I ordered my pair in March 2005, and then worked with Jim to locate the perfect veneer (Jim found the veneers in separate auctions on Ebay). Since I ordered the upgraded caps in the crossover, we also had to wait a few weeks for Jim’s supplier to ship them. Jim is very attentive and straightforward about all this, so you know where things stand at all times. The speakers arrived in June 2005 (they were really well packed), and I have spent many hours since then listening to them reproduce music. Jim is a pleasure to work with. He is an honest and honorable man, as well as a master speaker-builder. This is clearly a labor of love for him, and given the low price he charges in relation to the high quality components and the long hours of work Jim and his assistant must have put into these speakers, it’s hard to believe there is much, if any profit, in them. My pair is finished in a beautiful block-mottled makore, with a striking Mexican cocobolo baffle and plinth. They look stunning, to say the least. The speakers easily passed the very demanding WAF test with flying colors (my W likes these speakers both cosmetically and musically). They are absolutely gorgeous. In addition to upgraded caps, I ordered the speakers with the active crossover option. The speakers have switches on the rear panel to allow for bypassing of the passive crossovers if used with an active crossover, such as the DEQX unit. This also requires six channels of amplification with associated cabling. I haven’t yet gone the active route, but I wanted the option to do so in the future and so the speakers are “future-proof.” Now, on to the most important part: how do they speakers sound? In a word, fantastic. I listen to about 70% jazz and 30% classical. They are clean and clear, incredibly true to life in reproducing the textures and timbres of instruments. Imaging is stunning. The HT3’s are detailed but not strident or edgy, have a fabulous, rich midrange, and are precise without being fatiguing. The bass is wonderful. I have removed my ACI Titan II subwoofer from the system because there is no need for it anymore. The HT3’s certainly play deep enough for any musical program. I am a piano freak and these speakers reproduce the sound of a well-recorded grand piano better than any speaker I’ve ever heard. They capture both the rumble/purr of the bass register and the bell-like treble of a Steinway D. Orchestral recordings are spacious and dynamic (the Bruckner 8th – Lopez-Cobos on Telarc – sounds great right now. The Brucknerian brass is awesome!). Although the HT3’s sound magnificent on great records, I am really happy that lesser recordings (of which I have many) are very listenable. I listen to a lot of jazz from the 50’s to 70’s and almost all of it sounds very good. Blue Note recordings from the 50’s and 60’s (Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter) sounds especially superb. I am a Keith Jarrett junkie, and his trio recordings sound better on the HT3’s than any speaker I’ve ever heard. In fact, as I told Jim, the HT3’s arrived during the same week in which I saw Keith and his trio live at Carnegie Hall. I am not exaggerating when I say that the trio sounded better on the HT3’s than live at Carnegie Hall. Associated equipment: Digital front end: Onkyo SP1000 SACD player/CD transport; Benchmark DAC-1. Analog front end: VPI Aries turntable/VPI JMW 10.5 tonearm/Grado Reference cartridge. TacT 2.2x room correction system; Mark Levinson 380S pre-amp; Spectron Musician II amplifier. Various overpriced cables and power cords. (A note on the TacT. As good as the HT3’s are, they can and do benefit from the wonders worked on room anomalies by the TacT.) Summing up my thoughts: this is a fantastic sounding speaker that is beautifully made and can easily fit in a normal living room. It makes wonderful music. Bravo, Jim Salk.

    Similar Products Used: Other speakers I've owned and had in this room for a lengthy period: Thiel 3.6, Legacy Signature III, Legacy Focus, Waveform Mach Solo, VMPS RM40, Silverline La Folia. I also auditioned the acclaimed Linkwoitz Orion in someone’s home six months ago, and the HT3s sound far better (the Orions may not have been optimally set up, though).
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    zybar   AudioPhile [Jul 10, 2005]
    Strength:

    See above.

    Weakness:

    Takes too long to build.

