REL S/510 Subwoofer Review & Comments

The original Storm 5 spec was -3db at 15Hz. It certainly seems that way from the response. My point is that it had good extension below 30Hz. Couldn't get great volume of course, started to compress at about 95DB, unlike the dual 400's. No phase issues, both subs (next to the L and R speakers), pretty much mirror the response of the L and R in their respective positions. That's just their output in my room. I have no DSP. I'm surprised audysee doesn't flatten out that curve a bit more actually. It does with the REL.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
But that’s not the sub we’re talking about!?
We’re talking about the S/510 and it’s lack of response below about 25Hz.

If you have the same response and the same phase then your integration would be the same. I can only adult is the move to dual that’s hurting your integration.

It’s often the case that absolute impulse response time alignment doesn’t result in the best integration between subs and main.
Look up the sub distance tweak or have a look at the time alignment thread on here.

Does audyssey see one sub or two? I have much better results when I time align multiple subs to give the best in room response first, then hand all the subs to audyssey as a single sub. I don’t know you can do that if you’re not running something like a minidsp though.
 
I'm well aware of the distance tweak. REW doesn't lie though. My current settings do apear to be best. The 2 subs are inside L and R, equidistant from the MLP. both subs show the same character individually. 0 phase seems best also. I'll let them run in some more and keep playing. Certainly the REL isn't going up for sale yet!
 

neo_2009

Well-known Member
In the above graph the REL has a very strange response for a sealed sub, it seems to behave almost like a ported sub?

If you think that REL is good for music at decent levels, check this IKKA review (images for measurements are not showing, unfortunately):

Its also strange that a single sealed 10" would have more extension that 2 sealed 12", as Conrad said, there may be something not properly configured or optimized.
 

milano j

Active Member
I think you're missing the point though. You refer back to the performance being 9/10 but everyone here is saying you can get equal or better performance for significantly better value.

If the look meets your needs and that's what you prioritise then great. I think a lot of others here value performance over the style, or would prefer the look of something like a wood finish BK with the same performance for a large saving.
l like to look and admire my AV system as much as l like to listen to it, call it justification "on paying over the odds" as you say..For me it's also known as desirability am l wrong for that, people have different taste's
 

Conrad.

Moderator
I get that. My speakers are very inappropriate in the rooms they're in, but I love the way they look (and sound) so I'm keeping them. I could probably improve my sound by changing them for bookshelves, but they make me happy to look at.
 
In the above graph the REL has a very strange response for a sealed sub, it seems to behave almost like a ported sub?

If you think that REL is good for music at decent levels, check this IKKA review (images for measurements are not showing, unfortunately):

Its also strange that a single sealed 10" would have more extension that 2 sealed 12", as Conrad said, there may be something not properly configured or optimized.
I've already said it doesn't go very loud - but it does sound good.

The xxls400's are setup correctly. The only difference is FF vrs the DF REL. Perhaps my room just prefers this. I did take an awfully long time to get the rel set up and to find the right spot. I haven't gone through this with teh 400's yet, but I have few choices for them. The response from them looks similar to other graphs I have seen. Good "chest thump" response 30ish to 70ish, but not much sub bass. My room has a suckout at 15Hz.
 

neo_2009

Well-known Member
FF vs DF shouldn't make any difference ...

Your post seems to indicate that the in graph you posted, the REL and the BK's were measure in different places, which makes sense, the REL seems to be picking a lot of room gain (maybe its placed in a corner?)

I would also bet that in order to hit 15Hz on such a small driver and cabinet, the distortion should be very high (as demonstrated in the hometheater review).

The BK should be a better sub than the REL :)
 

Liammonty123

Well-known Member
Agreed, more cone area thus more displacement combined with a smoother response, should be a better sounding system. Sounds like an integration issue to me. I think its wrong to suggest that some subs integrate better than others, and use this as a selling point, maybe easier yes, but not better.
 
FF vs DF shouldn't make any difference ...

Your post seems to indicate that the in graph you posted, the REL and the BK's were measure in different places, which makes sense, the REL seems to be picking a lot of room gain (maybe its placed in a corner?)

