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Swampbrain
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Revel Concerta 2 F36 vs ?

I've been trying to narrow my options on my speaker upgrade for several month's, as best I could without being able to audition any decent speakers in my area.
Based on reviews and countless VERY positive forum threads and posts I'd come close to settling on the Revl Concerta 2 F36 (or possibly the F35's) as my best bet.

But then..... A member of another forum suggested I contact another member who is a rep for Monitor Audio. He told me that this member would be able to get me the Siver 500's for less than my max budget of $1500.
I looked around and didn't find much review-wise, or measurements for the 500 although the 300 was reviewed here and elsewhere and seemed to be viewed pretty favorably.

My question(s) for you guys are:

Does anyone have experience with both (or either) of these speakers?
Sound comparisons?
Strength's and weaknesses?
Anyone think the Monitor Silvers actually sound better, or equally good to the F36's?

Any other info that you think might be helpful!

I'm still leaning towards the Revels but I want to make sure that I'm not making a mistake by NOT trying to get these Monitors at that price.

Thanks a lot.

Kal Rubinson
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You might contact/consult Tom

You might contact/consult Tom Norton who has reviewed the F36 and the Silver 500. Perhaps at https://www.soundandvision.com/category/ask-sv

Old Audiophile
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Great Advice

Kal has provided great advice here, as usual. He is definitely the expert, as is Tom Norton. However, since you asked and since I've spent serious seat time with both the Monitor Audio you mention, here's my two cents: I've not heard the Revel Concerta2. I have the Revel Performa3 F206 and love them. (More good advice from Kal and Tom! Thanks again, guys!) I spent about 2 hours A/B'ing the Monitor Audio Silver 300 and 500. They are both outstanding speakers. However, I auditioned them with a Classe Delta amp & preamp stack. That is a lot of high end horse power! The MA are efficient 8 ohm nominal load speakers and will likely play very nicely with less power & current. The 300 and 500 are, IMO, essentially the same speaker but the 500 will go just a tad lower in the bass department; very negligibly so... like, if I recall correctly, only 2 Hz. If that's important to you then go with the 500, especially at the price you mention. In my neck of the woods, you can't touch a pair of MA500 for under $2,500.00. The 300 are very nearly as proficient. The Concerta2 are a 6 ohm nominal load 2.5 way design. Many people prefer 2.5 way designs over 3 way bass reflex designs. Although relatively efficient, the Concerta2 will likely need more current than the MA to bring out their best. I would recommend that you seriously consider the quality of the power supply of whatever amp you will be using and by power supply I mean current; not just the watts. Watts doesn't tell the whole story. Depending upon your amp, comparatively speaking, you may find the Monitor Audio are the better choice. I would love to hear/read what Kal & Tom have to say about that.

BluesDog
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Wall Space For Concerta and MA

Old Audiophile summarizes perfectly. Only factor I might add is how mush space is behind the speakers and to the sidewalls. Could MA 500 get a little boomy if space constrained at the rear port?

Swampbrain
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My Amp...

FYI - I'll be running these with my newish class D amp based on the Hypex NC502MP module.

Max ouput power: 2x450W(2Ω), 2x500W (4Ω), 2x350W (8Ω)
Distorsion THD + N: 0,0018%
SNR 116
Maximum output current 27A

2 channel at the moment but I'll be adding another module (2 more channels) when money allows.
I believe my amp should be good to go with most speakers on the market.

My room is approx 10 x 20. Speakers will be on the short wall. One side opens into a kitchen area and the other has a wall about 2 ft away. I'm planning to attempt some room treatment later but 1st things 1st :)

Thanks again for yalls feedback.

BluesDog
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MA 500 Clarification

I heard the MA 500 (sharp looking speaker) 3 years ago with my wife through a Moon by Simaudio stack. Treble and midrange were good but it was a little boomy. Heard it again several months ago at the same store out from the front wall about 28 inches through a Classe Delta stack. Sounded good with no boom. Feel like it would do a very good job with just a little speaker placement tinkering. Probably could do very well with the Revel Concerta as well but haven't listened to it.

BluesDog
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Go For Full Range

My second experience with the MA Silver 500 is the better and more reliable experience to go by. After a couple of days of thinking about it. I would go with the MA 500, especially for a ridiculous $1,500. If your budget is firmly $1,500-2,000 this is the way to go. Speaking strictly for myself it is what I would do. Having said that, the Revel Performa3 F206 is well worth hurting severely to obtain. Other Audiophiles mileage may vary. But as a fellow owner of the Athena AS-F2 I’ve come to expect decent bass performance in a speaker. I personally consider a speaker to start to be full range when it can get decently below 40 hz. If it can’t, it can be a very nice speaker but it is not a full range speaker. The Concerta does not. The MA 500 approaches or equals the Concerta in treble and midrange but handily bests it at bass capabilities. Once you get used to a judicious amount of bass lending weight and authority to lower octaves, you immediately notice when the bass is merely polite. For some. Including a subwoofer at all times might work, but I prefer a speaker that can handily stand on it’s own two feet at full range. Since many Audiophiles eschew a subwoofer, bass capability below 40 hz becomes even more important. I seem to recall Herb Reichert commenting about how he missed the bass after reviewing a speaker and going bac

Swampbrain
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MA 500

Thanks for the additional feedback @BluesDog. I've been using my Athenas sans sub because they DO go pretty low (30's). I actually have the Athena AS(P-400?) sub but have used it rarely as I just havent needed it.

