Is REL being more 'musical' than SVS a myth?

Seems to be a real consensus, reading around, listening to what people have to say, I know it's sensible to not put much stock into reviews and video reviews, that being said, this seems to be such an overwhelming consensus that for movies SVS is a better choice and for music REL is a better choice.

What do the guys on here think, are REL subs generally more 'musical' than SVS? (I personally deem this to mean, more articulate and accurate, why anyone would want a less accurate sub for movies I can't understand but that's me personally)

Looking at the REL T5i or the SVS SB1000 Pro

Interested to get some opinions
 

martin 39

Well-known Member
The advantage with the rel subs is you get a high level and low level. Which is something i miss changing to an Arendal
 

martin 39

Well-known Member
No the rel has a neutrik cable which can be connected directly to the speaker or terminal of the amp also a standard phono lead for lfe and can be used both at the same time. Handy if running 2 amps. One for film and one for music 2 ch
 

willz

Member
What's the benefit of using the neutrik cable? I have one on my BK
 

Dolus

Active Member
What's the benefit of using the neutrik cable? I have one on my BK
It's a legacy thing. Low Level connection allows you to connect a receiver/amp with a dedicated sub out connection with a phono/subwoofer cable, and High Level is for receivers/amps with no sub out so connect to the speaker terminals using the Neutrik cable.

Check your BK Monolith manual.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
REL claim there is an advantage to using high level for music but personally I don't buy this, and think they just push it since those with traditional stereo integrated amps have no option other than to use this.

I think a Rel T5i is very expensive for what it is: an 8" driver and 125W amp is barely even a sub. If it were my money I'd buy an SB1000 instead.

Ideally try to get a home demo of both to make up your own mind though.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Few months back there was a thread where member in US (?) bought the T5i and SVS SB1000 for a small room and ended up keeping the SVS. It was purely for 2.1 music use. The new Pro model should be further step up in sound quality and performance wise while keeping small size.

Something like REL T9i vs. SB1000 Pro would be more intresting with similar size so they would be performing more closer, the T5i is so much smaller and will not offer same kind of weight/depth which will be evident as was the case for the person who returned T5i. Would also want to throw the Arendal 1961 1S (~750£) in to mix in that case, but too expensive for OP i imagine.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
It's worth noting that the T9i is a passive radiator design and so will behave roughly like a ported sub rather than a sealed sub.

Edit: and at £1000 it's still seriously expensive for it's capability IMHO.
 
REL claim there is an advantage to using high level for music but personally I don't buy this, and think they just push it since those with traditional stereo integrated amps have no option other than to use this.

I think a Rel T5i is very expensive for what it is: an 8" driver and 125W amp is barely even a sub. If it were my money I'd buy an SB1000 instead.

Ideally try to get a home demo of both to make up your own mind though.

Just bought an SB1000 Pro
 
Many thanks for the replies very insightful I am starting to think I am definitely getting more for my money with the SB1000 Pro
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
It's worth noting that the T9i is a passive radiator design and so will behave roughly like a ported sub rather than a sealed sub.

True. I do remember @D1gita1 praised T9i highly for music system and he has probably heard more woofers than many us together here.

Worth noting that REL uses passive radiators also in their higher S-range models which i would still see as more toward hifi systems / mixed lounge use. More performance while keeping the cabinet compact sized which is what most people want for lounge.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Worth noting that REL uses passive radiators also in their higher S-range models which i would still see as more toward hifi systems / mixed lounge use. More performance while keeping the cabinet compact sized which is what most people want for lounge.
Yes there's nothing at all 'wrong' with passive radiator subs. I was just pointing out the difference since the original options were sealed and so this may have been something that was being specifically looked for.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
To add to the above, my observation of having had the Rel T5i, it has three inputs:

20210221_152450_LI.jpg



Low level
High Level (speaker/neutrik)
LFE

Any performance benefit will depend on the input used since I suspect each introduce their own input lag.

The low level input signal goes via the internal crossover.
The high level, I did not try, so not sure if the internal crossover applies.
The LFE bypasses the internal crossover.

Rel's marketing do suggest high level connection to offer superior quality. Now they might dress it up in some fairy language but as mentioned I think it has everything to do with input lag. Both from listening tests and IR measurements, I noticed the Low Level input was the worst, lagging behind in time thus sounding disjointed from the main speakers. So when people with stereo systems compare the low level Vs high level, I can see why they might prefer the latter as it might follow a different signal path, especially if it bypasses the internal crossover.

