Revel Salon loudspeaker Measurements

I estimated the Revel Salon's B-weighted sensitivity as 87dB/2.83V/m, a mite higher than the specification. However, the Salon is basically a 4 ohm loudspeaker, drawing 2W from the amplifier to achieve its sensitivity rating. Its impedance also varies depending on whether or not the rear tweeter is on or off, and on the settings of the three tone-control switches. Fig.1 shows the worst-case impedance: with the rear tweeter on, the boundary compensation set to "-," and the front tweeter to "+1." Even so, the magnitude doesn't drop significantly below 4 ohms and the electrical phase angle is moderate.

Fig.1 Revel Salon, electrical impedance (solid) and phase (dashed) with rear tweeter on, front tweeter at "+1," and low-frequency compensation at "-" (2 ohms/vertical div.).

No wrinkles can be seen in these impedance traces, other than at a very high 34kHz, which I assume is due to the tweeter's ultrasonic "oil-can" breakup mode. This suggests that the Salon's cabinet is well braced and damped. Fig.2 shows a cumulative spectral-decay plot calculated from the output of a simple plastic-tape accelerometer fastened to the center of a side panel, roughly level with the upper woofer. A couple of modes can be seen in the 300Hz region, but these are well down in level.

Fig.2 Revel Salon, cumulative spectral-decay plot of accelerometer output fastened to cabinet side wall, center of upper quadrant. (MLS driving voltage to speaker, 7.55V; measurement bandwidth, 2kHz.)

As parts of a four-way design, the Salon's drive-units need cover only relatively restricted ranges. Fig.3 shows the responses, measured in the nearfield, of the lower-frequency drive-units and the port. The port's bandpass output is centered on the tuning frequency of 24Hz, and its upper range is commendably free from pipe resonances. The three woofers appear to have a rather uneven output in the midbass, but this may well be a measurement artifact. They roll off steeply above the 125Hz crossover frequency to the upper woofer, which in turn crosses over to the midrange unit two octaves higher, at 450Hz.

Fig.3 Revel Salon, individual nearfield responses of (from left to right): port, three lower woofers, upper woofer, midrange unit. The respective levels are plotted in the ratio of the square roots of the radiating areas.

Ornello's picture

These abominations are some of the worst speakers i have ever heard. That they are sold, let alone that the 'manufacturer' asks $15,000 per pair for theses abominations, is an insult to the human race.

makrisd's picture

Are you experiencing hearing problems? Probably the best speakers in the world!

Ornello's picture

These abominations sound like crap. My hearing is exceptional.

Christopher's picture

@Ornello :
You must not be familiar with Harmon Audio Group's testing facilities and procedures, and, you also must not have heard these speakers working properly. Either you heard some bad quality clones, or there was something terribly wrong with some other piece of equipment in the chain, or, very bad source material.

Because not only do these speakers measure exceptionally well from an entirely objective perspective, they also have EXCELLENT sound quality both from my perspective as a person who listened to them while working for a COMPETITOR -and- from the perspective of a panel of expert trained listeners working at the parent company.

Even if these speakers did not suit your personal preference [for non-neutral sound], I don't believe you honestly could have listened to them and come away with an opinion that the were not at least "generally excellent"!

In 2003 I went to all the major high end audio boutiques in Manhattan and auditioned several of their finest (and some more modest) speakers at each store. The Madrigal Revel Salon Ultimas stood out as clearly superior to every other pair we heard over that period of a couple days that we spend listening to the best the competition had to offer. Every other pair had at least some minor unpleasant quality to their sound, these were the only ones where nothing stood out as an obvious imperfection to their ability to accurately and dynamically reproduce recorded music.

makrisd's picture

When and where did you hear these? What is your favourite speaker system?

Ornello's picture

I own Yamaha NS-1000M speakers. Prior to that I owned Rogers Studio 1s. Either of these trounce the Revels.