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REL Quake connection help required


Prominent Member
A friend has offered to lend me his REL Quake to try on the end of my Arcam A85. He can't lend me his Neutrik speakon cable as this is fitted under his carpet.

I know there are other options for connecting this sub, such as a phono to phono connection, and 3.5mm jack plug input for use on a computer.

I have some cables that might work in these circumstances.

Option 1: I have a spare phono cable that I could use from either the left or right pre-amp out from the amp, into the phono input on the Quake (there is only one phono input apparently). This would only give bass from one channel though.

Option 2: Alternatively I have a 2 x phono to 3.5mm stereo jack which I use to connect a MP3 player to my amp. Could I use this in reverse from the pre-amp outs into the 3.5mm jack input on the Quake?

Option 3: The final alternative is to go and buy a four pole Neutrik Speakon connector and a length of 3 core cable.

For the purposes of a quick trial, would Option 2 (or at a push Option 1) be OK?

Thanks in advance for any help.


Established Member
I assume your amp doesn't have a dedicated "sub" output? Mine does, so that's what I used for the connection, to the LFE input on the Quake with a QED cable.

The Quake's manual advised connecting the "Neutrik Speakon" plug directly to the left and right speaker outputs on the amplifier. However, I had a struggle to get the regular speaker cables fastened to these sockets securely. I reckon a secure connection is always preferable to one that's liable to fall out or give an intermittent contact, so I've stuck with that and it seems fine.


Distinguished Member
I think it may also be worth wondering if the Quake will actually add anything much over the capabilities of your existing speakers. What are they by the way?

It's a tiny driver in a tiny box without much power none of which add up to give deep clean bass. It may add very little or as a result of it's lack of capability, may actually make things worse.

I'd whole heartedly recommend the effects of a good (appropriate) sub as a potentially massive improvement, but the Quake isn't one.



Prominent Member
I think it may also be worth wondering if the Quake will actually add anything much over the capabilities of your existing speakers. What are they by the way?


That's a good point - I have MA GR10, and they do go pretty low in my room.

I have been considering a BK XLS200 on the basis of reviews/comments here, as this would be the top of my budget/phyisical size limits.

As I can't demo one of these, it is difficult to ascertain how it would sound at home. I just want to try a sub at home without conning a dealer into lending me one with no intention of buying. The offer of a loan of the Quake is my best bet.

However, if I can't get a significant improvement for £300 I may not bother.

I'm still not sure there's that much deep bass in music anyway, given that stuff like Gorillaz has plenty of bass of good quality from my GR10, and most other music doesn't have much.

My system use is approx 50% TV, 40% music, 10% films

Any advice/help welcome.


Distinguished Member
Try the Quake and bear in mind that if you derive any benefits, they'll be multiplied by using a better sub like the XLS-200.

The XLS-200 is in another league to the Quake in all senses. It's goes deeper, has more headroom and offers far lower distortion bass that would reach considerably further down than both the Quake and the GS10s.

Virtually all music will benefit from the presence of a good sub, although its just as easy to nors things up with poor setup. Done properly, even if the subs contribution isn't audible, the sound stage will expand and there'll definitely be a sense of extra acoustic space around live recordings.

I would also recommend using the SPL meter and test tones method, rather than the imprecise 'by ear' route. Measuring the speakers first will give you a target to aim at for your initial setings. Measuring both sub and speakers together will allow fine tuning of phase in particular which is often ignored, but in your case is particularly important as you lack the bass management and distance/delays of an AV amp. Get phase wrong and it's just as easy to cancel bass out as add it.



Prominent Member
Thanks Russell for your comments.

As an update, I've ordered a 4-pole Neutrik Speakon connector, and will make up a cable to test the Quake. I will also look into the SPL meter.



Prominent Member
Oh well - back to the drawing board!

Just to update, I got the loan of the REL Quake, hooked it up and started to play.

I have to say at this point that I did not have a SPL meter, so everything was done by ear, and that I only had one small bit of floor space where the sub could go so was unable to experiment too much.

I set the cut-off at the midpoint of the dial, marked as 41Hz I think, as my MA GR10 are -3db at 40Hz. It was set to "Depth" rather than "Slam". I turned the volume of the sub to about a third and played some music. Didn't seem to make much difference, so cranked the sub volume up. Whoa - too much, turned it down to where I could sense a difference, but not specifically hear it, if you get my drift.

I had the sub connected to the SP2 output on my amp, so I was able to switch it in and out via the remote at will. I was also able to switch off the main speakers and just hear the sub output. What was immediately clear, and something that I long suspected, is that there is not much bass below 40Hz in a lot of the music I listen to.

It also became clear that the REL Quake was not adding much to my speakers. Probably because it's a small-ish sub, it's low frequency response didn't seem that much different to my speakers, so it therefore provided more bass, but not lower bass. What bass it did provide seemed to be sluggish, and whilst it added some warmth, it also slowed down the musical presentation, making it seem far less agile - for want of a better term.

The friend I borrowed it from has speakers that bottom out at 75Hz (-3db), so it adds depth as well as volume to his speakers.

It did a better job with one or two of the DVDs I tried, where the slowing effect was not noticeable.

One positive thing to come out of it, the wife didn't seem to object too much to the Quake - however she knew it was only borrowed!

In general, I think russ.will was spot on in one of his earlier posts - it made things worse!

So, on the basis that I had a £300 budget, I need to decide whether to go for it and order a XLS200, or forget the whole thing.


Prominent Member
Sorry i dont get the fact the Quake is not adding anything to the GR10's. Somethings amiss as mine compliments my Ruark Floorstanders very well and I have also used it with a family members MA silver 8's which are capable of deep bass again to great effect. Still speakers are room dependant. Just a thought dont use the SLAM setting its pointless.

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