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post #8461 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lindy's lad View Post
I appreciate your inputs John, and I imagine others do as well.
Thanks, Lew! Appreciate your comments and inputs as well!

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post #8462 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ngerstman View Post
Hello Revel forum. I'm looking to possibly upgrade. Currently using a pair of Revel M20 monitors and a Paridigm sub, the combo actually still sounds pretty good, many of the things I've listened to haven't thrilled me for the money. I haven't listened to the Studio 2's in part because they are 8-9 year old speakers, I would have thought Revel would have upgraded them by now. I have noticed that some active members here have recently invested in said old design. Do you still believe that they are state of the art and don't mind investing so much in an 8 year old speaker? Appreciate your thoughts. Regards. Ned.
Hi Ned!

The Revel Ultima series have not been updated in a while because there still hasn't been a speaker that can top them during the double blind testing at Harman (and that testing is always ongoing, with new models from competitors brought in for comparison all the time). One of the things that was shared with me by the engineers at Revel is that they are not going to come out with a new line of speakers "just because," they are only going to come out with a new line if there are significant advances in the technology to justify it

That's exactly what they did with the new Concerta2 series, as there was enough trickle down technology from the Performa3s and Salons to justify the upgrade of the original Concerta series.

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post #8463 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:17 PM
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I originally posted this about a week and half ago, but thought I'd should post an update. The Revel Rhythm2 subwoofer - the flagship sub of the Revel Ultima line - is on final closeout. As of today, (6/27/16) all Rhythm2s in black are gone but there are a few left in Walnut. If anyone is interested in these, now is the time to act - there are some pretty substantial discounts available.

There is an excellent review of the Rhythm2 here, with input from Kevin Voecks himself. It discusses in depth the high end LFO correction software which comes bundled with these subs, which is essentially a "lite" variation on JBL's ARCOS room correction system:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/r...BgZ840zbIps.97

Please feel free to contact me with any questions

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post #8464 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:18 PM
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That's funny that you bring this up because I was thinking the same thing while listening to my new Salon2s Saturday night. The tweeters are higher than my previous Thiel speakers and I was wondering how to get my listening chair higher. The Salon2s do seem to be more forgiving to the small "sweetspot" of my former speakers. I would also like to hear the experts opinions.
Your Thiels likely had 1st order crossovers, the late Jim Thiel loved the them, (time alignment and all that...) which will means they had a very ragged vertical axis off axis response. The response was only even at best at one sweet spot. The Salon2s have 4th order crossovers plus the wave guide on the tweeter, which will fundamentally give much more even response on the vertical axis. The small midrange driver also contributes to a smooth blend with the tweeter off axis since its response off axis is likely quite similar to the tweeter at the crossover frequency. This is a major benefit of a well implemented 4-way design. Other facets of crossover design can also be used to affect the off axis response, but I don't know details of the Salon2 design.

Stereophile's vertical, off axis response measurements of the Salon2 below axis, show a flat and consistent response for this measurement. Note that the graph is relative to the on axis response, which can make interpretation of the absolute response a bit difficult. The shape of the three curves below axis is very consistent, which confirms good response.
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post #8465 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Egan View Post
I was told by a Revel dealer that Harmon is working on the replacement for the Salon/Studio 2 but no specific details.
Not exactly true; Revel is always working to improve their products but there is no Ultima line refresh coming any time soon.
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post #8466 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ngerstman View Post
Thanks for the thoughts. One of thing I would fear would be Studio 3 coming out right after purchase. There are some new products coming out soon that I would like to here, including new Dynaudio Contours and at a higher price point, the expected Wilson replacement for the Sophia 3. I listened to the new Wilson Sabrina, a compact three way floorstander that still weighs in at almost 100lbs and thought that it sounded great, dynamic, spacious and way more coherent than past Wilson speakers with the Focal tweeter. They now use a silk dome in their entire line giving their speakers a much different voicing. I've also read some very positive reviews of the Aerial 7t and some like them better than the Revel Studios. Thanks again. Regards. Ned.
Not to fear - nothing coming in the foreseeable future.

Back in August there were some new Wilsons put into the double blind listening chamber at Harman, and evidently the Salon2s "mopped the floor" with them (that's an exact quote).

I haven't heard the Dynaudios, but I know at least one person who posts in this thread is a fan

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post #8467 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bigguyca View Post
...So where can progress be made? No doubt Harmon has learned more about waveguides in the past 10 years so the tweeter performance could perhaps be refined. I find nothing lacking there but anyway...

Above 10kHz the response is less even off access. Some people are interested in recordings with content above 20kHz. An additional driver to cover the range from 10kHz to say 30kHz would seem to be required. This would make the Salon a 5-way speaker. I frankly wouldn't would highly value this change on its face, but some would, and clearly I might once "hearing" it, if that's really possible.

The speaker could have an active crossover and perhaps included amplifiers. I would personally like an active crossover because it offers potential advantages. I built a pair of Linkwitz Orions, which are three way active speakers, and was very fond of them. Such a design would require a lot of amplifier channels; four per side with the current product. That doesn't seem practical for many people. If the amplifiers are included in or with the speaker then dealers potentially lose an amplifier sale, and dealers aren't running a charity, and rightly so. I use JBL LSR305 powered, active crossover, loudspeakers with my computer, but that's a very different application.

