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Revel F328Be or KEF Reference 3 Speakers.

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#1
Hello & thanks for allowing me to join this group.

I would like to buy a pair of speakers, either Revel F328Be or KEF Reference 3. My listening room is 19ft long x 13ft wide x 10ft high and I currently have a Parasound A21+ amplifier and P6 Pre-amplifier. Will add a Bluesound Node2i streamer.

Can anybody share their experiences on these speakers, especially Revel's F328Be speakers? I cannot find much reviews on these while there are quite a lot available on KEF's Ref 3.

I live in the Caribbean on the island of Trinidad and there are no HiFi stores to audition anything, hence relying on people's feed back to chart the way forward.

Thanks & Regards,
Richard
 
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CDMC

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#3
It will help greatly if you can give us some more information:

1) What speakers do you currently have?
2) What don't you like about your current speakers?
3) What do you like about your current speakers?
4) Do you use subwoofers?
5) Music only or music and movies?
6) Type of music?
7) How loud do you listen?
8) How is your room furnished (i.e. modern, lots of hard surfaces with little furniture; contemporary with mixed surfaces; traditional, heavy drapes, carpets, overstuffed furniture)?

The room you place the speakers in has a huge effect on their sound. Similarly, personal preferences are important. Without this information, it is impossible to give you any really helpful information.
 

waynel

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#5
OP
D
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Thread Starter #8
It will help greatly if you can give us some more information:

1) What speakers do you currently have?
2) What don't you like about your current speakers?
3) What do you like about your current speakers?
4) Do you use subwoofers?
5) Music only or music and movies?
6) Type of music?
7) How loud do you listen?
8) How is your room furnished (i.e. modern, lots of hard surfaces with little furniture; contemporary with mixed surfaces; traditional, heavy drapes, carpets, overstuffed furniture)?

The room you place the speakers in has a huge effect on their sound. Similarly, personal preferences are important. Without this information, it is impossible to give you any really helpful information.
It will help greatly if you can give us some more information:

1) What speakers do you currently have?
2) What don't you like about your current speakers?
3) What do you like about your current speakers?
4) Do you use subwoofers?
5) Music only or music and movies?
6) Type of music?
7) How loud do you listen?
8) How is your room furnished (i.e. modern, lots of hard surfaces with little furniture; contemporary with mixed surfaces; traditional, heavy drapes, carpets, overstuffed furniture)?

The room you place the speakers in has a huge effect on their sound. Similarly, personal preferences are important. Without this information, it is impossible to give you any really helpful information.
I currently have SVS Ultra book shelf speakers on stands.
I don't like the metallic sound of the Aluminum dome tweeter.
I really dont like anything about them.
I use two SVS Sb2000 subwoofers
Music only
Jazz, Classical, pop, rock and Reggae music
I would say that I listen at a moderate listening level.
Room flooring are Ceramic tiles probably over stuffed with furniture and a large center rug.

Hope this helps.
 

Archsam

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#9
My initial impression is your room isn't massive, and if you only listen at moderate SPL, the Revel F328Be might be too much speakers for your space? If this is my space I will look at the F226Be or F228Be. The Kef 3 feels like a good size as well.

Interesting you mentioned the F3289Be is the same price as the Ref 3 where you are? That's incredible, as here in the UK the Ref 3 are £10,500 (and I can find deals for as low as £7,295), whereas the F328Be are £15,995?

Edit: My living room is 4.0m x 3.4m x 2.7m(h), so a fair bit smaller than yours. However I can't turn up my amp beyond 8 o'clock with my Revel M105 otherwise I will shake the house. Even with such small speakers I have to tame the bass by reducing the rear port in order to tame a room mode, otherwise it was too much.
 
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OP
D
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Thread Starter #10
My initial impression is your room isn't massive, and if you only listen at moderate SPL, the Revel F328Be might be too much speakers for your space? If this is my space I will look at the F226Be or F228Be. The Kef 3 feels like a good size as well.

Interesting you mentioned the F3289Be is the same price as the Ref 3 where you are? That's incredible, as here in the UK the Ref 3 are £10,500 (and I can find deals for as low as £7,295), whereas the F328Be are £15,995?

Edit: My living room is 4.0m x 3.4m x 2.7m(h), so a fair bit smaller than yours. However I can't turn up my amp beyond 8 o'clock with my Revel M105 otherwise I will shake the house. Even with such small speakers I have to tame the bass by reducing the rear port in order to tame a room mode, otherwise it was too much.
There is a local authorized dealer on the island for HK, but absolutely no stock., good friend of my cousin. He is willing to sell me for US$ 10,322.58. He has sold numerous Salon 2, but will be his first sale for these F328Be speakers.
Have you heard these revel F328Be speakers and what do you think about them vs Kef Reference 3?
 
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paddycrow

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#11
You won't go wrong with either, get the one you prefer. We audiophiles tend to fuss over the smallest details rather than just enjoying the sounds coming out of our systems.
 

CDMC

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#12
I currently have SVS Ultra book shelf speakers on stands.
I don't like the metallic sound of the Aluminum dome tweeter.
I really dont like anything about them.
I use two SVS Sb2000 subwoofers
Music only
Jazz, Classical, pop, rock and Reggae music
I would say that I listen at a moderate listening level.
Room flooring are Ceramic tiles probably over stuffed with furniture and a large center rug.

