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Revel M105 vs M106 -- how to interpret measurements?

Sancus

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Although I share your point, I don't think I need to explain that not everyone wants to use EQ. You need additional circuitry(s) to do that and even with high-end devices like the expensive AVR-s for example, there are measurable degradations to the sound if EQ is engaged. This is just for example, but many other reasons are possible.

I guess but basic EQ to ear(not automatic room EQ) is cheap and easy to come by. I would assume anyone looking at Revel speakers can use it if they want. After all, it's free in most source software and even some source hardware and there's lots of hardware EQs under $100 too. The bar is not high.
 

QMuse

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You need additional circuitry(s) to do that and even with high-end devices like the expensive AVR-s for example, there are measurable degradations to the sound if EQ is engaged.

That is nothing else but a sign of poor implementation. Properly implemented room EQ doesn't introduce any degradations to the sound.
 
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TimVG

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Nobody knows how many people prefer a flat sound. The actual numbers have not been published to my knowledge. In any case it is a probability not a fact. We know there is this idea/set of tests that in a controlled test environment flatter sound prevailed against some number of competing alternatives. It may have been that flat sound "won" by appealing most to 30%, 40%, 51%, 65% of participants. Even at 85%, that leaves million of people who prefer something else.
I read regular reviews by people who discuss that such and such reference speaker is flatter and yet somehow the preferred speaker is the one a little on the rowdy side.
I personally tend to like speakers that have a flatter response with a top end that rolls off but there are also speakers I like that do not, including some that have a rising top end. They defy my norms.
Same way some people like the sound of a toy piano and the sound of a nice grand, or a busted started acoustic guitar and a well tuned high end guitar, and a hoarse voice and a smooth one.
Everyone can use the measurements and reviews to feel more confident choosing to spend valuable time trying a speaker, yet when dropping the cash I highly suggest trying a few models and choosing which one sounds better to the buyer rather than what any measurements or reviews suggest.


You say flat - I say accurate reproduction. If we follow a simple logic the job of a reproducer is to output a signal as true to source as possible. It gets more complicated with loudspeakers in rooms, but it holds true nonetheless. If you are listening through neutral reproducers, and are not happy with what you are hearing, then something else is wrong. If you've taken care in setting up your system using EQ below the transition frequency, and there are no obvious problems in the rest of the chain, then we must conclude it is often the program material (often mixed/mastered using inferior or inadequately calibrated equipment) that is to blaim. As F. Toole writes: even the objectively best loudspeakers cannot sound the best all the time.
In my opinion this is not an excuse to continue using, in my view, inferior products with resonances, irregular directivity, timbral balance issues etc embedded in them.

The current testing shows in fact that all of these preferred differences have to do with treble and bass levels, which is a feature available on amplifiers since many years, and even then we don't know how much testers were compensating for the recording, their hearing, or the loudspeakers. Resonances have always found to be detrimental. In short, from a logical perspective there cannot be a valid argument against accurate loudspeakers.
 

ROOSKIE

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You say flat - I say accurate reproduction. If we follow a simple logic the job of a reproducer is to output a signal as true to source as possible. It gets more complicated with loudspeakers in rooms, but it holds true nonetheless. If you are listening through neutral reproducers, and are not happy with what you are hearing, then something else is wrong. If you've taken care in setting up your system using EQ below the transition frequency, and there are no obvious problems in the rest of the chain, then we must conclude it is often the program material (often mixed/mastered using inferior or inadequately calibrated equipment) that is to blaim. As F. Toole writes: even the objectively best loudspeakers cannot sound the best all the time.
In my opinion this is not an excuse to continue using, in my view, inferior products with resonances, irregular directivity, timbral balance issues etc embedded in them.

The current testing shows in fact that all of these preferred differences have to do with treble and bass levels, which is a feature available on amplifiers since many years, and even then we don't know how much testers were compensating for the recording, their hearing, or the loudspeakers. Resonances have always found to be detrimental. In short, from a logical perspective there cannot be a valid argument against accurate loudspeakers.