I would also bet that in order to hit 15Hz on such a small driver and cabinet, the distortion should be very high (as demonstrated in the hometheater review).

The BK should be a better sub than the REL :)
No FF/DF shouldn't make a difference. Maybe that assumption is wrong. One of the BK's is in the exact same place as the REL, with different behaviour.
At reasonable music listening levels distortion was not too bad. REL's rely on room gain - that's how they're supposed to be set up, and it seems to work well!. As I've previously said, it was way too small for my room for decent HT. But it did a pretty good job. The BK's are still a work in progress and maybe still running in too.
 

jleholeho

Active Member
How would you compare the S/812 vs JL Audio E112, intended for a living room of cca 430 sq ft?
Thanks for opinions.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
How would you compare the S/812 vs JL Audio E112, intended for a living room of cca 430 sq ft?
Thanks for opinions.

That is large room (40sqm) to fill with either one. You could make new thread on subwoofer section and tell your use (movie/music %) and do you have size restrictions, which finish you prefer, can you go with two subwoofers, max budget etc. There is few other brands to consider aswell!
 

Liammonty123

Well-known Member
No FF/DF shouldn't make a difference. Maybe that assumption is wrong. One of the BK's is in the exact same place as the REL, with different behaviour.
At reasonable music listening levels distortion was not too bad. REL's rely on room gain - that's how they're supposed to be set up, and it seems to work well!. As I've previously said, it was way too small for my room for decent HT. But it did a pretty good job. The BK's are still a work in progress and maybe still running in too.
There may be slight response changes with DF/FF, but certainly nothing major. If anything major has shifted then it’s likely the sub itself. RELs relying on room gain = a lack of low end to begin with.
Driver run in can be done in a few minutes with some sine waves to loosen up the suspension, again this will not cause any major response changes.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
The integration between subs and mains will be an effect of the different phase responses of the different subs.The phase of the sub won't affect the response of the sub in the room by itself but will affect how it integrates with the mains. That's where the changes between subs would be most obvious, would be my guess (other than extension and output levels).

There's no "right" phase response. If you get lucky and the phase of the sub and the phase of the mains combines nicely based on the room, where the mains are, where the sub is, and where the listening position is then it'll appear that the sub "integrates easily". Changing sub means the phase might change which is why you might get a different integration even with the new sub in the same place and the same settings.

A phase/delay of 0 is unlikely to give you the best integration through the crossover, but if you've measured and used something like the time alignment tool in REW to confirm, then fair enough.

I would also never use a sub as an L/R pair, I think that just makes things much more complex. The exception would be if you're running a very high crossover, but even then I'd look at other solutions.
 

hestepare

Member
Driver run in can be done in a few minutes with some sine waves to loosen up the suspension, again this will not cause any major response changes.

One of REL's weirdest things is their insanely detailed and complex instructions on how to 'break in' their subwoofers. Hours and hours of setting the volume just so and playing the right music will bring salvation:
Your REL will be playing much louder, and it will be going down half an octave lower in bottom end extension. We’ve measured 4 dB of difference before and after.
That's just the primary break-in. There's another one, a final one, which will definitely take you to the place of your dreams:
A good 10-12 hour break-in run—performed at a lower volume level than the aggressive level used for the dinner break-in but still moderately loud–completes the run-in process. During this final phase, the primary benefit is to the driver and we’ve measured around a 2 dB additional amount of gain being released so it’s well worth it. That’s like getting a free 50-100 watts worth of power amplifier just by knowing how to break a unit in properly.

Break-in will cause the REL to play twice as loud. Why would a serious company ship a product that is only at half capacity, and leave it to the customer to do some voodoo stuff in order to get it to where it is meant to be? This is just stupid.


I would also never use a sub as an L/R pair, I think that just makes things much more complex. The exception would be if you're running a very high crossover, but even then I'd look at other solutions.

What do you mean by this? You wouldn't set it up for stereo bass, is that what you mean?
 
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Conrad.

