Do you agree that top-line Revel and B&W have very similar sound?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Arnel Enero, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    After auditioning the B&W Nautilus 804, just out of curiosity I listened to the B&W Signature 800 and compared it to the Revel Salon. I thought they sound very similar. I probably wouldn't be able to tell one from the other on a blind test. But when comparing either of these to, say, a Sonus Faber Amati Homage or JMLab Mezzo Utopia... it's much easier for me to tell which one is which.
    Anyone else compared these two? Did you notice this close similarity?
     
  2. Brandon Blair

    Brandon Blair Stunt Coordinator

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    Never heard the Revel or Signature 800, but i've my dad owns a pair of B&W Nautulis 801's and i've auditioned the JMLab Mezzo Utopia and personally i would much rather the Mezzo Utopia, it is bar none the most incredible speaker i've ever heard. The shop i use is supposed to be getting in a pair of Grande Utopia's soon, i can't wait to go hear them. Of course i'll never be able to afford 'em but i can always dream.
     
  3. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    yes, Revel and B&W are similar. FWIW, I have an uncle who owns the Revel Salon and Studio set up in 1 home and a full B&W line in another.
     
  4. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    Brandon, those French speakers are wonderful indeed... although they tend to get bright with wrong electronics more easily than the more forgiving B&W and Revel models, IMO. I think they have some slight lift in the treble just so that they can "extract" microscopic details in the recording. That's typical French approach anyway.
    Excellent choice there. I listened to them in Paris before and I also liked them, but not to the point of preferring them to the B&W. But of course, different people, different tastes. [​IMG]
     
  5. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I haven't heard the B&W Signature 800 or the Nautilus 800, but I have heard the B&W N801 and N802, and I can easily tell the differene between them and the Revel Salon or Studio. While the two brands share certain similar characteristics, the Revel's top end isn't as bright as the B&W's, and the Revel's treble is more open, airy, and extended. The midrange of the Revel also seems a bit more laid back, and the overall soundstage is larger, and the sound is more exciting. Bass is similar.

    That said, I do think the B&W Nautilus and Revel Ultima speakers sound more alike than the Sonus Faber Amati Homage or the JM Lab Utopia.
     
  6. Brandon Blair

    Brandon Blair Stunt Coordinator

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    Arnel you could very well be right about the electronics and the JMLab speakers. I got to listen to them with on two 250 Watt Monoblock YBA ampliphers and YBA's top of the line 2 channel pre-amp and CD player. With the speakers it was a $40,000 set-up. It was quiet impressive, unfortunately most of us, myself included cannot afford anything remotely close to this. I listened to the B&W 801's through the same amps, but a much lower quality pre-amp and CD player. Personally i liked the sound of the Utopia's just a little more, i liked the bass a little more, seemed sharper though not as deep, and like you said they seemed to have more detail. Could have easily been the electronics like you said though.

    I defenitely didn't mean anything against the B&W's though. I own a pair of 805's and an HTM-1 both in dark cherry and love them. I think my next purchase though will be to the JMLabs Electra 946's, then move my 805's to my surround. Anyways, they are both great speakers and you couldn't go wrong with either.
     
  7. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    The B&W Nautilus line has a bright top end regardless of what it's mated with. Of course it's not as bright as the ear-bleeder Paradigms. I'd say Revel is pretty neutral.

    I've heard the B&W Nautilus line with Krell, which is bright and forward, Classe', which is warm, smooth, and laidback, and Levinson, which is neutral. I've heard the Revel Ultima line with Levinson and Classe'. I personally think Levinson makes the best gear on the market, and it mates beautifully with Revel. I prefer the Classe' gear with the B&Ws as it helps smooth out the highs and the midrange.
     
  9. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Justin said

     
  10. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, Larry, most people might be hearing the same sound, but they perceive it differently. [​IMG]
    Many sound engineers prefer to monitor with B&W speakers, for exactly the opposite reasons why you
    seem to hate them. If they thought B&Ws weren't neutral speakers, why would they want to monitor with them?
    AFAIK, there are more B&Ws used for monitoring than Revels. Just a thought.
    Btw, I'm not saying that B&W is the more neutral speaker. Don't get me wrong... I'm saying they sound very similar. I'm not putting one against the other, coz that's not the point of my original post.
     
