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Curious question. I live in the country so I rarely get to audition speakers, but while I was in Raleigh for a few hours last week I swung by Audio Advice to check out the Revel 106 and the new JBL HDI-1600. Man, the 106’s provided such a pleasant level of openness compared to the JBLs. The HDI felt far too coldly disengaging to my ears.

Then I compared the 106 to the Revel M16, and the former made the latter sound somewhat harsh & unrefined. Beautiful distinction in clarity between them. Not to mention the improvement in imaging & sound stage. Even with the 106’s obnoxiously separated about 15 or 16 feet, they still felt very well integrated. No holes across the sound stage; vocals still properly presented as a holographic phantom center; neither speaker calling attention upon itself.

Unfortunately I didn’t have my Focus 20 XD’s or Excite X18’s with me to compare in a controlled setting.... so, for or anyone who’s had a chance to A/B these speakers, what sort of differences are there? I guess you could include the LS50 Metas as well.
Thanks in advance.
 

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I wish I could use lower watt tube amplifiers with Dyns, but XA25 is the closest to the SET sound I've heard from a solid state amp.
Well you can. Just don't expect ridiculous SPLs and ensure your listening room is reasonably modestly sized.
 
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What about dynamics though?

Isn't feeding low power to ineffecient speakers a bad idea anyway? Can't you cause serious damage to the drivers?
 

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I wish I could use lower watt tube amplifiers with Dyns, but XA25 is the closest to the SET sound I've heard from a solid state amp.

What amp you got for 400WPC?
I have an XA30.8 and for class A it is 30w into 4 ohms but will still go to 150w in class AB so my guess unless you like to play really loud you may be OK. But you need to listen for yourself.
 

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Although inefficient, Dynaudio speakers present a benign load. No, you won't get massive dynamics from a 30-40W tube or class A amp, but I'd argue if that's the sound you're after then a pair of highly efficient horns will probably float your boat. Everything is a compromise unless you have unlimited funds, you just have to decide on the compromises that suit you. Personally I'll take tone and depth over volume or dynamics. You may very well think otherwise (y)
 

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If dynamics is someone's priority - Dynaudio is not the best choice anyway.
 

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How do you choose which to listen to?
Mood really, to start listening to Vinyl I have to be prepared to physically get up and flip the album. Same with playing discs on my Teac DSD player, I have to get up and change the disc every so often. Most often though, I listen to music off my Naim Core...which involves laying on the couch, and using my I-pad to select what I listen to.
 

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Curious question. I live in the country so I rarely get to audition speakers, but while I was in Raleigh for a few hours last week I swung by Audio Advice to check out the Revel 106 and the new JBL HDI-1600. Man, the 106’s provided such a pleasant level of openness compared to the JBLs. The HDI felt far too coldly disengaging to my ears.

Then I compared the 106 to the Revel M16, and the former made the latter sound somewhat harsh & unrefined. Beautiful distinction in clarity between them. Not to mention the improvement in imaging & sound stage. Even with the 106’s obnoxiously separated about 15 or 16 feet, they still felt very well integrated. No holes across the sound stage; vocals still properly presented as a holographic phantom center; neither speaker calling attention upon itself.

Unfortunately I didn’t have my Focus 20 XD’s or Excite X18’s with me to compare in a controlled setting.... so, for or anyone who’s had a chance to A/B these speakers, what sort of differences are there? I guess you could include the LS50 Metas as well.
Thanks in advance.
Revel offers wide dispersion, JBL offers narrow dispersion. In a home environment, I'd take wide dispersion every time.

After I gave up on my Wilson Benesch Vertex speakers, I decided to buy either the Revel M106 or Dynaudio Focus 160 to have something to listen to while I embarked on another long search for the ideal speaker for my small room (which I still haven't concluded). I ended up choosing the F160s because they had a fuller, rounder bass and were easy to listen to. But the Revels were clearer and more resolving. I haven't heard the new M126Be, but they're supposedly another step better in that regard. Both Revel and Dynaudio make generally neutral speakers, but I think they appeal to people with different priorities. If you want to hear all the information captured in a good recording, Revel is better for that. But if you want to enjoy all recordings, even the stuff that's too compressed or wasn't recorded well, Dynaudio is better for that. If you find yourself leaning forward while listening, fully focused, trying to hear every detail, you might prefer Revel. If you find yourself sitting back and letting the music sort of wash over you, you might prefer Dynaudio. If you're a detail freak you might also Focal.
 

