Revel Owners Thread - Page 498 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #14911 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Yes, I too would be curious to read that. More specifically, how you performed your blind testing. Which isn't easy with speakers.

Not looking to find a, "GOTCHA!" in your testing method though they may very well be one or more of those given the challenge of blind speaker testing performed on an (assumed) relatively casual basis.
I've extensively tested a bunch of equipment and speakers over the years and I don't do write-ups. I think they're pointless. Even though I'm the only person I've seen on AVS post a high resolution hearing test up to 20kHz, I don't trust my ears/preferences and neither should anyone else. During my hearing test, I even had the audiologist randomize the tones, vary the cadence, and repeat most of it multiple times, all so I couldn't subconsciously try to trick it. IIRC, it took about 45 minutes.

I do testing solely to find out what I(and my wife) prefer in our room, that's it. I couldn't care less what anyone else prefers or thinks. Confirmation bias and subjective validation are so powerful that I really try to make it as rigorous as possible, without getting too crazy. The electronics are in another room 35+ feet away, so there's no visual or auditory clues about the test. The blind test is 100% operated by another person (my wife). Speaker profiles are created with and without room correction and can be loaded very quickly. They are manually level matched as well using a calibrated microphone. Since I don't have a fancy speaker rotator, speaker positions in the room are swapped at least once to verify there's not a positioning advantage/disadvantage.

I even cover my ears during a test change until the content starts, so I don't hear a slight increase in hiss from a more sensitive speaker. And there's lots more that I don't feel like spending hours typing out.

The bottomline with the F208 test was I found them fatiguing at my regular listening volumes after 20-30 mins. Now time for some subjective crap.....I found them to be less "clear and natural sounding" than the Ascend towers. Compared to all the other speakers I've tested, the Ascends just sound "right", whatever that means. The F208s sounded pretty good, but I never got those goosebump feelings of sheer joy/ecstasy while watching movies or listening to music. I never thought "Holy Crap, these sound good!!!" like I have many times with the Ascends. That's as best as I can describe it. I can also listen for hours at high volumes with zero fatigue.

There you have it. I tested them awhile back and didn't post about it, because who the hell cares what I prefer with my ears, in my room.

What does matter, is that I found my auditory nirvana, and I hope everyone is lucky enough to find the same.

Lyngdorf MP-50 | Yamaha MX-A5200 | Ascend Sierra Towers | Ascend Sierra Horizon | Ascend Sierra Lunas | Ascend HTM-200SE | SVS SB-13 x4

Last edited by duckymomo; 04-27-2019 at 11:10 AM.
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post #14912 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 11:46 AM
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Well here is what I found when I auditioned the Revel F35 speakers. I also listened to the SVS Prime Towers. The Prime specs say they have a low frequency response of 30 hz +/-3 dB. The F35 specs say 55 hz at -3 dB. When I listened to them both, the F35 had much deeper, fuller and articulate bass then the Primes, yet the specs from the manufacturer’s say the opposite. That is just the low frequencies.

For me, I would never buy a pair of speakers before I listened to them. I don’t trust the manufacturers specs, graphs, etc. I trust my ears more...


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post #14913 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by duckymomo View Post

I do testing solely to find out what I(and my wife) prefer in our room, that's it. I couldn't care less what anyone else prefers or thinks. Confirmation bias and subjective validation are so powerful that I really try to make it as rigorous as possible, without getting too crazy. The electronics are in another room 35+ feet away, so there's no visual or auditory clues about the test. The blind test is 100% operated by another person (my wife). Speaker profiles are created with and without room correction and can be loaded very quickly. They are manually level matched as well using a calibrated microphone. Since I don't have a fancy speaker rotator, speaker positions in the room are swapped at least once to verify there's not a positioning advantage/disadvantage.
It sounds like you tested both speakers very well compared to what most people on the forums do and it sounds like you found the best speakers for you. I disagree that other peoples' write-ups are useless though, especially if they do a proper comparison as you seem to have done. Harman has shown that listeners of all ages, genders and nationalities prefer pretty much the same sound signature and also different rooms don't change which speaker is preferred. All I'm saying is peoples' preferences really aren't all that different but our biases certainly are.