Harmon could somehow integrate some of its room equalization tools with the Salon. This adds a layer of complexity and such tools are included in most AVR's and AVP's.

It appears that what Harmon can offer in a Salon3, if and when we see such a product, is ten years of added knowledge and refinements, plus perhaps attention to the higher and highest frequencies. With Harmon's resources that may produce a noticeably improved product. I would love to see such an improved product; hate to pay for it, but love to see it.

What do others think?
Some great ideas here, I'm sure some have been (or are being) considered.

There is a "lite" version of Harman's "ARCOS" calibration software included for use with Revel's Ultima and Performa subs, the Rhythm2 and B110 / B112.

From my discussions with Harman, as I've mentioned elsewhere, nothing is on the launch pad regarding a Salon3 currently. I'm sure someday...

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post #8468 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lindy's lad View Post
I think the Studios have the same qualities as the Salons with less LF extension.
Kevin Voecks discusses the Salon2s vs. the Studios here:

http://www.stereophile.com/interview...KTGfxxB3RtJ.97

The relevant portion:

Greenhill: Why would a customer purchase a Salon2 if he knows that the less-expensive Studio2 [reviewed by Kalman Rubinson in March 2008—Ed.] incorporates the same design principles?

Voecks: The Salon2 moves more air and has greater output, particularly in the bass. The Salon2's three 8" woofers have a combined area equivalent to a 14" woofer, but the heat generated is spread out among three voice-coils. This means that you won't get the heat buildup that leads to dynamic compression. (As voice-coils heat up, impedance goes up and leads to a mismatch in a speaker's filter network.) The Salon2 is more resistant to dynamic compression than the Studio2 because it has more drivers to dissipate the heat. The Salon2 also has a smaller midrange than the Studio2. This leads to a better match between tweeter and midrange drivers, helping control the Salon2's off-axis response.


Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/interview...zHLMf44mIAP.99

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post #8469 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:46 PM
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Hi, Revel experts, I read that an ideal height of speakers is that your ear is at the same height as the tweeters. Normally the ear height is around 40'', but Revel Salon 2 is about 53''high and F208 is 46'' high. Will this result in a sub-optimal listing position?
This could be a problem with speakers that aren't designed with same kind of broad, flat and even dispersion that is one of Revel's prime design goals. Off-axis response is just as important as on-axis response to the Revel engineers. This applies to the vertical as well as the horizontal.

Certainly this consideration was taken into account when the speakers were engineered, and the proof is in the performance - the Revel Salon2 has yet to be bested during the blind testing at Harman. All the blind listening tests are done with the participants seated, so listening position in relation to height as well as distance to the speakers is equalized.

Hope that helps!
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post #8470 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
I originally posted this about a week and half ago, but thought I'd should post an update. The Revel Rhythm2 subwoofer - the flagship sub of the Revel Ultima line - is on final closeout. As of today, (6/27/16) all Rhythm2s in black are gone but there are a few left in Walnut. If anyone is interested in these, now is the time to act - there are some pretty substantial discounts available.

There is an excellent review of the Rhythm2 here, with input from Kevin Voecks himself. It discusses in depth the high end LFO correction software which comes bundled with these subs, which is essentially a "lite" variation on JBL's ARCOS room correction system:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/r...BgZ840zbIps.97

Please feel free to contact me with any questions
To anyone considering these - make sure you check the dimensions as the Rhythm 2's are HUGE. I was considering getting a pair, but they're so much larger than my current subwoofers that there's no chance of them fitting in the room.
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post #8471 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 05:56 PM
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To anyone considering these - make sure you check the dimensions as the Rhythm 2's are HUGE. I was considering getting a pair, but they're so much larger than my current subwoofers that there's no chance of them fitting in the room.
LOL - yes they are! Fortunately they sound huge, too

Here are dimensions:

24.6” H x 27.9” W x 28.1” D, 177lbs.

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post #8472 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 08:49 PM
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Hi, Lew, Could you send me a PM about the ship cost (to Dallas, TX)? Thanks.
Check your PMs, ya'll
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post #8473 of 8714 Old 06-27-2016, 09:36 PM
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Hey guys, if you're looking to buy new speaks long distance, why not at least give Schuermann a crack at it? I wouldn't know John if I bumped into him but clearly he is invested in these products and this forum. Just a plug for a good guy I've never met but would like to.


yes, biamping them would be consistent with the general trends in the pro division that have been shaping JBL's products for at least a decade. That said, Revel serves a different market than JBL. Including even a single class D amplifier ( to power the low end) in a new package would be a challenge. I would want a 20 amp circuit (at my home) for each speaker because that's the way I roll. So two more outlets on the wall. Also, for better or worse, the high end market at the level the Ultima line plays has never really adopted active speakers. Should they? Maybe, but they haven't, so it's a concept that would need some selling, even if many enthusiasts would welcome the option.

I think it was Rich who suggested to me that I consider biamping and that could be a nice option for me personally with the speakers I already have. I've been considering it as a possible future upgrade path. If I were designing the next generation Ultimas, a built in LF amplifier might be something I'd consider, but lets say I already have a number of expensive amp channels as I would if I biamped. Do I want to buy a speaker that makes them redundant? Looking at it that way I could see why guessing wrong can be costly for a manufacturer.

In the pro world it just gets harder and harder to justify purchasing anything but active
products, but the pros who are usually quite conservative adopted this option with zeal a long time ago. The high end home market may be another story.

