REL HT/1003 Subwoofer Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Phil Hinton, Aug 21, 2018.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. Coulson

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      Bugger, I've spent ages convincing myself that I don't need to upgrade my sub while still looking for subs. This sub reminds me of the Focal Sib Evo in that it is pretty much the perfect upgrade for me in terms of quality, size, power and reach.

      Bugger!
       
    3. Adi62

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      I feel your pain !
       
    4. Eddy555

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      Damn this is tempting. What would the REL HT/1205 sonically offer over this though?
       
    5. Coulson

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      12" cone and 500 watt amp so more grunt.
       
    6. kpeter

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      Sorry i don't see how this sub is good value. I'd look for SVS or BK or XTZ instead. It's not that REL produces bad stuff, but companies with standard business model have a hard time against Internet Direct companies. If you look at the specs, [email protected], 12kg weight, 300W,10inch driver for this amount of money is not something i would describe as amazing... The small size and the wireless capability is the only thing i like. But if you want to go small, the BK XXLS200 is similar sized for £329.

      For example BK with the Double Gem is offering double 10 inch model for far less. Or look at the P12-300SB-SB and P12-300SB-PR not even mentioning the famous XXLS400.

      Plus theres the XTZ 10.17 and 12.17.

      Just my 2 cents.
       
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    7. Eddy555

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      So would the 1205 give the ability to give more oomph at lower frequencies than the 1003?
       
    8. Coulson

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      I think that's the general idea. Bigger cabinet pushing more air.
       
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    9. Coulson

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      Interesting thanks, I would love to hear Mr Withers opinion. As good as this is, is it better value than the subs you mention ? Kind of like the LG B7 which isn't as good as the 2018 OLEDs but is better value overall.
       
    10. Coulson

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      I have heard about the BK and SVS Subs before and that they are excellent subs but I don't think that I have really looked at them closely. The BK for example apparently goes down to 17hz at -6db which is pretty awesome. I think that Steve's review has opened my eyes as to how good the BK is.
       
    11. Russ 66

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      Why do they feel the need to slap REL on every surface, it makes it look really cheap.
       
    12. Nilanth

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      For me...if you want a small footprint... the Velodyne Minivee is outstanding. I've never been disappoined with it.
       
    13. nicfaz

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      I have to echo Kpeter's comments, why on earth has this got a "Best Buy" award? BK sell the XXLS400 for £50 less and that has 400W, a 12" driver and goes to 20Hz at -3dB?! XTZ will sell you a very similar 10" sub with 500W RMS for the same price. If all you want is to watch movies and you have the space then a BK monolith will blow this REL completely out of the water for £30 less.

      Very strange.
       
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      Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    14. Idle Bull

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      Interesting people ere basing a lot of the comments on specification and not on actuall listening. I always thought the first rule of hifi/home cnema was to ignore the specs and just listen? :)
       
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    15. Coulson

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      There are systems which are dismissed based on specs and that can be annoying. But the other subs mentioned in this thread have been around for quite a few years now and a lot of people have listened to them. If you check the forums and reviews there is very little bad to say about any of them.
       
    16. boabis

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      Maybe the REL is even better.
       
    17. Idle Bull

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      I've considered the smaller BK's myself as I want a smaller sub, so no issue with the quality of them.
      The unknown is the sound qulity of the REL, so best to keep an open mind on the review. The REL could have qualities that make it better.
       
    18. Gasp3621

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      Why REL is more expensive? They don`t do internet direct sale as BK does. So another middle man which takes some ££ (dealer). Also there could be differences where REL get`s their parts/amps, cabinets (BK?), painting etc. As Tom V. pointed at some thread it could be very expensive in some cases (gloss colours especially). REL subs do look very gorgeous (WAF) with small footprint = always easy to sell for most people.

      I secretly wished to see something little different from REL with this new HT line to stand out more as the competition* is quite fierce at +-500£. But i believe REL will still outperform many similar priced speaker package subwoofers when it comes to sound & build quality.

      * Monolith - 400£, P12-300SB - 330£, XXLS400 - 390£ (Ebay), SVS SB/PB1000 - 499£, XTZ Spirit 12 - 360£ ..

      Regarding BK Elec they do everything in house including hand made built amps, painting etc. Finally sell them at their site directly to customer. This is why they can sell them cheaper.

       
    19. Coulson

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      The BKs do look like ridiculous value. It's like Steves review of this REL Sub followed by the comments by @kpeter have dropped the scales from my eyes lol. I realised that if Steve's review made me want a 500 pound sub, then what about an older, well recommended, potentially more powerful sub for just over than 300 pounds?
       
    20. SonOfSJ

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      In the review Mr Withers has twice used phrases like "punches well above its weight." But since he's talking about a subwoofer, which produces low notes, I think that Mr Withers should have said "punches well below its weight.", ha-ha! :)
       
    21. nicfaz

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      I agree that specification isn't everything and of course something like a Naim 5SI (60W) is going to sound better than a bargain basement amp with 100W. However, specification is more important for subwoofers by the nature of the function they are performing and a sub doing 20Hz at -3dB has more headroom than one that is quoting 24Hz at -6dB. Also, as others have said, the other subs mentioned have had good reviews on here so it's not as if we are going on specification alone.

      The main point is that Steve's award of a "Best Buy" tag is not justified by the review he has written. If he had sourced some of the main competitors at the £500 level and tested them all in similar conditions, or at least done some evidence based analysis, I would be the first to say "well done" to REL. The review reads more like "we got this in, sounded good to me, award".

