Review: Revel Performa M-20 Speaker

Category: Speakers

I bought these after a home audition to ensure they were as neutral as they seemed in-store. They are wonderful speakers and made Stereophiles 2002 "A" list. After going through every other speaker available to me I was very frustrated. The others only excelled in one area; good on female vocals but colored instruments, good for piano but smeered vocals, etc... Then I found the Revels. They do what a speaker is supposed to do: accurately reproduce what is fed them. The M20's do that with ease. They are clear and precise. My wife is amazed every time she hears them. They play everything well. The McCormack amp is a great match with them as the system is musical and not stale sounding as it was with the Adcom GFA-555II amp (which the M20's also revealed the Adcoms' grainy highs). These speakers would satisfy anyone on any budget. They are a great deal here on audiogon as used ones go for around $1200 which is a steal. I picked up the black ash version with stands for $2000.
I have had these speakers for over 6 months and still love them. I have no need to change or upgrade. They are astounding.

Associated gear
Rega Planet cd palyer; Acurus RL-11 pre-amp; McCormach DNA-125 amp; Pioneer 9500 tuner

Similar products
B&W, Linn, Monitor Audio, NHT.
I, too, own these speakers and love them equally. If you are using their (Revel) stands, you may not realize what a deleterious affect they are having on your sound. If you want more information (I believe I spoke to you awhile back) email me. If you think they sound great now, WAIT. In the speaker stand game, we just don't realize what's happening until we know what's happening.
I love em. They are best bang for the buck on the market. I did add a sub for the bass.
I bought a pair of the M-20's a little over a month ago. They replaced my 12+ year old pair of Klipsch Forte II's. What a difference! I can now listen to my favorites at serious volumes without being fatigued. Clean, clear and neutral. After a short break in the bass response improved noticeably. Rarley even have my sub on, except for movies. Great product.
I owned these speakers for awhile and elected to sell them. I must say they have a beautiful mid-range (when beautiful mid-range exists on the recording), and I really appreciate their flat impedance across the frequency spectrum (I have a Pass Aleph's very sensitive to this)..
they simply were too polite and..."buttoned down"..for my taste. I certainly agree with the comments above, ..they don't fatigue, you hear a wealth of detail, and everything sounds great on them...but that's exactly what started to bother me about them.. They lacked that last bit of snare drum crack, and finger-plucked guitar.. The notes were perfect, but "she lacks passion" as my old bandmates would say.. Maybe it's my components and maybe it's my listening room, but they just didn't give me that last bit of musical thrill...
Please understand, this isnot to disagree with the other comments (they are wonderful speakers), but a difference of opinion can be helpful for those who are making speaker decisions..
Incidentally, my system is: Michell Gyrodec SE (Dynavector X-20-H and Rega RB600 arm), Wright phono, Pioneer DVD transport, Goldmund Job DAC, (Don Garber's) Y preamp, Pass Aleph 3...and (now) JM Reynaud Trente speakers..
Hey Jeff, that's what makes the world go round. Enjoy those Reynauds. peace, warren
I also own the M20. I power them with Plinius (digital source is the Meridian 508.24). Both IC and speaker cables are the astonishing Yamamura Millennium 6000 (the IC was re-terminated with the Eichmann Silver Bullets). The power cords are Acoustic Zen Krakatoa and the amazing German Physiks Pion and I use a local made unbranded power conditioner (the best I've tried)

The M20 are simply amazing. they are exceedingly clean and neutral ... but, unless other "precise" speakers they never sound dry, sterile or lacking emotion. After auditioning every speaker that was available on the market where I live (Portugal), and the choice was really a no-brainer :o)

I listen mainly to classical music and acustic Jazz. The precision of the speaker in terms on pitch and timing just make every musical phrase sound a lot more clearer, and - YES! - musical. They simply show a tremendous respect for the music ...


I use the stands from Revel (with adhesive cork sheet on the top-plate). Which stands are you using? I would be interested in trying something else ...

Vermeer, read my review on the Sistrum Mini Monitor Platform System. Unbelievable. Those Revel stands are not happening. peace, warren
I knew Warren would weigh in on the stands from sistrum. Actually he is right about them. You will find a rather pleasant improvement in sound using these. Warren Your Ghandi approach to the threads is interesting but not as exciting as the old rapier tongued days.
A little sword play now and again to stir the old life forces is very nice! Oh! back to reality. Sistrum will make it all dynamically coherent! They are a component increase of quality..Tom
It's, still, there. 'tis summer and the ocean calms....peace, warren
It's been a while since this thread has been active, but I would like to agree with the concensus on the fine quality of sound that these speakers produce. I searched through dozens of high-end bookshelf speakers over a period of months, and these were the best. Now that I've owned them for six months, I am still thoroughly enjoying them.

I would like to know what stands people are using. In particular, warrenh said that he put together some stands. What stands did you use, warrenh?
Click on "system" on warrenh. You can also read my review of the Sistrum Mini Monitor platforms. Then go to to be set free. Robert be da man over there. peace, warren
I am trying to decide. Both sound great at each dealer however, I cannot compare them together(different dealers).
Paradigm seems to be more speaker (more drivers and size) for the money. M-20's seem to sound at least as good?
Any opinions?
Why would you care what we think? It's your tympanics that know the deal. It's your show. You got one high class problem there, Alec. I would go with Harmonic Precisions' Caravelles. I am waiting on delivery of mine. Should be at the end of the week. Not even comparable to the M20s. Maybe the Revel Gems, nah, better. Killer monitors. You're going to be hearing lots about these babies. Sold by M20s a little too soon. Going through the sterophonic DTs. peace, warren
It's been 2 years and after several other speakers in house, the Revel's remain. I would like a full range speaker but, nothing has come close to the M20's. If I had $4500 laying around, I'd jump on a pair of F50's.
John if you had $4500 around, jump on the Caravelles. Phase coherence to die for. And that's just the beginning. peace, warren