These sister companies may both operate under the Harman International banner, but they produce very different speakers. Nevertheless, both put on very good demonstrations in the Hilton Hotel near the convention center. Revel set up its new F52 ($8000) and C52 front and center speakers (together with M22s for surrounds and two B15 subs). The amps were the Mark Levinson No.431 for the rears and the 3-channel No.433 for the three fronts.
The pre-pro was the Levinson No.40, now updated with a very flexible video switcher (including HDMI) and video deinterlacing and scaling up to 1080i. And the disc player was the new Levinson No.51 at $18,500 (it's not a universal player). All the pieces are available now, excerpt for the No.51 (um, March). The sound in this room was strikingly life-like, and never edgy or more aggressive than the programming demanded.
In another suite, two JBL 1400 Arrays (from the new Project Array series) were making 2-channel music with a sound balance that suggested they might, together with the matching 880 Array center and smaller 800 Arrays (for surrounds) produce a full-bodied, dynamic sound for both music and films soundtracks. There's also a 1500 Array subwoofer. It's been too long since we tested a surround set of JBL speakers and these might just be the ones to break that drought. Specific prices for each model were not given, but they start at $3000 each.—TJN