Revel Salon2s: Seeking Advice



There's a closeout on new Revel Salon2s locally and it's a speaker that's always intrigued me and been widely praised for characteristics I like in a speaker (detail, neutrality, punches above its weight, good midrange and bottom end). My concern is if it would be a lateral move based on my current speakers so I wanted to ask your opinions.


Current setup: Focal Kanta 3s, Parasound JC5, Pass Labs xp22, Denafrips T+, Lumin U1 + X1 PSU, great cabling, dedicated 20amp circuits, etc.


Any thoughts on if I should look into the Revels further versus what I currently have? Tangentially I have also considered trying tube pres but consider speakers as the foundation of the system and don't want to pass up this up unnecessarily. TIA!


You'd have to listen to the Salons (driven correctly) - all you'll get here is subjective opinion...

Here's mine based on previous experience: you'll probably find that the Kanta have more pronounced highs than the Salons (Kanta are designed to be flat from one end to the other, the Salons' FR are designed to drop a bit from bass to high frequencies).
I found the Kantas' mid-range detail excellent and probably easier to drive than the Salons. Also keep in mind that the Salons are more expensive.

Both speakers measure quite well by the way and sound like they do.

The Salons when properly driven would be considered by most as an upgrade over your Kantas, but keep in mind their relatively low sensitivity. The designer of the Salons recommends driving them with an amp of 500 watts and while you can get away with less than that they do thrive on high power/current.

What are you hoping to improve, honest question? 


I have not heard the Kanta but have owned a few and heard a lot of focals. I have demoed the Salon 2 many times as they sit on the floor of my local shop in a dedicated room, I owned the Revel 228be for a few years.


as a whole the Revel Salon is technically about perfect and technically a better speaker which can be seen in the measurements. Subjectively I find them a touch lacking in transients but they do play silly loud if wanted. The bass goes very deep but it is tuned very flat and does not have that kick of lifted bass unless your room adds it. When I was shopping for speakers the Salon is the only one that made my own system at the time less enjoyable when I got home as the Salon was just all around better.  A great speaker but I would worry about driver support as they are officially discontinued. 

looking at the measurements the Kanta shows something a little off with on off axis peak around 6khz (cone breakup?, poor crossover design?) and a touch more bass around 100hz but less extention. Treating the first reflection/side walls should help the Kanta. I would imagine while the revel goes deeper it might have less perceived kick due to the stronger peak in the Kanta’ and the lower efficiency but this is just a guess. 

I know when I was demoing the Salon 2 and the Sophia 3 I actually like the Sophia a little better for it having more kick in the bass, but their was no argument the Salon was the better more accurate speakers with more detailed highs, but the Sophia moved the soul more with bass kick/punch.

My point is, perfect might not be what you like. If they are local demo them, they are some of the best speakers made imo. They set the bar high and it has taken years for other brands to catch up (I believe they have). I have personally found JBL 4367 (also part of the Harman group) to be more enjoyable than the Revel Salon and would not do a straight trade. They are also super smooth but far more dynamic/transient.



It’s totally up to you. Personally I am a Revel fan.  Some will prefer Focal. Go figure!

IMO, these speakers are both great, but as others have said, are voiced differently.    I think you would really need to listen to them.  I don't think they will sound the same so you want to decide which you personally prefer.  

We have aclient with them stick with your kantas not an upgrade revels loudspeakers are uninspiring and harmens service is laughable 

There are so many options out there.  However, I can vouch for one speaker in particular, the Revel Salon 2 speakers.  I would definitely go with the absolutely phenomenal Revel Salon 2 Speakers!!!  I can go on-and-on about their superb sound attributes.  All I can tell you is, after years and years of being hopelessly on the speaker merry-go-round, it was the Revel Salon 2 speakers that rescued me.  Now discontinued, the Salon 2s were exquisitely engineered at their conception, to the extent that they still compete extremely favorably with some of todays best speakers anywhere near, and way beyond what they retailed for, let alone what they can now be had for on the used market.  The Salon 2 s are absolutely incredible performers.  Some of the most beautiful and sweetest highs in the business, true full range bass (bass and treble are adjustable for better room placement and flexibility in smaller rooms), mids, dynamics, height, depth, air, spaciousness, listenability..........they do it all superbly.  The Revel Salon 2 Speakers are true reference caliber speakers and you just can't go wrong with them.  But, bring plenty of power to the table to drive them, and you will be greatly rewarded.  

Thank you all, very insightful and appreciate all the feedback. The deal is the place I bought the Kantas from is local and have the sale on the Salons, however they just sold their last demo pair so I wouldn't be able to hear them. They also won't accept a trade in on the Kantas for the Salons specifically, so I think that seals the lack of a deal.

@soix I've always been intrigued by the Pearls too, although I've never heard them. My next step for the system is to try a tube preamp but that's a question for a different thread of course.


If you find the Focals a bit too bright a tube pre should take the edge off them. I have not heard the Revels but I went for the very musical Sonus Faber speakers but if you are a fan of earth moving bass the SFs would not be for you. As has been said before tastes differ.

You gotta listen...great speakers,  but not at all universally liked...

Get the Revel salons. 1 of the best speakers you can buy for anywhere near the price and many times more. All Focals have no bass until you get up into the Utopia line. Any Focal less than the Utopia will need a sub. Even with the Utopia’s, I would pick the salons. You will need a good amplifier with power for the salons.

