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Neumann KH420 vs Revel PerformaBe F228be or F328be

echopraxia

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I know, another useless hypothetical speaker comparison thread :)

However, I think this comparison is really interesting because the Revel F228be and Neumann KH420 are very similar in price, seem to have very similar woofer displacement volume, and both seem to measure extremely well (though we don’t have Klippel data for the KH420 yet as far as I know).

This hypothetical comparison is useful to me at least, as I contemplate what my next speaker purchase will be to replace my Salon2’s, which I sold to simplify logistics of moving around quite a bit over the last year (which in retrospect was a good choice since in my most recent (and final) move to California, the movers delivered almost everything in damaged condition).

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Any thoughts on this comparison? Anybody around here who might have KH420’s who could arrange to have them Klippell measured some time? :) If so and shipping cost is an issue, maybe a few of us could donate to make it happen.
 
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Sancus

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which in retrospect was a good choice since in my most recent (and final) move to California, the movers delivered almost everything in damaged condition.

They damaged all your Genelecs?!?
 
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echopraxia

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Go by aesthetics? Revel. Go by loud? 420.
I don’t care about aesthetics much, as I find these both equally ugly in different ways :)

However, in terms of loudness, what leads you to imply the KH420 can go louder? The F228Be/F328Be seem to be no slouches in this area by any means.

I do care about dynamics, as I believe this is a very important component of sound quality. Other sound quality differences matter too of course, but they both seem to measure exceptionally well.
 
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echopraxia

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They damaged all your Genelecs?!?
Thankfully all the Genelecs arrived safely! I packed them myself in the original boxes with factory foam packing, which makes them pretty much impossible to damage. Though one of the 8330A boxes had a massive hole punched through it, thankfully whatever was jabbed into them didn’t penetrate far enough to touch the speaker. Also by some miracle my 77” OLED TV arrived unscathed, which is shocking given that almost every single other bit of furniture, dishes, etc. was broken or seriously damaged.

I attribute this to the fact that to get movers out of NYC this summer was very difficult to schedule, as so many people are moving during this time. That leaves you with the option of either accepting a low quality moving company, or waiting a few more months (and paying the corresponding very expensive rent, which would equal the price of another pair of Salon2’s) for a higher quality mover to have availability.
 
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Laserjock

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Do you have components to drive the passives already?
How about the Dutch & Dutch ?
 
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echopraxia

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Do you have components to drive the passives already?
How about the Dutch & Dutch ?
I do (I have two Purifi 1ET400A amp mono-blocks). But I don’t want this to necessarily bias the choice for a passive speaker. So for the sake of comparison, we can pretend that amp or DSP or any other signal chain component is not a factor to worry about; all that matters is sound quality, dynamics / max SPL, etc.

Dutch & Dutch 8C would definitely be an interesting option to consider, if the dynamics capabilities match that of the KH420. While it has a good amount of combined woofer area, it seems the small-ish cabinet size would certainly constrain this potential a bit. One other thing that worries me about the 8C though is the relatively narrow beam width, which I don’t generally like. I prefer mid or wide beam speakers.
 

dfuller

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KH420s don't require a separate quite beefy amplifier. That, to me, is a benefit.
 

MarkS

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How is it that the fabric-dome tweeter of the Neumann is competitive with the super-high-tech berylllium dome of the Revel?
 

Sancus

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Thankfully all the Genelecs arrived safely! I packed them myself in the original boxes with factory foam packing, which makes them pretty much impossible to damage. Though one of the 8330A boxes had a massive hole punched through it, thankfully whatever was jabbed into them didn’t penetrate far enough to touch the speaker. Also by some miracle my 77” OLED TV arrived unscathed, which is shocking given that almost every single other bit of furniture, dishes, etc. was broken or seriously damaged.

I attribute this to the fact that to get movers out of NYC this summer was very difficult to schedule, as so many people are moving during this time. That leaves you with the option of either accepting a low quality moving company, or waiting a few more months (and paying the corresponding very expensive rent, which would equal the price of another pair of Salon2’s) for a higher quality mover to have availability.

Ah that's good, would suck to have to send them in for repairs even if insurance covers it.

One other thing that worries me about the 8C though is the relatively narrow beam width, which I don’t generally like. I prefer mid or wide beam speakers.