  11. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your replies, btw.
     
  12. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i am dying to hear a revel speakers. too bad the chance of doing it is minus 100 percent.
     
  13. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Concerning the last few exchanges, I'd have to say I agree with you as a B&W owner, Arnel, but in the end it all depends on what you are accustomed to.

    After all, one person's bright is another person's detailed and another person's neutral is yet another person's laid back.

    DJ
     
  14. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Arnel:
    You're point about studios using B&Ws is well taken, as is the idea that we all perceive differently. Obviously, each of our replies will reflect how we feel and while I am not a big fan of the B&W sound, I accept that my tastes are not shared by all.
    As far as B&Ws and Revels sounding similar to you, I agree with the posts above that while they are not polar opposites, they are certainly quite different sounding. Out of curiosity, have you listened to many speakers in this price tier, and are you accustomed to really high-quality electronics? If the answer to these questions is "no" then my guess is that the differences between these speakers will become more apparent to you as you gain more listening experience. (BTW, I assume you are comparing them using music, not HT.) On the other hand, if your answer is "yes," then I have no explanation.
    Larry
     
  15. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    Larry, my answer is "yes". But I have auditioned them not side-by-side, so maybe it's just a coincidence that the systems I listened to that are built around either B&W or Revel sounded very similar, not necessarily the speakers themselves. In that case, it was my mistake to attribute this stunning similarity to the speakers only. Sorry, I meant the sound of the systems were similar.
    FWIW, the systems were:
    A. B&W Signature 800
    + Classe Omega monoblocks
    + Classe Omega preamp
    + Classe Omega SACD
    + MIT top-spec, with huge "terminator" boxes cables (model?)
    B. Revel Salon
    + Mark Levinson top-spec monoblocks (model?)
    + Mark Levinson top-spec preamp (model?)
    + Sony SCD-1 SACD
    + Kimber Select top-spec, gigantic cables (model?)
    I listened to SACD for most comparisons. Sorry I didn't pay attention to model numbers of Mark Levinson stuff (I hate remembering numbers) and cables (I don't care much about super-high-end cables).
    And yes, of course, I'm wise enough not to audition these really high=end speakers using HT. [​IMG]
    And maybe now I just got a little bit wiser, by reminding myself of the importance of not comparing speaker vs. speaker ever again, but instead system vs. system. [​IMG]
    Hope this makes my point clearer.
     
  16. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    Btw, when we start talking about quad-amped Nautilus (yes, the Nautilus... you know, the snail thingy [​IMG])... well, we're talking about light years better sound. Again, assuming all associated equipment match well with the beast (beauty?).
     
  17. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "The B&W Nautilus line has a bright top end regardless of what it's mated with."

    I'm sorry fellas. Justin and Larry...B&W is not a bright speaker, it is an exact speaker...revealing and true of the recording and source fed to it. Especially into the Sig and Nautilus series, treble is not rolled off like many speakers are today. Obviously, there is a tendency to brighten many, many recordings today because of the roll off that is done by many speaker manufacturers. Regardless of the speaker being Revel or B&W, they will BOTH show weaknesses in the system quickly...whether it be an interconnect or source, amplifier or speaker wire. But the biggest factor is the recording the speakers are reproducing.

    There is a reason more than 80% of classical recording studios and Lucas Ranch uses the Nautilus speaker from B&W, because of it's honesty and ability to reveal everything.

    Jeremy
     
  18. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    Justin,

    Do you listen to the Classe with the Revels? I heard the CA-201 with the F50's and thought they were a nice match not as forward as the No. 436's I also heard but big price difference too!

    Arnel,

    What do those Classe Omega monoblocks cost? Do U see the price tag? My bet is $20K!

    Mike
     
  19. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Jeremy:

     
  20. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "If you think the B&Ws are truthful, what adjective are we to use for the Watt Puppies?"
    What does that have to do with anything? [​IMG]
    Jer
     

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