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Old Audiophile
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Sequel to "Time to Upgrade Speakers"

Actually, this is a sequel to "Time to Upgrade Speakers". Despite the cruel interruption wrought by Covid-19, I'm back in the hunt and still interested in knowledgeable guidance more than ever.

I've now critically listened (for hours on end) to: Monitor Audio Silver 500 & 300; Focal Aria 926 & 936; Triangle Esprit Australe EZ; Dynaudio Evoke 30; Vandersteen Model 1Ci; Aerial Acoustics 6T; Martin Logan Motion 60XTi; KEF R7; Spendor A7; Totem Hawk; Paradigm Prestige 85F & 95F. Next on my hitlist are the Revel Performa3 F206 and the GoldenEar Triton 2+. I'd love to hear the PSB Imagine T2 but can't find them anywhere close enough to do that. They must be selling like hotcakes because shops can't keep them in stock and they aren't ordering anymore. PSB must be getting ready to replace and/or update them. Damn! Day late & a dollar short!

Of course, doing all this critical listening in different shops, sound rooms, with different componentry, etc. makes it difficult to attempt to extrapolate what I'm after for my listening room and with MY componentry. And, of course, virtually all these speakers sound great with amplification that costs 3 and 4 times what I have! I wish salespeople would just stop that! Even with scheduled appointments, I guess some of them just can't help themselves.

I'm going to preface the following by saying that all the speakers I've auditioned, so far, have been and are very nice, indeed. I certainly do not want to denigrate any of these very fine transducers. For different ears, different listening rooms, different budgets, different componentry, etc. any of them might very well be the perfect fit for somebody. However, for my needs & purposes (we all have needs; don't we? Even nicer when we have a purpose) here's what my reconnaissance boils down to:

The Monitor Audio Silver impressed me but I heard them driven through amplification that costs 4 to 5 times and has twice the power of what I have (same CD player, though). Not a fair audition. Regardless, even with the 20 to 25 thousand bucks of muscle used for that audition, I still didn't get that WOW factor over what I already have.

The Triangle, also played through 3 to 4 thousand bucks of power in another unfair audition did WOW me but only for instrumental music. I was, surprisingly, curiously and immediately let down with vocals. Never had such an experience before, even with cheap speakers. Despite what the salesman said, and he heard it too, I'm convinced there was something wrong with those demos. Too bad! Probably would have bought them on the spot.

The Focal Aria 936, played through my amp, were wonderful but out of my budget range unless I can find demos or a great discount.

The Aerial Acoustics 6T, also played through my amp, were similarly wonderful but also out of my budget range. Push come to shove? I'd go with a pair of Aerial discounted demos despite the fact they played better with a tube amp.

Heard the Martin Logan Motion 60 XTi yesterday through a 60 watt NAD integrated (about half the power of my MAC MA5200). Those babies did some very nice things, indeed, and left me wondering what I could get out of them with my MAC. Regardless, it wasn't enough of an epiphany for me to take them home for a trial and dissuade me from curtailing my plans to audition the Revel F206 and GoldenEar Triton 2+.

So, at this point, I'm kinda hoping either the Revel or GoldenEar make me say: "Jumpin' Jehosaphat! That's it! My quest has ended! Here's my check!"

Any other ideas out there?

Kal Rubinson
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"Of course, doing all this

"Of course, doing all this critical listening in different shops, sound rooms, with different componentry, etc. makes it difficult to attempt to extrapolate what I'm after for my listening room and with MY componentry."

Tough is an understatement.

Old Audiophile
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NEWS FLASH!

