I actually started with the Revel F12 speakers in two-channel mode, and listened to some stereo CDs to get a feel for their tonal character. These are very neutral speakers, which tend slightly toward the warm and polite side. There is no harshness or brightness to the high end; the midrange is very clear and also without harshness, and the low end is solid, if not particularly deep or copious. This speaker is surprisingly non-fatiguing, and actually very good to listen to. It provided a fairly good soundstage, and excellent imaging. Frankly, I was quite surprised by how low their price actually was, as I had not yet looked it up before listening to them. Compromises in sound are correctly, in my opinion, directed toward listenability and neutral character. For example, although not the last word on detail, the tweeter and midrange are rarely bright or harsh, and vocals come through with great clarity.
The C12 is very similar in its sonic characteristics, and it blended quite well when I started listening to surround music and movies. This is a good center, and the aforementioned "polite" tweeter and midrange combo do a wonderful job reproducing clear vocals. When it comes to surround music and movies, the center channel is often the linchpin of the system, and the C12 really does a wonderful job of holding its own.
The M12s are certainly up to the job of performing as surround speakers, and continue the polite nature of the whole line. Those looking for a bipolar surround can consider the S12 speaker as their rear.
Together, in surround mode, this was a very good system that managed to create a solid surround "bubble." There is no chestiness or boominess to the midrange, no brightness to the highs, and the bass is solid and rapid enough to keep with music or with movies. The F12s produce a decent amount of bass, but you really do need the muscular little B12 subs for that extra oomph. I found that one sub was probably enough for most systems, although two provide a bit more smooth bass throughout the room.
What I especially liked about this system was how well it performed with either the $899 Outlaw receiver or the expensive Krell/Integra combo. It just never quite tripped up with either system; it sounded good with the Outlaw, and just "more good" with the expensive gear. It simply never offended and always managed to keep up and faithfully reproduce material. What you lose in comparison to a pricier system is top-end detail, and openness of sound that only comes with much more expensive speakers. Frankly, at $3,400 (with one sub), the system is a total winner. Revel has managed to translate their engineering downwards into this value line with great success. I highly recommend that those looking to get into a good home theater system seriously consider the Concerta line. It will grow with you from receiver power into separates, but we warned--the Concertas are good enough that you will be forced to desire Revel's upmarket stuff. That's the problem with good value-priced products--it's like getting a taste of a something addictive, and you only want more!
F12 Towers (L/R)
Drivers: 2 x 8" woofers, 5" midrange, 1" tweeter
Frequency Response: 33 Hz-18 kHz (+/-1 dB)
Sensitivity: 90.5 dB
Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms
Dimensions (including feet): 9.75" x 42.3" x 14.3"
Weight: 62.6 lbs.
MSRP: $649 each
Drivers: 2 x 6.5" woofers, 4" midrange, 1" tweeter
Frequency Response: 85 Hz-15 kHz (+/-1.5 dB)
Sensitivity: 90 dB (2.83V at 1m)
Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms
Dimensions: 20.9" x 9.1" x 10.1"
Weight: 32 lbs.
MSRP: $499 each
Drivers: 6.5" OCC woofer, 1" OCC tweeter
Frequency Response: 65 Hz-15 kHz (+/-1.5 dB)
Sensitivity: 87 dB (2.83V at 1m)
Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
Dimensions: 8.9" x 13.8" x 11.6"
Weight: 19.2 lbs.
MSRP: $324 each
Frequency Response: 20 Hz-150 Hz
Maximum Amplifier Output: 650W RMS (20 Hz-150 Hz, with no more than 0.1% THD)
Dimensions: 13.1" x 14.1" x 15.96"