When one of the biggest names in high-end audio decides to make an "affordable speaker," reviewers amazingly get a little skeptical. So when Revel introduced the Concerta line with the F12s, reviewed here, everyone including this reviewer took notice with nervous anticipation. Could you really get that lust-worthy Revel sound without the $20,000 investment? Retailing for just under $1,300 for the pair, the F12s are an everyman's loudspeaker rather than some audiophile pipe dream. At their price, they lack that million-dollar finish at first glance. On a second look, you'd be hard-pressed to call the F12s anything but real Revels. Power them up, spin a disc and the lineage becomes instantly apparent.
• Read a review of Revel's Ultima Studio2 speakers here.
• Read a review of the Revel Ultima Salon2 speakers from Jerry Del Colliano here.
• Check out audiophile floorstanding speaker reviews from the likes of Revel, B&W, MartinLogan, PSB, Klipsch, Polk Audio, Golden Ear and many others from HomeTheaterReview.com.
Sticking with the F12s' visual presence for a minute, your grand and some gets you probably one of the starker or even, dare I say, more boring-looking speakers money can buy. The F12 is a large, rectangular box, with a rather large and bulky speaker grille, resting on four rubber feet. You can get the F12 in two finishes, black ash and cherry. Both finishes are suitable and on par with a speaker in the F12s' price class, but there is not much by way of garnish to dress up their otherwise plain appearance. Around back, the F12 has a flared bass port resting just above its rather pedestrian bi-wire binding posts. Knowing that Revel is responsible for some of the more breathtaking-looking speakers in history makes the F12 a bit of an enigma.
So if your $1,300 doesn't buy you much in terms of the F12's sex appeal, it more than makes up for it in sonic performance. The F12 is a full-range, three-way speaker, featuring dual eight-inch bass drivers coupled with a single five-and-one-quarter-inch midrange driver and a one-inch dome tweeter. The F12's tweeter has a high dispersion design, making for a larger sweet spot than that of most speakers in the F12's class. The F12 has a reported sensitivity of 90.5dB into a six-ohm nominal load, allowing for an in-room frequency response of 58Hz to 18kHz. While the F12's sensitivity rating might having you shopping for a moderate receiver or integrated amp, know that the more high-end you can go with your components, the better the F12s are going to sound. While the F12 can plunge mighty low, if you want to tickle the depths of the musical spectrums or feel the most visceral aspects of an explosion, you're going to want to mate the F12 to a capable subwoofer. However, in an average-sized room, the F12s should be full-range enough to satisfy most listeners.
Read the conclusion, High Points and Low Points on the next page....