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Revel offers wide dispersion, JBL offers narrow dispersion. In a home environment, I'd take wide dispersion every time.

After I gave up on my Wilson Benesch Vertex speakers, I decided to buy either the Revel M106 or Dynaudio Focus 160 to have something to listen to while I embarked on another long search for the ideal speaker for my small room (which I still haven't concluded). I ended up choosing the F160s because they had a fuller, rounder bass and were easy to listen to. But the Revels were clearer and more resolving. I haven't heard the new M126Be, but they're supposedly another step better in that regard. Both Revel and Dynaudio make generally neutral speakers, but I think they appeal to people with different priorities. If you want to hear all the information captured in a good recording, Revel is better for that. But if you want to enjoy all recordings, even the stuff that's too compressed or wasn't recorded well, Dynaudio is better for that. If you find yourself leaning forward while listening, fully focused, trying to hear every detail, you might prefer Revel. If you find yourself sitting back and letting the music sort of wash over you, you might prefer Dynaudio. If you're a detail freak you might also Focal.
What about dynamics? For home use, and especially for an all-around system that is used for both music and movies, I look for big dynamics. I think I like the Dynaudio sound, but the set of Excite X-44s that I recently got seem a bit limited as to dynamics and/or transients while watching movies, compared to my old speakers. I'm wondering if Focal perhaps offer a bit more in that regard.
 
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Possibly rim shots might have a little more jump factor on the Revels? With M106 and F160, I think the Dyns had a little more kick in the kick drum, but I don't know if that would be consistent across the lines. I heard strong dynamics from Dyn C4s powered by Bryston monoblocks in a hotel room, but otherwise I'd say Dynaudio is "average" when it comes to dynamics. So is Revel until you get to the big Salon2s. I haven't heard Focal enough to comment on dynamics. They're on the bright side for me, so I haven't listened to them loud.

And I'm not the best person to ask about dynamics TBH. I appreciate micro-dynamics and that was something my Wilson Benesch speakers did well, but when it comes to big swings in volume or hard-hitting impact, that's not something I prioritize when auditioning.
 

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Mood really, to start listening to Vinyl I have to be prepared to physically get up and flip the album. Same with playing discs on my Teac DSD player, I have to get up and change the disc every so often. Most often though, I listen to music off my Naim Core...which involves laying on the couch, and using my I-pad to select what I listen to.
Oh I was referring to choosing which speakers.
 

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Possibly rim shots might have a little more jump factor on the Revels? With M106 and F160, I think the Dyns had a little more kick in the kick drum, but I don't know if that would be consistent across the lines. I heard strong dynamics from Dyn C4s powered by Bryston monoblocks in a hotel room, but otherwise I'd say Dynaudio is "average" when it comes to dynamics. So is Revel until you get to the big Salon2s. I haven't heard Focal enough to comment on dynamics. They're on the bright side for me, so I haven't listened to them loud.

And I'm not the best person to ask about dynamics TBH. I appreciate micro-dynamics and that was something my Wilson Benesch speakers did well, but when it comes to big swings in volume or hard-hitting impact, that's not something I prioritize when auditioning.
Thanks for your replies, Red. Any feelings about how a sub influences your perception?

I’m also curious if Audyssey impacts dynamics to where the inherent personality differences between the 106 and Excite/Focus become less apparent, bc there’s a big difference between Audyssey & Dynamic EQ turned on and having them disabled. The former really brings the HT experience to life by comparison.

Any idea if the LS50 Metas would be more open & dynamic than the Excites?... or are they disadvantaged against the larger X18/Focus20 and the dual-driver X28?
 

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Thanks for your replies, Red. Any feelings about how a sub influences your perception?

I’m also curious if Audyssey impacts dynamics to where the inherent personality differences between the 106 and Excite/Focus become less apparent, bc there’s a big difference between Audyssey & Dynamic EQ turned on and having them disabled. The former really brings the HT experience to life by comparison.
The 20 XDs and X18s go deeper in the bass than the Revel M106, but if you're crossing over to subs via an AVR or pre/pro then the difference in bass extension doesn't matter.