The LFE input was better than the low level input but that's a moot point since any lag could be compensated for simply in the AVR/Processor by applying delay/distance setting.

The cabinet is well built, the driver seemed basic but it must have high sensitivity due to that meager 150w amp as it did pump out a decent amount of sound. I'm yet to be convinced of any performance benefits over the SVS, if it was a choice between the two, I'd pick the SVS regardless of whether it was for movies or for music.
 
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Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Hmmm... I'd suggest that overwhelmingly it is room placement and room interaction that will dominate time alignment/phase matching rather than possible slight differences in input lag.

For main speakers the signal starts at line level and goes through a single power amp stage to reach the high-level that produces the acoustic output. If a line level connection is used to a sub then you have an equivalent signal path using the sub's power amp. High level connections however introduce two additional steps that could only act to increase input lag: you have an initial unnecessary power amp stage to produce the high-level signal entering the sub and then inside the sub there will be a network to reduce this signal level back down to a line level signal ahead of feeding into the sub's power amp. How these additional steps could somehow be beneficial is beyond me which is why I don't buy REL's sales pitch. As far as I can see it's a solution that only exists because there was a problem to solve (lack of line level outputs on integrated amps) not something that is inherently better somehow.

@MI55ION I am intrigued that you say you measured an increased delay using a line level input. I'd be interested to see the data if you still have it? I'm just wondering what sort of difference you're talking about and how it was assessed (since impulse responses for subs in room are messy to say the least).
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Hmmm... I'd suggest that overwhelmingly it is room placement and room interaction that will dominate time alignment/phase matching rather than possible slight differences in input lag.

For main speakers the signal starts at line level and goes through a single power amp stage to reach the high-level that produces the acoustic output. If a line level connection is used to a sub then you have an equivalent signal path using the sub's power amp. High level connections however introduce two additional steps that could only act to increase input lag: you have an initial unnecessary power amp stage to produce the high-level signal entering the sub and then inside the sub there will be a network to reduce this signal level back down to a line level signal ahead of feeding into the sub's power amp. How these additional steps could somehow be beneficial is beyond me which is why I don't buy REL's sales pitch. As far as I can see it's a solution that only exists because there was a problem to solve (lack of line level outputs on integrated amps) not something that is inherently better somehow.

@MI55ION I am intrigued that you say you measured an increased delay using a line level input. I'd be interested to see the data if you still have it? I'm just wondering what sort of difference you're talking about and how it was assessed (since impulse responses for subs in room are messy to say the least).

Unfortunately, it's been written over since or I would've included it.

I have more recently looked into this with my current JL sub and can confirm there is a difference in the IR measurements when applying the internal crossover vs non. Although I didn't save it, I could take a few more no problem, let me know.

With regard to Rel's claim of High Level superiority, what you say above makes a lot of sense, I don't know how they have come to their conclusion.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Unfortunately, it's been written over since or I would've included it.

I have more recently looked into this with my current JL sub and can confirm there is a difference in the IR measurements when applying the internal crossover vs non. Although I didn't save it, I could take a few more no problem, let me know.

Yes applying a crossover will definitely have an effect.

With regard to Rel's claim of High Level superiority, what you say above makes a lot of sense, I don't know how they have come to their conclusion.

Call me cynical but personally I think this simply comes down to marketing. They offer high-level connections on subwoofer that they try to sell to more traditional stereo audiophiles, for many of whom a line level connection is not an option. The idea of the sonic character of their main stereo amp somehow carrying over to what the subwoofer does also appeals.

Full disclosure though I've owned two subs with high-level connections but I've never bothered to try using these. For me now the key reason I wouldn't even consider using a high-level connection is that it would prevent me from benefitting from signal processing options like miniDSPs. I think anyone trying to argue for high vs line level differences somehow trumping the benefits of DSP would have a very tough sell personally.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Yes applying a crossover will definitely have an effect.



Call me cynical but personally I think this simply comes down to marketing. They offer high-level connections on subwoofer that they try to sell to more traditional stereo audiophiles, for many of whom a line level connection is not an option. The idea of the sonic character of their main stereo amp somehow carrying over to what the subwoofer does also appeals.

Full disclosure though I've owned two subs with high-level connections but I've never bothered to try using these. For me now the key reason I wouldn't even consider using a high-level connection is that it would prevent me from benefitting from signal processing options like miniDSPs. I think anyone trying to argue for high vs line level differences somehow trumping the benefits of DSP would have a very tough sell personally.

