This is my first post here.
Having read every comment in the last 30 pages of this forum, I'd like to continue discussion on a couple of topics and in so doing hope we can expand on them.
By way of introduction, I have a pair of F208s driven by an MC452 and that is not (by much) too much amplifier for them, although it would be awkward if not painful to use all of its reserves in my 3300cf (21x16x9.5) dedicated room. My Salon2s are on order, and like another inmate, they have been delayed but are now en route and expected to arrive next week. However I've enjoyed having the 208s here so much that I have not been suffering in the least. Thy are an extraordinarily fine pair of speakers. I can only hope the Salons will be as easy to integrate into my room and that I enjoy them as much.
With that out of the way I'd like to raise the power/dynamic compression issue again.
The Soundstage/NRC measurements are made in an anechoic chamber. Sure, dB are dB but NRC's 95dB standard which is the second hurdle for a speaker that performs well at 90dB is made in an anechoic chamber. That's a lot of sound. More so as the effect of the chamber is to null any reflections that will add to the total energy we experience in room. Very few, (actually none of the direct radiator speakers that SS/NRC listed if I recall) were able to attain 95dB SPL without some power compression, and to be clear, the Revel's deviation was very limited. Also the Salon2 exhibits excellent frequency response and above average extension as well as world class low distortion and noise. Really, nothing in the lists tests any better. I suggest you look for yourselves as I just did.
Regarding the amplifier's contribution to this measurement. I would have to presume NRC has amplifiers of sufficient output not to clip the signal when doing these tests. Indeed it takes a good amp to do the job But power compression is not a measurement of the amplifier in any. In a properly conducted test (and let's give NRC the benefit of the doubt, eh?) the amplifier is not a factor, it's just a current source. Rather, dynamic compression is a measure of the way the speaker reacts to ever increasing input to output sound at a given (high) level and the way the speaker generates and shunts heat to the environment while outputting ever more energy. As the coil and former warm up and generate heat in the gap, non linearities will be exhibited to the extent that the device's power handling begin to react to the current being force fed to them. Pushed to the extreme, the transducers will eventually be overdriven, the voice coils will heat to failure and/or the formers will distort, expand, get burned and ultimately suffer failure. Many of the speakers under test weren't even driven (tested) beyond 90dB as they exhibited early signs of dynamic compression.
Revel and JBL (Pro) pay a lot of attention to taking that heat out of the equation since, as we can plainly see, it lowers sensitivity as it builds up. In the pro world, that correlates directly to money as more equipment would be needed to maintain high SPL as a night wore on. In my small room environment, it really of less consequence, at least to me. I'm more interested in quality than absolute quantity. I'm already able to amplify a signal far in excess of what is healthful (and that with my 208s). That's because I want to enjoy my hobby without losing the very thing that makes it enjoyable: my hearing. No doubt if high sensitivity and electrical efficiency is the objective, there is no easy substitute for compression drivers and horns. But the Salon2s ( as well as many JBL Pro transducers) have vented gaps to help minimize this issue and play both loud enough and dynamically enough to convey the small nuances that make listening to them so much fun.
So in my world power compression is not going to be an issue at any level I want to listen at in my room with the equipment I have. Also, continuous exposure above 90dB has to be limited (under 2 hours according to OSHA) to avoid hearing damage. Just about the length of a good feature!
If you want to go by specs it's hard to find a better speaker at any price than the Salon2 and I have to say, I'm loving the F208s as well. I have also had my Salon delivery pushed back but I'm expecting them here next week. Meanwhile, listening to music (and movies) with the Performas ain't exactly been suffering. I love them!