Review: S P Technology Revelation MR-l MK lll Speaker

Category: Speakers

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
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Great read Teajay. Bob is a modest man with a brilliant mind for designing loudspeakers. I'm running a pair of Continuum 2.5 III's with the standard crossover and they are fantastic. In my room, they have easily trumped a pair of "statement" speakers I had recently. I hope more listeners get exposed to Bob and SP Tech. Happy listening.
That's great, Teajay. They must be pretty good if Tedmbrady moved to them from the Ridge Street Sason Ltd. speakers. It wasn't too long ago that Ted was raving about those Sasons.
Great review Teajay,

I heard the same speakers you mentioned, plus my recent audition with the Revelations echoes yours.

I spent an entire afternoon at Teds house with his friend Robert a couple weeks ago.

What I heard was like a "gigantic tidal wave" of unfettered sound.

My next speakers became a pretty clear choice.

Bob at SP Tech is awesome.

Thanks again Ted !
Nice review man!! Since we've spoken numerous times since your SP Tech visit I felt like I'd already responded to this, then realized I hadn't!! Duh!

Pat and Teajay, thanks for the nice compliments. I'm really enjoying the now-broken-in Revelations. Those grenade-sized Mundorf caps required a good 600 hours, and that time did wonders for the speaker surrounds, etc too. I can't imagine what they must have sounded like in the warehouse because even the first 100 hours of them in my room were nothing compared to their sound currently.

The real unique aspect of the Revelations (and as I understand it, all of Bob's designs) is the magical combination of planar speed with transmission line dynamics and power. They produce micro and macrodetails, and a wave of air, that fools you into thinking the event is happening within the room. Even the subtle cues seems to move air and I guess that's what the brain needs to approximate live sound.

Sherod, the Sasons disappear like no other large monitor I've ever heard. I have only moved, in my HT/music room, to Bob's design due to the room interactions with the Sasons. They just couldn't quite get the bass response right, and it is not their fault. I didn't have them in the perfect Sason placement due to my bigscreen HT side wall viewing needs. The Sasons will find a home in my secondary 2 channel room, most likely.

I am going to complete the HT/music room setup with three addtl SP Tech speakers, a center channel Ultimate Mundorf Continuum AD, and two Intermediate Mundorf Continuum AD's for my dedicated music surrounds. All three will have external crossovers like their big brothers, the Revelations.

Teajay, you need to get Bob to bring a pair to the house. Combined with that Acustic Arts DAC, the Flora and those Pass amps.....WOW!!!!
Thanks for the review Teajay and also for answering my question on the Vonwaffen review. I read on audiocircle that the capacitors alone in the Extreme crossover weigh about 40 pounds. Is that true? I hope to audition this speaker some day. SP Technology needs to be heard before making a decision if a guy is thinking of changing speakers. Thanks for taking the time to post your comments and answer questions.
Saygrr, you are correct the Extreme X-overs are hugh external boxes that weigh over 40 pounds and are loaded with Mundorf caps. I have had the pleasure of living with MG-20's for over ten years and listening to many famous speakers that retail up to $140000.00, and I believe Bob's speakers sonicly are as good, if not better in key sonic areas then these much more expensive brands, for alot less money.
I have the Xtreme Mundorf crossover'd Revelatuons; the first Bob delivered. I have pics of the crossover boxes (with glass tops) on my gallery on Audio Circle. They are massive, yes.

Teajay, I'm sure you'll agree when I say that Bob has figured out a way to bring this great sound to all of his designs, not just the big Revelations. The TP minis, Timepieces, Continuum AD's and Continuum 2.5's all benefit from his waveguide and attention to details. The real differences end up being lf extension, but of course the trade off is minimonitor imaging as you get larger.

Thanks for keeping Bob's designs on the radar. He's advertising here now, in no small part thanks to the kudos he's getting from reviews like this.
Thanks Teajay. Tedmbrady I will look for your photos on Audio circle. I would like to see more phoptos of this speaker. I called the number that is on the manufactors list for SP Tech. but it is wrong. The co. it belongs to have been getting calls for SP Tech. Will try to make the gon aware of this. Do either of you know SP Tech'. number?
Saygrr, SP's and Bob's number is 219 393-1116.
Great review, Teajay. My 2-cents comes a bit late, but I just noticed Ted's link to your review on Audio Circle.

FWIW, I've heard the standard crossover Revelations with better supporting electronics and wire (ironically enough, with Ted in Denver), and yes, the improvements realized were what one should expect from a speaker so open and revealing.

I've heard a lot of speakers, too, the largest and most expensive being the massive 4-speaker Alon system in a dedicated room. Nevertheless, when paired with supporting equipment of commensurate quality, the Revelations are unsurpassed in my experience. Their speed, accuracy, musicality and dynamics are the stuff of audio legend IMHO.

Ted has an amazing system, one that will be extended on Friday with the arrival of his center channel and surround speakers. I spoke with Bob a couple of days ago, and I think he may be as anxious to hear the completed system as Ted!
Got my three addtl Continuum AD's yesterday, to go along with my Revelations. Bob and Jason made the 5 hr trip to my house, and left to hed back at 3am!! Pics are on the Sp Tech and HT thread over on Audio Circle, or in my gallery there.
I have just recently received my SP Tech Revelations and have to concur with the above reviewers, who praise these speakers as being distinct, unusually open, revealing, dynamic, and, most importantly for my purposes, they fill my 5,000 cubic ft room with ease. My prior speakers were Kharma Reference FE 3.2s, which I sold because they could not fill the room without straining. Unfortunately, I have to have them close to the front wall (17"), so need to work on room treatments to get them to image as well as they obviously can. But they are superlative in every other respect, even straight out of the box: timbre, coherence, the sense of live music are all spot on.
When they are broken in and the room is better damped, I will report in full.
System: Atma-Sphere MP-1, EMM SACD, DCC2, Sota IV, EAR 324, OL Illustrious arm, Shelter 901, Gabriel Gold Revelation i/cs, AZ Double Barrel s/c
Congratulations on the arrival of your Revelations Springbok10. Looking forward to your future reports. Enjoy!!
I'm gonna be helping Bob Smith and company represent SP Tech at RMAF this year. I'm not an employee, just a completely bowled over dedicated customer, and it's a pleasure to help Bob and team get their Revelations and Minis over to RMAF. We'll be in Mike Garner 's TweekGeek Room 1004 (Marriott tower) and will be driving the Revs with a Modwright LS 36.5 preamp and a pair of monoblock Spectron Musician III Mark 2's. All cabling will be via the incredible Tesla series by Synergistic Research. I am priviledged to bring a little credibility in that I own ALL this same gear in my set-up (I have the dual mono two box 36.5 LS/PS).

C'mon up to 1004 if you are in the area.