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- Created: 17 December 2018 17 December 2018
To Doug Schneider,
I highly value your opinion. I just purchased Revel Salon2s partially based on your past review of the speakers (at a hugely discounted price). They are sitting in my garage unopened. An audiophile dealer friend (living far away from me in Canada) whose views I almost always share told me that he had just heard the Amadis S (recently updated from the first version of Amadis) from Verity Audio. He claimed that they were the most amazing speakers he had ever heard in his 40 years as an audiophile. He has heard lots of speakers and is not easily excited. According to him, the Amadis S loudspeakers produced sound that was so transparent (but not bright in any way), as if they were not there in the room. He marveled at their speed -- other speakers produced sound as if they were in slow motion (in his words). He has never sounded so excited -- he is buying a pair for himself. Those speakers are made to order and it may take nine weeks for them to deliver a pair.
The Revel Salon2 (86dB efficiency) has a reputation of being a hard-to-drive speaker (usually driven by mega solid-state amps of 600Wpc upward). My amps are 250W (each) monoblocks: Rogue Audio Apollo Dark (tube). I will not change my amps for any speakers. Amadis S is rated at 93dB efficiency and would be much easier to drive. I listen exclusively to classical music, ranging from colossal orchestral symphonies of Mahler, Bruckner, and Shostakovich, to chamber music, solo piano, operas, and art songs. I suspect that the Amadis S may be a better fit for me. If so, it would be easy for me to resell the unused brand new Salon2 speakers. Amadis S is, however, much more expensive, retailing at $34,000 per pair. My room is relatively small, 16’ by 17’, with an uneven shape (Amadis S can be placed about 16" from the front wall; right speaker about 13” from the right wall; 1/3 of the room extends and curves around the left speaker). Please have no reservation sharing your candid opinion. I am fully responsible for my own decision and will use others’ opinions only for reference.
Don’t worry, I’ll be candid. As a Salon2 user, I can tell you that a pair can take a lot of power -- up to 500Wpc or so -- but you don’t absolutely need to provide them with that much juice. I’ve run the ones I have here successfully with a 100Wpc integrated amp, though, admittedly, that was a little low. My recommendation is an amplifier of about 200Wpc for an average-sized listening room. Maybe 300Wpc. Your room is actually pretty small, so your 250W Rogue monoblocks should be just fine.
I have not heard the Amadis S, but I’m always suspicious when someone is over-the-top with enthusiasm when it comes to a rather conventional loudspeaker design. The reason for my suspicion is that loudspeaker technology hasn’t changed all that much over the years. Therefore, unless someone has invented a new type of driver or is doing something so radically different than anyone else, at best you get incremental improvements -- not night-and-day ones.
From what it appears on Verity’s website, the Amadis S is a three-way design based on what looks like good, but not revolutionary, dynamic drivers. Can that kind of configuration possibly eclipse every speaker made in the last four decades, including the Salon2? Perhaps, but I think the odds are stacked against it. Plus, I’m wary of the 93dB spec for sensitivity. We’ve measured many loudspeakers and most dynamic-driver-based ones don’t exceed 90dB unless they have horn loading for one or more drivers. Take that part with a grain of salt.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consider the Amadis S -- maybe you’ll like it more than the Salon2. Maybe it is a really fine-sounding speaker. Maybe it is the best in the world. What I am saying is that you should proceed with caution. I also feel that you should listen to a pair for yourself before laying down that much money. The Salon2 is a tried-and-tested design and it sounds like you got your pair for a song. On the other hand, the jury is still out on the Amadis S. . . . Doug Schneider