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Revel Concerta C10 Review (center speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 44 24.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 63 35.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 65 36.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 8 4.4%

  • Total voters
    180

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Revel C10. It was kindly purchased used by a member and sent in for testing. It is discontinued (released in 2008):

Revel C10 Review Center Home Theater Speaker.jpg


As you see, the C10 is quite small. It is a 2.5-way design with four mid-woofers, tweeter in the center and dual ports one at each end. I could not easily take the grill off so I did not attempt to do so. Even using a flashlight all I could identify was the tweeter. The grill is solid rather than being soft fabric you push in to find the drivers by feel.

It comes with brackets for wall mounting. Here is the back side:
Revel Concerta C10 Review Center Home Theater Speaker.jpg


Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Reference axis was the center of the tweeter (aligned by eye). It is getting colder with the measurement room temp at 14 degrees C. Accuracy is better than 1% for almost entire audio spectrum indicating a well designed speaker.

NOTE: our company, Madrona Digital is a dealer for Harman products which includes Revel. So feel free to read whatever bias you like in my subjective remarks.

Revel C10 Measurements

Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Frequency Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png


As you will see later, there is a built-in high pass filter so there is not much bass to speak of. The rest of the response is well behaved though with a slight slope down. There is some disturbance between 1 and 2 khz which is likely interference from the ports. As noted before, I could not identify the location of said ports or midrange drivers so I have no near field measurements to confirm that. Impact on frequency response is very modest though so should not mess up tonality.

The good directivity gives almost textbook early window and predicted in-room responses:
Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Early Window Frequency Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png



Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Predicted in-room Frequency Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png


2-way versions of these speakers has had horribly narrow horizontal beam width. The 2.5-way approach helps some here but doesn't solve the problem:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Horizontal Beam width Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png


Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Horizontal Directivity Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png


You see the choke point around 1 to 2 kHz but it is twice as wide as competing speakers we have tested.

Vertical directivity naturally is much better than most 2-way speakers:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Vertical Directivity Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png


Impedance measurements show the high-pass filter with the way impedance shoots up as we get down to DC:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Impedance and phase Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png


That high pass filter pays dividends in keeping bass notes from causing a lot of distortion:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements THD Distortion Center Home Theater Speaker.png


It does make the relative amount look worse though but that is because there is essentially no response at lower range:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements Distortion Center Home Theater Speaker.png


I could feel the cabinet resonating strongly so we see that indicated in the waterfall display:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements CSD Waterfall Center Home Theater Speaker.png


Remember that I noted cabinet/port resonances between 1 and 2 kHz. That is where we are seeing the bulk of resonances above.

Finally, here is the impulse response for fans of this graph:

Revel Concerta C10 Measurements lmpulse Response Center Home Theater Speaker.png


Revel C10 Listening Tests
As soon as I started to play the C10, it sounded horrible. Quick confirmation showed that I had the EQ on from last speaker test. :) Turned that off and man, does this little speaker sound natural with great tonality. Yes, there is no lower bass and the upper bass is a bit tubby as a result. But the rest of the spectrum is beautiful with warm and correct tonality, very much similar to other well designed speakers I have tested (especially Revels). I felt little need to create or mess with equalization.

On dynamics ability, this was excellent due to not having any deep bass to bottom out the drivers. I could get it loud enough to create some physical sensation in my belly and sudden notes were surprisingly impactful. There is a lesson here is designing a speaker that is allowed to play only what it can do well.

On directivity, changing one seat over caused a slight tonal shift in vocals but it was not at severe.

Conclusions
The Revel C10 gets us closer to what a tiny center speaker with multiple drivers should be. Despite its budget class, clearly a lot of engineering has gone into making it deliver excellently smooth off-axis response (which summed). High pass filter is smart although it makes it less than a full (spectrum) speaker. If it had more bass, it would be a knock out. But it doesn't.

As a bonus, it is also quite small. I put it in front of our flat panel and it disappeared below its standard stand.

I am going to recommend the Revel C10. If you can find it on the used market, it can be a great option compared to a lot of junk designs out there.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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amirm

amirm

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You are recommending a speaker that rolls off below 700 hz? That is a bit of a puzzle to me.
It is 90 dB efficient. You can knock that down to 85 dB and response will be flat to 200 Hz then.
 

Sancus

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This is a 2.5-way which I guess contributes to the better directivity. I don't much like the rolloff either, but I guess since this is going to be in a HT and will typically get that region EQed, it's not the end of the world.

