My experience with revel speakers is the more power the better. Watts are cheap these days so if you choose the f208 a couple hundred wpc should get those woofers pumping. All 3 that you mention can sound really good, but as you say your room might present challenges. It's really hard to advise over the forum. sorry
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Agreed the Revels will need a powerhpuse of an amp to be at their best. IMO they are kinda dry although they technically do everything well. Maybe a tube preamp would help that out.
The Aria will be kinda flabby in the bass especially without a powerful amp. Easy to listen to and overall sound good. Not overly detailed and don't offend but really dont sound that great at low volumes IMO.
The Tekton will be by far the most amplifier friendly. They have a live sound definitely not boring. Lots of impact. Very detailed, great bass and mid bass. Good midrange. For my money it would be the Tektons. I have never noticed anything nasally about them.
mofojo When you say the Aria will be "flabby" in the bass, is that based on an estimation of room effects (i.e. being placed near a corner) or an inherent property of the speaker itself (or a combination)?
The amplifier I bought does 200 wpc into 8 ohms and 350 wpc into 4 ohms. Would this eliminate any flabbiness, or would you expect that even more power would be necessary? At low levels does the bass drop out significantly? And when you say "low levels" do you mean, say, levels you might listen at while watching TV at night and all the kids are asleep? Or do you mean, for example, "background-music" levels? Would you expect them to sound good at normal volumes (i.e. for watching TV), or do they only really shine when you crank them up?
For the Tektons, does the live sound "get old" or overbearing? Would you consider something like the Klipsch RP-8000f to have a "live sound" akin to the Double Impact at all, or am I confusing "forward" with "live sounding"? The sound of the Klipsch was fatiguing to my ears, so I want to avoid that kind of experience. Then again, knowing a little more about the acoustics of my room it's possible that the glass window made those Klipschs more difficult to bear over time.
I know some of this is a matter of personal preference, but my wife would kill me if I ordered some Double Impacts and then sent them back, losing hundreds in shipping, so I really appreciate your input. I have seen you post about the Double Impacts (IIRC) but I thought I saw a recent post where you indicated you no longer have them. Did you move up the Tekton line or just move on to something else entirely?
@twoleftears Yes, I have been doing that extensively. There are deals for the Aria's in new condition. They also are reasonable ($3500 or less) used in good condition. The Revels seem to be consistently $3500 and above used (though one b-stock pair was sold recently for $2500 at Music Direct). I view the Tektons as the biggest risk for the very reason you mention. Crutchfield's return policy is incredible, and their customer service is amazing, but they don't have the deal on the Aria's.
I never found the Tektons fatiguing. They are gonna sound way better in every way than those mid level Klipsch.
Sounds like you have plenty of power to grab ahold of the Focals. Like I said they are great speakers not the most dynamic to my ear though. A lot of it comes down to musical preference as well. The Tektons just sound bigger meatier more detailed etc.
My speakers need to play rock just as well as any other genre and Ive not heard better than the Tektons for this. I cant speak to classical or any really standard audiophile stuff cause I dont listen to it. All I can say is for rock, metal, acoustic, country, etc I thought they did a fantastic job.
I did get rid of them because I got a cheaper system in the den now where we just got a pool table. If I ever upgrade again to a dedicated system I would heavily consider something in the Tekton lineup.
I’ve owned the Tekton DIs for over 2 years and listen to them at least 3 to 4 hours, daily. I enjoy various genres of music from orchestral to jazz on the DIs. These speakers are limited only by the associated components. My 20 wpc tube amplifier has more than enough power to drive the speakers to “ear bleeding” level. Without doubt I would buy them, again. Good luck with your speaker selection.
For whatever it is worth and it may be different in your room, but I tried Revel’s "controls" extensively and did not find any drastic difference. In the end, I suspected that perceived difference might have been because I knew I was changing it. At the same time, and your room is and ears may be significantly different than mine, it turns out that bass is not boomy at all despite being placed very close to the wall/s. If anything, it is on leaner side. Just my observation. For reminder of the sound, I cannot really describe it but have no complaints. "Neutral" would probably be the most accurate description. Not boring, but somehow clean.