I understand not wanting to face the backlash for picking a "winner" though, but I feel if I can maybe help others narrow down their choices by doing it then it can be a positive.
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post #14914 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 12:09 PM
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I understand not wanting to face the backlash for picking a "winner" though, but I feel if I can maybe help others narrow down their choices by doing it then it can be a positive.
Yes, especially since he has already picked a winner. Providing more information behind that pick would probably interest many readers.

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post #14915 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by duckymomo View Post
....There you have it. I tested them awhile back and didn't post about it, because who the hell cares what I prefer with my ears, in my room.
Very impressive effort. Wasn't expecting nearly that degree of attention to detail, so kudos for that.

As a hypothetical wishful-thinking type of thought, I'd love to see if you would be able to re-confirm your preference again in the Harman testing facility. Not only your preference but also the seemingly high degree of preference of one over the other.
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post #14916 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 02:24 PM
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As we grow old, our hearing suffers a bit, often in higher frequencies. I was looking to find an app that can measure this decline in our high frequency hearing and compensates for it when playing music.

Here is an app I found. Has anyone used this app? What do you think about it's effectiveness? I tried it and found that it does boost higher frequencies for me, indicating that I have some hearing loss in that area. Here it is for others to review and comment.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article...h-neutralizer/
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post #14917 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 03:05 PM
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As we grow old, our hearing suffers a bit, often in higher frequencies. I was looking to find an app that can measure this decline in our high frequency hearing and compensates for it when playing music.

Here is an app I found. Has anyone used this app? What do you think about it's effectiveness? I tried it and found that it does boost higher frequencies for me, indicating that I have some hearing loss in that area. Here it is for others to review and comment.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article...h-neutralizer/
Totally unappealing to me. First, it seems to be a simplistic FR compensation which, of course, is easy to do. Second, it requires that you listen on headphones/earphones which, imho, means a complete loss of spatial accuracy. Feh.
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post #14918 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 05:02 PM
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There is another thread floating around where a poster preferred LS50's to a pair of M105's, despite the M105's having objectively better measurements. I believe the LS50's were 2-for-2 in that shootout and was also rigorously performed blind.

So either blind testing at home is impossible, or the measurements aren't telling the whole story. If proper auditions can only occur at Harman's anechoic chamber, that's really bad news for most of us.

I currently have a pair of LS50's, Dyn X14's, and a pair of Revel M16's arriving Monday. All roughly the same price but with wildly different implementations.

The M16's have the unquestionably better objective measurements, so I assume they will easily win, but there seems to be something else at play. We shall see. I'm looking forward to blind testing these with an ~80Hz high-pass.
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post #14919 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 06:01 PM
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FWIW, today I raised my Voice2 about 5" on some wooden blocks (pieces of 2"x4") to get it closer to the bottom of my TV's screen. This was in response to an observation by @Roger Dressler that it was sitting low. (See pix: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57791432 .) It made a little difference but not as much as I expected; guess I've gotten pretty good at letting the video guide the sound. It is about where I had my last center in height. I've run Dirac Live again and will live with it a bit before constructing a more solid riser (it is a little wobbly on the carpet).

I did notice again that it does not tilt "up" enough for me on the Voice2 stand; I adjusted the front spikes a little higher to point it more directly at the MLP (ear level).

Going to watch a movie tonight. I had just a little time to listen after the cal run this evening and these speakers sound amazing. Just need more time to listen to them...

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #14920 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
There is another thread floating around where a poster preferred LS50's to a pair of M105's, despite the M105's having objectively better measurements. I believe the LS50's were 2-for-2 in that shootout and was also rigorously performed blind.

So either blind testing at home is impossible, or the measurements aren't telling the whole story. If proper auditions can only occur at Harman's anechoic chamber, that's really bad news for most of us.
That was me, I've been thinking about it since then but a few reasons I can think of are that maybe overall sound power is more important than on-axis, especially in the case of the LS50 where I point them straight ahead and listen about 15 deg off axis. If we go by only sound power, the LS50 measure pretty well except for the slight peak from 2-3k that makes them sound a bit bright.

