You may also want to consider the Krell LAT2 Speakers (avail. In Black or Silver). These, the GEMS and CUB2 are arguably the best stand-mounts in the world, and will handily out perform most modest-sized floorstanders. From my experience, the CUB2 is the front-runner here. The CUB2 (with port(s) contribution) will go down to around 40Hz, plus has an excellent top-end and incredible imaging. Also, the Wilson Stands are painted to match the CUB2, and are beautiful and available in many colors. All (3) retailed for $10K and can be had used for around half that amount. The Revel & Krell are excellent, no doubt, but the Wilson is unique in its performance, even better than the (lifestyle-designed) Duette that somewhat replaced it. Regarding the Revel Performa Speakers, these are entry-level hi-fi and I don’t feel compare to a state-of-art mini-monitor (stand-mount). You will get a bigger sound (bass and loudness), but not a better sound in my opinion, plus these stand-mounts are highly efficient and will require much less power to run and therefore be far more tolerant of different Amplifiers (Tubes, Hybrids, SET, etc.). Plus, can be backed-up close to a wall with out smearing the bottom end as large floorstanders do.
Why do you think these speakers would be an "upgrade" for beloved speakers that function really great in your room?
I could be wrong but this sounds like a bad case of upgraditis? It concerns me that you are leaning toward the Revels based on what you've read about them, which leads me to believe you have never heard them.
I would for sure audition the new ones before selling the old ones. The new ones will surely be different, but unless you like them better you will just be sitting there wishing you had your old cubs back. Wilsons, like most speaker lines, have a family sound. Since you like that sound perhaps a move up the Wilson line would be a better choice. I don't think a move from Cub 1 to 2 is going to do much for you unless you just happen to get a killer deal on the 2's. Even then you may prefer the 1's.
sounds like change for the sake of change. revel and wilson are awfully similar.
You would very likely enjoy the Wilson Duette very much. It is significantly more dynamically nimble, articulate through the midrange, and tonally convincing at the frequency extremes than the Cubs. Expensive? Yup, but very, very tasty.
Heard the Duette this weekend and was very impressed. All round great sounding speaker BUT the Sophia is just that much better.
The Duette is a little more room friendly though especially if you don't have a dedicated listening spot.
Personally, I feel that the CUB2 is sonically somewhere between the Duette and the Sophia. The Krell LAT-2 also dips down in the low 40s-Hz, with a nominal impedance of 6-ohms and weighs in at the same (heavy) 75lbs. It would be an interesting A/B/C comparison between the Duette/CUB2/LAT-2. You would need to find a Krell / Wilson Dealer to be sure. Easy for the CUB2 to be overlooked when you’ve got the Sophia and Watt/Puppy, that will fit in the same space.
I should add that another possible stand mount speaker would be the Escalante Design's Pinyon. There have been some favorable reviews on the web and they are cheaper than the Duette.
Even though it is not one of the choices offered, I would agree with the Escalante Design Pinyons. They are incredible, even though they went through a price increase in November 2006.
I own a pair of Pinyons, and am always blown away by the amount of detail, air, space, timbre, and dynamics that they possess. You can check my other threads for additional details; and yes, I also own a pair of the "mega monitors", the Escalante Design Fremonts. I thoroughly enjoy listening to both systems (in different rooms).
The Pinyons are so good, so fast, and pull so much detail from the music that I will soon be placing my former references, the Apogee Duettas, into storage...something that I would not have conceived of doing just a couple of years ago.
First of all thanks to everybody for the helpful advices!
I just got an offer for an Revel Ultima System including two (!) Sub-15 and the LE-1 and the Gems. According to German (retail) prices, the asking price seems to be very fair. It is about 5500 EURO. Retail prices in Germany should have been about 35000 Euro...
I know about the importance of listening to any speaker by oneself but since the seller is 500 Km away from me, I would like to ask the Audiogon members first:
1.) What do you think of the combination Gem/LE-1/2 Sub-15? Would it be an upgrade compared to my Wilson Cubs? Will 2 Sub-15 be too much for my 20 m² room?
2.) Would you prefer the combination of the Gems with the B-15 (integrated amplifier, many possibilities to adjust)? It should be possible to get the Gems with the B-15 for 5000€.
3.)I don´t exactly know, if the crossover in the LE-1 has just a (fixed) high pass filter (80 Hz) to play with the Gems or if it can be adjusted?
"I was quite surprised, how good the Cub 1 performed in that area and need a speaker that can deliver at least 50 hz at higher volumes."
Why 50 hz at high volumes? What are you purposes/uses/expectations, for the speakers? Are you planning home theater? Or just 2 channel stereo? And, if a big room, why smaller monitors? I'm confused here. If Home theater, you're DEFINITELY going to cross em over much higher anyway! Or at least you SHOULD.
I´m sorry for confusing you. My room has only 20m². 2 channel stereo only!
I don´t need a speaker being capable of playing at high volumes but it should offer full range sound at low/medium to slightly higher volumes.
Er, um, Ok, so why smaller speakers? I'm confused.
Whatever, anyway, I think the Cubs play lower, yes, and they're probably more sensitive and dynamic as well, all things equal. However, the Gems are more flexible a bit. Wilson recommends keeping Cubs on "those stands". I like more flexibility, depending. Still, you're in the same league with these. I'd still go large speakers though.
The LE1 is not a reliable sub amp according to someone that used to work at Revel. I would go with the B15 subs. I had also considered the LE1 but decided to go with the B15 which has worked well.
I have used Gems for a long time as my main speakers and really-really loved them. I had two Velodyne DD18's crossed at 80Hz to support them as their bass-response isn't all that. Recently I have upgraded to the Salons and moved the Gems to the back. Although the DD18's were very impressive I upgraded to a pair of SUB 30's.
Wilson may be faster and may sound a bit different from Revel. But Revel is my sound. I promise Gems will not let you down, but listening to Revel's first won't hurt.
The Sub-15 and the LE-1 were very good when introduced (10 years ago), but I believe the amp (LE-1) had heating-problems and the subwoofer could clipp when pushed. Revel build the SUB 30 taking care of all know problems the SUB15 + LE-1 had.
I would get the Gems and start looking for a SUB30 or a Velodyne DD18. The SUB30 used a dual 15" woofer AND has room EQ. Personally I believe you can have two or more subs in your room. It's not all about output. Having multiple sub will result in a more evenly spread bass-response anywhere in your room.