About two weeks ago I had a phone conversation with fellow GON member Tedmbrady, who's a great guy with fine taste regarding both music and high end gear, regarding that he had just gotten his new reference speakers, the SP Technology Revelation MR-l MK-lll with the extreme x-over upgrade. These speakers are a 3 driver, wave guide, transmission line loaded, 300 pound design. He was sharing how thrilled he was with their performance knowing that the both the drivers and Mundorf caps in the X-over still had hundreds of hours to go to reach their ultimate peak sonic performance.
Ted also shared that the designer of his new speakers, Bob Smith, along with his factory only lived about 45 minutes away in La Porte, In from my home in Crown Point.
Because of my respect for Ted's ears, I was very curious to hear a pair of the speakers he purchased for his system and met Bob. I called Bob who turned out to be a great down to earth gentleman, and after hearing his speakers, one very talented speaker designer. Bob explained that if I wanted to hear a pair of Revelations he would be through building a pair towards the end of the week and would try to get some hours on them before shipping them out to the buyer, so come over then. He also explained he has no "formal" show room and his electronics are not exactly what you would call "reference level", so to listen to the speakers would be in his factory, not exactly a friendly acoustic environment.
So, I get another audiophile friend Keith and last week we go to the SP Technology factory to meet Bob and listen to the Revelations. Just a brief note, Keith's speakers are Kharma Grand Ceramiques and my speakers are MG-20's, so were are both used to high quality reference speakers.
When we sit down to audition the Revelations, Bob explains that unfortunately because of a family concern he was not able at that point to get any burn-in time either on the speakers or the x-overs. By the way, the X-over was the standard one, not the Extreme upgrade that costs another $3500.00. One final bit of information, which I hope Bob will laugh at and not take personally, is the upstream electronics and wires were not only not "reference Level" but were mediocre at best.
So, Keith and I are listening to a brand new not broken in yet pair of Revelations, in an undamped very large factory environmemt with pretty crappy electronics and yet we heard the following:
1) Electrostatic/planer speed, clarity, microdynamics.
2) A great soundstage with precise layering without sounding etched or in your face. The sweet spot was the entire soundstage, the 3D imaging never collapsed regardless were you sat. Bob explained this was because of his waveform technology.
3)A "jump" factor, in that PRAT of the music gave the illusion of live music, not just ultimate db's but macrodynamics that just sounded real.
4) In spite of the upstream crappy gear the speaker still offered natural timbres on acoustic instruments and music.
Wow! Keith and I kept thinking what the heck these speakers would sound like in a friendly acoustic place with the gear that we love and respect.
My congratulations to Ted on his Revelations, with the extreme upgraded X-overs how much better does this great speaker preform? I have recently listened to some very highly regarded box enclosure speakers, Avalon, Wilson, Salon, B&W, Vanderseen, Thiel and I believe that Mr. Smith's Revelation MR-lMK-lll should be included with these other reference level speakers as far as performance and Bob deserves to be recognized as one of the more talented speaker designers of recent years. If you have any questions regarding Bob's take on speaker designing, build/drivers, or pricing, I suggest you go to his website that would provide you the details you might be looking for, or give him a call and expect a friendly and informative conversation with this brilliant designer and all around good guy.Associated gear Click to view my Virtual System