Completed another marathon critical listening session last week (about 3.5 hours) with the Revel Performa3 F206 and the PSB Imagine T2. An advantage, this time around, was being able to hear these on a MAC amp identical to mine and a CD player not too dissimilar to mine. The sound room was different, of course, but, acoustically speaking, not wildly so. Speaker cables used were/are a bit more expensive than my AudioQuest. Both these speakers were/are outstanding representatives of this price point and very similar in performance. However, I found the PSB low bass response to be a bit looser than the Revel and the Revel's soundstage and imaging a little better than the PSB. On all but 1 track of heavy low bass material, the Revel were tighter, faster and more accurate, in my opinion, despite what the frequency response specifications for these 2 indicate. Another testament to how speaker specifications tell you almost nothing. One caveat to this, however, was that neither of these speakers were on spikes in a room with wall-to-wall carpeting. I'm assuming the PSB would have benefitted from spikes but, to my ears, it sounded like the Revel didn't even need them. They weren't boommie in the slightest. I was amazed! I'm assuming the PSB would be less boommie on spikes & tighter. The other thing I noticed, straight away, was the Revel's excellent sound dispersal off-axis, even radically off-axis. The PSB were certainly no slouch in this regard but the Revel were surprisingly good. Everything else from upper bass through midrange to high frequencies was, as far as my ears could discern, outstanding for both speakers. I'm tempted to believe the Revel were maybe just a half a hair crisper & cleaner but that's probably a bias because they impressed me just a tad more than the PSB under the circumstances both of them were auditioned in.

As a result of this latest escapade, my present short list is both of these speakers. Later this week, I'll be auditioning the GoldenEar Triton Two + and the Martin Logan Motion 60 XTi. I'm expecting this will be my last audition before my ears make a final decision. Frankly, I'm hoping the GoldenEar are everything the reviewers say they are because they would be a better fit for my listening room because they are more slender. If they don't seal the deal, however, I will ask to audition the PSB and Revel again but, this time, with both of them on spikes.

So, any pearls of wisdom out there in the great audiophile ether? Anyone care to make book on what I'll post next week because, God willin' & the crick don't rise, I'll certainly let anyone who cares know what my ears decided.

Old Audiophile
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NOT YET!

Thought I'd bring this up to date for anyone who's interested.

Earlier this week, a friend and I completed another round of serious seat-time with the Martin Logan Motion XTi and the GoldenEar Triton Two+. This time around, the ML sounded amazingly better than the first time I auditioned it. That first time was with a 60 watt NAD integrated that I think might have been a Class D design but I'm not at all sure about that. This time, I auditioned the ML with a 125 or 150 watt Class A/B design Simaudio Moon integrated. The differences were as stark as night and day! Much better with the Moon! The GE was not what I was hoping it would be; not at all what all the reviewers have been saying about it. However, the GE and the ML were not broken in. Reportedly, the GE had maybe 30 hours of play time on it and the ML around 45. I can't recall what the recommended break-in times are for either of these speakers but it seemed to me they both needed more maturing. Also, the sound room we were in left a lot to be desired. So, I don't consider this a fair audition for either speaker. As such, I'm in the process of trying to arrange another one with a different shop who, hopefully, will have demos that are broken-in and a better sound room(s).

bierfeldt
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Auditioning

Auditioning is a brutal process and evaluation is even harder when the other system components can be wildly different than yours and you need to understand how they work in your space. It is important to consider lots of parameters like distance from the back wall, space between the speakers, how big is the room, how far you will be seated and ultimately what you will be using to drive them.

Because of difficulty with auditioning it can be like playing whack-a-mole every time you make a change. Everything factors in and only when considering all of these variables can you make a wise and informed decision. Even then, you will not know how it will perform until it is in your room with your system.

A fair question to ask any retailer is what is there return policy, how long does it take to break in the speakers and are they any quirks in how to set these up. Do they need a minimum distance from back wall? What about spacing? Any product that takes longer than the return window to break in is a serious risk and if the speaker needs 3' from the back wall to be at its best and you only have two... I wish you luck but if you ask lots of questions, hopefully you won't need it.

Disclosure - I am the owner of Verdant Audio and the importer for Art Audio.

Old Audiophile
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UPDATE TIME!

