Revel Performa3 F208
Floor-standing speaker (Piano Black)
Our take on the Revel Performa3 F208 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
Even some of my audiophile buddies don't know about Revel, and it surprises me because the company has been building superb speakers for over 20 years. The Performa3 series shares many of the advanced technologies and materials of Revel's flagship Ultima2 models. The Performa3 F208 is a true full-range tower that can fill even large rooms with wide-open, muscular sound.
Praise from Stereophile
"Revel's Performa3 F208 brought me closer to my music in ways I hadn't thought a $5000 pair of speakers could. It offers uncolored, open, neutral sound, full-range extension, superb imaging and dynamics, and beautiful enclosures. ...the Performa F208 is my new benchmark for loudspeakers at this price.”
— Eric Lichte, Stereophile, July 2014
Class B rating in Stereophile's "Recommended Components," October 2017
Custom-designed drivers reduce bad vibrations
Revel designs and builds every driver that goes into their speakers. The F208's 5-1/4" midrange driver and dual 8" woofers use aluminum cones that are anodized on both sides with a micro-ceramic composite compound. This reduces resonances that can color the sound. Revel uses advanced testing like laser interferometry to root out those kinds of sonic imperfections. And the black-anodized cones look cool enough to leave the grille off — especially in the white and walnut cabinet finishes.
The F208's 1" aluminum dome tweeter sits in Revel's concave Acoustic Lens waveguide, which increases the tweeter's dispersion at higher frequencies, and also helps create a more seamless match between the tweeter and the midrange driver just below it. The result is very smooth, consistent sound both on-axis and off-axis, creating a larger sweet spot.
The F208 includes rear-panel controls for tweeter level and boundary compensation. You can fine-tune high-frequency output ±1dB, and adjust bass output depending on whether the speaker is placed near a wall or out in the room.
Curved cabinet walls cut down on colorations
Looking closer at the F208's cabinet reveals curved side and back walls built from a series of laminated layers. These curved walls are inherently stiffer than conventional box shapes, and are reinforced by extensive internal bracing that eliminate enclosure-induced colorations.
The front-firing port and narrow, tapered rear of the cabinet help reduce interaction between the speaker and the walls of your room, making placement easier and less critical. Anchoring the enclosure is a flared plinth stabilized by adjustable spiked feet.
Tested by instrument and by ear
Revel's world-class speaker design and testing facility features an anechoic chamber and the latest high-tech measurement gear. But some of their most critical test instruments are the ears of their trained listening panel. When working on a new design, Revel's engineers set up a series of controlled auditions comparing their design to several competing speakers.
Speakers under comparison sit on a rotating platform, and each model is moved into the identical position by a computer-controlled belt drive system. An acoustically transparent screen hides the speakers from the listeners to avoid visual bias. These double-blind listening tests provide an essential reality check, and help the engineers correlate measurements with what listeners actually hear and prefer.
Build a complete Revel system
A pair of F208s can fill even a large room with gorgeous stereo sound. If you're interested in a voice-matched surround sound system, check out these other models from Revel's Performa3 series:
Center channel: Performa3 C208
Surround speaker: Performa3 S206
Subwoofer: Performa3 B112
Who is Revel?
Revel is one of the high-performance audio companies of global electronics giant Harman International. Since 1996, Revel has used cutting-edge design tools and one-of-a-kind testing facilities to develop speakers that measure well and sound amazing. The intensive design work happens at Harman's state-of-the-art speaker R & D facility in Northridge, California.
- 3-way, 4-driver design
- 1" aluminum dome tweeter with proprietary acoustic lens and waveguide for consistent dispersion over a wide listening area
- 5-1/4" anodized aluminum cone midrange driver with cast frame for reduced resonance
- dual 8" anodized aluminum cone woofers with cast frames for reduced resonance
- ribbed aluminum cones achieve piston-like behavior eliminating major sources of resonance
- advanced high-order crossovers optimize timbre accuracy both on axis and throughout the room
- rear-panel controls for tweeter level and low-frequency contour (boundary compensation)
- cabinet has 1"-thick walls built up from curved laminated layers, plus extensive internal bracing
- bass-reflex (ported) cabinet with front-firing port
- low-frequency extension: 31Hz (-3dB), 27Hz (-6dB), 23Hz (-10dB)
- sensitivity: 88.5 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- recommended amplifier power: 50-350 watts
- dual pairs of gold-plated binding post speaker terminals allow bi-amp/bi-wire configurations
- includes a foam port plug for adjusting the speaker's low-frequency performance
- removable grille is magnetically attached
- 13-5/8"W x 46-3/4"H x 15"D
- weight: 79.8 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Floorstanding loudspeaker
- 4 Spike feet
- 4 Locking rings
- 4 Washers
- 2 Terminal jumpers (pre-installed)
- Foam port plug
- Owner's Manual
Features and Specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||5.25|
|Woofer Size (inches)||8|
|Built-in Powered Sub||No|
|Connector Type||Binding post|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Frequency Response||31- Hz|
|Subwoofer Amp Power||---|
3-Way Floorstanding Loudspeaker: The Revel by Harman Performa3 F208 is full-range, three-way floorstanding loudspeaker that delivers an impressive combination of wide frequency range, uncompressed dynamic range and low distortion across the entire audible spectrum.
- 1" Tweeter w/ Integrated Acoustic Lens Waveguide: The Performa3 F208 loudspeaker is equipped with a single 1" aluminum dome tweeters that feature an integrated acoustic lens waveguide. The newly designed acoustic lens waveguide accurately matches the dispersion of the tweeter, midrange, and woofer in the crossover region and provide consistent sound over a wide listening area. It also generates extremely smooth, far off-axis sound, a critical factor in overall sound quality. Unlike previous waveguide designs, this new acoustic lens waveguide design actually increases dispersion at the highest frequencies, when compared to conventional tweeters. The result is a noticeably improved sense of air and detail, contributing to greater musical enjoyment.
