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Revel M106 vs M126Be: worth the upgrade?

Acerun

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I've got no science but I went from the M16 to the M106 to the M126BE. Good better best. I picked up a pair of the M126be for $2800 All tax and shipping included. My endgame bookshelf speakers that's for certain. I bought the M16s for $700 a pair and sold them for $600 a pair. I bought the M106s delivered for $1500 and sold them for $1,300. Because I did it in stages over the course of the year I don't feel like I overpaid at any given point. I think the sound quality is so good on the M126be's that at this point I have deprecated my center channel c205 because it's not a fair fight. I get a fantastic phantom center channel with incredible performance. I'm running an early AKG DAC Denon x8500 as a preamp and Audiophonics MPA-S250NC RCA power amplifiers for the front and surrounds. .... I also have two Ryythmik E15HP2 1000 watt Hypex subwoofers. Seems plenty good for home theater in a medium size room while running Audessey XT. I'm currently playing with a switch box for two-channel audio. That allows me to run a Wiim Mini bit perfect to an RME ADI -2 DAC FS and directly to the front channel Audiophonics amplifier running my M126BEs, which I got in silver by the way and I think they look cool. I needed to break up the all black console and TV.
 
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JLGF1

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Looks like spin measurement comparisons can only tell one so much?

Revel M106 vs M126Be.jpg
 

ROOSKIE

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jonfitch

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To me M106 to M126Be is an easy choice because of the crossover discontinuity with the M106. The 2.3KHz crossover is too high for that 1" tweeter and a 6.5" mid.

But it's a lot tougher making the jump from M105 to the M126Be, especially if you consider the M105 actually measures better than the M126Be if both are paired with subs.
 

JLGF1

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Howdy. That is the estimated/predicted in room steady state responce which is not an actual measurement.
Why did you pick that?

I wasn't sure what to make of that odd bass slope of the M126Be (which looks rather weird compared to the M106/105?)

On-axis:

Revel M106 vs M126Be.jpg
 

JLGF1

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To me M106 to M126Be is an easy choice because of the crossover discontinuity with the M106. The 2.3KHz crossover is too high for that 1" tweeter and a 6.5" mid.

But it's a lot tougher making the jump from M105 to the M126Be, especially if you consider the M105 actually measures better than the M126Be if both are paired with subs.

So, would one be surprised if there turned out to be significant audible differences under the surface here?

Revel M106 vs M105.jpg
 

ROOSKIE

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I wasn't sure what to make of that odd bass slope of the M126Be (which looks rather weird compared to the M106/105?)

On-axis:

View attachment 287505
Different measurement techniques and different microphones are going to be factors.

The PIR by the way from the previous post is more or less a novelty. Even when taking an actual in room/ in situation measurement you really can't parse out the sound in a super meaningful way. It does have use cases but not really anything ultra telling.

Even on an axis by itself is just not enough. We'd have to look at the whole SPIN the Polars and have a good understanding of the way we process direct and indirect sound. Dispersion and directivity are involved but less so with these two as they are similar, directivity though is really important to me as I use PEQ. I'd rather have great directivity vs perfect on axis. And also have a pretty good understanding of what slight differences may or may not be audible or prefered by certain individuals.


When comparing two really great loudspeakers, I suspect subjective listening is the only way, there may be differences not fully captured ---> the final 10-15% of what makes a speaker elite or not. Obviously in ASR terms that means the subjective listening would be done blind in a controlled manner conducted by experts, so not practical for just about any one of us.

In my measurements the M126be has a bit of a shelved bass response. I measured that woofer and it has a fairly high fs and the box is tuned well below that and is very small. (this is a very compact 6.5" passive monitor) Thus the shelf and high power handling ability. You also get slightly improved group delay. The motor on the woofer is quite beatly and very powerful. That seems to work well honestly and it will def help power handling, and may sound more balanced at higher SPL. Remember at loud SPL we seem to perceive the bass to have increased in apparent loudness faster than the mids. (about 10db increase in the mids to seem twice as loud vs a lower 5-6db increase in the bass to seem twice as loud) I think this woofer can handle an honest 100watts above 45hrz in this design and high-pass crossed at 60-70hrz to subs they can really belt it out

Anecdotally, I purchased my M126be's while on the phone planning to order the M106's. The deal was good so I went 126. Afterwards I really wanted to want to return them as the price seemed ridiculous when great speakers can be had for so much less or great actives for the same cash. Plus as a DIY oriented guy(and not a rich man) I value value. Reality was they are fantastic(with subs) so no retun happened. Yet I have always wanted to compare it with the M106's. I subjectively compared it with the M16's and several other well received speakers. The M126be sure sounds good. They are not a great value, though in terms of a luxury type of hifi purchase they actually perform extremely well so their value could be high in that regard. There is something about that tweeter. Whether it is due to the 'be' material or just being a fantastic tweeter implemented well in a fantastic waveguide, it really strikes me. Again totally subjective but it is really vibrant without ever being harsh, ever. I just don't know what else to say. Not the only tweeter I have heard that is superbly implemented in a speaker but geez they have something there.

ALL that said it likely makes sense to do a pair of M105's or M106's vs the M126be unless money is not really much of a factor. Dimished returns is sure a thing here as the in house competition is fierce.

I have access to a pair of M105's so hopefully I can at least compare subjectively with those soon.
 

JLGF1

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Based strictly on performance measurements, I'm not seeing the value-add, particularly for the cost delta. There are speakers that measure significantly better than the M126Be for less than half the price. YMMV.

