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Revel Salon2 vs Genelec 8351B - Blind Test Preparations

Kachda

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Yeah that’s a very good point. I am leaning towards just boxing them up and storing them until we’ve settled into a more permanent location then. Plan is to rent initially until figuring that out, so I guess the boxes would likely just go in my home office room at first, unless I figure out a secure enough storage solution. As you can probably tell, logistics is not my specialty :)
Maybe someone can 'store' them for you ;)
 
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echopraxia

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Thread Starter #482
Maybe someone can 'store' them for you ;)
I’d be more than happy to loan them out under a fair arrangement, where perhaps every year I receive a few percent interest in speaker-denominated yield (maybe a Revel M105 one year, a Neumann KH80 the next, etc. :p) (jk)

In reality, I will most likely just take them with me in their boxes, even if it is a pain and even if they may stay in their boxes for a while during a temporary transition period depending on how logistics work out. I’d rather not have to worry about them being discontinued, because I otherwise definitely plan to keep them forever.
 

Laserjock

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I’d be more than happy to loan them out under a fair arrangement, where perhaps every year I receive a few percent interest in speaker-denominated yield (maybe a Revel M105 one year, a Neumann KH80 the next, etc. :p) (jk)

In reality, I will most likely just take them with me in their boxes, even if it is a pain and even if they may stay in their boxes for a while during a temporary transition period depending on how logistics work out. I’d rather not have to worry about them being discontinued, because I otherwise definitely plan to keep them forever.
Drop them off in Texas, these walnut M106 will be just right in the NE.
Chris
 
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echopraxia

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Thread Starter #484
Drop them off in Texas, these walnut M106 will be just right in the NE.
Chris
Great, I’ll just use my fork lift (which I always keep standing by in the closet — you never know when you might need a forklift) to carry them to my semi truck (which I use as a daily driver, because it’s just so practical), and head on over!
 

GDK

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Great, I’ll just use my fork lift (which I always keep standing by in the closet — you never know when you might need a forklift) to carry them to my semi truck (which I use as a daily driver, because it’s just so practical), and head on over!
He said “drop them off”, so I think that actually requires a cargo plane and a couple parachutes.
 

Descartes

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I am going to be doing a controlled blind test of these speakers soon. Opinions on best test procedure are welcome. Edit: It seems there is nothing remotely approaching consensus here on what is even an “acceptable” test procedure in this thread so far. I’ve canceled any plans of doing a test in the near term as a result, but I definitely still plan to test these — once we better understand consensus for what methodology would be required in order for a victory of one speaker over the other to be accepted as such.

Need to determine: best test track list, mono vs stereo test, with vs without subwoofer, best test procedure for placement, and room correction procedure (if any) for bass, etc.

Current in-room measurements (prior to any EQ) with Rythmik F18 integrated with 80hz crossover shown below, from a single identical measurement position. The Genelec seems to have a flatter in-room response, but as a coaxial this makes sense as I am not averaging multiple measurements for the Salon2’s. Still, the Genelecs in room performance is amazingly good.

Question is, other than bass EQ (which I will be doing to flatten that out), should I attempt to EQ the Salon2's in-room response closer to that of the Genelec, or is it more fair to just leave it alone (other than bass EQ)? Edit: Current plan is not to EQ anything above 200hz and realistically probably not above 100hz.

Genelec 8351B + Rythmik F18 (10hz - 22khz) — no room correction yet:

View attachment 79237

Revel Salon2 + Rythmik F18 (10hz - 22khz) — no room correction yet:

View attachment 79234

(Boomy subwoofer response from room modes as you can see, but this is good since it will provide headroom for bass room correction.)

Vertically stacked orientation shown here. Edit: Note: This is probably not good enough, so will likely have to end up using a turn table behind a acoustically transparent curtain.

View attachment 79236
And the winner was?
 
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echopraxia

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Thread Starter #489
And the winner was?
We weren’t able to find any test procedure which would yield results that any decent percentage of people here would consider trustworthy and meaningful in general.

The only exception was if the blind test was done by Harman — then the results would be trusted blindly as unquestionable fact. But an otherwise identical test, though done by an organization or person or any other name than Harman, becomes immediately suspect and unscientific :p

I don’t want to go through all the significant time and effort to carefully perform a blind test, if just for my own satisfaction (because I’m already satisfied); I’m only interested in doing a blind test if it would actually contribute new data that others would find usable/interesting. So I’ve postponed doing any such test until at least a good number of people here can conclude on a testing procedure that would actually be capable of deciding on a winner in a meaningful way applicable to more listeners than just myself.

I’m satisfied enough with the sighted listening tests I’ve now done in three different rooms and with a wide range of music listened over many hours.

From my own subjective listening, the TDLR of my impressions are: Both are amazing, but Revel Salon2’s are better at transporting a real acoustic/vocal (anything unamplified) music performance into your room, while the Genelec 8351B is better at the opposite — transporting you to the venue of an amplified-style or stage-style performance.

For stereo, the Genelec is better for “amplified” or stage style music, like rock, electronic, etc. and worse at reproducing the sound of a musical performance from real instruments in a room (or concert hall) in which you expect the music to surround you by reflecting off all surfaces.

In a multichannel setup (even if only with upmixing from stereo) I suspect a Genelec surround setup could be better in every respect than Revel since you could select at any time whether you want that “live” “energetic” “up front” “wall of sound” you get from more focused image and narrower dispersion, versus if you engage stereo upmixing you could also get the “vast” “expansive” “surround” effect that the Revel Salon2’s do amazingly well despite with just a stereo pair. But this is just a theory and I have not yet tested it.

