Revel vs. Aerial vs. B&W

I am looking at upgrading my KEF Ref 3's and am considering Aerial's new 20T. Has anyone heard them? I have heard the B&W Nautilus 802's and think they are great - especially for the money. A friend of mine said I should consider the Revel Studios. I have never heard those. Feedback on them would be appreciated. I am using a Krell 3250/Lexicon MC12, FYI. Thanks!
I've heard very little about the 20t's but they look quite good.

As a very happy owner of the 10T's with the Santos Rosewood finish, I would give serious consideration to the 20T's.

Aerial's fit'n finish is always second to none.

How much are the 20T's going for? Last I heard, it was about $15k.
The 20T lists for $20-$22K, depending on the finish. I haven't heard it, so my dilemma is that the B&W N802's sound great for $8K list, so can the 20T's sound THAT much better to justify the price?
In the event you're near the East coast Mr. Kelly of Aerial is giving a demo of the 20t's in Raleigh, NC at the end of June at Audioadvice. (I just received a mailer; not involved personally...)
I wish I had your dilemma!
I won't be in Raleigh then, but perhaps Mr. Kelly's roadshow will wind its way up to the Motor City. I would love to hear them.
In my opinion, Revel Studios are a significantly nicer speaker than B&W 802's. I say this while being a B&W owner. I was close to buying 802's until the dealer connected the same system to Revel Studios. In my opinion, there is no comparison, and for me , no looking back. The source system consisted of a Mark Levinson #335 amp, ML 380s preamp, and ML CD player. I listened to both speakers.....each through the same source components. The Revels imaged better, created nicer soundstage, had smoother and more controlled bass, all with similar midrange character to the B&W sound. They are a little less efficient however, and might require a little more amplifier power......although I also listened to the Revels with a ML 383 (100wpc a 8 ohms), which played them as loud as I would ever care to listen without any strain. Revels are 88db @ 1 watt/ 1 meter. 802's I believe are 91 db.
As for the Aerials, I have not heard them and cannot say.

Good luck in the search.
Thanks for the feedback on Revel. I think it will probably end up being a face-off between Revel and Aerial.

What is your new speaker now? and how do you like it?

Just last week, I had extensive listening sessions on Revel Studio vs N801. The Revel provides stringer mid-bass/slam and the top is smooth. Cello sounds good here. The N801 has superior midrange and deep bass. Human voice and high frequency percussions sounds better and more transparent.
I pick N801 because after 4 hours of back-to-back; The N801 does have lower distortion to your ears.

I listened to Aerial 10T powered by Classe on another dealer. It is nice on smaller room but it does not compare to N801.
I would consider the Revel Salon's before the Studio's. The Studio's are not coherent from about 2khz up. I've not heard that problem with the Salon's. Soundstage depth is excellent with Revel's but the Revel Salon and especially the Studio's sound a little polite for my tastes.

I've not heard the Aerial 20T's but the other Aerial's I have heard are overly warm with loose bass. Getting good bass control from the Aerial's will require brute amplification.
Above 2.2KHz, the Salon and Studio are identical, afaik.
I own the N802s, and extensively listened to them, relative to the AA 10Ts. To me, the N802s sounded more coherent (smoothness across the lows to highs): also, I liked the looks.)

The Studios are more comparative to the N802s: the Salons are in no-man's price-land; I really like the sound, but felt that the amp requirements simply added to the overall system cost.

I ended up with a pair of Sonus Faber Amati's. My wife was giving me a ton of grief about the prospects of any of the speakers I was considering. She saw a picture of the Amati's and found that speaker beautiful. And how!!! I really like the Amati's all the way around. Sonically, I believe that either Revel would have been very good. Sometimes in a marriage you just have to pick your battles and this was not one of those times(spare the wimp accusations please) :)
I bought the Studios over the B&W 801s. Much better midrange and imaging. (Bass on the 801s is hard to beat.)

