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On the very top this model sports a curved roof element of a soft rubbery material. It also shows up around the drivers. Sun Audio confirmed that this isn't mere cosmetic trim. It's got solid justification as a resonance suppressant. In any case it further helps to improve the speaker's profile and cut a more harmonious figure. The general form factor—though clearly updated—recalls the company's Ultima2 family of products. The half-oval cross section with three internal braces increases stiffness over standard rectangular boxes to lower box talk.
Beside the rotary controls for bass and treble trim the terminal plate rocks massive biwire posts which do the happy with bananas and spades. These aren't the usual plastic-shrouded jobs and even spaced sufficiently far to guarantee safe connections without potential shorts. Which gets me to packaging. As immaculately finished and professionally designed as these boxes are and no matter how carefully illustrated their owner's manual is, the shipping cartons deserve revision. Should you unpack these alone—never recommended but often the case—it's well nigh impossible to not destroy the shoddily glued-up styrofoam liners in the process. Price and weight class really demand properly foamed clamshells.
Whilst still picking nits, the spikes too could exude more class. Yes the massive counter screws make tightening easy but the whole thing is a bit of a hassle twirling a thin thread beneath a heavy speakers whilst lifting it up with the other hand. Here a helper would be useful too. Said that, the spikes do sport blunt ends to protect flooring even without receiver shoes. With these adjustments handled, placement should be quite easy. In the usual spot of my Linn Majik 140 the Performas felt a bit crammed. Moved outward by about 10cm each, they ended up about 2.1m meters apart. The steep toe-in mentioned already also convinced on sound to balance depth layering and lateral scale with best image focus.
First impressions after proper run-in time were of cinerama-style staging with brilliant transparency. Regardless of musical choices the physically ever-present boxes did a near complete acoustic Houdini to pull down a broad projector screen on which the music arose dynamically uncompromised. By contrast my Linn play it far more compact and narrow. Despite numerous price-competitive virtues they also do it flatter and thus clearly compromised.
With proper power at its terminals the Performa F208 was dynamically far more aspirated to have me quickly upgrade from my 60-watt Linn Majik DSM. That was musically pleasant but also suggestive of what more serious power might do. Swapping in AVM's MA3.2 monos demonstrated how speed and control across the audible bandwidth and at all levels—not just happy hour—clearly profited. But even with smaller amps the F208 wasn't shy about outline-specific imaging though I'd not invoke the 'holographic' descriptor despite such precision.
Why not? Blame the previously reviewed Dynaudio Excite X38. Those truly excelled at surrounding spookily three-dimensional images with tangible space. The Revel tend to a positively analytical take. It's a sharply focused panorama ripe with tone colors that's easy to get into intellectually. Individual sounds appear less as 3D bodies in space and more as sharply outlined panes. This didn't mean no depth layering. The Revel delivered the expected given proper source material. They simply did less developed embodiment. This more projected not holographic presentation created added room between images to benefit transparency particularly with large-scale symphonica. It's important to not paint one or the other reading as better or more right to instead leave it at catering to different tastes. If anything a direct A/B might reveal a minimal upper midrange emphasis with the Dynaudio to underline plasticity and directness. The Revel excelled at being ultra-precise mediators between the music and the listener. Aside from sharply focused imaging and unbelievable dynamic reserves, another clear forté was very high but easy non-fatiguing resolution.