The other thing I asked about in the "What science shows..." thread was regarding vertical reflections and how they might be more important than we currently believe. I found this study in the AES directory The Effect of a Vertical Reflection on the Relationship between Preference and Perceived Change in Timbral and Spatial Attributes which showed a majority of people preferred tones with a vertical reflection, even though the vertical reflection was timbrally distorted like all typical line source speakers. I theorized that with coaxial and full range drivers, that will have accurate vertical reflections, it might have an even more positive effect on preference.
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post #14921 of 15237 Old 04-27-2019, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
There is another thread floating around where a poster preferred LS50's to a pair of M105's, despite the M105's having objectively better measurements. I believe the LS50's were 2-for-2 in that shootout and was also rigorously performed blind.

So either blind testing at home is impossible, or the measurements aren't telling the whole story. If proper auditions can only occur at Harman's anechoic chamber, that's really bad news for most of us.

I currently have a pair of LS50's, Dyn X14's, and a pair of Revel M16's arriving Monday. All roughly the same price but with wildly different implementations.

The M16's have the unquestionably better objective measurements, so I assume they will easily win, but there seems to be something else at play. We shall see. I'm looking forward to blind testing these with an ~80Hz high-pass.
Coaxials don't change at all in terms of vertical dispersion though, since the sound is coming from one source, whereas if you were to stand up and crouch down on front of a Revel M105 the apparent output changes dramatically when you switch between the tweeter and woofer axis, you get the sudden flare in output from one driver versus the other. This shift basically doesn't exist at all on a coaxial speaker. This becomes extremely obvious the closer you sit to a speaker. If you are basically reviewing these nearfield or under 2 meters I suspect one would prefer the coax every time.
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post #14922 of 15237 Old 04-28-2019, 12:17 AM
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Coaxials don't change at all in terms of vertical dispersion though, since the sound is coming from one source, whereas if you were to stand up and crouch down on front of a Revel speaker the response changes dramatically when you switch between the tweeter and woofer axis, you get the sudden flare in output from one driver versus the other. This shift basically doesn't exist at all on a coaxial speaker. This becomes extremely obvious the closer you sit to a speaker. If you are basically reviewing these nearfield or under 2 meters I suspect one would prefer the coax every time.
Correct. Which begs the question @aarons915 asked above about the importance of smooth vertical dispersion and being a true point-source. I know that in theory experiencing a point-source is a function of listening distance. Also, due to the horizontal nature of our ears, vertical dispersion is considered to be less important but does have a measurable effect on early reflections and sound power responses especially around the crossover region (~2kHz in most 2-ways.)

It's an interesting question indeed, and I don't have any answers. In my rooms, I've never awarded coaxes any particular advantage outside the usual listening window and sound power averages. But, my primary listening distance is never less than 4m.

However, there seems to be something going on since the better measuring speaker doesn't always seem to be winning these blind shootouts. My LS50's sound really good to my ears even though I wouldn't call them "accurate" per se. Likewise my Dynaudio Excites. I'm curious how they will both fare against my incoming Revel. On paper, these M16's should be perfect for 2.0 in a small-to-medium-sized room and outclass both Kef and Dyn.

But, maybe even dispersion in all directions is a bigger deal than we realize? I honestly don't know. Regardless, I will be doing my best in the blind comparison to determine if the measurements stack up to my own sound preferences. Easier said than done, of course, but I've read through these threads and I can replicate the methodology without much effort. The biggest problem will be coming up with a big enough bribe for a family member to indulge me and swap speakers a few dozen times, lol.

It's gonna be fun and interesting!

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post #14923 of 15237 Old 04-28-2019, 08:03 AM
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I've extensively tested a bunch of equipment and speakers over the years and I don't do write-ups. I think they're pointless. Even though I'm the only person I've seen on AVS post a high resolution hearing test up to 20kHz, I don't trust my ears/preferences and neither should anyone else. During my hearing test, I even had the audiologist randomize the tones, vary the cadence, and repeat most of it multiple times, all so I couldn't subconsciously try to trick it. IIRC, it took about 45 minutes.

