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Revel M22 Speaker Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Revel M22 Stand-mount speaker. It is on kind loan from a member who I think was the second person to send me a speaker. The M22 is long discontinued. It cost I think US $2,000 when new but I see it on used market for around US $600. As such, it may make an alternative to buying something new now at $600 price point.

The M22 enclosure is extremely solid and finished well:

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker Review.jpg

While the grill was a bit frayed, the rest of the speaker has endured the years very well, something that you may not be able to say about a vinyl wrapped budget speaker you buy today.

The back panel shows not only the binding posts but also a set of useful controls (if you don't use electronic EQ):

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker Back Panel Connectors Review.jpg

I measured the unit as seen. For listening tests however, I also used the tweeter control (see later in this review).

Love the fact that the binding posts are far apart, making it easy to screw and unscrew them.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

All measurements are reference to tweeter axis with the grill removed. Frequency resolution is 2.7 Hz. Over 700 measurement points were used to assure high precision in higher frequencies, resulting in well under 1% error. I am also using averaging to lower noise in bass frequencies. I also doubled the drive voltage (for spinorama) to overcome low frequency noise in my setting.

All measurements are with no grill and on tweeter axis.

Spinorama Audio Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker can be used. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker CEA-2034 Spinorama Audio Measurement.png


Well, you really have to squint to see any flaws. On-axis response is quite flat as it should be. And directivity (difference between direct sound coming at you and those reflected) is quite good as well. There is a dip in low frequencies and when combined with the peaking at higher ones, it may make the speaker sound light.

Predicted in-room response tells you that depending on where you draw the linear prediction line:

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker CEA-2034 Spinorama Predicted In-Room Response Audio Measurement.png


Impedance is typical of small speakers with a difficult combination of 60 Hz phase shift around 100 Hz:

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker Impedance and Phase Audio Measurement.png


This means the amplifier needs to be able to handle more current than it would otherwise. Don't make the mistake of thinking a small speaker needs a small amplifier. They rarely do.

Distortion graph shows the typical low frequency peaks and some woofer struggle in the crossover region before it is retired:

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker Distortion Audio Measurement.png


Eye-candy Speaker Measurements

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker Horizontal Contour Audio Measurement.png


As usual with non-coaxial drivers, the vertical dispersion is not nearly as good as horizontal so absorption on the floor (rug) and ceiling is advised:
Revel M22 Standmount Speaker Vertical Contour Audio Measurement.png


Revel M22 Standmount Speaker CSD Waterfall Audio Measurement.png


Speaker Listening Tests
I pluck down the Revel M22 on the same stand in my listening room I have used for other speaker tests. Starting listening with just a single filter at 102 Hz or so to dial out a room mode. First reaction was a clean sound that was a bit bright with little "bottom end." With tons of power on tap, I could drive it hard with nary any distortion but the bass while present, was not making an impact. This made vocals less exciting. The highs were present and clean so not jarring but too much in the context of low bass response.

So I resorted to dialing in a shelf boost in Roon player I was using:

Revel M22 Standmount Speaker EQ Settings Audio Measurement.png


Credit to the nice woofer, while I could see it moving substantially back and forth now, distortion not present. The sound was now warmer but still not quite there so I dialed in the treble two notches on the back of the speaker. This made the overall experience much more positive.

Knowing you all would ask, I swapped in the Elac DBR-62 speaker which I reviewed recently. The subjective experience was definitely better with the Elac. Warm, nice sound that was a delight. I then put in the Revel M16. Here, the M16 sounded cleaner but didn't quite have the bass that the Elac had. It did sound a lot better than the M22 however.

Overall, the sound from M22 is screaming for a sub to supplement it where as with the more modern speakers (ELAC DBR-62 and Revel M16) you could easily live without.

Conclusions
The Revel M22 measures well and has low distortion, clean sound in a very sturdy cabinet. The tonality however is too light for my taste to be used as is. While new 2-way speakers try hard to replace a full sized speaker, the M22 seems to have set it sight on the classic bookshelf that produces just enough bass but not more. Equalization helps and maybe that is enough for you. It is not enough for me to recommend it over the Elac even though the build quality of Elac is substantially lower.

I have a pair of even older Revel M20s that I use for our TV sound. They are fine for that purpose and hugely better than anything a soundbar can produce. The M22s could work just as well in that application.

Given the rather strong objective performance, I can recommend the Revel M22 but not wholeheartedly.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Got my paperwork together for my accountant to do our taxes. Depressed that good chunk of everything you all donated is taxable and I need to cough that up by mid-year. There is a relief plan from the government due to the pandemic and I am hoping that I can count the pink panthers as "children." If that fails, I would appreciate a few more dollars donated using : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

edechamps

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#4
I added the Revel M22 to Loudspeaker Explorer where it can be compared to other speakers.