Regarding Audyssey & Dynamic EQ, you're probably asking the wrong guy, because I really don't like Dynamic EQ. Even at its lowest setting (-15 dB) it applies too much bass boost, especially for television content. It throws off the balance for music too. I think a loudness control should elevate the treble for low volume listening, and Dynamic EQ doesn't seem to do much there. I don't like Dynamic Volume either. I keep them both off.

I've had mixed experiences with MultEQ XT32. After trying it with different loudspeakers in different rooms, my general opinion is that it's an improvement in cases where the frequency response is pretty bad, but if you have good speakers and a room with no major problems it just makes things worse. I'm fortunate that my living room HT system is in an open floor plan, and unlike my smaller room downstairs, there are no significant modal issues in my living room. So my Dynaudio C2s measure pretty well without equalization. Audyssey MultEQ XT32 cut down the whole bass range so that it was about 3 dB weaker than the midrange, cut the 2-3 KHz range by a couple dB, and also cut the top octave by about the same amount. It turned a good sounding speaker into crap. And that was after experimentation with how to pick the microphone locations and microphone orientation. The first time I ran it, following instructions on where to measure, it created a deep hole about an octave wide in the middle of the bass! Choosing Audyssey "flat" is worse; it eliminates the 2-3 KHz dip but elevates the upper treble to the point of unnatural brightness. I've never been able to get Audyssey to give me a flat bass response. It always shelves it down a bit and rolls it off early. Maybe that's why they created Dynamic EQ.

Anyway, I now have a Marantz pre/pro that has a special Audyssey setting called "Bypass L/R". It applies no EQ to the left & right front speakers, and it supposedly uses their response as a target curve for the other speakers. Using that setting, and after some manual tweaking of subwoofer levels and crossovers, I get good sound with movies. Audyssey EQ really does help make my cheap surround speakers match the tibre of my main speakers, and doesn't degrade the sound of my Dynaudio center. So I'm OK with it for now, but finding a good usable setting took a lot of trial and error and the help of separate measurement tools. If you just run the automated setup and cal and accept what results you get, it's a 50/50 chance it will make your system sound better.

Even now that I have an acceptable Audyssey setup for movies, I stick to Pure Direct for music listening: C2s only, no EQ, no subs.
 

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Thanks for your replies, Red. Any feelings about how a sub influences your perception?

I’m also curious if Audyssey impacts dynamics to where the inherent personality differences between the 106 and Excite/Focus become less apparent, bc there’s a big difference between Audyssey & Dynamic EQ turned on and having them disabled. The former really brings the HT experience to life by comparison.

Any idea if the LS50 Metas would be more open & dynamic than the Excites?... or are they disadvantaged against the larger X18/Focus20 and the dual-driver X28?
As you saw in the previous reply, using Audysey full range is unlikely to improve sound quality.. It is generally accepted to limit room correction to the frequencies where the room dominates the response, which is below Schroeder. This is often somewhere around 300 Hz. The vast majority will have a train wreck for a response below this region...certainly nothing approaching high fidelity if that is the goal. With the phone app, you can easily adjust the frequency below which to limit correction.

No, eq won't make a good speaker sound better than a great speaker, imo. Room correction cannot correct directivity errors and poor off axis response.

DEQ will make a drastic difference in sound quality particularly at low listening levels where a flat bass response will result in bass that sounds too weak since we have poor sensitivity to low bass at low volume compared to other frequencies. DEQ does also give a treble boost as well, so not only will bass sound fuller and more balance at low volume, but upper treble will be brought forward some as well to compensate for our lack of sensitivity in this region as well. Also, its easy to push a button to turn it off when you want to. Since all recordings are different, no one setting will make everything ever recorded sound perfect. I like..no, love, having it but do sometimes turn it off.

I have found that Audyseey XT32 does a fantastic job of equalizing bass response to both speakers and subs. Most people do find that they like to turn the subs up a few dB to taste after Audyssey, but I would caution a common mistake, which is turning subs up to taste, then applying DEQ on top of that. This is indeed likely to cause a bloated bass response.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, here is what Audyssey does for my speakers when run full range without subs(I would never sacrifice sound quality to use them this way, crossing to subs is far superior):
3077440

Compare this with the same speaker with no eq:
3077441

And finally, the average response across a wide range of seats in my room with dual subs and Audyssey:
3077442

No chance of getting anything remotely close to this with two speakers and no subs, regardless of eq or not.
 
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