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.

lenslens007's picture

If you did not like the sound of them, maybe there was some other part of the system that was producing noise that you did not like. I know they can reveal sonics in cables, DAC filters, room acoustics, and pre-amp. They also throw a large magnetic field that can interact with close-by (i.e. between the speakers) electronics.

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.

steve59's picture

I got lucky enough to get a pair to and these speakers live up to their reputation bigtime. I'm generally disappointed by hi-end loudspeakers because my mid-fi electronics tend to translate into harsh, ultra revealing noise that's not musical, in fact I was in the process of upgrading my electronics when I found these and drivin by an anthem 225I and kimber 4tc wire these are the most impressive and musical speakers i've had and I can finally say my home system sounds as good as the systems I hear at the hifi stores. I'm sure better electronics will produce better sound but it's nice that they sound great as is. previous speakers, revel f52, VA beethoven, kef 107/2, 105/3, Dyn audience 80. The 107/2 are full range but can't compare to the salon.

amh020's picture

Dear Ornello,
I also own Yamaha's NS1000 and I am familier with the Salon2. I think the design strategies of both speakers are not that different. Recent measurements on NS1000 drivers show that the big mid driver has exceptional dispertion even at 5K. Distortion levels at around 1KHz are extremely low, like no cone driver can give. The Yamaha's sound extremely detailed without dynamic compression. The Salon2 sounds like that too, a bit less detailed in the mids and a bit more modern (laid back). And if you haven't upgraded some filter components then I believe the Salons can sound better then the yamaha's.
The Salons were and still are a high-end bargain, if your amp can handle the low impedance. If you can't afford them, buy second hand Yamaha's and recap the filters.

Ornello's picture

No way. The Revels are horrid in every way. Typical American speakers, 'badass' rather than good.

steve59's picture

You're passionate about your taste i'll give you that, but why hang around here and slam one speaker in favor of another when both are out of production? I read the review of the ns1000 and tbh I would take the dq10 they compared it to over a speaker that will make 5% of my recordings magical and the other 95% unlistenable, been there, done that.