• SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh Laboratory MA252 Integrated Amplifier (November 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Hegel H90 and H190 Integrated Amplifiers (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - How Hegel's SoundEngine Works (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight  - Estelon History and YB and Extreme Loudspeakers (September 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - What Makes Hegel Different? (August 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Estelon Extreme Legacy Edition Loudspeaker (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Amphion Overview and Technologies (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! Insight - Totem Acoustic Signature One Loudspeaker (June 2017)
  • SoundStage! Encore - The Cowboy Junkies'
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Anthem's STR Integrated Amplifier (May 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Paradigm's Perforated Phase Alignment (PPA) Lenses (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Paradigm's Persona 9H Loudspeaker (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Contrasts: Dynaudio's Contour and Focus XD Speaker Lines (February 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - New Technologies in MartinLogan's Masterpiece Series
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Dynaudio/Volkswagen Car Audio (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Gryphon Philosophy and the Kodo and Mojo S Speakers (January 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- What's a Tonmeister? (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - AxiomAir N3 Wireless Speaker System (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Gryphon Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Dynaudio History and Driver Technology (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - The Story How Gryphon Began (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Devialet History, ADH Technology, and Expert 1000 Pro (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Devialet's Phantom Loudspeakers (August 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh Home Theater and Streaming Audio (July 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh MC275 Stereo Amplifier (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh History and Autoformer Technology (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - NAD Viso HP50 Headphones (May 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - GoldenEar Technology's Anechoic Chamber (May 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - PSB's M4U 4 Earphones (April 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - GoldenEar Technology's Triton Two+ and Three+ Loudspeakers (March 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- KEF's LS50 (February 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Monitor Audio's Platinum II Series (January 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Pryma 0|1 Headphones (December 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- KEF's Blade Two Loudspeaker (November 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- KEF and the Uni-Q (October 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Monitor Audio Acoustics & Aesthetics (August 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- PSB's Imagine T3 Loudspeaker (June 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Hegel's H160 Integrated Amplifier-DAC (April 2015)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- MartinLogan's Neolith Loudspeaker (February 2015)

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.

Sean Spong

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