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Revel F206 vs. Revel F226Be vs. Genelec 8341A

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#1
Has anyone compared these or similar? Would there be much sound quality difference? Listening distance would be 7-10 ft.

I originally purchased the Genelecs as computer speakers in a rented bedroom. Towers weren't really an option. Now with a house I'm considering a full 7.1.4 system with projector. However I'm not too thrilled about the cost and stability of processors for this use case.

The Revels would have some practical advantages. I'd be able to mount a projector a few inches lower (identical LCR) and would be less worried about earthquakes toppling over the speakers. The multiple bass drivers may help with SBIR, which is messing with me at 130hz currently (placement is not enough). I wouldn't have to worry as much about electronics, and there are lots of good deals for speakers on used/dealer market.
 

jonfitch

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#2
Isn't it just easier in general using passive speakers in home theater? Also its easier to hide the wires...I recall the Genelecs being a real mess decor wise with ethernet cables, XLR cables, power cables...harder to hide that and make it look good, plus the gloss wood finish is really nice.

Sound wise I prefer the soundstage presentation of the Revels, the Genelecs sound more upfront, whereas the Revels sound more back-row. This I think is better for music, although the Genelecs will have better vocal intelligibility so may do better for movies/TV.
 

richard12511

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#3
I think @echopraxia had both the F206 and 8351b at the same time.

IIRC, he strongly preferred the Genelec(which should sound very similar to the 8341).

Do you already own the F206, if not it's worth noting that the F208 measures better.
 

echopraxia

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#4
Yeah the F206 treble was too flawed for my taste. The Ascend Sierra RAAL towers I had at the time had much better treble. I believe the spin measurments for these corroborates this and shows the F206 has some treble problems (resonance around 10khz I think), a flaw which does not seem to be replicated by the F208, as @richard12511 mentions above. I don’t know why though, if the F206 and F208 presumably have the same tweeter and waveguide. In any case, other than the treble flaws, I did really like the F206 a lot. But I found I preferred several other speakers in the same price range.

Now, compared to the Genelec 83X1 series... it’s no contest, the Genelec 8351B I have is leagues beyond the F206 and pretty much everything else except for maybe my Salon2’s (which are different, not better).

I listened to the Revel F206 side by side with my Neumann KH310, and the degree to which I preferred the Neumann KH310 over the F206 was shocking: it won in every dimension (including bass), and most certainly mids and treble. Then when I received my 8351B’s I compared them to the KH310. And in this case they were more similar than the KH310 vs F206 in tonality, but the Genelec had an extra edge all around though it’s difficult to describe. The coaxial nature made them for sure the most consistent for different seating positions.

Actually, I’ve tried all these speakers (and more) in my media room for home theater use. My favorite for this application of everything were the Genelec 8351B’s. They were simply as perfect as I could imagine for this, and I suspect it’s partly the coaxial nature and partly their balanced beam width (not too wide, not too narrow) that lead to crystal clear voices and energetic dynamics in movies like gunshots etc.

I would even prefer the Genelec 8351B over the Revel Salon2 for movies, long as sufficient subwoofers are involved. I prefer the Salon2’s wider but less focused soundstage for acoustic/real music recordings, but the Genelec 8351B’s medium and focused/precise soundstage (presumably due to the beam width maybe) for electronic or “amplified” music and for movies.

I think you’re right about multiple woofers in towers helping to spread out the bass response though. I think this matters more for music in a large room than movies, and even so you can always achieve the same thing by adding more subwoofers.

I really don’t think you’d be unhappy with the F206 if you get a good deal on it, but given the treble flaws I’d definitely urge you to consider the F208 vs F206. But to directly answer the question, there is absolutely no question that the Genelec is dramatically better than the Revel F206 in sound quality. Now, I cannot say how the F226Be would do. I suspect it might be a closer fight in that case.

But I cannot comment as I have not heard the F226Be’s. I might buy some though if I find a buyer for my Focal Aria 926’s (which I personally like better than the F206, but still don’t quite match the perfectness levels that the Genelec’s, Neumanns, and Revel Salon2’s achieve).
 
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Lifer

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#5
Yeah the F206 treble was too flawed for my taste. The Ascend Sierra RAAL towers I had at the time had much better treble. I believe the spin measurments for these corroborates this and shows the F206 has some treble problems (resonance around 10khz I think), a flaw which does not seem to be replicated by the F208, as @richard12511 mentions above. I don’t know why though, if the F206 and F208 presumably have the same tweeter and waveguide. In any case, other than the treble flaws, I did really like the F206 a lot. But I found I preferred several other speakers in the same price range.

Now, compared to the Genelec 83X1 series... it’s no contest, the Genelec 8351B I have is leagues beyond the F206 and pretty much everything else except for maybe my Salon2’s (which are different, not better).

I listened to the Revel F206 side by side with my Neumann KH310, and the degree to which I preferred the Neumann KH310 over the F206 was shocking: it won in every dimension (including bass), and most certainly mids and treble. Then when I received my 8351B’s I compared them to the KH310. And in this case they were more similar than the KH310 vs F206 in tonality, but the Genelec had an extra edge all around though it’s difficult to describe. The coaxial nature made them for sure the most consistent for different seating positions.

