Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I might be two years late but, these are my first impressions of the Revel Ultima 2s in comparison to the Paradigm S8s. I owned the Paradigms for two years and, yesterday, set up a pair of Revels.
My wife, Susan was the first person to articulate the difference between the Revels and the S8s. She says, and I agree, that there is a realism in the Revels that is not quite there with the S8s. I'm not putting the S8s down and I can see how the two speakers have been compared. At the level of the tweeters, I'm now more convinced than ever that it's hard to beat beryllium. The Revels all have a huge and very, very articulate bottom end. Last night, I played Saint-Saens Organ Concerto and when the organ moves into those low notes the effect is highly emotional - it's not just a sound. There is an absence of what I call bogginess in the bass, there is no bloat, just clarity and weight.
Both Susan, my friend David and I noticed that, in the Revels, there appears to be terrific integration of music reproduction, from the top to the bottom. In this respect, the Revels are orders of magnitude more effective than the Paradigms. I'm listening to Rhiannon Giddens at the moment and the drums in the track "Oh Love is Teasin" could be in the room. In some respects, in the lower regions, it's not fair to compare the S8s with the Revels - they are a different class of speaker.
These speakers, like the Paradigms, have a beautiful mid-range and they love women's voices - I think that there is a satisfying 'near comparison' here. The Revels reveal Rhiannon's closeness to the mike and flatter it far more so than the Paradigms. It's the sort of closeness to the mike that you can appreciate if you are close to a stage and can see the singers expression.
This assumes that you know Valentina Lisitsa, the ethnic Russian pianist who is from the Ukraine? I mention her background because it became quite controversial when, just this last summer, her gig at Roy Thompson Hall, in Toronto was cancelled due to tweeted comments that she made about the situation in the Ukraine. Despite her (in my view) sometimes horrid politics, Lisitsa is a world class pianist. She has a vinyl album of some of Liszt's more difficult pieces. When I listen to Liszt, I often imagine even the best pianists having to chase the composer - he's that challenging. Lisitsa chases Liszt - she's that good. The reproduction of her pianism by the Revels is transcendent. At ordinary times, there is a luminosity to her playing - with the Revels, that feature is in full display. She uses the piano in a way that allows it to gradually gather volume. By the time that you are are no longer hearing individual notes and are hearing the piano as a sound generation chamber these speakers have an other worldly animalism about them and I'm not exaggerating. Get yourself a copy of the Lisitsa album - though new, they are hard to find and because of that they are a tad expensive.
The s8s are good speakers, the Revels are exceptionally good if not excellent speakers.