Warning for Revel lovers

I have read these forums for some years, and have never contributed,  but feel I really must let people in on what is happening at Revel. I ordered a pair of Salon2's  in March '21 through the great folks down at USA Tube Audio in Scottsdale,  who I can unreservedly recommend for excellent customer service. After ordering the Salons, Revel estimated their delivery at the end of April. When that date approached the delivery was changed to end of June. Then it was changed to August, then November, then February.  '22. Just found out the new delivery date. It is August '22. Well, you might say, this is supply chain, pandemic related. Read on. During my year-long wait, Paul and Charlie down at USA Tube several times tried to find out what the story was for the delays. I also wrote to Revel to try to get updates; I had sent them 50% down to reserve the speakers. The most either I or USA Tube received back was a one or two terse sentences which shed no light on what the issues were effecting delivery targets. During this time, I sent some equipment in to Audio Research for factory restoration. It took them 6 months to get the job done, but they were excellent at keeping me in the loop, and I always knew when to expect them to finish the job. Just last week I canceled my order to Revel. I will receive a refund, but there was not one word from them apologizing or attempting to explain what happened. I have since ordered a pair of Aspen FR30's from PS Audio, and have already been contacted by them several times for updates and videos of in home installations. Anyway, they are delivering the first couple of pallets as I write this, and somehow are able to honor their commitments to their customers. Though I will have to wait for mine, I have high confidence they will arrive at my house when Paul and company say they will.


The point of my ramble is that the high end community is rather small, with many excellent companies competing for for business within it. It is sad to note that one of the absolute best, Revel, is now under the corporate umbrella of Harmon, which is under the corporate umbrella of Samsung. They have not been represented at the last two T.H.E. shows in Long Beach, home state for Revel. They sent me an email back in January, announcing a change in their management, along with no information on the status of my speakers. They appear to have had no interest in keeping a buyer of their flagship product either happy or informed, for an entire year. I am not a wealthy man. I've been trading and buying audio products for almost 40 years, and was excited to lay down a large commitment in capital for some amazing speakers. I am assuming that sometime in the recent past Revel, after having been absorbed by its corporate overlords, was "restructured" (read gutted), and is not currently equipped to supply a quality product to discerning audiophiles. It also appears that the parent company is content mass-marketing cell phones and "speakers that rock", but sound the same whether playing MP3, CD quality, or high rez. If anyone out there is thinking of sinking a bunch of money into a high end speaker, Caveat emptor! P.S. I own a pair of original Salons, and have always enjoyed Revel's products. Very sad


Thing is there is so much variability in product availability.  Service for high end gear by manufacturers is also highly variable.  So there are examples available at either extreme and everything in between.  I will definitely more strongly consider a company's service record than in the past when purchasing their product new or even on the used market.  A good experience I had was with PassLabs.  I had purchased one of their amps used and about 18 months later it quit powering up.  My first query was not answered but my second one was.  I got a box from them shipped it and they repaired it for next to nothing.  I did inquire as to what they fixed but got no response back.  Nevertheless, compared to my experience with some other reputable companies, I rate this a good experience.  Maybe I am grading on the curve.

I bought a demo pair of salon 2's from a dealer for an amazing price because they had done a show. Black with no blemishes for less than 1/2 list price, cash no tax!

The reason for my post is to say even at the price it was so much more than I was comfortable spending that I was emailing support with supply questions and nearly everything that kept me up at night. Not only was Revel service prompt with Emails and when 9 months later I decided to resell them a Revel tech actually called me on my phone and patiently answered all my questions. I was concerned about reselling a product that might be flawed in any way, so, this guy under the direction of KV took all the time I needed to look up the inventory of every driver, durability of the titanium drivers, he subjected them to every over the counter product with the intent of damaging them. I don't know what to say? How the mighty have fallen:(

I read KV and his brain trust are no longer part of samsung/revel so keep an eye out for their next start up. It is interesting to me that Revel was basically and independent under the HK umbrella that produced nothing of their own and with everything being outsourced margins are smaller and supply and demand aren't in the control of the parent company.  

The salon2 will need 500 watts per channel to operate as designed and don't be afraid to buy 'slightly used' as they're one of the more bulletproof models out there.

I wish you knew they stopped making Salon2 for years.  Obviously you did not know.  Glad you got your money back.  But waiting for over a year for nothing is no fun.  I sold my Salon2 just end of last year.  They are great speakers.  I called Revel last year to verify the date of manufacture with the serial numbers printed on the back of my Salon2.  They said they couldn't find the serial numbers in their system.  That told me they weren't serious about their products.  Revel was once very popular.  Sad.

This thread and the ever stranger saga of Revel (I say ever stranger due to the odd mix of Samsung corporate ownership, weirdly not “officially” discontinuing the Ultima line for so long and now the fact they seem to be calling the PerformaBe their flagship as if they’ve given up entirely) only makes me want a used pair of these alien looking things even more. Very very odd for me who is usually vehemently against anything that calls itself “high end” yet offshores manufacturing to China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

But *never* have I heard more glowing praise from owners on any single solitary speaker in my life than those who own Salon2s. Effusive praises like “end game speaker”, “my last speaker”, “I’ll never let these go”. Reviewers that swore by them as their reference for years etc etc. Best I can figure; the Salon2s are to the high end of speakers what Emotiva is to amplifiers. Are they pretty? No. Are they made of exquisite materials and designed like an art piece like Focal’s Utopia line? Not even close. But it’s like Kevin Voecks just smashed together damn near what seems like as many of the simplest car-audio looking aluminum drivers he could muster with one semi exotic tweeter material, made the case as inert as possible, said “phuk it” to aesthetics and created a masterpiece of audio. I have to audition these things if for nothing else to say I had been there and done that and have the t shirt.

I too have no local dealer to audition at. So I just hope that I am not building them up in my head only to be let down with a “never meet your heroes” moment. Time will tell. 


@audiowatchfreak - The Revel Salon 2 speakers are indeed an exceptional product that has stood the test of time. They're actually very nicely finished, not just thrown together by any means. Like with all high end audio products though they do have some specific needs when it comes to matching with supporting gear.

They thrive on high power and really come alive when driven by amps with several hundred watts, some claim 500 watts works well which I've heard Revel recommends themselves. They're also very revealing with that beryllium tweeter so the electronics need to be of suitable quality (not just any high power amp) or they can become harsh and glaring. With all due respect I don't think your comparison to Emotiva is valid, the Salons are in a much higher class of gear than that.

Since they've been available unchanged for so many years there are good deals to be had on the used market, just be sure to verify their condition.