I do testing solely to find out what I(and my wife) prefer in our room, that's it. I couldn't care less what anyone else prefers or thinks. Confirmation bias and subjective validation are so powerful that I really try to make it as rigorous as possible, without getting too crazy. The electronics are in another room 35+ feet away, so there's no visual or auditory clues about the test. The blind test is 100% operated by another person (my wife). Speaker profiles are created with and without room correction and can be loaded very quickly. They are manually level matched as well using a calibrated microphone. Since I don't have a fancy speaker rotator, speaker positions in the room are swapped at least once to verify there's not a positioning advantage/disadvantage.

I even cover my ears during a test change until the content starts, so I don't hear a slight increase in hiss from a more sensitive speaker. And there's lots more that I don't feel like spending hours typing out.

The bottomline with the F208 test was I found them fatiguing at my regular listening volumes after 20-30 mins. Now time for some subjective crap.....I found them to be less "clear and natural sounding" than the Ascend towers. Compared to all the other speakers I've tested, the Ascends just sound "right", whatever that means. The F208s sounded pretty good, but I never got those goosebump feelings of sheer joy/ecstasy while watching movies or listening to music. I never thought "Holy Crap, these sound good!!!" like I have many times with the Ascends. That's as best as I can describe it. I can also listen for hours at high volumes with zero fatigue.

There you have it. I tested them awhile back and didn't post about it, because who the hell cares what I prefer with my ears, in my room.

What does matter, is that I found my auditory nirvana, and I hope everyone is lucky enough to find the same.

Even I'm heading this way. I have to know one way or the other ….. did I really hear what I think I did or did I 'create it'. Only one way to really know.

"During my hearing test, I even had the audiologist randomize the tones, vary the cadence, and repeat most of it multiple times, all so I couldn't subconsciously try to trick it."

This is a good idea. It's been two years since my last one and I did tell him about my hobby and test with this in mind. I think I need to dig deeper next time.

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post #14924 of 15237 Old 04-28-2019, 03:46 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the good info and opinions here regarding Ascend vs Revel. Ordinarily, I’d be happy to conclude that “it’s just up to listener preference” and call it a day (the common audiophile perspective I’m accustomed to). However, from watching Dr. Toole’s lectures on this subject lately, I too have been convinced thar there is, in fact, such a thing as an objectively “better” speaker (for a majority of people) when comparing any two speakers — and, that that this can be measured scientifically!

So, because the Revel F206/F208 measures better then the RAAL Ascend Sierra Towers, one of the following must be true:

1. If a majority of people (not just a single anecdote) would prefer the RAAL Ascend towers over the F208/F206 in a double-blind test, then all of Dr. Toole’s research is wrong — because the Ascend’s measure worse.

2. If a majority of people would prefer the Revel F206 in a double-blind test, then David Fabrikant’s “professional opinion” is wrong to say the RAAL Ascend Towers are better, and Dr. Floyd Toole is right and the measurements predict the average listener preference for the F206/F208.

The way I see it, there’s really no other way to interpret this: Either David Fabrikant is wrong, or Dr. Floyd Toole is wrong. Both are respected figures around here (and I’m sure there’s plenty of mutual respect between them), but they can’t both be right in this instance because the claims are contradicting.

Too bad double blind tests/studies are so difficult to perform. Aside from that, from my individual purchaser’s perspective, all I can do is use a company like Crutchfield (as suggested above) plus Ascend’s return policy, to buy both and compare for myself side by side. This is probably the only real solution for my situation in the short term (especially since I can’t seem to find anywhere in the greater Seattle area that carries a Revel), but longer term and for everyone else, it sure would be nice to have a more definitive answer on this at least for people in the objectivist camp.
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post #14925 of 15237 Old 04-28-2019, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by duckymomo View Post

The bottomline with the F208 test was I found them fatiguing at my regular listening volumes after 20-30 mins. Now time for some subjective crap.....I found them to be less "clear and natural sounding" than the Ascend towers. Compared to all the other speakers I've tested, the Ascends just sound "right", whatever that means. The F208s sounded pretty good, but I never got those goosebump feelings of sheer joy/ecstasy while watching movies or listening to music. I never thought "Holy Crap, these sound good!!!" like I have many times with the Ascends. That's as best as I can describe it. I can also listen for hours at high volumes with zero fatigue.
I really like the Revel waveguide for movies, for a traditional dome and cone and I feel the soundstage width is amazing, but I also feel for music it can sometimes be a little harsh. Dr. Earl Geddes has always felt that these waveguides add higher order distortion anomalies that need to be dampened by foam blocks/inserts, if you've ever looked at his designs like the Abbey you will know what I'm talking about.