Not cynical at all, I think based on what we know it is quite a reasonable conclusion.

Stereophiles like to avoid AVRs and I do understand why as they are often quite lackluster in comparison to dedicated stereo amplifiers when it comes to sound quality. However one significant drawback to the majority of stereo amps is they lack basic bass management facility, EQ and of course sub preout.

So the lower frequencies are quite often neglected or are an afterthought/add-on rather than a carefully thought out system - intro the high level connection. A bit ironic considering psychoacoustic studies have shown about 40% of what we perceive as "sound quality" come from the sub 120Hz range. In other words getting the bass right can totally transform a system and having the ability to bass manage and EQ is an absolute pre-requisite. Yet there are so few quality stereo amplifiers on the market with this option, Lyngdorf is the only one I'm aware of.

In fact, when I was in discussion with John Westlake (Dacmagic designer) on another forum once when they were working on the CDQ, I did suggest they release a version with bass management and sub preouts but the idea seemed to be totally ignored - he's an old school audiophile I suspect! I still think the first company to release one at a more affordable price point is going to make quite an impact.
 
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Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Stereophiles like to avoid AVRs and I do understand why as they are often quite lackluster in comparison to dedicated stereo amplifiers when it comes to sound quality. However one significant drawback to the majority of stereo amps is they lack basic bass management facility, EQ and of course sub preout.

I fall into this category but as you'll see from my signature I have a stereo setup that incorporates DSP :) .
 
Not cynical at all, I think based on what we know it is quite a reasonable conclusion.

Stereophiles like to avoid AVRs and I do understand why as they are often quite lackluster in comparison to dedicated stereo amplifiers when it comes to sound quality. However one significant drawback to the majority of stereo amps is they lack basic bass management facility, EQ and of course sub preout.

So the lower frequencies are quite often neglected or are an afterthought/add-on rather than a carefully thought out system - intro the high level connection. A bit ironic considering psychoacoustic studies have shown about 40% of what we perceive as "sound quality" come from the sub 120Hz range. In other words getting the bass right can totally transform a system and having the ability to bass manage and EQ is an absolute pre-requisite. Yet there are so few quality stereo amplifiers on the market with this option, Lyngdorf is the only one I'm aware of.

In fact, when I was in discussion with John Westlake (Dacmagic designer) on another forum once when they were working on the CDQ, I did suggest they release a version with bass management and sub preouts but the idea seemed to be totally ignored - he's an old school audiophile I suspect! I still think the first company to release one at a more affordable price point is going to make quite an impact.

It's a cheap budget little amp.... But my SMSL SA300 does this. Basic stereo AMP with SUB OUT. While I am without a HPF SOME argue my speaker manufacturer has tuned their speakers correctly and my adding extension from a quality SUB should just make them better, that's my plan anyway, if not, miniDSP it is!
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
It's a cheap budget little amp.... But my SMSL SA300 does this. Basic stereo AMP with SUB OUT. While I am without a HPF SOME argue my speaker manufacturer has tuned their speakers correctly and my adding extension from a quality SUB should just make them better, that's my plan anyway, if not, miniDSP it is!

This is the issue. Unless the SMSL has the ability to delay the speakers to compensate, adding a miniDSP down the chain will add processing delay to the signal. So they might be out of time alignment to a point it becomes quite noticeable. If that's the case don't blame the sub for being slow! ;)
 
This is the issue. Unless the SMSL has the ability to delay the speakers to compensate, adding a miniDSP down the chain will add processing delay to the signal. So they might be out of time alignment to a point it becomes quite noticeable. If that's the case don't blame the sub for being slow! ;)

Very fair! But I listen at low volumes, and I like my mains. What bass they have is really tight and punchy so it's just a case of adding extension, getting that crossover smooth, so I hope not to need the miniDSP - I guess we will see

BEFORE this I was always an AVR guy so this is all an experiment really. I don't want 5.1
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Very fair! But I listen at low volumes, and I like my mains. What bass they have is really tight and punchy so it's just a case of adding extension, getting that crossover smooth, so I hope not to need the miniDSP - I guess we will see

BEFORE this I was always an AVR guy so this is all an experiment really. I don't want 5.1

The sub will excite one or two room modes that you may not have known existed. Fingers crossed you could get it sounding good without EQ.
 

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