It has to be a challenge to stay in front of everybody when you don't have a press release to announce your new high end product every six months like some seem folks seem to do. But I think a lot of highly touted manufacturers are guilty of selling sizzle in the high end, literally and figuratively. It's to Revel's credit that they are in the substance game and don't sell snake oil. I hope the public is smart enough to understand that because these products deserve all the success their performance should ensure.

The tweeter location is a non issue. Fitting the speaker to the room is the key. I bought these things in large measure for their bass, but day to day, I admire and enjoy them for their impeccable mids and highs.
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post #8474 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
LOL - yes they are! Fortunately they sound huge, too

Here are dimensions:

24.6” H x 27.9” W x 28.1” D, 177lbs.
Hi John. You obviously have a strong opinion about the Position of the Revel Ultima line in the world of high end audio speakers. Are you in some way affiliated with Revel and/or are you a dealer? If you are, and I say this with no intention to question your integrity, but can you be truly objective? Thanks. Regards. Ned.
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post #8475 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 07:40 AM
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Hi John. You obviously have a strong opinion about the Position of the Revel Ultima line in the world of high end audio speakers. Are you in some way affiliated with Revel and/or are you a dealer? If you are, and I say this with no intention to question your integrity, but can you be truly objective? Thanks. Regards. Ned.
It's a simple matter of looking at the links in his signature to figure out that he's a Revel dealer and he has been pretty clear on that point in a number of his posts. While you obviously have to take that into account when reading his posts, it's also very clear that he has a ton of admiration for Revel from an owner perspective as well. I haven't purchased anything from him, but based on his posts in this thread and the exchange I had with him recently about the deal on the Rhythm 2 subs (that I passed on because of their size), he strikes me as one of the good ones and I have yet to see anyone post anything even remotely negative about buying from him; everyone who has made any mention of buying from him seems very happy with the transaction.

That said, I own 3 pairs of Salon 2's and a Voice 2 for my surround sound/music system and couldn't be happier. They're absolutely fantastic speakers, worthy of the praise that John gives them. The Revel's replaced Focal Electra series speakers (1038 x 2, 1027 x 4, and CC 1008 center), which replaced B&W 800 Matrix series speakers.
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post #8476 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Lindy's lad View Post
I think it was Rich who suggested to me that I consider biamping and that could be a nice option for me personally with the speakers I already have. I've been considering it as a possible future upgrade path. If I were designing the next generation Ultimas, a built in LF amplifier might be something I'd consider, but lets say I already have a number of expensive amp channels as I would if I biamped. Do I want to buy a speaker that makes them redundant? Looking at it that way I could see why guessing wrong can be costly for a manufacturer.

I had the Ultima1's for 14 years and expect to have the Ultima2's for the next 15. Next week, I will have the final amp configuration, 10 AT6000 channels. Is that overkill, probably, but I bought them for how they sound at 1 watt bi-amped.


I pushed these amps driving the Salon2's until the clipping lights illuminated at -6, both vertically bi-amped and single-amped. At that level, bi-amped remained clearer, likely due to the separation of high-and low end amps and crossovers. The common belief is that this is the only place where bi-amping can help. However, it noticeably improved the clarity and bass response at very low levels. I share these impressions there are many silly things that folks recommend to improve sound, this is NOT one of them. It a simple test that can be performed at home using two amp channels on a single speaker.


- Rich

Oppo BDP-105D | Oppo HA-1 | Emotiva XMC-1 | Oppo PM-1 | ATI Signature AT6002 x 2 + AT6006 | Revel Salon2s, Voice2, Studio2s | Velodyne HGS-15
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post #8477 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 07:58 AM
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Hi John. You obviously have a strong opinion about the Position of the Revel Ultima line in the world of high end audio speakers. Are you in some way affiliated with Revel and/or are you a dealer? If you are, and I say this with no intention to question your integrity, but can you be truly objective? Thanks. Regards. Ned.
No doubt objectivity is frequently confused by commercial interests, but not always. A conscientious professional has to make choices based on a number of factors but the best way to select the products one is going to offer is to provide the products one truly believes in.

I was a pro audio reseller, a national sales manager and a manufacturer's representative, during the decades between the Wall of Sound, three channel optical sound tracks, through the transition to digital and ultimately to the technologies in force today. Never during that time did I try to sell anyone a product I believed to be inappropriate to their needs nor fail to recognize a superior technology once I identified that it was indeed superior. That's just the nature of reality and if you are going to succeed, knowing the difference between "real" and BS is a critical ally to have on your side.

This doesn't prevent good people from making mistakes, being slow on the take up at points along the way nor does it obligate them not to behave in their own best interests, but it does place an onus on anybody with a conscience to be aware they are walking the straight and narrow or straying from the path of good judgment.

There really are people with integrity, decency married to technical skills and interest at every level of the AV game, pro and consumer. That's just as true as the fact that there are shysters and con artists
prepared to sell people magic crystals and frozen string guaranteed to improve the sound of everything within a ten block blast radius.

But that does not mean a commercial interest automatically rules out integrity and a genuine desire to do a good job.

When I was working, I never for once believed I was making the world a better place through audio, but I always kept in mind that I wanted to shoot straight and be fair with my clients and to my staff. I did not always succeed at that, but I always wanted to tried my best to keep personal integrity as my primary product.

