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Has anyone heard speakers with a wider soundstage than Revel's?

DonH56

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I have heard many, but there are trades for wider dispersion, especially in untreated rooms. For one example, Bose 901... Or Ohm F, etc. -- most any omnidirectional speaker.

I am not a fan of small ribbon tweeters; they tend to be very beamy especially in the vertical direction. I am heavily biased by previous experience, however; the EMITs in the Infinity IRS were always failing, I thought the Decca ribbon tweeter (used in the HQD as well as a popular mod back in the day) was a very beamy little bugger, and I was spoiled by the long (almost floor to ceiling) ribbon tweeter in my Magnepans.

For now, I am prepared to suffer along with my Revels. :)

YMMV - Don
 

thorvat

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Hmm. In my experience with the Beolab 90, increasing dispersion (which can be manipulated) did increase the width of the soundstage but at the expense of detail, imaging and specificity. Perhaps there are optimal values, depending on room dimensions and boundaries.

As increase of soundstage width indeed comes at the expense of loosing some of the detail I think it is hard to speak about universal optimum as personal preference comes heavilly to play here. For example, I am willing to pay the price in loosing some of the detail to increase soundstage width but some of my friends would disagree. Interestingly, I have also noticed that they tend to listen at shorter distance )say up to 2-2.5 meters) while those that appreciate wider soundstage usually listen at longer distances, like 2.5-4 meters, or even longer.
 

Kal Rubinson

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As increase of soundstage width indeed comes at the expense of loosing some of the detail I think it is hard to speak about universal optimum as personal preference comes heavilly to play here. For example, I am willing to pay the price in loosing some of the detail to increase soundstage width but some of my friends would disagree. Interestingly, I have also noticed that they tend to listen at shorter distance )say up to 2-2.5 meters) while those that appreciate wider soundstage usually listen at longer distances, like 2.5-4 meters, or even longer.
I agree and my comment about an "optimum" included contingency on room acoustics, speaker placement and, now I add, listening distance. OTOH, while the Revel Studios have a wider soundstage in my listening room, they also have best imaging within that soundstage and, so, seem not to compromise one feature for another.
 

Pdxwayne

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I agree and my comment about an "optimum" included contingency on room acoustics, speaker placement and, now I add, listening distance. OTOH, while the Revel Studios have a wider soundstage in my listening room, they also have best imaging within that soundstage and, so, seem not to compromise one feature for another.
Should I assume Revel Studio is the Studio 2? Got a chance to compare it with Paradigm Persona in the same room?
 

Kal Rubinson

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Should I assume Revel Studio is the Studio 2? Got a chance to compare it with Paradigm Persona in the same room?
I did not as the Studio2s did not arrive until some time after the Personas left. The Studio2s, however, have stayed (at least, so far).
 

GimeDsp

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Here is what I have found from setting up rooms.

In between the speaker you have the soundstage/image. there are 2 sources of spatial information, via recording and via room interaction.

Vertical surfaces mess with the vertical image causing what I call "drift" when sounds move from driver to driver and around the directivity errors present in the speakers. (you can here this great in guitar parts, where the guitar seems to float up and down!)

An untreated room will be so dominant that it all blends into mush, but it may be very pleasant mush!

Once you start treating a room, finding the balance between tone, timing, and spatial is very hard, especially once you really treat the room, speaker issues can then become dominant and your image becomes super sensitive to FR balance and even edge diffraction.

Within a soundstage their are 2 kinds of "width"

1. The ability to communicate spatial info in the recording with clarity, such as causing the sustain of a snare or reverb of a guitar to be accurately placed to the left or right of the sound.

2. Sound of room extended sounds to left and right of speaker.

First is needed for proper mixing
Second makes music more lively and enjoyable(IMO)
 

Pdxwayne

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I did not as the Studio2s did not arrive until some time after the Personas left. The Studio2s, however, have stayed (at least, so far).
May I know which Persona you reviewed? Should I assume you reviewed the Studio2s first and then decided to buy those?

Thanks!
 

Blake Klondike

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The first speakers I heard where I noticed impressive sound stage width were Totem Arros. Does that make logical sense based on the design? Would other speakers do that better/differently?
 

Dennis Murphy

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I have heard many, but there are trades for wider dispersion, especially in untreated rooms. For one example, Bose 901... Or Ohm F, etc. -- most any omnidirectional speaker.

I am not a fan of small ribbon tweeters; they tend to be very beamy especially in the vertical direction. I am heavily biased by previous experience, however; the EMITs in the Infinity IRS were always failing, I thought the Decca ribbon tweeter (used in the HQD as well as a popular mod back in the day) was a very beamy little bugger, and I was spoiled by the long (almost floor to ceiling) ribbon tweeter in my Magnepans.

For now, I am prepared to suffer along with my Revels. :)

YMMV - Don
Small ribbons have much broader horizontal dispersion than domes, and the more limited vertical dispersion isn't an issue unless you're forced to listen very near and above the tweeter axis. Whether or not narrower vertical dispersion affects sound staging in a negative or positive way is still up for grabs. Even Floyd Toole admits he doesn't know the answer to that one.
 

DonH56

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Small ribbons have much broader horizontal dispersion than domes, and the more limited vertical dispersion isn't an issue unless you're forced to listen very near and above the tweeter axis. Whether or not narrower vertical dispersion affects sound staging in a negative or positive way is still up for grabs. Even Floyd Toole admits he doesn't know the answer to that one.

