• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Revel M106 Bookshelf Speaker Review

ROOSKIE

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,906
Likes
3,369
Location
Minneapolis
Danny Richey seems like such a likable, reasonable, rational guy that I truly want to trust him and believe in his "cures." But what stretches my credulity is that he is just one guy in Somewhere, Texas, who examines a plethora of speakers from many of the most experienced, respected and accomplished speaker designers and manufacturers and does not seem to find a single one that measures up to what he can achieve. Maybe I've missed some speakers that he found to be acceptable, but as far as I've seen, he finds everything he examines wanting to one degree or another. I just find it hard to believe that the likes of Revel, Wharfedale, B&W, Harbeth, ATC, etc. etc. don't measure up to this one man's standards. Then again, maybe he really is just that good.
Has he done the BMR?
I want a Danny Richie vs Dennis Murphy showdown.
(I'd also like to know what Mr. Murphy thought of the M106 if he has used them. I know he isn't a huge fan of waveguides)

I am completely serious here about a showdown, not joking although it should take place in good fun.

These two gents are the most famous modders consistently around. Different personalities it sure seems, yet both have adjusted the sound of many commercial designs and both have completed respected projects from the ground up.

I could see many ways to make this crazy fun and only Danny gets to use the tube connectors!

@Chaconne it is quite possible that many of the commercial designs out there would benefit from from some modds that lean into the project from a different view of acoustics and performance vs the original designers. We also can free the project from the bean counters this way. Danny Richie, for all his let us say questionable 'tude & used car salesman like moments, is IMHO helping open the doors for some folks to appreciate DIY/modding and to get into the guts of a speaker. He is experienced and some of his mods may be of benefit to more than just his pocketbook. Many folks have improved various speakers in the land of DIY/modifications and some folks have improved (often freely and for fun)a great many (guys like Dennis Murphy). As well some very competent DIY designs exist and even someone like myself has made a pretty good DIY speaker and is working to get better and make more. (of course I owe it all to numerous books, forums, websites and the people who shared loads of information for others to work with)

I want his videos from time to time and I also don't remember Danny liking many speakers and two he did like, a little Wharfedale and the Sony SSCS5, are speakers i did not care much for. ( I owned both for awhile as learning exercise in inexpensive speakers)

Anyway, back to D.R vs D.M! Someone send Danny a BMR and get this place rolling.
And heck someone send the guy a GENELEC while we are at it.
 

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
4,704
Likes
3,654
If a flat 20hrz-20khz anechoic measurement is the only goal, then yes I agree with you.
There are other potential design goals possible as well as numerous compromises to be made with all the requisite give and take so I find it hard to place the firm "period" there like you are.
I do think a speaker should produce a flat 20-20 on-axis, and attenuate smoothly off-axis. It's basically Toole's view.
 

Steve Dallas

Major Contributor
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
1,199
Likes
2,750
Location
A Whole Other Country
I do think a speaker should produce a flat 20-20 on-axis, and attenuate smoothly off-axis. It's basically Toole's view.
I find I prefer smooth off-axis performance to smooth on-axis performance if having smooth on-axis compromises off-axis response.

What did Revel prioritize here?

Revel Performa3 F206 Spoinorama.png

I like these speakers very much, as I listen to them off-axis.
 

tw 2022

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
866
Likes
736
Has he done the BMR?
I want a Danny Richie vs Dennis Murphy showdown.
(I'd also like to know what Mr. Murphy thought of the M106 if he has used them. I know he isn't a huge fan of waveguides)

I am completely serious here about a showdown, not joking although it should take place in good fun.

These two gents are the most famous modders consistently around. Different personalities it sure seems, yet both have adjusted the sound of many commercial designs and both have completed respected projects from the ground up.

I could see many ways to make this crazy fun and only Danny gets to use the tube connectors!

@Chaconne it is quite possible that many of the commercial designs out there would benefit from from some modds that lean into the project from a different view of acoustics and performance vs the original designers. We also can free the project from the bean counters this way. Danny Richie, for all his let us say questionable 'tude & used car salesman like moments, is IMHO helping open the doors for some folks to appreciate DIY/modding and to get into the guts of a speaker. He is experienced and some of his mods may be of benefit to more than just his pocketbook. Many folks have improved various speakers in the land of DIY/modifications and some folks have improved (often freely and for fun)a great many (guys like Dennis Murphy). As well some very competent DIY designs exist and even someone like myself has made a pretty good DIY speaker and is working to get better and make more. (of course I owe it all to numerous books, forums, websites and the people who shared loads of information for others to work with)

I want his videos from time to time and I also don't remember Danny liking many speakers and two he did like, a little Wharfedale and the Sony SSCS5, are speakers i did not care much for. ( I owned both for awhile as learning exercise in inexpensive speakers)

Anyway, back to D.R vs D.M! Someone send Danny a BMR and get this place rolling.
And heck someone send the guy a GENELEC while we are at it.
Talk about a mismatch in talent..lol...kinda like the Rams vs bayside high school...Edit: upon further contemplation it's kinda like Tom Brady vs Jimmy Garopolo..the first analogy was kinda harsh...
 

