Revel is Harman Specialty Group's (HSG) flagship audiophile loudspeaker brand and over the last decade they have invested tremendous resources - both human and financial - into building the brand into a speaker company that lives up to the lofty brand status of HSG's Mark Levinson electronics. Their Ultima Line is Revel's top-of-the-line and pulls from many of the most cutting edge design elements from JBL plus is engineered to compete with the highest end, audiophile loudspeakers from brands like Wilson Audio, MartinLogan and beyond. These are loudspeakers designed to not leave anything on the table in terms of performance and or value.
• Learn more about Revel speakers here.
• Read a review of the Revel Ulitima Salon2's by Jerry Del Colliano at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Read other high end audio floorstanding speaker reviews from the likes of Bowers & Wilkins, MartinLogan, Wilson Audio, Magico, YG Acoustics, Magenpan and many others.
• Read Andrew Robinson's Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond Floorstanding Speaker Review.
Priced at $20,000 per pair, the Revel Ultima Salon 2's represent a huge departure from the first Revel Ultima Salons. While the price tag is similar, the new Salon2's are a far more narrow footprint. The original Revel Salons were some wide-assed speakers that became somewhat irrelevant in a world of waif-thin HDTVs and powerful subwoofers designed handle the bass that mosters like the original Salons could do. The Revel Salon2 is a 4-way speaker system with (3) 8 inch woofers, a 6.5 inch mid-woofer, a 4 inch midrange driver and a 1 inch tweeter. The speakers come in only two finishes: black and a mahogany wood but the overall fit and finish is improved over the original design. Without the grills on, the speaker looks very sleek and curvy. With the grills on, the Revel Salon2s look a little more mainstream. Most enthusiasts will pull the grills off for serious listening sessions if not for audible reasons - for aesthetic reasons.
The sound of the Revel Ultima Salon2s is nothing short of impressive. Critics balked at the idea that a flagship speaker could be so physically narrow - which is ironic as Wilson's popular and more pricey WATT Puppy version 8 loudspeaker has a similar footprint but is not as tall. The bass that comes from the Revel Salon2s is likely enough to speak to the audiophile's soul. It is tight, rich and round but also very quick. Depth charges from U-571 on HD DVD (without a subwoofer) could have won you bets that an LFE was actually on during a recent tradeshow demo. The highs are open and airy especially for a dynamic speaker. Compared to the Wilson WATT Puppy v8's, the Revels are less etched and more smooth. Its not to say either are right or wrong but more to compare and contrast a more mellow high end on the Revel Salon2 versus a more detailed sound from Wilson or even B&W's 800's series.