Revel Performa3 C208
Center channel speaker (Piano Black)
Our take on the Revel Performa3 C208 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
The center must hold
The center channel speaker is often described as the hardest-working speaker in a home theater. If you're putting together a no-holds-barred surround sound system based on Revel's remarkable Performa3 series, the C208 is the center speaker for you. If you have a large TV or a projector system, you'll appreciate this speaker's blend of nuanced dialogue and uninhibited power. (It's an impressive sight, too — in fact, it's been a while since we've seen a center channel this big.)
Custom-designed drivers reduce bad vibrations
Revel designs and builds every driver that goes into their speakers. The C208's 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.
The C208'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 dual flanking woofers. The result is very smooth, consistent sound both on-axis and off-axis.
Clever cabinet design reduces sonic colorations
The C208's cabinet features curved top and bottom 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 enclosure is sealed to ensure top-to-bottom tonal accuracy and keep male voices from sounding too "chesty."
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
If you're interested in a voice-matched surround sound system, check out these other models from Revel's Performa3 series:
Floor-standing speaker: Performa3 F208
Bookshelf speaker: Performa3 M106
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.
- 1" aluminum dome tweeter with proprietary acoustic lens and waveguide for consistent dispersion over a wide listening area
- 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
- acoustic suspension (sealed) cabinet design
- low-frequency extension: 50Hz (-3dB), 41Hz (-6dB), 34Hz (-10dB)
- sensitivity: 89 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- recommended amplifier power: 50-350 watts
- dual pairs of gold-plated binding post speaker terminals with bi-amp/bi-wire capability
- removable grille is magnetically attached
- 28-15/16"W x 12-1/16"H x 13-11/16"D
- weight: 51.5 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Center-channel loudspeaker
- 2 Short feet
- 2 Long feet
- 2 Terminal jumpers (pre-installed)
- Owner's Manual
Revel Performa3 C208 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Midrange size (inches)||4|
|Woofer size (inches)||8|
|Frequency Response||50- Hz|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Three-Way Center-Channel Loudspeaker: The Revel by Harman Performa3 C208 center-channel loudspeaker is full-range, three-way 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 C208 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.
- 4" Midrange & Dual 8" Aluminum Woofers: The Revel Performa3 C208 loudspeaker features one 4" 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 center-channel loudspeaker's fully-curved enclosure is inherently stiffer than conventional box shapes and are formed with contiguous wood layers that prevent splitting. The enclosure also features 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.
Dual Binding Post Terminals: The C208 center-channel 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 C208 you'll find two switches - one for Low Frequency Compensation and one for Tweeter Level. These controls help the center-channel 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 installed into an entertainment center or shelving unit, or 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: The C208 includes two sets of adjustable feet, one short and one long, that let you angle the loudspeaker up or down so it is aiming towards the listeners' ears when it is installed above or below a TV display. The feet screw into the threaded inserts on the bottom of the speaker (with the feet installed, the speaker measures 8.5" tall). Revel has also designed an optional pedestal stand (sold separately - see accessories tab) for the C208 center-channel that places the speaker at the proper height for seated listeners. There are four M8 threaded inserts on the bottom of C208 for securing the speaker to the pedestal stand. The speaker does not offer any rear-panel threaded inserts, keyhole slots, or integrated bracket for wall mounting.
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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