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Revel Salon2, B&W 802 D3, or similarly priced speakers + Benchmark chain?

andreasmaaan

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I don't think it is proper to say that the "perceived effects of moving the mic are greater than when one simply moves themselves." Given binaural listening and HRTF, I think the response changes due to head movement might be greater but I'd prefer to say that the two transducer systems are quite different in their responses to movement.

I think that's a reasonable modification.

I was trying to convey that changes resulting from moving a mic are more difficult for the brain to make sense of upon the sound being reproduced than changes in head position at the original event - "greater" was the wrong word.
 
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Sal1950

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Lot's of different results could be expected since a mic reacts to signal from a single point in space. The human is receiving into two ears who are 180 degree opposite receiving properties, no?
 

blueone

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Perhaps it's not too great a difference in your subjective experience - that I'm happy to accept :)

It was never my intent to position these informal recordings as definitive in some way. I didn't mean to cause such a debate. However, it amazes me how rare speakers are that can really accurately reproduce a deep male spoken voice. Many are too thin or too chesty. I've never found commercial spoken recordings that aren't processed in some way like equalization to have that "radio announcer" sound, and often reverb, so a home recording is better than nothing. I always wanted to use James Earl Jones, but that didn't happen. :)

One spoken male voice recording I made was actually a key decision support tool in selecting the Salon2s at a dealer. (And, dammit, in the last move we made I seem to have misplaced the original SD card and the CD-R I made with that and other recordings.) All I can say is that at that dealer in his room playing that CD-R, with my eyes closed, I actually thought I could be fooled that the friend I recorded (reading the Gettysburg Address) was in the room. I had auditioned the KEF 207/2 at another dealer, they were both speakers John Atkinson [emotionally] recommended in that price range at the time, and with the 207/2 I couldn't quite suspend disbelief. One reason I ordered the Salon2s, among several.
 

HammerSandwich

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I thought the [F226BEs] played some content very nicely; but other content did not sound right to me at all.
<snip>
Lastly I tried the Aerial T7. These seemed to play nearly all the content I brought well; however they weren’t as good as the other speaker’s on the content that the other speakers excelled at.
Good odds that you're on the circle of confusion. Neutral speakers don't call attention to themselves, especially in short auditions, because neutral isn't exciting. OTOH, bad recordings sound bad, good recordings sound good, and great recordings knock your socks off. Speakers with gimmicks or flaws tend to make all recordings sound more similar. Easy example: laptop speakers won't ever have too much bass, even with a heavily boosted track.

We know the recordings have a huge range of quality & character, so that's what the system should demonstrate. Given enough different recordings, anyhow.

If this makes sense, think about what your listening impressions imply.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Lot's of different results could be expected since a mic reacts to signal from a single point in space. The human is receiving into two ears who are 180 degree opposite receiving properties, no?
As I said, binaural.
 

Sal1950

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SplitTime

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could you please name at least few of those tracks that did not sound right to you?

Sorry for the delayed response. So, again, the rooms were in somewhat of a disarray. The F226Be were in the room that the Salon2s had just been removed from. They were using a ML SACD player and a ML amp - sorry I cannot tell you which models. There are several variables at play here that make this very messy... importantly the SACD player refused to play the SACD layer but would only play the 44.1KHz CD layer. After the sales person tried to get it fixed for an extended period of time (and complaining about the ML app/software) he finally decided to stream content (I believe from Tidal, but I’m not completely certain) that I asked for. So, to be clear, this was not coming from my actual SACDs for the F226Be demo; but my actual SACDs were used for the other speaker demos (in other rooms.)

<subjective rambling “on”>
Female vocals sounded very flat; as if it was a different person singing than I’ve heard on any other set of speakers or amp setup. The stand out here was, Nora Jones - Come Away With me. I’ve listened to this SACD over and over again, through headphones, various speakers, demo’d with B&W 802-D3, and several other speakers. The difference was pronounced, not subtle, similar to smelling the cork from a corked bottle of wine. No, I have not heard her live so “it is possible” that all other speakers falsely represent her voice and the F226Be is a better representation of it. Seems unlikely, and if that is indeed the case, I’d need a second set of unrealistic speakers just so I can continue listening to the farce.

