Revel Ultima Salon 2
Yesterday morning I was invited to Best Sound, one of Sweden’s high end HiFi stores to listen to The best sound in the world coming from a couple of high end speakers called Revel Ultima Salon 2. I’m not the guy who would recommend anyone buying a CD player that cost as much as a small car, or stereo cables that cost thousands of dollars, but still, I was very excited to listen to this rig that has a total price of over $80 000 – that’s right $80 000 (I guess it’s a bit cheaper in the US than it is in Sweden though).
Revel Ultima Salon 2 is the name of the new speakers from Revel, one of the world’s best loudspeaker producer according to many professionals. It’s the successor to the Revels Ultima series that has been used as a reference speaker for years in different hifi magazines. The Ultima Salon 2 is a four-way system with three 8-inch woofers, 6.5-inch mid-woofer, 4-inch midrange and 1-inch tweeter.
The speakers have a sensitivity of 86dB, a nominal impedance of 6 ohm and a bandwidth between 24 Hz to 45 kHz. The crossover frequencies are 125, 520 and 2300 Hz. The panel finish is magnificent and you can probably use the speakers as a mirror. And did I mention the price for a pair? $35 000 (once again, that is the Swedish price converted into $, you could probably find a pair cheaper in the US).
Here’s what we listened to:
An Esoteric X-03 Special Edition CD player – a $10 000 beast.
A pre-amplifier from Mark Levinson. This model was called No326S and had a Swedish price tag of $18 000…
…and here’s the main amp – a Mark Levinson No431, also around $10 000.
I missed to take notes of the cables, but I’m pretty sure that they were as expensive as the rest of the gear.
And, how did this equipment sound? Well, I’m not a sound expert but I have listened to a couple of setups and this is by far the best one I have ever listended to, that’s how good it sounded!
You have probably listened to a really good recording through a pair of good headphones sometime? Imagine that feeling, but instead you are sitting in a room without headphones and the sound is even clearer, more distinct and warmer than through the headphones. I closed my eyes a couple of times and just got seduced by the sound. One of the demonstration tracks was some kind of American gospel – and it actually sounded like the guys who sang were in the room, singing live. It was totally amazing!! For the first time I (kind of) started to realize why it can be worth buying a pair of insanely expensive cables.
But is it worth the money? Can a bottle of wine be worth $1000? For the majority the answer is no, and the same thing goes with a stereo rig that will cost you almost 100 grand – it depends on who you are asking. But one thing is for sure – it sounded damn good!
A big thanks to Dejan Subosic, one of the owners of Best Sound for the demonstration.