Well, looking at your equipment, the Revels would obviously work well, since they were designed with Levinson equipment in mind.
However, if you are considering the Maggies, you should determine the type of speaker you really want. There is a big difference in sound between the planer types (Maggie, Martin Logan, etc..) and the standard dynamic speakers (Revels, JM labs, etc...).
I suggest that you go and listen at a dealer and determine the type of speaker you like. (Once you buy speakers, it is difficult to sell them, since shipping them is a big pain in the butt!)
PS I own the Studios and love them. I also use a Mark Levinson No. 23 amp, along with a Solid state Ayre K-1x preamp, so they work well with an all solid state system.
(Although, I know many others use tube equipment with them as well.)
PPS I used to own the Martin Logan Sequel IIs, with a Levinson amp, and I really enjoyed them for many years, so I know that planer (and electrostatic), type of speakers have their own charms!
I can't say about the rest of your choices however, the maggies won't work well with your amp, not enough power.
Let me clear some stuff up:
Mark Levinson and Revel is a Pathetic combination, etched and dry, unless you like audio special effects over music then steer clear of Revel. And the Revels are not built on Levinson equipment at all. Remember Kurt's amplifer is 10 years pre-Revel and has little more than the same name on them in common. Your 331 sounds nothing like a No. 23 and is nearly 1/3rd the power. I would recommend getting a No. 23 or 23.5 if you desire the Revels. Your 331 cannot hold a candle to them in this application.
Your best bet with a thread like this is suggest what it is you want to upgrade about your Thiel 3.6's. Some of the speakers you suggest are very similar to the Thiels you own and may not be a worthwhile upgrade in your own opinion. Plus what price range are you really in $6000 or $12,000?
Tire guy is right about your amp which won't work from a power stand point with any speaker you chose except the JMLab which will likely give you an ill matched tonal balance to the bright side. .
If you have the space you might want to add Dunlavy speakers to your list. The company is out-of-business, which makes these remarkable speakers that much more of a bargain on the high-end market.
My system upgrade is going to include getting rid of my 331 and replacing it with a 23.5 or 436 monoblocks and the Revel studio.I am not able to listen to a 23.5 versus the 436 and hence the importance of this forum in giving me a sense of the 23.5/20.6 ML.
The Thiel 36 image beautifully,however I listen to a lot of trio jazz eg Jarret and find them harsh in the high frequency and would like a more open and liquid midrange.
What about other amps viz Plinius/Audio research/Simaudio with the revel studio versus the 23.5?
Well your 331 may not be a problem and I can tell you that the Revels do not have a "liquid" midrange.
If I owned your electronics and had your taste in music and with your complaints about the Thiels, speaker to look at would be
ATC SCM100ASL (has amplifers built in so 331 would compensate for this units additional cost)
Dali Euphonia 4
JMLab Mezzo Utopia/ Nova with YBA amplifier
Wilson Benesch Curve
Speakers Not in any particular order:
The Sophia and the JMLAbs both have a definite sound to them which you may or may not like...a love it hate sort of thing. but they could possibly be what you are looking for.
The others are excellent and are similar somewhat in basic character to the Thiels, the ATC's are the most Dynamic and coherent but the least known, The Dali is not as perfect as the ATC which with the kind of music you like might let it shine in this specific situation. The Curve is a wild card, this one might be the one that works the best with your equipment, hope you have a dealer nearby.
The ATC and Wilson Benesch would be my preferences in your situation.
As a personal aside I have been disappointed with the Revel Studio and Ultima. I have never liked them because of the ridiculously designed crossover (IMO, 1,000 micro farads of capacitance and 60 mH of induction is not a recipe for sonic success) they have between the bass and midrange. The Revel should have an active crossover and not a passive one and the timing problems are evident as the bass seems to lag the midrange. The F30's are a steal I have liked the F series a great deal even though it has a bit of tizz in the highs.
Unfortunately audio companies are afraid that people won't buy powered speakers so they make huge compromises to give the public what they expect.
Hope that helps a little, I hate when I have to turn someones list upside down but speakers in particular are not something you want to buy by the label and none of the speakers you listed seemd to fit closely what you wanted and the equipment you already owned.
D_Edwards is quite wrong.
The Revel Line was designed using Mark Levinson equipment.
Revel is a line of Harmon International, as is Mark Levinson. (Obviously they did not use my amp, as it is 15 years old, however, they did use the 400 series and other subsequent lines to design the speaker line. Ask any dealer and they will confirm this. Do you honestly think that Revel would have used another brand of electronics to design their speakers? Think about it.)
