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  1. #1
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    Revel F30 vs B&W 604S3 and Paradigm Studio 60's

    I am looking to purchase new used tower speakers and have narrowed it down to these three. 90% will be listening to funk, jazz, and traditional rock. In listening to the B&W's and Revel's I was very impressed, but it is hard to make a decision on the spot. I am interested in your thoughs/feedback.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Certainly the Revels if the price isn't a problem. I'm quite a fan of B&W, but the F30 compared to the 604 isn't really a fair fight. The CDM9NT would be a more fair comparison, or maybe a set of old Matrix 802's would be a nice find. Unless you're a cursed equipment nut (I'm certainly not) you'll be happy with whichever one once your ears get used to them.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9ball
    Certainly the Revels if the price isn't a problem. I'm quite a fan of B&W, but the F30 compared to the 604 isn't really a fair fight. The CDM9NT would be a more fair comparison, or maybe a set of old Matrix 802's would be a nice find. Unless you're a cursed equipment nut (I'm certainly not) you'll be happy with whichever one once your ears get used to them.
    The 604's are really fighting an uphill battle against the other 2 models.
    I think I'd have to agree with the recommendation for the Revels. The Studio 60's are decent enough for the money, but for my tastes, the Revels are just a bit better. The highs are a little more relaxed compared to the Studio's and midrange is a bit more resolved. Both have excellent soundstaging abilities, but I think the Revels are just a bit better all around.
    If you can get the Revel's for close to the same price as the Studio 60's, it's a no brainer.

  4. #4
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    Sure, I would...

    Quote Originally Posted by entryhifi
    I am looking to purchase new used tower speakers and have narrowed it down to these three. 90% will be listening to funk, jazz, and traditional rock. In listening to the B&W's and Revel's I was very impressed, but it is hard to make a decision on the spot. I am interested in your thoughs/feedback.
    Thanks
    ...do a used pair of F30s as well... not much of a contest. A used pair of F30s will be about twice the price as used Paradigms or B&Ws.

    I have the M20s and Studio 60s, spent time with the F30s, but it's been a while since I've heard the 604s. I do however, have a "coherency" problem with various B&Ws. Another brand to listen to would be Dynaudio (if you haven't already). Just yesterday, I heard the new Contour S1.4. I liked that stand-mount... easy on the ears, resolving, and reeked of quality. About $3K, IIRC. You could look at the Audience or Focus series.

    Tell us what you think...

  5. #5
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy C
    ...do a used pair of F30s as well... not much of a contest. A used pair of F30s will be about twice the price as used Paradigms or B&Ws.

    I have the M20s and Studio 60s, spent time with the F30s, but it's been a while since I've heard the 604s. I do however, have a "coherency" problem with various B&Ws. Another brand to listen to would be Dynaudio (if you haven't already). Just yesterday, I heard the new Contour S1.4. I liked that stand-mount... easy on the ears, resolving, and reeked of quality. About $3K, IIRC. You could look at the Audience or Focus series.

    Tell us what you think...
    Hey Jimmy, what's your thoughts on the M20's vs. Studio 60's? I remember doing a head to head on the M20's with the Studio 40's before buying.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    You did not mention listening to the Studio 60.

    Anyway if you heard the 604S3 against the Revel but liked the B&W a little more then don't be disueded from that feeling. Price does not indicate superiority -- I like the B&W 600 line a LOT more than the 700 line which is considerably more expensive -- especially for the kind of music you are listening to. The B&W 600 series is THE bread and butter line -- it is a fairly old design going through less changes than some of their other models - but at the same time I find them quite well balance -- they have some more box noise than some of their more expensive lines and those from competitors but properly set-up they are also quite an engaging powerful sounding speaker for quite a nice price - the 604S3 lists in Canada for $2000.00. I prefer the speaker to the Paradigm Studio 100V3 and the 60V2. What you prefer may be exactly opposite of course.