Why would you suggest that John feels any other way? Frankly, I think it's insulting to suggest it. Anyway, there are a lot of us here who truly do believe that Revel uses proven and scientifically testable technologies in the pursuit of world class products.

Being a dealer makes people neither right nor wrong about the stuff they sell so you have to judge integrity on its own basis. But try not to confuse enthusiasm with BS. Sometimes enthusiasm is entirely merited.

I'm sure John really likes the products he sells and believes in them or he wouldn't sell them. It happens that I agree with him in this instance; that is that Revel continues to lead in the price/performance arena of the high end.

I have no commercial ties to Harman or John, but as I said before, I really appreciate his inputs and his work in keeping this forum vital. Just because he's a dealer doesn't sour me in the least. I know a lot of dealers.
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post #8478 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post
I had the Ultima1's for 14 years and expect to have the Ultima2's for the next 15. Next week, I will have the final amp configuration, 10 AT6000 channels. Is that overkill, probably, but I bought them for how they sound at 1 watt bi-amped.


I pushed these amps driving the Salon2's until the clipping lights illuminated at -6, both vertically bi-amped and single-amped. At that level, bi-amped remained clearer, likely due to the separation of high-and low end amps and crossovers. The common belief is that this is the only place where bi-amping can help. However, it noticeably improved the clarity and bass response at very low levels. I share these impressions there are many silly things that folks recommend to improve sound, this is NOT one of them. It a simple test that can be performed at home using two amp channels on a single speaker.


- Rich
I'm completely in accord. In fact, I may well follow your lead at some point and give it go in the belief that it may be the easiest way for me to improve on the sound of my system.

My point was never to argue with you (I agree about biamping. Bear in mind I come not from the high end but from pro audio. I just wonder if the market in the high end home arena is also on board with this. That was the only point I was trying to make.

Biamping is heaps o' fun and active speakers are the system solution that probably would serve most people.....even the subjectivists.....the best in respect to cost per dollar. Might it just be a tough sell? That's all I am suggesting.

I appreciate your inputs here too, and read your comments with great interest.
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post #8479 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Lindy's lad View Post
I'm completely in accord. In fact, I may well follow your lead at some point and give it go in the belief that it may be the easiest way for me to improve on the sound of my system.

My point was never to argue with you (I agree about biamping. Bear in mind I come not from the high end but from pro audio. I just wonder if the market in the high end home arena is also on board with this. That was the only point I was trying to make.

Biamping is heaps o' fun and active speakers are the system solution that probably would serve most people.....even the subjectivists.....the best in respect to cost per dollar. Might it just be a tough sell? That's all I am suggesting.

I appreciate your inputs here too, and read your comments with great interest.

Thanks. I completely agree. Active speakers are a tough sell to customers and dealers alike.


The Ultima2 are wonderful speakers so every improvement I have made to the signal path has yielded easily identifiable benefits.
Putting all together, I continually discover new detail and improvements from CD rips of recording going back to the late 80's.
Of course, some of those recording benefit from far greater dynamic range than is commonly found in "modern" recordings.

- Rich

Oppo BDP-105D | Oppo HA-1 | Emotiva XMC-1 | Oppo PM-1 | ATI Signature AT6002 x 2 + AT6006 | Revel Salon2s, Voice2, Studio2s | Velodyne HGS-15
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post #8480 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 08:46 AM
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No doubt objectivity is frequently confused by commercial interests, but not always. A conscientious professional has to make choices based on a number of factors but the best way to select the products one is going to offer is to provide the products one truly believes in.

I was a pro audio reseller, a national sales manager and a manufacturer's representative, during the decades between the Wall of Sound, three channel optical sound tracks, through the transition to digital and ultimately to the technologies in force today. Never during that time did I try to sell anyone a product I believed to be inappropriate to their needs nor fail to recognize a superior technology once I identified that it was indeed superior. That's just the nature of reality and if you are going to succeed, knowing the difference between "real" and BS is a critical ally to have on your side.

This doesn't prevent good people from making mistakes, being slow on the take up at points along the way nor does it obligate them not to behave in their own best interests, but it does place an onus on anybody with a conscience to be aware they are walking the straight and narrow or straying from the path of good judgment.

There really are people with integrity, decency married to technical skills and interest at every level of the AV game, pro and consumer. That's just as true as the fact that there are shysters and con artists
prepared to sell people magic crystals and frozen string guaranteed to improve the sound of everything within a ten block blast radius.

But that does not mean a commercial interest automatically rules out integrity and a genuine desire to do a good job.

When I was working, I never for once believed I was making the world a better place through audio, but I always kept in mind that I wanted to shoot straight and be fair with my clients and to my staff. I did not always succeed at that, but I always wanted to tried my best to keep personal integrity as my primary product.

Why would you suggest that John feels any other way? Frankly, I think it's insulting to suggest it. Anyway, there are a lot of us here who truly do believe that Revel uses proven and scientifically testable technologies in the pursuit of world class products.

Being a dealer makes people neither right nor wrong about the stuff they sell so you have to judge integrity on its own basis. But try not to confuse enthusiasm with BS. Sometimes enthusiasm is entirely merited.

I'm sure John really likes the products he sells and believes in them or he wouldn't sell them. It happens that I agree with him in this instance; that is that Revel continues to lead in the price/performance arena of the high end.