Actually, I’ve tried all these speakers (and more) in my media room for home theater use. My favorite for this application of everything were the Genelec 8351B’s. They were simply as perfect as I could imagine for this, and I suspect it’s partly the coaxial nature and partly their balanced beam width (not too wide, not too narrow) that lead to crystal clear voices and energetic dynamics in movies like gunshots etc.

I would even prefer the Genelec 8351B over the Revel Salon2 for movies, long as sufficient subwoofers are involved. I prefer the Salon2’s wider but less focused soundstage for acoustic/real music recordings, but the Genelec 8351B’s medium and focused/precise soundstage (presumably due to the beam width maybe) for electronic or “amplified” music and for movies.

I think you’re right about multiple woofers in towers helping to spread out the bass response though. I think this matters more for music in a large room than movies, and even so you can always achieve the same thing by adding more subwoofers.

I really don’t think you’d be unhappy with the F206 if you get a good deal on it, but given the treble flaws I’d definitely urge you to consider the F208 vs F206. But to directly answer the question, there is absolutely no question that the Genelec is dramatically better than the Revel F206 in sound quality. Now, I cannot say how the F226Be would do. I suspect it might be a closer fight in that case.

But I cannot comment as I have not heard the F226Be’s. I might buy some though if I find a buyer for my Focal Aria 926’s (which I personally like better than the F206, but still don’t quite match the perfectness levels that the Genelec’s, Neumanns, and Revel Salon2’s achieve).
Thanks a lot for your feedback @echopraxia very useful.
Sorry to hijack this post, but for acoustical/orchestra music which one would you recommend between the Focal Aria, Revel and Neumann ?
Thanks a lot
 
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Thread Starter #6
Thanks. I wasn't aware the F206 has been measured. Spinroma doesn't look so great with inconsistencies between on axis and early reflections. On the other hand, F226Be spin looks just as good as the Genelecs. If multiple drivers are only way to help with my SBIR issue at 130hz, then F226Be will be interesting.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #7
Purchased M105 to get a taste. Other than bass extension, the main difference I'm noticing is that the Revel is like sitting futher back in the audience. It's amazing for orchestral music, but sounds a little too laid back for "loud" music like rock. Whenever the songs go up to 11, it's lacking some of the impact I'm used to when listening to the Genelecs. I didn't test with subwoofer. But it would be surprise if it changed my perception on higher frequency instruments like female vocals.

Did you have similar perception?
 

richard12511

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#8
Purchased M105 to get a taste. Other than bass extension, the main difference I'm noticing is that the Revel is like sitting futher back in the audience. It's amazing for orchestral music, but sounds a little too laid back for "loud" music like rock. Whenever the songs go up to 11, it's lacking some of the impact I'm used to when listening to the Genelecs. I didn't test with subwoofer. But it would be surprise if it changed my perception on higher frequency instruments like female vocals.

Did you have similar perception?
Very cool, and your impressions line up exactly with mine. The forward/backward thing in space is something that really fascinates me(as I don't know what causes it). @jonfitch was the first to point it out.
 

JustJones

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#9
Same way I felt about the 226be. My wife really liked them, she said they weren't as in your face. Sometimes I like to listen that way as well though I sold them and went with the 8351b's but I could have easily lived with the Revels. You're right about good deals on the 226be.
 

jonfitch

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#10
Very cool, and your impressions line up exactly with mine. The forward/backward thing in space is something that really fascinates me(as I don't know what causes it). @jonfitch was the first to point it out.
This was also pointed out by Purite Audio who did a shootout between Dutch & Dutch 8C, Hedd Towers, and 8351B, that the vocals stood forward in space with the Genelec 8351B compared to other speakers.

Thread here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...51b-d-d8c-hedd-main-towers.22643/#post-758482

In my opinion, what Senior NEET Engineer notes about the Revel M105 being back in space is actual more common with most speakers, and actually the Genelec The Ones presentation is actually more unusual. I had the opportunity to A/B demo models of the 8331 and 8341 against the Revel M126BE, Kef Reference 1, Revel M105, Kef R3, LS50 Meta, ELAC Adante, and a couple of others, and the soundstage presentation in the lower mids with both the 8331 and 8341 was just too odd for me, with the vocals and percussion instruments separated from the rest of the instrumental range, so I ended up passing on buying them.

I'm 99% certain this acoustic affect is what is shown in the published power response of Genelec The Ones. For example, the "bump" in the 300-700hz area in the power response is much larger in the 8331 than in the 8341, and I also noticed this effect less in the 8341. (The 8331 looks more like the 8351B here in this regard). Also the power response of the 8351A is actually really subdued here in this area, so I suspect the vocals/percussion range will actually sound more like a typical hifi speaker.

When I equalized this area (300-700hz) down by about 3-4db in Dirac Live 3.0 (creating a bit of a U shaped target curve in this area by scooping the output), the vocals fell all the way back into the backrow, basically completely eliminating this effect. Although I found it caused the vocals to fall too far into the back row, but cutting by 1-2 db didn't feel like it was enough. This might be an artifact of the slot woofers (seen in the spectral decay graphs), but my inability to get the Genelecs to sound right in this range was the main reason I did not buy a pair.
 
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