    The 604S3 is a highly enjoyable well made speaker for a decent price. It's still not my first choice -- I would consider the Dynaudio Audience 82 and 72 which are both around the same price -- The drawback is that they require more of a beefy amp - while the 604 would do nicely with a quality 60 watt or so amp from the likes of Rotel.

    There are a few other speakers I might consider over the 604S3 at $2k Cad but all in all it's an easy speaker to enjoy --- inerestingly the driver integration issues that I have with a lot of B&W speakers seems to be less of an issue with the 600 line. Not having the tweeter on top may actually be a good thing. Keeping it simple is usually not a bad thing.

    Another speaker you might like here that is cheaper again is the Energy C9 which is about $800 less and is far easier to driver and offers a very solid rock foundation without too much tizz -- the C9 doesn't look as robust in terms of build (Ie it looks a little cheap ) but for about $1050 Cad is maybe the best floorstanding speaker I know of in terms of total bang for buck. It is in league or betters a number of much more expensive floorstanders -- or at least gives the head scratching view that umm "why am I spending $2,000 more for a "name" speaker that essentially sounds the same (give or take a few percentage points) again?

    I was tempted at one time to buy 3 pairs of Energy C9's for a home theater system. Now the C9 has been discontinued and they have a replacement -- it may be better -- then again some companies bring out newer worse sounding stuff for more money -- so no gaurantees.

  7. #7
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    The M20 is...

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hey Jimmy, what's your thoughts on the M20's vs. Studio 60's? I remember doing a head to head on the M20's with the Studio 40's before buying.
    ...easily a better transducer. The Revel will let you "see" what is in front of it to a much greater degree. My 60s seem to blur or homogenize music, the M20s let you hear instruments much more honestly. It was actually quite odd at first... noticing textures that the Studios completely missed.

    Also, despite the Revs having about one-third the cabinet and one less driver, the bass can dig deeper. The 60s feel like they are straining to pressurize the room, the M20s can do it easily. And they can do it pretty far away from the room boundaries - the left speaker is even open to a small foyer area in my condo. Not only is the bass deeper, but none of the "thuddiness" the Paradigms have. Maybe that's part cabinet colorations... the M20s really feel buttoned-down and silent. At least in its price range, one of the best I have heard in that regard.

    Some might prefer the imaging of the Studios, but after 4 years with the Revel, and 7 with Paradigm, I think people and instruments are actually TOO small from the Studios - the Ms have more realistic scale.

    Of course I'm not saying the Ms are perfect, they ain't. They don't possess that ultra-silky treble found in higher-priced competion (although I'm not totally convinced that sounds real, either), they aren't the most sensitive speaker, and the bass can be a tiny bit on the loose side, and they won't smooth over bad recordings. Basically, I agree with almost everything S'Phile said, positives AND negatives.

    Despite less than optimum set-up, I have both of these speakers sounding better than in any store demo I have heard, I'm happy. Geez, I have heard my speakers hooked up to a big stack of Mac stuff, and quite frankly, I have a much more relaxed, warm presentation with my lowly Rotel stuff! I don't get it...

    When you consider the Revs are only $400 more than the latest Studio 60, I feel it's money well spent.

    Anyone in the N.Y. area? We should set up a get together...

    P.S. - Sorry if I'm not the best at audio lingo, hopefully you know what I mean :^)

  8. #8
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    Jimmy C -

    Your observation about M20 is spot on with my brief listening with those speakers a few years ago. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to listen to them with my evaluation CDs, only with home theater sources. Compared to what I hear from my Paradigm Studio v.2 setup, they definitely have an edge with their overall smoothness and the images that they throw out.

    I seem to recall that the Studio 60s that you owned were the v.2 series? If anything, the v.3 series has improved the imaging and the overall transparency of the sound compared to the v.2 series, with the biggest changes occurring in how they handle the bass range.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for your posts, Jimmy on the M20's...