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post #14926 of 15237 Old 04-28-2019, 05:09 PM
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I’ve owned two brands of speakers in my brief foray into high end audio. My first were B&W 800 D2’s. My next were Revel Salon2’s.

When I listened to my 802’s, I enjoyed them thoroughly and felt blessed to own them. As I recall, at approximately 1.5 hours I would be fatigued and would end my session with a smile. I assumed the fatigue was a normal factor that was not associated with the sound system.

I listen for hours with the Revels, and never experience fatigue. The speakers are the only change in my system.

Who knows, but I don’t get the notion of Revels being fatiguing. At least not in my limited experience.
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post #14927 of 15237 Old 04-28-2019, 05:47 PM
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I listen for hours with the Revels, and never experience fatigue. The speakers are the only change in my system.

Who knows, but I don’t get the notion of Revels being fatiguing. At least not in my limited experience.
Same here, in my experience fatiguing speakers have a rise in the 2-4Khz range. If a modern Revel is fatiguing someone I would think they're playing them at very loud volumes or maybe they're just ultra sensitive to certain frequencies. I'm sensitive to fatigue as well on account of having excellent hearing and I used to listen to "laid back" speakers to avoid it but I found I was giving up some detail by doing that. Now I prefer neutral speakers or in my current case I EQ them to be neutral.
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post #14928 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 05:52 AM
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"... in my experience fatiguing speakers have a rise in the 2-4Khz range."

Interesting observation as I have experienced this as well. Is this something proven and documented? Just curious as it seems like it should be on most speaker buyer's checklist.


"I listen for hours with the Revels, and never experience fatigue."

I have never owned or auditioned a speaker that doesn't potentially cause listening fatigue. It came up a lot last year while auditioning speakers, especially in poorly treated rooms with systems that weren't set up well. After acquiring Revels in April 2018, there was some listening fatigue out of the box. It took a couple of days of getting used to how the speakers sound, adjusting their position, and repeated (Anthem ARC) calibrations to get this down to manageable levels. Ongoing tweaks since then have continued to improve sound quality and fatigue is now almost nonexistent but it isn't 100% eliminated. I've also found that decibel levels play a role. So do poor quality recordings. And it also seems to depend on me -- some days, there's nothing that sounds good.

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #14929 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 06:04 AM
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Our hearing peaks around 3 kHz, about the same as a baby's cry. A speaker that exhibits such a peak, or music etc., is likely to be more fatiguing just because we are more sensitive to it. On the other side of the board, that region is often boosted so vocals "cut through the mix" better, usually at the request of the vocalist(s) or marketing. At least in my limited and ancient experience. Rex and others can comment more about the latter.

IME, from the sales floor (rare; they kept me in the back fixing stuff, or out setting up systems, as I was rarely in agreement with the salespeople or the flavor of the month), speakers with upper midrange peaks sounded more "up front" and "lively" to customers after a brief listen. Thus they stood out from the neutral speakers and sold better. At least until the customers had them for a while and learned more about what constitutes good sound (usually by listening for a while). Thus beginneth the upgrade cycle. It is, or was, very hard to convince folk what they heard as "more presence" or whatever would rather quickly become something to be avoided. I changed the minds of a lot of college friends with my systems back then.

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post #14930 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill-99 View Post
"... in my experience fatiguing speakers have a rise in the 2-4Khz range."

Interesting observation as I have experienced this as well. Is this something proven and documented? Just curious as it seems like it should be on most speaker buyer's checklist.


"I listen for hours with the Revels, and never experience fatigue."

