|Revel Ultima Studio Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Saturday, 01 January 2000|
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There are very few sonic downsides to the Revel Ultima Studios. From a value standpoint, the 87 dB efficiency make it a necessity to invest in a very high-output amplifier. For obvious reasons, Madrigal recommends between a No. 334, to a No. 336 at 150 and 350 watts per channel into eight ohms respectively. My Audio Research VT100 powered the Studios, but didn’t give me the rock and roll headroom I wanted. My Sonic Frontiers Power 2 at 135 watts a side into 8 ohms drove the Studios much better than the Audio Research VT 100s. However, my 400-watt-per-channel Bryston 7B-ST provided the juice needed to exercise both the optimum bass output and midrange presence I demand.
When making a buying decision, you’ll surely be comparing the Revels to contenders like Wilson WATT Puppies, Hales T8s and perhaps Martin Logan Prodigy loudspeakers. All of these are great products, with individual attributes that make each very special. Keep in mind that while the Revel Studios are less expensive than, say, the Wilsons, they do require a serious amplifier investment of $5,000-$10,000-plus in order to get the most from your speakers. If you’ve already got the big juice – no problem. If you decide the Revels are for you as I did, you might consider a Proceed HPA 2 priced at $3,250 and 250 watts per channel into 8 ohms or an Aragon 8008 to save some bucks and make great music.
Loudspeakers are the products that best define the personality of your music and theater playback system. The irony is that you would be hard-pressed to find two loudspeakers that sound anywhere near the same, yet every manufacturer claims that their speakers are correct, accurate and void of any sonic signatures or colorations. We so often read reviews where the writer has gone to great lengths to try to describe to you what some very expensive (in many cases, unaffordable to the masses) speakers do both right and wrong in audiophile jargon. Then there is the intangible factor that is so often overlooked: the amount of enjoyment that a speaker brings to you - not individual characteristics that energize you, but the feeling that you can’t wait to get home and listen, day after day. This factor isn’t about numbers or about corporate reputation; it’s about sound. The Revel Ultima Studio loudspeakers made me want to listen to the point that they were purely addictive.
I have heard some killer speakers in my life, some priced more than my body parts cut up and sold to science. In my room, fully treated and tuned, The Revel Studios are far and away the best improvement I have ever made. I won’t insult you buy saying "I highly recommend you audition the Revel Studio’s" I’ll just let you know I bought them.