I am pretty sure the 8C is wider than the KH420 except for bass. Using -6dB point as the benchmark, your KH graph and Erin's 8C:

  • 8C is 50° @ 8K, 70° @ 1K, ~72° @ 200hz.
  • KH420 is ~45° at 8K, 50° at 1K, >90° @ 200hz.
The border of yellow/green is -6dB on your graph, but it's usually red/light red like on Erin's, so that makes the KH420 look narrower. And I think width perception is generally believed to be a higher frequency property(I forget exactly but I wanna say 1khz to 8khz), not related to bass.
 
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echopraxia

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How is it that the fabric-dome tweeter of the Neumann is competitive with the super-high-tech berylllium dome of the Revel?
Exotic materials in speakers is almost always just “for show”. They may have some advantages, but all that really matters is the measurable performance achieved in the end.

In terms of max SPL, it’s harder to say. Neumann shows measurements where the KH420 achieves 110db with 3% THD at 10khz. I don’t know if there is any similar measurement for the Revel tweeters.
 
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echopraxia

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Ah that's good, would suck to have to send them in for repairs even if insurance covers it.



I am pretty sure the 8C is wider than the KH420 except for bass. Using -6dB point as the benchmark, your KH graph and Erin's 8C:

  • 8C is 50° @ 8K, 70° @ 1K, ~72° @ 200hz.
  • KH420 is ~45° at 8K, 50° at 1K, 90°+ @ 200hz.
The border of yellow/green is -6dB on your graph, but it's usually red/light red like on Erin's, so that makes the KH420 look narrower. And I think width perception is generally believed to be a higher frequency property(I forget exactly but I wanna say 1khz to 8khz), not related to bass.
Interesting! I’m not sure where I got the impression that the 8C was relatively narrow. Maybe the Revel is just much wider?
 

MarkS

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Exotic materials in speakers is almost always just “for show”.
And for profit. The premium for the Be drivers in Revel speakers is quite high.

And totally not worth it if a fabric-dome speaker produces competitive quality sound.

Just sayin'.
 
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echopraxia

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@echopraxia I thought the next step was the W371a!
It’s interesting to contemplate, but just so expensive. For less than the price of just a pair of W371s, I can buy an entire tower speaker pair like the F328Be, which due to multiple 8” drivers at various heights also tends to yield really nice consistent bass performance throughout the room. I’ve heard the F328Be in person, but not the W371A (it would be interesting to hear it some time).
 
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Χ Ξ Σ

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How about get the KH420 now and add the KH870 later. This combo is so ugly to the point that is majesty.
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At least the Neumann combo look consistent as opposite to the halfz-box-half-egg Genelec combo.
 

Sancus

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Interesting! I’m not sure where I got the impression that the 8C was relatively narrow. Maybe the Revel is just much wider?

Yeah the Revels are 70° at 8K and 1K both, so they are definitely the widest in this discussion. However they have that more typical sharp narrowing above 8K which the KH420 and 8C both avoid.

The 228/328Be have one of the smoothest DI curves out there, it's just not really CD over any frequency range. The 8C has the most constant directivity, and instead of a sharp change >8khz it has one at 150hz, which is probably past the point where steady state room curve becomes more important than directivity.

The KH420 is somewhere in the middle, it lacks the extreme LF control of the 8C, but it has no sharp HF narrowing either. Unfortunately there's no DI graph for it since S&R doesn't publish those, but in any case...

No idea how audible these differences are. Personally I'd buy the 8C for a stereo-no-sub set since I suspect they'll have the best bass for the price. With subs, I'd consider the 228Be. The 328Be is too expensive for what you get IMO, unless you need absolutely ridiculous mid-bass output for a very large room/long listening distances.

P.S. Obligatory "W371A is better than all of this" ;)
 
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echopraxia

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P.S. Obligatory "W371A is better than all of this"
Given that I already have the 8351B’s, I suppose I should find somewhere to hear the W371A at least.

The price just feels so ridiculous — e.g. paying more than a pair of F328Be’s or Salon2’s, just for a pair of woofer towers. It’s hard to imagine they would sound *that* much better than e.g. a pair of F328Be’s along with JTR Captivator subwoofer(s) (the combined full spectrum bass power would completely blow away the Genelec system), which together still cost less than the W371A’s alone.
 

Sancus

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The price just feels so ridiculous — e.g. paying more than a pair of F328Be’s or Salon2’s, just for a pair of woofer towers. It’s hard to imagine they would sound *that* much better than e.g. a pair of F328Be’s along with JTR Captivator subwoofer(s) (the combined full spectrum bass power would completely blow away the Genelec system), which together still cost less than the W371A’s alone.

Nah I agree completely, the price is ridiculous. I think they might be worth it if you have a particularly difficult room with a lot of mid-bass issues, but other than that probably not.
 
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