1994 REL Strata vs 2006 BK XLS200, & the winner is......

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by peskywinnets, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. peskywinnets

    peskywinnets
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    Ok, I'm being somewhat cheeky with the subject title...the resuts are totally unscientific & subjective, but I've just had the opportunity to try both subs side by side in my house...surprisingly (to me at least) the 1994 original REL Strata 1 wins - no contest (again, to me at least).

    I should just say there that I have no brand loyalty...I'll buy whichever gives me the best perfomance within my budget!

    The REL bass output just seems more 'all enveloping' and appears to output deep bass with with ease. Sure I can get the XLS200 to go low too, but it's as if the unit is being strangled & fighting to output similar levels & with the same authority.

    Ok, so the XLS is diminutive & the original strata double it's size, but the REL only has a 50W amp (against the 200W of the XLS200).

    I'm a bit torn now, my heart says the REL, my wife says the XLS200 (she's used to things that are below average in size :D).

    Pack your bags woman & be off with you...you've ruined my (home cinema purchasing) life!
     
  2. sbowler

    sbowler
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    Very interesting, I am thinking of upgrading my REL Strata 2 to the BK monolinth. I think the monolinth should outperform the REL, dont you?
     
  3. peskywinnets

    peskywinnets
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    I'd guess so!

    Incidentaly, there'll probably be whole raft of BK owners about to take umbridge...I'm not dissing the XLS200, it's a very fine performer for it's price, but it does make me wonder how far we've progressed (if at all).

    Can putting ever more powerful amps into ever more smaller cabinets, so they can fit in ever more smaller houses & flats be called progress? That said I guess the associated smaller drivers have progressed.....
     
  4. Jammyb

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    It is a classic though the Strata and cost twice as much as the BK when new so I certainly wouldn't have expected it to be any worse.
     
  5. Member 96948

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    Unless the BK owners have heard both subs in your room, then there shouldn't be much arguement. I suppose the advances have been in the level of the output that can be extracted from smaller cabinets. Cabinet volume has and always will be, a major factor. Higher power amps with longer throw drivers are the only solution without incrreasing cabinet volume, inspite of all the compromises that may entail.

    I suspect the BK XLS-200 would stuff the original REL Q50. Broadly similar size and ironically, the same manufacturer. The Q50 was £375 back in 1997. There's one on Ebay at the moment , ending tomorrow, currently sitting at £10. It seems to imply some of those advances have actually been made. Go figuer!

    On this basis, the latter statement may draw out the Velodyne SPL/Sunfire/soon to be SB-12 owners however.

    Russell
     
  6. peskywinnets

    peskywinnets
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    I actually have a REL Q50 (it sits in my music recording setup in another room - has done for years)...I'm still very impressed with it's bass output to this day.

    I'm not so sure it'd be stuffed by the BK XLS200 at all! (just to be clear here, I'm a BK XLS200 owner & a REL Q50 owner)...but I can't be bothered to haul it out of it's present location (not easy to access) & put it in a head to head with the BK XLS200 in my living room! Certainly the bigger REL driver would be fairly tough competition at moderate listening levels. I'd not have said they were simliar dimensions either....the REL Q50 is about 10cm cubed more (which makes it look a whole lot bigger!)

    I think if anyone has the space & can tolerate the REL Q50's somewhat chunky ugliness, then it remains a great s/h buy (they typically end up going for between £50 & £80 on Ebay).

    I think the fact that Q50s raise so little on Ebay, is a comment on how fashions change more than how it performs...

    XLS200 - small, cute, available in several finishes - wife friendly.

    Rel Q50 - chunky, hit with an ugly stick & available in black only!
     
  7. Member 96948

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    Evidently, my memory from when I was flogging Q50s does me a diservice. I really couldn't remember them being that large.

    Go on! Hoik it out and run a couple of frequency sweeps. I'd be dead interested to know which goes deeper at moderate levels. I had an MJ Ref 200 (XLS-200 with a couple of extra bells and whistles) and I'd swear from (my apparently indifferent) memory that the Ref/XLS would beast it.

    Russell
     
  8. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    I have to say that it does not surprise me in the least that the poster prefered the Rel. I am no Rel lover (or at least no more than any other sub manufacturer) but have owned and used quite few.
    I personally think Rel comes in for something of a hard time here on this site.
    The majority of their mk3 through to 5 range was consistantly well designed and performed well in my opinion. Sure there are others who would go deeper. louder. less distortion, cheaper etc but that did not make the Rel's bad subwoofers. To this day i have always admired their control interface and have found them consistantly very easy to establish a genuinely seemless and invisible integration with front L+R and decent levels of performance within their design spec and intended purpose.
    I personally would not buy Rel but then my criteria is different. I would not recommend someone else not to buy them out of hand however.

    Steven
     
  9. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    My personal criteria being one of absolute extension. :)
     
  10. Helicon

    Helicon
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    The Rel Strata of that day was an excellent sub, and was up to the job of filling average size rooms with ease. And that was before DD/dts material.....
     
  11. Nimby

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    I'd trade low distortion and decent output for absolute extension.

    Fortunately I don't have to. :)
     
  12. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Well of course.
    I'll re-phrase that for anally retentive:
    I will take absolute 'accurate' extension over absolute spl.
     

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