Castle Compact Cube v MJ Ref 100 v REL Quake (£400 Cherry Subs)


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Nov 16, 2000
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Castle Compact Cube v MJ Ref 100 v REL Quake (£400 Cherry Subs)

Duders of the sub bass department Im here asking some wise opinion on the subs in the spec range above above, in the next few months Im am going to be auditioning subs in the £400 territory but I (and SWMBO) already have a strong idea of what I (we) want :

Real wood veneer (Cherry)
100W amp
High level connection (preferably Nuetrik speakon)
Up to £400 new rrp

This sub is to be used in conjunction with my Castle Richmond 2s which have a bass roll off at about 55-60 Hz IIRC, the sub will be only used in high level connection off my hifi stereo amplifier and out the back of stackable rear entry banana plugs. It will be used for mainly stereo but also AV use from DVD (I use a DAC off my DVD-V player for DVD-V movies via my hifi setup) Im more interested in a sub with a “tight” bass controls than one that goes down to silly levels (ie ones noted as 13Hz from very small cabinets ahem). Here are some manufacturer specs (some dodgy I know of bass performace) of the shortlist that meet my initial brief, I have garnered off the internet :

£400 MJ Acoustics Pro :
120W Amp
Dimensions (WxHxD ) 278mm X 332mm X 278mm
Weight 10.5kg (23.1 lbs)
Down to 13Hz

£400 Castle Cube Compact Sub
150W Amp
Dimensions (WxHxD ) 350mm (14in.) 350mm (14in.) 360mm (14.5in.)
Weight 17.5kg (38.5lbs)
Down to 33Hz

£400 REL Quake
100W Amp
Dimensions (WxHxD ) 253 x 294 x 272 (9.96x11.57x10.7)
Weight 7.4Kg (16.28 lbs)
Down to 23Hz

A couple things already mark the Castle job out as an early favourite, it will match asthetically with my Richmond 2s, is it just me or is the weight of this sub very very mass heavy compared to the others, and their honesty in reporting the freq performanc is refreshing. And Ive rarely ever seen better cabinet work than Castles :


I know there are plenty of very decent sounding black subs ala Velodyne but it needs to be Cherry Veneer Im sorry are there any more that Im missing at this price range with such a finish and spec sheet ? Any vibes/opinions for this shortlist kindly welcomed.

ATB & thanks for looking.
There are quite a few members who have heard and bought a REL Quake or one of MJ Acoustics' offerings but I haven't heard of anyone who has auditioned a Castle sub let alone bought one.

I read the What Hifi Review of the Castle Compact system which they liked a lot and it is a huge advantage that the speakers look so good as well as sounded right. I hope that if you demo this particular sub that you let us know what you thought of it .

I can't add to your list of possibles I'm afraid.
Hi Ian Ive noticed you are a man of fine suggestion suggesting the Castles already on this forum, I actually think the MJ Pro 50 has brought a lot of people into the Active sub arena due to their cost , size & finishes (a good thing IMHO) I think real wood subs have been vastly overpriced for a long time and I guess we have to thank MJ Acostics for rectifying the situation, The REL Quake is living proof of MJAs introduction into the market. If they were not about Castle would still be producing their old £800 Classic Sub with LFE input only. FWIW reviews :

Im pretty sure I can get a demo of the Castle/MJ Ref 100 Sub in Sevenoaks so will be checking those out, I wont be buying a sub until I have compared these against each other, the MJ Ref 100 seems to have the edge on the Quake from user opinion which is usually compared against the smaller MJA Pro 50. I can do a local dealer demo of the Quake but the other 2 will require a 130 mile trip but will be done when visting friends.

I was pretty sure Velodyne did a Cherry sub above the £250 VH-10 unit. But their website indicate none.
I have just ordered an SVS sub so my BK Electric XLS200 sub may be up for sale on these forums in a couple of weeks. It could be just what you are looking for (1 cubic foot, so smaller than the castle, real cherry wood veneer, 10" driver 200W amp, performs similarly to the rel q200 / q201, but for less money and in a nice cherry finish)

Welcome to the ever growing SVS club but make sure that Duncan doesn't get a listen as his sub would have cost much more and it may upset him.

