The Concerta F12 is the most inexpensive speaker in the group test, yet they have managed to avoid major flaws. Although they lack finesse at times in handling the fine details of sound, the speakers play very energetically and feel like a fish in water at high volume.
The REVEL company was formed in the mid-90s by the notorious Harman Group corporation, which owns half of the high-fidelity brands in the United States. At the helm of the company were acoustics and psychoacoustics expert Floyd Toole, who joined Harman from Canada’s National Research Center, and designer Kevin Voecks, ex-Snell Acoustics.
In the first decade of its life, REVEL was involved in the development of Top-End speakers and created the magnificent Ultima series with a near-perfect sound, but also a price to match. The company then began moving toward the mass listener with the launch of the Performa series. The Concerta line, REVEL’s youngest to date, is another step in that direction since it was launched in 2005.
The Concerta Series is small and consists of five speakers, one model of each type: floor-standing, bookshelf, center, rear and subwoofer. We will get acquainted with the flagship of Concerta F12 line just in this review.
Conceptually all Concerta speakers are descended from the Performa models, but are made somewhat more simply, yet for REVEL Concerta is the budget version. All F12 drivers come with the same type of OCC Organic Ceramic Composite diaphragms, a composite material also used in some JBL speakers, a good example of how Harman Group collaboration works. The F12 has a 200mm diameter bass driver that fits in a reflex port cabinet compartment on the back. The midrange driver with a diameter of 133 mm is mounted in a closed compartment.
The midrange/midrange drivers are fitted with larger magnets, die-cast chassis and butylene surrounds. “The squeaker” with 25-mm dome is recessed in a shallow CAI Constant Acoustic Impedance horn, it is equipped with an extended coil and neodymium magnet, cooling and damping is performed by a ferromagnetic liquid. CRT TV owners will be pleased to know that all F12 speakers are magnetically shielded.
The F12’s front is double-thick, with the edges of the outer plate made rounded to reduce diffraction effects. Front grille and drivers are painted black, rest of cabinet is vinyl-covered in black ash, cherry, or maple. On the rear patch panel is a quad of gold-plated terminals with flat, metal jumpers.
The sound signature of Concerta F12 is defined by smooth tonal balance, with clear and monolithic sound delivery of the midrange/frequency range. The top is pretty clear, able to accentuate the hi-hat sound, but seems a little more heterogeneous than the bottom and middle of the spectrum. In the higher octaves the detail is a little bit smeared, so it seems that the stereo image lacks airiness.
The midrange is delivered in a neutral-dry key, with quite legible and natural basic timbres, no apparent problems with sound articulation, the only thing the speakers sometimes sought to simplify the fine overtone structure.
The bass of the F12, on the one hand, did not impress us with the depth, from the speakers with two 200mm woofers we expected more. On the other hand it is noticeably fast and well put together, without intrusive hum and lingering aftershocks, with decent audibility in the definition of different bass phrases.
The control down low is not lost even at high volume, on the contrary, the more level is, the more energetic and more fun F12 plays, especially pleased with its dense and resilient upper bass, so any rhythm section sounds fascinating.The music scene as interpreted by the F12 generally opens up to a normal width, although peripheral events are drawn in a little less detail. And here is the depth of the virtual field the speakers show in a crunched form.
Price: 42 600 Dollars.
The minimum impedance of Concerta F12 is around 2.5 kHz and is equal to 2.9 Ohm, the local minimum resistance on the top bass was 4.1 Ohm, the positive moment: the resistance of speakers at MF/HF rises above 8 ohm. But not every amplifier will do for your speakers, so please choose a more powerful amplifier. The F12 impedance curve has virtually no kinks, there is a minimal feature around 400 Hz, it may be related to a small resonance of the FI port.
By the way, the speaker port is set to 34 Hz.The amplitude-frequency response of the speakers shows exemplary evenness in the MF/LF range: +/-1,5 dB in the range of 61-1200 Hz. Even taking into account the sensitivity droop in the MF/HF bands section the AFC is within +/-3 dB in the range of 61-18500 Hz. Off-axis increases the depth of the “pit” between the MF and HF bands, plus the sensitivity decay in the upper octave starts from 11 kHz, so it is better to turn the speakers to the listener.