Revel Ultima Salon 2


How good are the  Revel Ultima Salon 2 Some reveiws say there better than the IRS Betas
jj77
Well they have been out on the market for about ten years and have had countless reviews and demo notes if you look around. 
When I heard a dealer demo they did sound good and very detailed if a little dry. Also bring a big a** amp with lots of current to the party. 
I have listened to them on several occasions. I agree with mofojo. They are very good. Best when paired with a great amp with large transformer, high current and slightly to the warm side of neutral. Think CODA, SimAudio, Pass Labs, Audio Research, Mark Levinson.
I have had them for about 6 years.  Have not felt the need to listen to many others or replace.
[1] Very natural and transparent sound - good "balance" base to treble
[2] a tad (very tad) reticent in the upper mid register of the human voice, but its not a big deal and its a bit room dependent; not a boom box speaker - the bass is musical and goes down to the floor - but it doesn't shake the house either.  It maintains pitch and PRAT which is what I was looking for.
[3] Takes up power - but I am driving it three different amps at times - they all work and sound great (but a tad different) - for large power top to bottom, have some DAC Ultra Cherry Mono (its a 800W PWM amp) - amp is good not great.  Have a Wells Audio Immorata which is a great SS amp (great is not hyperbole - check out Jeff Wells amp!) - this is as good a sound I've heard from traditional speakers using SS without spending the next level up in both amp and speaker $.  But - it really sounds the best with my PrimaLuna Dialogue HP amplifier (very nice tube amp using KT150s to generate around 96W ) for a lot of music outside of very complex and dynamic music.  
[4] Easy to use speakers in that you can walk around the room or house without only sitting in the sweet spot of the room, and still get a reasonable fine and balanced stage, resolution, and tonal balance
[5] Look great
[6] Not really super-duper expensive, but probably gets you 80-90% of the ultra-speakers (at $100,000+) at about 15% of the price...
[7] If you really miss "in your face sound" then go buy some tickets to a live concert with the savings otherwise, for most good sources and very good equipment chain (you probably have to spend $20,000-$30,000 source to amp and cables to equal the speaker).
[8] Not the last word in sound stage, not the last word in macrodynamics, not the last word in very fine resolution - but you probably have to spend more or warp your taste in other areas to do much better in an all arounder sense of the word
[9] If I lost these speakers somehow, I'd still put them on my list to test and predict 50/50 I'd still buy them over the competition at the same level or $ or slightly higher.
Had them for about18 months now. I moved to the Salons from Paradigm Signature 8s. Both speakers use Be for their tweeters and, in listening to both, you can identify the similarity in sound signature. However, the similarity between the two speakers ends at the use of the same element for their tweeters. The Revel presents a top yo bottom integration and refinement in sound. These speakers have to be on spikes or some such support.

For the first week that I had them, I placed the unsupported base on a carpeted surface. I thought that I was hearing a very good low end. Then I spiked the speakers and was treated to what sounded like 'less' bass but also to a refinement in the low signal that really showed why these speakers are so special. These are so insanely articulate.

in the 18 months since acquiring them, I have not fiddled with the boundary controls and the tweeter refinements. One of these days, when I have the time, I'm going to see how those controls change the listener experience.

I pair the Revels with an Ayre VX-5 Twenty. Until a few weeks ago, I had used an Ayre V5xe. The difference is tangible. The VX-5 is far more powerful than the V5xe - not just in the numbers but in the way that the music is presented with urgency. The VX-5 is a highly refined amplifier with bags of power, it facilitated using the Revel's top to bottom seamless deliver and the setting up of a gorgeous soundstage.
I  visited axpona 2018 and got to hear quite a few speakers and I heard nothing that made me want to swap out my Salon's, I suppose in an average size room you could spend less and get comparable sound. I've heard these speakers in 3 different room/systems and they sounded different in each. Mine are driven by a Hegel h360 and I would say they're accurate with excellent imaging, another system drove them with 350w ML monoblocks and that was Impressive, rich, full, warm and articulate if I win the lotto! another system was krell 575 mono's driving them and that system sounded a little light in the midrange, but loaded on the top and bottom. I probably don't need speakers this big for my room but these are addicting and difficult to replace for the money. listening to ten years after 'a space in time' right now and it never sounded better.
Would love to hear Salon 2's, I have Studios. The big issue beside cost over here in Australia, is I don't think any of my music rooms would be big enough. My biggest room's are approx. 16.5 x 13 ft. and 18.5 x 11.5 ft. My Studios comfortably fill these rooms with sound. I would think the Salon's might be just too much for these rooms.

