The Swiss are known for their neutral stance in world (politics). And in a way that is also visible in their products. Everything works with extreme precision. When we think of America, we think of big and heavy. And somewhat ungainly. Also in sound when we talk about audio. At Revel, we now know that this does not apply. And with the Revel Performa F226Be…? No…. not there either! On the contrary..
Revel is part of the large Harman group. (Now owned by Samsung). In the past, Harman did a tremendous amount of research into sound in the broadest sense of the word. Part of this research was also how a speaker had to be put together to sound good. And of course there is more to it than a response measurement at 1 meter distance, right in front of the speaker. Also phase, impulse behavior, off-axis reproduction and all kinds of distortion and diffraction behavior are included in the research which was also aimed at studios. Very interesting to read and it has caused a drastic change in the perception of loudspeakers.
The Revel Performa – or PerformaBe – series consists of a number of models. First, the M126Be which is now part of Geoffrey’s reference system. Then there is the F226Be which is the smallest floorstander. Then there is the F228Be with 8-inch woofers, instead of the 6-inch in the F226Be. And then there is the hefty F328Be which has three 8-inch woofers. To complement this, there is a center speaker (C426Be) and two subwoofers – B110v2 and the B112v2. Thus, a fine surround set can also be made with the PerformaBe.
The Revel F226Be
Revel’s naming convention is quite clear. In case of the F226, F stands for Floorstanding, the first 2 for the number of woofers, the 6 for the diameter of the woofer and Be for the Beryllium tweeter. Only the second two is not quite clear to us yet. But maybe it stands for dual terminals on the back? After all, the Revel Performa F226Be can be bi-amped or bi-wired.
The most striking feature of this Revel is of course the Beryllium tweeter. This beautiful, super-smooth performer is equipped with a waveguide to improve its radiating behavior. Our measurements show that this has been very successful. Off axis we see a very even and slow roll-off of the high frequencies.
Below the Beryllium tweeter is a 5.25-inch ceramic composite aluminum midrange driver and below that two 6.5-inch ceramic composite aluminum woofers. The units are in a 3-way configuration. Crossovers are at 260 and 2100 Hz. The type of crossover is not specified (order). The overall range is 36 Hz (-6dB) – 40 kHz (-6dB). 48 Hz is at -3dB. Nominal impedance is 8 Ohms and sensitivity is 90dB; very decent.
There is no accounting for taste, of course. In a way, Revel has chosen a safe design; we don’t see anything crazy. But really beautiful? Mwah… we find it rather neutral: neither beautiful, nor ugly. The finish is good though; nice paintwork and everything is screwed together properly. When we do our watertight, scientifically sound knock test we hear a pretty dead box. So that too is okay with these Revels.