Auditioning new subs

trickster is meaningless

Novice Member
Mar 1, 2022
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Hampshire, UK
Hey all,

I'm in the process of upgrading my setup and I'm starting to look at the subs available in the UK. I've been auditioning front speakers over the last few months, and I'm looking at Kef R3/R2C to go with my existing T101s (rears), although I've got another round of auditioning before I pull the trigger. I started looking into subs and I'm out of my depth as I'm not really a bass head. I've got approximately £1000 as a ball park budget, I'm not going to set a hard ceiling, but I'd like to spend less than that.

I'm using a Pioneer 1021K receiver, music/tv/movies is a 60:30:10 split. It's in a kitchen/lounge/diner that measures 6mx4m with an opening into a hall/staircase. I don't listen at crazy volumes, the SPL meter on my phone hovers between 65-75dB. I'd like to stick to a single sub as my amp only supports one, but that will be upgraded in a few years. As far as subjective buzz words, I'm looking for musicality that is subtle but effective. My main genres are alt rock (Radiohead, Biffy, Deftones), with some electronic, jazzy, classical, punky and proggy stuff on occasion, these are usually from airplay/plex from ALAC/FLAC or CDs.

My current list for auditioning is:
  • SVS SB/PB 1000 Pro
  • Kef Kube 10b/12b
  • SVS 3000 micro
  • SVS SB-2000 Pro
  • REL T7x
If there anything else I should try? I'm based Hampshire, UK with access to Richer Sounds, Sevenoaks and Home AV direct within a shortish drive.
Many thanks in advance
Screenshot 2022-03-06 at 13.07.37.png
Is that subwoofer placement only one available which shows in your drawing or could the sub be moved at the front wall toward right side between one of the mains speakers if required?

I don´t see what the Kef Kube models would offer for the fairly high prices with shorter warranty and not as good support/service. They aren´t that pretty either.

If you aren´t size restricted then there is less reasons to consider Micro 3000. PB1000 Pro would be best of the bunch for movies, but your usage % is way more toward music with some tv shows and you likely prefer the compact size of SB1000 or SB2000 Pro`s so i would look these. You should be able to get some discount for SVS and could also ask deal from AVForums advertisers.

T-serie is Rel`s hifi range and T7x costs 900£. 8" active + 10" PR driver, 200w amp. That is awfull lot of money for such small product for 6x4 room.

You could alsmost get two BK XXLS400 for same price as T7x which doubles the power to 400w and has similar class a/b amp with same connections as Rel. You also get 12" Peerless driver in larger sealed cabinet. Sadly you can`t demo these cause they are built in UK and sold direct to customer without middle man (key for low price), but there is ton of feedback since 2009 if you google. You can choose FF or DF variant (driver orientation) compare the cabinet dimensions and there is many nice wood/gloss finishes to choose from also. Gloss black/white XXLS400 would cost 545£ which is still much less than Rel.

I would strongly consider the XXLS400 knowing it`s a solid performer in hifi systems. Example @DrH runs XXLS400 with R3s. Put the saved money in to av-receiver budget which purchase you would advance as the Pioneer you have is not the best partner with the likes of R3. Naturally any 500$ product isn`t. Your best would be to keep eye of new models late summer and if that leads the current model price reductions so you could afford something like Denon X4700H/Marantz SR7015 or Yamaha RX-A4A if 7.2 is ok. I don´t know about Yamaha, but Denon/Marantz is rumoured to introduce new models later in the year. Sadly there is crazy things happening in the world so nothing is certain.
Thanks for the detailed reply. The Pioneer is on the list to go, but I'm having to do things piece by piece. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting something like a Marantz 6015 (I've heard this when auditioning and it sounded a bit warmer than the Denon), but its likely to be 12-18months away, so I'll probably look at the release cycle then. Maybe get something older on discount if the next version is available etc.

As far as placement goes, that's the most open position it can be in, if it went to the right, it would be in a cupboard, which wouldn't be ideal. I could maybe get away with it being in the top right corner. It's a bit of a balancing act as its such a multipurpose space. I'll keep the BK subs in mind, the Rel and Kef offerings were mainly from searching by price, but the SVS SB1/2000 Pro seems to be a common subs I see recommended as all-rounders.

The state of things is devastatingly sad, I just hope it all resolves with as little loss to life as possible.
As mentioned I have the XXLS400 with the R3/R2C front 3 running from the Marantz SR6013 which is pretty much the same as the SR6015. I have not found sub lacking but am up for an update maybe a SVS SB3000
Thanks, out of interest what makes you consider going down the SVS route from your current BK? I've had a look over the BK offerings, and they certainly look like a good option, however I'm slightly less keen on not being able to compare it in situ. Going into an AV store, buying three items and them understanding two are coming back makes me feel more comfortable. Especially when some AV stores have had a display model delivered in for that purpose. The SVS SB2000 Pro seems likes the most promising, however I have noticed a few open box SB3000s for similar money, so maybe I'll keep my eyes peeled for a 2/3000 open box when I get around to it.
I don’t know what I am missing in the bass front, My XXLS400 is around 12 years old and is the last thing I have not updated. In my small room it is quite something. I want to stay sealed and should have up to £1500 to spend. So the SB3000 seems to fit the bill. I purchased my Kef R speakers from Nintronics near me, they stock SVS subs so am looking at them for my next purchase.

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