Still really like the Studios, and they are the pick of all my Speakers. Love big Amps which can push out plenty of current. Assume the Salons are a "bigger" sounding version with a similar sonic signature?
A hall of fame speaker imo. 
So how big are the music rooms of the owners of Salon's?
It’s the ones Floyd Toole owns, so that should tell you something. Before reviewing the KEF Blade 2, John Atkinson stated the Salon 2 was his reference speaker.

Room layout/construction does matter as well.

I’d love to hear the Salk SoundScape 12’s in person, they are amazing bang for buck, is a literal full range, and comes in ~100 finish options.  
  
But yeah, those Salk’s and the Blade 2 would be the only competitors I know of.
Inforthemusic,

I just bought new Salon 2’s last night and they are the best speaker I have ever heard or owned. My room is 20x20x12. They have countour switches on back so should prove to be flexible in most rooms.
@telescope_trade  Thank you. I think my rooms are a little small and my Studios comfortably fill the room with sound. However, if I do ever see a pair of Salon's in Oz at a real good price I could be tempted down the track. Sort of curious with my sublime Vincent SP-998 Mono's which cruise on the Studios. Think they would be a match made in heaven with Salon's.
Can anyone tell me the thread size of the salon2's spikes? 
I believe they are 1/2"

I bought the Salon2's to replace my salon1's and have gotten quite a bit of interest since listing them, no buyers yet as shipping is $$$. Nearly every inquiry comes with the question " what did you replace the Salon with"? Then when I tell them they want to know what's different.  Well, last night I put the 1's into the system and sat back to listen. they are still very impressive sounding and musical presenting each song effortlessly and being rear ported I think I was able to get a little more bass into the room, it took a few master recordings before I was able to hear why I replaced them with the 2's and it came down to the space between instruments and singers on the stage where the Salon2's pull away from the originals. It might be as simple as a tower speaker imaging better in my room, but after playing the night they drove ol Dixie down by The Band the 2's made the room disappear. After listening to all the offerings at axpona I think the Salons are still a bargain for the price and they might be the best rock speakers you can get, but the 2's take detail to the next level.
I’m not going to argue with the scores of people who have focused on getting the right amplifier for the Salon2. I’ve been using an Ayre VX-5 Twenty to what I thought was great effect. Two weeks ago, I replaced my Audio Research DAC8 with a PS Audio DirectStream. Holy hell what a difference. Whilst the Directstream has still not been broken in, I’ve experienced a fantastic difference in bass response and in the overall colour palette of all genre of music. I’ll post more as the Dac acclimatizes but, I’ll tell you now, yes, with these speakers, amplifier pairing may be important but the DAC oh, the DAC!
What do you mean by “difference in bass response?”  
Hey guys,

Sorry to resurrect an older post, but curious if any folks have driven the Salon 2s with a Hegel H30 amp (I see Steve59 is driving them with the Hegel H360 integrated, which is a good sign). I'm still months away from buying a new set of speakers (right now using my existing pair of AV123 RS760 Onyx Rockets... which are surprisingly revealing with every system change/upgrade I do). My plan to save $$ is to go the used-route, but of course that comes with limitations on the auditioning side. So I'd like to know if folks have found good synergy with the Hegel H30 amp and Revel 2s. My personal audiophile goals are probably the same as most folks here (I mean, who doesn't love clean bass, articulate, non-fatiguing highs, realistic midrange etc.) but one thing I'm longing for is system that can deliver a front-back 3D holographic soundstage and believable vocals... for me that's how the system "disappears" cognitively/emotionally. Ideally that midrange would have a touch of liquid-lushness to the midrange just to make it a bit seductive... I'd choose that over dry/analytical accuracy if I had to make a choice.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

p.s. cables are Ansuz C2 series (Power/IC/Speaker), DAC is Hegel HD30 and using Aurender N100H music server
My h360 is a terrific match for revels sometimes slightly dry mid range but my Hegel would get a little too warm driving the salon2s. I made an offer for a used h30 because besides my experience others have had great success with a single h30 switched to stereo driving the salon2. I think I would have kept the salons if I would have landed the h30. Axpona a pair was being driven by a couple tiny ice amps impressively. A holm audio room 
Thanks Steve,

When you got rid of the Salon2s what did you replace them with/have now? Do you still have the H360 integrated?