Yes, thanks Dennis, I should have qualified that to emphasize that the problems I experienced were when the vertical direction was not on-axis with the MLP.
 

coonmanx

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Heard some NHT's with a tremendously great wide soundstage. Sounded holographic. Wonderful.
 

Duke

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I agree and my comment about an "optimum" included contingency on room acoustics, speaker placement and, now I add, listening distance. OTOH, while the Revel Studios have a wider soundstage in my listening room, they also have best imaging within that soundstage and, so, seem not to compromise one feature for another.


So if I understand correctly, the Revel Studio 2's generate more credible images within their wider soundstage than the Beolab 90's in "narrow" mode did within their (presumably) narrower soundstage?

If so, imo that would be extremely interesting, and yet another testament to the extraordinary competence of the designers of the Revels.
 
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thorvat

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I agree and my comment about an "optimum" included contingency on room acoustics, speaker placement and, now I add, listening distance. OTOH, while the Revel Studios have a wider soundstage in my listening room, they also have best imaging within that soundstage and, so, seem not to compromise one feature for another.

I agree about imaging but my impression is that some of the "detail" is indeed lost in the process. It may as well be related to longer listening distance itself, maybe because of the fact that direct/reflected ratio decreases with distance and not because of wide dispersion. OTOH wide dispersion also means more reflected sound so it all seems to be related.
 

steve59

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To be fair the OP put a $3k price on the speakers. KR if you got your studios for $3k I would be surprised, but more surprised that you actually paid for them at all. I think if I had your skillset I would just keep enjoying the review equipment on loan.
 

nerdoldnerdith

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My Morrison Audio omnidirectional speakers have the widest soundstage I've ever heard. Much wider than the Revel Salon2 and Philharmonic BMR.
 

Kal Rubinson

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May I know which Persona you reviewed?
You could Google it but I'll tell you anyway: the 5F.

Should I assume you reviewed the Studio2s first and then decided to buy those?
Funny story. I reviewed the Studio2 back in 2008 (https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/308revel/index.html) but I decided, at the time, to stay with the B&Ws. It was only after reviewing the Performa f228Be and taking my 2nd trip to Harman for some blind testing (https://www.stereophile.com/content/blind-listening-harman-international) that I saw the light and bought the Studio2s.
Final chapter here: https://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-99-revel-exasound
 

Pdxwayne

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You could Google it but I'll tell you anyway: the 5F.


Funny story. I reviewed the Studio2 back in 2008 (https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/308revel/index.html) but I decided, at the time, to stay with the B&Ws. It was only after reviewing the Performa f228Be and taking my 2nd trip to Harman for some blind testing (https://www.stereophile.com/content/blind-listening-harman-international) that I saw the light and bought the Studio2s.
Final chapter here: https://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-99-revel-exasound
Very nice! It looks like you like the 5f. Interesting that you even mentioned Parasound may be the better match for it.

Right now I pair my Persona B with Parasound A21. Maybe that is why the highs doesn't bother me. The sound stage width is simply amazing. It got more amazing recently, simply by adding Sabaj a10h as preamp instead of using my Gustard X16 or Node2i to control volume.

I pair it with a pair of Paradigm Seismic 110 (stereo instead of mono) and I get bass extension down to 18hz. This is my cheaper version of 5f, but with advantage of having the ability to room eq the bass.
 
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dfuller

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Yes - Every Focal I've ever heard save for the Twin6s.
 

MattHooper

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"The earlier and the greater in level the first room reflections are, the worse they are. This aspect of sound perception is controversial. Some believe that all reflections are good because they increase the listeners feeling of space – they increase the spaciousness of the sound.

Presumably there are caveats involved such as the size of the room/listening distance etc.

And also what exactly one means by "spaciousness."

I take that term to mean the sense of the size of the space, and spacing between images - e.g. the more "spacious" presentation will sound like you are listening in to a bigger space, with perhaps even more distance between the images.

In my own room (13' by 15' with a wide opening to a hall on one side, and plenty of flexible room treatment), I have generally found that moving closer to the speakers, which also means more direct sound less reflections, actually increases the sense of image size and spaciousness. It's like entering the acoustic of the recording.

The more room reflections I add, by either moving the seating position further from the speakers and/or allowing more reflections of the side/back walls, I wouldn't say the sound becomes more "spacious" in terms of sounding bigger. But it does tend to get a bit more "airy" in the sense that
the acoustics of the recording seem less "recorded" or less like one is viewing a circumscribed different acoustic happening between the speakers. Rather, the merging of the recorded acoustic with the room reflections "merges" the sound with the sound of the room, so it has a sort of airy "could be happening IN THIS ROOM sensation. Which can be more realistic given certain recordings.

But if enough room acoustics are added in, the sound, for instance of an orchestra, doesn't sound 'more spacious' as if in a bigger hall, but rather it can seem a bit smaller, like the orchestra is being fitted in to my smaller room.

That's why, as I've mentioned before, when I play with modifying listener distance/room reflections, I try to dial in just enough room reflection to add a bit more believable sense of "air" and liveliness, while not having my room reflections dominate the recorded acoustic. When I get it right, the sensation is in fact of an acoustic that has opened up in a bigger fashion, the sense that I'm "in" the acoustics of the recording so an orchestral recording can sound surprisingly convincing like I'm there, rather than listening to a recording.
 
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