Revel Ultima Salon2 loudspeaker JA's Associated Equipment

Sidebar: JA's Associated Equipment

Digital Sources: Ayre C-5xe universal player; Meridian 808i.2 CD player; Mark Levinson No.30.6, Benchmark DAC 1 D/A converters; Logitech (Slim Devices) Transporter network music player with Apple Mac mini running OSX for media storage.
Preamplifiers: Mark Levinson No.380S, Simaudio Moon Evolution P-7.
Power Amplifiers: Musical Fidelity 750K Supercharger, Mark Levinson No.33H monoblocks; Simaudio Moon Evolution W-7.
Loudspeakers: PSB Synchrony One, Dynaudio Sapphire.
Cables: Digital: Kimber Illuminations Orchid AES/EBU, AudioQuest OptiLink-5 S/PDIF. Interconnect (balanced): AudioQuest Cheetah, Ayre Signature Series. Speaker: AudioQuest Kilimanjaro. AC: PS Audio Lab, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Target TT-5 equipment racks; Ayre Myrtle Blocks; Shunyata Research Dark Field Cable Elevators; ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; PS Audio Power Plant 300 at 90Hz (preamps only), Audio Power Industries 116 Mk.II & PE-1, APC S-15 AC line conditioners (not power amps). AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from the breaker box, a power amplifier plugged into each.—John Atkinson

COMMENTS
Theodor's picture

Could any of you please compare the REVEL Salon 2 performance and GoldenEar Triton Reference especially in the music clarity at mid and low levels (assuming both powered with McIntosh MC462)?

JRT's picture

Take a look at what Kal Rubinson, Jim Austin, and Larry Greenhill are using as reference loudspeakers in their own systems. Kal discussed his recent change from B&W 801D in a recent column, and you can see the others' loudspeakers in associated equipment in their relatively recent reviews.

They seem to be using Revel Ultima/Ultima2 Studio2, and are not using GoldenEar Tritons.

As for you choice in amplifiers, you should know that a pair of Benchmark Media AHB2 bridged as monoblocks would play cleaner with lower noise and lower distortion across the full audible spectrum for less money than the McIntosh MC462.

Jim Austin's picture
The GoldenEar Triton Reference is a fine speaker, but speakers with powered woofers/subs are not practical for reviewers. Jim Austin, Editor Stereophile
Ayrehead's picture

Hi Jim:

I’ve owned my Salon 2’s for about three years. When I first set them up, I was in a hurry and didn’t bother with the spikes. A couple of weeks later, while I was hanging around a forum and showing off about the Salons, I casually mentioned the fact that I had not spiked them. A Salon owner and participant in the forum told me that I should immediately spike the speakers and listen.

Frankly, what I listened to when I spiked the Salons was a very different speaker in the low frequency department - night and day. There was audibly ‘less’ bass but what there was was a hugely increased definition in low frequency delivery.

My speakers rest on carpet so, that might have had an effect when I raised them. I see that, in achieving such excellent sound, yours stood on a wooden floor. You mention not having received the spikes and then, later, you mention the blunt end of the spikes. Did you listen to the speakers without and then with spikes? Any impressions about the difference?

mauidj's picture

...and I still love them.
Its so nice to read that some of my favorite audio reviewers still find these to be among the best full rangers out there. Even more so considering the price. I've owned mine for just over 9 years and they continue to amaze me when the music is right. Yes Jim, you are spot on...they do not like bad recordings.
And yes Larry, that D2D Romeo and Juliet is a stunner played through the Revels. One of my all time favorite records.
So the Revels are sensitive to the music and also, as I discovered, very much to the amplification.
Mine originally lived with a full Krell EVO system...pretty damn good but...there was something not quite right with the tonal balance. They did not sing quite like I heard them singe with other amp systems.
Then I changed to a Pass/Esoteric front end and they sounded dreadful. Flat. No life at all.
I had other components to change out and thus discovered it was the Esoteric not playing nice with the Revels.
Could not believe the difference a power amp made in such a negative way. The system bordered on unlistenable.
It was hard to fathom how such a well made and reviewed power amp could sound so bad.
So the Esoteric was then replaced with a Luxman m900u.
Ahhhhhh....now they are singing so sweetly.
I completely agree with pretty much everything both Jim and Larry wrote.
When time and budget allow the Pass will go, to be replaced with the matching Luxman Preamp.
Looking forward to hearing even better sound from these great transducers.
BTW...mine are on a solid wood suspended floor with the spikes reversed.
A big mahalo for the reviews gentlemen.
Aloha!

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