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REL QBass - repair or replace?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by HelloShaun, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. HelloShaun

    HelloShaun Member

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    Hi All

    Many years ago I set up the system I still have today, B&W 601 - B&W CC6 - MA rears and a REL QBass sub.

    I've noticed that the rubber diaphragm on the REL sub has a good size hole and the slightest touch causes more deterioration.

    I've spoken to REL who can't help as the unit is from the original REL company and directed me to another company who said they can repair it at a cost of circa £100 plus another £30 for transport costs.

    However I have been looking at replacing the unit myself with some options being a cheap Soundlab unit: Soundlab 12 or an Eminence LAB12 unit at around the £120 mark.

    Alternatively the auction site has REL Storms, Strata 5 and Quakes that could come in at the same outlay or for spending £100 more.

    My experience with subs is limited to just living with this one for 18 years so would appreciate some opinions to guide me.
  2. davisa

    davisa Member

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    Perfect timing for you to ask...

    Only had my QBass 15 years and the rubber diaphragm has also crumbled into nothing. They really are poorly built these REL's ;) Funnily enough, I also had B&W 601/CC6 combination originally with the REL, but replaced them about 10 years ago with AE 109's (far better) and last month by AE Radiance 1's (Amazing).

    New BK Gemini II arriving Monday, so I can give you a direct comparison if you like?
  3. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall Active Member

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    Home Page for quality UK manufactured subwoofers and sub bass systems might be able to sell you an original replacement driver for your REL, worth asking (I would guess it will be a lot less than that repair bill)
  4. HelloShaun

    HelloShaun Member

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    Now that's just not fair, tempting me with changing my whole set-up!

    I've looked at those BK's and are in the mix if I move to spending in the £200 region, too many other bills hitting to get too free with money. A comparison would be really useful, especially as you're making the same move...almost spooky
  5. HelloShaun

    HelloShaun Member

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  6. Ian J

    Ian J New Member

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    I started subwoofer life with a Q Bass many years ago then upgraded to a Storm which was a considerable improvement but do bear in mind that the Storms on Ebay for around that price could be almost as old as your Q Bass and perhaps also nearing the end of their life too.

    I wouldn't bother with a Quake as they weren't really up to much no matter what What Hifi said and perhaps your best bet might be the classifieds here for a second hand something or other but a little more modern
  7. HelloShaun

    HelloShaun Member

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    Seems like the options are narrowing to replacing the speaker or spending a bit more than planned and get a BK. Hopefully Davisa's turns up today and gets to set it up.
  8. davisa

    davisa Member

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    HelloShaun - What Amp do you have and what is your music/video split?

    I'm using an Arcam AVR280 and listen to 60% music/40% movies/TV. Music source is mostly Sonos ZP90. Video sourse is Bluray and AppleTV (running XBMC)
  9. HelloShaun

    HelloShaun Member

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    I have a Yamaha DSP-AX763. Split is more 80 Movie/20 Music, Movie will include a lot of music video watching, around a terabyte collection of U2 and Bowie + video material.
    I have a Sony Blu-ray but now store the films on a NAS via WD TV Live.

    And I still use the turntable.
  10. davisa

    davisa Member

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    Only time for a very quick update...got 4 year old to bath!

    Gemini arrived on time. It is a lot smaller than I thought it would be and beautifully made. It even still has that fresh wood smell :)

    I'm using the low-pass mono output for now, connected to my sub-out on the Arcam. I did an initial set-up fairly quickly with a pressure meter (no auto setup on the Arcam), and it seems fairly easy to integrate. Downward firing seems to me to be a lot easier than forward firing. At least you can turn it round to have all the adjustment dials accessible. I like the LED display of power output, which gives you an idea as to if you are over stretching it. Got gain on about 1/4 to match output from my speakers.

    With music (Sonos + main/sub setting on Arcam) its subtle. Certainly underpins music well, but not as deep as the REL I think. Might just need more adjustment and run-in. Also, my AE Radiance 1's are new so I'm still getting used to what they can do!

    Movies are wow! Star Trek on Blu and especially Master and Commander sound incredible (DTS Re-encode). Lots more punch than the REL and seemed hardly to be touching the power. In-fact, I only saw the power output meter flash a few times - indicating that it still has plenty of power in reserve.

    So far, I'm liking it very much. Seems to have more power than the REL. Go low, and be fast enough to underpin music.

    More testing required...
  11. HelloShaun

    HelloShaun Member

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    *going round the house to empty piggy banks...*
  12. HelloShaun

    HelloShaun Member

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    Well lucky me, I managed to find a Quake going on Gumtree, haggled it down to a scarily stupid price - gulp.

    It's a good bit better than the QBass, much tighter and faster. And if the Storm and now the Gemini's are increasingly better I have an upgrade path to navigate.

    Repair the Qbass, sell it and the Quake and that should be enough to cover the Gemini's.
  13. Wilseus

    Wilseus Member

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    How much did you pay for the Quake, if you don't mind me asking? I presume it's the Quake mark 2 with the downward facing 8" driver?

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