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$20,000 "end game" speaker for a disabled man who can't audition! Monitor audio platinum pl200 ii , revel f226be, or something else?

khams

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Hey every body.

I just want to start this by saying I know there is no comparison for an in person audition with any speakers, specifically ones at this price range. That being said I'm disabled, with most of my time being occupied with music and home theater, and itching to upgrade, but without going into specifics it's extremely difficult bordering on impossible for me to get out and do things in my state now, so I've been doing as much online research as possible to make the most informed decision prior to buying. But no matter to me ... If I can get "end game" sound with speakers unheard, then so be it, I am a believer in this board!


I've listened to and owned in the past some lower end speakers from monitor audio, salk, revel, goldenear , kef, etc but itching for something more.. I use my speakers both for home theater and music, and in music value nothing more than detail and resolution, particularly in the midrange, with treble being important and not as much care for bass as I always cross them over with SVS subs. I love a really tall, but also wide , deep, holographic soundstage, and a big, dynamic, punchy sound.


I have narrowed it down to a few (I think). the monitor audio platinum pl200 ii, the revel f226be, and also considered some higher tier offerings from salk.

My room is roughly 20'x25', with 10' vaulted ceilings. Will be primarily for music, but definitely plan to pull double duty also for home theater. Music preferences are everything (literally) , needs to do it all!

I really like the revel sound, and the f226be's sound almost perfect for me, just never heard. The monitor audios from what I have read sound very similar, although less info online about them, and the only complaint I've heard vs the revels is that their soundstage does not extend quite as wide. I've also considered offerings from magico, vandersteen, paradigm, and focal but keep coming back to the revel and monitor audios...

Soooo ... thoughts on the above choices? Anything else for my taste I'm not thinking of?

Thanks every body, really appreciate your help on my journey.

JDB
 

BDWoody

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I really like the revel sound, and the f226be's sound almost perfect for me, just never heard. The monitor audios from what I have read sound very similar, although less info online about them, and the only complaint I've heard vs the revels is that their soundstage does not extend quite as wide. I've also considered offerings from magico, vandersteen, paradigm, and focal but keep coming back to the revel and monitor audios...

I haven't heard many complaints from anyone with the f226s, and I'd like to hear them myself one day.

Have you considered any of the powered monitors from Genelec or Neumann? I went from my passive Paradigm Studio 40s to JBL 708Ps (powered monitor speakers) and I'm a convert.

Do you already have an amplifier, or will that be part of the purchase/budget?

Your budget allows for a very nice system, so take your time and have fun exploring your options!
 

mj30250

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I used F226Bes for a while, and they are absolutely excellent and very well-balanced speakers. They're not bass monsters by any means, but since you'll be crossing to subs, that's not a concern.

After using them as my primary speakers for several months, I compared them extensively to Ascend Sierra ELX ribbon towers, and I ended up preferring the latter by a fair margin. I consistently preferred the treble reproduction of the Ascends, which is likely due in no small part to differences in high-frequency dispersion. To my ears, the Revel's best feature is its midrange. I don't know how best to describe it other than to call it incredibly smooth. If I were writing for an audiophile magazine I might even call it luxurious. I'd describe the ELX's midrange as just slightly less smooth but slightly more "clean". There's a small but broad bump in midrange energy with the Ascends that might account for this. Both speakers offer excellent directivity, so one could always EQ either to taste if desired.

Spins for both:

ELX Ribbon Tower CEA2034 (1).jpg


Revel%20F226Be_SPIN.png
 

phoenixdogfan

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You might want to consider Dutch & Dutch 8C's. I've heard them myself and they're absolutely superb. A complete system with powered speakers, DSP, Roon Ready, and very attractive looking. They work in just about any room, and they are what we call room agnostic because of they way they are designed to propogate the bass frequencies. They run around $15k/pr plus stands. Much more living room friendly than the Genelecs or the Neumanns IMHO, though those are also outstanding.

You are also in the ballpark for a Kef Reference Meta 5 if you have the other components to accompany it. A superb passive speaker, though it may not have the widest dispersion pattern. Likewise the big Revel 328 is in your price range as well.