Hi, with all due respect, seems like you are missing my point or are just interested in talking about what you find interesting. (which is fine)
I like measurements. I love seeing them.
In the end I listen to music and while I prefer a certain sound, I am not listening for "accuracy". What ever speaker sounds better to me is the one I want. If I found out it did not measure well so be it.
I am just recommending people try a few different speakers and not just buy based on rankings, measurements, reviews. (while at the same time using those as a sort of guide)
There are a lot of different people out there. Conservative logic only works for some people. As someone who runs in the artist circles I can assure you of that. I guarantee you that red speakers sound better to some people than black speakers & this is not an error - we live in a complex world.
 

QMuse

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There are a lot of different people out there. Conservative logic only works for some people. As someone who runs in the artist circles I can assure you of that. I guarantee you that red speakers sound better to some people than black speakers & this is not an error - we live in a complex world.

And how about cars? Help us solve the ancient dilemma - which are faster, red or black ones? :D
 

q3cpma

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Hi, with all due respect, seems like you are missing my point or are just interested in talking about what you find interesting. (which is fine)
I like measurements. I love seeing them.
In the end I listen to music and while I prefer a certain sound, I am not listening for "accuracy". What ever speaker sounds better to me is the one I want. If I found out it did not measure well so be it.
I am just recommending people try a few different speakers and not just buy based on rankings, measurements, reviews. (while at the same time using those as a sort of guide)
There are a lot of different people out there. Conservative logic only works for some people. As someone who runs in the artist circles I can assure you of that. I guarantee you that red speakers sound better to some people than black speakers & this is not an error - we live in a complex world.
Can you even trust your preference to be one? I'd wager that taste is mainly acquired and I'd rather wait for my ears to acclimate to an accurate reproduction than play make-believe artist and distort everything I play. I'd also wager that those psychological effects like colour or size won't last and/or be consistent, while accurate reproduction will.

And if you want to talk about "people", too much like to pretend being special/unique; even subconsciously. Only a few people are truly "special" and those aren't the ones to scream it on the roofs, usually.
This would probably explain some/most audiophiles wanting the most extravagant and rare designs.
 

amirm

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In the end I listen to music and while I prefer a certain sound, I am not listening for "accuracy". What ever speaker sounds better to me is the one I want. If I found out it did not measure well so be it.
Well, here is the non-intuitive part: when we test people like you blind, in controlled setting, what they say their preference is, is not what comes out of such tests. I know, I have taken them and then became a believer in the research. That, my taste is not unique and different.
 

ROOSKIE

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Well, here is the non-intuitive part: when we test people like you blind, in controlled setting, what they say their preference is, is not what comes out of such tests. I know, I have taken them and then became a believer in the research. That, my taste is not unique and different.

I do understand that. I'd love to be able to be in a real blind comparison. I hope I will get the chance. They are so hard to pull off.
As well I am always looking at the measurements and tests. Love it all.
What in am getting at is that I buy speakers to listen to music on. In the end if a speaker I like turns out to measure less well I am still keeping it and if one measures well that I don't particularly care for I am not going to force myself to use it.
I think we both know speakers that measure well don't all sound alike. So there is also still a lot of room for personal preferences within the field of great measuring speakers.
Anyway I really just wanted the OP to try a few different speakers as I always vote for that approach.
Thanks for all your hard work.
 

DubbyMcDubs

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I own a pair of M106’s and I am enjoying them more each time I listen to them, and that’s because I am slowly getting them setup correctly in my room. They are very sensitive to placement, and if you can’t keep them off the front and side walls you might not enjoy them so much as the bass can become overwhelming. Mine are paired with an SVS SB-2000 sub and Benchmark amplification. The sub is a must IMO and I too am not a bass head, but it adds just that little bit missing from the Revels if you tastefully blend it in. Oh and forget the port plugs they come with, they just suck the life out of them.

My next step is to tame the bass with DSP under the Schroder freq which I think will help tremendously as some simple tests with eq have helped a lot. Just waiting on my minidsp microphone to show up.