Bierfeldt, good to hear from you! Hope you and your loved ones are doing well!

I tried, unsuccessfully, to arrange another audition of the GoldenEar Triton Two+. After all this time and effort, this felt like being just a hundred feet shy of summitting Everest! The shop I was communicating with simply failed to respond to my last few contacts and I ultimately grew weary of chasing them around. Irritating, to say the least! I certainly would have loved auditioning those GoldenEar under proper conditions, if only to complete my mission. Unfortunately, this was the only shop left within reasonable driving distance. So, I made a decision based upon what I'd heard to date because of the time and effort invested (i.e. several years of recent focused reading & research; approximately 18.5 hours of serious critical listening seat-time with, at least, 16 different pairs of speakers). Ultimately, what it all came down to is what it always comes down to (i.e. what sounded best).

The Revel Performa3 F206 were simply the best I'd heard in my budget range and then some. Truly impressive! They did, indeed, elicit that WOW moment! I extrapolated, as best I could, what a broken-in pair of GoldenEar Triton Two+ might have sounded like in my listening room, did more reading & research, spoke with audiophile friends and had on-going communication with the sales person where I auditioned the Revel and PSB. In a nutshell, I'm confident the Revel was/is the best choice because of their design (i.e. front-firing ports; high frequency driver design; etc.) and my listening room's acoustic properties. Even with sufficient break-in time, I surmised the GE's would likely be an inappropriate fit because of their design (i.e. passive radiators; AMT tweeters; my listening room's right channel placement limitations and the wall directly behind the listening position).

So, that is how this cookie crumbled. The new babies are on order and I pick them up at the end of next month. I can report in again after they are properly broken-in, if anyone is interested.

David Harper
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correct me if I'm wrong but it looks like you've only auditioned dynamic drivers in wooden boxes. I suggest you try something better. Either electrostats or magnepan ribbons. Also, to attempt to compare so many different speakers is a futile exercise. You can't do it. By the time you're listening to the third or fourth one you can no longer remember accurately what the first one sounded like. There are too many variables. And how they sound in a showroom doesn't really mean anything. I bought maggie LRS. On acoustic music they're the best I ever heard and I've heard a lot of dynamic drivers in wooden boxes. On loud electric music (rock) they don't sound so good. But that's probably an inherent feature of the music.

Old Audiophile
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To Each His Own

David, your posts regarding your love of your Magnepan LRS are legendary. I am sincerely happy you love your Maggies and I truly, truly mean that. Every audiophile should be happy with the equipment they ultimately choose and love the sound of the music their cherished components can deliver. I understand, completely, that it is virtually impossible to know what speakers are really going to sound like in your home, your listening room, until you get them there and set them up properly with your components. For those of us who prefer live demonstration in various audio shops prior to making a purchase, we simply have to do our due diligence with regard to reading & researching, be cognizant of all the variables you allude to while auditioning, muster all the audiophile skills we've acquired over the years and make the best informed decision we possibly can. By no means would I consider this a "futile exercise". I would have loved to audition your Maggies or, for that matter, more expensive ribbon and electrostatic speakers because of how highly you recommend them and, also, how generally well reviewed some of them are (e.g. Herb Reichert 7-18-19 Stereophile). However, there are 2 major reasons I did not audition ribbon or electrostatic speakers in my upgrade quest. The most important one is that they are too wide for my room placement limitations and have other room set-up issues that would make them inappropriate for my listening room. Secondly, and this is a definite bias of mine, my ears have never preferred the performance of any electrostatic or ribbon speakers I've heard over the years, including some ultra-expensive ones in very exclusive high-end shops where they were properly set-up for auditions. As a fellow audiophile, I trust you know that, probably more than any other audio component, speakers are a very personal, subjective choice. Some ears prefer certain audio signatures that others don't. BTW: I wouldn't describe GoldenEar Tritons as "dynamic drivers in a wooden box". This is your bias showing.