Tekton DI are astoundingly good sounding speakers, I've listened to them for hours with all kinds of music at all kinds of different volume levels and never experienced fatigue or felt the need to turn them down. Also very smooth and natural and lower sound level. Details, depth, bass they have it all
I debated between the Revel F208 and the Tekton Double Impact for some time. I bought a used pair of F208's and I have no regrets. I never auditioned the Tektons but what made my decision is the difference in resources and speaker releases between the two companies. Revel has unlimited R&D money and only puts out new speaker designs after they have been thoroughly tested. Tekton has one person designing new speakers (per my limited knowledge) and has more models than I can count. It seems less about R&D and more about releasing any idea that comes to mind. I'm not saying Tekton doesn't make a good product (I've never heard them) but I am skeptical of a small company that has more options than competitors many times it's size. Ultimately I put my money with Revel and their science based (heavily funded) approach to speaker design... I have yet to be disappointed.
Thanks everyone for the great input.
With two of my kids at their grandma's today, and with a little bit of free time permitted thereby, I was able to track down a Focal dealer who had the 948's set up to demo. I convinced my wife to go with me.
She loved them! She was almost as excited about them as I was, which is saying quite a lot. Suffice it to say, weeks ago she was horrified by my consideration of a $3500 (on sale) pair of speakers. She had liked the Klipschs and felt that "speakers are speakers," so why should so much money be invested in them? To say it was an uphill battle to convince her to even see my side of the story is a huge understatement. Well, today she finally heard the difference for herself and she was *blown away* by the Focals, as was I. She admired the leather work on the speakers, thought the speakers themselves looked "elegant," and was impressed by the detail and realism of the sound compared to the Klipschs. I thought very much the same things. Couldn't have asked for a better result from that audition. We also heard a $120,000 pair of Sonus Fabers, which was impressive... but I preferred the Arias at the time, to be honest. That may be a "defensive mechanism," though, since I'm not in the market for speakers which cost more than some small houses. I was grateful for the opportunity to hear them, though.
Anyway, I wish I could audition the Tektons to make an informed comparative decision. The nearest pair (that I know of) is in Raleigh, NC, which is about 2.5-3 hours from me. With 3 young kids at home, I would not be able to make such a trip. It's a shame since a lot of people really seem to love them.
I don't know if I will have the opportunity to hear the Revels, but I don't doubt they are a good speaker.
I know the Arias will sound different in my room than at the dealer's, but I still suspect I would be very, very happy with them based on what I heard today.
@jgreen19 That sounds like a good deal, but $3500 is essentially my max budget for speakers right now. And it took a Herculean effort on my part to convince my wife that such a budget was not just throwing money into the wind. Words are words, though. When she heard the Focals today she was sold on them. Suddenly $3500 seemed much more reasonable to her, I think... the speakers made their case for me far better than my feeble words could. But the Focals are "safe" (in her words) since she has seen and heard them. She is not as keen on the Tektons because there's no way to hear them before buying, and losing hundreds on return shipping or the immediate depreciation on the used market is not something either of us has the stomach for.
That being said, if an opportunity comes up within the next two weeks to hear some Tektons, that could change.
If any of you have, or know someone with, some Double Impacts (or any other Tektons, really, just to get a sample of their sound) in the Richmond, VA area, and are comfortable just letting someone audition them, please let me know.
@mofojo When you say the Focals are not as "dynamic," what do you mean? Does this relate to distortion, ability to play loud, ability to play both loud and soft, or something else? I'm sure this is a very entry-level question, but I'm an entry-level guy when it comes to speakers so I don't have much of an experience base to work from.
I have the 948’s and they can be bright. Equipment and cables are factors that can help with that. I recently bought some cables from Blue Jeans Cables to replace my more expensive cables and my 948’s sound way better. You need to have them away from the wall. Mine are 2+ feet closer to 3 from the wall. With a 200 watt amp you should be fine to drive them.