Get the Highly acclaimed Borresen x-3's at $11,000.....Then you never have to buy another speaker.

Revel’s Ultima series speakers (Salons and Studios) are uniformly outstanding. I have owned Studios for two decades, which are very similar to the Salons but with one fewer bass driver. I use two mono 600 watt power amplifiers, and, at 85+ db levels, these Studios rarely call for more than six watts.

While I am a huge fan of Revel Ultima speakers, I, regrettably, urge not to buy the Salon IIs for one compelling reason: spare parts availability. Over the past year, I have thrown away over $17,000 of these speakers because drivers had failed and no replacements were still available. That was really painful!

christianb5s4, Was this going to be a purchase of opportunity or are you looking to upgrade the Kanta 3's? 

Demo is a must to decide- it’s very subjective.  
Probably most would prefer the Revel’s over the Focals, but only you can decide what you like.  

A local dealer told me he started noticing all the praise Revel was getting on some web sites. He said he bought out another dealers inventory and started carrying the line and it took 6 months to sell the first pair. For the same reason kef struggles in demos. the missing bass boost around 100 hz from 'accurate' speakers takes time to adjust to.   

Without question, the Revel Salon 2 speakers would be an upgrade over your Kanta 3 speakers, which I've had the opportunity to hear on a couple of occasions.  The Salon 2s are considered by many, including myself,  as an end-game, reference caliber speaker.  I believe that the Salon 2s are on a higher plateau of performance than the Kanta 3s are as I strongly believe that the Salon 2s are just  flat out better all around performers than the Kanta 3.  I like the Salon 2s over the Sopra 3 speakers as well.  I have an audiophile buddy who has a pair of Focal speakers which are the model just above the Sopra 3s, and I like the Salon 2 speakers better that them, too.  The Kanta 3s are a fantastic sounding speaker, but they just can't match the superior bass impact, dynamic impact and top-to-bottom overall completeness of sound that the Salon 2s produce.  Despite their age, I believe that the designers of the Salon 2s created a technical marvel those years back and they actually caught lighting-in-a-bottle with the Salon 2s creating a speaker that have withstood the test of time.  Amazing how that Salon 2s still compare so favorably with today best.  The Revel Salon 2 speakers could be your last.                 

@kennymacc I did listen to Sopras and Kantas when I auditioned, but unfortunately not Salons. The thing that seems to be repeated is the Salon2 punches way higher than its price and wish I could have heard it. Unfortunately those specifically I could not audition given the closeout, otherwise I would have.


I love my Kantas but know they aren't the end all be all as I continue on this journey! There are a bewildering number of speaker options that's for sure.

@christianb5s4   I can't tell how wonderful it feels for me to have found the perfect speakers in my audio journey (Revel Salon 2 speakers).  Now, I can just layback with a sense of satisfaction and contentment, and enjoy them for years to come without worrying about replacing them.  Hopefully, the same will happen for you.  Good luck in your search.  Happy listening. 

Likewise @kennymacc , that's the fun (and expensive part). It's a journey no doubt!


I hope to hear them someday.

The salon 2 really is quite special. I love mine. I compared head to head in the same system at my dealer salon 2 vs wilson sabrina x and it wasn't even a question despite the salon 2 being much older. Even today, especially with inflation, I think you would have to spend 50k to beat the Salon 2. 

Different opinions/experiences exist...

Revel speakers are a bit dry, analytical, etc, but measure great, I e, designed by guys who understand engineering, but, don't have a good ear for music (unfortunately).

If you told the Revel engineer, "Dude, your speaker doesn't sound a whole lot like my instrument and is getting a lil boring".... He might say, " it's all's you and your instrument's fault. My box measures great and i don't need to know anything else. If my box measures great, i am great".

Revel speakers are fairly priced for the work that went into it, however. If it ends up being your sound after you hear other things, consider it a fair deal even at full price. The Revel guys are not in the habit of robbing you like certain others.

Speakers with a different ethos applied in a similar price bracket or lower.

Levinson/DHertz Amber

Yamaha NS-5000 

Borresen X3 

Wharfedale Elysian

Tad E1Tx

Some of Vivid's stuff, etc


There are more exquisite offerings as you go up in price as well.

Listen to a lot of speakers before you decide on what really appeals to you. Also, listen to an eclectic mix of tracks from different genres.

@deep_333  I read your comments regarding the Revel Salon 2 speakers, "LOL!!!"  Especially the part where you wrote.... "Dude, your speaker doesn't sound a whole lot like my instrument, "LOL!!!"  All I can say about your comment is....."LOL!!!"

Happy listening.     


Your last post was interesting for sure. I demo’d the Salon 2’s at a dealers home where he was driving them with the most expensive Mark Levinson products Available in 2018 and they sounded full bodied and detailed and I bought them. Once home those exact salon 2’s driven by a hegel H360 (The one I picked for making the Salon 1 sound so alive and dynamic,) sounded dry and detailed with little bass energy or harmonic overtones. I resold those salon 2’s to a guy that plugged them into a pair of Mc601’s and presto, they came back to life. This story’s over for now as our op is waiting for another deal to come around, It does need to be said tho’ the Salon 2 needs power(Kennymacc, as much of a fan of the H590 s as I am, you’d be surprised.)LOTS of power!