Revel Performa3 F208 loudspeaker Associated equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated equipment

Digital Sources: Benchmark DAC1 HDR D/A converter; Hewlett-Packard EliteBook laptop running JRiver Media Center 18; Bel Canto Design DAC 3.5 VB Mk.II D/A converter and CD 2 CD transport with VB-1 power supply.
Preamplification: None.
Power Amplifier: Rogue Audio M-180 monoblocks.
Loudspeakers: Revel Performa F30.
Headphones: Sennheiser HD 600.
Cables: USB: Cardas Clear, DH Labs. Digital: Silver Sonic D-110 AES/EBU, Stereovox HDVX coaxial. Interconnect: Sain Line Systems Pure (balanced, single-ended). Speaker: Kimber Kable BiFocal. AC: Sain Line Systems Reference.
Accessories: Ready Acoustics, ASC Tube Traps room treatments; Butcher Block audio table.—Erick Lichte

COMPANY INFO
Revel
Harman Luxury Audio Group
8500 Balboa Boulevard
Northridge, CA 91329
(888) 691-4171
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
Ajani's picture

I always wanted to read a Stereophile review comparing the second gen Performa models with the old ones. So this review really was a treat. It makes up for never officially reviewing the second gen, with the three-way comparison between the F30, F52 and the current F208.

Since this is your new reference, does that mean you'll be replacing your F30s? :)

Yossie Goldberg's picture

I’m considering purchasing the F208, my concern about the bass response in a 13sqm room, I am in the process of renovations and the speakers will be relocated into a room between 20-25sqm. Should I purchase the F206 instead?

ken mac's picture

What's the deal? Analogplanet.com is currently a parking lot for GoDaddy.

John Atkinson's picture
ken mac wrote:
What's the deal? Analogplanet.com is currently a parking lot for GoDaddy.

Due to an oversight, the domain registration wasn't renewed in a timely manner. AnalogPlanet.com is now back up again.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

bierfeldt's picture

I would like to see a review of the Performa3 M105s as it would highlight how special the whole line is. Additionally, those M105s are very attainable and provide a nice alternative to the B&W CM5s.

John Atkinson's picture
bierfeldt wrote:
I would like to see a review of the Performa3 M105s as it would highlight how special the whole line is.

Bob Reina reviews the M106 in our September issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

remlab's picture

Those look like SB Acoustics drive units. Is this a new thing for Revel? Or have they always outsourced? It seems to me that Harman would have a lot of good driver options within the company.

jmsent's picture

You've got a keen eye. Most of Harman's loudspeaker production is being outsourced these days. They design it, somebody else builds it.

Anon2's picture

When is Stereophile going to review the new B&W 685s2?

This product has been reviewed without delay by a peer publication in Europe, to much acclaim, and a couple of months after the product's introduction.

If I am right on my facts, the also much-acclaimed B&W 685 (series 1), an eminently popular speaker, was never tested by Stereophile.

I hope that Stereophile will test the B&W 685s2. It is the "most followed" new product on a peer website.

Also, I await a long-overdue testing of the Amphion Argon3. This product has been tested by a publication in North America. This is a somewhat expensive product. It would be interesting to know how Stereophile views the cost-to-performance ratio. Amphion, if you refer to their site, has 8 dealers in the US.

Finally, I would advocate for a full re-publication, on Stereophile's online edition, of the Dynaudio Focus 160. I know I can ask for a reprint edition. Given the attention the Focus 160 garners in the online world, Stereophile would serve its community well by chiming-in, again, with a full re-publication of its review.

Another, final, thought. I believe that Stereophile, again lagging its European peers, has yet to issue a review of the B&W PM1.

You do a great job. There are many products to review, and only 24 hours in a day. Still, these are four stand-out, stand-mounters that deserve a review, or re-publication for the online readers of Stereophile.

John Atkinson's picture
low2midhifi wrote:
I hope that Stereophile will test the B&W 685s2...Also, I await a long-overdue testing of the Amphion Argon3.

Thanks for the suggestions.

low2midhifi wrote:
I would advocate for a full re-publication, on Stereophile's online edition, of the Dynaudio Focus 160.

Sam Tellig's January 2012 review will be posted in our free on-line archives next week.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

JDDisantis's picture

I havent seen a focal review in a while. Will there be any in the future? like of the new aria series with flax cones or the refreshed chorus 705v entries?

John Atkinson's picture
JDDisantis wrote:
havent seen a focal review in a while. Will there be any in the future?

Bob Deutsch will be reviewing the Focal 936 loudspeaker in the October or November issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

badboy07's picture

It's really unfortunate what Harman has done to all of the old Madrigal Audio Labs brands but I suppose that's the "new global marketplace" excuse for sending manufacturing overseas while raising prices. Cannondale Bicycles did the same thing. They were the last of the American "mass market" brands that still manufactured on American soil, just as Harman with their luxury brands. I guess I'm just an old sentimental fool to pretend that the Average Joe can buy an American made product that is better than average.

DangeRuss's picture

As I wish Proceed still existed ....... It's bad enough that Harman abandoned the separates market.

badboy07's picture

And really, who is going to drive a $5000 pair of speakers with a 16lb AV receiver with a switch-mode power supply?

I used to be a Harman fanboy, but (and especially after killing Infinity) they sure make it difficult to respect their company.

otaku's picture

>> And really, who is going to drive a $5000 pair of speakers with a 16lb AV receiver with a switch-mode power supply?

Obviously the same people that would put that equipment rack and TV set between the speakers.

fin1bxn's picture

Having owned the F52's for over 4 years, driving them with a PASS X250.5 amp and have auditioned the F208, I can confidently say they are not in the same league. The F52 crush the F208 in all areas of performance.

Strat's picture

You own the F52's and are obviously stuck with them. That could be the only reason for that type of comment. My dealer in Chicago had the 52's, I passed and I'm glad I did after hearing the F208's.

Good review as usual Erick.

starfirebird's picture

"...because the F208 is only 11.8" wide and the entire rear panel curves around in a parabola, its appearance is far less imposing than the boxy, Volvo-like F30."

Um, Erick, have you acutally taken a look at any Volvos recently? It's been quite a while since they were really boxy (not that there's anything wrong with that), and these days are decidedly anti-boxy. (And for those who think this means they don't look like Volvos anymore, it should also be noted that classic Volvos of the 60's weren't boxy either -- that's a rep they earned only in the 70's and 80's.)

ValentinR's picture

wish you had done some in room measurments
Revel is very good @ in room balance an the F208 measurments should show that

Synthetic's picture

Agreed, that's very disappointing.

Calliope's picture

Very interesting review! You inserted a lot of details and your explanation is very clear and well-written. This loudspeaker reminds me of some products by Sonus faber (this is the official website: http://www.sonusfaber.com/en-US/home-page/) ...am I the only one?

trmoore2's picture

These speakers are just as fabulous as the review. However I wanted to point out one audio myth: The quote from the review: "The F208s eventually took about 500 hours of play before achieving their ultimate sound."

I called Harman about "speaker burn in" or different "coloration" after they've been played awhile. Harman/Revel said "THIS IS AN AUDIO MYTH WITH NO TRUTH." I'm assuming propagated by speaker salespeople; the subtext being "these babies will just get better over time!" I can attest after 2 years, the F208's sound the same to me, but I do enjoy them more everyday.

Bixby's picture

In the review Mr. Lichte notes his room is rather small. I'm curious to know the approximate size, as well as how far away he was sitting from the speakers. Thank you!

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