I can’t speak to all the speakers listed but I have the Aria 948 and love them. They do take some time to break in and are temperamental about the placement. They perform double duty they work for stereo listening as well as part of my home theater and do both very well. I do have two subs one that’s more musical and one for movies I think for home theater applications you would need a sub for almost any speaker anyway. Somebody said they don’t sound good at lower volumes I wouldn’t say they don’t sound good but they sound amazing when they’re pushed. I’m using a pass Lab’s X 150 D rated 150 W per channel. I got mine brand new a year ago during a Black Friday sale for approximately 2700 per pair. If you look hard enough and wait a little bit you should at least be able to do better than 3500. Maybe possibly find some used.
Focals are great speakers and you may be done with search. However, you may check with Crutchfield if they have a pair of Revels in their showroom. It is not exactly in Richmond, but it may be worth it, even just so you can say you tried.
Crutchfield's room was not the ideal one but, at the time I visited, they said they were upgrading it. It was more than a year ago. Give them a call and it may be a nice family outing. Your wife may want to check it out. No leather, though.
I purchased my ARCAM from a dealer who sold Focal Arias and I tried to love the 948 Focal Arias, but kept saying where's the bass. I also listened to Bowers & Wilkins and even their 804's lacked bass. Not that I like boomy bass speakers, but I do want to hear all that is in a recording. I ended up with a pair of Paradigm Prestige 85F towers and eventually added a pair of REL S3 SHO subwoofers and that really made a big difference. It seemed to clear up the mids on my towers. I also like how the REL's connect using a high level connection. This allows them to sound like adding a pair of larger size woofers to illuminate the bass. They also connect for home theater and they are adequate. My wife would have a difficult time accepting the looks of the Tekton speakers. I don't like their looks either.
It is unfortunate most dealers do not allow their customers to listen to their speakers in their homes. I am sure this make a huge difference in sound quality.
You have a large room and I think you might need some larger size speakers. You might look at the Paradigm Prestige Towers. Whatever you do, I would add a decent pair of subwoofers to fill in the sound.
@mofojo I was very interested in the 1028 Be II. They pop up at around my price point occasionally, used. Is there a huge difference in the sound between the 1028 and the 948? I know the Beryllium tweeter can provide some major high end detail, but does it integrate well with the other drivers? I read one user's impressions and they felt the tweeter "jumped out" at them (not just on the Focal but on all speakers with Beryllium tweeters). I'm also wondering about the bass performance. I know the 1028 is spec'd lower in frequency than the 948 but the 948's have much larger cone area. Wouldn't the increased cone area on the 948's provide potentially louder sound and/or clearer bass (though not necessarily deeper), all other things being equal, or is that a bad assumption to make? With the vaulted ceilings I get a little concerned about some sound getting lost up there. That seemed to happen a bit with the Klipsch. I had to crank my 110 wpc receiver up to about 70 in order for those very sensitive speakers to fill the room with movie sound. With music it was more like 60 to get room-filling sound. While I have more power now with the Cambridge Audio amp, do you think the 1028's can fill a relatively large volume?
I also would be concerned buying a speaker like that used. At my price point, they're generally at least a few years old when put on the used market, whereas I can get the 948's new with a warranty.
@twoleftears I did go to Audio Exchange. I heard some Dynaudios there and a huge pair of Sonus Fabers (which will never be within my budget). Donny at AE was great. When we asked about price, though, it didn't seem like he could go as low as I can get them elsewhere. They can be found new for $3500 (shipped) and AE could only get to $4700. I would much rather purchase from a local dealer, but it just may not be possible to get such a good deal at most local dealers.
@larry5729 I agree with you on the looks of the Tekton. I could give them a pass on the looks (and my wife said it's my choice, so it seems like she could at least live with them) if the sound is right, though.
