BK Gemini II or REL T51i

hamzamian

Active Member
Hi,

I (will have) have the following setup in my office for music

KEF LS50 metas
CA Azur 851a

in a room about 3m x 4m with normal height ceiling (bit less than 3m). It will be sat under the desk (speakers sat on the desktop) and I don't have a huge amount of flexibility in regards to placement (though if its really necessary I have space in front of the desk (behind where I sit) and off to the left (facing the desk).

now I'm actually waiting on the LS50s still and am using some Q150s as a stop gap for now but I think in terms of bass response there isn't going to be a massive difference. Its not like I'm switching to some floor standers later. I had alway figured I'd add a sub later in any case...

I was originally just going to go with a BK Elec Gemini II (and speaking to them on the phone they think the Gemini is plenty for this small room). In another thread (before I bought the rest of the system) when asking for recommendations for the main system I was recommended to consider a REL T5i instead of the Gemini.

Having read several reviews though I'm really not sure if the REL is going to be better than the Gemini. A lot of the posts though recommending BK seem to be quite old and many from members no longer on site.

Ideally I'd like to keep size down to something about Gemini/T5i sized but I'm open to considering other options too. Downfiring would be better though to avoid the driver getting kicked (or attacked by the kids).

Thanks!
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Is there reason you didn´t consider BK XLS200? It would be middle cost wise. You get almost twice the power (275w) and better driver from Peerless.

It would be hard to justify the REL T5i extra price, 550£ vs. BK`s 355£ (one middle man less via internet direct business model) if the XLS200 isn´t too large.

Gemini II: 315D X 355H x 290W
XLS200-DF: 340D X 355H x 290W
T5i: 322D X 317H x 267W Add (44.5 mm) in depth when using Hi Level connector

@MI55ION had T5i for while, feedback was great. Sadly he didn´t get to test Gemini II in same room which he owns too.

One other member whose name i don´t remember returned T5i after comparing it against SVS SB1000 in same small room with music. SB1000 is 33x33x33cm and due to new Pro model announcement it might be available for lower price soon! The new SB1000 Pro should cost about same 519£ in black oak, cabinet size has grown little depth wise. 13.5" (H) 13" (W) 14.76" (D).
 

hamzamian

Active Member
Is there reason you didn´t consider BK XLS200? It would be middle cost wise. You get almost twice the power (275w) and better driver from Peerless.

It would be hard to justify the REL T5i extra price, 550£ vs. BK`s 355£ (one middle man less via internet direct business model) if the XLS200 isn´t too large.

Gemini II: 315D X 355H x 290W
XLS200-DF: 340D X 355H x 290W
T5i: 322D X 317H x 267W Add (44.5 mm) in depth when using Hi Level connector

@MI55ION had T5i for while, feedback was great. Sadly he didn´t get to test Gemini II in same room which he owns too.

One other member whose name i don´t remember returned T5i after comparing it against SVS SB1000 in same small room with music. SB1000 is 33x33x33cm and due to new Pro model announcement it might be available for lower price soon! The new SB1000 Pro should cost about same 519£ in black oak, cabinet size has grown little depth wise. 13.5" (H) 13" (W) 14.76" (D).


I hadn't thought of the XLS-200 just because of size, but looking at the specs its actually barely any bigger than the Gemini so would be quite happy with that. The specs certainly look a lot better than the other two.

Thanks for the feedback from other members on the T5i. I'll do a little digging

I'll take a look at the SVS one too.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
The Rel T5i and Gemini are very similar in performance, in fact, from what I could tell if properly setup in the same room they'd be very difficult to tell apart. With the higher price tag of the REL you get the brand name, quality finish, internal cabinet bracing and dampening, better components (can't verify) and longer warranty. The REL edges it overall but only just. The claimed superiority in sound quality I would say is successful marketing, although it is good.

For similar money to REL, the SVS SB1000 or it's new counterpart would be a great option, more headroom, longer warranty and a brand that's built its reputation from the ground up surviving the challenging world of enthusiast forums the world over. It is the safe option.

