Is REL still the best? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Is REL still the best?

It sure seems so. Took a listen to R5/R7/R9 and they reminded me of the most musical subwoofer in the world, the old dusty Strata III.

But what else is out there these days? By the looks of it, not much and I'm getting pretty sick of ID brands and their fanboys.

The B&W AWS610XP was nice, although rather dry sounding. The Dynaudio SUB 250 II was not bad. Velodyne is still OK. But most everything else is either too small to matter, or extremely cheap in looks, feel, and yes sound.

So who the heck still manufactures musical subwoofers these days?
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post #2 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 08:02 PM
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On the occasions I have seen Rels measured, the results were astoundingly bad. Rel are harmonic distortion generators at anything over modest loudness levels. And that is about what you would expect when you try to reproduce bass with a 8" or 10" driver. The term 'musical' when applied to subwoofers usually seems to be an excuse for some performance deficiency.
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post #3 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I tend to agree with you ShadyJ quite often, but the entire CEA2010 is a pile of BS for the most part. I used to be all about the measurements on AH, but was labeled a troll. Then I wised up and realized that measurements aren't everything and what sounds good to my ear is the bottom line. And got banned there! LOL!

There's a lot more going on inside of a subwoofer than passing the loudness test. High quality driver, material, amplifier, distortion, group delay, impulse, energy storage, critical damping, room integration, speaker matching, etc. And an infinite amount of other things that we don't even know about yet.

Some of the best subwoofers that I've heard are particularly the ones that tested poorly on CEA2010. And some of the good testing ones (no names shall be mentioned) sounded to me like a big loud obnoxious high Q one note pile of garbage.

Go figure.

My favorite subwoofer of all time is the meager weakling Strata III.
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post #4 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post
I tend to agree with you ShadyJ quite often, but the entire CEA2010 is a pile of BS for the most part. I used to be all about the measurements on AH, but was labeled a troll. Then I wised up and realized that measurements aren't everything and what sounds good to my ear is the bottom line. And got banned there! LOL!

There's a lot more going on inside of a subwoofer than passing the loudness test. High quality driver, material, amplifier, distortion, group delay, impulse, energy storage, critical damping, room integration, speaker matching, etc. And an infinite amount of other things that we don't even know about yet.

Some of the best subwoofers that I've heard are particularly the ones that tested poorly on CEA2010. And some of the good testing ones (no names shall be mentioned) sounded to me like a big loud obnoxious high Q one note pile of garbage.

Go figure.

My favorite subwoofer of all time is the meager weakling Strata III.
Apparently you like and prefer weak distorted mid bass. 😂
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post #5 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 09:18 PM
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I agree that CEA2010 is not the end-all and be-all of subwoofer performance. However, I do believe that a full battery of testing of different aspects is enough to determine whether a subwoofer is reproducing sound accurately or not. Whether the result is 'musical' is, of course, a subjective matter. If you heard a sub that tested well and sounded poor, perhaps it was a matter of setup, as it is pretty easy to get a wild room response. Anyway, I would say it's better to get a sub with a neutral response and shape it to your taste than to get a sub that is 'voiced'.
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post #6 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 09:32 PM
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It is not unusual to see people who like music to not like the same subs as HT people. I know a guy that loves his REL sub and he has SVS PB 13 and some other nice subs. Does personal preference come to mind.

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post #7 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 09:43 PM
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For the two-channel system, I think Rel is fantastic. I have the Storm III, which I bought used about 10 years ago. It's coupled with B&W Nautilus 804s. When listening, you can't tell the sub is there. But turn it off and the music loses its fullness. It makes the 804s "bigger." When done right (i.e. crossover and volume at correct levels) Rel is superb for two-channel. But there's no way I would use a Rel sub in my home theater for the exact reason it works so well for stereo.
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post #8 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post
It sure seems so. Took a listen to R5/R7/R9 and they reminded me of the most musical subwoofer in the world, the old dusty Strata III.

But what else is out there these days? By the looks of it, not much and I'm getting pretty sick of ID brands and their fanboys.

So who the heck still manufactures musical subwoofers these days?
So does that top statement make you a REL fanboy? Kinda sounds like it.

ID brands provide amazing subs at an equally amazing value, only bested by DIY. Don't hate because people actually like them and praise their subs.

As for your last statement, a few off the top of my head. Try Wilson, Paradigm, ML, NHT, Monitor Audio. I can tell you I've never heard a sub like the Wilson WATCH Dog; I listen to the first gen version and was totally blown away. I've still never heard a more accurate sub. They're out there; and while the Wilson isn't a everyman sub, it's still a musical one.

One of my favorite speaker manufacturers of all time is Monitor Audio, and I use to love listening to their subs. Very musical.

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post #9 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rowan611 View Post
So does that top statement make you a REL fanboy? Kinda sounds like it.

ID brands provide amazing subs at an equally amazing value, only bested by DIY. Don't hate because people actually like them and praise their subs.

