Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Sumit Chawla
- Published on 17 July 2008
What Meets the Eye
The design of the Ultima2 is a departure from the distinct appearance of the Ultima line.Â The unique modern look has been replaced by conservative styling which is simple, yet elegant.Â For non-dedicated listening spaces where appearance is an important consideration, this change might be welcome since the speakers are likely to blend well in more surroundings.Â The finish is limited to two options: high-gloss black or high-gloss mahogany.Â This may be an issue with some, but the high-gloss black finish works for me.
While the styling is different, there is still a striking resemblance between the old and the new.Â That has to do with the transducer configuration.Â When I talked to Kevin Voecks about this a while back, he said that the design of the Ultima2 was seen as a ground-up effort; every aspect of the design was put on the table.Â When they revisited the transducer configuration (transducer dimensions, crossover frequencies, etc.) for the Studio2 and Voice2, they pretty much came back to the design of their predecessors.Â That must have been a good feeling!
Transducers and Cabinet Design
The Ultima2 series employs new transducer designs offering greatly reduced distortion levels.Â The midrange and woofers utilize titanium diaphragms with dual-neodymium magnetic motor systems and oversized voice coils.Â The tweeter, shared across all the Ultima2 models, is a pure beryllium dome, a first for Revel. The tweeter is housed in a third-generation waveguide which provides excellent integration with the mid-range unit.
As is customary with all Revel loudspeakers, high-order crossovers are used.Â The use of a high-order crossover optimizes both on- and off- axis response, the importance of which Revel has emphasized from the beginning.Â Separate filter boards are used for the woofer, midrange, and tweeter to prevent any mutual interference between them.
The cabinet is an integral part of any loudspeaker.Â While aesthetics are important, of equal importance, arguably more so, is its effect on a loudspeakerâ€™s sonic quality.Â To meet this need, the Ultima2 models have a front baffle which has been acoustically designed to minimize diffraction.Â The side-walls are also curved to aid the off-axis response.Â The only exception here is the Gem2, whose shallow profile prevents some of these design options.Â All models use 1â€ thick walls and employ extensive internal bracing.
[For more details on the design of the Ultima2 series, please read the accompanying Q&A with Kevin Voecks on Page 5 of this review.]