- 5.25" Midrange & Dual 8" Aluminum Woofers: The Revel Performa3 F208 loudspeaker features one 5.25" midrange driver and two 8" woofers that incorporate several performance-enhancing advances which eliminate common sources of resonance and distortion that can compromise sound quality - even a high volume levels. The midrange and woofers feature ribbed aluminum cones that achieve ideal, piston-like behavior, cast-aluminum frames for excellent rigidity, and a motor-system distortion-reduction mechanism that stabilize the flux field during operation.
High-Order Crossovers: High-order crossovers dramatically reduce distortion and dynamic compression in this Performa3 Series loudspeaker. This reduction results in cleaner sound and consistent sound quality over a wide dynamic range. These advanced crossover also optimizes timbre accuracy, enhancing the listener's musical enjoyment both on axis and throughout the room. The carefully selected crossover components help Performa3 loudspeakers achieve exceptional performance.
Elegant Enclosure: The Revel Performa3 floorstanding loudspeaker's fully-curved enclosure is inherently stiffer than conventional box shapes and are formed with contiguous wood layers that prevent splitting. The enclosure features 1"-thick panels and strategically-oriented bracing that eliminates the possibility of enclosure-induced coloration. The beautiful, modern enclosure is finished in Piano Black or High Gloss Walnut in a process (developed and overseen by Italian luxury cabinet makers) that exceeds automotive finish quality. A magnetic grille eliminates unattractive hardware on the baffle and also minimizes diffraction and veiling.
Front-Firing Bass Port w/ Port Plug: The Revel Performa3 F208 floorstanding loudspeaker employs a sophisticated fluid-model designed low-frequency port with identical flares on both ends. This greatly minimizes dynamic compression and port-generated noise, assuring low-distortion low-frequency performance. The F208 also includes a foam port plug that can be used to adjust the loudspeaker's low-frequency performance in certain installation situations.
- If the floorstanding speaker is located less than about 2' (0.61m) from walls or other large objects, inserting the port plug into the loudspeaker's port opening can reduce the overly-aggressive bass output that can be created by the speaker's proximity to large surfaces that reflect bass energy.
- Insert the port plug into the loudspeaker's port tube opening far enough so that the end of the plug is flush with the inside end of the port tube's flared section. Be careful not to insert the port plug so far into the port tube that it falls inside of the speaker.
Dual Binding Post Terminals: The F208 floorstanding speaker features two sets of binding posts that enable the loudspeaker to be bi-wired or bi-amped. These gold-plated binding-posts that provide secure connection for speaker cables terminated with banana plugs (single only), spade lugs, pin connectors, or bare wire (up to 10AWG). You will need to remove the binding post's rubber inserts in order to use banana plugs.
- Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
- Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Note: If you decide to bi-wire or bi-amp, you must remove the jumpers between the terminal posts (failure to do this could result in damage to your amplifier and loudspeakers).
Controls: On the rear-panel of the F208 you'll find two switches - one for Low Frequency Compensation and one for Tweeter Level. These controls help the floorstanding speaker sound great even when speaker placement is not ideal.
- Low-Frequency Compensation Switch: This switch compensates for less-than-ideal loudspeaker placement near a wall, or in an entertainment center. Select "Normal" if the loudspeaker is placed on a stand, more than 2' (0.61m) away from walls or other large objects. Select "Boundary" if the loudspeaker is located less than 2'(0.61m) from walls or other large objects.
- Tweeter Level Switch: This switch alters the tweeter's output by -1dB, -0.5dB, 0dB, +0.5dB, or +1dB.
Note: Do not operate these switches while audio is playing through the speaker.
Mounting & Placement Options: Four adjustable spiked feet are included with F208 loudspeaker. You can install these spikes in the bottom of the loudspeaker cabinet to provide optimal stability. If the loudspeaker is to be placed on a carpeted floor, install the spikes with the pointed ends protruding from the cabinet. If the loudspeaker are to be placed on a wood, linoleum or tile floor, install the spikes with the round ends protruding from the cabinet to protect your flooring. With the spike feet installed, the speaker measures 47.5" tall. Without the spike feet installed, the speaker measures 46.75" tall. For best stereo image and performance, follow these guidelines -
- Place the loudspeakers so that they are both the same distance from the primary listening position and so they are both the same distance from the side walls.
- Angle the loudspeakers almost directly toward the primary listening position. If you wish to widen the stereo soundstage you can reduce the toe-in angle, even to the point at which the loudspeakers are pointing straight forward.
- Moving the loudspeakers farther from the front and side listening room walls will improve stereo imaging and the sense of spaciousness in the listening space.
- Moving the loudspeakers closer to the corners or walls of the listening room will increase bass response.
Note: Placing minimal acoustic treatment materials at the room's primary reflection points will reduce sonic degradations. Ideally, acoustic absorbers should be placed at the first reflection points on the front and side walls and either acoustic absorbers or diffusers should be placed at the first reflection points on the rear wall. Check out the Accessories Tab for acoustic panels & treatments (sold separately).
Position-Independent, Double-Blind Listening Tests: Every Revel by Harman loudspeaker is compared head-to-head with competitors' models in a position-independent, double-blind listening facility. True research-quality processes assure the validity of the listening tests, which employ the latest psychoacoustic research.
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Good reviews and Crutchfields backing of their products [ Chuck Feb 06, 2018 ]