REK2575

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
220
Likes
313
Location
Cambridge, MA
Does anyone have the 'high gloss walnut' M106s? I'm trying to get a sense of just how 'high gloss' they are -- online pictures make it hard to judge. Are they high gloss as in, 'you can see your reflection in them' - ? Or are they a little more subtle than that?

I really wish Revel offered a matte finish. If these are as high gloss as I fear, there's just no way they can blend in with my living room decor.
 

ElNino

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
557
Likes
722
Does anyone have the 'high gloss walnut' M106s? I'm trying to get a sense of just how 'high gloss' they are -- online pictures make it hard to judge. Are they high gloss as in, 'you can see your reflection in them' - ? Or are they a little more subtle than that?

I really wish Revel offered a matte finish. If these are as high gloss as I fear, there's just no way they can blend in with my living room decor.

I have the high gloss walnut M105. They're quite glossy. You can see your reflection in them, although it's a somewhat darkened reflection.
 

ex audiophile

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
635
Likes
805
Does anyone have the 'high gloss walnut' M106s? I'm trying to get a sense of just how 'high gloss' they are -- online pictures make it hard to judge. Are they high gloss as in, 'you can see your reflection in them' - ? Or are they a little more subtle than that?

I really wish Revel offered a matte finish. If these are as high gloss as I fear, there's just no way they can blend in with my living room decor.
I have the walnut M106s and yes they are glossy. If you take a photo of them you'll see yourself/camera in the photo, lol. I do think they're beautiful but of course subjective.
 

REK2575

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
220
Likes
313
Location
Cambridge, MA
Maybe Revel should offer an 'economy line' of speakers without the fancy high gloss Italian woodwork....?

TBH, I'd probably pay the same for a matte finish as they're charging for the high gloss finish.
 

Haint

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
340
Likes
445
Maybe Revel should offer an 'economy line' of speakers without the fancy high gloss Italian woodwork....?

TBH, I'd probably pay the same for a matte finish as they're charging for the high gloss finish.

The Concerto2 is the economy line and the finish is only thing that distinguishes them from all the other brand's economy lines (e.g, B&W, Elac, Paradigm, Klipsch, Polk, etc...), which are unanimously square vinyl wrapped boxes in that price tier. Most of whom have much wider recognition and retail presence than Revel. Producing a cheap, samey looking speaker doesn't seems like a smart way to stand out from that crowd. You have literally dozens of options if you want a fake wood grain sticker on an MDF shoebox. I bought 13 Concerto2 line speakers when I moved a couple years ago to fill several rooms specifically because they had the nicest finish among all the other "budget" speakers. I would not have bought them if they'd been vinyl wrapped boxes, I would have most likely bought Elac's
 
Last edited:

REK2575

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
220
Likes
313
Location
Cambridge, MA
Producing a cheap, samey looking speaker doesn't seems like a smart way to stand out from that crowd. You have literally dozens of options if you want a fake wood grain sticker on an MDF shoebox.
You might be right, so, instead of a budget vinyl--wrap finish speaker from Revel, how about a non-glossy or matte finish option at the same price point? I'd be willing to drop $2K on a pair of M106s if there were something besides high gloss -- I'm probably not the only one.

I realize this is wishful thinking. It's just that the high gloss is a such a limiting factor. Either you love it, or you hate it, there's not much in between. So it kind of sucks for those of us who would be interested in owning a pair of Revels but simply hate all the gloss.
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
2,101
Likes
2,768
You might be right, so, instead of a budget vinyl--wrap finish speaker from Revel, how about a non-glossy or matte finish option at the same price point? I'd be willing to drop $2K on a pair of M106s if there were something besides high gloss -- I'm probably not the only one.

I realize this is wishful thinking. It's just that the high gloss is a such a limiting factor. Either you love it, or you hate it, there's not much in between. So it kind of sucks for those of us who would be interested in owning a pair of Revels but simply hate all the gloss.
I agree it probably won’t happen... but many do use them in an HT environment and finish isn’t particularly important... except that that it doesn’t reflect. The currently finishes I like very much for living room use, but home theater use it isn’t necessary and would be better with a non reflective finish.
 

ElNino

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
557
Likes
722
I realize this is wishful thinking. It's just that the high gloss is a such a limiting factor. Either you love it, or you hate it, there's not much in between. So it kind of sucks for those of us who would be interested in owning a pair of Revels but simply hate all the gloss.