Revel M106 vs M126Be.jpg
 

muad

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Based strictly on performance measurements, I'm not seeing the value-add, particularly for the cost delta. There are speakers that measure significantly better than the M126Be for less than half the price. YMMV.

View attachment 287932
Yeah I agree but we need actual nfs measurements of the m126be. Considering the amount of people that wax poetic about the performa be, I'm surprised we don't have Klippel data for the smallest easiest to ship model.
 

USER

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Agree. It's hard to take subjective anecdotes from people that spent that much money on speakers too seriously. At most there should be a small difference in tone from the M106s, which have no real audible distortion. "Better" would be a stretch. I mean no disrespect, but that amount of money spent can lodge itself into an opinion.

If it matters, I have M16s, M106s, and F226Bes (the step above the M126Bes). I can easily EQ the M16s in a way that would make me very happy with them should I lose the F226Bes. The latter is tuned to have a little more highs (see Erin's PIR measurements), but that's the design and not the tweeter or its intrinsic qualities. Curiously, I don't see the beryllium tweeter doing anything special that the lower priced options don't, FR-wise, in my best "acoustic" room, before DSP:

F226Be v M16.jpg


I'd say this is shocking, except the measurements say the M16s are great speakers. And *I* don't believe that the M126Bes offer the the major benefit of the F226Bes (besides some more low end and no audible distortion), which is the super valuable bass between 100-200Hz, which is above any crossover I would ever consider. My money is on the possibility that this is the result of the front bass port and two woofers that the bookshelves don't have. (This is why I jumped to another level altogether and why I consider this the true upgrade.)

Let's also not forget that the room makes a difference. I got the M106s to replace a pair of M16s in my basement because at the time I didn't have DSP there and Amir's measurements clearly show that the M16s are more sensitive to low ceilings than the M106s. (Plus, that big store in California had them priced incorrectly so I got them at a crazy good deal.) More, the M106s' bass works better in the room without DSP. If you look at Amir's M106 measurements you can see that the room may influence 3-6kHz a little. Perhaps, depending on the room, and if the M126Bes are less sensitive there, that can make a small enough difference should you not want to use DSP. (I will say that they can benefit from a tiny bump at around 300Hz, that always made them "better.") This kind of stuff also matters and is another good reason to have the M126Bes professionally reviewed.

The following shows how hard it is for us to compare measurements right now. The measurements are not apples to apples as has been mentioned. Would the M126Bes curve down the same way--and thus line up better with the M106s--if measured by Amir?

M106 ASR vs Harman.png


In an almost ironic way, the F226Bes are so good (especially with subs) and I am so comfortable with great sound now that they have allowed me to fetishize speakers less.
 
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Acerun

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It's my understanding that the crossovers are better as well as the quality of the components and the size of the magnets not to mention the beryllium tweeter. Maybe it's subjective but they sure sound more authoritative to me.
 

ROOSKIE

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Erin's Audio Corner just did the M126be review. It is live for Patreon's. Should live for everyone else very soon.
 

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Erins reviews out


I'm a bit sad and shocked that Erin's makes just 30 bucks from youtube from his awesome reviews. It doesnt even cover shipping for the speakers. wtf
Great review. He has really honed in on them. That compression (or rather, "enhancement") between 1-2k is disappointing, however. More from an engineering perspective than a normal use case one.
 
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Acerun

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Erins reviews out


I'm a bit sad and shocked that Erin's makes just 30 bucks from youtube from his awesome reviews. It doesnt even cover shipping for the speakers. wtf
Glad to hear he really likes the speakers. I agree they have a really big soundstage.
 

YSC

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it's generally a great speaker, but I am always wondering, with Revel and Harman putting so much research on the off axis directivity side, and Genelec and Neumann can get the 2 way 6.5" driver with a dome tweeter to blend well with minimal directivity error, why the M126Be still have that sort of biggish step in directivity mismatch
 

jonfitch

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It's interesting that Erin's preference score for is only 5.2 for the M126BE and 6.3 for the KEF R3 Meta, whereas Amir has 5.9 for the M105, 5.8 for the M106, and 6.5 for the original R3. Could this just be standard retail variance in production units, or a difference in resolution of graphs between Erin and Amir, or are the newer speakers actually measuring worse in some ways?
 

muad

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There seems to be a variance in the way the measurements are taken.

Where did you find the preference score for the m126be and R3 meta?
 

ROOSKIE

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It's interesting that Erin's preference score for is only 5.2 for the M126BE and 6.3 for the KEF R3 Meta, whereas Amir has 5.9 for the M105, 5.8 for the M106, and 6.5 for the original R3. Could this just be standard retail variance in production units, or a difference in resolution of graphs between Erin and Amir, or are the newer speakers actually measuring worse in some ways?
A deviation of 0.80 is considered by some as a granular as it gets. Smaller variations can be calculated but are not typically considered super meaningful.
Plus different mics, unit variations, temperatures and different ways to calculate the score.

So 6.2 vs 6.5 for example can not be seen as meaningful , somewhat like SINAD of 102 vs 107.
Even 5.2 vs 6.0 could be considered a statistical 'tie'.

Note the Revels score is affected by the bass dropping at a higher frequency than 80hrz.

I need to test mine again. I did not have the small HD distortion peak nor notice the upper mid compression.

Once I get the data I will post. Super busy right now.

I prefer these to the regular R3 in sighted testing.
 
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