I have demoed both of these speakers and it is no contest, the Revel Salon 2 is a much better speaker. When I have a few minutes (out of time at the moment)I can respond with some details about the demos.
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Sorry to interject a sideline question: are Salon 2s to be driven by powerful SS amps? I ask because I see they are 86 dB sensitivity, suggesting the need for large amps, yet there is one listing here displaying them with smallish tube amps. I have a tube amp so I wonder if I should disregard this speaker altogether.
I currently own Salon2. No, small tube amps won't cut it. You need high current solid state amps. You can try high power tube amps (with a 4 ohm tap to choose). I had a friend bring over a $18k tube amps (transformerless) to demo with the Salon2 and the bass wasn't there.
I have good result with high current solid state amps. The better the amps the better the speakers sounding. Like other high-end speakers, the Salon2 is very revealing. Little changes here and there would be ruthlessly revealed.
yes you can run tubes, need to be Arc monos, Rogue monos, or something similar . You could also bi-amp with tubes on the top and solid state on the bass, have your cake and eat it too. As long as it has lots of power you dont have to spend lots of dough on a solid state amp either, something like a parasound A 23 would drive the hell out of the bass drivers, also I highly recommend the Dspeaker dual core room dsp correction to eq the bass, you will be in hog heaven. The Salons are worth all of this, set up correctly they can out perform most speakers out there, and be a end game speaker for you.
The salon 2 is Not the best sounding speaker ever made though it is a nimble performer with lots of power to feed it.. it's a rock and roller, sounds a bit metallic as all its diaphragms are mostly metal..For a big bad rock speaker they're great! for throaty female voices, 3 dimensional acoustic strings, double bass, non synthesized music, there is a sea of better options first off: pretty much anything with paper cones! Would I choose it over Focal.? No; I would choose Tidal.
No, I'm not joking surly you know that different materials produce different sound... If you are thinking that paper is somehow a cheaper alternative remember one driver alone can cost 25,000 dollars and features a paper cone.
A good example of this is comparing a soft textile dome to a metallic dome such as titanium ..the textile dome is not fatiguing.
Thanks for the feedback. I run a McIntosh MC275 as stereo amp, providing about 85 Wpc. So would I need two of these ran as monoblocks to make the Salon 2 sing? Conceptually metal drivers + tubes seem appealing. I guess the proof would be in the actual sound. Tough pair to audition, I guess.
Metal cones sound like a good fit with your Mc 275 tubes?
Incorrect in two ways: multi driver loudspeakers are typically more difficult to drive especially for a tube amplifier such as yours and secondly the warm un-fractured sound that your tubes can produce are more realized with nature fiber drivers or at least diaphragms that offer some damping which ultra rigid magnesium diaphragms do not! Get a pair of beautiful Tannoy speakers with warm beautiful bass and excellent coherent sound; now that would be a good match.
The salon2 would be great with pass labs for example IMHO
I own Salon2. Yes it can sound metallic, especially they have metal drivers. But you won't pair it up with bright and lean sounding amps. Salon2 can be very neutral sounding if set up right. Its sound is alive with lightning quick transient response. I still prefer solid state and hybrid (tube/transistor)amps. It is a big challenge with tube amps.
Agreed with Chrissain that Salon2 can sound full and rich depending on the amps being used.
When I auditioned the Salon2 at a dealer years ago, they used a CJ 140 monoblocks. The voice and instruments had very nice body and richness. However, the bass was not well controlled and the soundstage was very forward. I believe the CJ amps are very good; it just didn't match the Salon2. When they switched the amps to a Spectral amp, the sound really opened up but lacked body.
So choosing the right amp is critical. Don't be cheap on the amps
You guys are wrong about the metal drivers. These speakers do NOT sound metallic. Don't look at drivers and mentally project the sound you expect them to make. Just listen.
The Salon 2 are one of the finest speakers ever made, period. They have extremely little character of their own, and if there is a character it might be of slight euphony.....but very slight. This metallic sound talk is total baloney. It makes me question if you have heard them.
I nice stiff 100 watt solid state amp is the minimum to make them go, 200 watts would be better. Forget cheap tubes, but I have heard good results with 200 watt tube amps.
I own the Salon2 and don't want to brag about it. Every component has its limit. I heard better speakers but they all cost a lot more. One of my friends has speakers that cost $60k and it is slightly better than the Salon2. For $22k new, it is one hell of a speaker.
It is quite true to the source and highly coherent. You don't hear the drivers at all. It does need good power. You may need to crank it up a bit as the metal drivers are quite stiff.
If you are using 100K tube mono's you would not waste your time with the Salon2 speaker: plastic caps, plastic wires, and magnesium /metal cones.
If you are looking for the fine nuance of vocal and string reproduction and passages in classical that are at times are very low volume level followed by full orchestra these don't work as reference for that..you need a nimble loudspeaker that requires little power and yet can handle a lot of power at the same time this "flexibility" is not inherent in the Revel.
I like the speaker but I'm not putting it with Audio Tekne and Ella Fitzgerald!
I have Salon 2 speakers. I drive them with a Krell 402e and a BAT Rex preamp, and Esoteric K0-1, with Stealth IC cables and Siltech speaker cables.
I work with orchestras and bands and the sound of the REvel speakers is simply a joy. They sound great in my 18 ft. square library (heavily damped) but also fill the house with sound. They also sound good off axis.I have commented before--they sound good at very low volumes (better than any other speaker i have owned) so I can listen late into the evening when the house is asleep. But the speakers and acompanying equipment are all very sensitive to the quality of the recordings. Some recordings sound awful and some are spectacular. I find that acoustic recordings really sound excellent whether it is orchestra or chamber group, or jazz and vocalists. I find the system to not have a sound of its own. I have owned JMLab speakers before this and they are just not as extended and open. I heard Rockport speakers recently that were driven by Viva tube amps and they sounded very good but not in the bass. You need slam even with classical recordings. I would agree with one of the posts about the 86db sensitivity needing a higher powered amp.