Revel Ultima Studio2 loudspeaker Room Measurements
Given that Fred Kaplan felt that Kalman Rubinson "underrated" Revel's Ultima Studio2 loudspeaker in his original review and how much I had enjoyed my time with the larger Ultima Salon2, I thought it worthwhile to examine how the speaker performed in Fred's room.
Fig.1 Revel Ultima Studio2, spatially averaged, 1/6-octave response (red) and of Verity Sarastro II (blue), both in FK's listening room.
The red trace in fig.1 shows the spatially averaged response of the Studio2s in FK's room. I derive this graph by averaging 20 measurements taken for each speaker in a rectangular grid measuring 36" by 18" and centered on the position of the listener's ears in his listening chair. I used an Earthworks omni microphone and a Metric Halo ULN-2 FireWire audio interface, in conjunction with SMUGSoftware's Fuzzmeasure 2.0 running on my Apple laptop. The resultant graph shows the effect of both a loudspeaker's on-axis response and its power response. I have found that it quite accurately reflects a speaker's perceived tonal balance.
The broad peaks in the low and midbass are the residual effects of room resonant modes that have not been eliminated by the spatial averaging. However, from 100Hz to 6kHz the measured balance is astonishingly flat, meeting narrow 1.5dB limits above 300Hz. The curve gently slopes down above 6kHz, which will be due to the increased absorptivity of the room's furnishings in this region and the increasing directivity of the tweeter in its top octave. The Studio2's behavior is effectively textbook in this region. Like its larger sibling, the Ultima Salon2, the Studio2 offers a neutral in-room balance, and is even better in this respect in FK's room than the Salon2 had been in both Larry Greenhill's and my rooms.
The blue trace in fig.1 shows the spatially averaged response of the Verity Sarastro II speaker ($39,995/pair), which FK reviewed in April 2009. The measurements of the two speakers were performed identically, and you can see both that the Verity's low-frequency output is still dominated by room modes, and that its ribbon tweeter puts a bit too much high-treble energy into the room. However, the less-expensive Revel clearly goes lower in frequency and offers better integration between its drive-units, not suffering from the depressed regions in the Verity's lower midrange and mid-treble. I am not surprised that FK was so impressed by the Ultima Studio2's sound. The abilities of Revel's design team, coupled with the access they have to Harman's loudspeaker research center in Northridge, California, allow them to consistently come up with winners.John Atkinson