    The HT3’s are a 3-way floor standing speakers of medium height (about 44” tall with the supplied spikes) that are darn heavy (somewhere around 130lbs each). The drivers used are all well known and acknowledged as some of the better ones out there: • Tweeter – G2 ribbon tweeter • Mid-range – SEAS W18EX 8” mid-range • Woofer – TC Sounds 989 10” woofer Add to these a Dennis Murphy designed crossover with premium parts and you start to see why Jim has something very special here… With a build quality that my limited vocabulary can’t do justice to; suffice it say that you won’t have any WAF issues with these speakers. In fact, the HT3’s just might be the nicest piece of furniture in many of the rooms they will call home! You can see pictures of various HT3’s here on AudioCircle or over at Jim’s website: www.salksound.com. Enough on the looks, how do they sound? In one word – “Engaging” When I sit down and put a cd in, I no longer want to have my laptop next to me or worse, on my lap doing work or surfing the net . Instead, I want to sit in my chair, close my eyes, and sink into the music (I happen to be breaking this right now at the request of Chris – how can I not fulfill his request?) . From the first note to the last note of the session, the music demands my full attention and rewards me with a system that is capable of knocking you back in the chair with its impact and dynamics, while getting the decay on a bell just right, and still properly capturing the texture and sexiness of a female voice. But I am getting ahead of myself…you can hear about how all the pieces produce the final results with my comments below on some of my standard reference cd’s and tracks. I would say that overall sound of the HT3’s is very well balanced top to bottom with great range (the measured bass response in my room via the TacT is pretty much flat at 30Hz and down 4.4 db’s at 22Hz – the midrange is pretty much flat - on the top end the measured response is excellent up to 20,000Hz where the TacT stops measuring). The midrange is incredibly clean, detailed, and fast, while being smooth and without an artificial or etched sound. These speakers allow you to have your cake and eat it to in terms of detail and musical enjoyment! Because of these factors (plus the very good component matching) – see my equipment list below), I am able to get a more complete representation of the cd than I could in my previous systems. I would say it is equivalent of going from a very good DVD on very good jpg to an HD source on the same jpg. The extra detail adds to the realism of the moment and is a big part of seducing the listener and making them want to sit there and listen for hour after hour, cd after cd. The nuances and texture of the music are easily there and don’t require you to concentrate on the music to pick them up. Instead, it is all laid out in front of you. These are the first speakers I have had in a long time where listening to music wasn’t work, but something that was relaxing. I have found that the soundstage varies from recording to recording and can be deep when the music was recorded in such a manner. More importantly, the speakers do disappear and don’t draw attention to themselves. If I didn’t know where they were located, it would be impossible to pinpoint where they are located. To finish off the review, I thought it would be useful to describe what I heard on a few of my reference or test cuts. Some people are probably familiar with a few of them (especially the NY Audio Rave folks) and I think it adds a little context to the review. I used songs that I am extremely familiar with and that also test the system in different ways. Natalie Merchant – Tigerliliy (female vocals, percussion, piano, acoustic guitar, soundstage) Track 5 – Carnival • The opening drums, bongos, and bass are very well defined in their individual spaces. There is good layering front to back. • The dynamics are crisp and lightning fast. The bongos have a depth and realism to them that I don’t get from most systems. Track 7 – The Letter • The piano has the proper weight and body – notes are substantial and give the proper illusion of size that a piano should have. • The emotion of Natalie’s voice is so right it is spooky. Her voice can be a sexy or husky at times and the HT3’s nail it! The Bad Plus – These Are the Vistas (bass, piano, drums) Track 2 – Keep the Bugs Off Your Glass and the Bears Off Your Ass • Really shows off the dynamic range of the system. • The finger work on the bass is tremendous and the notes go deep while staying fast and not blurring or mushing together. • The cymbals are light and airy – they float away instead of dieing a quick death. • Just like with Natalie, the piano is very full and organic – no toy piano here! • In the middle of the track, things get busy and the speakers handled this very well. All instruments are still very detailed, musical, and defined. The music doesn’t become incoherent or

    Similar Products Used: VMPS RM 40's Silverline Sonata II Gallo References
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    abellg   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 11, 2005]
    Strength:

    Terrific detail throughout the sound spectrum. The most tonally accurate representation of acoustic instruments and voice I’ve heard in my system. I did not experience the HT3’s as being as “up front” as the previous reviewer, but it took them being broken in for quite awhile for the forwardness to be tamed. I also found that my 85 watt per channel integrated amp drives them easily, even with their low sensitivity.

    Weakness:

    Long break-in period (this is really more of a characteristic than a weakness). I continued to hear gradually evolving changes in the speakers with intermittent listening during well over 200 hours of playing time in the first two weeks I owned them, after which they remained stable.

