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Heard a Revel and JBL Synthesis for the first time: F208, F228Be, 4367. A surprise for sure!

paulgyro

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The other day I want to my local Revel dealer, US Tube Audio in Scottsdale, AZ

I was able to listen to the F208, F228Be, and the JBL 4367.

I thought I'd share my impressions.

F208: Sounded fine to me, good low end, midrange sounded natural, top end was nice, over all nothing special.
F228Be: Sounded better to me, less low end but more defined maybe, midrange the same, top end seemed more defined to me. Most likely as a result of the Be tweeter?

So, I wasn't super impressed with either, not to point where I was willing to pull out my wallet. I thought it might just be a crappy room.

Next up the JBL 4367. From the moment the music started my jaw was on the floor. Everything sounded real, alive, in the room. The acoustic guitars, clarinets vocals, you name it sounded amazing, accurate, and life like. Bass was amazing and tactile. It ran circles around the Revels while still having great tone, clarity and smoothness.

Unfortunately, they were out of F328Be and Salon2 so I couldn't compare.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it the horn loaded compression driver that is crossed over at 700 Hz that gives it the life like sound? The high sensitivity? Both? I'm curious but I've got to know at this point as I've got to have speakers that do this, but I can't afford the $16k!

Thoughts?

Paul
 

Blumlein 88

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I've found horn compression drivers to have some sort of live like jump to them. What kind of music were you listening to during this?
 
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paulgyro

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Were they all in the same room?

Same position in the room?

Same level?
Yes, same room and same level. I did a basic level match on the same tracks with my phone and the volume control.

Same basic position Revels on side, swivel around to the opposite wall for the JBL.
 
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paulgyro

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Yeah, they probably neglected to adjust level for speaker sensivity…now you know just how huge the preference can be when you turn up the volume!
Nope, I controlled the volume and did a basic match with the same track. I even turned up the Revel more... no joy!
 

TimF

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Some days I hears with both ears and the wife sounds mighty good. Some days I'm hearing with one good ear and one ear running half speed; and the wife don't sound so good and especially she don't sound good on the old Lutheran hymns in the chapel in the church basement. And the church piano has sounded better. I bet those JBL's would make recordings of Naftale Brandwein and Taraf de Haidouks ring most people's bippy. Alternatively, a guy comes in to US Tube Audio and puts on a cd of Richard Strauss German art song sung by Edita Gruberova and everyone flees the room like somebody just put a hot stick in their eye. Yet, the F228be's were made specifically for Edita Gruberover, or so it seems to the man who brought in the cd. Ideal match he concludes. This sounds a lot like a wine tasting event in big tent in a shopping center parking lot where the labels have been removed from all the bottles. I would say, don't order $5,000 to $7,000 worth of specialty wine at a Saturday afternoon wine tasting event in a Scottsdale parking lot. That's what I'd say. I will tell you this though, Arun and I both were pleased by the F208's. I shouldn't speak for Arun publicly, but he said this to me two days ago. And let me add:
 
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Digby

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You failed to mention that at first....so...
So....what? It is obvious a Revel (or any similarly small speaker) is not going to sound like a JBL 4367, whether the test is done blind, double blind, triple blind - upside down, inverted, next dimension blind or any other kind of blinding event you choose.

Small speakers are small, because they are what sells and what people (and their wives) will accept in their rooms. They are a significant compromise when reproducing sound and are never going to get close to imitating a real sound in the way a high quality large speaker will.

There is just something a large speaker like the JBL does, almost certainly related to how easily and efficiently it moves large amounts of air, that allows it to sound rather truer to life than any small speaker. You can produce as many graphs as you like, this will always and forever remain the same. This is something that is evident not only at loud volumes, but ones well within the smaller speakers limits too.

Small speakers are highly compromised. People won't admit as much because they want to point to x amount of graphs that are besides the point. They are missing the wood for the trees.
 
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sprellemannen

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No offense, but this is great (and applies to other things than mathematics):
obvious-is-the-most-dangerous-word-in-mathematics-65.jpg
 

Tom C

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Just one amateur opinion:
the things that matter are
Frequency response - want it flat. Not zero degrees horizontal, necessarily, but minimized peaks and dips. Can be tilted down from lows to highs, or tilted up, or whatever floats your boat.
Distortion- want it low at all listening levels used.
Output- want it high, in general, the higher the better. If the system plays louder than you would ever listen, that’s overkill, but you don’t have to turn it up all the way.
since I like downward spectral tilt, boosted bass, and like to listen loud, I never met a JBL I didn’t like. EQ and fine tuning are often required, though.

as far as price, I’ve usually been able to find JBL at 25% to 30% off retail brand new or “open box.” Just takes a little hunting, patience, perseverance. Used can also be an excellent option.
 

Tom C

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Oh yeah, one more important thing. Total output bass output and treble output depend on listening distance and room size. Consider, for example, headphones vs. The Grand Ol’ Opry (the house PA at the Ryman is JBL, btw). If you have the right tools for the job, you should be able to tune most any quality product into a satisfying listening experience. Deeply satisfying.
 

boogeroo

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fwiw, i noticed that speakers with big woofers seem to make rock sound more like a live performance as well, i wonder if its because the pro-audio speakers in a live set are also usually horned speakers with big woofers as well. In a live performance we are probably listening more to the reinforced sound system i.e big horns + big woofers more so than the actual instruments(for drums)
 

Sal1950

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Has anyone else experienced this? Is it the horn loaded compression driver that is crossed over at 700 Hz that gives it the life like sound? The high sensitivity? Both? I'm curious but I've got to know at this point as I've got to have speakers that do this, but I can't afford the $16k!