As for your last statement, a few off the top of my head. Try Wilson, Paradigm, ML, NHT, Monitor Audio. I can tell you I've never heard a sub like the Wilson WATCH Dog; I listen to the first gen version and was totally blown away. I've still never heard a more accurate sub. They're out there; and while the Wilson isn't a everyman sub, it's still a musical one.

One of my favorite speaker manufacturers of all time is Monitor Audio, and I use to love listening to their subs. Very musical.
The Dog is nice, but at that price it's ridiculous. Monitor Audio Radius 390 looks very interesting. Any thoughts on it?
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post #10 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 10:54 PM
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Rel offer ABC crossover which generally go much lower than other brands. Cabinet finish is first class. But for the amp & driver? Overall expensive for those components.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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post #11 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Rel offer ABC crossover which generally go much lower than other brands. Cabinet finish is first class. But for the amp & driver? Overall expensive for those components.
Looks like 30Hz is the lowest setting on most new RELs. Wish it was 22Hz like on the good old Strata III. Some interesting results could be had.

The T series uses a classic AB amplifier. That's a hell of a lot better than that BASH garbage in most everything else. At least the B&W subs have ICE modules for alternate amusement.

As for the woofer itself, it doesn't look any better or worse than the better offerings from ID. BTW, vintage RELs used Peerless, Vifa, Volt, etc. Those were better than most crap that's offered under $1500 these days. SVS still uses a partial Peerless, but it's a very budget version of the great XXLS 12.

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post #12 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

But what else is out there these days? By the looks of it, not much and I'm getting pretty sick of ID brands and their fanboys.

...

So who the heck still manufactures musical subwoofers these days?
Be sick all you want. If you don't think Hsu subs are musical, then maybe you haven't heard them, or maybe your definition of musical is different than many others.

Like what you like, but don't denigrate others for their choice or throw around the "fanboy" label because you have different tastes.
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post #13 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Be sick all you want. If you don't think Hsu subs are musical, then maybe you haven't heard them, or maybe your definition of musical is different than many others.

Like what you like, but don't denigrate others for their choice or throw around the "fanboy" label because you have different tastes.
Can we for once keep the ID crap out? Every thread for B&W, REL, Dynaudio, Focal, Martin Logan, Paradigm, etc. gets swamped with ID junk. Please. Thanks!

Just looking at the main page we have:

SVS (3 threads)
Outlaw (2 threads)
Rythmik (2 threads)
HSU
PSA
Budget Subwoofers (5 threads)

Ugh...

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post #14 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 11:24 PM
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Can we for once keep the ID crap out? Every thread for B&W, REL, Dynaudio, Focal, Martin Logan, Paradigm, etc. gets swamped with ID junk. Please. Thanks!
I have B&W and ID...which is not junk.

But by all means keep a closed mind and crappy attitude - you're sure to get plenty of help as others are quick to help out those who toss about insults for no reason.

This may have been a helpful thread if the "ID crap" comments were left out.
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post #15 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I have B&W and ID...which is not junk.

But by all means keep a closed mind and crappy attitude - you're sure to get plenty of help as others are quick to help out those who toss about insults for no reason.

This may have been a helpful thread if the "ID crap" comments were left out.
This is an ID free thread
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post #16 of 121 Old 08-26-2014, 11:44 PM
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The distinction between ID (can we just call it what it is: manufacture direct) and store brands is not all that clear. After all, you can get Velodynes from their website now, and I am sure they are not the only brand resorting to direct sales. The main difference is that many of the subwoofers which could be purchased manufacture direct would never have done well at dealerships due to their sheer size. Not many people are in the market for monster subs. However there are quite a few manufacture direct brands which offer sane subwoofer sizes now. But a good performing subwoofer is a good performing subwoofer, whether from manufacture direct brands or dealer brands. Anyway, anyone who enjoys audio and wants the hobby to grow should be thankful for manufacture direct subs, because not everyone can afford JL Audio subs or Rels or Paradigms and so on. Manufacture direct allows regular people to have decent bass without spending a fortune.
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post #17 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 03:30 AM
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For the same price as the SB Ultra 13 there is Rel

R528
S3

Not really in the same class

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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Jealous of my speakers?

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post #18 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 03:55 AM
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Here's an idea, go pick up an SVS Ultra and the equivalently priced REL, then come back to call ID subs crap. SVS pays shipping both ways so nothing to lose. Or, keep living in the dark for no good reason. You came here for help which folks tried to provide, but seems you already made up your mind even before your first post.
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post #19 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 05:11 AM
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You came here for help which folks tried to provide, but seems you already made up your mind even before your first post.
If you look at his posting history you'll see he always has an agenda.