I have never owned or auditioned a speaker that doesn't potentially cause listening fatigue. It came up a lot last year while auditioning speakers, especially in poorly treated rooms with systems that weren't set up well. After acquiring Revels in April 2018, there was some listening fatigue out of the box. It took a couple of days of getting used to how the speakers sound, adjusting their position, and repeated (Anthem ARC) calibrations to get this down to manageable levels. Ongoing tweaks since then have continued to improve sound quality and fatigue is now almost nonexistent but it isn't 100% eliminated. I've also found that decibel levels play a role. So do poor quality recordings. And it also seems to depend on me -- some days, there's nothing that sounds good.

Probably the major reason I have multiple systems. Does just one of them sound like chit on a given day or do they all. Obviously, if all of them, then I need to get my head examined, not the system. Same reason I think my system sound moar better at night than during the day. It's not that FB, Discover Card, Google and Amazon are sucking up the good power around here, it's that I have schiit on my mind during the day and can't relax and focus on music until the chit is taken care of.
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post #14931 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 06:57 AM
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It’s interesting that people experience fatigue at the same frequencies as the “BBC Dip” that a lot of speakers have in the 1khz - 3khz range. I wonder if there is a connection?


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post #14932 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Probably the major reason I have multiple systems. Does just one of them sound like chit on a given day or do they all. Obviously, if all of them, then I need to get my head examined, not the system. Same reason I think my system sound moar better at night than during the day. It's not that FB, Discover Card, Google and Amazon are sucking up the good power around here, it's that I have schiit on my mind during the day and can't relax and focus on music until the chit is taken care of.
Scott, you mentioned some time ago how some days you bail on tweaking your system for fear of making things worse. I think it was a great observation and it sure is spot on with me. Our own variability isn't something that gets much air time. Maybe it should.
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post #14933 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by brireeves629 View Post
It’s interesting that people experience fatigue at the same frequencies as the “BBC Dip” that a lot of speakers have in the 1khz - 3khz range. I wonder if there is a connection?
Without a doubt.

Also, remember that pretty much every tweeter-mid crossover will be in the 1.5-3kHz range as well. That's no coincidence. This crossover will always induce a dip in this region in the sound power response. Some companies like Revel, Focal, Kef, etc. put in a lot of time and effort to minimize this dip (especially off-axis where it's less important but still non-trivial.)

Other companies like Dynaudio, Wharfedale, etc. instead just embrace this physical phenomenon and let the dip occur on-axis naturally so that the directivity is well-matched off-axis. This makes the overall response non-flat and slightly v-shaped but it also hides the crossover, requires no waveguide, and makes it easy to control directivity (i.e., the on-axis matches the off-axis even though it's not at all flat through the midrange.)

For people sensitive to that 2-4kHz region, you will need some EQ or find speakers with the "BBC dip" built-in. The "BBC dip" is ultimately a trade-off between midrange detail and naturalness, on the one side, and pleasant longterm fatigue-free listening on the other side. This dip comes with the penalty of accuracy and detail, but to many folks it's worth it, especially if the room and recording are compromised (which most are.)

That's my theory anyway. I personally prefer sins of omission to any false forwardness or detail.

Revel strikes a good balance between the two extremes, in my opinion, but I can see how some people would like something more forward and engaging, while others would prefer something more relaxing and laid-back.

I lean in the neutral/warm camp and Revel to my ears, so far, sound pretty much dead-neutral and my initial impressions are very positive. It's too soon to make any judgements about the possibility of long-term fatigue setting in. I'll give them a month or so to break-in before I blind-test them with my Dyns and Kefs.
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post #14934 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
Without a doubt.

Also, remember that pretty much every tweeter-mid crossover will be in the 1.5-3kHz range as well. That's no coincidence. This crossover will always induce a dip in this region in the sound power response. Some companies like Revel, Focal, Kef, etc. put in a lot of time and effort to minimize this dip (especially off-axis where it's less important but still non-trivial.)

Other companies like Dynaudio, Wharfedale, etc. instead just embrace this physical phenomenon and let the dip occur on-axis naturally so that the directivity is well-matched off-axis. This makes the overall response non-flat and slightly v-shaped but it also hides the crossover, requires no waveguide, and makes it easy to control directivity (i.e., the on-axis matches the off-axis even though it's not at all flat through the midrange.)