Instrumental music sounded very good. As above, I’ve listened to these particular SACDs (and songs) over and over again on several setups.
* Anne-Sophie Mutter - Carmen-Fantasia, track 6 (Fantasy: Intro) and track 7 (Fantasy: I. Moderato)
* Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Sky is Crying, track 4 (Little Wing) and track 8 (Chitlins Con Carne)
<subjective rambling “off”>

So, in fairness here, it might not have anything to do with the speakers at all but the chain feeding the speakers. Similarly I think I said in an earlier post the other room with the B&W 802-D3 demo’d poorly, but in different ways, much worse than I’ve heard them sound in BB Magnolia rooms. While I wasn’t going to get to do A/B testing (or blind testing) - I thought it would be helpful to listen to them (Salon2 & 802-D3) within a few minutes of each other. So, at this point (and in particular given everyone’s reviews online) I suspect that the source/amp was problematic for these demos and I really just need to find a different store to listen again.

What have your observations been?
 
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vavan

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vavan

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couple of days ago I moved my f208s again and have had no chance to take another set of measurements yet
alright, here it is
wonder where that excessive energy in 2-4 kHz range is coming from
 

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SplitTime

SplitTime

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After talking some more with the sales rep at the same store - he set up a room with the F226Be, B&W, and a couple of other speakers he wanted me to hear. He had the room setup, with the speakers positioned and balanced, all properly driven with amps and a proper SACD player (plus USB capable DAC) before I arrived. A friend of mine and I went together. Spent a couple of hours there listening to music. We both really thought the F226Be sounded fantastic - Nora Jones (which did not sound "right" as I'd said in my previous post) now sounded wonderful.

Ordered a pair of Studio2s (from the store) & Benchmark (direct) AHB2s, a HPA4 and DAC3 - expecting everything in a couple of weeks.

I was able to get a discount on them as well - seems Harman may be trying to reduce inventory at the moment. So that made it easier to get the Made in USA Studio2 instead of Made in China F22*Be. Not for everyone I know - but it matters to me.

Thanks again to everyone for your feedback and input! A special thanks to Amir for his measurements and this site!!!
 
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SplitTime

SplitTime

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Order for a mcintosh amp and pre has been placed. My dealer reckons the gear should arrive by the end of the week after next. :)

To say I’m excited would be an understatement of the decade. I’ve never received product that wasn’t a dealer demo or used. It will be a pleasure to have a. The unboxing experience of a factory sealed container b. The comfort and knowledge of anything goes wrong my dealer will take care of me, not to mention free delivery and setup, and c. Warm fuzzy feeling of pride of ownership of being the first time owner of a classic, timeless heirloom piece.

Ymmv of course.

How is the new system working out? Hope you're loving it!
 

Kal Rubinson

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Ordered a pair of Studio2s (from the store) & Benchmark (direct) AHB2s, a HPA4 and DAC3 - expecting everything in a couple of weeks.
I highly recommend that combination1

I was able to get a discount on them as well - seems Harman may be trying to reduce inventory at the moment. So that made it easier to get the Made in USA Studio2 instead of Made in China F22*Be. Not for everyone I know - but it matters to me.
1. The Studio2s have been discontinued.
2. They have not been made in the USA for some time. Mine were made in Indonesia.
 
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SplitTime

SplitTime

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I highly recommend that combination1
Thanks Kal, I really did appreciate your feedback!

1. The Studio2s have been discontinued.
My understanding is that the center channel and Gem2s are also discounted right now as well - so maybe they're all going?

2. They have not been made in the USA for some time. Mine were made in Indonesia.
Well, decision made, order placed, dollars committed. No regrets.
 

Laserjock

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Still looking for the walnut version...
 

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