I would agree that the BKE would seem to be just what CJROSS is looking for as it should be a substantially better performer than the MJA or REL offering but I wasn't aware that it met the colour criteria too.
Amordue, what are you thinking of asking for the BKE xls200 ??
Originally posted by amordue
I have just ordered an SVS sub so my BK Electric XLS200 sub may be up for sale on these forums in a couple of weeks. It could be just what you are looking for (1 cubic foot, so smaller than the castle, real cherry wood veneer, 10" driver 200W amp, performs similarly to the rel q200 / q201, but for less money and in a nice cherry finish)


That sounds perfect. Superior to the Quake and Ref 100 for sure. Haven't heard the Castle.


Thanks for your thoughts, Im interested in subs I can demo TBH, but the BKE one you mention is interesting could you post any technical links or reviews its had, or better still any pictures you know of on the web. Iw what was the rrp of this Sub when new ?

Anyway dudes any more vibes on what to consider welcomed.


I started a thread asking a similar question, though with no subs in mind. The BK sub did get rec'd by a no. of members, though no details on the actual w/s.
After emailing bk, they provided the following link: which shows the specs

Apparently, more willl be available next month. The problem is that demoing them is an issue; and aesthetics-wise, they don't win any prizes(!) for me. But they certainly do have their supporters and are keenly priced


ps. it's me, sanj, from the hifichoice forum
Cheers Sanj good to see you a "wandering" and thanks for the input. BTW dude £500 (2h) on speakers I would be looking at the following :

Dyn Contour 1.1s
Jamo Concert 8s
Totem Mites
SF Signums (although £500 is pushing it)

Or get a pair of Castles and add a sub later (its all the rage you know)

ATB dude.
another (ex??) hfc-er here

CJ- heard the MJ ref 100 dude- great little sub but theres no way it actually goes down to 13hz so don't let the figures deceive you. The Ref1 sounds a huge amount better but it is twice the money.
How about the Mordaunt Short 309? Comes in cherry finish, digital amp and 10" driver for around £200-250.
Rory I know the 13Hz figure are well shy of the mark from MJA, hence the comments about Castles honesty in quoting 33Hz (which of course could be boosted in a small room & with placement of sub down to “13Hz” ahhhhemmm). Thanks for the recco of the MS 309 have you heard it ? Does it have a 100W amp & high level connections ? Whats the qulaity of the finish like on the cabinet ? Any comments.

BTW I have posted this here first rather than HFC due to the sub gurus (Like Ian & MattF – where he?) knocking about the place, will post over on HFC next week once there is a nice selection of subs (at prersent 5 to discuss).

the MS309 has a 150W digital amplifier and a 10inch CPC driver. It has high level connections and i'm 99% sure they're banana plug type rather than Neutrik (that MJ and REL use) or springclips. Mordaunt Short finishes are all pretty good actually- not real wood but as good as vinyl gets.


just inquiring how you are getting on short-listing/demoing the subs?

FWIW, I listened to the mj pro50 recently and was deeply under-whelmed. It suspect it wasn't quite set up correctly, but sounded wholly and loose. And at best, a thud which wasn't very musical. I've never heard a sub outside of a HT/movie setup, so not sure what to expect in the first place with 2 ch.

Also, I realised that it's not the last octave I'm missing out on - that kind of low rumble dub bass-bin sound - which I don't really want in my home stereo setup. (Probably I need to dem some more expensive subs, but now leaning towards upgrading my actual speakers). Just MO of course.

Anyhow, good luck with your search, and please do feedback

that pro 50 doesn't sound as well setup as it should be. they're groovy little subs and i've heard one, in combo with MS902s actually increase the stereo imagery to an unbelievable level. i set it up myself tho. They're fantastic for the money, and if you've got a small room
Thanks for the comments rozzar. I was hoping the sub could do all as you say, esp as I've got a small space. Perhaps I will try to demo them again elsewhere


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