I officially stand corrected
But the other comments about Revel's quality going "downhill", "cheapened" and somehow the cabinets have less rigidity(?!?)
Some of these seem to be from someone who liked the looks of of old Salon and somehow felt that they were more rigid and a new tweeter could make up for a less inert(cheap) cabinet?
The 2 are mutually exclusive and irrelevant to each other.
From what I'm reading it seems the new Performa line is a continuation of Revel advancing the performance level of the speaker line.
If as people are claiming, that the Performa line is approaching that of the Ultima2 then that is quite an achievement and hardly a "cheapening" of the brand but quite the opposite.
I can tell you as a new owner of the Studio2's and as someone who has built speaker cabinets that these things are monsters.
2 1/2 thick baffles certainly sound cheap to me. 9 layers of curved mdf for the cab sidewalls?
Most speaker makers never mention the cabinets and if they do they brag about 1" baffles and maybe even 1" sidewalls of they're really over the top.
Plus the fit and finish are exemplary and this is coming from someone who would rather not pay for high end piano grade finishes.
I do know that the driver materials that Revel chose are really f'ing expensive and difficult to machine properly even to loose specifications, which no one does of course.
All of the design decisions are based in solid science, acoustic and otherwise.
This isn't to say that other speaker maker design decisions are inferior because they're not.
There are excellent drivers made from just about every material imaginable, but the good ones all adhere to basic acoustic fundamentals.
Hell, Vandersteen uses carbon fiber and balsa wood and they sound incredible.
Speaker designs evolve. Cabinet and driver designs evolve. I agree that the old Salons looked cool back in the day but given the choice I much prefer what Revel is doing with their speaker designs now.
I nearly bought a pair of the M20 monitors years ago and have followed and listened to Revel speakers throughout their different permutations.
I can't say that the Ultima2 line is sounds better than the old line or not and I don't really care.
In the limited amount of listening I've done with my new speakers I can say they're are as musical, detailed and everything else I value as any speaker I've ever spent time with and I haven't even begun to properly configure them as of yet.
To be clear, I'm not targeting you as the one who has a negative view of Revel or beleives that the line is getting cheapened, and if you do that is totally fine, it's just that people have a lot of opinions and they're not always based on the facts.