Thoughts?
Yes, that's been my unsupported impressions of large horns many for decades.
Speakers that can easily couple to the room and move a lot of air have mostly seemed to offer those positive traits..
If you can't afford the $16k see if your guy can get you a listen to something a little further down in the price points of the Synthesis line.
I've got the HDI-3600 and am very pleased.
 

Bugal1998

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The other day I want to my local Revel dealer, US Tube Audio in Scottsdale, AZ

I was able to listen to the F208, F228Be, and the JBL 4367.

I thought I'd share my impressions.

F208: Sounded fine to me, good low end, midrange sounded natural, top end was nice, over all nothing special.
F228Be: Sounded better to me, less low end but more defined maybe, midrange the same, top end seemed more defined to me. Most likely as a result of the Be tweeter?

So, I wasn't super impressed with either, not to point where I was willing to pull out my wallet. I thought it might just be a crappy room.

Next up the JBL 4367. From the moment the music started my jaw was on the floor. Everything sounded real, alive, in the room. The acoustic guitars, clarinets vocals, you name it sounded amazing, accurate, and life like. Bass was amazing and tactile. It ran circles around the Revels while still having great tone, clarity and smoothness.

Unfortunately, they were out of F328Be and Salon2 so I couldn't compare.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it the horn loaded compression driver that is crossed over at 700 Hz that gives it the life like sound? The high sensitivity? Both? I'm curious but I've got to know at this point as I've got to have speakers that do this, but I can't afford the $16k!

Thoughts?

Paul
I went to audition Salon 2's thinking I would buy them, and had a similar experience of 'very nice, but so what'... Also heard the 228be in the same room as the Salon 2. And then I heard the 4367 and was hooked (same visit different room). None of them were ever level matched, but I controlled the volume.

Kef, Revel, Monitor Audio, etc. all leave me with a similar impression... Refined but boring. That experience sent me down the M2 path and nothing I've heard since has made me reconsider.

I'm curious about the top tier Genelec and Nuemann offerings but haven't had a chance to hear them.
 

TimF

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Left to their own devices people like french fries with gobs of salt, mashed potatoes with four pats or more of butter and then plenty of salt and pepper, stawberries and shortbread topped with a fist-sized double dollop of whipped cream, double-fudge brownies, five ounces of highly sweet and highly salty BBQ sauce on six onces of beef, and so fourth. You get my drift. I want the JBL speaker with double whipped cream, and plenty of hot fudge on it. You people must absolutely hate the quiet countryside. Maybe it is getting harder and harder to drag or spur us out of our stupor. What do I know?
 

MakeMineVinyl

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The mouth of a large horn has a lot more 'surface area' interfacing with the air than, say, a 4" cone.

This one should do the trick:

vottcatt1945.7.jpg
 

SDC

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Not exactly same position... But personally revel sounded quite bit lean...

Which is better? Depends on condition and Genre but thought 4367 suits my living room better and moved Revel to another room.


About CDs being more dynamic and life-like I disagree though...

In small room I was astonished by 8351...

Just 1.2m away so distance is the limiting factor but still,

compared to the 2.5m 4" compression driver(same room) I found conventional domes can sound so 'real'.
 

ROOSKIE

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The other day I want to my local Revel dealer, US Tube Audio in Scottsdale, AZ

I was able to listen to the F208, F228Be, and the JBL 4367.

I thought I'd share my impressions.

F208: Sounded fine to me, good low end, midrange sounded natural, top end was nice, over all nothing special.
F228Be: Sounded better to me, less low end but more defined maybe, midrange the same, top end seemed more defined to me. Most likely as a result of the Be tweeter?

So, I wasn't super impressed with either, not to point where I was willing to pull out my wallet. I thought it might just be a crappy room.

Next up the JBL 4367. From the moment the music started my jaw was on the floor. Everything sounded real, alive, in the room. The acoustic guitars, clarinets vocals, you name it sounded amazing, accurate, and life like. Bass was amazing and tactile. It ran circles around the Revels while still having great tone, clarity and smoothness.

Unfortunately, they were out of F328Be and Salon2 so I couldn't compare.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it the horn loaded compression driver that is crossed over at 700 Hz that gives it the life like sound? The high sensitivity? Both? I'm curious but I've got to know at this point as I've got to have speakers that do this, but I can't afford the $16k!

Thoughts?

Paul
This is similar to my experience with the JBL 4309 vs several similar priced monitors with conventional tweeters.
While it does vary a bit with the recordings the 4309 is generally more "live" sounding and not in an in your face way. They sound less like good speakers and more like live music happening in my room.
This doesn't mean I can't enjoy a speaker that sounds less live.
My set of BMR's does not have a particularly live effect on most recordings but they sound spectacular.

I will say as well that my REVEL M126be speakers can sound quite alive and play extremely loud with no signs of stress, they are reasonably close to the 4309 in the "live" character and in my opinion very good speakers. I do think there is something to that Be tweeter. It just has vibrancy for days and yet no harshness or brashness. It is quite a tweeter. Though of course I will never know if it is actually due the Be nature.

All three of the above do benefit from subs with the BMR handling 2.0 the best of the 3.

Anyway I have not heard the 4367 though I imagine based on what I know they'd be up my alley. I had a chance at the 4349's for a very reasonable price but passed and now I regret that. The 4367 are well out of my price range for now.
 
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