Well, I finally got to hear those vaunted Revelation Mk III's (yes, Mk III's, with internal Mundorf parts and Bob Smith's prototype Zero Resonance speaker cables) at Steve Chang's (reefrus). Thanks to Steve and Bob for putting on a wonderful listening party, including great food, drinks and a chance to spend a lot of time with TopRound, Double Ugly, RodMCV, Olga, PeteG among others. We had a blast.
Note: my comments need to be taken with a sense of bias. I have committed to these speakers, along with three Continuum AD's, to make up my very hi-end 5.1 high resolution surround system in the music room. I bought the "set" unheard up until now, but with the utmost confidence due to the reviews by Jim Merod, et al, and the feedback from many members of the Circle, most of whom have not had their comments swayed by their wallets.....i.e many of them do not own SP Tech speakers; many of them truly want to, though.
Oh.....the Revs? Well, first a little background. The listening area was graciously handed over to us by Steve Chang. His listening room doubles as his front living area. The speaker backs are positioned close to the wall break where his living room transitions into the dining room, and the sides were close to his outside wall and his stairwell wall to the upstairs....not a speaker placement I would be working with at home. Our listening position was his sofa, which is pushed nearly up against the front wall of his living room; again, not a perfect setup, but one where Steve somehow made it work very well. He has numerous treatments behind and beside the Revs, as well as some on the back wall behind the listening position. Also, his equipment is in no way similar to mine, albeit a killer setup of H-Cat pre (with the ingenious wavefront timing control capability) and Spectron Class D amp that never ever sweated during our musical obstacle course. And this from a system that was less than 5 days old!! We played some music that must have had 60 db dynamic swings and some 12 hz low end spine rattlers......which is ok cuz Steve doubles as a Chiropractic expert, and his massage chair (otherwise known as the "rack") will straighten you out in 15 minutes.
Oh the Revs!......well these Revelations were unbroken-in pre-production versions, with little more than 24 hours of life, if that. In fact Bob and Jason were working on them earlier that day.
So, how did they sound, you ask? Well here goes...They were simply the best speakers I've ever heard, with an almost scary (no, make that really scary) sense of dynamics and full range output. Moreover, while dealing with mind numbing dynamics and the most musical lower and midbass output I've ever heard, his tweeter section, once faulted for being slightly tizzy and electronic sounding, had no effect whatsoever. The tweeter wasn't there! The midrange wasn't there either. It was like the sound of a single driver on steroids. The crossover network, wherever the hell it was, got out of the way. The waveguide allowed for great frequency response off and on axis, whether seated below ear height or standing above it. In fact, one of the real tests of a great speaker system, IMO, is to leave the room, head into the nearby areas (in this case his kitchen, where the food and drinks were
) and listen for the artifical sounds coming from the music room. Nope..instead it sounded like the band was in there; all the pressure changes and subtle cues still existed.
Bob forced Steve to crank up his great H-Cat/Spectron system to silly 110db listening levels as we ended the day with the Sheffield Drum record sounding like every thwack would blow Steve's windows out...but didn't even cause the Revs to raise its low blood pressure one iota. Earlier in the evening we listened to every sort of music genre known to man, from Mussorgsky to Jason Smith's original recordings (very nice) to Deep Purple Smoke on the Water! My comp disc (none of the above, included Cassandra Wilson to Radiohead)) never sounded so good. Even Rickie Lee Jones and Charlie Haden's interplay during Dat Dere was captured with the soft kid gloves reserved for such a delicate acoustic presentation.
Bob is one or two reviews away from making this world-beating speaker design the talk of the entire audio world. The SP Tech sound must be heard to be believed.
10/19 Edit: refered to addtl three Continuums as 2.5's when in fact they are the stand-mounted AD's.