What you say about the bass from the 948 concerns me a little. They sounded good in the showroom, and I would expect some bass augmentation based on their placement near a corner in my living room. I just have no idea whether that augmentation would be "bad" or somewhat helpful. I also do plan on getting a subwoofer in the future, but I want some good floorstanders to start with that can produce some acceptable bass until my wife gives me permission to spend more money, which probably won't be for a least a year or two, unfortunately, given her reluctance to spend on speakers. But it's part of my plan.
@badger_erich I saw that review. He did seem to really like the Tektons. He has another video where he discusses a list of several speakers that are "easy to recommend" and the Double Impacts made that list.
I am a little surprised there aren't more YouTubers posting about their Double Impacts. There is a very dedicated following for the Tekton brand, and the Double Impact has been their most popular speaker, and yet all you really find are people putting up sound demos which, while satisfying some desire to "hear them in action," can't tell me too much about the sound other than that it produces a certain range of frequencies that cheap camera mics are able to pick up, with coloration, and that my run-of-the-mill headphones or computer speakers are able to reproduce with their own coloration. I guess the Tekton guys are too busy enjoying their speakers to sit down and talk about them, haha. Can't blame them.
Thomas & Stereo did a nice long video about the Double Impact, but it wasn't a review per se, just first impressions.
After reading your post again I see you mention that you have some placement limitations. How far apart would the speakers need to be? One thing about the DIs I found was they like to be closer together than a lot of other speakers. That might be a big consideration.
Regarding the 1028 vs the Arias IMO the Electras have more of the feel and sound of a premium product. The Arias will be less detailed and easy to listen to but the Electras may give you more of the OMG that sounds amazing moments. That room is pretty big but I dont feel undoable for them as they go loud and have good power handling. Cant answer if they would go as loud as the 948s. See if you can listen to them.
Another speaker to think about is the Golden Ear Triton 1. They like to be far apart and heavily towed in. You would also have all kinds of control over the bass. They would be awesome for home theater and sound really great for music as well. I had them for a while and like them quite a bit. May even be able to get into a pair of Reference used for around 5k?
Your placement limitations potentially will cause some issues with a lot of speakers.
First and foremost, trust your ears; so, get out and demo as many speakers as you can.
It's hard to believe there is not a Revel dealer in or near Richmond. There is one in Raleigh; so, if you go there to demo the Tekton's, you could also demo the Revel's. And, demo some other speaker brands at any audio dealers that you visit. You might just stumble onto a speaker that was not on your radar.
If you are referring to the review by Zero Fidelity, he most certainly did NOT report that he "preferred" the Forte III. When comparing the Forte III against the Tekton DI he discussed many aspects of performance, some of which he thought the DI did better and others that he thought the Forte III did better. He offered no all-things-considered preference at all.
I was I looking at the Focals and also the Double Impacts for my next set of speakers and I ended up buying Klipsch Cornwall IV’s. They are not fatiguing to me at all and sound great at low volumes. It feels like the musicians are playing right in the room with you.
i too have a difficult placement situation and find these Speakers to work great with every genre of music I’ve played. (Mostly Rock and Jazz) I’d look into these or the Fortes if the size is a concern.
I have F208s and Double Impacts. I prefer the Revels. They are very realistic and the boundary compensation works well where they are positioned. I recently got a new amp, and my enjoyment has increased.
I still like the DIs - I drive them with tubes and have a lot of fun with them.
Neither speaker is as good as my Maggie 3.7is though.
