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

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
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.
Bear in mind the SB1000 Pro does provide some EQ.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
  • 3-band parametric EQ controller allows precise adjustments for boost or cut, Q-factor, and frequency down to the single Hz level with so users can customize performance by eliminating peaks, nulls and other room issues.

    peq.jpg
 

Mr Wolf

Active Member
If you have REW and a suitable measurement MIC that 3-band SVS PEQ feature can really improve things for you.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
@Gasp3621 ,

Do you know if the SVS' preouts allow you to carry out proper bass management (like in an AVR) and send the higher frequencies out to the speakers? If so that might be an option for the OP to explore.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
No idea, sorry. But you can always ask if intrested. Takes few minutes to send email and Ed Mullen probably answers even if it´s sunday. :)

[email protected]

Cheers. I've been in touch and they've confirmed its basic pass through. Shame really, if they took advantage of the DSP some people could've benefited from it.
 

D1gita1

Active Member
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.
It's been a long time, but if memory serves, and this is still currently true, the claim is based around the crossver used. The LFE input would typically be a Linkwitz crossver filter while the high-level input uses a butterworth filter. In hifi circles a butterworth crossover is sometimes considered a better more musical blend to a full range speaker, and subjectively its possible many people would agree. The merits of crossover types is another discussion really.

I have a soft spot for Rel subs having bought my first ever true sub (would 100 Watts and a sealed 12" qualify these days?) at the turn of the century, that being a Rel which only finally gave up a couple years back. Even after I'd bought it I considered it a weak sub though I loved the overall sound. I outgrew that sub rather quickly, though I kept it around a long time. I replaced it with an SVS back when a PB13 had to be bought direct from the US and still cost under £800! I didn't keep that SVS for too long either as even though it was a whole different league and a complete powerhouse in comparison, it missed something the old Rel had.

Long story short, the only recommendations you'll really see in forums are products that offer the most perceived value. This usually equates to metrics like output vs cost. On paper a Rel will never compete with forum favourites as the specification will always fall short of what is considered acceptable for the srp's of those products. Still, all that said, I've consistently found that I enjoy the sound from REL subwoofers as long as you don't expect them to move the sofa or dig super deep, sometimes even where something like the afore mentioned SVS I replaced my old Rel with is clearly a better performer, but just wasn't that enjoyable in the long term. This of course is purely subjective. I think RELs have their place, but they have a lot of competition these days and I can absolutely see why someone might choose a BK or an SVS or one of a few other options instead.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
It's been a long time, but if memory serves, and this is still currently true, the claim is based around the crossver used. The LFE input would typically be a Linkwitz crossver filter while the high-level input uses a butterworth filter. In hifi circles a butterworth crossover is sometimes considered a better more musical blend to a full range speaker, and subjectively its possible many people would agree. The merits of crossover types is another discussion reall

That's an interesting suggestion I've not come across before and it would be interesting to find out if it's definitely true.

Using a miniDSP with a line level connection gives users a choice of crossover types to use which includes both Butterworth and Linkwitz-Reilly, plus DSP can shape the combined distribution to taste. For those just using the filter in the sub though the differences could indeed make an important difference.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
In a hifi setup, I would consider using a pair of subs positioned next to each speaker and run the subs full range, allowing its natural roll off to act as the LPF. Couldn't get more natural than that? I'd still use an EQ to help shape the low end.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
In a hifi setup, I would consider using a pair of subs positioned next to each speaker and run the subs full range, allowing its natural roll off to act as the LPF. Couldn't get more natural than that? I'd still use an EQ to help shape the low end.

Hmmm.... I've never tried that but I'll be honest my gut reaction is that would sound rubbish!
 

Conrad

Moderator
I thought that was REL's whole point, that you match the LPF of the sub(s) to the natural roll off of the speakers?

As I understand it there's two elements to a "fast", "musical" sub:

- Low distortion. By having onboard DSP that limits the low end (think B&W DBS and Kef KC62) you remove distortion from the signal, which makes it cleaner. The downside here is the ability to play lower frequencies at higher levels. However, if you add more drivers, or more capable drivers, or more power, you can get the same levels with very low distortion. As an example, I have 6 x 15" drivers in my room and I can hit reference at 10Hz with <4% distortion, which is very low for that output at that frequency.

- Lack of extension. By limiting, or not being able to hit, lower frequencies you remove the output that will ring in the room. This long decay time will muddy the overall output and make the sub sound slow.

That second point is why, I think, small subs sound "faster". They can't play the frequencies that would ring and have long decay times in room.