I might miss the additional (low) bass with the Revels (using no sub).

I assume you're basing your comment "approaches or equals the Concerta in treble and midrange" on reviews(?) since you say you havent listened to the concertas?

I WISH I could find a way to afford the Revel Performa3 F206. Unfortunately I'm pretty poverty stricken. If the GOV could kick us another "stimulus" check that might bump me into a slightly higher $ bracket but I doubt thats going to happen.

Any opinions on KEF q750's compared to these? Seems like the KEF Q line is being sold at pretty deep discounts lately at Crutchfield and others.
Thx

BluesDog
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Concertas

I hear ya about funding constraints. I feel that money is not the root of all evil, LACK of money is. I have not heard the Concertas. I have had to base my opinion not just on reviews but in comparing the specs of the Concerta compared to the F206 (which I HAVE heard.). Seems to be higher by 8 db in bass at –3, -6 and –10. That seems enough for me to feel not quite enough bass.

I sometimes use an SVS SB-2000 on some music but definitely for home theater. I can’t help but think you will be using the Athena sub more often with the Concerta. While it is true that a lot of music only barely goes at or below 40hz, there is plenty of music that does. And you don’t want the feeling of a speaker barely getting there or unable to. To show a song where you WOULD enjoy your sub, try Jesse Cook’s Double Dutch with and without the sub.

I hope to upgrade from the Athenas myself but I don’t want to give up quality bass for improved treble and midrange. One inexpensive thing I did recently for the Athenas may hugely help you. I tried Monoprice 12 gauge speaker wire (compared to Monster 16 gauge.) The difference was impressive. I was quite pleased. Took the tip from a Wired magazine article about Best Speaker wire. Greatly improved the upper air and midrange extension while tightening up the bass. And yes I WAS hearing things I didn’t before (or at least became more distinct) such as cymbals and more secondary instruments.

Swampbrain
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no Monitors

Well, I contacted the guy on another forum who is a rep for Monitor Audio. Contrary to what his friend had told me he CAN'T get the Silver 500's for 1500. More like 1750 + 275 shipping. Thats probably still a good deal but more than I had budgeted.

So for now I'm back to the Revels (concerta f35/36) and ?
I may wind up having to save more $ but one thing I intend to do is contact Revel dealers to see if I can negotiate prices lower than msrp.

Anyone got a Revel dealer friend who might work with me on some prices?

Old Audiophile
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Bud!

Bud! Seriously! 1750 + 275 shipping is one heck of a great deal for new MA Silver 500! Those retail for 2750, new, in my neck of the woods. With some wheelin' & dealin', you might be able to get 'em for 2500 around here but not much less, I don't think. Those are fantastic speakers. IMO, you're not going to get much, if any, better sound quality than those for under 3 grand, new. When I was shopping around for my most recent upgrade, I did serious seat time with around 18 different pairs of speakers. Those and the MA Silver 300 were about the best I heard when I had set my budget at no more than 2500. Eventually, I decided to up my budget another grand because I wanted something significantly better than my old Paradigm Monitor 9. The MA Silver 300 and 500 were a tad better than my Paradigm, for sure, my ears thought, but I wanted something SIGNIFICANTLY better. I wanted a "wow" moment. So, I had to up my budget another grand to get that. The 300 were/are very, very close in performance to the 500. Depending upon your room acoustics, placement, etc. the 300 might be all you need, indeed, maybe even better than the 500, if you can get those in your budget range. I'm not familiar with your amp; so, I can't say how well they or any other speakers, for that matter, would match or fit. On specs alone, your amp seems to have a lot of muscle. As such, do you really want to scrimp on the business end of any sound system... the speakers? If you absolutely can't or won't breach your budget, I respect that. I wish I had that kind of discipline when it comes to shopping for audio toys! I haven't heard any speakers under 2 grand, lately, but here are a few brand names that I would trust by virtue of having heard their more expensive brethren: PSB (if you like the MA and the Revel sound, you'll probably like PSB); Klipsch; Wharfedale; SVS (well reviewed); MA Bronze line; DT (well reviewed powered speakers); MA Silver 200; GoldenEar? All I can think of right now. Good luck! Let us know how you make out. I'm really curious.