For people sensitive to that 2-4kHz region, you will need some EQ or find speakers with the "BBC dip" built-in. The "BBC dip" is ultimately a trade-off between midrange detail and naturalness, on the one side, and pleasant longterm fatigue-free listening on the other side. This dip comes with the penalty of accuracy and detail, but to many folks it's worth it, especially if the room and recording are compromised (which most are.)

That's my theory anyway. I personally prefer sins of omission to any false forwardness or detail.

Revel strikes a good balance between the two extremes, in my opinion, but I can see how some people would like something more forward and engaging, while others would prefer something more relaxing and laid-back.

I lean in the neutral/warm camp and Revel to my ears, so far, sound pretty much dead-neutral and my initial impressions are very positive. It's too soon to make any judgements about the possibility long-term fatigue setting in. I'll give them a month or so to break-in before I blind-test them with my Dyns and Kefs.
I wonder if that could explain the phenomenon I experience with my speakers when watching movies, i.e, whenever the dialog volume is low, I cannot make out what female actors are saying, especially the first word an actor may say. It is like that is somehow lost. Also, at 65 years of age I certainly have some degree of high frequency hearing loss.

I do not have a center speaker, so I am relying on my front L/R speakers for dialog. I wonder if a set of well engineered speakers such as Revel or Focal might allow the dialog to come through better when they are speaking softly. Also, with some hearing loss, do you think that a speaker that others might consider too bright might sound just right to me?
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post #14935 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mtrot View Post
I wonder if that could explain the phenomenon I experience with my speakers when watching movies, i.e, whenever the dialog volume is low, I cannot make out what female actors are saying, especially the first word an actor may say. It is like that is somehow lost. Also, at 65 years of age I certainly have some degree of high frequency hearing loss.

I do not have a center speaker, so I am relying on my front L/R speakers for dialog. I wonder if a set of well engineered speakers such as Revel or Focal might allow the dialog to come through better when they are speaking softly. Also, with some hearing loss, do you think that a speaker that others might consider too bright might sound just right to me?
I noticed this with an older friend of mine starting around 20 years ago when all of a sudden he started buying speakers that were noticeably bright when in reality he was about 3 or 4k ahead of me when it comes to high frequency hearing loss.
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post #14936 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mtrot View Post
Also, with some hearing loss, do you think that a speaker that others might consider too bright might sound just right to me?
Anecdotally, I'd say a lot of people prefer brighter than neutral speakers for movies and TV. A center channel might indeed help if you often listen off-axis and you can find a decent one.

For music, I find bright speakers to be rather unforgiving and often punishing, so it's a delicate balance. You could try some tasteful EQ for watching TV/movies and then deactivate it for music listening sessions.

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post #14937 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
Anecdotally, I'd say a lot ofpeople prefer brighter than neutral speakers for movies and TV. A center channel might indeed help if you often listen off-axis and you can find a decent one.

For music, I find bright speakers to be rather unforgiving and often punishing, so it's a delicate balance. You could try some tasteful EQ for watching TV/movies and then deactivate it for music listening sessions.
Thanks. For music, I use my PS Audio Stellar Gain Pre-amp/DAC to play digital files or CDs from my Oppo 203 via coaxial digital cable. For movies, I employ the home theater bypass feature, in which case the sound comes from my Denon AVR.

As to center speakers, back in the day I tried three or four of them, but was pretty disatisfied with the sound and dialog clarity. But I never tried one that was on the level of some of the speakers out there today.
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post #14938 of 15237 Old 04-29-2019, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
Thanks everyone for all the good info and opinions here regarding Ascend vs Revel. Ordinarily, I’d be happy to conclude that “it’s just up to listener preference” and call it a day (the common audiophile perspective I’m accustomed to). However, from watching Dr. Toole’s lectures on this subject lately, I too have been convinced thar there is, in fact, such a thing as an objectively “better” speaker (for a majority of people) when comparing any two speakers — and, that that this can be measured scientifically!

