To Doug Schneider,

I just re-read your September 2014 review of the Revel Performa3 F206 loudspeaker, probably for the fifth time. I’m a borderline obsessive-compulsive audiophile; like most audiophiles, I think. I apologize if I might have asked you this question before in some other e-mail, but, first and foremost, I want to thank you for your review. Very informative and very helpful, as usual!

I’ve embarked on a two-channel speaker-upgrade quest for a while now and logged some serious seat-time in critical listening sessions in the last few months or so. I’ve listened to: Monitor Audio Silver 500 and 300, Focal Aria 926 and 936, Triangle Esprit Australe EZ, Dynaudio Evoke 30, Vandersteen Model 1Ci, Aerial Acoustics 6T, MartinLogan Motion 60XTi, KEF R7, Spendor A7, Totem Acoustic Hawk, PSB Imagine T2, GoldenEar Technology Triton Two+, Paradigm Prestige 85F and 95F, and Revel Performa3 F206. The Focal Aria 936 was outstanding but out of my budget range. The Triangles were aggressively discounted demo speakers, but I’m convinced there was something wrong with them. The Aerial Acoustics speakers were awesome with tube or solid-state amps that can feed them high current. They were still very, very nice with my amp, a McIntosh MA5200, but they really deserve better. I certainly do not want to disparage any of the speakers I’ve auditioned. They were/are all very fine speakers. However, to my ears, some were better than others, of course. I’m sure you understand.

Anyway, after many hours of critical listening, I’ve now come to my short, short list: Revel Performa3 F206 and GoldenEar Technology Triton Two+. Those Revels were/are everything you said they are and then some! Frankly, if I made my decision today, it would be the Revel. No question! However, yesterday I heard a pair of GoldenEar Triton Two+ loudspeakers, but they had, reportedly, less than 30 hours of play on them, were in a lousy-sounding room, and really couldn’t be set up right. As such, I’m trying to schedule another appointment with a different dealer who, hopefully, can give me a much better or fairer demonstration of what these speakers can really do. If the reviewers of these speakers are to be believed, I definitely didn’t hear that yesterday.

So, I guess my question for you is this: Have you and/or any colleagues, friends, etc., who’ve had serious seat-time with both the Revel Performa3 F206 and the GoldenEar Technology Triton Two+ come away with any strong feelings regarding which might be the better overall performer? This borderline OCD audiophile would sure like to know.

Thanks so much! Stay safe! Be well! And keep up the good work!

United States

Congratulations, you’ve really done your homework insofar as listening goes. Because speakers are so varied in their sounds and listening preferences are so personal, you really have to audition them to know you’re getting the right thing.

As far as the two models you narrowed your search down to, I’m not surprised -- I’ve experienced both and found them each to be well-engineered, excellent sounding, and great values. Their acoustic designs also adhere to the same guiding principles of speaker design that were laid down by Dr. Floyd Toole at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) in the 1980s -- generally flat on- and off-axis frequency response, low distortion, etc. Still, they’re different sounding enough, with the two biggest differences being that the Triton Two+ can play much deeper in the bass, which is mainly due to its powered bass section, as well as a little louder overall. But the F206 counters with some of the smoothest mids and highs that I’ve heard from speakers of any price. Its presentation is also so well balanced that, overall, its sins of being less bassy and not able to play as loud become instantly forgivable.

Since I already know both designs well, if I were buying, I’d opt for a pair of the Revels -- despite the limitations I mentioned, the sound floats my boat. I also like the way the F206 looks. But, like I said earlier, listening preferences are personal. If I were you, since you’ve auditioned so many speakers already, finish off your search the right way -- line up a proper audition of a pair of GoldenEar Triton Two+ speakers and see if they impress you as much as the Revels did. If they do, you have some thinking to do. If not, the answer is obvious. Write back and let me know how it turns out. . . . Doug Schneider