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Revel Performa F32 Loudspeakers Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 January 2005
Article Index
Revel Performa F32 Loudspeakers
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ImageRevel is the high-end speaker division of Harman Specialty Group, a division of multi-billion-dollar conglomerate Harman International, makers of high-end Lexicon and Mark Levinson audio-video electronics. Revel’s Performa line is more modestly priced than their swanky Ultima products, which are reserved for the most demanding and wealthy consumers. Revel has taken much of what they have learned through extensive research and development of their Ultima line and employed this in their Performa speakers. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that many of Revel’s products have received widespread acclaim among consumers and critics, including the Performa F30s, which Audio Video Revolution selected as a Best of 2001 product.

While the Performa F30s were a sonic marvel, especially considering their price, they left a lot to be desired aesthetically. With the recently introduced Performa F32s replacing the Performa F30 speakers, Revel has completely redesigned the look of their entry-level floor-standing speaker. Gone is the art deco large white woofer and the funky-looking grille covers for the tweeter and midrange. In addition, the cabinet has not only been narrowed considerably, but gently tapers to become narrower in the rear. The original F30 was almost twice as wide as the new F32.

Importantly, Revel has also attempted to improve the sound of the renowned F30s. With the F32s, Revel has opted for two smaller six-and-a-half-inch woofers to replace the single woofer found on the original. The speakers also utilize one five-inch midrange driver and a one-inch titanium tweeter. Improvements have been made in cabinet design and new drivers and crossovers replace those found in the previous model. The F30 are available in a slate of colors, including Maple, Natural Cherry or Black Ash natural wood veneer. The Performa F32s sell for $4,000 a pair.

Even considering their weight (35 pounds each), successfully setting up the Revel F32s was notably easy. The speakers can be single-wired, bi-wired or bi-amped. I chose to keep it simple and opt for a single-wire connection, using Transparent Music Wave Plus speaker cables, which in my view are a smart match with any of the entry and mid-level speakers in the Revel Performa line. The grilles attach cleanly and give the F32s an unimposing and handsome look, which many spouses will be willing to live with in almost any décor.

I spent considerable time adjusting the placement of each speaker to get the imaging just right. After experimenting with the low-frequency compensation and tweeter level controls on the rear of each speaker, I left each in their “normal” positions. These controls are a great asset when speaker placement is less than ideal, such as too near a wall that can exaggerate low frequencies, or in a bright or dead room. I liked these features on other speakers in the Performa line and I am pleased that Revel included them here.


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