Thanks to the powers that be at the AVS Forum, I have been given permission to post about a unique “speaker shootout” / HT get-together to be held mid-August in north Colorado Springs / Monument (about 35 minutes south of Denver). Any and all are welcome to attend this unique get-together, which is not a sales event, but a simple listening test between what can objectively be called two of the very best speakers made at any price – the Revel Salon2
and the JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor.
This thread is being set up as a repository for updates on the shootout, plus a place for those who attend to post their comments and impressions.
There are several factors that make this listening test unique:
1. This is a “shootout” between two of the flagship speakers from one parent company, based on all the latest research coming out of Harman labs, still the largest and best equipped audio research facility in the world. Both speakers have earned the utmost respect from not only the audio press, but those who mix and master the content we all so much enjoy (more on this in a moment). In other words, this is not a test of “brand A vs. brand B,” but a test of two flagship speakers from the same parent company, but using different approaches of achieving similar goals.
2. We will attempt to properly blind part of the listening tests and conduct them in a scientifically controlled manner, taking advantage of direct input from Dr. Floyd Toole on testing methodology. (If you are not familiar with Dr. Toole’s work, you must check it out here
. Dr. Toole literally wrote the book
on applying proper scientific methods to understanding what matters when it comes to sound reproduction and loudspeaker design. To say we are honored to have him advising us on how to set up this event would be an understatement).
3. This is an attempt at demonstrating how a speaker listening test should properly be set up, where all factors such as speaker placement, source material, and volume are equalized. In addition, part of the listening sessions will be conducted in a truly blind fashion, with both speakers hidden from view so no one knows which speaker is playing at any given time.
The Revel Salon2
: Long a favorite of the audio press as well as those in the professional film and music industries, the Revel Salon2 is unique in that it continues to win the same kind of scientifically controlled, double blind listening tests we are attempting to emulate. Over the years a huge variety of speakers from many different manufacturers have been compared to the Salon2 during these tests, and the Salon2 continues to beat competitors at many times its price point. One can find lots of reviews of the Salon2 by doing a simple Google search, plus it may be interesting to know that one of Dolby Labs’ Advanced Technology Group’s Critical Listening Rooms features nine Salon2s as main and surround speakers. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that Dr. Toole himself has a set of Revel Salon2s in his own personal home theater 😊
The JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor:
While technically a “Pro” speaker, the JBL M2 is also a part of the JBL Synthesis line-up of speakers intended for premium home theater and stereo listening applications (you can find several threads dedicated to this speaker and its brethren right here on AVS). It also has an impressive professional pedigree, with the M2 rapidly becoming one of the reference speakers for film mixing and critical music mastering. Again, a quick Google search will reveal a large number of excellent reviews and endorsements of the JBL M2 – users include such industry professionals as Frank Fillipetti, Kenny Mixx, Joseph Magee, and Bruce Botnick. In fact, DeLuxe Toronto just outfitted all the main theaters in their new mix facility with M2 monitors.
So here you have it – two of the most respected speakers in the world going head to head. Both speakers are the beneficiary of the purely scientific peer-reviewed research undertaken by Dr. Toole and others at Harman Labs.
I am also happy to report that Harman is sending us new JBL SDP75 surround processor / pre-amp as a loaner specifically for this event. More on this later, as details come in.
Again, please note that this is intended to be a fun home theater / stereo listening / scientifically controlled listening test, NOT a sales event. The idea is to keep things fun and fascinating, where you can listen to some great speakers and hang out with fellow home theater / audio geeks, just like us 😊
Here are the tentative dates and schedule (Saturday and Sunday feature the same schedule):
August 11, 12 and 13
Location – my house in North Colorado Springs (PM me for details)
Friday August 11th
6 – 9 pm – casual hangout and listening, snacks and drinks provided
Saturday / Sunday Schedule (same both days, August 12th and 13th):
11 -12 pm - demo of the JBL Synthesis M2 / LSR708i / C763L / SDP75 based immersive audio setup
12 pm – Break for lunch
1 – 1:30 pm – setup of blind listening session (you are welcome to observe or assist)
1:30 – 3:30 pm – Blind comparison between the M2s and the Salons (may run shorter or longer, depending on number of attendees)
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Revel Salon2 stereo listening session
4:30 – 5:30 pm – JBL M2 stereo listening session
5:30 – 6 pm – Requests taken 😊
There will be limited seating for these listening tests, so please contact me via PM to reserve a space.
Here are pics of the contenders, which we are calling “Beauty” and “The Beast.” I’ll leave it up to you to determine which is which 😉