Revel Performa 3 F208 Review

Revel Performa 3 F208 Review

Revel Performa 3 F208 Review

Revel is one of the most serious players in the global high-end acoustics market. In just 19 years of existence, the company has earned a serious reputation and produced several generations of excellent speakers. The Performa line has already celebrated its third update.
Our regular reader has already been able to form a general idea of ​​the structure of most High End and Hi-Fi companies. As a rule, these are one or two enthusiasts who have organized their own business to realize their ambitions in the field of the highest quality music reproduction. Therefore, each brand is unique, reflecting in its own way the approach and character of its founders.

However, Revel's story is different. It is a child of the process of globalization of the audio-video industry. It’s hard to say whether this is good or bad, but many very worthy brands have been bought up by big players such as IAG, Armor Home, TC Group, etc. By selecting manufacturers from a variety of industries, these groups ensure that all the AV needs of a wide variety of customers are fully covered.

The Harman group of companies was formed in the same way. It includes many brands, including Mark Levinson, which is known as a manufacturer of high-end premium electronics. However, Harman did not have a company that could produce speakers of the corresponding class. And instead of buying a third-party brand, the company’s leaders decided to found their own company, Revel.
Revel Performa 3 F208 Review

he history of Revel begins in 1996. To develop high-end speakers, they brought together the best designers and engineers, such as Floyd Tool and Kevin Voecks. To achieve this goal, engineers seriously delved into scientific and design developments, repeatedly testing and verifying each component of future speaker systems. Therefore, it is not surprising that Revel’s first line was the highest-class Ultima speakers, which have been the company’s flagships to this day. However, Ultima models turned out to be very expensive even for the High End sector, and in 1999 the company

creates a more affordable Performa line. The models of the new line received a more modest design, but the sound quality remained at a very high level. Over the next year, the line was expanded to include a center channel speaker, a surround speaker and a subwoofer. Thus, the theatrical application of Revel products took shape. In 2003, the line underwent significant changes in design and became even more accessible, thereby further improving its price/quality ratio.

This line received its last, third update relatively recently, in 2012. The speaker design has been significantly improved and components have been updated. Performa includes floor-standing and bookshelf models, center channel and surround sound systems, as well as subwoofers. Now these are full-fledged acoustics for building a stereo system or home theater system in a variety of configurations.

The Revel F208 is a fairly large floor-standing speaker with a glossy lacquer finish. Available in black piano lacquer and lacquered veneer. Specially hired Italian designers developed a body with curved walls, made of several layers of wood. This design is good both for increasing the strength of the case and from an aesthetic point of view. The front panel is flat and does not contain fasteners for the protective mesh - it is held on by magnets. Therefore, the speakers look great both with and without the mesh installed. At the base of the case there is a massive black podium.

The F208 uses four drivers in a 3-way design. Newly designed aluminum dome tweeter with an emphasis on increased sound transparency. The acoustic lens and horn are designed using a new mathematical model. The main idea is to ensure a seamless transition from the midrange driver to the tweeter. In addition, the tweeter horn expands the polar pattern at high frequencies, increasing the comfortable listening area of ​​the speakers. The design of the midrange and low-frequency speakers has been significantly improved. It was possible to significantly reduce distortion using a mechanism that stabilizes the field of the magnetic system even at high volume levels.

Revel Performa 3 F208 Review

Aluminum diffusers received stiffening ribs, which bring the nature of their movement closer to an ideal piston and reduce resonances. The cast aluminum speaker basket also effectively reduces resonance. The midrange driver is acoustically isolated in a separate chamber. Two large 200 mm bass drivers are loaded onto a bass reflex. Its port is positioned forward and its shape is optimized to reduce dynamic compression and noise from air movement. The 4th order crossover features custom components manufactured to Revel's exacting specifications.

The speakers have another interesting feature - adjustment to the acoustic characteristics of the room. Next to the two pairs of terminals on the rear panel there are two switches: tweeter level and low-frequency compensation. The first switch changes the sensitivity of the high-frequency section from –1 dB to +1 dB in 0.5 dB steps (useful for very muffled or, conversely, loud rooms). The second switch reduces the bass response by approximately 5 dB at frequencies below 400 Hz (helps if the speakers are located close to the wall).

Foam plugs for bass reflexes will also help to slightly reduce the bass. It should be noted that the ability to adapt to the room in passive acoustics is a rather rare phenomenon and is by no means useless.

Literally the first couple of music tracks showed that we are indeed looking at very high-class acoustic systems. All hi-fi and a significant portion of high-end systems are undoubtedly left far behind the capabilities of the F208, and this is clearly audible. The speakers build a three-dimensional stage very effectively. Sound sources are carefully localized and completely decoupled from the speakers themselves. This is felt so clearly that the performer is perceived almost visually with his piano or guitar.

Another notable feature is the very clean, transparent music stage. At times the atmosphere even seems rarefied, but at the same time each instrument is presented in all the beauty of its timbres. This indicates extremely low signal distortion. Complex instruments such as piano or saxophone sound completely natural, without any sign of spurious harmonics or intermodulation interference.

Thanks to their wide dynamic range, the speakers accurately place accents and accurately convey the author's intent. Ideal microdynamics do not allow any aftersound or reverberation to be lost. There are instruments with very long but weak aftertones, which are fully and very accurately handled by this model. The upper register is presented in warm tones, pleasing to the ear. It is very clean and fastidious.

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