Considering the shockingly tiny 4.25" height, it's somewhat impressive. No more excuses for 6-8" tall centers with terrible directivity, IMO.
 

Dj7675

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It is 90 dB efficient. You can knock that down to 85 dB and response will be flat to 200 Hz then.
I sent this in to see if I want to use it actually on wall, above my screen as a center height speaker, where I don’t have a lot of room to put a speaker. Revel specs the speaker at -3dB at 110Hz.. Does it seam reasonable for it to hit that spec when positioned flush mounted to a wall you think?
 
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amirm

amirm

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I sent this in to see if I want to use it actually on wall, above my screen as a center height speaker, where I don’t have a lot of room to put a speaker. Revel specs the speaker at -3dB at 110Hz.. Does it seam reasonable for it to hit that spec when positioned flush mounted to a wall you think?
Directivity is around 360 degrees at 100 Hz so you should get 6 dB gain. Seems reasonable.
 

pseudoid

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I should be jealous as my purchase of a center Polk R350 (2021 release and @$500+), did not do so well sucked, when tested.
But my fate is sealed and I have come to terms that fidelity only means 2 speakers/stereo for me.
 

H-713

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Solid "meh". I didn't quite give this one a headless, but it's a postman at best. This thing basically fails at the one thing a center channel is supposed to do.

Form factor on this one makes it pretty awkward to use as vertical MTM mains. Not a particularly useful speaker.
 
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amirm

amirm

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@amirm, sorry but your Harman love is showing in this one IMEO.
Not at all. When I saw the measurements, my reaction was the same as yours. Then I listened to them (placed in front of the screen) and it sounded quite good, just doesn't have bass.

Let's remember that the measurements are superb above bass frequencies.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Form factor on this one makes it pretty awkward to use as vertical MTM mains.
Why is that? It comes with brackets that let you wall mount them vertically.
 

MediumRare

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You are recommending a speaker that rolls off below 700 hz? That is a bit of a puzzle to me.
The purpose of this speaker is to be a supplement to help center voices, is it not? So there is no need for much energy below 300 150 Hz, [because the lower frequencies can be handled by the L&R speakers] which is realistically where the rolloff is. By eye the -6 point is about 140 Hz.

Edited to reflect helpful/corrective comments from the forum.
 
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Dj7675

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The more I think about it, I think it is a pretty amazing design within the constraints .. small in size, wall mountable, easy to power, light weight, low distortion (at least at living room volume), and sound good within what is possible given the constraints above. It uses 3inch drivers, is only 4 1/4” in height and weights just 6.75lbs. The mounting hardware for wall mounting and stand mount can both be used to aim the speaker which only will help getting good sound in room. Looks like you can’t overcome physics which results in poor directivity, but if your listening distance is far enough that 40 degree window might be good enough for 3 people on the couch. Obviously a 3way like the C208 is better in about every way, but if you need something small or have to use the TV speakers, this with a sub can provide some pretty good sound and be a good compromise under the right situation.
In the small space I have above my screen where I want to put a center height speaker, I can put something like this, or I can install something like a Revel M55XC but have to mount it horizontal which gives me around 60 degrees total. I can see that designing and manufacturing something with these constraints is quite challenging and looks like Revel has made the best compromises with at least nailing everything they could except directivity.
D91E33A8-9150-435C-85DC-5631286625AC.png
 

respice finem

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I guess, if it had more bass, it would distort terribly, with membrane surface this small. For its intended purpose, it is quite OK IMHO.
 

Dj7675

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I guess, if it had more bass, it would distort terribly, with membrane surface this small. For its intended purpose, it is quite OK IMHO
High pass filter... another smart decision, it won’t play very low but looks like it can play cleanly and much louder without falling apart.
 

respice finem

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High pass filter... another smart decision, it won’t play very low but looks like it can play cleanly and much louder without falling apart.
Yes. Theoretically, even the AVR itself should apply one during setup, but this provides additional security if it didn't.
 

Absolute

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Seeing all these Center speakers with laserbeam dispersion in a large part of their intended range, one has to wonder if that is because it measures better when played together with L and R speakers in a room or if it's just a case of companies ripping their customers off by selling turds?
 

Rja4000

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It is 90 dB efficient. You can knock that down to 85 dB and response will be flat to 200 Hz then.
You mean by applying a 6dB downward slope from 150Hz ?

I have to say I'm also puzzled.
It's flat, yes, but from approx 300Hz, and that's quite high.
For that particular use, is the target curve different then ?
Because you expect kind of a higher bass boost due to positioning ?

And we still have the drawbacks of the MTM design.
 
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