If your budget is more flexible look into Velodyne's new Deep Blue series or Arendal 1961 1S, although the latter does have an odd driver arrangement - I'd expect both to be extremely good with music.

Whatever you decide on, the key thing is proper integration and setup.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
In the same finish there isn't much difference in price between the Rel t5i and bk xls200 mk2

The t5i can be bought for £489 delivery included. The xls 200 mk2 in a gloss finish is £420 plus delivery. The rel is a quality product with the added bonus of rel reliability. There is much greater choice of fon8sh for the BK. The other finishes on the BK are £389 or £355 plus delivery. The cabinet build quality of both are excellent but the BK's amp is old and not as well built. I use to have an xls 200 mk2 and when you open it up, it certainly looks relatively cheap and cheerful.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
of rel reliability
My REL T5 (too old for the i) and it's going into it's ninth year of ownership and used on almost a daily basis. Had a relay fail about 18 months ago and that's it, simple fix done in under an hour at a local repairer.
 

hamzamian

Active Member
Thanks all.

the SVS and Velodyn are both front firing designs, in all honesty I’m pretty sure I’d end up kicking the cone or if that didn’t happen then my kids would definitely attack it. They will sound better than the BK or the Rel but not after cone is ripped and falling to bits :)

Would the XLS-200 be a better option that the Rel T5i? What’s the reliability of BK subs like in comparison to the Rel?
 

password1

Distinguished Member
I never had a problem with my xls200 but i didn't own it for very long. Many owners of bk subs have reported issues with the amp. bk offer excellent support. Personally i would prefer to spend that little extra and have Rel reliability. The older t5 is a very good capable sub for music and is more compact. IMO it's the perfect sub for music if you need it to be as compact as possible snd dont have a large room. The T Zero is worth a look if you don't listen to deep bass music. On paper they'll complement bookshelf speakers to make the system sound like medium sized floorstsnders. If Kef made a floorstanding version of the LS50 then adding a rel t zero is probably what it would sound like.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Other factors to consider, the Rel only comes in gloss finishes, harder to keep spotless and scratch free, the Rel comes with a longer warranty as standard and if you buy from certain places (eg richersounds, who will price match) can be extended to 6 years.

As far as i can tell, the bk doesn't have auto on/off, this might be an inconvenience for you every time you turn it on and off and teaching under the desk.

Could you go for the bk mono or mono plus if you have space? It'll double up as a piece of furniture.
 

hamzamian

Active Member
Thanks again.

I definitely don’t have space for a monolith. I have an XLS-400 in the living room and even that would be too big.

interesting about the amps in the BK subs as I’m pretty sure my XLS-400 is dead. I have floorstanders in there so I’ve not been bothered enough by the lack of bass to do anything about it to confirm it’s the sub though so far.

I actually bought a Tzero very recently for use in the videoconferencing/ av system in the same office. So far I’m pretty happy with it and it’s just being used with some MS Alumni speakers for now. Q Acoustics 3010s on the way). Was quite surprised at how well it charged the room. I had assumed though it wouldn’t be enough to go with the HiFi system. Perhaps I should swap it over and see how it sounds. I do listen to quite a lot of EDM type music when working though so it might not be the best choice.

In terms of cabinet finish, ideally it would be a matt grey to match the decor but satin black and at a push gloss black will be ok too.

BK don’t have auto on off but I’d solve that with Hue switch and Harmony remote.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
As with most hi fi, it looks like the bk xls 200 has jumped in price again. I remember they were £315 brand new direct from bk a few years ago..Whereas the rel t5i has always been £549 but you can get it for less at sone places..
 

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hamzamian

Active Member
RS are actually doing the T5i for £449 till March 1st.