I have no commercial ties to Harman or John, but as I said before, I really appreciate his inputs and his work in keeping this forum vital. Just because he's a dealer doesn't sour me in the least. I know a lot of dealers.
As I had said, I in no way meant to question anyone's integrity. There are many great products out their with many great dealers who will go to the hilt to praise those products, fully believing that it is the state of the art at the price point or just simply SOTA. But that is what makes it a ballgame, lots of right answers. I visited a few high end dealers lately. One swears by Kef Reference or Dali Epicons, another thinks the new Wilson speakers with the new silk dome tweeter and new voicing are the best at various price points starting with the new Sabrina's at $16,000 to be followed by the newly awaited version of the Sophia 3 at $23,000. Then there was the dealer who thought the Magicos were the cats meow or the Maggie 3.7s. Lots of dealers supporting the products they sell, that's just the way it is. Some are true believers, some just hyping what they sell. Who's to know. At the end we consumers listen to a bunch of stuff and make a decision, some of us have buyers remorse, some totally happy. That's life. Thanks. Regards. Ned.
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post #8481 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 10:17 AM
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As I had said, I in no way meant to question anyone's integrity. There are many great products out their with many great dealers who will go to the hilt to praise those products, fully believing that it is the state of the art at the price point or just simply SOTA. But that is what makes it a ballgame, lots of right answers. I visited a few high end dealers lately. One swears by Kef Reference or Dali Epicons, another thinks the new Wilson speakers with the new silk dome tweeter and new voicing are the best at various price points starting with the new Sabrina's at $16,000 to be followed by the newly awaited version of the Sophia 3 at $23,000. Then there was the dealer who thought the Magicos were the cats meow or the Maggie 3.7s. Lots of dealers supporting the products they sell, that's just the way it is. Some are true believers, some just hyping what they sell. Who's to know. At the end we consumers listen to a bunch of stuff and make a decision, some of us have buyers remorse, some totally happy. That's life. Thanks. Regards. Ned.
Appreciate that, just wanted to make my position clear. Indeed, lots of good equipment to peck through. Did you happen to watch that Atkinson video I put up? Have any thoughts on it?

I believe there is a lot of 'futility' and subjectivity in the high end game. That exists in the pro world as well, but in general, the better pros (what "better" means would take some discussion) are also better educated than the average consumer. It makes objective considerations more important in that world since SQ is but one factor a pro needs to take into account when making decisions.

There is no arguing that a person needs to buy what they like in the end. The hope is that they will still like it when they get home and own it for a few months. It's difficult to make that selection at a dealer's showroom and that's the sad fact of the matter. As a pro of 45 years, I know I had trouble doing it on this latest round I "invested" in and I had a very good idea what I was looking for (SQ wise).

No harm, happy to engage in the conversation and best wishes as you peck through the morass!
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As I had said, I in no way meant to question anyone's integrity.
What rubbed me the wrong way about your initial post on this was that you clearly didn't do even 5 seconds of research to look at John's signature to figure out that he's a dealer. He's done nothing to hide who he is - he's mentioned in numerous posts that he's a Revel dealer and his signature has a link to the website for his business where you can easily see that he's a Revel dealer. It's understandable that you might want to take a dealer's opinion with a grain (or more) of salt (I think most of us do for some of the reasons you cited), but there was no need to pose the question the way you did - I'd hate to see yet another helpful person get chased away from posting on AVS (it has happened a number of times over the years).

Even factoring in the appropriate dosage of salt, it's clear that John is a HUGE fan of the Revel product line and there's a good reason for that: their products are truly excellent.
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post #8483 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 01:20 PM
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First of all, thanks to all that have posted recently expressing support for my posts! It's good to know that people find the information I post valuable Some of what I will post now will be familiar to those who have read my posts before, but unless someone new goes back several months in the thread, this may be new information (at least for people also new to this thread).

And I actually appreciate @Ngerstman 's skepticism, for the exact reasons he states. Every dealer claims that they sell the very best products, and every manufacturer claims the same. Unless there is something objective to back all that up, it's all simply marketing hyperbole and totally subjective. As @Ngerstman puts it:

"One swears by Kef Reference or Dali Epicons, another thinks the new Wilson speakers with the new silk dome tweeter and new voicing are the best at various price points starting with the new Sabrina's at $16,000 to be followed by the newly awaited version of the Sophia 3 at $23,000. Then there was the dealer who thought the Magicos were the cats meow or the Maggie 3.7s."

Let me preface my own thoughts on this subject by stating right up front that I am a hard core skeptic. I literally started the Pikes Peak Skeptics society and am a member of many other skeptical organizations (in fact, I once did a presentation on High End Audio "snake oil" products for the annual Colorado Skepticamp event). As a skeptic, I am dedicated to following the evidence where it leads, vs. leading the evidence to pre-ordained conclusions. As human beings, we are all susceptible to confirmation and expectation bias, and I realize that I am no different. It is exactly this frame of mind that led me to Harman products - specifically JBL and Revel - to begin with.