Mr. Edwards is merely giving his opinion about the sound of the Revel lines. You should treat it as such. It annoys me when people give their opinion as if it were the word of god. It is not. It is merely an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. (Sorry Edwards, but that is what you came off sounding like, with words like "Pathetic", and "ridiculously designed".) If he does not like the sound of the Revels, that is fine, and he can state that. My opinion is that everyone has different opinions on musical sound, and what sounds good to them. My opinion is that you should figure out what sounds good to YOU (and it appears you have), and then seek the opinions of those people who have similar tastes.
(As an example; Why take the opinion of someone who puts mid-range liquidity above all else, when to you, detail retrieval, transparency and frequency balance are more important? It does not make sense to me to do anything else.)
It appears as if you do like the sound of the Levinson equipment and the Revels, and you are the one who will be living with said equipment. (BTW, dozens of us on Audiogon have the Revels (Studios, Salons, etc..) and we love them.
As far as the power of your amp. It would definitely help you to have more than the 100 wpc that your 331 does. I used to use a ML No. 27 (also 100 wpc) with my Studios. It sounded pretty good, but as with most speakers with low sensitivity and impedance, more power is better. (Which is why I ended up upgrading to the No. 23. It does give better dynamic response and headroom. If I could have afforded it, I would have gotten the 23.5 too. Good Choice, btw!)
Remember, you are the one living with your choice. Speaker selection is a difficult process. You need to go and listen to them before choosing, as you will be living with your choice for a long time in all probability. Also, reselling speakers is such a hassle, and almost always a monetary loss, even if you bought the speakers used. (Shipping speakers, especially as heavy as the Revels, JM labs, etc.. is VERY expensive!) Besides, going to stereo shows, fellow audiophiles houses and stereo dealers to audtion various types of equipment can be fun.
Again, good luck in your search!
PS If you are in the $12K price range for speakers, I recommend auditioning the Avalon Eidolons. They are my favorite speaker (of the affordable speakers, assuming $12K is affordable!). You can usually find them "used" for that price. A couple of cavaets though: They eat power, they require the best in electronics and they must be setup properly to sound their best. However, when setup right, they sound incredible. I wish I had the money to get them. Someday maybe.
All good recomendations. have you considered the Martin Logans? Your amp can handle the low impedance but does need a relatively efficent speaker. the larger Logans (Ascent i, Odessy, Prodigy) are surprisingly efficent and would be a good match assuming you have the room to get them off of the wall a little. Check out their web site.
Is this what you saw when you went on tour at the northridge plant? Things might have changed since I went there 4 years ago. Kurt, Harman makes many amplifier lines, and they didn't use Levinson when I went there.
I said it was my personal bias about the sound of the Revels and how they are designed and since I design loudspeaker as a part time vocation I asked Revel designers about this fact. And the reason they are not active in the bass and world class is because they think it would be an obstacle to selling the speakers. Which is true, unfortunately.
Kurt I know is short of the technical facts to understand what 100 mh of coils and 1 farad of capacitance will do to modern amplifiers and the sound but he maybe right that my language was too strong. Although I stick by ridiculous....and Classe amplification and even Bryston 7B's punished the Levinson amps on the Revels.
Kurt... Thiels are time aligned shallow sloped speaker design that is impulse response time coherent, everything the revels are not.
Having been a Thiel, Revel dealer everyday at work for 2.5 years I got to hear the differences. I'm not a way out guy and my "opinion" is reinforced by many many people confirming my impressions while sitting with me considering a purchase.
Are the revels bad speakers...absolutely not,,,,could they be way better than they are now...yes which is why I have a certain level of frustration with them. Cause no one bought them when they bothered to listen to the Dynaudios, someone making a purchase is not an opinion its a fact. And the revel and the thiels for that matter could overcome the Dynaudios if you want to know the truth when it came to putting the money down.
I'm not God nor pretend to be but I do have the facts.
I'm way ahead of you and have facts.
I am curious in the difference in quality/characteristics of the 336 and 23.5.Some say the 23.5 was the best amp mark levinson built-is it better the 33H?All of this in reference to good quality speakers.Any thoughts on Thiel CS6/7.2?
Take a look at Tyler speakers with the Danish SEAS drivers.
Maggies make you think the orchrestra is surrounding you from elbow to elbow. The JM Labs make you think the singer and instruments are playing just for you right in front . Both very satisfying .
Haven't heard the Revels.
Thanx for the input guys.Lots of food for thougt here.
if I had between 12-20 thousand dollars to upgrade my system -how would you upgrade it ?