June 29 - One of the most anticipated product launches in recent memory is the new Ultima Salon2 loudspeaker from Revel. The original Ultima Salon, launched nearly ten years at the company's creation, was extremely well received.
In the interim, however, designer Kevin Voecks has mustered the formidable resources of parent company Harman International to completely redesign the entire Ultima from the ground up.
The drivers are all new, proprietary, and employ advanced distortion-reducing techniques. (Voecks has access to the design laboratory of JBL, another Harman company.)
According to the press release, "The Salon2 is a floorstanding 4-way loudspeaker system with three 8-inch woofers, a 6.5-inch mid-woofer, a 4-inch midrange and a 1-inch Beryllium dome tweeter. Utilizing high-order networks (at 150 Hz, 575 Hz and 2.3kHz) that optimize both the on-axis and off-axis response, these sophisticated networks help to ensure smooth octave-to-octave balance and timbral accuracy. The critical goal of accurate timber has been achieved as evidenced by an extremely flat in-room frequency response of 29 Hz to 45 kHz +/-0.5dB. The response is derived from 72 anechoic response measurements, representing the Salon2 acoustic output at all angles. The Salon2 also features frequency extension at - 10dB @ 17 Hz. This is achieved with an easy-to-drive load with 6 Ohm nominal impedance and sensitivity of 86 dB SPL for 2.83 V rms @ 1 meter."
Note that Revel specifies the frequency-response tolerance at an astonishing half a decibel. This degree of flatness is unprecedented, and is guaranteed in the production products, each of which is hand-tuned to match the engineering reference. Price: $21,998 per pair.
I heard a thirty-minute demo of the Salon2 at last year's CEDIA show (in a quiet hotel away from the show) and was greatly impressed by every aspect of the Salon2's performance. Of course, you can't judge a product by such a brief audition, but from what I heard, the Salon2 could be a landmark product.
The Ultima line includes the Studio2 ($15,998), the stand-mounted Gem2 ($9998), and Voice2 center channel ($7999).