B&W 802 Diamond vs Focal 1038 vs Revel Studio 2

Brett9338 -- Sun, 02/17/2013 - 11:41

I'm looking to replace Thiel 3.6 speakers, and have narrowed my choices down to:

B&W 802 Diamond
Focal 1038
Revel Studio 2

B&W 802 Diamond - love the look, build quality and sound is pretty darn awesome.  However, the sound great in one shop but so so in another.  Both were with Macintosh electronics.  Biggest concern is whether I have enough amp at home to make these sing.  I like big orchestra and reference recordings firebird finale is my go to demo track.  I like to feel the bass big drums.

Focal 1038 - These seem to be calling my name.  A little bit more forward than ideal for me, but definitely love the sound.  I listened for 2 hours without fatigue.  In direct comparison with B&W 802, the Focals won by a nose, but this was in the shop where the B&W didn't sound their best.  The Focals with higher sensitivity don't have a power issue, but not sure they have the weight to convey power of full orchestra.

Revel Studio 2 - haven't been able to audition, but I like the Salon 2 a lot. Unfortunately, Salon is out of my price range. I refuse to buy the Studio without listening first sight unseen. I'm working with a dealer who is trying to get a demo pair from Revel, but if this doesn't work out soon it may be moot. I do have concerns about Power consumption with the Revels as well. Also wondering if the Studios will give the bass definition And midrange openness I heard with the Salons.

My electronics are Classe 301 Amp, Levinson #38 pre-amp, Oppo BDP-95 and Benchmark DAC 1, Squeezebox touch. Interconnects & Speaker cable is Straightwire Serenade.

Please share thoughts on the above speakers and how well or unwell they will work with the rest of my system.

Thank you, Brett

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