David Harper
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point taken

Dorsia777
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This thread is fantastic

I’ve been in the market to upgrade my fronts for sometime and I’ve actually auditioned a few of the speakers listed above. My personal preference always had me coming back to the Martin Logan Motion 60’s. My father has the Monitor Silver 500’s and their articulation and neutrality is really impressive for the price. The only speaker listed above that I really would love and have not yet to audition are the Revel’s. The totality of praise across their whole product lineup can’t be wrong. I auditioned the Triton 2+. I loved them...but personally, they were connected to a Yamaha Aventage series reciever “to demonstrate their simplicity to drive”. They sounded good and I imagined on my Arcam AVR with its G class amp would have allowed them to bloom exponentially. However, I couldn’t get over the shape of them and the cloth appearance.

The only product that has kept me (along with my wife and that we now have a 1 yr old) from moving forward on The Motions or Revel F206 are the Tekton Pendragons. I’m really tempted to give them a spin 30 day free trial. But anyone who’s been doing this as long as we have knows the unboxing of an 88lb speaker and then re-boxing without causing damage, and then dragging that to a UPS store is daunting if it’s not a keeper.

Old Audiophile
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Maybe Helpful?

Dorsia777, don't know if this will inform your search but, if you're interested, check out the whole thread by reading "Time to Upgrade Speakers" in the forum. That might provide more context for your quest. Kal Rubinson turned out to be right. I ended up liking the Revel best. God bless him!

With regard to the Martin Logan Motion 60XTi and the GoldenEar Triton 2+, if I recall correctly, the integrated amplifier used in that audition was a Simaudio Moon Neo IX, a truly outstanding integrated! I went to this audition hoping & wanting the GE to thrill me and end up being my top choice because of their size dimensions which would have been, I thought, comparatively better for my particular listening room placement issues. So, I went there with a significant pre-existing bias for the GE, giving them a considerable edge. It's unfortunate they were not fully broken-in and that I couldn't find another shop close enough to hear a pair that were. That day, the ML impressed me more than the GE. So, as in most critical listening sessions that aren't in your own home, I was forced to extrapolate as best I could using all the audiophile skills I think I've gathered over the years. Ultimately, I just couldn't imagine either one of these, fully broken-in, possibly performing any better in my living room than the Revel Performa3 F206. Different? Of course! As good? Definite maybe! Better? Just didn't think so.

I'll mention this for what it's worth. Some reviews I've read about speakers with AMT tweeters suggest having a seated or listening position with a healthy amount of space behind the listener is advisable (e.g. at least 6 feet or more). That's probably the case with most high-end speakers, in general, but probably more critical for AMT designs. So, you might want to factor this into your scheduled auditions. I first heard the ML in a sound room with approximately 6 feet, or so, behind the listening position. Unfortunately, that was the audition that used what I was told was a 60 watt NAD integrated that, in my opinion, was far too anemic for them. The second audition of these was with that outstanding Simaudio Moon integrated that was WAY better, especially considering these ML, I was told, had less than 50 hours playtime on them. That sound room (not a good one, by the way) had, at least, 10 to 12 feet behind the listening position.

If you're after more bass extension, you might want to audition the Revel Performa3 F208. I listened to them the same day as the F206 but they are too big for my listening room. They have larger woofers than the F206 and will reach down deeper. Most Revel shops should, I would think, have both models on hand. So, it should be easy to arrange for an A/B shoutout. Depending upon how much dough you want to spend, you might also want to have a listen to speakers higher up the Revel line, as well.

In closing, I'll also offer this for what it's worth. For more than any other component, speaker audio performance specifications are not very helpful. I'm not suggesting ignoring them completely but, by all means, consider them with 2 huge grains of salt! In the same vein, speakers are also a very personal, subjective choice. So, try to set up auditions with components as similar to yours, as possible, in sound rooms & conditions as similar to yours, as possible, and let your ears tell you what sounds best.