Thanks!

-Dave

p.s. one thing about the Hegel H30 amp (and DAC and Aurender transport) is that it can change sound dramatically based on power conditioning, cables, stillpoints etc. Every time I upgrade a power cord somewhere in the system or improve vibration control (like with the Aurender N100H) the whole system sound changes. And not always just degrees... sometimes in a fundamental way. It makes me wonder what the equipment, and H30 in particular "really sounds like". I honestly had thought the H30 was just not a good imaging amp and was ready to find something else... then a few power cord swaps and BOOM... solid, palpable center image and 3D soundstage. The day I ran dedicated 20amp lines (one for the amp, the other for rest of the gear) was a game-changer as well. I’d love to know what the product designers use when they voice for power conditioning/cables etc.
Selling the salon2 was as much a financial decision as anything. The room I heard them being driven by ml 400wpc monos was the best. I replaced them with the usher be-20dmd a speaker about twice as efficient as the revels and thought I was done building my system until a pair of DSP8000’s came up for a price I couldn’t pass on. I always wanted the big M’s and I like the way they load my room better than all the other speakers. I do still have the h360 but have it listed as a package deal with the ushers on another site. Once the ushers sell I’ll sell the Hegel and upgrade the 8k’s. Or  being a sick audiophile I’ll sell both speakers and buy some  Raidho’s. Love this hobby 
IMO Raidho’s are overpriced. You are basically paying for the cabinet work and something that’s built in Denmark. I don’t think they sound any better than Salk Soundscape or some other high end systems with a RAAL 70-20 tweeter that are a fraction of the price of the Raidhos.

Of course, that's if you pay the "list" price. I see many dealers selling brand new Raidho's at like 35% of MSRP...which tells me everything I need to know.
I've been thinking of the salon 2s as an upgrade from the sig s8 v2 (just as biggarthomas did) but my room size is smallish (12 x 16 x 8 ft). I actually enjoy bass so despite having 4x 7 inch bass drivers on my sig s8 I have also added 2 18 inch PSA V1800 subs. I do wonder if salon 2 will give me better sound in my smaller room.
When I auditioned both the Signature 8s and Salon 2s back in 2011, the Salon 2s were far better (I actually preferred the significantly cheaper Legacy Classics to the Sig 8s, which I thought were way too hot up top).  I ended up getting the Salon 2s then and haven’t even considered anything different.  

If you put them in front of the 12 foot wall and keep them two feet off the sidewalls with a slight toe-in, they should still image quite well if you sit 8 feet away, and at that distance you’ll have enough room behind you to not get suffocated by bass along the back wall.  They have plenty of bass, so you might be able to jettison the subs.

biggarthomas’s advice to spike them is spot on, and I found that using Star Sound’s Apprentice XL’s platforms took them to a whole different level.
I would try the Salons in a 12*16*8 room. The ceilings might be a little too low but I think that the floor area is fine.
Thanks for the great advice guys. I think if I can find some used salon 2s that might be my next upgrade. Well either that or a used scala v2.
You will need a significant amp to get the Salons to sing, think 300 watts with lots of current. Small amps just don’t wake this great speaker up. They seem to love the high power class D stuff so you don’t need to break the bank
I got 2 bryston blocks, 4bsst (with sst2 mobo), should that do it. I believe its 600 watts per channel into 8 ohms in bridges mode.
You know, I wonder whether the idea that the Salons need massive power amps is one of those things that is so often repeated that it is taken to be true? In the Revel Ultima Salon 2 owners manual the manufacturer states that, “a massive power amplifier is not required to drive Revel loudspeakers to reasonable volume levels in large listening spaces.”

I have heard these speakers driven by a 100 wpc amplifier and found that there was absolutely nothing lacking. My own amp, the Ayre Vx-5 Twenty 175 in 8 ohms and 350 into 4 ohms very competently drives the Salons to levels that are impossible to listen to.