Satin black XLS-200 would be £355 plus delivery. So around £370ish I guess.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
£449 is not a bad price. It still says £549 on their website?

have they told you its til match,?
 

hamzamian

Active Member

Code FLASH100 for £100 off.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Missed the part about preference for downfiring due to the danger of children. Must admit I've propagandized mine well from birth, never touch the speakers or the TV screen and touch wood they've been little angels! The kit remains fingerprint free.

That's not a bad price with the code for the T5i. If you're sitting nearfield to the Sub, the output should be sufficient.
 

hamzamian

Active Member
thanks again

So is the general consensus that the T5i (esp at £449) is a better bet than the XLS-200?

my kids are not too bad but they will go press the tweeters of the TDL floorstanders in the living room every now and again especially if they think I’m not looking or she’s feeling mischievous!

I think a sub under the desk would be too tempting. They love jumping around and crawling under things anyway.

i reckon I’m also sufficiently fidgety to end up kicking it myself one day too!
 

password1

Distinguished Member
I would take advantage of the £100 off and get the t5i before it's too late as it's extremely rare to see offers on rel subs. Its only £75-80 difference from the xls200 in standard matt/satin black finish. RS offers free delivery too, or did the last time i bought off them before the pandemic. I think that extra £75-80 is well worth paying, not least for the legendary rel quality and reliability alone even if the subs are equally as good for music.
 

WozzaB

Well-known Member
In post #5 @MI55ION said the T5i and Gemini were pretty close in performance, and the XLS200 I had was a lot better than the Gemini I had, so from that I would presume that the XLS200 would be a better choice than the T5i from a performance point of view?
 

password1

Distinguished Member
The xls 200 is likely to be better for movies but for music the t5i should be suitable in a small room. Ive never listened to a gemini 2 but i didn't think my xls200 produced bass that matched the specs. Im not sure it actually does the quoted figures below 20hz, or at least not on my room.
 

WozzaB

Well-known Member
Hmmm the XLS200 went pretty low in my room and decent for movies like you said, I only upgraded as it was a bit too small for my room at 4.1m x 4m and wanted more output in the real low stuff, it also sounded very good with music as well though.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The T5i is a great musical sub whether you use it with high or low level connections. It does lack the slam for a really good movie performance simply because of it's size but it does enough of a job to add some impact to the LFE channel of most movies.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks again.

I definitely don’t have space for a monolith. I have an XLS-400 in the living room and even that would be too big.

interesting about the amps in the BK subs as I’m pretty sure my XLS-400 is dead. I have floorstanders in there so I’ve not been bothered enough by the lack of bass to do anything about it to confirm it’s the sub though so far.

I actually bought a Tzero very recently for use in the videoconferencing/ av system in the same office. So far I’m pretty happy with it and it’s just being used with some MS Alumni speakers for now. Q Acoustics 3010s on the way). Was quite surprised at how well it charged the room. I had assumed though it wouldn’t be enough to go with the HiFi system. Perhaps I should swap it over and see how it sounds. I do listen to quite a lot of EDM type music when working though so it might not be the best choice.

In terms of cabinet finish, ideally it would be a matt grey to match the decor but satin black and at a push gloss black will be ok too.

BK don’t have auto on off but I’d solve that with Hue switch and Harmony remote.

You might be able to get the auto on/off feature for extra cost, as BK has built those for XXLS400 when customer has asked. The Silver XLS200-DF would cost 355£ and it would be closest to grey finish you required. BK do offer bit more on paper with larger driver & cabinet and twice the power. REL has 1year extra warranty on amp and if you feel the small cabinet is advantage plus gloss black is acceptable then why not. It´s still not cheap as SB1000 Pro costs 529£ and there would be no contest between these two. Really shame you can`t opt for FF sub. You could turn the driver facing other way, but wires would be visible. Black ash or gloss black (extra cost) finishes. Picture with front mask on:

 

password1

Distinguished Member
if front facing is not suitable, how about side facing. get the new 1000 pro and position it sideways but you might have cables exposed/showing/easily accessible for kids on the other side.
 

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