As gsr mentioned above, I don't know of any manufacturers that "loan out" demo models. Some thoughts:
Box speakers don't sell anywhere near the numbers they used to - speakers that "disappear" are all the rage right now, and have been for a while. We sell quite a few box speakers, but then again, we cater to an enthusiast crowd
Most speaker sales these days are in-walls or on-walls.
Brad and I have been involved in home theater sales and design since the late 80s in various capacities - as salespeople on a retail sales floor, as manufacturer reps, as a VP of sales and marketing for Panamorph, and as industry consultants. Our experience is that the vast majority of salespeople, especially in the retail environment, are just lazy. Not lazy in terms of sitting around on their behinds, but lazy in terms of digging into the details of a product and learning for themselves what is important and what is not. It's so much easier to sell Polk or Klipsch or Paradigm because the customer has heard of them - a simple sale.
The main objection we get from customers re: Revel is "I've never heard of them." To us, that's an easy objection to overcome as we find the Revel story genuinely compelling.
It's the closest we can come to offering a product that is objectively
better than the competition. But one has to understand why things like double blind listening tests and all the R&D Harman does are important.
One of the things that just amazed Brad and I was our experience at Harman Academy. We are in a room with about 20 other dealers, and people like Floyd Toole and Kevin Voecks and Sean Olive are standing in the front of the room either talking or demoing product. Brad and I are on the edge of our seats. Many of the other dealers are looking at their smart phones.
Tells you something.
But this is not an indictment of Revel or Harman dealers at all - I experienced the same thing traveling the world training dealers on anamorphic lenses and aspect ratios, essentially explaining why there are black bars on movies (this was when I was with Panamorph). What were most of the dealers doing? Checking their smart phones. And I happen to think I am a pretty entertaining public speaker