As I mentioned above, without some kind of way to objectively evaluate sound quality, all we are left with is marketing hype and subjective claims. The good folks at Harman recognize this - which is why they institute strict scientific protocols for testing their speakers both internally, and against the competition. In order to reliably determine which speaker does in fact sound best, it is absolutely necessary to completely level the playing field. So many factors can mess up our subjective evaluations of speaker sound quality:

  • Different speakers evaluated in different rooms with different source material
  • Sighted tests where it is possible to see which speaker is playing at any given time (giving rise to expectation and confirmation bias)
  • Different volume levels (whichever speaker is louder will invariably sound "better" to most people)
  • Different speaker positioning even if speakers are evaluated in the same room (whichever speaker is closer to a room boundary will either benefit or be degraded by the bass boost that comes with being placed closer to a wall or walls)

In addition to Harman having the most advanced and elaborate acoustics and speaker testing facility in the world, they also have the only double blind listening facility that eliminates all of the above factors when comparing speakers. The listening tests undertaken in this facility are strictly scientifically controlled, not subjective, in that the tests are truly double blind with neither the listener nor the tester knowing which speaker is playing at any given time. The speakers are also precisely level matched so that volume / efficiency differences won't affect the outcome, plus the speakers are hidden behind an acoustically transparent curtain. Each speaker is also moved into the identical position so that room boundary interactions are compensated for (thanks to the pneumatic speaker mover designed by Dr. Sean Olive). The listeners then rate each speaker on an iPad on a sliding scale. Only after the testing is done is it revealed which speakers are which.

Brad and I were present for one of these double blind evaluations when we attended Harman Academy back in August. In the session Brad and I attended, the brand new Revel Concerta2 M16 bookshelf speaker was being tested against competing models from KEF, Monitor Audio, and Polk.There were 8 people in the room, and out of this particular group seven preferred the Revels to all the other speakers in the test.

During other sessions, various Revel models have been tested against other speakers from B&W, Paradigm, Klipsch, Martin Logan, Golden Ear, Wilson, and Definitive Technology (there have been many others; those are just some that we have either witnessed or have discussed with the testers). It's a genuine Revel policy that they won't put a speaker into production until it can beat the competition during the double blinds. It is our understanding that no speaker has ever beat the top of the line Salon2 in any of the double blind tests (as I mentioned before, it was commented by one of the testers at Harman that the Salon2 "mopped the floor" with a much more expensive model from Wilson Audio during a recent double blind listening session).

On top of that, all of the scientific research undertaken at Harman is shared with the world in the true spirit of science, with the results of their research peer reviewed and published in scientific journals. Harman will often bring in people from different cultures, nationalities and age groups for the listening sessions, and the results of the tests are often published on Dr. Olive's blog:

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/

So, based on all of the above, I finally have landed on a brand of speakers (actually, two brands, Revel and JBL Synthesis) that I feel I can objectively say are better than the competition. While the above may not ultimately prove that they are the best speaker for everyone, I know of no other method that will give as reliable results for comparing speaker sound quality. And it is no surprise to me that the results of all this testing shows that the most accurate speakers with the flattest and even response - both on axis and off axis - win the double blind tests. This is exactly why Revel speakers are engineered to offer those specific qualities

The icing on the cake for me is the fact that Revel and JBL speakers are often used in the most critical mixing and mastering environments for film and video. Literally 90% of all Blu-rays are mixed and mastered on JBL Synthesis systems, using the Revel C763L as the ATMOS surrounds. Dolby's Critical Listening Lab utilizes nine Revel Salon2s as the main speakers. Bob Katz (of Steely Dan fame) checks his mixes and final masters on Revel Salon2s, as do two major film composers I know of.

The "pro" part of the pedigree was the last piece of the puzzle for me, as I am a film composer and sound designer when I'm not doing home theaters (or should I state that the other way around ). When you combine that pro pedigree with the hard scientific principles Revel / JBL adhere to, you come as close as you can get to an "objectively best" speaker brand.

IMO
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post #8484 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 01:36 PM
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Lest I be accused of making bold assertions without backing them up, here are a few links. First, here is the Revel brand video that shows the double blind speaker shuffler in action:


Here are interviews with several different famous mixing and mastering engineers, discussing their use of the Revel Ultima line for critical listening / mastering:


Here is a pic of the Salon2s in the Dolby Labs Critical Listening Room:


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post #8485 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 03:37 PM
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First of all, thanks to all that have posted recently expressing support for my posts! It's good to know that people find the information I post valuable Some of what I will post now will be familiar to those who have read my posts before, but unless someone new goes back several months in the thread, this may be new information (at least for people also new to this thread).

And I actually appreciate @Ngerstman 's skepticism, for the exact reasons he states. Every dealer claims that they sell the very best products, and every manufacturer claims the same. Unless there is something objective to back all that up, it's all simply marketing hyperbole and totally subjective. As @Ngerstman puts it:

"One swears by Kef Reference or Dali Epicons, another thinks the new Wilson speakers with the new silk dome tweeter and new voicing are the best at various price points starting with the new Sabrina's at $16,000 to be followed by the newly awaited version of the Sophia 3 at $23,000. Then there was the dealer who thought the Magicos were the cats meow or the Maggie 3.7s."

Let me preface my own thoughts on this subject by stating right up front that I am a hard core skeptic. I literally started the Pikes Peak Skeptics society and am a member of many other skeptical organizations (in fact, I once did a presentation on High End Audio "snake oil" products for the annual Colorado Skepticamp event). As a skeptic, I am dedicated to following the evidence where it leads, vs. leading the evidence to pre-ordained conclusions. As human beings, we are all susceptible to confirmation and expectation bias, and I realize that I am no different. It is exactly this frame of mind that led me to Harman products - specifically JBL and Revel - to begin with.

