REL R205 opinions/findings

M

mwgo

Guest
Hi, I've got a REL R205 on loan to try before I buy but I've had problems setting it up to work well without sounding a bit 'bloomy' and sometimes monotonous with some bass lines. The depth doesn't seem to be a problem. It's primarily for music but will be used on the end of a .1/LFE feed too alongside my B&W CM1 standmounters.

The REL instructions to set it up using the corner as a starting point did nothing but create overblown bass even when turned right down. I've since moved it out from the corner and getting on better but still have the complaints I mentioned earlier unless I manage to tune them out over the next few days.

What have other people found with the R205? I've had trouble finding reviews of the product in magazines and online. I have also borrowed a T1 for comparison that quickly proved itself to remove these problems but it's not got the wow factor I was hoping for and doesn't go so deep.

Advice on configuration and your findings would be welcome, or failing that recommendations for other compact subs that look smart like B&W and how they compare.
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
Hi, I've got a REL R205 on loan to try before I buy but I've had problems setting it up to work well without sounding a bit 'bloomy' and sometimes monotonous with some bass lines. The depth doesn't seem to be a problem. It's primarily for music but will be used on the end of a .1/LFE feed too alongside my B&W CM1 standmounters.
A monotonous bass line is symptomatic of either a massive room mode dominating the overall sound, or of a sub distorting like hell as it struggles to reproduce frequencies it's clearly incapable of - the sound just comprises of a mess of harmonic distortion regardless of the actual frequency. I heard exactly this with a Sunfire D8; Superficially deep, but in reality, not.

The REL instructions to set it up using the corner as a starting point did nothing but create overblown bass even when turned right down. I've since moved it out from the corner and getting on better but still have the complaints I mentioned earlier unless I manage to tune them out over the next few days.
This piece of REL positional advice has always confused me. It's clearly a good trick for maximising boundary gain, but equally it maximises the boost of all of the rooms modes equally, thus ensuring a dominant room mode is really dominant and that's exactly what you seem to have found. If a sub can't manage enough output for the room without being in a corner, you don't want it.

What have other people found with the R205? I've had trouble finding reviews of the product in magazines and online. I have also borrowed a T1 for comparison that quickly proved itself to remove these problems but it's not got the wow factor I was hoping for and doesn't go so deep.
The R305 was run in an independent set of online tests here. It achieved one of the single most embarrassing sets of results for a sub of it's price I've seen and making it smaller can't possibly improve matters. There isn't a single quality represented on those graphs that would prompt me to listen to one, never mind take the time to make it work. If you want to see why, open up the graphs for the BK Electronics XLS-200-DF MkII in a separate tab and A-B them using the FAQ to understand what's going on. The BK ain't perfect by a long way, but there isn't a single area in which it doesn't better the 305 by a considerable margin for only £289!

The T-1 by comparison, is the almost polar opposite and it's strange that it could come from the same stable. It's initial lack of wow factor is not unusual when someone is experiencing actually clean, deep, bass for the first time and believe me, it goes a lot deeper, more cleanly than the 305. It's quite unlike speaker (or poor sub) bass in so far as it doesn't 'kick' like you might expect and also actually sounds quite slow. It's really a case of getting used to it and it's unfamiliar character. It's worth taking this time; You won't go back.

On the same test linked to above, there is another BK, the XLS-300/PR which was squarely aimed at the T-1 (it's old history) and offers very similar levels of performance. I mention that, because it's in the same test measured by the same criteria making for an easy comparison. The T-1 appears in a similar English test as indeed does the BK XLS-200 making a comparison betwen the results a bit easier.

Between the tests, very many popular subs (incuding the B&Ws) make an appearance and it soon becomes apparent which subs hide behind terms like "musical" or "HC biased" and which ones stand on their own two feet as simply accurate transducers.

Generally speaking, the best subs for integrating with minimal requirement for EQ will offer the smoothest response curve, with minimal power compression, low distortion and crucially for music, low group delay. This last one is a bit hard to get your head round initially (well, it was for me), but is worth taking time to understand. It's a traditional REL strength, but before you ask; No, the R305 isn't very good there either.:(

Russell
 

The latest video from AVForums

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Netflix in November 2020: Tom's Thumbs.
Top Bottom