Wow, just trying to get caught up on this thread and I notated 35 different posts that I need to respond to
I'll try to get caught up during the day.
Let me offer something that I have discovered for myself about the M2s vs. the Salon2s that's intensely personal, while at the same time directly applies to this conversation. I (obviously) have spent the entire last week listening to the Salon2s and the M2s in my own personal space, under blind and non-blind listening conditions. I have also heard the Salon2s and M2s (as well as its sibling the 4367) in all kinds of different environments, from Harman's facility in Northridge to the Mark Levinson facility in Shelton Connecticut, to various rooms at CEDIA and CES, and shows like Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. And, after all the years I've been in this business (and an off since 1986), I have heard literally hundreds of different speakers.
In all those years, there has always been one specific quality I have looked for, and never found. And that is supreme "silkiness" and freedom from harshness in the high strings (violins, violas) and the extreme upper ranges of the female voice (such as in various pop / jazz / opera recordings). I listen to a large variety of music - jazz, rock, pop, classical - but most involves the orchestra in one way or another. As a sometime film composer who is just astounded at the sounds a symphony orchestra can make (if the symphony orchestra is not one of the most profound accomplishments to come out of western civilization, I don't know what is), tracking down a realistic, clean and believable orchestral sound has been my personal quest for decades.
With all of that said, that quality is precisely what the Salon2s have that the M2s lack, in my view. And that comes from listening to them in a large variety of spaces. The Salon2 is essentially the speaker I have always been looking for. As stated, I have auditioned hundreds of speakers over the years, and until the Salon2s I have never heard a speaker that captures the sound I hear from a live string section.
Of course, I realize that much of this is recording dependent. But I have gone from never hearing it before to getting goosebumps on several occasions when I have been playing the Salon2s.
Here are two tracks that illustrate exactly what I'm talking about. Notice the strings coming in at about :26 into this track, and in particular the gorgeous harmonies Williams brings in at 1:26, then the extreme high register violins at 1:40:
The Salon2s are the first speakers I have ever heard that reproduce those strings cleanly and openly, without any sign of harshness and grit. The M2s get an honorable mention, but that silkiness is just not there. My guess that the Revel's secret sauce is not only the tweeter, but the waveguide and the expert blending between midrange and tweeter. Usually those ever-higher-reaching violins get turned to hash by the vast majority of speakers.
Here's another track, thanks to
, who introduced us all to it on Saturday afternoon (love the pedal point in the right hand):
This track gave my absolute, scientifically verifiable goosebumps when played back on the Salon2s
When Sara hits the high notes, the Salon2s hung right in there and pulled them off without a hint of harshness. I was literally getting ready to wince when she hit those high notes, but instead - goosebumps.
So, there is my own subjective take on the comparison between the two speakers, with hopefully some tangible examples of the qualities I personally found important.