Salk vs Daedalus Speakers

I am considering the Salk ss8 vs the Daedalus Audio Ulysses 2.
For power I would be using Audiovalve challenger 180 amps during the winter and Jeff Roland model 6 amps for summertime listening.
I listen to all types of music except rap; but mostly jazz, choir with organ, acoustic, classical and classic rock for when Pink Floyd comes around.
It seems both of these speakers get very high marks but I would like to hear from people who have had experiences with either.Regards in advance
Hi Rleff,

As you may be aware, I am a very happy owner of the Daedalus Ulysses. I purchased them about four years ago, prior to the introduction of the v.2 changes, but including the “all poly” crossover which had just been introduced.

I use them in combination with a VAC Renaissance 70/70 MkIII amplifier, which employs four 300B power tubes per channel in a push-pull parallel configuration. I’d of course expect that to result in a significantly different sonic character than would result with the Modwright solid state amplification Lou generally demonstrates with. With the VAC amp, at least, I’d characterize the sound as rich, full-bodied, dynamic, fast, and detailed, but with no hint of excessive brightness, and perhaps even a bit of rolloff in the treble. Overall, a very nicely balanced speaker for my taste, with the classical music which comprises most of my listening.

The Ulysses combination of high efficiency, high power handling capability, and a flat, benign impedance curve makes them suitable for use with just about any amplifier in existence other than the really flea-powered types. My amp is rated at 65 watts, and with the Ulysses comfortably handles the 105 db peaks that occur at my 11 foot listening distance on a few of my symphonic recordings which have particularly wide dynamic range.

I’ve never heard any of the Salks, but I would offer these comments:

1)There is a huge difference in efficiency between the two speakers. The Ulysses are spec’d at 98 db/1W/1m. The SS8’s are spec’d at 87 db/2.83V/1m, which for their 4 ohm nominal impedance corresponds to only 84 db/1W/1m. Assuming the specs are accurate, that is a difference of 14 db, which is a factor of about 25 in power. Meaning that your 180 watt Audiovalve amplifier would have to put all of those 180 watts into the SS8 to produce the same volume as about 7 watts into the Ulysses.

2)Keep in mind that a possible downside of that high efficiency is that if the power amp is not “quiet” its hiss levels might become bothersome, or at least perceptible. Same goes for that part of the preamp circuitry which is downstream of the volume control, and also for any noise that may be introduced as a result of ground loop effects between the preamp and power amp.

3)As you may be aware, Lou offers 30 day return privileges, less two-way shipping and $300. Salk offers 30 day return privileges for “lower priced models with a standard finish.”

4)As I’m sure you realize, the Ulysses cost in the rough vicinity of twice as much as the SoundScape 8.

5)You might also want to consider Coincident, which would have topped my short list if it hadn’t been for the Ulysses.

Best of luck, however you decide to proceed. Best regards,
-- Al
FWIW I have heard both at shows and Daedalus is on my list of speakers I think I could live with whereas the book is still out on Salk.
Hopefully Audiotomb will see this post. He is moving from the Salks (the 8s I believe) to Daedalus after months and months of what have proven to be insurmountable problems with his Salks. BTW, this is his second pair of Salks.

I would prefer to let him chime in, if he so desires, to provide any further details.

I am not sure if he has actually received his new speakers from Hinckley(?) yet.
As always good advice from Al. I listened to Salk and Daedalus at RMAF last year. I specifically wanted to hear the SS8s and wanted to like them but they didn't do it for me. I much preferred the Daedalus. It was then my wife and I realized we had to "up the budget" so to speak. We ended up with Vapor Joule Black (my build was shown at RMAF this year)but I could have easily lived with the Daedalus.


Send me a private email. I have the Salk SS8's paired with a JRDG Continuum S2.


I concur with most of the posts regarding the Daedalus. I have DA-RMA V2s, very similar to the Athena v2. All the Daedalus sound very similar, but the Ulysses sounds larger than the others, as it is, of course.
In addition to the sensitivity, dynamics, imaging, balance and detail, all of which are extraordinary, there is something else which I'm still struggling to understand, and that is the sense of musical realism. Simply put, music sounds less like recordings and more like live music.
It is not euphonic coloration (there is none that I hear), it is something else. Read the show reviews. Phrases like tonality are thrown around a lot, but the end result is they make you want to keep listening to them, just to enjoy the wonder and beauty of the musical performances laid out before you.
I've been in this hobby for 46 years, and have owned about 250 pairs of quality speakers, and these are the end of the road for me. The heirloom quality handmade hardwood cabinets are part of the sonic story, of course, and to me also set them apart from other me-too designs.
Most Daedalus owners feel the same way about them, and rarely let them go.
Good luck!

