Originally Posted by comfynumb
Loaned out your 52's to a brother in law? Blasphemy
But the Phil's can't be too bad on the ear either.
Originally Posted by Milt99
Um, you have Phil 3s?
Please a comparo between the Phils and the F52s.
I would think that the Phils would be their equal, different but still on par.
Originally Posted by comfynumb
^^ Yeah I would like to hear them compared also.
So I've mentioned before that the Salon2s were my dream speaker that I've been lusting for from the first day I got my F52s. I figured if this is how good the F52s are, I need to get me the Salon2s when I can afford them. Well, rewind to sometime in the middle of 2012 I heard about the Philharmonic 3s. Reviews were glowing and they were even being compared to the Salon2s. Measurements looked great both on and off axis. I figured Salon2 quality for less than a third the cost? Might as well try it.
Fast forward to today, after much testing and moving things around rearranging acoustic panels to try and find the sweet spot for the Phils, I think I've set them up to where they are the best sounding to me as they ever will be in my room. Here are my thoughts.
Advantage: Phils. They are slightly more clear and quick. Hard to explain since I don't speak audiophile so the lingo escapes me. Not a night and day difference, but noticeable. The only other speaker I have heard that had crisp highs like this were the Martin Logan Summits.
Advantage: Revels? This was a wash, but if I had to choose one over the other I would pick the Revels. They seemed to have more warmth and weight in the mids. Less noticeable than the difference of the highs. I could only tell if I were to really listen for it. It was a tough call on this one. I suppose on any given day, I would pick one over the other. The difference was so small as to be negligible.
Clear winner here. The Revels can't touch the Phils in the authoritativeness of the low end. Clarity may lean ever so slightly in favor of the Revels, but not enough to give the overall advantage of the Phils anything to worry about.
4. Cohesion of the different sounds and drivers:
Advantage: Revels. This again was a VERY minor difference. The sounds blended well with both speakers I couldn't differentiate which driver the sounds were coming from. Some speaker I have heard, if I close my eyes, I can distinctly here the high frequencies coming from up high and there would be an emptiness of sound between the highs then the mids would come in from a lower region of the soundstage. Same for the step down from the mids and lows. Very similar to banding on a video screen as opposed to a smooth transition. Both the Phils and the Revels performed admirably in this aspect. It's like the difference of trying to compare two Olympic sized pools and asking you to say which has more water in it down to the .00000001 fluid ounce. At that point, who really cares? Still, if I had to choose one it would be the Revels because it does have that extra .00000001 fluid ounce over the Phils.
Judging by those specs alone people could think that the Phils would be the clear choice, but wait. There's more to speakers than just the different tones.
Winner: Revels. No matter how I positioned the Phils, I could not get the speaker to disappear into the room. I tried pointing them straight ahead, various angle of toe in and out. At their current height, the voices sounded like I was sitting on a balcony listening to a street performance. I prefer to have the sound come from in front of me, not from down below. Playing with the diffusers helped a bit, but not much. I had to add a 5" platform underneath the Phils to bring the soundstage up to my liking, but that only helped with the vertical aspect. Toe in help with horizontal dispersion, but the sound would never expand beyond the boundaries of the speakers themselves. Closing my eyes and listening to music, I can tell exactly where my speakers are in terms of the width of the soundstage. Inside of the speaker boundary, though is a different picture. The Phils do disappear within their boundaries. The depth of the soundstage is also noticeably lacking when compared to the Revels. No matter the amount of fill used in the upper cabinet of the Phils I could not get that depth of sound I got from the Revels. Even when I removed all the fill from the cabinets AND removed the acoustic panels from behind the speakers themselves. The sound was not as deep as the Revels. Not sure why since I thought dipoles should have more depth to their sound due to their design.
With the Revels, the soundstage was absolutely expansive. Only by opening my eyes can I tell where the speakers are. With my eyes closed, the sounds appear to come from well beyond where the speaker are physically located. Depth of sound, while not nearly as spectacular as the horizontal dispersion was still good. I can close my eyes and tell where on the stage the different vocals and instruments were located. Vertical dispersion was very good. Stage appeared to be in front of me at eye level and not high up above nor below me.
Hands down I would choose the Revel F52 over the Philharmonic 3. I'm not saying that the Philharmonic is a bad speaker, it is not. It is a very good speaker. It would be a speaker I would be happy with had I heard it first and not the Revels. The Phils do just about everything right above and beyond what the Revels do tonality wise, but they just don't move my soul like the Revels do. Some may call their sound clinical I guess. I just don't know what it is. Both the Revels and the Phils measure nearly flat across the entire range. I do enjoy listening to the Phils while my F52s are at my brother-in-laws house, but it's just not the same feeling. When I get a chance, I do listen as much as I can, but with the Phils, I tend to find myself starting to daydream or think about other things or even start working as it plays in the background. Not so with the Revels. When those puppies are playing everything else stops and all I do is sit in the dark and listen to the music. The Revels invoke emotions conveyed by the music. Man, I'm getting all wishy washy just thinking about them and how they stir my soul. Even when I'm working and my GF turns on her music, I'll stop what I'm doing and sit for a bit (okay more than just for a bit) to just take in the music.
All that being said, the Phils will do better at music aimed for the younger crowd. Hip hop, top 40 and such with the heavy bass sound spectacular on them. I suppose if that's all I listened to i would probably favor the Phils as they do dig MUCH deeper than the Revels. That kind of music really doesn't have much meaning the me other than just for mere catchy songs to listen to on occasion. Yes, I do have a sub and that makes up for the lacking base of the Revels, but for 2CH music I would prefer not to turn on all my amps just to run subs if I don't have to.
That's where my upcoming experiment will hope to resolve. I have a couple of JL Audio 10W7 drivers I've built into a sub. I'm going to try to run them as MBMs in conjunction with the Revels using an external DSP to split the L/R signal between the Revels and the subs. Think of it as a Frankenstein Salon2 in that they will be a 4-way speaker run full range. The JLs are good down to the low 20's. This should put the Franken52s at least on par with the Phils on the low end.