The F228 BE are stonking good. Look at these or used Salon2's. Salon2's only if your Ayre gear is up to driving them. If you like the Revel sound, perhaps also look at the new Paradigm Persona line.
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Many choices . I have the open baffle Pure Audio Project
With Voxativ driver, and other driver options comes with dual
15 inch Neodymium Mid-sized Woofers,
Also Mundorf has a open cross over Copper Gold plated with screw down terminals for easy ,resistor, Capacitor upgrades .a very musical speaker ,as well as efficient.
I listened yesterday to a pair of Magico A3 speakers. They were outstanding. The bass extension was surprisingly good, and their high frequency sound was very detailed while smooth, without seeming brassy or fatiguing. In my humble and limited opinion, they were superior to the Elac Andante AF61s and the Goldenear references, which I also listened to recently. I also recently listened to a pair of B&W 803D3 and also liked them quite a bit; however I would only consider buying a used pair of these.
Here are some other really nice speakers roughly listed by price low to high:
Joseph Audio Perspective
Vandersteen Quatro CT
Silverline Bolero Supreme
Acouctic Zen Crescendo (Underwood hifi $18k price)
If you'd consider used there's a rare pair of Joseph Audio Pearl 2s here now at $13,750. You could save yourself a lot of time and effort and just buy'em. Game over. Best of luck in your search.
I heard the Spatial Audio X2s at AXPONA and was very impressed. However, I'd give the edge to another great horn-enabled OB speaker- the Pure Audio Project Trio15 Horn1, it even costs a little bit less.
As far as other great options in the range:
The Revel F228bes are incredible, the Revel room at AXPONA was one of the best, and it was a dead-simple chain - Auralic G2, Mark Levinson 585 Integrated, F228bes and they sounded better than rooms that cost several times as much.
The new Martin Logans with built-in ARC to better integrate their woofers are also amazing. The Martin Logan Expression 13A had potentially the best imaging at the show.
If you don't have to spend all that money the Salk Song3As really impressed me with a (relatively) inexpensive set of Schitt gear. Simply amazing sound. The combination of a RAAL ribbon, Accuton ceramic midrange, and a Satori woofer really works and Salk's speaker cabinets are finished beautifully.
I've been listening in the $ 10k range to replace my salons that I bought after hearing the f208. Room size. I went to axpona this weekend and in the hotel rooms I found smaller bookshelf speakers sounding better than big $50k's. for an average size room Kanta2, raidho 1.2 blows everything else away for the size, neat sounded great, Alta. for a bigger room dynaudio contour 60, Vienna acoustics "the music" I would already have if the used pair wasn't 1500 miles away. salon 2 in a large room, studio in an average room. Not all speakers excel at the same thing and you know at the show they're going to play what shows them off. I never cared for B&W sound but owned kef r105/3 for 25 years, go figure. My salon's sound better than the f208 in my system, but very close and the salon2 is another league if you have the room and gear upstream to bring it out, in fact I may sell my salon2's in a year and put together a quality stand mount system.
You might want to check out the Legacy Focus SE. One of the most impressive sounding speakers I've ever heard.
One speaker that really surprised me was the PranaFidelity 'bookshelf'. I can't remember the name. It's around $5,000.00. When I walked into the room some pipe organ music was playing. It was big, full-sounding, clear, articulate, and bass was surprisingly good. I want a pair of those; they would fit my small room better than the Legacy.
Be careful paying much attention to these responses to your question. Several are recommending speaker systems that in NOW WAY approximate the sound qualities of your Revel F208s. An example would be anything from the B&W line. The trap is listening to something, that although initially may seem different and appealing, is not rendering a faithful recreation of the original image. Trust your ears. It may be helpful to proceed under the thought of not comparing one speaker brand against another but rather how does any given speaker compare to your idea of the sound of the actual instrument(s) being reproduced. Your choice of the Revel speaker indicates this is of paramount importance. You may want to stick with Revel, a company with almost unlimited research and development funds and a design goal that seems to meet with yours.
NOTHING will beat Salon2’s. Don’t waste time with speakers similar to but more expensive than the F208. Nothing compares to the F208 at well above it’s price. For not much more than the cost of a new pair of F228Be’s, you can get used Salon2’s. Studio2's are very good but not in the same league as the Salon2. I can't believe how good they are at full price, let alone half that when bought used.
Splendid choice. As an owner of the F208's, I was hoping you would make that decision. In my search for speakers, I auditioned the Focal Sopra No2. I wanted to love this speaker, but it just didn't perform for me. It didn't deliver enough bass impact and the midrage left me desiring more. Perhaps it was the room and the associated equipment (can't recall), but it just didn't thrill me. Listened to the Paradigm Persona 3F which I thought was great, but I thought a little too forward for long term listening. And then the Legacy Focus SE. Sounded great, but was too big for my room. There was no Signature SE available to listen too. About a year after I bought the 208's, I got word that Revel was developing a speaker that would fit in between the 208's and the Ultima.
I got a chance to hear the a proto type last year that they were sending around for feed back and was not impressed. But early this year they came out with the final product and kudos to Revel. They got it right. The speaker sounds awesome. To my ears, it does everything right form top to bottom. I'm just sorry that I'm vested in the 208's for a while since they are twice the price. But, happy listening.
BTW, what color did you settle on? I would love to get it in grey.