Happy Hunting! The quest can often times be almost as enjoyable as the arrival! Good Luck!

Old Audiophile
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Just an update

I never imagined this thread and the original "Time to Upgrade Speakers" would generate this much interest. As such, I thought I'd add this in case it might be helpful to someone.

Ultimately, I wasn't able to get the Revel Performa3 F206 in the high gloss piano black finish for a whole host of reasons that I won't bore you with here. Chalk it up to Covid-19. Got them in high gloss walnut and don't regret it for a second! The construction is excellent and the finish is absolutely gorgeous; as good as fine furniture. I'm now approaching 60 hours play on them. The only time I ever had thoughts of possibly taking them back was during the early stages of the break-in process. During the first 10 hours, they sounded a bit constrained throughout the entire frequency ranges. High end was mildly tinny, bass was no deeper than my 19 year old Paradigm and midrange no better, either. From 10 to 20 hours they noticeably started to open up. Bass improved markedly. High frequencies became less tinny and mid-range remained about the same as my old Paradigm. At 30 hours is when the magic really started to happen and doubts about the possibility of returning them vanished! Bass had much improved (i.e. deeper; tighter; faster; more accurate), seemed markedly better than their specs would suggest and was better than what I'd heard at the shop. Obviously, my living room acoustics have a lot to do with this. The tinny sound in high frequencies disappeared but a very tiny bit of shrillness remained. Midrange was much sweeter, richer and more musical than my old Paradigm. I was and continue to double-check all of this with my wife every time I play them. She uses other adjectives but hears the same things. Now, just shy of the 60 hour mark, the improvements throughout the audio spectrum continue, including high end. Every scintilla of shrillness is gone. Highs are sweet and accurate; not fatiguing in the slightest. Improvements, comparatively speaking, are a bit more subtle now but noticeable, nonetheless. The sales person and Revel, both, informed me this would be the case until they reach approximately 100 hours. One reviewer indicated it took the pair he reviewed approximately 120 hours to reach full maturation, so to speak. Every time I play mine, it's difficult for me to imagine these improvements will continue but, so far, I (and my wife) do hear it. The continued, gradual improvements have been in detail, soundstage, imaging, bass and, literally, the entire audio spectrum. If this continues, I will end up with a smile on my face an undertaker won't be able to remove. The only drawback has been that these speakers expose poorly engineered, mixed & mastered recordings; not dramatically so, but you will hear it and slowly start paying more attention to the liner notes of your recordings. This is what great speakers should do. So, be prepared to replace those recordings, if possible, with better ones.

COmusicaddict
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yes
Kal Rubinson wrote:

"Of course, doing all this critical listening in different shops, sound rooms, with different componentry, etc. makes it difficult to attempt to extrapolate what I'm after for my listening room and with MY componentry."

Tough is an understatement.

And if that's tough, imagine shopping for a CD player like that...

At least speaker sound is the least 'disguised' when out listening.

Kal Rubinson
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Quote:
Quote:

And if that's tough, imagine shopping for a CD player like that...

I cannot imagine shopping for a CD player. ;-)

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oops

Bad non-current example. I grinned too. Last CD player was some time ago...
(To the point, it was tedious in the late 90s having a dozen pre-amps for home auditioning over several months of weekends, but it paid off.)

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and Congrats Old Audiophile

I am sure you will love your new speakers once they are broken in and dialed in for sound. That's great!
I'd have gone with the walnut in a heartbeat. Hope you enjoy the beauty, and sound!!

Old Audiophile
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One More Time!

Thought I'd add this in case anyone might be interested.

