To Doug Schneider,

When you initially reviewed the Revel Ultima Salon2 in December 2009, you stated that it was the best passive loudspeaker that you had heard in your room. That's a long time ago, given the advancements in speaker design. Since then you have reviewed or reported on many outstanding speakers, including the Vivid B1 and Giya G1 through G3 models. How does the Salon2 compare to these newer speakers? Were they "great for 2009 but not for 2012"?

Dave Hagerty

You're right that loudspeaker technology is continually advancing, but not as fast as one might think. The Revel Ultima Salon2 was a great loudspeaker in 2009 and is still a great one today -- it's still as good or better than most around its price (about $22,000 USD per pair) despite being a few years old. Ditto for the Vivid Audio B1 ($15,000/pair), which was released in 2004. The reason these speakers hold up well is that they were probably on the cutting-edge when they were released and most companies still haven't caught up to them even today.

But the Salon2 is no longer the very best loudspeaker that I've heard in my room -- that distinction now belongs to the Vivid Audio Giya G2, although the price of it is much higher than that of the Salon2 (the Vivids are $50,000/pair). I think the G2 is one of the best (if not the best) loudspeakers on the planet today.

I haven't reviewed the G1 ($68,000/pair), which was released a few years ago, or the G3 ($40,000/pair), which is the newest of all, but both seem to be on par with the G2 performance-wise, with the primary differences being bass extension and output capability in the bass region (the smaller G3 has the least bass reach and output capability, while the larger G1 has the most). Throughout the rest of the frequency band the G1, G2, and G3 sound remarkably similar. I feel that the Giya range represents the state of the art in loudspeaker technology today.

Some people probably wonder if the G3 is better than the Salon2. From what I've heard at the shows, they are, at least to my ears; however, they're still almost double the Salon2's price. . . . Doug Schneider