Last year, I bought three pallet loads of speakers from Revel. What happened is a large Revel dealer went out of business and I bought all of their demo inventory (through Revel). In order to understand the condition, I needed to open up every pair. It gave me the perfect opportunity to study each and every model side-by-side in the same room. While it wasn't in the blind, I was careful to level match and align the speakers in the same position. I concluded that the Studio
2's in stereo & large, didn't have enough bottom end for my
huge room and taste (about 18'x26'x14' height). The Salon2's was well worth the sonic upgrade albeit a big increase in the price tag.
Certainly the F208's had a good deal more "oomph" over the Studio2. But the Studio was more refined. The more obvious difference was that the top end wasn't as transparent on the Performa3 series. Hence, someone could make the argument that the F208 Be
might be a better fit. But I'm only guessing. I would assume there would be other trade-offs as well. Anyways, I decided to keep a pair of Salon2's as they lite up my room! But I have one kid in dental school and another in medical school. Someone wanted a deal on a pair of Salon2's and of course, everything is for sale.
At the end of the experiment, I ended up with the incredible
F206's. They do soooooooooooooo many things right. Because of port design, the dispersion pattern, and specifically how my room is laid out (flanked on each side of a centered fireplace), I will impress the heck out of anyone. Especially, for so little money (using audiophile standards). Also, with less than ideal music, the recorded "brightness" does not come out as much. For me, that makes it a nice speaker for my plentiful 1980's music library. If I listen to audiophile music 24-7, then I want the maximum clarity as possible (with a linear FR). For instance, the DALI Epicon 6's ($14K) are AWESOME. But they quickly were swapped out because of what I just typed; way too "bright" with grainy 80's recordings
. The Salon2's were much more forgiving than the DALI Epicon's. So I personally prefer the "inferior" DALI Rubicon series. That is also why people like tube amps. It's a filter (literally) that removes grain and harshness from an "o.k." recording. But it's an archaic approach to drive speakers; I will never personally use tube amps. I digress....
Some Revel related conclusions that I can confirm. The Salon's LOVE beefy amplification. I used some ATI 300 watt Signature's (6xxx series) and that was an incredible synergy. Maybe that might be a reason why you took a close look at them?
The F206's simply don't need anywhere
near as much muscle. The F208's want beefier amplification than the F206's. In fact, I am currently studying the Denon 6300H theater receiver with the F206's . Denon made custom output devices for the 6300H in order to drive lower impedance loads. So while I am cheating the system with inexpensive theater receiver, I didn't pick what I picked by accident.
So for those with wine taste on a beer budget, contemplate the Denon X6300H. It's an extremely good sounding HT receiver for a bunch of technical reasons and a very good synergy with the 206's. I just never tried with the F208's. So I don't know...
With the X6300H and stereo listening, make sure to hit "Pure Direct". If your ears work and your room is good, you will hear the improvement. My source music is 40,000,000 songs via Tidal. With tidal, I am done buying more CD's. The 206's do have a lot of bottom end. In a perfect world, I'd like a little bit more bass. In fact, I prefer more bottom end in just about every stereo speaker ever made. So the next step is to add a sub dedicated for stereo. Since the Christmas tree is out of the room, my next experiment is to use these. I'm an SVS dealer and like the EQ feature of the new series. I'm going to fine tune to get that extra extension that I desire. Because of the EQing application on the sub, I can EQ a flat LF response and pull down the FR where I want. I plan on using the preouts of the L&R signal of the Denon receiver to drive the sub. I hope it works in real life like it does on paper.