I'm now at the 90 hour mark with my Revel Performa3 F206. The gradual, continued improvements in audio performance during this break-in period continue to surprise and impress. The improvements are more subtle or nuanced now but noticeable nonetheless, even when not in critical listening mode. I'm certain some of these improvements are attributable to a recent change I made with my Marantz CD6005. I engaged its "Audio EX 2 Mode". Should have done this years ago! My next experiment in this regard will be to connect it to the MAC via coax. MAC Labs tells me this will result in even further audio performance improvements because of the MAC's DAC. Hard to believe but I will certainly try it.

It's difficult for me to imagine another 10 or 20 hours break-in will result in continued audio improvements in these Revel. At this point, that would be just extra icing on the cake.

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F206

Reading this just makes my lust for a pair of F206's demo models I found more intense.
If only they could stay unsold for a couple more weeks. I'm cautiously optimistic but I would be surprised.

Glad you're digging yours @Old Audiophile !

Old Audiophile
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Rooting For Ya!

I'm rooting for ya, Swampy! I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya!

Played some of my freshly cleaned vinyl yesterday for a few hours (i.e. Ace; Anita Baker; Pat Benatar). With my turntable, the sound was even better than my Marantz CD in Audio EX 2 Mode! Then again, this is par for the course with vinyl, as long as you have a good TT & cart.

Any chance you could put a deposit down on those F206 demos and have the seller hold them for you for a while? If you've read this and the previous thread about my quest for new speakers, you know I did some serious research and seat time with a lot of contenders! These F206 were the best I heard under $5,000.00 a pair, new. As I think I mentioned along the way, here in the Stereophile forum and also in the Soundstage HIFI feedback with Doug Schneider, I would love to have heard broken-in GoldenEar Triton 2+ and Martin Logan Motion 60Xti in a properly set-up audition. In retrospect, they were the only ones my ears thought came close but I still don't think they would have bested or even equaled the Revel.

Good Luck!

P.S. Kal, Doug, Tom, thanks again for your guidance! Much appreciated.

Dorsia777
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After years of hunting...I finally made my decision!

Sonus Faber Sonetto V’s in high gloss back! The final two for my personal tastes came down to the Revels vs the SF! Quite a fun time testing these works of art!

Old Audiophile
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CONGRATS, DORSIA!

WTG, DORSIA! Have you got your new babies home, yet? If so, time to crack open that special single malt, Chateauneuf-du-Pape or whatever your favorite indulgence is, kick back, relax and treat your ears to your favorite music as you dial and break those babies in!

Curious... did you audition your babies against the Revel F206 or F208? If so, did you do that with an Arcam AVR like yours and what made your ears decide on the Sonus Faber? I'm always curious in that kind of stuff. I had a chance to audition a pair of Sonus Faber last summer but, after around 4 hours of seat-time in the shop I was in, never got around to it. God Bless salespeople like that!

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Thank You!

Yeah it was a wild ride! Fun, perplexing and ultimately worth it! I ended up demoing : Kef R11, Martin Logan Motion 40’s (with sub), ML Motion 60 xt/xti, Klipsch Heresy 3, Paradigm Prestige 75F, Golden Ear 1.R, GE Triton 2+, SVS Ultra Tower, Monitor Audio 300, Wharfedale Diamond 11.4’s, B&W 702... but the final showdown was hands down the only ones that mattered.

A shop by me in NJ has ready to demo The Revel F206 and Sonus Faber Sonetto III. I asked why not the 208’s and the V? The owner said that both of the smaller models are so outrageous sounding that if you like the smaller you’ll love the larger. I said Ok...let’s get to work! I brought my notepad, My specially curated cd booklet (I’m a vinyl guy but I also love cd still) and an open mind. He had the Revels hooked to an Arcam FMJ CD player and a Moon 600 VI integrated amp with Kimber 4TC cables. Immediately I said well I don’t have a 8-9k amp but let’s keep an open mind. The Revels were outstanding. There wasn’t one song I played that wasn’t enjoyable. So I love classic Rock, 90’s hard rock/ Metal, Pop etc. everything I picked was a great recording. Ozzy’s “Mama I’m coming Home” and “”No More Tears” we’re so unbelievable... my notes were “Are you f’ng kidding me with that bass response!”. The F206 lived up to every single award and accolade and I couldn’t really fathom needing a larger version of this speaker. Type O Negative ‘s “A dish best served Coldly” gave me an incredibly reverbed vocal performance of the Hulkingly, baritone, late Peter Steele that I’ve never heard before even though I’ve played that song 1000’s of times.