As I mentioned above, without some kind of way to objectively evaluate sound quality, all we are left with is marketing hype and subjective claims. The good folks at Harman recognize this - which is why they institute strict scientific protocols for testing their speakers both internally, and against the competition. In order to reliably determine which speaker does in fact sound best, it is absolutely necessary to completely level the playing field. So many factors can mess up our subjective evaluations of speaker sound quality:

  • Different speakers evaluated in different rooms with different source material
  • Sighted tests where it is possible to see which speaker is playing at any given time (giving rise to expectation and confirmation bias)
  • Different volume levels (whichever speaker is louder will invariably sound "better" to most people)
  • Different speaker positioning even if speakers are evaluated in the same room (whichever speaker is closer to a room boundary will either benefit or be degraded by the bass boost that comes with being placed closer to a wall or walls)

In addition to Harman having the most advanced and elaborate acoustics and speaker testing facility in the world, they also have the only double blind listening facility that eliminates all of the above factors when comparing speakers. The listening tests undertaken in this facility are strictly scientifically controlled, not subjective, in that the tests are truly double blind with neither the listener nor the tester knowing which speaker is playing at any given time. The speakers are also precisely level matched so that volume / efficiency differences won't affect the outcome, plus the speakers are hidden behind an acoustically transparent curtain. Each speaker is also moved into the identical position so that room boundary interactions are compensated for (thanks to the pneumatic speaker mover designed by Dr. Sean Olive). The listeners then rate each speaker on an iPad on a sliding scale. Only after the testing is done is it revealed which speakers are which.

Brad and I were present for one of these double blind evaluations when we attended Harman Academy back in August. In the session Brad and I attended, the brand new Revel Concerta2 M16 bookshelf speaker was being tested against competing models from KEF, Monitor Audio, and Polk.There were 8 people in the room, and out of this particular group seven preferred the Revels to all the other speakers in the test.

During other sessions, various Revel models have been tested against other speakers from B&W, Paradigm, Klipsch, Martin Logan, Golden Ear, Wilson, and Definitive Technology (there have been many others; those are just some that we have either witnessed or have discussed with the testers). It's a genuine Revel policy that they won't put a speaker into production until it can beat the competition during the double blinds. It is our understanding that no speaker has ever beat the top of the line Salon2 in any of the double blind tests (as I mentioned before, it was commented by one of the testers at Harman that the Salon2 "mopped the floor" with a much more expensive model from Wilson Audio during a recent double blind listening session).

On top of that, all of the scientific research undertaken at Harman is shared with the world in the true spirit of science, with the results of their research peer reviewed and published in scientific journals. Harman will often bring in people from different cultures, nationalities and age groups for the listening sessions, and the results of the tests are often published on Dr. Olive's blog:

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/

So, based on all of the above, I finally have landed on a brand of speakers (actually, two brands, Revel and JBL Synthesis) that I feel I can objectively say are better than the competition. While the above may not ultimately prove that they are the best speaker for everyone, I know of no other method that will give as reliable results for comparing speaker sound quality. And it is no surprise to me that the results of all this testing shows that the most accurate speakers with the flattest and even response - both on axis and off axis - win the double blind tests. This is exactly why Revel speakers are engineered to offer those specific qualities

The icing on the cake for me is the fact that Revel and JBL speakers are often used in the most critical mixing and mastering environments for film and video. Literally 90% of all Blu-rays are mixed and mastered on JBL Synthesis systems, using the Revel C763L as the ATMOS surrounds. Dolby's Critical Listening Lab utilizes nine Revel Salon2s as the main speakers. Bob Katz (of Steely Dan fame) checks his mixes and final masters on Revel Salon2s, as do two major film composers I know of.

The "pro" part of the pedigree was the last piece of the puzzle for me, as I am a film composer and sound designer when I'm not doing home theaters (or should I state that the other way around ). When you combine that pro pedigree with the hard scientific principles Revel / JBL adhere to, you come as close as you can get to an "objectively best" speaker brand.

IMO
Appreciate the lengthy response. You certainly have many fans and supporters on the forum. Since I just recently hopped onto this thread, I really don't know who is who. I can and do appreciate those who are passionate about audio, we are to a large degree a dying breed, especially the two channel crowd. Every now and then our type gets the upgrade bug and I am for the second time in the last 3 years at it again. The first go round I didn't find anything that exited me to move on from my Revel M20's and Paradigm Reference sub combo. Then procrastination set in which has lasted a few years. Back out again and have listen to the products I mentioned above, of which only the New Wilson speakers seemed really good in many ways except for the important value proposition perspective. While the Sabrina was really good, it is only a small floorstander with a lesser tweeter than the models above it(I find that really annoying in that why would they do that, $16,000 isn't chump change). The Sasha is much better but too much money. The Revel Studio 2 seems to be a good value proposition, beautiful cabinets, quality drivers, coherent sound. I did hear them earlier today for the first time. What surprised me was the fact that at least in this listening room, they didn't have a lot of low end slam. The salesman indicated that the room has a very flat response with no bass gain. What is your experience with the bass in the Studio 2? I know it is supposed to be flat to low 30hz area which should not affect slam. Thanks for your thoughts. Regards. Ned.
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post #8486 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 04:42 PM
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...The Revel Studio 2 seems to be a good value proposition, beautiful cabinets, quality drivers, coherent sound. I did hear them earlier today for the first time. What surprised me was the fact that at least in this listening room, they didn't have a lot of low end slam. The salesman indicated that the room has a very flat response with no bass gain. What is your experience with the bass in the Studio 2? I know it is supposed to be flat to low 30hz area which should not affect slam. Thanks for your thoughts. Regards. Ned.
I hate to say it, but the Studio2 is probably the one Revel speaker I have not listened to I've heard the Salon2s many times plus the JBL M2 (the two respective flagships) and neither is remotely bass shy.

