American loudspeaker brand Revel was founded in 1996. Revel is a loudspeaker-only manufacturer and has an interesting product line up; can you imagine a 12-inch subwoofer from the Extreme Climate series, of which 90% is buried into the ground and the bass exits from a small pipe that can be hidden behind a bush in the garden? And if you’re driving Lincoln there is an option to choose Revel sound system with more speakers and Watts than in an average home. In short, we can imagine that Revel is not a brand with a high level of recognition in The Netherlands and Belgium. Time to get acquainted with the Performa M126Be monitors.
Revel was founded in 1996 by Dr. Sidney Harman, founder of Harman/Kardon, audio pioneer/scientist and also politician, media tycoon and athlete. Revel takes science as the starting point for its products. Measuring, testing and scientifically validated listening tests are business as usual. Revel has a pneumatic carousel in its labs where different sets of speakers can be changed at lightning speed without the listener/tester hearing anything or the position of the speakers changing.
After unpacking we have a monitor set that has modest dimensions: 38.5 cm high, 21 cm wide and 25 cm deep, weighing 10 kg each. The finish is high-gloss walnut wood (black, white and metal/silver are also possible). The two drivers have a white finish which reminds us a bit of the Yamaha studio monitors. The treble driver is made of beryllium (1 inch), the mid/low driver is made of a ceramic composite with an aluminium core. We mount the speakers on the supplied stands which are also made of wood; these are fine but seem a bit lightweight. Most of the tripods we use in the studio are heavier.
We test the Revels in the large studio, where we hook them up to the Illusonic IAP8 streamer / DAC / preamplifier and the B&K HTA 7,150 power amplifier. In the small studio we connect the Revels to the Hegel Röst amplifier/streamer/DAC. We have recently decided to simplify our cable setup whilst testing audio equipment. This is because testing with high end cables can influence the results. We have asserted before that cabling (interlinks, speaker cables) is meant for the finishing touch of your audio system. A little more warmth, or a slightly wider soundstage, more or less lower end. That’s why we are using Audioquest slp14/4 for this test and no garden hose thick mains or speaker cables. This, we think, resembles the situation in most of our reader’s households. In this basic wiring setup, any music system should perform on par.