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silvertone's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 9 2006 - 6:44pm
Revel Salon 2 and Ayre Question

For the last two days I've been auditioning the Revel Salon 2's with the top of the line Ayre gear: KX-R, MX-R monoblocks, C-5xe player.

Although this is a very impressive setup, sounding stunning at times, it was failing to engage me into the music. It was as if the system was trying too hard, for lack of a better description.

The midrange liquidity that I have heard from much less expensive systems (like ARC) was just not there. It sounded a bit forward and forced, too eager..?

These auditions have left me wondering if perhaps Mark Levinson gear would be a better match for the Salons.

Has anyone else ran into this with the Salons/Studios?

What gear are Salon 2/Sudio 2 owners partnering their speakers with? Am I better off using a hybrid preamp to aliviate some of the issues I'm mentioning above?

I'm extremely curious on the feedback from Revel owners.

Thanks for the feedback

mrlowry's picture
Last seen: 6 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Revel Salon 2 and Ayre Question

I've heard lots of Ayre gear with lots of different speakers (B&W, Thiel, Magnepan, etc) and it NEVER fails at being engaging. In fact many of the MOST emotionally charged listening sessions I've had were with Ayre gear. On the other hand my limited experiences with Revel speakers have always left me flat. Of course it's always possible that I just haven't heard them with the right gear.

dcstep's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Revel Salon 2 and Ayre Question

I'm not a Revel owner, but the description you give sounds like you need a Sumiko Master Set of your speakers. Most speakers are not set up properly, causing intermodulation distortion between the speakers that makes vocals sound "shouty" and the bass/midrange continuity is disjointed, with one overpowering the other.

With luck, you can find a Sonus Fabre or Vienna Acoustic dealer that'll agree to set up your speakers using the Master Set, for a reasonable fee. It'll be the best investment you've ever made in your system.

It's not your system, it's the placement in the room.


commsysman's picture
Last seen: 1 day 9 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Re: Revel Salon 2 and Ayre Question

If I was considering spending $22,000 for a pair of speakers, I would certainly expect the dealer to demonstrate them IN MY LISTENING ROOM and hear sonic perfection, or bloody close to it, before I closed the deal!

Personally, I think the Audio Research LS-26 is the best preamp I have ever heard. Try it out with the Ayre power amplifiers and see if you like that sound better...I think that many people would.

With the Ayre equipment you mention and those speakers, if it doesn't fulfill your expectations 100% I would suspect that there is probably something wrong with the setup or acoustics!

I assume that all of the interconnections from the CD player to the preamp and from the preamp to the amplifiers are BALANCED connections; reviewers have repeatedly said that Ayre gear does not perform at its best without balanced connections (and at the quality level we are talking about, using anything other than balanced connections is an absurd compromise anyway...).

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