Nobody has responded yet, so I will throw out an alternative to your choices and strongly recommend the CODA 15.0. Single chassis, 105 lbs weight, specially designed for low impedance speakers, and it has gobs of current available. I have been using it for a month driving my Tyler Woodmeres (also multiple large drivers) and can tell you it is absolutely divine. I have never heard the Salon 2s, but they look like perfect candidates for the CODA 15.0. I can't imagine this would be necessary, but if you wanted to go overboard, you could run two of these amps in mono. I am still making some changes to my system, and I was waiting for things to settle down before raving about this amp in any posts. Suffice it to say that it does everything right (for me). If you want my detailed impressions, post back again and I will give you my off-line contact info.
The Salon 2, Pass XA-100.5 is a match made in heaven, or at lease it is at a friends house. Warm, sweet and neutral. He is considering the XA-160.5 amps but in my opinion he doesn't really need the extra power.
It looks like thr Coda 15.0 specs out very close to the XA-100.5 Pass Labs. It is out of my comfort zone to try a product of that cost without a history with that company. Thanks for the info.
I have the Pass Labs XA-30.5 driving Audio Physic Virgos. I've read the Revel Salon 2s needs gobbs of power. That is why I've been considering the X.5 series over the XA.5. My spending limit is maxxed out with the XA-100.5s but if someone has tried both the X-250.5 or X-350.5 and the XA-100.5s that would be interesting to hear. The X.5 series would save me money I could use for my speaker upgrade.I have the funds now to go ahead with the amp upgrade...but it will take several months to save enough for the Salon's. Good to hear your thoughts!
I used a older series X350 with Revel Studios (mk I) happily for several years. Very happy with the performance. I would expect those two brands to work well together given the similarities between Revels mk I and mk II products and Pass' evolution from X to XA series.
Its a chunk of change to try without hearing first.
I pulled the trigger on a new pair of XA-100.5s from Mark at Reno Hi Fi!. Now I have the speaker issue...Revel Studio 2's or the Salon 2's. I also should keep in mind the Wilson Sasha's or Sophia's. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated...
Gamdme Coda is not new and the principals there are from Threshold.
Gandme do yourself a favor and audition the Legacy XDs.
They have 4 15" drivers in them and a 500 watt ICE amp per side for the bass.
The XDs take the room out of the equation period.
They bury the Wilson Max.
Where are you located?
A dealer disclaimer is appropriate when fishing for business, Tobb.
I was simply going to lead him to a dealer!
If I was soliciting I would have said so!
Sorry, I must have misconstrued this post:
You never mentioned your room size, but if it's on the large side, say in the range of 400 sq-ft, 4000 cu-ft or larger, the Salon is going to work better than the Studio. In my auditions I always liked the Salon 2 better, and the difference was mostly in the upper midrange to highs. The Salon 2 handled loudness significantly better. If you listen at only polite levels you might never notice the difference.
The Wilson thing is a matter of preference, and only your ears can know for sure. I don't care for the Wilson sound myself, which emphasizes bass and highs a bit, but some people like that. It's usually the same people that like B&W, so it seems to me.
The Legacy Whisper, now that's a case of where you had better listen. The combination of dipole bass and monopole mid-high is unusual, to say the least. I haven't heard the XD. Maybe Duddleston finally got the Whisper right. The older ones weren't for me.
Duddleston has been getting right for several years now.
First with the Focus SEs, then the Whisper XD , then the Signature and now the Aeris.
From the Aeris to the Helix they remove the room from the equation period!
Looking at the specs at first glance the Salon 2s might be close to the Focus SE but certainly not in the same league as the Whisper or Aeris.
When you buy the Whispers they fly their tech guy in to tune them.
Not much to get wrong.
I agree about the Wilson/B&W comparison too clinical for me.
Plus B&W is 70% hype 30% product.
If you haven't heard the XDs you owe it to yourself.
Just listening to them now with Big Sam's Funky Nation its like a live performance.
I did hear both the Legacy Focus SE and Whispers when auditioning speakers last year (and ended up with Salon 2s). I actually preferred the Focus SE to the Whispers, which I thought was surprisingly bland and overly polite.
When compared to the Salon 2s I found the following: the Whispers are similar in that you can get away with less than ideal room placement - I moved the ones I auditioned around to several spots and they didn't lose much or get the room too involved when put in tight spots. The Salon 2s however are significantly more transparent, create a wider and deeper soundstage, and have better driver integration. They also provide the low end weight the Whispers don't, and are faster and more dynamic.
I'm sure some might prefer the more "polite" sound of the Whispers, but regardless of personal preference, the claim that Salon 2s aren't in the same league is utterly laughable fanboy talk.
Now, the Focus SE: I liked them quite a bit more than the Whispers and actually thought them a solid bargain for the price (I also listened to Paradigm S3s in that price range and liked the Focus SEs much more). The drivers were reasonably well integrated and they had the low end weight the Whispers oddly lacked. But the big problem with them was that they had poor treble dispersion and a tiny sweet spot. Once I stood up from the listening chair, I lost at least 5 db from the top end. Wasn't gonna work for me, as my system is in a 28X16 room that doubles as my office and I don't like to be tied to my chair all day long. Too bad, as it crimped an otherwise very good speaker. Maybe Duddleston can research ways to improve on that.
Now to the OP's second question. I have to echo Irvrobinson's thoughts that the Salon 2 is a noticeably better speaker than the Studio 2 and that it will be a much better match to a large room.
As for Wilson Sashas, I actually like their sound although as noted they do not feature ruler-straight frequency response and are not the last word in neutrality. They also have a smaller sweet spot than the Salon 2s. I thought they'd be too fatiguing up top to work in my sunroom, but in a well-treated man cave I'd think they have something to offer. I frankly thought the Sophias were well behind them in terms of bass slam and dynamics and dismissed them pretty quickly, but there are others who are very happy with them.
Fanboy talk I think not.
If you liked the Focus more than the Whisper there was something fundamentally wrong.
I can see why you weren't impressed.
The room is the sweet spot.
As for bass slam there are several pieces it took weeks to get used to the slam.
It literally scared the shite out of me even though I knew what was coming.
They do it all from the shimmer of a symbol to the thunder of a tympani.
My room is a 16' x 24' with a horrible 12" x 24 " built out corner and a sloped 16' cathedral ceiling.
The back eight feet of the room is only an eight foot ceiling to boot.
Plus their is curved staircase on the one wall.
The sweet spot is pretty much the same through the room now.
I can't stress enough the importance of having a Legacy tech set the speakers to the room.
He spent a day and a half calibrating them with a mic and wave analyzer.
BTW which should come in the price from your retailer.
They also store a copy of your settings as well as giving you one.
Initially I thought I made a mistake with the Whispers(prior to room calibration )because the base was so much warmer and defined on the Focus SE.
My friend a longtime audiophile and said to me be patient. To prove his point after the Whispers were set to the room he disconnected one of the them.One Whisper presented as much sound as two Focus SEs.
The only down side to the Whispers is that they are cable whores. That and it is paramount to use good quality one piece Y splitters from the processor.
Initially we used adapters because of my impatience.
as I type this I am in the back corner of the room with very nice imaging.