I agree with this. They look great, but they are a little out of step with interior design trends. (Especially with the walnut finish, which has a very nice wood veneer; if they had a deep satin finish it would probably better honor the walnut.) KEF has been transitioning away from gloss finishes in several of their product lines (LS50->LS50W, Rxxx series to Rx series, etc.). I'd keep the gloss on the Concerto2 series though.
 

lach1234

New Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
1
Likes
1
I just received my M106's today and couldn't be happier (I also have KEF R3s, which I still really like). Thanks for this review @amirm, as I wouldn't have found about these speakers without it!
 

Ramsay

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
14
Likes
1
To those of you who have listened to the M-105 and the M-106, could you please describe your impressions and the sound differences? Since the 106 has the larger 6.5" woofer (compared to the 5.25" woofer of the 105), is it more likely that the bass would be sufficient without the need to add a sub?
 

MediumRare

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Messages
1,947
Likes
2,270
Location
Chicago
To those of you who have listened to the M-105 and the M-106, could you please describe your impressions and the sound differences? Since the 106 has the larger 6.5" woofer (compared to the 5.25" woofer of the 105), is it more likely that the bass would be sufficient without the need to add a sub?
I have the M105s, chose them over the m106 mainly for the smaller enclosure, important for my application. There will not be much (if any) audible difference between the two. The -6 db point is perhaps 53 Hz for the M106 and 57 Hz for the M105. If you place them fairly close to the wall you will get substantial room gain: many people have asked me, "where is the sub?", and are surprised when I say I have none with that system.

That being said, it depends on the size of your room and if you want to feel the slam from a big bass drum or Reggae electric bass. You'll need substantially bigger speakers to get that, so, if that's important to you you'll have to add a sub. But that would apply to both M105 and M106 speakers equally.
 

REK2575

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
220
Likes
313
Location
Cambridge, MA
So, after all my griping about the high gloss finish, I bought a pair of M106s. I figured if they were good enough, I'd put up with the gloss (Walnut).

Well, they're definitely good enough! A pretty significant upgrade in sound quality over my ELAC dbr62s (which I've enjoyed for a couple of years). And the high gloss -- well, it's not terrible! It IS indeed shiny and reflective, but it's not gaudy or garish (which is what I feared). The enclosure is undeniably high quality, gloss or no gloss. The moment of truth came when wife saw them for first time and didn't comment on them -- a very surprising outcome! I said something like 'I wish they weren't so glossy' and she responded, 'oh, i didn't really notice' (o_O). My wife has a VERY discerning (and critical) eye for living room decor, so I counted this as a major victory. I'm keeping them.

I agree with @MediumRare, if you want bass extension, you'll want a subwoofer, whether it's the M105 or M106.
 

strummr

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
74
Likes
60
Location
LoCo, VA
Thought I'd share some early, anecdotal observations on using a M106 as the center channel. I'm currently running a 7.4.4 HT system with a Marantz SR7013 as the processor, Nvidia Shield Pro as the streamer, an Emotiva XPA-3 G3 as the LCR amp, Revel F208s for LR, combination of various Martin Logan, ELAC, and Infinity R for surrounds and atmos speakers > going to a 4K projector, with 2 Monolith THX subs up front, 2 Infinity Reference subs for the back. I've run too many combinations of speakers for the LCR (incl matched setups with Paradigm Ref Signature, ELAC, Martin Logan, Infinity... etc.), and most recently was matching up the Revel F208s with a C205, then a RC263 (the latter sounds fuller/more dynamic in my theater room).

I just picked up a M106 as the next center channel experiment - knowing that it has good horizontal dispersion, and vertical being a bit more tricky to line up the tweeter to ear height, but good otherwise (I've measured angles to seat position and about to build a custom stand). +1 for my primary goal to get more center channel clarity (the vocals/dialogue is subjectively the clearest it has ever been, but then again, this is the first non center-based speaker I'm using for the center). The RC263 was good, but it is clear the M106 is significantly better for this (I've had to lower the center channel level as it was elevated for previous centers), and overall, it obviously matches the sound from the F208s well, and the bass is covered by the 4 subs. I'll need to measure the room again and make more tweaks, but the one complaint (disappointment?) I've had with center channel audio has been officially rectified. If you're on the fence in considering a M106 for the center, I'd highly recommend it, but have your bass levels covered with subs... or F208s ;)

Here's a quick pic:
HT_7.4.4_Revels.jpg
 

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
4,704
Likes
3,654
Very nice. I have done the same.

You are right in that the clarity is definitely there with a vertical center speaker. I also prefer it level-matched or else it calls attention to itself. My only issue is that the frequency response will be a little different than our L & R because we can't adjust the toe angle and will get the 0° response. We may not always prefer the 0° response.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20211213_041435715-2.jpg
    PXL_20211213_041435715-2.jpg
    302.8 KB · Views: 100
Top Bottom