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For this reason many a pair would only last through the first few tracks before being packed back up and returned. Meanwhile the Revel passed with flying colors by combining cleanness, selectivity and a carefully judged tonal balance. Hence their apparent room-fill 'volume' was not significantly different from the Harbeths just like their tonal balance. For me it simply meant good.

To get to this stage I obviously needed louder raunchier tracks with more energy and a stronger beat. First however I listened to vocals on the remixes of Diorama's Child of Entertainment ["Broken"], Depeche Mode's Soothe My Soul ["Gregor Tresher Shooted Remix"] and Frank Sinatra from Songs For Swingin 'Lovers! on Mobile Fidelity. With all of them the Revel were smooth, large and full to show excellent driver integration. Particularly impressive were the voices - large, saturated and located slightly upfront right on the virtual speaker line. I had the impression of being there perhaps not as overwhelmingly so as with my Harbeths but very rewarding nonetheless.

This doesn't happen too often. For midrange saturation and resolution my British references are outstanding. No other speaker I've yet heard at home matched it. The Americans now fell just short yet their reading was really good to not lack anything in particular especially considering the serious price difference at play.

Pressed harder the Revels showed that they could keep pace. Definition was very good especially in the lower midrange. Bass drum kicks, electrically generated sounds or double bass transients had splendid attacks and nice sustains. Regardless of how many instruments were involved or how high I pushed the volume, this speaker never devolved into a chaotic cacophony. Cleanness, focus and control prevailed no matter what.

With steeper transients, the stronger upper midrange became more apparent. It wasn't unpleasant but remains worth remembering. As these speakers show lots of information very close to the listener, the higher registers of vocals, electric guitars and trumpets is quite strong. The Revels don’t lose control but mandate attention of their distance from the seat. They should be at least 2.5m away and preferably more than 3 meters. Only then do all these drivers cohere to stop telegraphing separately. With proper positioning it’s then difficult to identify the crossover points between drivers.

Low bass won't be a problem even in a small room. There is plenty of it and the range is well represented yet the first octave does remain a bit weaker. That's done so gracefully however that the only way to note is by contrast with speakers like the Harbeths. It’s not manifest as a lack and there is a sense of ample power and mass. Rather the Americans don’t present as full-bodied and anchored a soundstage as the Brits. On the other hand the recently reviewed Tannoy Definition DC10—far bigger and costlier than the F206—went no lower or bigger. The PMC OB1i did have stronger better focused bass but clearly emphasized this register. Neither however had equivalent midrange and treble selectivity and air. That's what makes the F206 so astonishing.