    The previous review of the HT3’s was done by a widely experienced reviewer. I’m not that – the HT3’s are only my third set of speakers. But I can tell you what I like about them. Let me defer comment on Jim Salk’s beautiful cabinetry. You can see the outstanding quality of his work on his website, and he can clearly build a gorgeous set of boxes. Let’s jump to the chase. What I like about the HT3’s is their faithfulness at producing incredible detail and tonal quality. Up against my previous much-enjoyed speakers, a pair of NHT-ST4’s ($1000/pair), there was no contest. The NHT’s, which sounded quite fine by themselves and provided me with a year of great enjoyment, were instantly retired after a side-by-side comparison. They sounded comparatively blurry over the entire sound spectrum, didn’t reproduce tonal qualities as accurately, and didn’t give nearly as much realistic detail to the high or low end. I was absolutely compelled to replay all my CD’s with interesting percussion or bass work just to hear what they really sounded like (the bass in Enya’s Orinoco Flow isn’t just a fuzzy series of booms!). Plus the tonal quality of acoustic instruments is much more realistic, and the human voice in the midrange is more touching and emotionally powerful. As for whether or not these speakers as good as really high end speakers, I can’t say for sure. What are you hearing when you listen to a system in an audio store? The source? The preamp? The amp? The speakers? I will say the HT3’s sound significantly better to me than some setups with $4000 and $6000 speakers I auditioned at my local audio store. I can also say that the HT3’s put me at least in the same ballpark (last row in the left field bleachers?) as a friend’s high end system that includes $15,000 Vandersteen 5A’s, although again, it is hard to separate the performance of his speakers from that of his other top quality components. In my own case, the other components I’m listening to are a Creek 5350SE integrated amp, a modified Music Hall MMF CD-25 CD player, Shunyata Hydra 4 power conditioner and power cord, BEL interconnects and power cords, and Signal Cable biwire speaker cables. Plus some tweaks: several Bybee purifiers in the signal path, and the Auric Illuminator CD treatment from Audience. Not super high end stuff. But pretty good for the bucks – and with the HT3’s, the system sings!

    Similar Products Used: NHT-ST4
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    asull2k   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 09, 2004]
    Strength:

    First off, voicing is a little more upfront than what most people might be used to, reminiscent of the studio monitor-ish type of sound like the Genelec or Wilson WATT/Puppy, yet more usable in the home. I would characterize them as similar to the JM Labs BE type of neutral voicing, and likely they will change easily according to your upstream… my audition took place using a tube preamp with Bryston 4BST. Yes they are extremely revealing and have very high resolution throughout the full frequency spectrum, but they also have a natural sound due to their accuracy and can be listened to for long periods of time without fatigue. They scale well at all volumes and have superb horizontal and decent vertical dispersion. They disappear in the way the Piega C10LTD’s do, and image just as well, with a clarity that only the best drivers coupled with great designs are capable of. Dynamics of course were excellent, and the bass was very high quality from what I could discern (see below), with the ability to output as much as Wilson’s Puppy modules but with more refinement and lower distortion. When the room modes were not as excited, the bass was seamless, so that you forgot the term “bass” but thought of it more as a natural extension of instruments, somewhat like the Joseph Pearl or Lumenwhite. The HT3’s, like the rest of Mr. Salk’s speakers, work well in both nearfield and midfield configurations, and you can easily place the speakers close (6 ft.) or far (>12 ft.) apart from each other and retain solid center fill and imaging.

    Weakness:

    Now for the “drawbacks”. These speakers do everything exceptionally well, but the forward nature may not be for everyone… Mr. Salk mentioned he may add a treble switch to help the listener change according to preference. As it was, they did not have a relaxed type of sound. Don’t get me wrong though, they were not compressed and they could certainly belt out concert-level volumes without strain… they simply weren’t voiced to be very laid-back in nature. As for the bass… if you don’t have any treatments and a small room, forget about it. The TC Sounds woofer in the HT3’s is so powerful that you absolutely need to get them set up right, or else you will suffer room mode issues. In my auditioning, I had to toy around with rear distance to the wall a bit, and while the bass quality was superb at lower/medium volumes, at higher volumes the untreated room modes got in the way… you could feel the floor vibrate and hear the bass quality degrade as a result. This was a setup issue, not a speaker flaw, but one worth mentioning to prospective users of ANY full-range reference speaker. Finally, make sure you have enough power. These speakers are low sensitivity (no, this does NOT mean restricted dynamics for you horn enthusiasts), so if you like loud volume levels, get an amp that is capable… and no it doesn’t have to be a huge Krell.