Beyond these spatial/soundstage differences, the Genelec 8351B is probably better and audibly more perfect overall, but the Salon2 is still pretty amazingly perfect and has an almost magical ability to achieve very flat and consistent bass across multiple listening positions in rooms of all sizes. The Genelec, in contrast, like any other 8” woofer speaker (+single subwoofer, which is how I use it in my office) is confined to the laws of physics, so it hits a lot of room modes so is very hard to have bass sound really excellent in more than one or two listening positions. The Revel Salon2 (likely due to its 3x 8” woofers per tower) sounds a lot like 2-4 subwoofers in terms of consistency (and power capabilities) out of the box. So much so that I often don’t even need to EQ the bass much, if at all, and don’t really feel the need to supplement the Salon2’s with subwoofer(s). In fact, most of my attempts to integrate subs with the Salon2’s has ended up sounding subtly worse for music than just EQ’ing the Salon2’s.
 
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echopraxia

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Thread Starter #491
have you tried using the 8351s as rears with salon 2 fronts?
I haven’t. Though it might be interesting to try, I’m not sure what useful data that would yield for anyone else.
 

RichB

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I haven’t. Though it might be interesting to try, I’m not sure what useful data that would yield for anyone else.
IMO, It is fine to do in-home comparisons, as best you can, then post your observations.
This is not proof of anything, but I and others find it interesting.

- Rich
 

richard12511

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We weren’t able to find any test procedure which would yield results that any decent percentage of people here would consider trustworthy and meaningful in general.
Which is a shame. I get why you didn't, and I blame all the people wanting it performed to their exact set of requirements. In your position, there was no way to do it correctly for everyone.

I was super close to buying a $10,000 pair of used Salon2s a few months ago. Maybe I should have, but it was in gloss black, which isn't the color I want. I've got a 2 channel room built, but I'm still undecided between the Salon2, 8C, Kii 3(Grim LS1 long shot) for that room.

I really hope to at some point continue this when I have or have access to both speakers. I bought a Van Alstine ABX comparator to assist with the blinds I like to do, so that will definitely help.

Best case scenario(imo) would be optimal position and optimal toe in(determined by blind tests and measurements) for each speaker, but that likely requires helpers to move the speakers in between each switch, which slows down the switch times. This is the way I've it in the past, but we had 10+ second switch times, and I'm now thinking this would completely negate the advantage of my ABX Comparator. My current idea is to do each song twice with two different positions. Toe in will be determined for each, but each speaker will get one chance per song on the outside, and one chance on the inside.
 

richard12511

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I haven’t. Though it might be interesting to try, I’m not sure what useful data that would yield for anyone else.
Ha, while that would be great, it seems like a waste of the 8351s. I've tried 8030c, M105, and JBL 308p as rears/surrounds, and I honestly can't tell the difference. I upmix all my music, so all they play is echo/reverb.
 

mkawa

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crap, id buy the salons in a second but im in boston/new york. my family is in seattle but think spending more than 1k on speakers is insane
 
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echopraxia

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Thread Starter #499
crap, id buy the salons in a second but im in boston/new york. my family is in seattle but think spending more than 1k on speakers is insane
Well funny coincidence, I’m in the process of moving to NYC right now actually. But sorry even if I wanted to sell them, I can’t say I’d let them go for $1k :p

If you think spending more than $1k on speakers is insane, I’m curious if you’re ever actually heard any of these speakers. It’s possible you don’t know what you’re missing. I’m not saying you need to spend $10k on speakers as an audiophile, but I can guarantee you there are major improvements to be had between $1k vs $3k. But perhaps this is a topic best for another thread.
 
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echopraxia

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Which is a shame. I get why you didn't, and I blame all the people wanting it performed to their exact set of requirements. In your position, there was no way to do it correctly for everyone.
I’m definitely not closing the door to doing a blind test at some point in the future, I just will prefer to wait and figure out the best selection of speakers and test procedure at some point to generate the best and most useful contribution.

Ha, while that would be great, it seems like a waste of the 8351s. I've tried 8030c, M105, and JBL 308p as rears/surrounds, and I honestly can't tell the difference. I upmix all my music, so all they play is echo/reverb.
When I’m fully done moving (within a few weeks), I am probably going to set up a room with the 8350B’s as fronts and the 8330A’s as rear surrounds. I think this would actually be the most fascinating experiment to compare, versus a blind test at this point.

The hypothesis makes a lot of sense but I really want to test it: Whether the vast soundstage effect of the Salon2’s (that makes me prefer it for certain kinds of music) can be replicated with up-mixing stereo to multichannel.

I have all the speakers necessary to do this. I really want to try this because IMO it’s by far the most interesting and useful test: if 4 channels of Genelecs achieve a music experience better than the Salon2’s in every way, then that’s fantastic — I will have confirmed a hypothesis about the spacious soundstage, and achieved yet another “level up“ in sound quality :) But if the soundstage does not surpass the Salon2’s, then while this will be a mystery, it will be a very interesting one and no doubt generate a lot of interesting speculation and potential future experiments here!

This will probably all happen in a few weeks, and I’ll likely make a new thread for it since it won’t (initially at least) be blind test. Nor could it ever be, I think, since you can’t really hide the existence of surround speakers from being consciously heard I think.
 
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