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Revel Performa3 Loudspeakers Preview

Revel Performa3 Loudspeakers

Revel Performa3 Loudspeakers


  • Product Name: Performa3 Loudspeakers
  • Manufacturer: Revel
  • Review Date: January 17, 2012 09:45
  • MSRP: $1,200/pair to $6,000/pair
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • F308 3-way floorstanding tower (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch midrange, three 8-inch woofers; SRP: $6,000/pr)
  • F208 3-way floorstanding tower (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch midrange, dual 8-inch woofers; SRP: 4,500/pr)
  • F206 3-way floorstanding tower (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch midrange, dual 6.5-inch woofers; SRP: 3,000/pr)
  • M106 2-way bookshelf monitor (1-inch tweeter, 6.5-inch woofer; SRP: $1,700/pr)
  • M105 2-way bookshelf monitor (1-inch tweeter, 5.25-inch woofer; SRP: $1,200/pr)
  • C208 3-way center channel (1-inch tweeter, 4-inch midrange, dual 8-inch woofers; SRP: $1,700/ea)
  • C205 2-way center channel (1-inch tweeter, dual 5.25-inch woofers; SRP: $1,000/ea)
  • S206 2-way surround speaker (dual 1-inch tweeters, dual 6.5-inch woofers; SRP: 1,800/pr)
  • B112 powered subwoofer (12-inch woofer, built-in 1000-watt amplifier; SRP: $2,500/ea)
  • B110 powered subwoofer (10-inch woofer, built-in 500-watt amplifier; SRP: $1,700/ea)

It's all fine and good to read about speakers that cost more than your car but it is nice to remind yourself that there are quality speaker offerings well within your budget. Harman's Revel brand is looking to do just that with their new Performa3 line. This new line of speakers has a large range of offerings at different price points for the Audioholic that is looking to step up in performance and looks from their initial, budget system. They really seem to be aiming for the consumer that is ready to get serious about their home theater and, we think, they've hit the nail on the head.

The Performa3 line has a total of ten models in it ranging from $6000 a pair to $1200 a pair. Three of the offerings are floorstanding speakers (the $6000/pr F308, $4500/pr F208, and the $3000/pr F206), two bookshelf speakers (the $1700/pr M106 and the $1200/pr M105), two subwoofers (the $2500/each B112 and the $1700/each B110) and a single surround speaker (the $1800/pr S206). The nomiclature behind the names is fairly straight forward: F=Floorstanding, M=Monitor/Bookshelf, C=Center, S=Surround, and B=suBwoofer (not sure about that last one but go with it). The numbers indicate the number and size of the largest driver. So, for the F308, it is a Floorstanding speaker with three 8" woofers. For the M106, it is a Bookshelf speaker with one 6.5" driver (they drop decimals). The B112 is a suBwoofer with a single 12" driver.

Revel has gone with aluminum for the driver material on all of the Performa3 speakers. For all but the subs, the Performa3 line sports a 1" tweeter (two on the S206) with pure aluminum domes. These tweeters can operate above the 20kHz range of human hearing. Revel promises amazing detail and clarity with these tweeters. They also employ and exclusive Acoustic Lens Waveguide to increase and enhance imaging and horizontal and vertical dispersion for a larger sweet spot.

The midrange and low frequency drivers are also constructed out of aluminum cones and employ cast aluminum baskets and vented, high power motor structures (no cheap Chinese stamped baskets here). The cones have integral ribs to add strength and rigidity to combat audible high frequency cone breakup at high playback levels. In the larger, floorstanding speakers the midrange drivers are isolated within the cabinet for precise tuning. Some of the models (most likely the surround and center speakers) have tweeter and boundary controls to adjust for placement issues. In fact, each Revel Performa3 loudspeaker is individually calibrated against a manufacturing reference standard to ensure absolutely consistent performance from every speaker that leaves the factory.  Given Harman's meticulous attention to the engineering science behind loudspeakers.we have little reason to doubt their design goal of producing consistent sounding products from sample to sample hasn't be achieved.

Revel has opted for some high quality components in the Performa3 line. For their crossovers they've used air-core inductors and audiophile-grade polypropylene capacitor. The cabinets are internally braced at critical locations, are well dampened, and feature curved side panels to minimize cabinet-induced coloration. We are uncertain which speakers are sealed or bass-reflex (ported) designs other than the floorstanding models, we do know they all employ heavy-duty gold-plated binding posts. Revel is known to apply steep crossover filter slopes to improve driver integration and power handling.  You won't find design mistakes like running a midrange driver full range which can cause more amplifier strain and audible break up.  Instead, Revel executes proper design techniques to ensure a seamless blend between drivers while also presenting a stable load impedance to your amplifier.

Check below for some pictures of the finishes we saw at CES 2012 (Revel says they'll offer a choice of high-gloss real-wood and automotive-grade painted finishes). Revel says the Performa3 loudspeakers will be available in Q2 2012 except the F308 and B110, which will be available in September 2012.


Doing the math, you can put together a high-end Revel Performa3 7.2 system for $16,200 and a low end 5.1 system for $5,100. That's quite a range and should provide for a lot of different options for consumers. Based on what we saw, there are a ton of finishes that will be available to suit everyone from the real-wood fanatic to the "speakers should be the focal point of the room" user. We can't imagine how the Performa3 line won't be successful for Revel and we're looking forward to getting some models on our test bench.

For more information, please visit www.revelspeakers.com.

F208u     F206
Revel F208                               Revel F206

M106     M105
Revel M106                                     Revel M105

C208     C205
Revel C208                                     Revel C205

S206     B112
Revel S206                                      Revel B112

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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