Hope this helps.
Thanks. I am going to suggest a different approach and allocation of funds:

  • There is no particular sound to a driver, it is the voicing of a driver. Your current speakers are a bit elevated in the high frequencies and this is probably what you are hearing and not liking. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/svs-ultra-bookshelf-speaker-review.15055/
  • You are going from two extremes, from a small budget bookshelf to large very expensive floor standing speakers. Between the two speakers, with your current system, the KEFs may be a better choice because they start to roll off in the bass higher than the Revels, which will make them easier to integrate with your subwoofers than the Revels. Here is a discussion of the very similar F228be v Reference 5. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...f-reference-5-vs-revel-performa-f228be.13001/
  • Either speaker is going to sound very good in your room, slightly different, but with similar responses outside the bass extension and capability.
  • What your system is lacking is any form of DSP or proper method for integrating subwoofers. If it were me, I would go the following route instead:
    • F226be,F206 or F208s.
    • Change your preamp/processor to a Mini DSP SHD or Anthem STR, both of which have DSP/room correction and built in crossovers for your mains and subwoofers.
Just throwing money at big speakers is not going to fix all of your issues. Properly integrating your subwoofers and correcting for the large bass modes your room has (which all have) is going to make a far bigger difference than between the Kef and Revel.
 
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waynel

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#13
Thanks. I am going to suggest a different approach and allocation of funds:

  • There is no particular sound to a driver, it is the voicing of a driver. Your current speakers are a bit elevated in the high frequencies and this is probably what you are hearing and not liking. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/svs-ultra-bookshelf-speaker-review.15055/
  • You are going from two extremes, from a small budget bookshelf to large very expensive floor standing speakers. Between the two speakers, with your current system, the KEFs may be a better choice because they start to roll off in the bass higher than the Revels, which will make them easier to integrate with your subwoofers than the Revels. Here is a discussion of the very similar F228be v Reference 5. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...f-reference-5-vs-revel-performa-f228be.13001/
  • Either speaker is going to sound very good in your room, slightly different, but with similar responses outside the bass extension and capability.
  • What your system is lacking is any form of DSP or proper method for integrating subwoofers. If it were me, I would go the following route instead:
    • F226be or F208s.
    • Change your preamp/processor to a Mini DSP SHD or Anthem STR, both of which have DSP/room correction and built in crossovers for your mains and subwoofers.
Just throwing money at big speakers is not going to fix all of your issues. Properly integrating your subwoofers and correcting for the large bass modes your room has (which all have) is going to make a far bigger difference than between the Kef and Revel.
While I agree on the main ideas of your post the Kef Ref 3 are not small bookshelf speakers , they are 113 lb towers, I think you are confusing them with the R3's.
 

CDMC

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#14

waynel

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#15
I see now, you weren't calling the Kefs small bookshelves but the OPs current speakers. In that case I fully agree with your approach, especially as the OP already has two decent (for music) subs.
 

DSJR

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#16
Just to quickly butt in here - Aluminium dome tweets DON'T have to sound metallic! If they do, it's either that they're crossing over too low (used to be an issue in the past), the dispersion of the speaker as a whole is badly sorted at the chosen crossover point (I think it can add 'glare' if not right) or quite likely, these speakers were set as 'HiFi' types with tweeter set far too high in level...

Good luck with the replacements. Revel do seem to be doing good things these days and a shame if you need to choose 'blind.'
 

Lsc

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#17
I’d just get the Revels and call it a day. Only saying this because I have the F228Be and used to have the F208. And considering how they made improvements on the F328Be, I can’t see how anyone would not be amazed by them.

I tried to listen to the Kefs but the lack of dealers around me made me give up. Revels also have great service...especially when you deal with them directly.
 

amirm

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#18
I would like to buy a pair of speakers, either Revel F328Be or KEF Reference 3.
I have measured my F328Be but they are too darn heavy to drag up to my listening room. I have not yet decided how to solve that problem.
 

stevenswall

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#19
Between the two speakers, with your current system, the KEFs may be a better choice because they start to roll off in the bass higher than the Revels, which will make them easier to integrate with your subwoofers than the Revels.
If the recommendation is to get a DSP to integrate subwoofers, there should be no audible difference right? Select the steepest crossover to blend the subs and speakers, and it shouldn't matter that a speaker is flat to 20hz because it won't be making any noise down there with a MiniDSP going down 48dB per octave starting at 80 hz.

OP: The biggest different that I think is easily audible between these speakers is likely going to be vertical dispersion. In my opinion, and I'm extremely biased here (against speakers without excellent vertical dispersion), non-coaxial speakers sound like absolute garbage to me when I'm not listening on axis. That being said, my use case is sitting on a couch, standing behind a couch, walking to the kitchen for a snack, sitting on the floor, or sitting on a higher chair than a couch. I like things to sound relatively balanced with controlled rolloff and haven't experienced that at any price point with a non-coaxial speaker.
 
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CDMC

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#20
I wouldn’t say inaudible (and don’t know how 48db filters may affect it, have only used up to 24). Every speaker has its own sound, a function of radiation (as you point out), distortion, nonlinearity, resonances, and surely many more things. As we know, once on axis linearity is identical, off axis differences can affect the sound a great deal. We also know that our ears are very malleable and will adjust to most non linearities over time (speaker break in). I am of the camp than once you do get the bass taken care of and have a decent room, the small differences between two well designed speakers like the Kef and Revel will be minimal. While one may be preferred over another in direct comparisons, outside of that, I think a person will quickly adjust to whatever they have and if the other were brought in after a while, would sound off.
 

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