BTW, just because you can't get out don't assume you have to buy without any audition just live with your choice. Reputable dealers recognize that purchases of high end speakers are very complex decisions, and should always offer the option of an in home audition. You should be able to try out one of those very expensive speakers in your living room with the right of return if it just isn't the right choice for you. Good luck and I hope you find something you love.
 

MarkS

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BTW, just because you can't get out don't assume you have to buy without any audition just live with your choice. Reputable dealers recognize that purchases of high end speakers are very complex decisions, and should always offer the option of an in home audition. You should be able to try out one of those very expensive speakers in your living room with the right of return if it just isn't the right choice for you. Good luck and I hope you find something you love.
Yes, at this price level an in-home audition is a must, no matter if an in-store audition is possible beforehand or not.

OP, you wrote, "I really like the revel sound, and the f226be's sound almost perfect for me". So if I were you, I would just buy them. Crutchfield will ship them to you for a 60-day in-home trial. For this you have to pay full retail price and a $75/pair return fee if you decide not to keep them. A local dealer may give you an equivalent trial and possibly a better price.

A cautionary note: you may find that they're not all that much better (or even not at all better) than the speakers you've already had. Don't be surprised if this happens. The higher-end speakers don't work miracles. Or, you may find that they do indeed have that extra level of refinement that you want. There's no way to know without an in-home audition, so you may as well start with a speaker that you already have reason to believe you will like.
 

Se7enAtx

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You might want to consider Dutch & Dutch 8C's. I've heard them myself and they're absolutely superb. A complete system with powered speakers, DSP, Roon Ready, and very attractive looking. They work in just about any room, and they are what we call room agnostic because of they way they are designed to propogate the bass frequencies. They run around $15k/pr plus stands. Much more living room friendly than the Genelecs or the Neumanns IMHO, though those are also outstanding.

You are also in the ballpark for a Kef Reference Meta 5 if you have the other components to accompany it. A superb passive speaker, though it may not have the widest dispersion pattern. Likewise the big Revel 328 is in your price range as well.

BTW, just because you can't get out don't assume you have to buy without any audition just live with your choice. Reputable dealers recognize that purchases of high end speakers are very complex decisions, and should always offer the option of an in home audition. You should be able to try out one of those very expensive speakers in your living room with the right of return if it just isn't the right choice for you. Good luck and I hope you find something you love.
@khams , for full transparency, I'm with Dutch & Dutch NA.

I wanted ask where you're located. Depending on where you're located, an in home demo might be very possible.

Feel free to PM me directly.
 

spamilton

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I think the Revels are a safer bet. I don't think you'll find anything negative about them. The Ascends (as mentioned above) might be a little more interesting for music, but only if you have an ideal room and seating location. I've not heard the other speakers you mentioned.

I previously owned the old RAAL towers, and I currently own the F226Bes. The Revels sound a good amount better (mainly movies but also music) in my untreated, weirdly-shaped family room. When I say better, I don't mean resolution in this case. Every part of the audio spectrum just sounds more present and clear. With the Ascends, I was noticing certain sounds getting lost in the mix. I blame my room, though. Ascend is a great company.
 

ahofer

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I think the Revels are a safer bet. I don't think you'll find anything negative about them. The Ascends (as mentioned above) might be a little more interesting for music, but only if you have an ideal room and seating location. I've not heard the other speakers you mentioned.

I previously owned the old RAAL towers, and I currently own the F226Bes. The Revels sound a good amount better (mainly movies but also music) in my untreated, weirdly-shaped family room. When I say better, I don't mean resolution in this case. Every part of the audio spectrum just sounds more present and clear. With the Ascends, I was noticing certain sounds getting lost in the mix. I blame my room, though. Ascend is a great company.
I would add that the Revels sound good well outside the sweet spot (f228be here)
 

Rick Sykora

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If you have not already, might want to peruse this thread:


His budget is higher but already found he could be happy with less expensive speakers.:cool:
 

Lsc

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Are you looking for just the main speakers or center and surrounds as well for $20k or under?

I’m very biased towards Revels but really not sure what you like or need.
 

cookiefactory

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At this level it's largely just personal preference. I currently own both the Revel F328Bes as well as the Ascend Sierra 2EX and prefer the former's treble presentation.
 

cavedriver

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I'll second the previous question- 20k just for mains or for a system, and what other components have to fit in that budget. For example, the Revel F226Be's are less than $8k a pair.
 

