Revel Studio versus Parsifal Encore

I currently own the old Revel Studio's which I am very content with. There is a pair of Parsifal Encores listed and I am always looking for material improvement in SQ at a reasonable financial outlay. I would consider making an offer on the Parsifals (which are very low priced), give them a try and sell at a small loss if I prefer my Revels. If I prefer the Parsifals the Revels would go. However, besides the money, the logistics involved are substantial so before considering this move I would like to solicit input on the reletive merits of the two speakers, preferable from folks that have heard both. I listen mostly to small acoustic ensembe music - not large orchestral, or electronic rock. My 2 channel system is also integrated into a 5.1 system with Revel B-15 sub, Kef 205c Center and paradigm in wall surrounds. The Revel and Kefs are quite synergistic. I drive the Revels with 200wpc pure class A monoblocks (Jungson JA-200), which should work just fine with the Parsifals as well.

I have auditioned both speakers but on different rooms and electronics. I also listen to small ensembles. I preferred the Parsifal more than the Studios. The Parsifals to my ears, sounded more lush and effortless across the audio bands. Comes closest to E-stat qualities with fast and agile drivers. Lots of details but never sounding harsh nor clinical. Might be more difficult to set up, due to it's rear firing woofer in a small room. I am contemplating to get one too.
The Parsifals currently listed are a steal. If I had the funds I'd be all over them as they have always been a speaker I've wanted to own.
My friend used to have the Sarastro speakers. It was quite a challenge for him to set them up properly due to its rear firing woofers. Once set up right, they sound very nicely. The setup criticality should be similar to the Parsifals. Small room could be even more challenging. So, take note. They are good speakers.
My friend has a pair of Sarastros and had a hard time getting them right in his fairly good sized room, about 15 ft x 22 ft x 12 ft.

It could be due to the fact that the room is on top of the garage, so his floor is very "bouncy". He's worked with several acoustic consultants, even bought these frequency measuring equipments to try to resolve some acoustic issues. One of his biggest challenges was getting the mid-bass and bass to sound right. He's tried different kinds of room treatments, different setups, reversing directions of the listening room, but always run into some issue where a specific frequency disappears or has too much of.

He just bought a pair of Avalon Isis and they seem to be less "interactive" with the room, both from the measurement results and actual listening.

The best setup of the Sarastro I've heard was at the last west coast Stereophile show in L.A. several years ago. They were powered by all Nagra products. I was shopping for a pair of speakers then, and spent quite a bit of time listening to these. You can hear a pair these days at the Denver show in Artemis' room. But the setup sound pretty bad.

My experience in L.A. led me to audition and purchase a pair of the Parsifal Encores. Salons and Studios were on my short list too prior to hearing these. But I thought the Parsifals sounded more refined. I just looked at the pair for sale. The finish is gorgeous! You seldom find a pair with these upgrade finishes.

The Parsifals may not have the scale (the larger Strastos can produce).But I think they sound more coherent than the Strastos, and have more flexibility in terms of setup as you can turn the bass unit to fire forward into the room. I had some lengthy discussion with the designer from Virtual Dynamics two years ago at the Denver show as he was using a pair of Parsifal Ovations in his room and they sounded very nice. He has both the Parsifals and Sarastros, but he told me that he personally preferred the Parsifals for that reason. Also these were designed to sound good even at low volumes. And I can attest to that as I had to turn the volume down listening late at night in the living room.

Few things to note regarding Parsifals if you are seriously considering:

- Regarding set up, Verity suggests setting up the bass unit firing towards the backwall first. I had some bass issue at first. But after putting some diffusers/absorbers behind the speakers, it was fine. So I've not had a chance to try firing the bass unit forward.

- Double check with the seller before you pull the trigger. The ad did not specify which year these were made. Post-2001 version has the newer, more desirable Scanspeak tweeters.

- There are a few worthy and cheap upgrades from Verity worth considering: new jumpers by Discovery cable. I think it costs less than $100 from Verity. Ovation platforms to use between the monitors and the bass units. I think Verity charges like $2-$300 for these. Or get the custom-made ones from Symposium. The Ovation platforms have these sticky pads and they are a pain to remove if you ever decide to pack away the speakers. I have just packed mine away for the house remodeling project. It took some crazy ideas and lots of prayers to pry the monitors off these things. (I slipped an old necktie under and pulled really hard)

- Verity said these are fairly efficient. But I think in order for them to bloom, you need at least 100 to 200 watts. I am driving mine with a Pass X350.5. I tried with my Pass Aleph Os after getting the OK from Verity. But I didn't think the 40 wpc class A from the Aleph was enough.

- I did not like the sound of the supplied brass footers. I had success using BDR #4 cones. Virtual Dynamics suggested to elevate the Parsifals at least a foot above the floor, and I am in agreement. Just haven't figured out how to do it. Virtual Dynamics was having a pair of stands custom-built. But I did not attend the Denver show last year to hear how these sound first hand.

Thanks. This is very helpful.
I am getting S/N from seller to verify tweeter version.

Verity quote for the platform is more like $600 - I will look at the Symposium platforms instead.

Finish is indeed a winner - my sub and center and audio rack are all maple.

I have 200wpc pure class A. Barely enough for the Revels- plenty for the Verity it appears.

I'll probably make an offer and if we can come to an agreement do an in house shootout between the Studios and Parsifals and may the best (to my ears) win. I'll post results here.
Bear in mind that the two speakers have vastly different engineering philosophies behind them. Revel's approach is to build a speaker that adheres to the elements of sound reproduction that have been revealed to most critical in Harman's blind listening tests, whereas Verity seems to build speakers according to their own listening preferences. Of course, only you can decide which approach works for you.
I know the Revels only by audition. They appeared to be a fine example of a straightforward, pretty neutral, extended bandwidth design. Again, limited exposure behind that judgement.

I own Parsifal Encores and would agree with a lot of what's been said here. They are just a touch to the "polite" side of dead neutral, which means they sound great with a lot of pop/rock that's recorded too hot for many "audiophile" loudspeakers. They still sound very, very good with SOTA recordings. The bass takes some trial and error to get right. By design, you'll get some elevation around 40hz, with a pretty rapid roll-off below. These guys definitely need a fair bit of juice to sing, and low power amps (especially SET and OTL) need not apply - as their load can make for some rough sledding.

Overall, IMHO, an excellent speaker of its type.

I just did some citical listening to a pair of Leonores, which I assume have similar sonic signature as the Parsifals. The Parsifal magic is in the midrange - in particular, voice and acoustic solo instruments are more natural sounding. The Revel's create a bigger image, more tight bass and are more in your face. Musicality versus "impact". If you're primary objective is to recreate the ambiance of a Jazz trio in a small club, or a singer with his guitar in a your living room, get the Parsifals, if you want orchestral or large venue ambiance (and HT) get the Revel's. 80% of my listening is the former, so I am leaning towards giving the Veritys a try. Since the asking price has just been raised by $1,000 I'm still a bit hesitant. Will decide soon, partially based on tweeter version in the pair for sale. Just curious if anyone knows how much previously listed Encores (or even an Ovation) have sold for on A'gon?