Different flavors to choose from depending on what you are looking for. You may have to wait a little bit, but the work and value is outstanding.
I went to the Scottsdale Speakerfest earlier this summer, and heard one of their medium floorstanders with a beryllium dome tweeter and I was very impressed. The speaker in was very good, not the best I've ever heard, and in total wasn't the equal of the ATCs that were playing in the same room, (nor were they as expensive) but they were good, and that tweeter was superior; very open detailed and crystal clear.
There are always multiple Salk speakers for sale used on Audio Circle as owners move up the line. Probably your best bet to find out if they are for you as the original owner is going to take the hit and you could sell them for little loss if not for you. As to whether they will work with the Leben you need to call Jim and talk to him.
I've always been a fan of Proac's they seem to all be very musical speakers that draw you in to the music more so then many speakers I've heard-owned. (I've had R2.5's and a couple tablet versions over the years) Have you've heard the D30R's ?
I've not heard a lower end Devore I liked so can't recommend them but I'm sure others will. I've not had experience with the Sonist.
You’re best bet is to go to the Salk forum on Audio Circle and find owners in your area. They are usually open to have you over to listen. I am about 30 minutes from Jim’s factory and he invited me for a visit about 3 years ago. I can’t recall details of how they sound other than I was impressed. The craftsmanship is first rate and Jim and his wife are very gracious.
I bought one speaker from Salk (a center channel with the RAAL tweeter) and ended up replacing all the speakers in my home theater including two subwoofers and upgrading the center channel as well (for which Jim gave me full trade in value as it was only 6 months old!)
In my room, to my ear, the RAAL blew me away with the sound stage and vocals. I haven't been blown away like that in a looong time. Jim told me I'd probably like the beryllium more but I was so smitten with his special RAAL (RAAL 70 20 XR amorphous core to be exact: https://loudspeakershop.eu/pobieranie/raal-70-20xr.pdf)
I had to have them and didn't want to chance the BE tweeter. YMMV. All I know is I can't get enough of the RAAL and vocals (esp female) are out of this world. My non audiophile brother in law said I hate this song on the radio but I absolutely love it on your system. It opened his eyes to how much of the music he is missing.
The price point on these is incredible value (to me) for what you get in sound, the build quality and infinite customization options from paint/wood/dyes, to internal wiring etc is icing on the cake. It really makes you look at other brands who are selling low end speakers in a non custom Chinese made cabinet for double or triple the price in a really different way. (nothing wrong with China just saying the price you pay at Salk for custom locally made enclosures is a great value!)
Since it is impossible to convey how something sounds via text I'm in CT and if you or anyone else wants to demo Salk/RAAL or Rythmik just send me a PM.
Perhaps Jim will let you have the demo pair of the Song3 BeAT which
he graciously loaned us for the SpeakerFest our club put on in June.
Retail is about $5,990. They were beautiful looking. I liked the sound
a lot personally. As Roxy mentioned, the ATC 40s were the overall crowd favorite at $7,000 or about $1,000 over the Salk model we had.
I would agree with Jim's point about the Salks being more forgiving
of lesser recordings. The ATCs became unlistenable when a lesser recording was played. The ATC rep chose his own music too.
The Encores use a larger diameter of the same Satori woofer, and a different midrange; they plumb the depths further, but I preferred the Audio Technology mid-range on the BeATs. Interesting that in the SS 9.5 he uses the tweeter and midrange from the BeATs, the woofer from the Encore, plus some passive radiators.
Salk builds into some of his loudspeakers a Rythmik servo-feedback subwoofer, which automatically raises tremendously the speaker's capabilities. Very few even "full-range" speakers are truly capable of reproducing at lifesize SPL the 20-40Hz octave. Incorporating a Rythmik sub into his speaker not only makes that possible, but taking the bass out of the Salk woofer also improves that driver's performance.
Jim Salk also builds incredible subwoofer enclosures into which he installs a Rythmik 12" or 15" sub. His sub enclosure is the best designed and constructed I've ever seen! He uses "honeycomb"-style bracing, which you can see on the Salk website. He also increases the enclosure's internal volume from Rythmik's own 3cu.ft. to 4cu.ft., for increased efficiency and output capability.
I've had a pair of Salk Veracity monitors (now called the Veracity HT-1, I believe) in my den system for years. They've given me hours of enjoyment, and I would categorize their sound as rather neutral, which is ideal for the varied type of listening I do. Mine are in cinnamon burl, which Jim swore he would never work with again, due to the difficulty in working with the veneer.
Ol' dawg here with small cube of a room. I've had sealed Salk Veracitys for several years now. They were build "sealed" per request of my friend using a different mid/woofer to gain a tad more detail, my preference. When they came to me, I went to work "taming" the somewhat "dry-hi-fi sound" by using Marigo resonance products (see details on my other posts.) I addressed the cabinet inside and out, the drivers..spider, cone and tweeter frame. I also hardwired the mid/woofer from crossover and cold-pressed the contacts on the RAAL tweeter. The results have been glorious. The monitors sit on IsoAcoustics ISO-L8Rs atop Paradigm Ultracube 10 v.2 subwoofers, fast and tuneful. The result of all of this is a system that pretty much can do it all with any genre, a must for me, big or small. The Salks have the dynamic ability beyond small Harbeths to slam rock or full roar Mahler. But in those personal late night moments when the Sweetspot Siren flashes some thigh, the intimate stuff is brilliant with the RAALs working their magic.
I have friends with great large systems, including Tannoys and modern big horn JBLs, but I'm always happy to come home. Also, the Salks have been rock solid with zero problems. I have had a few conversations with Jim Salk with questions and he is responsive and understanding, a gentleman who holds a great reputation within the industry. More Peace, Pinthrift
I have a pair of Song3's. I love them. I demo'd the ProAc D30r's and those were my favorite brick and mortar store speakers, but for quite a bit less (mine are standard Song3's) I like the Song 3's more.They are just a bit more articulate and detailed without being analytical. The D30r's were fun to listen to and sounded great but I think the Song3's are every bit as good or better for less money. I am interested in one day moving up and may inquire to see if Jim will build an SS7.5, like his new SS9.5 but with the 7.5" driver and smaller footprint.