Never heard the Aerials.
The bass on the 800 is superb. I expect to audition the 20Ts next week.
kr4...keep us posted on the Aerial 20's.....!!
I owned a pair of B&W 802's for years. I think at the price of the Matrix Series 3 they were and still remain a bargain in the high end audio biz. I have listened extensively to the Nautilas 802s and feel the "New" price is not justified. I now own Revel Studios and feel these are the best dynamic loudspeakers on the market at this price. Great combo of characteristics - Very detailed, not etched or harsh, extremely musical, accurate tonally, fabulous sound stage, with the right speaker cable and electronics, they will disappear and really make a holographic image. Be aware, they do like power. I would not run them with less than 100 watts / channel and they really need better than average speaker cable. I have heard them with many cables - my picks are Transparent Ultra or MIT 750 Magnum or better. I have attended many audio shows and have listened to many systems so I think my opinion counts here. I have heard the Aerial 10T's often with a variety of electronics. Excellent speakers also. I still chose the Revels. I think the Revels or the Aerial 10t's are real "keepers." The B&W's not necessarilly keepers. Why? They update the line every 3 years like clockwork and devalue the previous generation. Revel has not offered an updated version of their original line and Aerial rarely does so. When you build it right the first time, it sticks.
I think Acolcer made the right decision. I personally have owned 802N, Revel Studio, Wilson 5.1, and many other $10K+ speakers before. My all time favorite is still the Dynaudio, but they can be a challenge for some amplifiers and I like to have options to run tubes when I want. I have also heard Alon Exotica which uses the Raven ribbon tweeter, I found Raven to be some what bright and not able to mate to midrange cone too smoothly, almost like any Martin Logan where you can hear the panel & bass, not one speaker.

Amati are smooth and musical. Revel gets harden and I sometimes hear crossover point as well. 802N is very nice, but does not have that ulitmate refinement. Wilson is so bright I sold them in a month. I also owned SF Cremona for a while, it's beautiful to look at but not as competitive as Dyn Contour 3.3 for the same price. For $20k retail, I think any speakers should sound and look beautiful at the same time. I don't think anyone will fork over the asking price of a Ferrari if it looks like Pontiac regardless the performance.

Enjoy the music.
The 20t is worth every penny , i own the rosewood and have been listen about two months and they only get better,plus they are wife friendly with the wood finish which is nicer then any furniture in the house . The ribbon tweeter is the huge.
Progolf, that's it? How about a little more detail? And if you have any experience with the 10T's, how would you compare the 10T to the 20T? And what components are you driving?

You cannot compare the 20t's to the Revel studios the 20t's blow the revels away the revels are nice but they are not as good as the aerial 9's the mid range in the 9's are far more superier. The 20t's are the best speakers i have ever heard i will own a pair one day!
Eifel Tower, compared to mayonaise, compared to a cardigan sweater. Could they beee, any different?
Chandler Bing
imo, no aerial speaker system will blow away a revel studio or salon speaker system! i grant you, the 20t sounds much better than the 10t (i like the smaller woofers in the 20t, tighter bass than the 10t, even the model 9 sounds better than the 10t). if you are auditioning speaker systems in the $20,000+ category, you ought to listen to the Joseph Pearl's, and the wilson watt puppy's along with the Revel's.
Aerial are much better than the Revels!
I have auditioned a pair of Revel Salon's directly with Aerial 20T's at my home side by side.

The Revel's from the very top octave all the way down the the lowest octave are superior. Especially their midrange transducer. Revel's imaging is rock solid and never wanders and its due to the fact that the crossover boards,components and drivers themselves are of a much higher grade than the Aerials. The bass on the Salon's is also untouched by the 802's or the 20T's. Each bass cabinet of the Salon consists of 3 8" drivers and a single 6.5" vs. just a pair of drivers for the 20T's or 802's. The Salon's are known to have the absolute best bass of any speaker at any pricepoint. Add this to the fact that you can contour the fz response at 50hz 4db to help match room placement too which is also a valuable tool. But the true heart of the Salon is its 4" titanium midrange driver and anodized 1.1" custom Scanspeak tweeter. Both integrate seamlessly and are perfectly flat in response for the best midrange I have ever heard. Alot of people compare Salon's with the best Ribbon/planer speakers made. Aerial's arent even in the same class. Even the cabinet and finish of the Salon(or Studio)is a step up from B&W and Aerial. The integration of the grills,automotive quality finish, the hardened anodized hex nuts, the port,the compressed sandwich style side panels(which play a huge key to why there is almost no resonation from the cabinet)etc all add to the Revel's classy appearance.

The 20T's are nice, but in every regard they are a step down from Revel's. B&W 800's would be a better comparison against a Revel Salon or Studio speaker.