Swampbrain
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Yea, but

i can definitely see the bargain with the Monitors but because he's a freelance rep of some kind there's no tryout period. All sales final. No returns. Although the Monitor warranty would be valid.

That's just too much money, for me at least, to chance on an all sale final situation.
Too many other dealers offer tryout periods with reasonable shipping to return/exchange. And I have seen many threads on various forums saying many of the dealer reps can/will negotiate at least to some degree on prices.

So what I intend to do once I identify some final contenders is a) find dealer/s that carry the models I'm interested in (and have them in stock). b) contact the sales dept and see if there's any wiggle room on prices. I've got a list of revel dealers. I'll contact them all, for instance, and say whats the rock bottom best deal you can give me? And I'll let them know I'm also checking with all their competitors. And then we'll see what happens.

I've got a sinking feeling that my budget might have to be increased to 1500-2000 though. Geez, I started at $600-800 budget a few weeks ago. lol

Old Audiophile
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Reasonable Plan

I hear 'ya, dude! I've always established what I thought was an ironclad budget before shopping for audio toys and always, always ended up spending more. That's never changed. It's like going to the grocery store but instead of shopping for food you are shopping for the soul.

If you can, do some critical listening under controlled circumstances before you pull the trigger. Most, if not all, shops that I've had experience with over the years will even let you bring in your amp. This all sales are final business sounds fishy, to me, no matter what kind of a deal you're getting. You're better off dealing with a local shop that can provide good, solid guidance and has a return policy. A shop may even have some aggressively discounted demos they'd be willing to part with. I bought my old Paradigm Monitor 9 as demos. If I recall correctly, I think they were retailing for something like $800 a pair in those days (2000) and I got 'em for $600. Eight hundred bucks in 2000 would be around 15 or 16 hundred bucks in today dollars. One advantage of buying demo speakers from a reputable shop is that good shops take good care of their stuff and demo speakers are already broken in. So, I would never be averse to buying demo speakers or most other equipment, for that matter, from a good reputable shop. They have no incentive is seeing you come back with a defective product(s). They also have no incentive in selling you something new that they think you may not like when you get it home.

Keep the faith, baby! Dying to know what you end up buying and how you like it. Keep checking in & good luck!

Swampbrain
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No Local shops

Unfortunately there is only one hifi specialist shop within hundreds of miles of me so I won't be able to audition them in shop. Thats one of the reasons I would rather deal with reputable online dealers that allow 30-60 days try out with reasonable or free return shipping.

So now I'm looking at a few other models (reading reviews and looking for testing data) with an increase in budget to 2k.

At the moment I'm looking closely at these 3 models. All 3 seem to be in the same approximate price range, are well reviewed by many sources etc..

Focal Chora 826
Revel f36 (still the leading contender by a hair)
Monitor Audio Silver 300

I'll be adding more when/if I find what I consider to be contenders.

BluesDog
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SVS Prime Pinnacle

Haven't heard these but they are only $1,600 with free shipping and a generous return policy. They have received good overall reviews but are not what many Stereophile readers look at.

Swampbrain
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I've looked at those.

The SVS models doe get plenty of good reviews but I've left them out of my consideration cause they arent as universally acclaimed by reviewers as models from Revel, Monitor, and Focal (among others).

I think they use polypropylene cones for their bass drivers which I've been listening to for 20 years - hoped to get something different driver wise. Not a fan of the look either.

Definitely thx for the idea-suggestion tho.

Old Audiophile
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Here's an idea!

Swampbrain, BTW, I love the monkey! Yeah; not having, at least, a few good audio shops around is a real drag. That's precisely why I believe in supporting local shops as much as possible, if possible.

Just thought of this and don't know if it might be helpful but I believe Crutchfield has a way for customers to do sound comparisons of equipment they are interested in if they have a pair of headphones. It's some kind of online thing. Got headphones? If not, could you borrow a pair? While it's not the same as listening in person, under real circumstances, as long as you can listen with a good pair of headphones that might give you a little insight into the different sound signatures of different speakers. I've not done a lot of business with Crutchfield but I have bought a fair amount of stuff from Music Direct and Audio Advisor. I've found their techs & sales people generally provide good advice and guidance. Similar to local audio shops, they also have no incentive in recommending something for you that they think you might not like and send back. So, you might want to talk with someone at an online seller like this, describe your system, your listening room, room acoustics, etc. and explain exactly what you are trying to achieve. I was doing some back & forth with someone on this forum who was also looking for a new pair of speakers and had a friend who works at Music Direct. His or her friend made some very good recommendations based upon his/her circumstances, equipment and desires. I was curious to hear back about what s/he eventually bought but s/he never posted back. Probably having too much fun listening to his/her new speakers. Good luck, bud!

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