I highly recommend you read this three part article on the M106 before purchasing:

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews...ookshelf-monitor-loudspeaker-review-part-one/
 

snapsc

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Numbers specify/define/measure accuracy while hearing identifies our preferences. My experience over the years (and observing numerous friends) pretty much coincides with TimVG that differences in bass and treble often explained what was liked or preferred.... and in the days of tone controls, we used them to shape the sound to our preferences.
 

ReAlien

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I own a pair of M106’s and I am enjoying them more each time I listen to them, and that’s because I am slowly getting them setup correctly in my room. They are very sensitive to placement, and if you can’t keep them off the front and side walls you might not enjoy them so much as the bass can become overwhelming. Mine are paired with an SVS SB-2000 sub and Benchmark amplification. The sub is a must IMO and I too am not a bass head, but it adds just that little bit missing from the Revels if you tastefully blend it in. Oh and forget the port plugs they come with, they just suck the life out of them.

My next step is to tame the bass with DSP under the Schroder freq which I think will help tremendously as some simple tests with eq have helped a lot. Just waiting on my minidsp microphone to show up.

I highly recommend you read this three part article on the M106 before purchasing:

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews...ookshelf-monitor-loudspeaker-review-part-one/

When you say an overwhelming bass, what do you mean by that? What distance do you recommend from the front wall?

I'm looking into buying a pair of 106s now to replace my long time friends B&W 603 S2. Could anyone say if this is a worthy upgrade and if the bass would be enough in m106 to match the one I have in B&W 603?
 

Bear123

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When you say an overwhelming bass, what do you mean by that? What distance do you recommend from the front wall?

I'm looking into buying a pair of 106s now to replace my long time friends B&W 603 S2. Could anyone say if this is a worthy upgrade and if the bass would be enough in m106 to match the one I have in B&W 603?
I wouldn't worry about overwhelming bass. Just keep them really close to the wall and use eq to tame the bass. The result is simply free efficiency and lower distortion. Paired with a good sub or two, they will have plenty of bass unless you are looking for reference level home theater playback.
 

Dj7675

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For family reasons I'm thinking of downgrading from my current floorstanders to some bookshelves for a couple of years. I'm trying to decide between the Revel M105 and M106. I've got a sub but I find I generally prefer to use a little bass EQ rather than the sub (I find I get fewer room issues this way, and I'm not a basshead so quantity isn't a major issue for me). I also do NOT need to run these loud.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the M105 vs. the M106? Going by Harman's spins (available here: https://speakerdata2034.blogspot.com/2019/03/spinorama-data-revel-home.html), the M105 is generally the better speaker, and would probably have a better overall preference score (non-LFE anyway) according to the Olive methodology. However, the designer, Kevin Voecks, has posted on another forum that he recommends the M106 even if one is crossing over to a sub. Does anyone have any idea why this would be? What's the technical rationale?

Subjective impressions comparing the two would be fine too.
I have not heard the M105 but own the M106 in our living room. I initially had a sub with it, but after listening without a sub, decided in the room the sub was not needed. In room, at normal listening levels in plays nicely down to 40hz or so. I would absolutely go with the M106 if not considering a sub. They are quite enjoyable without one.
 

Bear123

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For those who still haven't caught on that eq and subs are basically necessary for high fidelity, here is what the best measuring passive speakers tested on ASR look like in room:
Screenshot 2020-05-04 08.44.34.png

^^^^^^This is not high fidelity, no matter how good the speaker, DAC, or electronics.

Here is what eq and subs do, specifically under 200 Hz(the main region of the train wreck above):
F36 WITH DUAL SUBS AND AUDYSSEY.jpg
The first image is what some consider "pure". Looks low fidelity to me. The 2nd image is with an AVR, eq, and subs. Audyssey actually does a surprisingly good job on my speakers without subs, but it is even better with subs with more SPL capability(which of course doesn't matter for some), but also lower distortion for improved sound quality and better extension. DEQ also makes a huge difference in listening enjoyment at low and moderate levels.