Oh, yes, I am a proud owner of a pair of Revel Salon's now BTW after having 2 of the 3 speakers auditioned directly in my home last August. I must also mention too that if your looking for Salon performance, the Studio has 99% of it. I used to have a pair of these too that were at my house when I sold audio gear a few years back. Stunning speakers, same exact build quality/finish etc.
i would defintely own a pair if i thought they sounded as good but the studio's i heard where no where near the aerial 9's much less the 20t's!! Revel is what i was going to buy; studios or salons, but i ended up getting the aerial 9's! I heard the studio's on classe' omega mono's they did not sound that good. The 20t's just blew me away they sounded so good the music just floats threw the air.
Ritteri "and are perfectly flat". Yea like some girls I know. How boring.
(Just teasing R-man)
Worldcat: You heard Studio's on Classe amplification, yet you own Theta equipment. Whats the point of the audition if your not doing direct AB comparisons with your OWN equipment? Kind of useless if you ask me. Most quality retailers will let you take the products home to do auditions on your own equipment in your OWN room for a true evaluation of what the sound entails. Doing an audition at a dealership in their setup is such a waste and is completely useless to the consumer(exept maybe aesthetics)Especially using foreign equipment on the rest of the audio chain.

Where did you hear them? How were they set up? Were levels set properly to do a proper comparison.After you answer these questions, realize they are still pointless to some degree. Room boundaries(size etc) alone can greatly alter sound quality.If you didnt do the audition in your home, then you really didnt audition them to begin with. You sure you didnt let the salesman talk you into what "sounded" best? Cardas,Aerial and Theta products(which I see you own)have rediculous markup, higher than most. I used to love selling Aerial speakers(and Wilson Audio)with their 60 point hike.
A flat speaker would be "boring" Cdc, but having a flat midrange is pretty crucial to picking up alot of musical nuances. Highs should be rolled off and the bass should be boosted a bit for our ears to percieve a natural response curve. But dips or peaks of 3db or greater in the midrange just inst acceptable and most Aerial products have one or two good sized dips where there shouldnt be any. But what do you expect when they use drivers that are better suited for midbass than midrange.
Thats right. Nothing beats Revel speakers, we know, we know.
Hi Ritteri,

I own Revel studios and was curious what the dealer mark-up is? Any idea what it is on B + W?


J: Markup on Revel's were 50 points. B&W's were also 50 points(but I know they have some independant deals where a retailer is moving ALOT of their product, they will get an even better deal or incentives of some kind) as is most companies. But a few mfg's like Aerial and Wilson go as high as 60-65 points. Basically the lowest markup you will find on a Speaker is 50 points.

Boston Acoustics had a deal with Tweeter where markup was as high as 70 points on certain products when I was working there awhile back. Employees were able to get accomadation cost at 75% off retail.
My $.02:

Open up your search. There are a lot of good speakers out there in your price range, so I'd test as many of the following speakers as I could:

Vandersteen - 5A
Avalon - Eidalon
Von Schweikert - vr7
Burmester - B99
Avantegarde - Duo
GMA - C-3
Verity - Parcifal
SoundLab - M-1
Joseph Audio - Pearl
Meadowlark - Blue Heron 2
Talon - Firebird or Khorus
VMPS - Elixir
Dali - Megaline or Euphonia
Fischer & Fischer - SL 1000
Gryphon Audio - Cantata
German Physiks - Loreley
Donald North Audio - Sequence

Happy shopping and let us know what you decide on.

But what about flat women?????? That's the more interesting question.
Are you guys kidding me.. You are arguing about Aerial VS Revel.. Give me a break. They are both really good and simply said, You like Brunette and I like Blonde.. Let's not start with Aerials Quality.. There is not a speaker for Sale in the US with as much cabinet development as Aerial has put in. Many years to design the 20T. The fact is the Revel's Salon's and the Aerial 9's and 20T's rock very well. They are both awesome and considering I sold both of you guys your speakers, I can mediate this.. In the same room with the same amps, I bet Ritteri would take the Salon's and Worldcat would take the Aerial's. That's what life is all about. You both got killer deals and just enjoy and stop this, It's bad for Both companies.

Now onto one more item of concern.
Ritteri - You seem to have connections for Aerial way above anyone including Mike Kelly who makes this stuff. Now why would you say this? Aerial's Margins are 10-15% less than Revel and it's alwyas been this way. That goes for every dealer in the US.. Don't say things about 50-60+ points when you don't know, This really hurts people's understanding of high value product. You also mention that you used to sell them ????? Are you Serious ?? If so , Please let me know how to buy them at 50 or 60 as you say and I will gladly pay you
10,000.00 Cash..

Let's all play nice..

I really value you guys very much and I really appreciate your business very much and you both know that I will do anything to help you if I can..

