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New-to-me Revels: need room and amplifier-wiring advice

q3cpma

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That wouldn’t be the only MS screwup they’ve worked around, I’m sure.

I have a Linux box that I built for fun, but quickly realized that was a hobby operating system—I would have to approach it like a hobby to really make it work. 30 years ago I’d be all over it. I just can’t get interested now.
Not really. You can approach it like a hobby, and that's indeed the only way to get to the state I mentioned, or you can do like almost all the world's defense department and use something polished like RHEL (that would be Fedora for the common desktop).
 
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rdenney

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Listening to the 1987 EMI CD of Bernard Haitink conducting the London Philharmonic playing the Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and I think I’m hearing a true stage-width image for the first time in 50 years of listening to recordings played on stereos. It’s all there—the separation of the quartet, small string orchestra and large string orchestra, laid out before me. Kal thought the imaging of these was not as good as his Ultimas, but dayum.

I believe this is the most beautiful piece of music written in the 20th Century. It always gets me, but not like this.

The last time I heard the RVW Tallis with this breadth of presence, I was sitting in Row J of the Royal Festival Hall, listening to Richard Hickox (RIP—he died suddenly three weeks later) conduct the Philharmonia, in 2008. I cried like a baby then, too. It would have been embarrassing, but nobody was near us. Why won’t the British listen to their own music?

Oh, God. I’ve never heard anything like this from a stereo. This is an epiphany.

Thank goodness I’m only using 12-gauge zip cord. :)

Rick “what took me so long to get speakers this good?” Denney
 

Kal Rubinson

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Kal thought the imaging of these was not as good as his Ultimas, but dayum.
Ancient history. What I can add is that the comparison may not be equitable because the F12s were in my CT room and the Ultimas in my NYC room.

Ooops. I went back to find that I actually shlepped them to NY! That's something I'd never do today. Anyway, I wrote what I wrote and the document is more reliable than my memory. (N.B.: The Ultima Studios in the review were the earlier versions, not the more recent Studio2s.)
 
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rdenney

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More listening from earlier. Canadian Brass with the New York Phil and Philadelphia Orchestra brass players. Followed by the Cleveland Winds playing the Holst Suites for Band, in the landmark 1978 Telarc recording. Tubas sound like tubas, right down to the 44 Hz low F. I could tell the difference between the smallish C tuba played by Chuck Daellenbach and and the grand orchestral tuba in Warren Deck’s lap.

As I’ve said before, I demand that instruments sound like themselves in speakers, and I hear it rarely enough. The Advents cannot do imaging like the Revels, and they just can’t get the lushness of low strings, sitting right at their crossover, but they don’t make tubas sound like euphoniums and neither do these Revels. The F12’s really seem to benefit from the 8” drivers and three-way design compared to the F36’s. It’s needed to make tubas sound right.

And the pizzicato string bass—just the right amount of felt thump.

And the bass drum roll in the Holst First Suite, I felt that in the soles of my feet. That has real information probably down into the 20’s.

I play these speakers louder than the Advents—they don’t have “loud” tonality at the same listening level. My prior experience with ported speakers were either small boxes with port tuning too high (50-70 Hz) or bass reflex party or live-sound speakers like vintage JBLs. These ports are tuned to 33 Hz, which makes all the difference.

Now listening to the Vaughan Williams London Symphony from the same EMI CD as the previous post, and the dynamics are stunning. But they were good on the Advents, too. Advents do dynamics well. But they don’t assemble nearly as coherent an image.

Rick “have to turn it down now” Denney
 
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rdenney

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Ancient history. What I can add is that the comparison may not be equitable because the F12s were in my CT room and the Ultimas in my NYC room.

Ooops. I went back to find that I actually shlepped them to NY! That's something I'd never do today. Anyway, I wrote what I wrote and the document is more reliable than my memory. (N.B.: The Ultima Studios in the review were the earlier versions, not the more recent Studio2s.)

I took it to mean: the Ultimate Studios were even better, and I’m hindered by 44 years of love for Advents. Neither of those is a criticism of what you wrote.

What led me to these, which may be interesting in its mix of respect for objective and subjective evaluations: When I saw these on eBay, I started googling them and found your article. I was looking for Revels on eBay because of Floyd Toole and this forum, but your article (including JA’s measurements) made me pull the trigger. That and Blumlein’s review, and Amir’s (biased...whatever) high regard for Revel’s ability to preserve their key qualities in their budget models. And the Canadian NRC spins. What made me search this forum for Revel reviews in the first place was JA saying, in a YouTubed Q&A session at RMAF, that he cried when he had to give the Salons back after testing.

I’m just glad that somebody else didn’t buy them while I was treading that path over the course of a week.

Rick “who never thought $800 could get this much in speakers” Denney
 

Blumlein 88

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Listening to the 1987 EMI CD of Bernard Haitink conducting the London Philharmonic playing the Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and I think I’m hearing a true stage-width image for the first time in 50 years of listening to recordings played on stereos. It’s all there—the separation of the quartet, small string orchestra and large string orchestra, laid out before me. Kal thought the imaging of these was not as good as his Ultimas, but dayum.

I believe this is the most beautiful piece of music written in the 20th Century. It always gets me, but not like this.

The last time I heard the RVW Tallis with this breadth of presence, I was sitting in Row J of the Royal Festival Hall, listening to Richard Hickox (RIP—he died suddenly three weeks later) conduct the Philharmonia, in 2008. I cried like a baby then, too. It would have been embarrassing, but nobody was near us. Why won’t the British listen to their own music?