OldenEars

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Yes, at this price level an in-home audition is a must, no matter if an in-store audition is possible beforehand or not.

OP, you wrote, "I really like the revel sound, and the f226be's sound almost perfect for me". So if I were you, I would just buy them. Crutchfield will ship them to you for a 60-day in-home trial. For this you have to pay full retail price and a $75/pair return fee if you decide not to keep them. A local dealer may give you an equivalent trial and possibly a better price.

A cautionary note: you may find that they're not all that much better (or even not at all better) than the speakers you've already had. Don't be surprised if this happens. The higher-end speakers don't work miracles. Or, you may find that they do indeed have that extra level of refinement that you want. There's no way to know without an in-home audition, so you may as well start with a speaker that you already have reason to believe you will like.
For 20k I'd expect the speakers to be self aware, deliver themselves for a home audition and then give an intelligent coherent sales pitch.

And then become skynet and eliminate humanity.
 

FrantzM

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For a $20,000/.oo budget you get the Revel Salon 2 and never look back. Game over. Endgame... I know it is kind of discontinued but... I'll go for it in a heartbeat... "I'll go"? Freudian slip?? ;)

Peace.
 

Lsc

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For a $20,000/.oo budget you get the Revel Salon 2 and never look back. Game over. Endgame... I know it is kind of discontinued but... I'll go for it in a heartbeat... "I'll go"? Freudian slip?? ;)

Peace.
This is true. Some dealers are running a special for the last remaining salons for $15k/pair.

But as much as I like my salons, I like the F226Be idea with a couple of very good subs like the F113 and keep it under $20k msrp (expecting real world prices to be lower).
 

AdamG

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I love a really tall, but also wide , deep, holographic soundstage, and a big, dynamic, punchy sound.
Take a look at Martin Logan Electrostatic speakers. Paired with your subs would give you that expansive sound you mentioned is important.

 

djw.cloud

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PEARL Graphene........A few measurement junkies on this site have been converted by the Joseph Audio Pulsars​

 

cavedriver

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Take a look at Martin Logan Electrostatic speakers. Paired with your subs would give you that expansive sound you mentioned is important.

I recently heard the top of that Martin Logan line (~$30k) as an A/B to a pair of other speakers and the ML's sucked. Like so many electrostatics that try to integrate a cone-based bass driver, it just didn't work. Incredible with female vocals, as expected, and things like baroque classical music, but anything with vocal fundamentals below the rather high 300 Hz crossover and everything is wrong. I would not recommend them to anyone who doesn't have the chance to hear them in person and can judge for themselves if the plusses outweigh the significant negatives.
 

FrantzM

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This is true. Some dealers are running a special for the last remaining salons for $15k/pair.

But as much as I like my salons, I like the F226Be idea with a couple of very good subs like the F113 and keep it under $20k msrp (expecting real world prices to be lower).
Hi
@DonH56 , runs his Salon 2 with subwoofers.. The best of both worlds... You drop 4 MonoPrice, Rythmik or SVS subwoofers into this room, Take a few months to tame the peaks and valleys and are forever smiling ... Make sure your bass FR is smooth and to taste and you hit single digit in the bass... That make take a few months but this is doable within the $20K budget... This would energize , the most palatial rooms.. IMO. Accuracy, low bass to break concrete walls, treble to converse with passing bats, SPL to deafen, You may need powerful amplifiers but these days.. again, covered by numerous Hypex Class D models ...
Sometimes we get too much into FOMO, when the (obvious) solution is in front of us... :D

I know, I would take this route...

Peace.
 

YSC

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I would say speakers like Ascend Sierra ELX ribbon towers, Revel 226Be, KEF Reference Meta and D&D 8Cetc. are all satisifying as end game speakers, all in the excellent ball park, where you could do room correction with dirac and integrate with your existing sub, they should all perform very similarly.

In such circumstance, in my humble opinion, follow your heart (and maybe wallet) to go for the best offering from your favourite brand. by that way you won't have the itch to upgrade anytime soon, meanwhile if you go a tad lower class, though objectively you might not find a difference, but you won't have the piece in mind to forget about gear and enjoy the music or movies.
 
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