This is easy enough to test. If you've got a big sub that sounds slower than a small one, stick a 30Hz HPF on the large one and see if that changes things.

We did this with @MI55ION's system and he made his Velodyne sound significantly cleaner just by removing the low end that it was struggling with (from memory, MI55ION correct me if I'm wrong).
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
We did this with @MI55ION's system and he made his Velodyne sound significantly cleaner just by removing the low end that it was struggling with (from memory, MI55ION correct me if I'm wrong).


You're right there except I made the REL sound better/clean by removing the low end (23Hz HPF), more in line with the Velodyne. The roll off then followed that of the Velodyne. However, it still could't keep up with its pace why the REL went back.

The JL Audio however not only kept up with the pace of the Velodyne, it smashed it with a more full bodied sound. Interestingly, the JL didn't require a HPF, rather the difference wasn't so pronounced, although I found it sounded best with a 14hz HPF, so much lower down. This tells me there is a little more to it and that the actual quality of the sub driver (how well it behaves at the lowest octaves) plays an important role, the HPF can go a long way to compensate for it (stop the driver flapping in the wind!). This combination worked exceptionally well.
 
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Conrad

Moderator
You're right there except I made the REL sound better/clean by removing the low end (23Hz HPF), more in line with the Velodyne. The roll off then followed that of the Velodyne. However, it still could't keep up with its pace why the REL went back.
I was close!

The JL Audio however not only kept up with the pace of the Velodyne, it smashed it with a more full bodied sound. Interestingly, the JL didn't require a HPF, rather the difference wasn't so pronounced, although I found it sounded best with a 14hz HPF, so much lower down. This tells me there is a little more to it and that the actual quality of the sub driver (how well it behaves at the lowest octaves) plays an important role, the HPF can go a long way to compensate for it. This combination worked exceptionally well.
I completely agree. Something that's overengineered like the way the JLs are should sound better. I think that driver and amp combination comes under the "more capable/more powerful" classification I mentioned.

If you measured the REL, Velodyne, and JL I would guess that distortion would rise less with the JL than with the others. I would also guess that if you pushed it to near movie reference without the HPF you'd start to lose the quality of the sound as the ringing would start to play at a part. Given that it's an under-desk office system you're unlikely to do this (nor would you need to, which is a big part of what sub someone should buy).
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
I was close!


I completely agree. Something that's overengineered like the way the JLs are should sound better. I think that driver and amp combination comes under the "more capable/more powerful" classification I mentioned.

If you measured the REL, Velodyne, and JL I would guess that distortion would rise less with the JL than with the others. I would also guess that if you pushed it to near movie reference without the HPF you'd start to lose the quality of the sound as the ringing would start to play at a part. Given that it's an under-desk office system you're unlikely to do this (nor would you need to, which is a big part of what sub someone should buy).

That's pretty much spot on.

There's an obvious relationship between quality of driver, amp, power and spl. The specs probably matter a lot more at the extreme end. The JL is clearly in its comfort zone in a desktop space.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Perhaps it would with larger speakers but for the bass deficient type I think it could made to work seamlessly.

I'll dig out some measurements if I remember when I'm at home but sub outputs can be meaningful to a few hundred Hz I think, so there will generally be an overlap issue for any speakers.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
I was close!


I completely agree. Something that's overengineered like the way the JLs are should sound better. I think that driver and amp combination comes under the "more capable/more powerful" classification I mentioned.

If you measured the REL, Velodyne, and JL I would guess that distortion would rise less with the JL than with the others. I would also guess that if you pushed it to near movie reference without the HPF you'd start to lose the quality of the sound as the ringing would start to play at a part. Given that it's an under-desk office system you're unlikely to do this (nor would you need to, which is a big part of what sub someone should buy).

There is some example distortion data for JL Audio subs on data-bass if you fancy having a look into this and comparing with others.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Another advantage of Rel over some other subs is that they can double up and be connected simultaneously to two separate systems and it'll automatically switch inputs.

You can for example connect it to a stereo amp and an avr or two at the same time. Factor in the standard gloss finish and Rel reliability they'll also hold value relatively well. So although the initial outlay is higher, in the long term there are benefits.
 

Delija

Active Member
You can also connect SVS to both stereo (pre)amp and AVR and in this configuration SVS has one big advantage - profiles. Optimal settings for stereo are not optimal for HT usage and vice versa. Variable phase (not just polarity) and PEQs are also almost mandatory for proper subwoofer integration. REL don't have them.

Of course, you can always use some additional DSP for this, but I prefer SVS solution which has all needed functionalities in one package.
 

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