    Jim Salk holds the keys to one of the greatest hidden secrets I have witnessed in this hobby. A year ago, when I briefly auditioned his Veracity HT1 in Chicago, I discovered two things – Mr. Salk produces one of the best 2-ways out there, and he builds cabinets with a wood finish beyond that of any other manufacturer I’ve ever seen. When I heard that he recently began expanding his model lineup with an ambitious 3-way design, naturally I decided to give them a listen. While the number of small manufacturers and DIYers has grown in past few years, my skepticism has grown as well. A few gems exist, such as the Ellis Audio 1801 or the VanL Speakerworks Quartet, but a number of lesser designs has also flooded the community. Although a few excellent 2-way designs existed, I had not run into a single world-class multi-way design from any small manufacturer or DIYer, with good reason. With multi-way speakers, R&D costs rise significantly, it is difficult to find cabinet-makers who can/will build large, well-braced high-quality cabinets, and the basic knowledge of getting high quality, low distortion bass is somewhat a black art. So you can appreciate my apprehension when going to hear the HT3’s, particularly after having auditioned many flawed commercial designs and finding only a handful of well-executed multi-way designs that I would consider living with, albeit at high retail prices. The gamut of reviews these days is amusing… so frequently has the phrase “brand x sounds as good as products costing x times more” that it has almost become a meaningless expression. More often than not, I believe that reviewers apply the phrase when comparing a product that belongs at its price point to more expensive products that don’t deserve their price tags. Mr. Salk’s products, however, are a distinct exception to this belief; having spent a very long time auditioning many commercial brands in friends’ setups and dealerships, I truly feel that the HT3’s are easily at home next to some of the best multi-way designs in the ~$20k price range. Are they the best I have ever heard? Probably not, but it is not often when I run into what I consider a world-reference-class system (high resolution, low distortion, great dispersion and no major design flaw). In terms of price-no-object designs, the Joseph Pearl or Lumenwhite Whitelight are two of the very best speakers I have heard, and the HT3’s are comparable, if not just as good, in many ways. Unfortunately I doubt anyone, including myself, will ever get to hear any of these speakers side by side in the same system. If you can spend the extra $$$, then do so – all the aforementioned speakers are excellent in every aspect and provided you have the room, you can’t go wrong. But even if you can afford the other status speakers, I urge you to consider the HT3’s. Visit an owner and bring some music; you too may be surprised. If you would like clarification of my own impressions, particularly in comparison with any speakers listed below or music choices, please feel free to email me. Lastly, I must also mention the handcrafted nature of these speakers – they are all made by hand by Mr. Salk. For what he does in custom building unique speakers from the most exotic and rare woods/veneers (yes you can choose the wood and finish), it is obvious that it is a labor of love. I have seen some amazing finishes and cabinets throughout this hobby, ranging from ultra-classy Avantgarde horns to chiseled rock-like furniture grade Avalons to beautiful Italian Sonus Faber stained woods to inert stonelike Wilsons and Norhs. But among the wood and veneered cabinets, I have yet to see anything that matches Mr. Salk’s work. With an incredible number of hand coats and sanding in between, he can get a glasslike finish on the toughest burls, and some of his most exquisite baffles are equivalent to what you might find in the most high-end luxury car dashboards. A friend of mine once spotted his work and said it was not furniture-grade, but rather museum-grade; I would have to concur. Getting a custom cabinet from Mr. Salk really means getting a functional masterpiece.

    Similar Products Used: Joseph Audio RM33si & Pearl; Lumenwhite Whitelight; Piega C10LTD; Revel Ultima Studio; ATC SCM 100ASL; Dali Euphonia M5 & Megaline; JM Labs Alto Utopia BE; Wilson Sophia & WATT/Puppy 6, 7; Avantgarde Acoustics Solo, Duo 2.0, Duo 3.2 & Trio Classico; Dynaudio Confidence C4; Dunlavy SC-IVa; Goldmund Epilogue 1 + 2; Avalon Eidolon; Audio Physic Avanti III; Audiopax Ref100; ProAc Future 1; Sonus Faber Amati Homage; Egglestonworks Andra I; Aerial Acoustics 20T; Thiel CS7.2i; Wisdom Audio M50; Nearfield Acoustics Pipedreams Model 9; Tannoy TD12; B&W N801 & N802; Talon Audio Raven; VMPS Audio RM-X; Coincident Total Eclipse; Martin Logan Odyssey
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
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