Disclaimer: I don't think an average, cheap sub will always give a great result. I had a JBL550P 10" sealed sub paired with my Revel F36 speakers for a few weeks. It wasn't great, and I can definitely see how many would have felt that it did not improve sound quality. Even after eq with Audyssey, it was very noticeably lacking compared to a pair of higher quality subs. The S1512 are fantastic little subs for anyone that wants an extremely capable sub for music that performs reasonably well for movies as well. I will also be auditioning a Rythmik FV15HP in the upcoming weeks for comparison. Adding a 2nd if I keep it.
 
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richard12511

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I dunno why anyone would buy a certain speaker based on its tone. Buy a neutral speaker with even off-axis response and no resonances and you can EQ your speaker to whatever target curve you want, and then if you ever want to change it it's easy.

If you buy a speaker with poor off axis response, then you're stuck with the way it sounds until you feel like selling it and starting the whole headache over again. Short of truly herculean EQ efforts that tend to only be valid for a single listening position, anyways.

Playing devil's advocate here. We know that if a speaker has uneven on and off axis response, no amount of EQ will make that speaker sound like a neutral speaker. The inverse is also true, if one truly does prefer such a non neutral speaker(however likely that is), then no amount of EQ will make a neutral speaker sound like that.
 

Ron Texas

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Well, here is the non-intuitive part: when we test people like you blind, in controlled setting, what they say their preference is, is not what comes out of such tests. I know, I have taken them and then became a believer in the research. That, my taste is not unique and different.

This says volumes about the value of blind testing.
 

LightninBoy

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For family reasons I'm thinking of downgrading from my current floorstanders to some bookshelves for a couple of years. I'm trying to decide between the Revel M105 and M106. I've got a sub but I find I generally prefer to use a little bass EQ rather than the sub (I find I get fewer room issues this way, and I'm not a basshead so quantity isn't a major issue for me). I also do NOT need to run these loud.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the M105 vs. the M106? Going by Harman's spins (available here: https://speakerdata2034.blogspot.com/2019/03/spinorama-data-revel-home.html), the M105 is generally the better speaker, and would probably have a better overall preference score (non-LFE anyway) according to the Olive methodology. However, the designer, Kevin Voecks, has posted on another forum that he recommends the M106 even if one is crossing over to a sub. Does anyone have any idea why this would be? What's the technical rationale?

Subjective impressions comparing the two would be fine too.

What I'm having trouble wrapping my head around here is, according to those spins, the M105 actually has MORE bass extension than the M106, but doesn't have a 100hz bump. Looks like they've tuned the M106 to be sold as "subwoofer optional" by giving it that bump.

Based on those M105 spins, they look ideal for near field monitoring. Course, $1500 will get you some nice powered monitors though.
 

Ron Texas

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Talking about wrapping one's head around things in this 5" vs 6" question relative to the onset of distortion earlier (at lower volumes) in the smaller driver, doesn't this depend a lot on room size, distance to LP, and listening habits? I used to have a couple of B&W stand mounts with 6.5" LF drivers in a big room that opened into other rooms. They could not cut it at all. Now I have LS50's with subs in a medium 14'x18'x8' room and they can play loud enough without distortion.
 

DubbyMcDubs

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When you say an overwhelming bass, what do you mean by that? What distance do you recommend from the front wall?

I'm looking into buying a pair of 106s now to replace my long time friends B&W 603 S2. Could anyone say if this is a worthy upgrade and if the bass would be enough in m106 to match the one I have in B&W 603?

What I meant by that is the uncontrolled bass and interactions with the room boundaries adversely affects the fidelity. To use a subjective term, it ''muddles" the sound as it looses all the clarity and detail. As soon as you pull the speakers 1 - 1.2m off the wall (as recommended by JBL and the article I linked) all of that starts to change. Now add in the room correction to take out the peaks and it gets even better.
 

Johan Liebert

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So I guess the M105's do measure better...

But if you get them, Sub(s) are highly recommended while you may be able to get away with no subs on the M106's
 
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