Oh, God. I’ve never heard anything like this from a stereo. This is an epiphany.

Thank goodness I’m only using 12-gauge zip cord. :)

Rick “what took me so long to get speakers this good?” Denney
Oh that is such a nice piece of music it certainly should be heard on good sounding speakers.

The F12s I think could convince lots of people to pay more attention to Toole and Harman's work. Just by doing the old listening thing. Those speakers are mighty good for what they cost.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I took it to mean: the Ultimate Studios were even better, and I’m hindered by 44 years of love for Advents. Neither of those is a criticism of what you wrote.
None taken and, although the Ultima is better (as it should be), I do regret not keeping the F12s.
 

MrPeabody

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...the F12s were in my CT room and the Ultimas in my NYC room.

Ooops. I went back to find that I actually shlepped them to NY! That's something I'd never do today. ...

Much smarter to hire some college kids to do the schlepping!
 

MrPeabody

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... The F12’s really seem to benefit from the 8” drivers and three-way design compared to the F36’s. ...

I'm glad to have some information on this from someone who has listened to the F36 and ended up buying the F12. I don't think there can be much doubt that the F12 is/was the better speaker, true 3-way with the two large woofers. If I had seen that pair of speakers on eBay before you bought, chances are pretty good that they would now belong to me. I need to keep closer watch.
 
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rdenney

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The foam surrounds in my double Advents gave out over 30 years ago. Congrats on the Revels.

I’ve refoamed mine twice, and recapped both sets last year. They are still tip-top, for what they are. But I wasn’t being fair to them in their current location, either.

Rick “Advents work better than many, even now” Denney
 
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rdenney

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I'm glad to have some information on this from someone who has listened to the F36 and ended up buying the F12. I don't think there can be much doubt that the F12 is/was the better speaker, true 3-way with the two large woofers. If I had seen that pair of speakers on eBay before you bought, chances are pretty good that they would now belong to me. I need to keep closer watch.

I gave the wrong impression—I have not heard the F36’s. I’m going on measurements and driver size (the F36’s, as I recall, have 6” woofers and a 2-1/2-way design).

Rick “but the F36’s have nicer curved sides” Denney
 

Kal Rubinson

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I gave the wrong impression—I have not heard the F36’s. I’m going on measurements and driver size (the F36’s, as I recall, have 6” woofers and a 2-1/2-way design).
Yes, I was disappointed that Revel went to 2-1/2 way designs in the Concerta series. Lost my interest at that point.
 
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rdenney

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It’s jazz night with the F12’s. Listening now to Wynton Marsalis’s Hot House Flowers from 1984. Soft music music played softly, but still completely coherent at low listening levels.

That took me to Miles and Kind of Blue, on vinyl. Sublime. In a Columbia Legacy pressing. The Audio-Technica AT-440mla is supposed to be too bright. Not with Miles. Sound just floats out of the F12’s.

5FD35EEE-7DA5-4459-ACFA-04E96A444EFD.jpeg


Rick “too soft to hear the vinyl roar, and music is too good to care” Denney
 
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rdenney

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Okay, so the wife went to town, and I had an opportunity to torment the cat and turn it up.

There's no problem at all producing clean peaks at 110 dB SPL (C weighting), from the listening position about 7 feet from the speakers. This is freaking LOUD.

But now I'm hearing the ringing in the deep bass that I did not hear with my Advents or during the REW sweeps, and I think the speaker location is coupling with modes in the room in ways the old location, flawed though it was, did not. I have some work to do. The speakers are about two feet out from the windows behind them, though the low ports are below the sill by a bit and that distance is more like 20 inches to the wall below the sill. The right speaker is right in front of a floor vent, and I'm probably coupling with an air column in the vent, though the air handler was blowing air during my test. A pillow against the wall behind the port? Closer to the wall? A diverter to aim the sound up (because I can't block the vent)? I already have stuff sitting on the floor behind the speakers, but below the level of the port.

During the test, air was pumping aggressively through those ports, but I heard no port chuffing.

I played a Canadian Brass CD, which is really a joint effort with brass players from the New York Phil and from the Philadelphia Orchestra. This is one of my go-to test CD's for evaluating "reference" volume levels. Playing along on my F tuba had no effect on the SPL meter--I could not play louder than what was coming out of the speakers, at least with the tuba pointed up (as it usually is). This absolutely serves my use case of being able to play along with recordings, and by a healthy margin.

Rick Wakeman's Red Planet has some very deep synthesizer work in it, and I could feel it through the floor. I could see excursion on the woofers easily in the 10mm range, with the average level sitting right around 100 dB. That new album is more compressed than old stuff.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Trilogy starts with The Endless Enigma, and there is a spot where Carl Palmer plays a bass drum roll---thump, thump, thump, thump! On the Advents at high volume, this is tight and solid, on the F12's, there is more ringing. I will think about how one might tighten that up a bit. But I was playing this at peaks of 108-110 dB SPL, so it was really a torture test. Maybe it was my brain rattling.

I can turn up the preamp to a higher setting than with the Advents, too, without the sound being scary (other than being LOUD). The Advents would start to scare me--just that hint of distortion that says, NO MORE. I never had that sense with these.

These are rated for a 200-watt amp (nominal, which probably means rated into 8 ohms). I'm bi-amping, but still using the passive crossover network in the speaker, with two 125-wpc amps that sport a couple of dB headroom above that. It seems to be a good match.

Now, my tinnitus is in full flare. :) No more testing like that for a while!

Rick "comments welcome" Denney
 
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