    I am pretty set on the Revels, but I will try to find a place to hear the Dynaudio Audience. My wife now seeing the size of the F30's favors the M20's. I guess I will need to add a sub for movies, but what other differences do you hear between the two.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy C
    ...easily a better transducer. The Revel will let you "see" what is in front of it to a much greater degree. My 60s seem to blur or homogenize music, the M20s let you hear instruments much more honestly. It was actually quite odd at first... noticing textures that the Studios completely missed.

    Also, despite the Revs having about one-third the cabinet and one less driver, the bass can dig deeper. The 60s feel like they are straining to pressurize the room, the M20s can do it easily. And they can do it pretty far away from the room boundaries - the left speaker is even open to a small foyer area in my condo. Not only is the bass deeper, but none of the "thuddiness" the Paradigms have. Maybe that's part cabinet colorations... the M20s really feel buttoned-down and silent. At least in its price range, one of the best I have heard in that regard.

    Some might prefer the imaging of the Studios, but after 4 years with the Revel, and 7 with Paradigm, I think people and instruments are actually TOO small from the Studios - the Ms have more realistic scale.

    Of course I'm not saying the Ms are perfect, they ain't. They don't possess that ultra-silky treble found in higher-priced competion (although I'm not totally convinced that sounds real, either), they aren't the most sensitive speaker, and the bass can be a tiny bit on the loose side, and they won't smooth over bad recordings. Basically, I agree with almost everything S'Phile said, positives AND negatives.

    Despite less than optimum set-up, I have both of these speakers sounding better than in any store demo I have heard, I'm happy. Geez, I have heard my speakers hooked up to a big stack of Mac stuff, and quite frankly, I have a much more relaxed, warm presentation with my lowly Rotel stuff! I don't get it...

    When you consider the Revs are only $400 more than the latest Studio 60, I feel it's money well spent.

    Anyone in the N.Y. area? We should set up a get together...

    P.S. - Sorry if I'm not the best at audio lingo, hopefully you know what I mean :^)
    Well said...I really enjoyed the M-20's. A bit more than I wanted to spend on a home theater at the time, but they were the first Revel's I ever heard. I'm really surprised they aren't recommened a lot more than they are. I only recently discovered they're a Harman company...proof positive that big corps can still make a great speaker.

    I also find that more and more modern speakers are delivering that razor thin, pin-point imaging that is quite remarkable, but at the same time too focused. With some music it's a definite plus, with other types, I find it a bit overdone. That's one negative I always gave my Studio's, which I think has further been emphasized in the v.3's over my v.2's. Overall, the v.3's are a slight improvement I believe, but I get the feeling that enhancement was intentional. Like you said, some people prefer it. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

  11. #11
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    Careful, Wooch...

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Jimmy C -

    Your observation about M20 is spot on with my brief listening with those speakers a few years ago. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to listen to them with my evaluation CDs, only with home theater sources. Compared to what I hear from my Paradigm Studio v.2 setup, they definitely have an edge with their overall smoothness and the images that they throw out.

    I seem to recall that the Studio 60s that you owned were the v.2 series? If anything, the v.3 series has improved the imaging and the overall transparency of the sound compared to the v.2 series, with the biggest changes occurring in how they handle the bass range.
    ...my sis (and bro-in-law) are in your neck of the woods, as of today :*) Napa Valley, to be exact. VERY into wine and dine, I can't think of a better spot. I'm gonna sent them over your place to give me a full audio report! Seriously, they are going to try and make it to the City for a day or two... only there for 10 days :^(

    Oh... plus I'm hearing the weather sux for now...lol... Figures - first vaca for them in 3 yrs...lol. I don't think they will mind... beautiful there.

    You are correct, I have the v2. I have never done a side-by-side v2 vs. v3 (both speakers, same room), but I get the feeling the newer ones MIGHT have the tweeter padded down a bit, not sure. Clearly cut from the same cloth, but maybe a bit smoother. Soundstaging precise, as per usual.

    I ALMOST got to listen to the new Gallo 3 that listening day - but the salesman wasn't eager to play 'em... hmmm... They were much smaller in person than I imagined.

    Have fun in San Fran... buy some more LPs!

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