As you could read in Fresh Blood 4, my Atc Scm19 V2 monitors have found a new owner after three years of loyal service. They did their job excellently but due to a lack of ‘body’ at the bottom I started looking for a speaker that would be more balanced in my space. The Atc’s also turned out to be very critical on amplification, as we noticed recently with the Scm 40. So time for a worthy replacement. I am happy to take you along on my search.
My new speaker naturally had to be as transparent as the Atc Scm19 V2 but unfortunately that proved impossible for the same amount of money. Atc scores particularly high in that area in each price range. So I was forced to look in a higher price range. Fortunately we test a lot of speakers between 3000 and 5000 euros on Alpha. A lot in fact because I had quite some trouble putting together a shortlist In the end I came up with the following Top 5:
My choice was mainly determined by the size of my room and its acoustic qualities. In addition, I think it only makes sense that each of these speakers was tested on Alpha. Obviously, all of these speakers are excellent reproducers, each with their strengths and shortcomings. But I myself had to make a rational choice and go for the most neutral of the bunch and not necessarily the most musical.
This quickly dropped the Bowers because while it is a great speaker it does have a certain signature. The Acelec Model One was a great contender but was a bit too expensive. The Q Acoustics Concept 300 turned out to be not so handy with its bizarre stands. And with the Focal Kanta the bass sometimes dominates in an average room. Remains, the Revel Performa M126Be!
Colleagues Jaap and Yung were very enthusiastic about this American all-rounder, so I had a set shipped over and immediately noticed that they did just fine in my rather fresh listening room. Much more bass than the Atc’s. The Revel Performa M126be, unlike the closed cabinet of the Atc’s, have a small bass port that produces surprisingly deep and tight bass. Bizarre! Lots of punch, body and quality at the bottom. Delightful. This is clearly not a bare sounding speaker.
The Beryllium tweeter is extremely refined and detail-rich, and the midrange is exceptionally clean. We’ll go into more detail about the playback in the coming weeks but we’re already 100 percent convinced. These are here to stay!
- Revel Performa M126Be monitor
- Benchmark Media Systems AHB2 power amplifier
- Benchmark Media Systems HPA4 preamplifier/headphone amplifier
- Sonnet Digital Audio Morpheus d/a converter
- Merason Audio Frérot (with Pow1 power supply) d/a converter
- Nad M50 (with Mutec Mc3+ clock) streamer/cd transport/usb player
- Hifiman Sundara headphones
- Audioquest Powerquest 3 power filter
- Audioquest Monsoon power cords
- Grimm TPR rca and xlr cables
- Benchmark Media Systems speakon speaker cables
- Roon Software (Qobuz and Tidal)