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Philharmonitor BMR or Revel F35/C25

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Apologies if this is the wrong place to ask — I am torn between these two great speakers! For roughly the same amount of money, would you rather get:
  • a set of Revel F35’s + C25
  • a pair of Philharmonitor BMR’s
Each would be mated to a HSU sub & Denon X3700H, roughly 25x20 room, one open wall. I generally prefer a non-sibilant sound, and don’t generally play too loud. BMR’s would get a center down the road as budget allows. Which is more resolving/better imaging at lower volumes? Which is a better value?
 

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Do you mean this one? Philharmonic Audio BMR Philharmonitor Bookshelf Speaker Review

Revel strives to make a neutral speaker; a friend worked at Harman and engineered some of the drivers, but I only let that bias me a bit ha ha. Your comparison is rather apples and oranges, since unless your speakers are close, the center channel will sound much better on 5.1 sources than no center. I heard the F35 at Brooks Berdan and they were quite nice, though ultimately my friend got Buchardt A500s

BMR=Balanced Mode Radiator, which has some advantages and disadvantages. It is an odd design choice to match that with conventional direct radiating cones, though not necessarily a bad choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you mean this one? Philharmonic Audio BMR Philharmonitor Bookshelf Speaker Review

Revel strives to make a neutral speaker; a friend worked at Harman and engineered some of the drivers, but I only let that bias me a bit ha ha. Your comparison is rather apples and oranges, since unless your speakers are close, the center channel will sound much better on 5.1 sources than no center. I heard the F35 at Brooks Berdan and they were quite nice, though ultimately my friend got Buchardt A500s

BMR=Balanced Mode Radiator, which has some advantages and disadvantages. It is an odd design choice to match that with conventional direct radiating cones, though not necessarily a bad choice.
A thoughtful answer! You’re right, it’s not an equal comparison. Perhaps what I meant (and I’ll edit the original post) is a set of BMR’s with a center down the road, vs Revel trio now. Which would be a better bang-for-the-buck, I wonder.
 

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Assembling your own BMR monitors would be even less expensive.
 
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Have you considered Ascend Sierra 2s or Sierra towers with ribbon tweeter? Ascend Acoustics They’re pretty similar to the BMR from what I’ve heard and are much cheaper if you’re not planning to build your own. I’ve got a pair of 2EXs paired with a Denon 3700H, sub, and an Ascend Duo as the center. I had the speakers hooked up to the receiver for a while, but I ended up getting a hypex amp to get some more oomph. Besides the fact that they need some juice, they’re fantastic! Crossed over with a sub, they’re all I need.
 

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Have you considered Ascend Sierra 2s or Sierra towers with ribbon tweeter? Ascend Acoustics They’re pretty similar to the BMR from what I’ve heard and are much cheaper if you’re not planning to build your own. I’ve got a pair of 2EXs paired with a Denon 3700H, sub, and an Ascend Duo as the center. I had the speakers hooked up to the receiver for a while, but I ended up getting a hypex amp to get some more oomph. Besides the fact that they need some juice, they’re fantastic! Crossed over with a sub, they’re all I need.
Apologies if this is the wrong place to ask — I am torn between these two great speakers! For roughly the same amount of money, would you rather get:
  • a set of Revel F35’s + C25
  • a pair of Philharmonitor BMR’s
Each would be mated to a HSU sub & Denon X3700H, roughly 25x20 room, one open wall. I generally prefer a non-sibilant sound, and don’t generally play too loud. BMR’s would get a center down the road as budget allows. Which is more resolving/better imaging at lower volumes? Which is a better value?
I think you're getting some inaccurate feedback in these replies, at least regarding price. Perhaps you and the others are referring to Jim Salk's prices for BMR's with made-to-order custom cabinets. For the record, the total price of a pair of BMR's + a single BMR with rotated tweeter, as ordered from my website, with would be $$2,550 plus shipping. The cost of a pair of Sierra EX monitors plus the Ascend duo center would be about $2,600 with the "domestic" cabinets plus slightly less in shipping, or essentially the same price as the BMR package. The Sierra towers with a RAAL tweeter plus the Duo center would be about $3,100 plus shipping. The Revel package would be $2,350 with free shipping. All the various combo's are available for immediate shipping the last time I checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you're getting some inaccurate feedback in these replies, at least regarding price. Perhaps you and the others are referring to Jim Salk's prices for BMR's with made-to-order custom cabinets. For the record, the total price of a pair of BMR's + a single BMR with rotated tweeter, as ordered from my website, with would be $$2,550 plus shipping. The cost of a pair of Sierra EX monitors plus the Ascend duo center would be about $2,600 with the "domestic" cabinets plus slightly less in shipping, or essentially the same price as the BMR package. The Sierra towers with a RAAL tweeter plus the Duo center would be about $3,100 plus shipping. The Revel package would be $2,350 with free shipping. All the various combo's are available for immediate shipping the last time I checked.
Thanks for your clarification about the pricing! Also that new piano glass walnut finish on the Philharmonic website is gorgeous.

Revel Concerta2’s are, as far as I know, low on the totem pole compared to some of their other offerings. I wonder if the BMR’s are “equivalent” (if such a comparison can be made) to the step-up Performa3’s in terms of resolving power.
 

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You won't find any substantially negative reviews/posts in the forums for either of those speakers - they are both in the best-in-class category in their price ranges. With two speakers like those it probably will just come down to your personal preference.
It should be easy to audition (and return) the Revel's as Crutchfield has them. The BMR's often have high demand with limited supply so I don't know Dennis' return/audition policy at the moment. He's here in the forums so it's easy to ask him.

