To Hans Wetzel,
I just wanted to ask about Revel's Ultima Studio2 loudspeakers and how they would work with the Musical Fidelity M6 500i integrated amplifier. I like the size and specs of the Studio2s, but heard the larger Salon2s with Mark Levinson gear and hated them. Then I heard the Studio2s with Krell gear and thought it was fantastic. There is a Krell S-550i integrated amplifier, but I am not sure if it is less musical than the Musical Fidelity. Thanks and Happy New Year.
Revel's Ultima Studio2s are nice speakers. I've heard the larger Salons before -- in fact, the SoundStage! Network's founder and publisher, Doug Schneider, calls the Salon2s his reference. As for hearing differences between the Krell and Mark Levinson gear, I can't be sure. One system used the Salon2s, the other Studio2s, and I have no idea what kind of room was used, or source material, or anything else. Also, the meaning of the term "musical," while a popular refrain among reviewers and audiophiles, is difficult to pin down because it's an inherently subjective yardstick.
Here is what I'll say, though: Krell and Levinson used to make pretty cutting-edge electronics back in the '90s, but I'm not convinced they are anymore. This is reinforced by the fact that I saw the Krell S-550i, along with a Mark Levinson No.585 integrated, at CES in January 2012. By CES in January of 2013, each company was demoing the same hardware once again, with neither having come to market in the intervening period. While the S-550i is currently shipping, I believe, I don't have the confidence that it's as cutting edge or innovative as similarly priced gear from companies such as Bryston, Hegel, and Simaudio. The No.585, which had increased in suggested price by $2000 in one year, appears to be vaporware.
Regarding the Musical Fidelity M6 500i, I adore it. It's a brute of an amp, with a bit of a dulcet personality. It has power and current to spare. In that respect, it would suit the Studio2s nicely, since they need a LOT of power behind them to really sing. I don't think the M6 500i is the most neutral amp you can buy for the money -- look to the aforementioned electronics manufacturers for that -- but if "musicality" is your cup of tea, the M6 500i has a certain moxie about it that I find quite alluring. I'm not sure the Krell possesses the same type of character, but it should also be more than sufficient to power the Studio2s. Let me know which direction you go. . . . Hans Wetzel