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post #20 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 06:10 AM
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If you look at his posting history you'll see he always has an agenda.
+1. Perhaps he has added subwoofers to his cable business. I wonder which brand.
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post #21 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 07:56 AM
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I'd wager that if you would get off your high horse and buy a Seaton or JTR sub, that you'd never speak again about REL or B&W or even Wilson. The value proposition of those subs is a friggin joke. But if you want to spend too much money on too little performance, at least the JL Fathom is an accurate sub and it is very very pretty. So get a fathom or even a gotham. But you could get a Submersive and outperform either of those...
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post #22 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 10:28 AM
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I'd wager that if you would get off your high horse and buy a Seaton or JTR sub, that you'd never speak again about REL or B&W or even Wilson. The value proposition of those subs is a friggin joke. But if you want to spend too much money on too little performance, at least the JL Fathom is an accurate sub and it is very very pretty. So get a fathom or even a gotham. But you could get a Submersive and outperform either of those...
He can't! Their ID

A SubM would be the way to go. Don't know why the hatred of ID companies. But I wouldn't and won't help him anymore; someone with such a hatred for companies who make fantastic products, who generally care about the audio community and the people who post on this board and similar boards all over the internet. Most who post here helping people who don't even own one of their subs. It's amazing, and it's something you don't see from MA, NHT, ML, Wilson, REL, Klipsch, or any other B&M company. And lets not mention the support they provide their customers. Yes, there is an inherent risk associated with ID companies, sometimes they don't last. But SVS and HSU have been around forever. Rythmik, PSA and Reaction seem to be doing very well. Then you have JTR and Seaton, easily the top 2 dogs when it comes to ID companies. I know there are a whole bunch more out there surviving.

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post #23 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 12:06 PM
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I'd wager that if you would get off your high horse and buy a Seaton or JTR sub, that you'd never speak again about REL or B&W or even Wilson. The value proposition of those subs is a friggin joke. But if you want to spend too much money on too little performance, at least the JL Fathom is an accurate sub and it is very very pretty. So get a fathom or even a gotham. But you could get a Submersive and outperform either of those...
I think you mistake him. He isn't buying a subwoofer, he's selling them.
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post #24 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 12:38 PM
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This is an ID free thread
Audioholics got it right. This is a B&M brand promotional thread.

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post #25 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 12:41 PM
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Threads like this are actually helpful - they help me increase my ignore list.
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Just google his name... BFM called it first.

What a long, strange trip its been....
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post #27 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 08:30 PM
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Just google his name... BFM called it first.
Ha! A charlatan hawking overpriced cables to the gullible. Figures.
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post #28 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 09:22 PM
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And got banned there! LOL!
It had been 3 months since you last posted...

I'd hoped you'd got banned here... LOL...

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A hot little beaver...
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post #29 of 121 Old 08-27-2014, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been testing the REL T5 today. In a mid sized family room of 18X13X8 (1900 cubic feet) and which opens into a hallway/other rooms and also a dining area and kitchen. T5 is an 8" sealed sub.

This is an amazing subwoofer. It's now my favorite alongside the Starata III. My test speakers included the B&W CM5s and my own designed large two-way with vintage T120FC and 7C04 Focal drivers. Those who are familiar will agree that these are the Holy Grail drivers. The 7C04 may be the most articulate 7" midwoofer ever conceived.

The T5 was place roughly 4 feet away from the corner and near a wall. Depending on the paired speakers, the volume stayed between 10:00 and 10:30. This was loud enough to rattle my PS4 remote on the coffee table. The T5 had tons of headroom to spare.

So my question to you bassheads is this: What insane levels are you listening to?

The T5 kept pace with the Focal 7C04 and the B&W Kevlar cones. There were only a few instances where I could locate the sub and that can probably be fixed with a more accurate room placement.

Most audiophiles hate subwoofers because their floorstanding speakers are plenty. Most HT freaks hate RELs because they feel the need to one note drone their houses to death. So here are some interesting things that I can do with a REL sub, expand your horizons:

Take a vocal recording. Turn the REL on and the voice floats as a pin point singularity in front of the listener. Turn the REL off and the voice becomes bloated and flat. How about a recording of a choir in an extremely small room? Turn the REL on and the listening area shrinks and becomes claustrophobic. Turn the REL off and the boundaries disappear. You guys should see the faces on most people during the demo!

Furthermore, there is an ongoing passionate (but possibly lacking in real life experience) debate on how to connect a REL subwoofer. Well whatever you do, do not set the main speakers to small. This act completely and utterly kills and robs the music of music. Something as small as B&W CM5s can play effortlessly into a huge room. There's zero reason to set them to small. And if the speakers are so crappy that they need to be crossed at 120Hz to even play, then you have bigger fundamental problems and need to rethink this hobby. Out of the thousands of systems that I've heard within the past 15 years, the best ones were always where the subwoofer complemented the speakers.

Any negatives? I wish the feet were anodized black. REL also needs to include a set of BFA bananas and spades for the Neutrik cable. And definitely spikes! Or cones. They make a huge difference. The blue light is too bright. How about sticking with the classic red LED?

At $699, this is an insane deal for a subwoofer with this level of performance and fit and finish. I'll be adding it to my collection.

Now I'm curious to listen to some ID subwoofers that are still on my list
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post #30 of 121 Old 08-28-2014, 01:41 AM
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Audiophiles are freaks, especially the 2ch variety trying to use an 8" subwoofer with barely the capability to hit 32hz (at 6dB down, "in room") with their almost-but-not-quite "full range" speakers....and being satisfied. May as well stick with your "full range" speakers.

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