Moderator
One of REL's weirdest things is their insanely detailed and complex instructions on how to 'break in' their subwoofers. Hours and hours of setting the volume just so and playing the right music will bring salvation:

That's just the primary break-in. There's another one, a final one, which will definitely take you to the place of your dreams:


Break-in will cause the REL to play twice as loud. Why would a serious company ship a product that is only at half capacity, and leave it to the customer to do some voodoo stuff in order to get it to where it is meant to be? This is just stupid.

Completely agree. And what is it about their drivers that make them so different to every other manufacturer that doesn't require this process?

What do you mean by this? You wouldn't set it up for stereo bass, is that what you mean?

Correct. Bass isn't directional, there's no point having a 50Hz double bass note playing from one sub and not the other.
 

Liammonty123

Well-known Member
I really can’t get my head around that break in process, any drivers I’ve ever used are good after a few minutes of sine waves, stretching the suspension some. T/S parameters change slightly but nothing significant. With the differences REL are talking about, we are basically talking completely different drivers. How can a driver gain 4db if useable output just from a break in? Has it’s XMAX or sensitivity increased? I think not
 

rccarguy

Active Member
Do Rel still tell customers with AV amplifiers to set speakers to large, and send high level and low level audio to their subs?
 

jleholeho

Active Member
That is large room (40sqm) to fill with either one. You could make new thread on subwoofer section and tell your use (movie/music %) and do you have size restrictions, which finish you prefer, can you go with two subwoofers, max budget etc. There is few other brands to consider aswell!

Yes, quite a large room (in a house), some 7x6 meters, clean listening space would be however some 5x5m with an open area +15 sqm...I´d prefer to use just one sub, that´s why I thought either of the two would be competent enough to fill my needs. Max budget some 2300 euros, both can be had for something like that around here (EU). Movies 60%/music 40%.

Sorry to step into this conversation with such a question, just thought I could get some quick advice.
 

Liammonty123

Well-known Member
Yes, quite a large room (in a house), some 7x6 meters, clean listening space would be however some 5x5m with an open area +15 sqm...I´d prefer to use just one sub, that´s why I thought either of the two would be competent enough to fill my needs. Max budget some 2300 euros, both can be had for something like that around here (EU). Movies 60%/music 40%.

Sorry to step into this conversation with such a question, just thought I could get some quick advice.
It doesn’t matter the listening area vs the total area, the bass will fill the whole area reguardless, so you need to buy a sub big enough to competently fill the whole area. Suppose it depends on how loud and low you want to go, but that’s a big space and a sub this size wouldn’t touch it for me for movies.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
I would think they have to. Small sealed enclosures do not facilitate deep extension by themselves, you need to add an LT to accomplish it. Typically that's done using DSP.
LT?
 

theJman

Member

Linkwitz Transform. It's a method to boost the low end output of a sealed subwoofer and flatten its response curve. Since it's a known and repeatable rolloff for a sealed alignment (dB per octave) an LT will use DSP to increase the bass in a corresponding amount to compensate. Typically the smaller the enclosure the more adjustment is required.

In all likelihood that's what the REL spokesman was referring to in his response. Generally speaking, the more you boost the bottom end the less dynamics there are so from a technical perspective his response could be consider true as an aggressive LT does tend to cause the sound to become less "lively".
 

neo_2009

Well-known Member
One of REL's weirdest things is their insanely detailed and complex instructions on how to 'break in' their subwoofers ...
This is priceless !!! Thank you! I'm still laughing ....

I love this one: Solutions For Hard Floors: Tackling The Challenge of Tile & Hardwood Floors
...when a REL subwoofer is placed on hard flooring (typically tile, stone or hardwood floors) this energy path can present a challenge resulting in the REL slowly vibrating its way out of position...
Why use proper MDF/BB thickness or bracing techniques? Just make it shine, and if it starts to move across the flor, the audiophile solution is:
GLUE the damn box to the floor !!!!

If sorry, i hope i'm not off the marks, but it was too funny to miss ....I hope no one takes this the wrong way, its just a joke ...
 

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