Revel Performa3 F206 vs. KEF R500

To Doug Schneider,

I’m thinking of replacing my Revel Performa3 M106 loudspeakers with a pair of floorstanders. I’m down to two options: KEF’s R500 or Revel’s Performa3 F206. A few years ago, you reviewed both these speakers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to directly compare them.

My only criterion in my final choice is accuracy and neutrality. The F206 are roughly $1000 more expensive than the R500. In your judgement, is this price difference justified? How would you compare both pairs in terms of sound quality with regards to accuracy and neutrality? Finally, is there a difference in their bass performance with respect to tightness?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Yvon P.

Two great speaker choices. Hopefully I can help out.

If you like the M106, moving up to the F206 is probably the logical choice -- the F206 will give you essentially the same sound, but deeper bass, due to the larger cabinet size and the two dedicated woofers it has. Insofar as accuracy and neutrality, the F206 is right at the top, so you can’t go wrong in that regard.

KEF’s R500 is another excellent speaker that, as you mentioned, is quite a bit cheaper than the F206. It’s also pretty neutral sounding. Not quite as neutral as the F206, mind you, but close. Would you be happy with it? One thing for sure is that the R500 can play a lot louder than the F206 -- extraordinarily loud given its modest size. If that’s important to you, perhaps. From what I recall, it also sounds fuller in the bass than the F206. However, the bass it delivers isn’t as tight or articulate as what comes out of the F206, which I found lighter sounding, but supertight. As a result, it’s really going to come down to what you prefer and, of course, what your budget will allow. . . . Doug Schneider