Re your question "Which is more resolving/better imaging at lower volumes?" - I personally would love it if Dennis could respond to that as that is a consideration for me also.
 
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Oh I thought Philharmonic wasn’t selling direct anymore and you had to get the speakers put together by Salk. So you can disregard my mentions of pricing.
 

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I wonder if the BMR’s are “equivalent” (if such a comparison can be made) to the step-up Performa3’s in terms of resolving power.
That would be a fun comparison with each having advantages and disadvantages in different aspects of performance. They are both well designed.

@aarons915; had the M105's and the BMR's during the roadshow, although I don't know if he had them at the same time. Maybe he will chime in.
 

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i won't vote .. i think it's too close to call and will boil down to application & preference...
 

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good idea.. i know either will be good...
 
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Thanks for your clarification about the pricing! Also that new piano glass walnut finish on the Philharmonic website is gorgeous.

Revel Concerta2’s are, as far as I know, low on the totem pole compared to some of their other offerings. I wonder if the BMR’s are “equivalent” (if such a comparison can be made) to the step-up Performa3’s in terms of resolving power.
I've never had the pleasure of auditioning a Revel speaker, other than a Salon 2 in an audio show HT demo, where they reproduced gun shots very nicely. Which speaker in the Performa lineup were you referencing? The F208 tower? If so, then I suspect the main differences would occur at very high playback levels than at low output. I'm pretty sure the BMR's would run out of steam earlier than the Revels, which use multiple woofers and are higher in sensitivity. For home theater, the Revels might be a better choice. For music at low-to moderate levels, I think the main difference you would hear would be due to the different types of tweeters and the difference in horizontal dispersion. Revels are beautifully engineered speakers. But domes,don't sound like the RAAL ribbon, which has less emphasis in the ssssssssssssssssss region and more energy at the very top of the treble band. Also, while the Revels have reasonable wide and very even off axis response, the BMR's horizontal dispersion is a good bit wider in the treble and just as even. As I've stated on several occasions, your preference will probably depend on the type of music you listen to. For large scale works in a natural acoustic environment with minimum processing, I really think the BMR's would be hard to beat unless you needed to vibrate the neighbors into the next zip code. For studio recordings of a more popular genre, I can see people preferring something like the Revels. I've only heard back from one BMR customer (a very recent one) who also owns a Revel model. For what it's worth, this is what he said:

"The speakers arrived safely. I’m dazzled by how good they are for the price. I have KEF Ref 1s and Revel M126be here. While the BMR's don’t top the former, they’re in the conversation, and they handily best the latter, which I’m now going to sell. This is stunning given the price difference."
 

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That would be a fun comparison with each having advantages and disadvantages in different aspects of performance. They are both well designed.

@aarons915; had the M105's and the BMR's during the roadshow, although I don't know if he had them at the same time. Maybe he will chime in.
Yeah it's tough to say as I didn't have them at the same time. Both are good speakers but the BMR is a 3 way compared the the F35 which is a 2.5 way. I'm sure the output between is pretty close, the biggest difference is the BMR has broader dispersion but they're both neutral. The BMR has a very strong off-axis response in the 1-3k range that most aren't used to, I believe that is what made them sound a bit bright in my small room close to the sidewalls but I didn't have a bigger room to try them out in so that's just a theory. I can't imagine someone would be disappointed with either speaker.
 

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High praise indeed, Dennis.
 

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"The speakers arrived safely. I’m dazzled by how good they are for the price. I have KEF Ref 1s and Revel M126be here. While the BMR's don’t top the former, they’re in the conversation, and they handily best the latter, which I’m now going to sell. This is stunning given the price difference."
I auditioned the M126 and then the Ref 1 about a year or so back and thought the M126 sounded good but nothing special myself. Then I auditioned the Ref 1 in a much worse setup and was still blown away by the transparency so it's nice to see those thoughts validated by someone such as yourself. The fact that the BMR does so well with competition at that level says something about their quality as well of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've never had the pleasure of auditioning a Revel speaker, other than a Salon 2 in an audio show HT demo, where they reproduced gun shots very nicely. Which speaker in the Performa lineup were you referencing? The F208 tower? If so, then I suspect the main differences would occur at very high playback levels than at low output. I'm pretty sure the BMR's would run out of steam earlier than the Revels, which use multiple woofers and are higher in sensitivity. For home theater, the Revels might be a better choice. For music at low-to moderate levels, I think the main difference you would hear would be due to the different types of tweeters and the difference in horizontal dispersion. Revels are beautifully engineered speakers. But domes,don't sound like the RAAL ribbon, which has less emphasis in the ssssssssssssssssss region and more energy at the very top of the treble band. Also, while the Revels have reasonable wide and very even off axis response, the BMR's horizontal dispersion is a good bit wider in the treble and just as even. As I've stated on several occasions, your preference will probably depend on the type of music you listen to. For large scale works in a natural acoustic environment with minimum processing, I really think the BMR's would be hard to beat unless you needed to vibrate the neighbors into the next zip code. For studio recordings of a more popular genre, I can see people preferring something like the Revels. I've only heard back from one BMR customer (a very recent one) who also owns a Revel model. For what it's worth, this is what he said:

"The speakers arrived safely. I’m dazzled by how good they are for the price. I have KEF Ref 1s and Revel M126be here. While the BMR's don’t top the former, they’re in the conversation, and they handily best the latter, which I’m now going to sell. This is stunning given the price difference."
This is about as good a comparison as I can hope to get. Thanks a bunch!
 
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