Revel F-30 vs. Dunlavy Cantata vs. b w CDM 9NT

I would appreciate any thoughtS regarding these loudspeakers. Using mostly for music listening. Listening room aprx 11' by 16'. Counterpoint tube pre and classe power, source vpi hw 19jr turntable and Ah! Tjoeb cd...waiting for new formats to come down in price and more software to come out. Thanks
I can't comment on the Dunlavy or Revel models that you've mentioned because I haven't heard them, but I can comment on the B&W CDM 9NT.

The 9NT is an excellent all-round performer and offers musicality combined with an exceptional level of focus and inner detail. The balance and transition of lows to mids to highs is very competent. Plus, it is non-critical of listening position, providing very high quality sound just about anywhere in the listening room. That is one area where it clearly betters my InnerSound Eros speakers, which tend to sound excellent in the sweet spot but not as consistently good off axis and in other areas of the room.

In my view, the 9NTs offer extremely high bang for the buck. My InnerSound ESLs are marginally better in some (but not all) aspects of performance, but they cost twice as much. Bass is tight and punchy to below 40 Hz, so a sub may be needed to reinforce bass frequencies below that point for HT applications, or for those that require that last audible foundation-challenging octave.

The only minor flaws seem to be a slight thickening of the area between the mid and upper bass (euphonic in nature), and a slight emphasis somewhere in the lower treble that is audible with some material, but is largely benign and is certainly less bothersome than the more overt tizziness I hear from some other highly-rated competing models.

I haven't compared the Catata to the Dunlavy Athena, which share the same drivers and driver arrangement (cross over?) in different cabinets but there is no comparison between the athena an the F-30. The dunlavy have the best soundstage and sence of openness that i have heard yet.Mid range is wonderful and the highs are very smooth, though on certain CDS they can get edgy. Some people think the bass is boomy some think it is anemic. In my room it is tight and powerfull when playing electronic music but can be somewhat lacking on acoustic guess is that the speaker will be limited by the room, they are supposed to be good into the mid 20s. In a properly prepared room the athenas delivered an incredible sence of realism (wish my room was there but WAF rules.) The Dunlavy are a serious sweet spot speaker, you have a very limited area where everything is perfect for serious listening. To my ears the F-30 had piercing highs that i couldn't tolerate for long and they didn't dissapear nearly as well as the dunlavy (the big Revels are nice but i really don't think i'd trade the athenas for them). I auditioned the dunlavy with both a Pass labs 60 watt aleph amp and ARC VT100 and a wadia 850 run direct all synergistic cables great room. I use VTL amp and pre with harmonic tech cables and ARC CD_2 at home. I listened to the F-30 through Mark Levinson 33 amps with a 39 CD run direct, all transparent XL cables.
Hi Blue note,

I was interested in that very thing. I went to AudioReview and read all the reviews on B&W's from 9NT to the Nautilus 803's, then the Dunlavy's, I did not check on the Revel's as there is no dealer here, and no one I know highly recommends them. Stan Warren, of PS Audio/Superphon fame, says that the Dunlavys really need to be zobled to get the most from them, and presumable all speakers should be.

From what I could tell though, people buying B&W, generally speaking, and this is a deduction from post I read, so I could be wrong, but if they bought B&W, most did not listen to Dunlavys. Many buying Dunlavys mentioned listening to B&W…. So, to me the implication seems clear, Dunlavys are better. Not to mention Stan Warren’s being on the Dunlavy band wagon….

Hope this was of help,

As you will read in my other posts. I am a HUGE Revel F30 fan!!! In the sub $5k range, they are my favorite speaker!
I can't say enough good things about them!! The only other speaker that got me this excited about speakers are the older B&W Matrix 801's (last series)!

Hi Michael,

So, while the Dunlavy's are hardly sub $5,000.00 have you listened to them?



Unfortunately there are no Dunlavey dealers in Ohio though I have read so many good things about them! Ohio is not the booming capital of Hi-End/HT stereo shops like MA. was where I grew up. If they are they much higher then the other 2 speakers the person asked about, don't you feel they are a little off in their comparison. Almost like asking to compare a Honda (9NT's) to a Lexus (F30's) then to a Porsche (Cantanas).
Audio Vidio Logic is advertising black or natural oak Dunlavy Athenas on this site for sub $5k (close to what i paid for my rosewood athenas used) with the cantanas cheaper yet. At one point they had 6 mo no interest financing, may still have it. They are a great shop located in Des Moines Iowa.
Hi Michael,

I recently moved to Ohio from Philthadelphia... What part of the state are you in, I am near Cincinnati myself. There are VERY slim pickens here!


Sorry took so long to get back to ya. I am in N.W. Columbus. There are 2 really great H.T. shops here. Both carry GREAT products and have quite the clientele!! Check out their websites in Gahanna and across the street from OSU. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about them.

Michael ...