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  1. #1

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    Default Revel Perfoma2 M22 vs. Selah Audio Tanzanite

    I recently purchased a pair of M22's (2 way) for a second setup thinking it would be inferior to my main system consisting of sealed Selah Audio Tanzanites (3-way) which have Foundtek ribbons, Morel dome midrange, and a Seas Excel 7" woofer. Boy am I pleasantly surprised, that when I went back and forth between the two, the Revels sounded better.

    As a little background, my room is about 14x17 and the speakers are about 7 feet apart, 2 feet from the front wall and 3 feet from either side wall. The first reflection points are treated with absorption and there's plenty of furniture, however the floor is tile. The LP is about 8 feet from the speakers. The speakers are driven by a Rogue 66 to a Pass Aleph J, and listening was done with and without the sub, a James L4000P.

    I was initially very impressed with the Selah's when I had initially purchased them several years back. Great detailed highs and imaging. The bass was superb as well, but the midrange was a little less detailed than the rest. Mids from the Morel dome lacked warmth and detail that the other drivers brought to the table. Female vocals didn't have the warmth you would expect. The Selah's had trouble soundstaging in my room and I found the highs while detailed slightly directional. I've always been a fan of ribbons for their detail but soundstaging was always lacking compared to a conventional tweeter. Obviously, I'm focusing on the negative aspects, but the speaker as a whole is still terrific package.

    The Revel's being ported, there was plenty of bass without the subwoofer on, but you could still tell the last octave was missing. After all, the Revel's only bring a 6.5" woofer with a much smaller cabinet than the Selah's. If I had to compare the two, they both are very comparable with the Selah's taking the edge with the Seas Excel woofers. The difference is less noticeable with the use of the sub. I maybe probably be biased, but I have always liked the sound of ribbons (vintage Infinity's) and found them to be very detailed and the Selah's do deliver. But in terms of creating a cohesive image and soundstage while delivering minute detail, the Revel takes the cake. The Revel's disappeared like the Selah's couldn't. Off-axis response is incredible and moving around from the sweet spot, the SQ is still great. I recall looking at off-axis measurements of Revel speakers and how superb they were. Now I heard for myself, I'm a believer. Vocals sound more organic and warm on the Revels something, I felt the Selah's were lacking.

    For my room and my gear, I would have to say the Revel's are a noticeable step up from the Tanzanites. I think going into a larger room, the competition would probably be much tighter. What really surprised me is the imaging and soundstaging of the Revel's. I think all that research in anechoic chambers really paid off. I wasn't quite sure why Stereophile would rate these guys Class A, but I now hear why. The Revel's probably aren't for everyone, and if I were to describe the Revel's I would say they have warmth but still manage to be as detailed as any other modern speaker. Now I'll probably have to sell the Tanzanites and look for some Gem's to fill my main system.
    2Ch Tube Audio Convert

  2. #2

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    I'm a huge fan of Revel Speakers. Nice write up.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  3. #3

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    Same here, love Revels and those are one of my favs in their line-up. Congrats, this hobby sure has potential to surprise.

  4. #4

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    My brother has Revel floor standers and they sound great. I heard a pair of the top of the line Salon's a few years ago and they were spectacular.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  5. #5

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    Which one's does he have Brock ?

  6. #6

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    Tony, Blake has f52's now powered by that Krell KSA-250 I had. System has BAT SS pre, room acoustic treatments, my old Yamaha YP-D10 with AT 33EV LOMC cart. I got a case of the chills when we stuck the Krell in and played some Talk Talk on vinyl. A real wow system.

    To the OP, congrats. Nice speakers!
    Last edited by SCompRacer; 11-03-2013 at 01:48 PM.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  7. #7
    Old Polk
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    The Ultima Gems and LE1/Sub 15 setup has had lots of competition from other speakers over the years. They are still standing in my main 2-CH rig. Even the Innersound Isis, with tons of great amplification, weren't much of a threat.

    Your detailed warmth description is spot on. They are immersive and engaging even in an impossibly large critical listening space. Thanks for sharing!
    • Innersound Eros MK III hybrid ESL - Innersound Bass/Active Crossover amp - Sanders Sound ESL amp
    • SVS PB12-Ultra/2 sub
    • PS Audio GCP-200 preamp w/external PS
    • Bluenote Bellavista table w/Sig.5 arm and Dynavector 20-x - The Clamp - PS Audio GCPH
    • Wadia 301 CD transport - Schiit Gungnir DAC
    • MIT Shotgun S1 IC's and speaker cables
    • PS Audio P3 Power Plant
    • Panasonic 58" plasma - Denon 3805 - PS Audio GCA-250 - Revel Ultima Gems and LE1/Sub15

  8. #8

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    I'd like to own a pair of F208's or even the F206's.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  9. #9

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    Revel subwoofer are no slouch either. They don't come up often enough in these parts but they are a tad pricey. The older B-15 subs are a steal now if you can ever find someone to part with it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    Tony, Blake has f52's now powered by that Krell KSA-250 I had. System has BAT SS pre, room acoustic treatments, my old Yamaha YP-D10 with AT 33EV LOMC cart. I got a case of the chills when we stuck the Krell in and played some Talk Talk on vinyl. A real wow system.

    To the OP, congrats. Nice speakers!
    Cool....then Blake better throw a party soon and invite some of us audio rats. Sounds like Blake put together one kick arse system. The revels on that monster Krell....holy smokes batman.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Revel subwoofer are no slouch either. They don't come up often enough in these parts but they are a tad pricey. The older B-15 subs are a steal now if you can ever find someone to part with it.
    I've heard there was trouble with the offboard amp after a couple of years which is why Revel released another sub and amp so soon. I'm quite happy with the sub setup I have, an ATI 1502 bridged (450W @ 8ohm) and using a NHT X2 to help set the XO for the James. I think the best thing I can say for the sub is that I don't notice it. It just fills in the low end and I don't pay any attention to it and it just gets out of the way of the music.
    2Ch Tube Audio Convert

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Revel subwoofer are no slouch either. They don't come up often enough in these parts but they are a tad pricey. The older B-15 subs are a steal now if you can ever find someone to part with it.
    Totally agree , I've installed them and fond them to be very warm and nicely musical.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  13. #13

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    I agree with the findings here. Very often with Internet Direct or DIY/kit speakers, you have high-end off the shelf drivers that cost a ton thrown into a box, whereas a larger company like Revel might use cheaper drivers, but have a lot of money invested in R&D that's not captured in the cost, like advanced waveguides, curved baffles, baffle separated from the enclosure with a spacer, maybe even some tone controls, things that all "tweak" the performance of the drivers in a way that just throwing expensive drivers in a box and running some crossover diagram program is not going to match.

    I've owned a few of these products including some from Selah and other ID brands that bragged about 60 or 70% of the cost of the product being in the drivers and pointing the OEM costs of the drivers on the websites, but when you are actually sit them side by side with a competently designed product from a developer like Revel or Dynaudio with everything in-house manufactured to their own specs, the finished product just doesn't compare.

    I like to compare this with trying to build a PC with specs that match, or possibly even surpass a PS4 or XboxOne for the same price. However, the paper specs do not match any sort of performance gains that result from "customized design" like EDRAM (XBone) or integrated hardware (faster communication on a single bus, etc) and you end up with an inferior DIY product.
    Last edited by jakeshields; 01-24-2014 at 12:42 AM.

  14. #14

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    Good point Jake, and welcome to the club.

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