So, because the Revel F206/F208 measures better then the RAAL Ascend Sierra Towers, one of the following must be true:

1. If a majority of people (not just a single anecdote) would prefer the RAAL Ascend towers over the F208/F206 in a double-blind test, then all of Dr. Toole’s research is wrong — because the Ascend’s measure worse.

2. If a majority of people would prefer the Revel F206 in a double-blind test, then David Fabrikant’s “professional opinion” is wrong to say the RAAL Ascend Towers are better, and Dr. Floyd Toole is right and the measurements predict the average listener preference for the F206/F208.

The way I see it, there’s really no other way to interpret this: Either David Fabrikant is wrong, or Dr. Floyd Toole is wrong. Both are respected figures around here (and I’m sure there’s plenty of mutual respect between them), but they can’t both be right in this instance because the claims are contradicting.

Too bad double blind tests/studies are so difficult to perform. Aside from that, from my individual purchaser’s perspective, all I can do is use a company like Crutchfield (as suggested above) plus Ascend’s return policy, to buy both and compare for myself side by side. This is probably the only real solution for my situation in the short term (especially since I can’t seem to find anywhere in the greater Seattle area that carries a Revel), but longer term and for everyone else, it sure would be nice to have a more definitive answer on this at least for people in the objectivist camp.
I think you're oversimplifying the issue.

First of all, Dr Toole's studies identify what the average person prefers (and typically over less than a few hours of solid listening). There are always outliers. And, as he mentions many times, any deviation in hearing can radically change outcomes.

Secondly, what data there are on the RAAL Sierra Tower show a speaker with good performance. This is not a B&W with clear resonances and poor off-axis behavior. I think it's inaccurate to state that the RAAL Sierra Tower measures substantially inferior to the F206 (certainly the low frequency performance suffers compared to the F208).

Thirdly, it's certainly possible that a speaker that is inherently un-neutral could result in less fatiguing sound, especially with certain musical genres (or a lot of recordings made in the last 20 years).

Finally, Dr Toole is stating the scientific findings of a lifetime's work. Dave's words are coming from a different place (not meant as an attack on Dave).

I have great respect for Dr Toole and his work. I look forward to auditioning Revel Performa series against some other well engineered speaker brands (new KEF R-series, RAAL Sierra Towers) in the near future to upgrade my system.
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post #14939 of 15237 Old 04-30-2019, 06:57 AM
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Thanks. For music, I use my PS Audio Stellar Gain Pre-amp/DAC to play digital files or CDs from my Oppo 203 via coaxial digital cable. For movies, I employ the home theater bypass feature, in which case the sound comes from my Denon AVR.

As to center speakers, back in the day I tried three or four of them, but was pretty disatisfied with the sound and dialog clarity. But I never tried one that was on the level of some of the speakers out there today.
I also tried several different inexpensive speaker systems with center channel speakers over the years. However, after purchasing a Revel F228Be based 5.2 speaker system with C208 center channel last summer I soon learned what I had been missing. I now hear all that is being said, plus it blends in seamlessly with the front Be speakers (same timbre). I was startled by how well this center channel worked when I heard it.

I wonder if there is a way that you could temporarily add a similar higher end center channel speaker to your system in order to experience what it can do, such that you could send the speaker back if it did not work for you.

Please let us know how you solve your problem. Good luck.
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post #14940 of 15237 Old 04-30-2019, 09:39 AM
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I also tried several different inexpensive speaker systems with center channel speakers over the years. However, after purchasing a Revel F228Be based 5.2 speaker system with C208 center channel last summer I soon learned what I had been missing. I now hear all that is being said, plus it blends in seamlessly with the front Be speakers (same timbre). I was startled by how well this center channel worked when I heard it.

I wonder if there is a way that you could temporarily add a similar higher end center channel speaker to your system in order to experience what it can do, such that you could send the speaker back if it did not work for you.

Please let us know how you solve your problem. Good luck.
Been in and out of this thread lately and yours is the first post I recall combining the F228Be's with a C208. There was a post at one point that a Be center is coming. Think you'll go that route or stay with the C208?

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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