I owe a set of Revel F 208 and I love them now. The sound if amazing If you a an amazing amp. I’m using a Bryson 14b3 and the sound awesome but you need to try them in your system. I had a plinius s100 that was very dry and had no lower end I tried McIntosh 452 amp it sounded very bright with no lower end. Had a mc 275 amp sound good but didn’t have the pow to drive the woofers. The first couple years of owning these speakers I didn’t like them and almost didn’t keep them but once I found a amp the can drive them they are awesome and glad I kept them. Note I also tried Bryson 4b3 and sound just like 14b3 . I also have an old counterpoint sa100. Also tried the new mark levenson sounded very good also And that amp sounds awesome on these speaker. The impedance swing in around 2 to 12 ohms so it takes a real good amp to hang on to them. The speakers have a large soundstage and natural sound. You will love them if you have the right amp good luck
I owned revel 208s, now I own 228be, I have a friend with tektons, I think they are fun sounding but not nearly as coherent as the revels, revel really does a great job blending the drivers, much better than most actually. They also have a huge sweet spot because the dispersion is so good. As far as boring or dry sounding? NOT, they are just very transparent and sound like what is driving them. My system is super fun and involving to listen to, with either revel speaker. I am using a Rel sub and Rogue m180 darks with Rogue or bel canto phono stage, bel canto dac 3.7 and SME model 10 with clear audio cart. The system is anything but boring. I have had people who thought that they did not like Revel after hearing them somewhere else use the word WOW many times after hearing them at my place. That being said this hobby is subjective, I have a friend that loves horns, and he will never own anything but horns, and they are not my bag at all.
Two years ago, I auditioned the Double Impacts in my house, with a group of several other AGon members. Our overall impression is that they do sound lively, have a pretty nice tone, bass is great. But, they don’t have a ’refined’ sound. The frequency response doesn’t sound smooth from top to bottom. Then there is the WAF factor, and generally the form factor. They look like you have two refrigerators in the music room. IMO, they are just too big unless your room is very large. And, they have a rather "industrial" look.
As someone mentioned above, the Tekton product specs seem to change over time. So, the set you order today may be different from what I had. IMO, that is a detractor. Also, I watched the site for a while, and often saw "ready to sell" speakers, but never "open box" or "returned demo". I know that I returned a set. Were they then sold as new? I don’t know, but I’m suspicious.
After the demo, I listened to a set of Revel F208s in a store while I was on a business trip. I really liked them, but there is no dealer in Minneapolis. When a used set came available locally, I bought them. They sound great. The top to bottom FR is smoother than the Tektons, but they don’t quite have that same "live" feel of the DIs. They do have a very refined sound, whether you are listening at low or high volume. We like them better, and we get lots of great comments from friends who come by to listen. And, they look the part of expensive speakers, while the Tekton’s don’t.
I run the Revels with an REL R528 sub, and a Primaluna Dialogue HP Integrated. They play plenty loud, and they sound great. My room is fairly large, and they fill the room very well. They were a good step up from my previous speakers, B&W 803N, which I also loved, but they are not in the same league.
The only change I would consider is to move up to the Revel Be line, but it’s not in the budget right now.
Soundermn, you nailed it, the Tektons have a fun sound, but they are not coherent sounding and the drivers are not anywhere near as blended as the revels. This is something that needs to get talked about more, no frequency sticks out or smears over another, unlike so many hi end speakers, which to me sounds more real, while others find this boring, because nothing screams look at me! So many designers bump up the bass and treble which makes them stick out. Partnered with the right gear revels can really reward you.
Graitscott, I'll add my 2c if you haven't made a decision yet. I own the Focal Aria 948's (oddly, not as many out there in the wild as I would have thought).
They are magnificent speakers and have plenty of bass, more so than I am comfortable with, sometimes, but easily rectified by changing the crossover frequency. They have marvellous mids and crisp highs, but nowhere near the ear-piercing levels that the Klipsch RP-8000F would give you. This is a good thing, in my experience. I've had them for about 6 months and they have genuinely gotten even better than I thought they could - however, that may be due to some additional fine-tuning, toe-in, moving around, etc.I also now have them hooked up to Rotel RB-981 amps, which has changed the dynamics even more.
I'll link my reddit post about my system, for what it's worth, but it's outdated and doesn't mention the Rotel Amps (I have them in 2x Mono config with 360W on tap).
I'm not saying that the Focal Aria 948's are the only answer, definitely not, but I love mine dearly.
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.