Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans
Anyone have thoughts on how the M106 compares to M20's? I'm going to put some speakers in my office at work and am deciding between a pair of M106's, M20's or KEF LS50's.
I'll take a stab at this one... IMHO, the M106's are a much
better speaker than the M20's. I've compared them side-by-side (I'm a dealer). The 20's were "good", and the 106's are an incredible deal. I'd say the M20's have less resolution in comparison. If I had to chose a word for the 20's, I would call them "polite" on the top end (Aerial Acoustics like) and that' not my personal cup of tea. Plus, the vocal clarity isn't as precise. In the past, I've concluded the "vocal clarity" problems with the cabinet resonanting. In the past few years, I know that they take a laser and scan the entire speaker (every mm of the box) while it is doing a frequency sweep. Meaning, they are searching for the exact location of the vibrations that "color" the sound. I suppose they could use aluminum like the Magico's that I sell and brace the heck out of them but they were trying to hit a price point. Anyways, when they see vibrations, they then brace the problem spots at their onsite cabinet engineering facility which is about 40 feet away from the laser machine. So GUESS what bookshelves are in MY office? Yea, the walnut finish is beautiful.
Here is why they are a steal. Revel's research facility dwarfs all others. An interesting statistic: There are 23,000 Harman employees and about 12,000 are engineers.
Of course not all of them are related to the speakers BUT about 1/3th of Harman's revenue
is car audio or close to $2 BILLION. That percentage is from memory and I could be off a little. But Harman is deep into automobiles as an aggregate. So car audio (though home audio recognition) helps get them into the entire car design. They are into heads-up display, heating and air, etc.
What does this have to do with Revel HOME speakers?
I would not be surprised if they are designing home speakers for visibility to sell car audio. Analogy: the Chevy Corvette isn't for profit but rather to help gain visibility in other parts of their business. Yes, Revel home audio business is to add $$'s on the bottom line but a lot of their R&D efforts are synergistic to car audio.
To put it in perspective and to further babble, I'd strongly guess that a company like Vandersteen or Proac MIGHT sell $5M a year. I'm not so sure Revel home speakers sells even $10M-$20M total but I am only guessing. So as you might accurately guess, they may not chase the reviewers or dealers with the same level of intensity. After all, they have 10's of b
illions of dollars in auto bookings. I heard a number that their car audio is nearly $2B in sales. Of course their R&D are synergistic (Floyd Toole and Shawn Olive are the tip of the iceberg). So if you are following, my theory is that part of the Revel home business is for visibly for car. Oh... Revel sold Lincoln on their engineering expertise by showing how their R&D for home follows into the car. Sold
to the tune of a couple hundred million. They brought out Salon2's to Detroit. I bought one of those speakers.
Back to their R&D. I counted 3 anechoic chambers at their massive facility and many demo / listening facilities. Engineers (I'm one as well) were all over the place. I "drank the Koolaid" and became a believer.
With the brands that I carry, I just did an A-B-C-D comparison for a bookshelf and picked the M106. Let me put it this way:IF
you don't like the M106, you are either sonically challenged our the room is less than ideal. There are no other options. I'm not saying someone won't like this or that bookshelf better in comparison because this sport is subjective. I'm saying that it's solid, world class engineering that deserves to be listened to. If you don't like them, give them a try in another room. Simply put, they are extremely good especially for the $$'s.
re: the LS50's. Again, I'm a dealer. They too are very polite on the top end (British sound). In fact, at the Revel's Northridge facility, I was tested in the blind (along with 16 other sets of ears). We all had an iPad and the letters were reshuffled. I felt the stress that I better be repeatable and I was. About all I knew or assumed was that at least one pair of speakers were a pair of Revel's. I think that is a safe bet considering I was at a Revel facility. There were 4 speakers in the blind perfectly level matched. I picked the LS50's 2nd to the last. Ready for this.... The Revel speaker was the Concerta2 bookshelf! Yes, 16 sets of ears in the blind picked the Concerta2's let alone the Performa 3's over the LS50's. NO one in the blind picked the LS50's 1st. But your mileage may vary.