Salon 2s are very hard to beat.
KEF Reference series have slightly better measurements due to the nature of the coaxial driver leads to uniform dispersion, the sound power/directivity is smoother than the Salon 2s because of the better vertical axis dispersion. But with coaxial drivers you generally trade off the smoother sound power for some mid-range dynamics because the midrange driver in a coaxial is designed for limited excursion (a moving waveguide is not a good thing...). The previous KEF series 207/2 along with Salon 2 were the co-winners the Stereophile products of the year in Class A. While Revel hasn’t refreshed their Ultima lineup since, KEF has come out with the new Reference series.
TAD Reference series are also great and would be an upgrade in a similar vein to the KEFs, although they are much pricier.
I owned the salon 2 and listened to them in several different systems. The fact that the speakers sounded different in every system and during my ownership they were able to show the different recording techniques was pretty impressive. I did find a pair of usher BE-20 DMD's were much more efficient so were an easier load and played louder in my room. There's also less transparent speakers that'll make those old 70's Zep recordings more musical, but better...idk
I really like the Salon 2's and if/when I can do a serious upgrade I think they will probably be my choice. Here are some alternatives I've heard at audio shows that stood out.
Same Ballpark (or cheaper)
Dynaudio Contour 60 ($10K).
Golden Ear Triton 1 ($10k)
Somewhat More Pricey
Rockport Atria II ($26k).
MBL 101E Mk II ($70k)
Sonus Faber Aida ($130k)
Raidho - several models
Borreson - several models
Von Schweikert Ultra 11
Yes, the Salon 2’s have been around a very long time- but they were and remain excellent
I agree with the Usher’s. I bought the Usher x-towers a year ago after auditioning the Revel Salon 2’s. I also like the Usher BE10’s and BE 20’s.
i think the Salon 2’s are a great speaker too.
Besides the Usher or revel’s, I like the $100k Raidho’s.
For me the best choice of speakers are:
-Dynaudio Cont 60
-Focal “Stella-,Utopia -, Scala- Grande
-Marten Coltrane 3
-Audio Acoustics Sapphire
-The best ever,with the most natural sound: Ilumnia Magister.!!!
No :B&W,Sonus Faber , Piega, Wilson.
Are you people for real? Let's hear from more Audiophiles who are down to earth .
They are discontinuing the Dynaudio Excite series. I bought the Excite X18 which are on sale for about half price. For the money, these things are the best deal out there. You can’t find a speaker like those for $1000. Thinking about buying another set, but trying to save for the Paradigm Persona B. Wish they weren’t so expensive.
I heard the Salon IIs at RMAF a few years ago and was underwhelmed. Maybe it was the room or the Levinson electronics but the sound did not match the hype I read.
Not fair given the price differential but I prefer the Vandy 7, Vivid Giya, and TAD Ref by a wide margin.
They are a nice speaker. I liked the Vandersteen Quatro's better and got those instead. Loved the Revel dealer though, lol.
I have a pair of the relatively inexpensive Focal Aria 926's. With faux walnut wrap, $2350. New Focal tweeter, smoother than their last one from what I am told, Flax drivers and glass too. Excellent sounding speakers, very musical and over 90db efficiency. I have a sub, but you almost don't need one with enough amp. I have heard the 936's are a tad better in the low end and I woukd believe it. If I knew that the new Aria line was this giod, Ibwoukd have popped for the 936's. Eithee way you can't go wrong. My favorite speakers in this price range are the Joseph Audio's RMS 25XLs and these are close. JA is pretty pricey nowadays but if you can find some of their older models grab'em. Focal did a great job on this Aria line, alotta speaker for the money.
I personally owned the Revel Salon 2
I truly believed that I found the ultimate speakers ever. A friend at a local audio store came by to help me set them up in the best listening position for my room dynamics.
McIntosh C2600 preamp.
KRELL 302e amplifier
Chord Dave dac
ELAC streamer w/ Roon
of course all the best cables (personal preference)
As we were listening he said he had a pair of speakers that would blow them away musically.
I was like NOOOOOO WAY!!!
In my opinion there was no speaker in that price range that was gonna beat my Revel Salon 2 speakers. No way!!!
I told my friend to prove it. I said to bring these super speakers that were less than half the price to my home for a side by side comparison. We were gonna settle this once and for all.
The next week he showed up with these retro looking speaker (something from my era. The 70’s 😄)
Just one 15" speaker is gonna blow mine away? Hahaha not a chance.
I cant wait to see his face covered in envy as his jaw drops to the floor crying because his fantasy of his speakers destroying mine have failed! MUWAHAHAHA!!!
Well he was right. Trying every source of material and positioning the speakers in many different places. We tried and tried and tried it was as clear as night and day that his speakers blew away my Revel Salon 2 speakers 😭
He was the one with the smile and I was the one with Envy and crying! Lol
Don’t take my word for it take a listen for yourself and you will see what I’m talking about. If you want true musicality and the best sounding speakers for $8,000 a pair then you must give the Tannoy Ardens a listen.
I immediately put my Revel Salon 2 speakers up for sale I bought a pair of these and I have been the happiest I’ve ever been since. I even had enough money left over to buy better cable for my complete system. What a deal and what a find. 😌❤
Yes the Revel Salon 2's are superb speaker--frankly they are far better than they should be--just that Revel speakers have never risen above the ok to very good--
The Salon 2's raise the bar--Kudos
If I was to pitch them with some competition they would be
Tidal Piano Diacera
ProAc Carbon 8's
Vanderstein 5 Carbons
Verity Sarastro II
And I believe the Revels would be up there in that exalted company!
If you are looking for a pair of Ushers I have the BE20Ds with GR Research upgraded crossovers which sound fabulous and will be up for sale as I just got in replacements which cost more than 2x more to beat the Ushers. At <$10K marginally used they are a steal IMO.
I believe the Revels have a low sensitivity which may explain why they sound different in various systems.
Revel Salons were on my short list. First Gen pair came up for sale but the seller convinced me there was something wrong with the deal. The others on my list we're Vander 5's, legacy Aeris, eggleston Andra, basically all 225 pounds speakers. All speakers that should not need a subwoofer. Theoretically there is a big difference between a 12" woofer and 3 x 8" woofers.
So you really wonder which ones deliver in the 20-35hz range.
In my opinion you can't go wrong with any of them.
Then if you want to go down a step to the 100 lbs speakers ya got gershman avante garde, totem wind and maybe green mountain, all good room fillers with respectable bottom given the right room.
@lexicon Wow Im surprised the Tannoy Ardens beat the Salon 2!
@jacksky Legacy aeris interests me, also whisper and above.
I wonder about Magico A3, S3 mk2 also vs salon 2.
The only problem I ever have with teh Legacy's are their tipped up high end. I like the Revels better, but that's my ear. I'm a Vandy owner and don't like a tipped up tweeter. I love the Tidal speakers, but have always heard them in a perfect set up with matching gear and electrical, lol.