I actually said I don’t know how to follow that up...and on the other wall in the same space sat the Sonetto III’s connected to a Prima Luna Tube Pre-amp and a Prima Luna Tube Amp on the floor. The CD player was another Moon product...and this time the cables were Kimber Cable Selects which were as thick as baby cucumbers. Again, here we were are with another 10k in amps and now 5k in cables. Immediately I determined the sound to be drastically different. Obviously tubes vs solid state I had to tuck away and just listen to the music. I started with Basil Poledouris’ soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian “Anvil of Crom” and then “Gift of Fury”. I didn’t even write anything down. I sat there and was trying to figure out If it was the small amount of booze in my flask I drank or the fact I’ve never heard Prima Luna before. This also sounded exceptional on the F 206 but it was different. I actually proceeded in the same order and took my notes. I got to Ozzy’s two songs I loved with the Revels. The Revels left my jaw on the floor. The Sonetto’s sounded great but they weren’t as over the top. Same with Type O, same with Marilyn Manson’s The Dope Show. However by the time I was an hour in and back to Tool’s Pnuema...I had a stark realization. I actually hit pause and asked the owner.

“Ok explain this to me...these speakers have similar specs, similar sensitivity, I get it. Very different amps. How can I actually tell what’s going on here. Why do the Revels sound so outrageously good...but why am I finding myself coming to The Sonettos sound? I felt like with the Revels I either was clapping I was so happy or saying...hmmm I never noticed this recording had ________ before.” His response was that the Revels are the best dynamic sounding speaker for the price. And that the Sonus Fabers present more “ correctly but not in a painfully neutral/bright manner like some B&W”.

Hmmmm. This made me think. Whereas with the Sonettos I wasn’t critiquing the medium at all I was critiquing the sound of the instruments. It’s was quite odd. This made me realize immediately I need to bring my Bi-amped Arcam AVR600 (yeah I know it’s an 11 yr old receiver/integrated but it’s G class amp is still an ass kicker even though the newer versions have much better power supply’s and double the watts per channel going from 8ohm to 4 ohm. However at 120 wpc regardless of 8 or 4 ohm speakers it still very capable. It took some finessing but the owner agreed to let me bring my amp in. We connected it to only the Sonettos to make a solid state vs solid state comparison. There was some noticeable difference in quality using my Arcam instead of the Prima Luna set up which was expected. But not enough for me to justify a (price new to price new) a 5-6 k difference. Yes a new 2 channel amp is on the horizon but my trusty Arcam will get me by. After the doing the demo again I found myself enjoying the “correctness” of the Sonettos vs the Lucious silky sound of the Revels. If picking between these two speakers is your biggest problem for you than life isn’t so bad!

In the end I decided to roll the dice and go with the Sonetto V’s in high gloss back and I’m going to now upgrade my Audioquest Type 4 cables to Kimber 4TC continuing to bi-amp on my AVR. I pick them up in a few weeks and yes there will be a celebration going at the house! And yes the Sonettos and the Revel in that glorious wood grain Aced the WAF! So my 40th bday (after some break in) will be a blast!

Old Audiophile
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COOL!

Congrats! Make sure your new babies get the necessary break-in time, whatever that is. My babies had me worried, at first, but after about 30 hours, all second thoughts evaporated. I'm still just shy of 100 hours and, unbelievably, they are still maturing. Revel and the reviewers say anywhere between 100 and 120 hours about does it for the F206. Don't know what the word is for your Sonetto but I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the same ballpark.