      The reason that matters is this is a subject I know something about, so can spot where something doesn't feel right. If I'm reading a review about something else like a TV that I don't know about, this kind of thing erodes my trust in the forums. Are all reviews just "this looked ok, award"? I've been bitten by that before, buying a tv years ago on the basis of a What Hi-Fi award that turned out to be measurably worse than the alternatives. I don't buy What Hi-Fi any more. I would like to think I should continue to read AVForums. I would like to think that someone who bought the REL on the basis of this review didn't get an unpleasant surprise when a friend buys a BK or XTZ and gets a better sub for the same or less money.
       
      Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    22. Derek S-H

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      And this is the sticking point with (the generally excellent) reviews on this site: they don't do group reviews.

      Now there are all kinds of practical reasons why this doesn't happen I would imagine, but it does put the onus back on the consumer to sift through multiple reviews and make a decision.

      I know many would, and do, advocate that the best way to purchase anything like this is make a shortlist then demo. But Subs are notoriously difficult to demo at home because of their size and weight, and then you have to find a friendly dealer who's prepared to loan you their equipment solely for this purpose with no obligation to buy.

      I know reviews are just a guide and a starting point, that you have to make your own informed decision based on your preferences, but at some point you have to take a leap of faith and I'm not sure if it's possible to state, unequivocally, which is the best Sub for around £500 unless it's done in a group setting.
       
    23. Dans1210

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      Well if specs are accurate then you know pretty much what you are buying. Especially with subwoofers! I wouldn’t buy any speaker or subwoofer without seeing its data!
       
      Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
    24. Coulson

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      Maybe, but is it 150-200 pounds better? Probably not.
       
      Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    25. NewHomeOwner2018

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      This is a rather over simplistic view... the middle man takes a cut but he also takes a lot of costs on which saves the manufacturer (marketting, sales, customer service etc). By being a multi-product seller they also open the opportunities of cross sales etc. How many sales do BK make from someone deciding they want a new TV? Whereas I have walked into Richersounds for a new TV and walked out with a new sub.

      If dealers are nothing but a cost leakage, why do you think anyone would bother selling via them rather than doing a direct propostion?

      Doing things in house often adds costs rather than saves money too as you lose the economies of scale and don't have the volume to justifying buying the best machinary etc... as an intentionally silly example to highlight the point, do you really think it'd be cheaper to make a 1.5m kettle lead than to buy a ready made one if you need say 3,000 per month? Even a quick glance shows you can pick them up in bulk for under 15p each.

      Now, not everything is about cost... some people buy into "made in Britain" (though its questionable exactly how much actually is made in the UK... generally just final assembly needs to be done here to use the tag) or some manufacturers think quality control can never be as good than if its done on their factory floor etc but often this increases manufacturing costs - though its a seperate question on if that cost is passed on or a reduced margin is made.

      BK are actually interesting as they arent actually an incorporated company but a simple partnership (I'd assume husband & wife). As such its not straight forward to find out much about them, but based on the other two companies they are directors of I'd suggest that legally they aren't doing "everything" in house
       
    26. tommitch

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      Well, I've just browsed through all subwoofer reviews since they started reviews in 2007 and I only found 5 subwoofers reviewed at this price point (circa £500) - including the BK XXLS-400 reviewed in 2009, which has a 'Highly Recommended' award.

      So with that in mind, and considering the reviews for those 5 subwoofers span about 9 years, then I think it is fair to give this sub a best buy award as it was seen to have no bad points at this price, whereas the BK XXLS-400 is £100 cheaper but was given 2 negative points in relation to the subs performance in the low end.

      Obviously a buyer needs to listen to each sub in their room to decide if its an upgrade for them or not, but I'd say AVForums reviews is a good starting point.
       
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    27. gibbsy

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      Because they are sprinkled with Welsh magic. Just like me. Priceless.:thumbsup:
       
    28. meagabyte

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      Stop that! My first thought was "Would two of these be better than my SVS PC2000 and im already broke. I really need to stop reading reviews on new toys :(
       
    29. Redwineman

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      I think the point here is that REL probably doesn't really deserve a bashing here - for no other reason than its more expensive than another brand ! Especially when it may not be comparing eggs with eggs as someone mentioned that one brand here only sells directly - so there is a link in the chain that doesn't exist against other brands.
      Shame you cant do that with cars or Rolex !

      There are other brands who offer small footprint subs at way beyond the cost of this unit.
      The review was based on what he heard - in his system at that moment and it appears that its a good look at a unit that may well deserve attention.
      REL have been around for years and are probably amongst the most reviewed products in their sector - but they have just released this new range designed purely for home cinema rather than music and AV as all of the other products.
      They are cheaper than other brands and more expensive than some - but that's the same as in every area of life. I'm glad to see that the review has been submitted on the merit of the product - regardless of what it is.
      If you are an SVS or a BK fan - that's cool - but you cant just be dismissive of this or the review just because this product isn't. AV forums do a decent job of reviewing products put in front of them, and if they do a shoot out type review of all subs in this range then i'm sure REL would be confident enough to put theirs into the mix - you never know - it may even out perform the competition !
      BTW - you can take off the feet so Richer Sounds tell me - so you can use different feet so that you wont see the logos on the feet.
       
    30. Coulson

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      The issue isn't the quality of the REL, and I don't think that anyone was being dismissive of Steve's very informative review. The issue is whether this should be a best buy when there are competing subs with ostensibly similar or better specs, very well known, very well liked for all the qualities described in this review but cost hundreds of pounds less?
       
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      Last edited: Aug 22, 2018

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