Happy Holidays
Craig: I will politely decline comment here. But be aware that "worldcat" has put evaluation on speakers I dont even think he ever physically heard in proper perspecitve(if at all even) in another thread, epsecially if he bought em from you(for obvious reasons). But to put it all in perspective, let the "children" rant about their high priced "toys". Ill end it on that note.
Avalon Ascendent for 8K, Avalon Opus for 14K - both are better than the Aerials or Revels. If you value accuracy and musicality, Avalon's are the way to go.
Ritteri, as Xtremefun pointed out, you've made some pretty outlandish comments in your postings above (and in other threads) that really bring into question your character.

To then respond to Craig (who seems to know you pretty well) with your 'politely decline to comment here', and then taking one more swipe at Worldcat, and 'end it on that note.' certainly does not help your case.

Might I suggest you either defend your previous statements or apologize for telling untruths?

Stehno: Sure, its a garentee that Worldcat bought speakers and gear without truely auditioning them to begin with or even having and makes obvious comments that point towards that, and Craig doesnt keep any stock on hand for auditioning either. Worldcat basically bought what Craig has acess to(Theta,Cardas,Aerial are his main brands that he pushes)without actually ever even hearing how the gear sounds together first. Even Worldcats own statments show the fact that what he may have heard was done with completely foreign equipment with unknown room accoustics. Most true "audiophiles" I know of at least listen to gear in their own environment with their own equipment to see how the gear interacts with each other. When I picked up my Salons from Craig, I did so already having many Revel products on loan at one time or another and knew exactly what I wanted. My biggest question was whether or not I should blow my budget on a pair of stand alone Revel Salon's or a pair of Revel Studio's with a pair of B15 subs. As for speaker markup. I could very easily dig up some old dealer cost sheets from companies like Wilson Audio,Revel,Aerial,Vandersteen,ML etc scan them into my computer and post them here on Agon, but I would piss off alot of people up here in the NE area from which I still have alot of great contacts. Im not willing to jeopardize that and step on people's toes currently.

This thread was dead for over a month, so why are these responses poping up now Craig? You know Ive recommended alot of folks towards you. You treated me right, if you have common customers who want to debate or whatnot let em. Its not something important enough to make comments that you feel needed to be justified in all reality.

Anyway, Merry Xmas
Ritteri you don't really know what your talking about! You have some head problem!
I guess ARagon makes the best amps too!!
Just what we need, A fight over who's speakers are better..

Stop this nonsense..

Worldcat, Please don't make remarks to Ritteri and Vice Versa.. You guys both own incredible fantastic gear and who really cares if one sounds 5-10% better than the other. That would of course be up to the ears that were listening.

Ritteri, What I was concerned about was your comments about 60% discounts and when you were selling. Please elaborate or just let everyone know that you were playing around. I would not want the people of these forums to think that there are margins that don't exist. It makes it harder for dealers to Survive.

Thanks very much and everyone have a great holiday..

Craig: Margins from 40-60 points is real world markup in this industry you and me both know it. Electronics range in the 40-45 point range.Speakers and cabling in the 45-65 point range. One example is Wadia. Average dealer markup is 40 points with them. Might as well give a few more example's. Later on Ill break out all my old dealer price sheets(which I just came across from cleaining out my attic) from 96'-01' and start scanning them into the computer since people here cant take a hint.......

Revel: Average dealer markup is 50 points, select dealers that carry other Madrigal products have even higher markup margin. Revel cranked up their "suggested retail pricing" but did so while minimizing dealer cost increase. In fact some dealers didnt even incur a cost increase on their part.

Transparant cable: 55-65 point markup

B&K 40 points

Sony:35-60 points depending on how many millions of units you sell of theirs and the ability to show the sales reps where the best escort services are located.

Phoenix Gold cabling: 55-65 point markup

MIT: 45 point markup

Rotel: 40 point markup.

Wilson Audio: Range from 50-60 points depending on sales volume and how much ass kissing you can accomplish with their sales reps.

Adcom: 40 point markup

Parasound: 40 point markup

Paradigm: 50-60 point markup volume dependant.

B&W: 50 point markup

Worldcat: At least I can honestly say that I physically "heard" the speaker I bought before I stated my opinion on its sound Q ability. Thats something you cant do. And at least 2 people here know that to be a fact.
Having listened to them all, I suggest you go give a long listen to the Vandersteen 3A Sigs. and Model 5. You may be shocked at what you can get for the cost of the 3A Sigs. The Model 5s are simply awesome.

Good luck!
Gosh, this thread is amazing. I'm in disbelief at this chatter. Constructive info or leave please. I think we all know )or have a good idea) about points/lines/markups/dealercosts/accomodations costs stc. That's whay virtually all of us at one time or another frequent audiogon. But we don't frequent it to be voyuers in a cat - fight.
Meow......... LOL!