I'm not surprised by your critical listening experience with the Sonetto. Four ohm nominal load designs crave current; not to be confused by watts. When I was in the hunt, I auditioned a pair of Aerial Acoustics 6T that I immediately fell in love with and almost pulled out the credit card on the spot. However, I heard them with a McIntosh MC275 and I'm pretty sure what was a McIntosh C22. Luckily, I curbed my enthusiasm long enough to ask the sales person to hook them up with an amp just like mine that they had taken in, in trade. While those Aerial still sounded fantastic because of their efficiency, it was immediately clear they were much happier with that big MAC tube amp & pre-amp set-up because of the juice they could feed them. I still thought about buying them anyway because they were that good. However, I knew if I did I'd always be thinking "what if" and, sooner or later, I'd be shelling out some more serious green to replace my amp. It's an addiction but a wonderful one! I'm sure you understand! Enjoy!

Dorsia777
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I agree!

Thank your for your positive support! Yeah I’m really excited as I haven’t had new floorstanders in about 9 years. I’m pretty pumped up! The owner of the shop did say that they need about 100-120hrs to break in which I found pretty surprising.

I do agree with you that a really dedicated 2 channel amp (tube or SS) would best feed these babies. That’s next on the list as I’ve always been a big fan of Macs, Parasound, Bryston. I’ve always been curious about Rogue Audio’s tube amps. It’s a fun and addictive albeit expensive little hobby!

Old Audiophile
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Current; not watts

Just to reiterate what I discovered (or began to understand more clearly, anyway) through my personal experience auditioning the Aerial Acoustics 6T. Generally, 4 ohm nominal load design speakers, even very efficient ones or, for that matter, anything less than 8 ohm nominal designs, tend to crave higher current or sound better with amps that have very good power supplies. Even though my MAC can put out 130 watts into 8 ohms it does not double that into 4 ohms. My understanding is that's why those Aerial Acoustics 6T sounded so much better with that big MAC stack, which delivers a rated 75 watts but probably has a much better power supply. I auditioned a pair of Martin Logan Motion 60Xti, a 6 ohm nominal design speaker, with a 60 watt into 8 ohm NAD integrated amp that I think may have been a Class D design and those ML sounded very, very nice. However, when I auditioned those same speakers with a Simaudio Moon 340 IX (100 watts into 8 ohms & 200 into 4 ohms - very conservative rating, I think), they sounded just fantastic; as nice if not nicer than a pair of GoldenEar Triton 2+ that I A/B'd them with in the same shop, on the same day, with the same amp. I don't think this was a function of the extra watts but, rather, the Simaudio's outstanding oversized power supply. This experience had me wondering what those Aerial Acoustics 6T would have sounded like with that Simaudio. I don't understand the electronic engineering involved for why this is so but my ears sure get it. As such, with your new babies, if you ever get the itch to upgrade your amp (tubes; SS; separates; integrated; whatever) I would encourage you to pay more attention to an amp's power supply, rather than just rated output. My understanding is that a general rule of thumb for amps that have good power supplies are those that double their rated output from 8 ohms to 4 ohms. Sorry to bore you with the extra reading if you already know this stuff but this was a revelation to me after all these years. Wish someone had explained this to me years ago! Would have saved me a lot of time in auditions!

Judging from reviews I've read, the manufacturers you've mentioned in your previous post certainly make fine quality products. Other than a few MACs, I haven't heard anything else made by the other manufacturers you've mentioned and I tend not to recommend things I haven't heard myself or had personal experience with. As such, I can say I've never heard any MAC amps that failed to impress. Additionally, the Simaudio I heard was nothing short of outstanding! I would love to hear some of their other amps. Krell are other amps I've heard over the years that I would keep in mind, as well. As with anything related to this hobby or addiction, when the time comes, let your ears steer you in the right direction. Enjoy the new babies!

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