The 7.2 is a great speaker. It does alot of things very well, but with a couple of short-comings that are very expensive to solve. The Revel would probably be more of a lateral move, and you might lose that imaging capability. I came to the realization that one needs to spend significant money to clearly trump the 7.2. Think Avalon, Wilson, Magico, Rockport, etc. These are all very different speaker philosophies, so you need to listen to some.
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Interesting thoughts, folks. Moving to Salon 2 is a lateral move? Very possible. I am going to audition it this weekend and will report my thought and experience.
I do like my 7.2 a lot. It is very revealing. After upgrading to a new phono stage, now it really sounds fabulous.
But you know how it is as an audiophile who mostly like to experience new components. So many great reviews and awards (like Cost-no-object Speaker of the Year)get me interested.
I owned Salon1 and will buy the Thiel CS 3.7 next. I liked the Thiel CS 3.7 much better than the Salon1 except in the lower frequenies. However, overall I liked the Thiel CS 3.7 better. I have not heard the 7.2 but from what I understand the 3.7 is the successor to the 7.2.
To me the music sounded more coherent and exciting on the Thiel. This was maybe a function of my musical tastes. I like music like Rush, Clash, Zep. These guys sounded more exciting on the Thiel's.
I must also mention that I had 5 great years for musical enjoyment with the Salon1 and I had no desire to change. But circumstance forced me to sell them and go speaker hunting again. It turned out for me that the grass was greener with the Thiel CS3.7.
Just a thought, I you're itching to upgrade and you like what you have, have you thought about working on reducing your AC line noise, reducing your noise floor?
This was suggested to me and it's been one of the biggest upgrades I've done: http://www.surplussales.com/transformers/IsolationXmers-3.html
A 5 kVA .0005 pF Isolation Transformer will reduce your line noise and noise floor 146 db.
>>>I am going to audition it this weekend
I sure hope your audition can be at home! I've heard the 7.2 and the Studio (original) and would certainly rate the Thiel as better (among the best I've heard). BUT, it wasn't a fair comparison as the speakers were in different rooms, with different electronics, and with different care in set-up. The Salon2s are supposed to be very, very good but I don't know how well you can compare unless they're plunked into your room. Good luck.
The CS5 trumps the CS7 easily. The image density is better, the clarity about the same.
If one could simply go in to the cross over and replace the air core inductors with really high quality ones for the 5's they might very well be one of the best ever loudspeakers created. Certainly, in Rosewood, they are ever so beautiful.
The CS3.7 is a very good speaker system. Although I didn't listen to it at home, I do think it has better mid-range than the 7.2. The highs are close. But the 7.2 obviously digs deeper on the bass and also more dynamic. I guess this is the advantage of big speakers. That said, the CS3.7 is still great.
I am using the Lamm M2.2 with the CS7.2.
I auditioned the Salon 2 this evening. I wish I could borrow them for home audition, but the dealer won't let me hual such big speakers home for listening.
They used a pair of CJ LP140M monoblocks, CJ ACT 2 Series 2, SME 10, SME v, and Benz Ebony H, Transparent Reference with MM speaker cable, Ayre phono stage, and Synergistic Research interconnects.
The Salon 2 is indeed very good sounding. Very smooth highs, rich midrange, strong deep bass, big soundstage, very dynamic and detailed. However, the mid bass area could be a bit boomy. The dealer said it was the room that caused the boominess. He then swapped out the CJ and put in a Spectral DMA 250. The boominess lessened but I think it was due to Spectral sounding a bit lean and the boominess was not very prominent. I think that was the room problem.
I was quite impressed with the Salon 2 performance. I don't think it will blow away the 7.2, but I do think its highs is a bit better than the Thiel, and also it is more dynamic. So upgrading to the Salon 2 would yield incremental benefit IMHO. Is it worth it? That is another story. I am thinking about the upgrade seriously. No decision at this point. Now I know why the Salon 2 has gotten many awards and great reviews.
With the new phono stage I just brought, my system including the 7.2 sounds fabulous. The 7.2 is actually a classic speaker IMHO. With classical music, the 7.2 can sound a bit stressed on the highs at the loudest peak. I heard better highs on other high end speakers. But its high is still very good.
The Salon2 is also coherent and has very good imaging. The 7.2 is indeed very good at providing precise imaging. With the new phono stage, the soundstage with the 7.2 is huge (wall to wall and front to back). At the dealer, the Salon2 had wide stage but the depth was a bit shallow. It could be due to how it was set up. I really wish I had the Salon2 to try at home.
One thing I can say. If my 7.2 breaks today, I will go get the Salon2.
You might consider changing the amp out to something like a Krell FPB 400cx, 450mcx, 700cx, or 750mcx to get the most out of those speakers; simply: they need current. These amps will get more out of your speakers than the Lamm.
Levinson, McCormick, Pass and Rowland also are candidate designs; just be sure the amp doubles power into halved loads at least down to 2 Ohms.
Also, I guarantee that if you move away from Thiel, you will eventually miss them and move back. Mark my words, I speak from experience. Once their time and phase coherence gets into you, no other design will suffice.
My Lamm M2.2 is very powerful. I am using its 4-ohm tap and it drives the 7.2 successfully. I don't think it was the amp. I do think the 7.2's high is not as dynamic as its bass. Reviewers already pointed that out. It really doesn't bother me much though. I am just thinking the newer technology and the new beryllium tweeter may improve upon the Thiel.
I may just get the Salon2 and do my own review and keep the one I like with my current setup.
If you are really considering a pair of Salon 2s and your dealer will not arrange for an in-home audition, then send him packing. Would you sit in an automobile and coast it around a parking lot then say "$80,000.00, I'll take it!" ? What the heck happened to service and dedication to the customer? I guess your dealer either has too much money or not enough people and service skills to understand how he can gain your commerce for life with the right kind of in home demo. Assuming that you would in-fact BE a loyal customer after getting exemplary service.
I can honestly say I would be apalled at any retailer who would not allow in home trials on ANY $20,000.00 + item. Shame on them.
IMO, a dealer is not obligated to bring a heavy piece of equipment for home demo. Speakers are fragile and one risks damaging them with any move. The packing, transport, unpacking, installation, demo, packing, transport, unpacking, reinstallation can be two days work. And this would be for maybe a 5-10% chance at a sale? There is no way I would do this if I were a dealer. A dealer should help accomodate a reasonable listening experience in a showroom, provide support and set-up for his local customers, for sure. Maybe if someone was 90% sure of purchase, but had a significant concern regarding home placement based upon room constraints or some other obstacle that would prevent a sale, then perhaps.
In my experience, dealers will allow some equipment to go home for a demo for a deposit and restock fee. For their effort and risk, I think this is reasonable.
For light weight (easty to pack & unpack) items such as cables, preamp, CD player, phonostages, small bookshelfs and power cords, most dealers are willing to let you borrow with a credit number or some sort of deposits. I did that many times before. I don't blame them for not letting me borrow the Salon2. They did spent the time setting up the Salon2 and other associated equipment for my demo in a dedicated room without interruption. Overall, I am happy with the dealer's effort.