The Studio2 should have very good bass response, though. I wonder what the salesperson means that the room has a very flat response? Unless it is just jam packed with bass traps, no room is flat (even if it is jam packed with bass traps, no room is flat ).

The best thing I can offer right now is Kevin Voecks' own comments about the Studio2 vs. the Salon2 - excellent interview with him here that gets into depth on both speakers:

http://www.stereophile.com/interview...xwSviDrd9vD.97

The relevant portion:

Greenhill: Why would a customer purchase a Salon2 if he knows that the less-expensive Studio2 [reviewed by Kalman Rubinson in March 2008—Ed.] incorporates the same design principles?

Voecks: The Salon2 moves more air and has greater output, particularly in the bass. The Salon2's three 8" woofers have a combined area equivalent to a 14" woofer, but the heat generated is spread out among three voice-coils. This means that you won't get the heat buildup that leads to dynamic compression. (As voice-coils heat up, impedance goes up and leads to a mismatch in a speaker's filter network.) The Salon2 is more resistant to dynamic compression than the Studio2 because it has more drivers to dissipate the heat. The Salon2 also has a smaller midrange than the Studio2. This leads to a better match between tweeter and midrange drivers, helping control the Salon2's off-axis response.


So that does line up a bit with your experience.

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post #8487 of 8714 Old 06-28-2016, 07:29 PM
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Thank you all that sent me PMs. I'd like to ack them here since I can not use PM yet. Really appreciate it!
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post #8488 of 8714 Old 06-29-2016, 04:18 PM
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No problem. Hopefully you were able to get what you needed. My speakers will be delivered tomorrow and I can't wait.
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post #8489 of 8714 Old 06-30-2016, 08:58 AM
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No problem. Hopefully you were able to get what you needed. My speakers will be delivered tomorrow and I can't wait.
Congrats! Pictures and impressions required. My findings, yours may vary:

First comment: Although I'm not a big believer in "break in" (call me agnostic on that count) I have to say that my pair sounded really congested when I first lit them off. Things started to come into focus after an hour or two. Don't judge them from the first quacks, but just put your best music through them, sit back and be patient as they get settled in. It shouldn't take all that long.

My speakers Have a fair amount of room to breathe. I have them 43" (each) off the side wall to center of the front baffle and 55" back wall to front baffle. They are modestly toed in. I'm not sure I am getting all the LF from them they have to give, but then again they still kick hard, tight and fast. OTOH, they image like CRAZY and the stage is amazingly large, wall to wall on the right material and can be shockingly dimensional. I hear things from what seems to be the sides with certain movies.

No squawk, no excessive brightness, nectar for the midrange, manna from on high treble range and a huge sweet spot.

They need plenty of power and control. No AVR I am familiar with will remotely do them justice. You'll need a really good amplifier.

Pictures and words, please, and I can't underscore enough to give them the room you sensibly can to start. I found it was possible to move them too much off the back wall in my room though so there is that. Finally, they put a lot of energy into my floor and I suspect waste some doing that, but that's a condition I have no control over that I can think of.

They are going to blow your mind.

Oh yeah, don't even think about spikes until you get them located in the room. If you relay your room dimensions and situation maybe some of us can give you a starting point and suggestions, but maybe you already have that down and really, it's not that hard. They are amazing transducers.

Lew
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post #8490 of 8714 Old 06-30-2016, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Lindy's lad View Post
Congrats! Pictures and impressions required. My findings, yours may vary:

First comment: Although I'm not a big believer in "break in" (call me agnostic on that count) I have to say that my pair sounded really congested when I first lit them off. Things started to come into focus after an hour or two. Don't judge them from the first quacks, but just put your best music through them, sit back and be patient as they get settled in. It shouldn't take all that long.

My speakers Have a fair amount of room to breathe. I have them 43" (each) off the side wall to center of the front baffle and 55" back wall to front baffle. They are modestly toed in. I'm not sure I am getting all the LF from them they have to give, but then again they still kick hard, tight and fast. OTOH, they image like CRAZY and the stage is amazingly large, wall to wall on the right material and can be shockingly dimensional. I hear things from what seems to be the sides with certain movies.

No squawk, no excessive brightness, nectar for the midrange, manna from on high treble range and a huge sweet spot.

They need plenty of power and control. No AVR I am familiar with will remotely do them justice. You'll need a really good amplifier.

Pictures and words, please, and I can't underscore enough to give them the room you sensibly can to start. I found it was possible to move them too much off the back wall in my room though so there is that. Finally, they put a lot of energy into my floor and I suspect waste some doing that, but that's a condition I have no control over that I can think of.

They are going to blow your mind.

Oh yeah, don't even think about spikes until you get them located in the room. If you relay your room dimensions and situation maybe some of us can give you a starting point and suggestions, but maybe you already have that down and really, it's not that hard. They are amazing transducers.

Lew
Lew, how do they compare to the F208's you have?
Any thoughts?

Chris

Edit: Sorry, shouldn't have quoted the whole post.
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