The above is a picture I took at The Show Newport of the F36 and C25 center channel speakers.
I’ve heard of Revel speakers before, but never had the chance to hear any of them until June this year (2016) at The Show Newport. That is where I heard the Revel Concerto 2 speakers……twice in the same room. Let me explain, I did the same thing last year with the Spatial speakers, ended up visiting the room twice for a good 20 minutes each time…..yes, they are that good in my opinion and that is also why I had to have a second helping. Not just to confirm my notes, but to also enjoy some exceptional gear at more friendlier cost.
So it was with the Revel Concerto 2 speakers. http://revelspeakers.com/productlist-rev/revel-list-products/rev-products/series/concerta2.html
I was dutifully making my rounds for my one-man show for this humble website as I walked into the Revel Concerto room. It was decked floor to ceiling in black draping cloth, (I guess going for the true home theater experience since they also had a big screen and full 7.1 system crammed in there). If one were to turn out the lights in the room one would experience what Lindsey Buckingham expressed in the lyrics of his famous song about “it’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door”. Anyway, I came in to the fairly populated room and sat through the planned demo. The electronics were pretty much all Harman Luxury Audio of course and not to bad at all. Up for demo where the Concerto 2 F36 towers as mains, the C25 center, M16 bookshelves, S16 “on-wall” speakers and the B10 sub-woofer. Kevin Voecks is the designer and happened to be the rep too. He was demonstrating both the multi-channel and 2-channel abilities. By the way, you’ll not meet a nicer guy than Kevin (well, ok he is one of the nicest). He was very engaging with me, which I appreciated. After the room cleared a bit, I waited until all the remaining requests were fulfilled and I asked if I could have a selection on my USB stick I brought played two-channel through the towers. Kevin was happy to oblige and I as I mostly do just let him pick what he wanted from my list. After some futzing with the computer (that always happens) he just selected Tori Amos (I don’t know if he was not familiar with the rest or what, but it doesn’t matter because I bring carefully selected music with me that I am very familiar with. I mean, that’s what one is supposed to do, no?) Thank you Kevin. Anyway, with all the stuff I heard previous and my selection, I was really pleased with these speakers.
First of all, they are nice and tall with a 1″ aluminum tweeter with a unique acoustic lens wave guide followed by three aluminum cone 6.5″ woofers covering mid and low-frequency duties as a true 2 1/2 way Full-range speaker (we like full-range speakers around here). They have an efficiency of 91dB, which means almost anything will drive these babies and a nominal impedance of 6 ohms (still plenty safe to use with most amps, receivers, what have you). While they will go down to only 33Hz, that is more than low enough for any music, you want lower for theater, add a sub. They cross at 600Hz on the low-end and 1.8KHz on the top end, this is plenty of frequency room.
How do I know this, because I heard them and to my ears, highs are crisp and clear, just barely touching right before you get to harsh, in other words, perfect, mids are pleasantly present and lows are articulate, accurate and punchy when called for, just how we like it. In other words, in my opinion, they do everything right. I did not get to hear any rock music through them so I don’t know how they handle in that genre, but with singer/songwriter, classical, fusion, jazz, etc. they perform well above their price-point. As to how they look or as some call it, the WAF, they are quite striking in white. In fact, the choice is black or white and if I were to grab a pair, I’d go for the white ones, yes they look that nice with the clean lines and contrasting drivers. Oh, what is the finish like? I’m glad you asked, ok, even if you didn’t, the finish on these speakers is tantamount to a freshly waxed nicely painted car and flawless. There are no thin areas even on the edges. While you may be tempted, there is no need to wax them. Looking at them and hearing them I was assuming just under five figures for these particular speakers given the paint job alone is easily $1500. So as any good decent curious audio enthusiast seeking good value and a glutton for punishment perhaps, I had to ask “how much”. The answer was almost as shocking as the speakers themselves, for the top model (the ones we were hearing) the shocking sticker is $2000 a pair. Shaking the shock of disbelief off, I had to confirm that , yes $2000 a pair! The next model down (F35) with the main difference only being 5.25 drivers instead of 6.5 drivers it plummets to $1500 a pair. Remember, painted speaker cabinets alone can run from $500 to $1500 extra and this was no $500 paint job.
Kevin explained that they found a really good factory in China to build exactly to their specs and have people from the Harman Luxury Audio company there everyday to inspect for quality. So ok, they are made in China, but almost everything is made there including at least some parts for the far higher priced gear, believe it or not. Here’s the thing though, they come with a 5-year warranty, so that should put to rest worries about being made in China seeing that most things come with 1-year warranty and you will not find these on Amazon or on-line anywhere, you must purchase in shop.
That was Saturday. Sunday I was a guest of Michael Fremer to which I could not have been more humbled and honored. Anyway, I asked him if he had heard the Revel Concerto 2 speakers and found that he is friends with Kevin, he asked me if Kevin was there. He had not heard them and so I brought him to the Revel room and Kevin was delighted. Michael and I share the same opinion of the speakers and here’s a little video Michael did (and I was there when he did it). So that was my second visit to the room to hear them again, see how that works?
Here’s some more video info: