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Revel F206 Tower Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 11 3.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 87 28.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 206 67.1%

  • Total voters
    307

fritobugger

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View attachment 364416

Listening to this great album on my F206s and it’s glorious. They play clean and clear, detailed but not etched. They seem very happy playing louder and louder with no distortion.

Dirac is helping to balance the lower end with the top and the balance seems just right to me.

Where a female vocalist has been close miced and decides to accentuate their sibilants, and breath all over the mic (yes you Diana Krall!) these speakers will tell you about it … but my take is that it is an accurate reproduction of what’s been recorded, mixed and mastered for better or worse. I hear the same on IEMs.

I think if you favour a warm
And polite sound - these may not be for you. If you seek transparency, detail and balance they are worth a look.
Great album. Love Mehldau's albums with Chris Thile also
 

Sonic icons

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Ooooh I always thought Step Response == Impulse Response. So Step Response is full spectrum and Impulse is infinitely high frequent signal in theory? That it all makes far more sense. Thank you.

The frequency spectra of both an infinitely sharp step and an infinitely narrow pulse contain all frequencies from zero to infinity. According to the time-frequency uncertainty principle, 2pi * delta(f) * delta(t) >= 1, where delta(t) is the width in time (duration) of the pulse or step, and delta(f) is the width of the frequency spectrum. At the "other extreme", the only time-domain function that corresponds exactly to a single frequency is a sine wave that has continued / will continue forever: {a(t) = A0 sin (2pi * f * t), from t=-infinity to t=+infinity}.

There are various ways to demonstrate this by transforming functions between the time domain and frequency domain (Fourier transforms). One popular way, that requires less than infinite math knowledge :D, is to consider Gaussian functions in the time domain and frequency domain (a Gaussian is a special type of "bell-shaped" peak).
Time domain Gaussian: b(t) = B0 exp{-0.5*(t/t0)^2}, "Gaussian width" = t0
Frequency domain Gaussian: c(f) = C0{-0.5*(f/f0)^2}, "Gaussian width" = f0
Fourier transform of b(t) is a frequency domain Gaussian of width 1/(2pi * t0)
Similarly, Fourier transform of c(f) is a time domain Gaussian of width 1/(2pi * f0)

So the width of the Gaussian bell-shaped function in the [time domain / frequency domain] is inversely proportional to the width of its Fourier transform in the [frequency domain / time domain]. When the width of the time domain Gaussian goes to [zero / infinity], the width of the corresponding frequency domain Gaussian goes to [infinity / zero].

Final comment: to get rid of that annoying 2pi factor that keeps popping up, we can define the angular frequency: omega (radians/s) = 2pi * f (Hz).
 
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AudioSceptic

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This is a review, listening tests, EQ, and detailed measurements of the Revel F206 Floor-standing speaker. It is on kind loan from a member (new) and costs US $1347.50 each.
View attachment 362815
Please excuse the mobile phone picture quality and plastics that are still on the speaker. I try to keep products as fresh as possible. The port is in front and not much in the back other than binding posts.

NOTE: Our company, Madrona Digital which is in the business of custom system integration is not in retail business but we are a dealer for Harman products including Revel. If I am not mistaken, the owner actually purchased this speaker from us. My measurements are standardized and no changes where made for testing of this speaker but feel free to read whatever level of bias you like in my subjective comments.

If you are not familiar with my speaker tests, please watch this video first:

Reference axis was that of the tweeter.

Revel F206 Speaker Measurements
As usual, we start with our suite of speaker frequency response measurements:
View attachment 362817
On axis response is (by speaker standards) essentially flat with a small peak around 4.5 kHz and minor dip around 200 Hz. There is also a bit of directivity error. For a non-DSP speaker, this is quite good. The port tuning is a bit low which I am starting to appreciate as it avoids room modes making the speaker too bass heavy:
View attachment 362819

You get extension into deep bass, going as low as 30 Hz.

Early window response is smooth:
View attachment 362820

I was very impressed in the way it all sums up to such a perfect predicted in-room response:
View attachment 362821

Directivity is not fully controlled but is wide which should give the kind of spatial effects I like:
View attachment 362824
View attachment 362825

The inclusion of mid-range gives more freedom as far as vertical listening axis is:
View attachment 362827

You buy a tower speaker with multiple drivers to get extra power handling/lower distortion doing it. And that is exactly what you get from F206 (and then some):
View attachment 362828

View attachment 362829

Notice the superbly low distortion in 1 to 2 kHz. We are talking distortion that is at least 65 dB lower than the response itself!

EDIT: Please don't run with the frequency responses shown in these graphs. They are near-field and not representative. But are fine for showing levels of distortions since the protocol is always the same.

Output gets a bit reduced at 102 dBSPL:
View attachment 362831

The reduction in the upper band is unlikely to be an issue as your ears would be ringing by then. :) And drop below 90 Hz is to be expected.

Edit: forgot the impedance plot:
View attachment 362921

I left the step response floor low to show more resonances:
View attachment 362833
I probably shouldn't have as I can't see that in the frequency response itself at 900 Hz.

Finally, here is the step response:
View attachment 362834


Revel F206 Listening Tests
As you see from the review picture above, speaker was too heavy to lug upstairs to listen in my 2-channel room. So it had to fill a very large space with a lot of harsh surfaces. First impression was, "man this thing sounds good and familiar!" I know, being a Revel speaker owner myself, that is to be expected but still, it was there. :) I don't put a lot of weight on this part of the test though. I like to EQ (usually on-axis response) and then do an AB so I did:
View attachment 362836
The bass fill is tricky as the room modes are still active there and for all we know, there may already be a boost there. Still, I adjusted that by ear. Same for the 4.5 kHz. Before and after was subtle but the signature with EQ was warmer bass and overall response. Without it, bass was tighter but highs a bit more forward. I suspect in any kind of controlled testing, it would be a draw as to whether EQ or stock sound is better.

Once there, going through my reference tracks delighted me across the board. So much so that I kept listening while the dogs looked at the speaker with annoying emotions! :) I closed my eye and the impression/halo of the sound was quite large which I like.

I was pleasantly surprised by the sub-bass response. Not only the F206 played them, but almost kept them 90% clean. There was just the slightest hint of distortion. More than acceptable. No 2-way bookshelf comes remotely close to this level of performance.

I ran out of amplification power before the speaker had any audible limit/distortion that I could detect. By then, I could barely hear my wife trying to tell me something. :D

Conclusions
We expect excellence from Revel and that is exactly what we get from F206 speaker. It is near perfect in all measurements despite its reasonable cost for such a stylish speaker. Subjective performance was better than I was expecting, truly giving me a "mini Revel Salon 2" experience. It has captured a special place in my heart for combining so many factors together so successfully.

I am going to highly recommend the Revel F206 speaker. But again consider potential sources of bias in my impressions per preface note.

------------
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/
For anyone interested, there's a new white pair and new black pair for sale on UK ebay at 50% off (£1599/1699).
 

CapMan

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IMG_6670.jpeg


REW measurements in room of F206 post Dirac using MMM method and 1/12 smoothing. Correction was applied only to 650Hz using DLBC. Speakers are firing about 20 degrees off axis. Crossover to dual subs at 100Hz

12x12’ room, asymmetric (bay windows and angled doorway).

Similarly even response to those posted by @Steve Dallas in a different room.

Hope this is useful
 
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Mindcool

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I am a happy owner of the F206. With that said: would the bass extension of the F208 or the lower distortion of the F226be be a significant upgrade?
 

CapMan

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I am a happy owner of the F206. With that said: would the bass extension of the F208 or the lower distortion of the F226be be a significant upgrade?
From the spins the lower distortion seems to kick in around 100Hz. I’m crossing to subs at that point. I also wonder about making the move , but I just can’t justify it at 3-4x the price.
 

fritobugger

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I am a happy owner of the F206. With that said: would the bass extension of the F208 or the lower distortion of the F226be be a significant upgrade?

I went from the F36 which has somewhat similar low end specs as the F206 to the F208. Before the subs were crossed over by room calibration at 80hz. Now they are crossed over at 40Hz. For low volume listening, the subs sometime don't even turn on.

If you have multiple really good subs then get the F226Be, I guess.

That said, I am crazy happy with the F208.
 

JohnnyNG

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What an amazing lineup the Performa 3 has been. Love my M106. I wonder what they can do to improve with the next line.
 

fritobugger

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What an amazing lineup the Performa 3 has been. Love my M106. I wonder what they can do to improve with the next line.

Unfortunately the purchase of Harman by Samsung happened after the current line up was developed so we have no idea. I am unfortunately pessimistic about the impact of Samsung on new developments.
 

YSDR

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Unfortunately the purchase of Harman by Samsung happened after the current line up was developed so we have no idea. I am unfortunately pessimistic about the impact of Samsung on new developments.
New, perfect-spinorama soundbars may be born from the co-production of Samsung's money and Revel's engineers. :D
 

thewas

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New, perfect-spinorama soundbars may be born from the co-production of Samsung's money and Revel's engineers. :D
Which has long happened already :cool: (interesting comparison starting at 21:08)

 

Livnmuskoka

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I’ve decided to start saving for a proper pair of floor standers. I know these would compare very well to the ascend acoustics but what would be the differences in real use? I prefer a slightly more forward sound and a “wall of music”, which might achieve this a little better?
Ascend LX or ELX Titan.
 

Tavus

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Is it possible to pair a Revel Preforma series with the Concerta series as surrounds? Will it tonally match?
 

Steve Dallas

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Is it possible to pair a Revel Preforma series with the Concerta series as surrounds? Will it tonally match?

Yes. I did that for a few years including using the Concerta center. It all sounded glorious together. Tonal matching is not nearly as much of a thing as the industry would have you believe, however. (I now have all Polk in-wall surrounds and in-ceiling heights and it still sounds glorious.)

There is one cosmetic difference that may or may not matter to you. Performa tweeter domes are black, whereas Concerta tweeter domes are silver. That led me to "upgrade" my center to a Performa.
 
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