I know we communicated about the DEQX before and that this might not be an opportune time for you to arrange for a home audition-road test. But I hope in the very near future that it will be a more convenient time for you to arrange a DEQX home-audition road test.

I am extremely interested in reading your comments about whether the DEQX's time coherence and EQ room corrections take a great speaker like your Daedalus and squeezes the last bit of greatness out of it.

If and when you decide to do a DEQX home-audition, be sure that Larry, the "DEXQpert" in Colorado, makes the adjustments. A "local" dealer is not qualified to do the road show.

Tell ya what .... if and when you want to arrange a home-audition, e mail me through A'gon and I'll hook you up with the DEQX US National Sales Manager. He'll set you up.


Thanks, Bruce (Bifwynne). I'm anticipating addressing the possibility, and I suspect the likelihood, of adding a DEQX to my system late this winter.

-- Al
I just wanted to thank everyone for their feedback thus far.

Another happy Daedalus user here. I have had the DARMAs for 5 years and they are up there with my 2 or 3 best purchases. Almarg's description, is right on the money, detailed fast accurate, but not bright or fatiguing at all.

One suggestion if the Ulysses are a bit rich for you, is to consider a smaller model, particularly the Athena's. I listened to the Ulysses and DARMAs(a standmount version of the Athena) carefully at RMAF a few years ago and really, you are'nt losing much with the smaller model
Which direction did you decide to go?
Somehow I missed your posts last month. I have Salk SoundScape 10s and was at RMAF 2011 and heard the Athena and the Ulysses. I thought the Athena sounded better than the Ulysses but I am sure that was due to setup. My SoundScapes are very exciting to listen to. That is true, especially, with vinyl at reference level. They take my breath away. The Athena had a more seductive relaxing sound.

If you are considering Salks I'd recommend checking out the Exotica 3s. My favorite of their models.
I owned Salk SS10s, and now own Daedalus Ulysses (version 1).

I would describe the difference between the 2 as the difference between "Hi-Fi" and "Musical". Both speakers will reveal all that's on the recording, but to my ears, the Ulysses are more refined.

If you have a chance, I would also recommend you listen to Reference 3A. I will be moving to a smaller home in the near future, and the Ulysses won't fit in my new room. I picked up a pair of Reference 3A MM DeCapo BE monitors, and they give up very little to the Ulysses. PM if interested in more about my Ulysses.
I changed direction and went with Nola KO as I was able to get a great deal on them.
They have just been installed and this weekend will be for listening; they have approx. 250 hours on them;if there are any KO owners reading this would you know if 250 hours would be considered broken in or more time is needed?
Any other opinions welcome.
Ok, let us know how the Nolas sound after the break in. Are they in the same price range as the Salk and Daedalus?
I bought a demo pair; I think price wise probally near the price of Daedalus Ulysses.
I thought the KO cost less than the Ulysses?

you are probally right Bob I was comparing used or demo pricing.
I did see a pair of Ulysses on audiocircle for 11k if I remember right.
After the first weekend of listening I think I need more time as moving from the Soundlab M2's back to a dynamic is a large leap.
I can only say so far that the vocals and piano sound very,very good and I found myself playing air guitar and drums; but there is a difference.
Electronics being used: Allnic L-3000,Audiovalve Challanger 180 Monoblocks (6550's installed) and a Grant CD-1000 Impression II player.
Looking forward to trying the Nola Blue Thunder speaker cable but still using my Transparent Musicwave Super for now.
I heard the original version of the Salk STs and really did not think anything of them. Even the larger coffin design models were nothing special to my ears. I was just not impressed. Not sure how they have changed over the years. Daedalus Audio has a very musical sound, almost like the old time speakers I used to listen to. Very emotional and involving. I own a pair of Alon V MKII speakers which are great sounding especially for the used prices. They need some tweaking to upgrade the X-Overs, etc, but they have a great sound. I was not that impressed with the newer Nola speakers. I felt that they lacked deep bass and the top end was very slightly diminished. Very hard to tell unless you know the material you are listening to. Could have also been the components used in the system. I compared them to the Lawrence Audio speakers which in the same system brought the music to life. I was disapointed with the Nolas. But that being said, at the show in Brooklyn recently, my friend heard the Nola ($25K models) and he said he would buy them if he could afford them. Best he had heard. Go figure!

Anyway, my preference would be Daedalus Audio or another listen to the Nolas. I know that Carl builds a great product and services he customers.

Happy Listening.