Consistency within the listening window could be better. You definitely want these at ear height:

visualization(42).png


This is yet another case where the listening window average is misleading as it looks significantly better than other angles within the window.
 

napilopez

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#6
Good stuff! It seems revel was flat on axis at this time a bit more than smooth PIR based on how the news models measure, but still a very good speaker. Directivity is still pretty good and quite wide, being a no waveguide design.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #7
What does the Flush Mounted setting do, less bass due to more boundary gain, or something do do with the baffle step?
Former is my guess having NOT read the manual. :)
 

Ron Texas

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#8
Nice speaker. It's a shame you can't go out and buy one.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #10
Can the system measure IMD?
It is an extra cost license. I can do it with REW but that is a lot of hassle right now when I have so much more to test.
 
D

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#12
Another interesting review, thanks. Given your recent reviews and a few requests I’ve seen on the forums, are you sure we can’t convince you to purchase a single Revel M106 to compare to the recent Revel (and Elac) reviews? If we can buy a pair in the UK for £999, surely as a supplier in the US you can get hold of a single speaker for a very good price?

Given the rave reviews they’ve had and I know you yourself have said how good they can sound, it would be very interesting to see how they stack up against recent reviews of yours.

I’m not sending you one of mine because A. I could not be without them and B. I’m in the UK and it would be too expensive for a young man like myself already stretching his pennies.

You are entirely free to tell me to piss off by the way, it’s your money. I will not be offended.

:D
 

LightninBoy

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#13
While the grill was a bit frayed, the rest of the speaker has endured the years very well, something that you may not be able to say about a vinyl wrapped budget speaker you buy today.
Yeah, I've got 4 of these and I sent you the one with the frayed grill. The rest of the grills are in good shape. Even though this speaker has been in storage, its probably endured the most physical hardship because things get stacked on top and around it.

I have a pair of even older Revel M20s that I use for our TV sound. They are fine for that purpose and hugely better than anything a soundbar can produce. The M22s could work just as well in that application.
I for one would be the interested in an M20 spin. That would compare several generations of Revel speaker design - M20, M22, M16. I'm sure you'll get an M105 or M106 eventually too.
 

ROOSKIE

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#14
Another interesting review, thanks. Given your recent reviews and a few requests I’ve seen on the forums, are you sure we can’t convince you to purchase a single Revel M106 to compare to the recent Revel (and Elac) reviews? If we can buy a pair in the UK for £999, surely as a supplier in the US you can get hold of a single speaker for a very good price?

Given the rave reviews they’ve had and I know you yourself have said how good they can sound, it would be very interesting to see how they stack up against recent reviews of yours.

I’m not sending you one of mine because A. I could not be without them and B. I’m in the UK and it would be too expensive for a young man like myself already stretching his pennies.

You are entirely free to tell me to piss off by the way, it’s your money. I will not be offended.

:D
Where can you buy them for for 999 a pair? (M106? maybe you are seeing the M16 price)I can't believe that. Revel is a price controlled company. The Uk price is 1999 a pair. USa price is $1999 USD which is cheaper than the UK by a bit. Nobody can advertise lower.
Yes whole sale is much lower but still, very pricey just to test.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #15
Another interesting review, thanks. Given your recent reviews and a few requests I’ve seen on the forums, are you sure we can’t convince you to purchase a single Revel M106 to compare to the recent Revel (and Elac) reviews? If we can buy a pair in the UK for £999, surely as a supplier in the US you can get hold of a single speaker for a very good price?
I can get it at a good price but it is still not free. :) What would be the justification to buy that relative to F206?
 

PierreV

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#16
Predicted in-room response tells you that depending on where you draw the linear prediction line:
Apologies if that has already been answered before, but is that line eyeballed and drawn or is there some kind of standard estimator for that fit?
 

ROOSKIE

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#17
I really believe that in general Revel is sacrificing some frequency depth with all of their 2 channel sets (for sure with the monitors) in order to gain a bit more sensitivity, a bit lower distortion, more power handling and perhaps a bit more in terms of dynamics.
All of these are great gains in my book. In a larger room one really needs a sub and in a smaller room I bet the room gain meets these right about where they drop off.
Seems like very well engineered gear, made for audiophiles and not mass market.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #19
Apologies if that has already been answered before, but is that line eyeballed and drawn or is there some kind of standard estimator for that fit?
It is eyeballed. :) I spent an hour once trying to learn the math language in Klippel to do it automatically but it went past my patience level.
 
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amirm

amirm

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