REL S/812 Subwoofer Review & Comments

Paul_thx

Active Member
That depends entirely on your criteria. If it's 100% performance then you absolutely don't. There are equal or better performing subs for a fraction of the cost of this sub. Go the DIY route and it's an even more stark difference.

I'm lucky in that in my cinema (almost done!!!) I have the luxury of not needing to care TOO much what it all looks like. For that reason I've managed to shoehorn 2 full marty subs with UM18-22 drivers in. I will comfortably say they will wipe the floor with this sub in almost every conceivable possible measurement and metric. I can guarantee you they cost me under half what this cost.

On the other hand, if you are after a very specific size or aesthetic then it may be worth the extra money to you but for me that's a huge price delta that I would never be prepared to pay. If you're happy with it that's all that matters ultimately. I'd just be wary of perpetuating the audio industry bull of "you get what you pay for" as in the audio industry, more than any other, this couldn't be further from the truth in most instances.

G
You're right that in the consumer audio industry you often don't get what you pay for. I suppose as long as we're all happy with our own purchases and that they achieve our individual goals with regards to what the sound system does, then it's all good.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
On price alone, I'm slightly surprised that the (as big as a washing machine) SVS PB-4000, currently £2249 at Richer Sounds, isn't given as an alternative? Or even the SVS SB16 Ultra at £2549, rather than the SVS SB3000, which is almost a thousand pounds less than the REL?
The SVS PB4000 and SB16 are certainly excellent alternatives Ken, assuming one has room for the PB4000. I chose a couple of more recent reviews as examples of alternatives because they were fresh in my memory.
I suppose, in addition to the questions that I asked in post #9, a relevant question is how much better is this new REL S/812 subwoofer than (sticking with the same stable rather than comparisons with SVS and BK subwoofers) the fairly recent REL HT/1508 Predator subwoofer? I know that that has not been reviewed on AVForums, but Mr Withers did review the impressive slightly smaller version, the REL HT/1205. And the REL HT/1508 Predator has been very favourably reviewed by Richard Stevenson at Home Cinema Choice. How does this new REL S/812 at £2299 compare with the REL HT/1508 Predator at £1,600?
I haven't actually heard the Predator in action, so I can't really comment on its performance. However based on its specs and the performance of its stablemates it would certainly make a viable alternative to the S/812, especially if you're looking to save some money.
 

Paul_thx

Active Member
I normally use subsonic, but as is typical on this forum someone moaned that it wasn't correct. I meant to use infrasonic as an alternative, and mistakenly typed ultrasonic which, as you point out, is wrong because it relates to very high frequencies. I'll change it back to subsonic, and anyone who moans can shove it right up their jacksie!
No problem. Someone will always complain or have an opposing view no matter what anyone posts. That's the internet for you! ;)
 
D

Deleted member 707962

Guest
@Steve Withers I'm not sure if my comment made it through, have you any thoughts on the Monolith+ in comparison to the S/812? I appreciate you compared a more recently reviewed BK sub going by your later comment, would you say the Monolith+ is a greater match still?
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
@Steve Withers I'm not sure if my comment made it through, have you any thoughts on the Monolith+ in comparison to the S/812? I appreciate you compared a more recently reviewed BK sub going by your later comment, would you say the Monolith+ is a greater match still?
I haven't reviewed the Monolith+, so much like my reply to Ken's question about the Predator, I can't really comment on performance. However based on specs and my experience with the other BK model, I'm sure it'll be an awesome sub.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
@Steve Withers Thank you kindly for your post #27, Sir! :)

By the way, regarding "XXXXsonic" terms, my understanding (which could well be wrong!!) is:

Ultrasonic - frequencies above normal human hearing, usually taken as above 20 KHz;
Infrasonic - frequencies below normal human hearing, usually taken as below 20 Hz, hence is probably the term that is most applicable to a subwoofer;
Subsonic - an aircraft flying slower than the speed of sound (767 mph) ;
Supersonic - an aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
@Steve Withers Thank you kindly for your post #27, Sir! :)

By the way, regarding "XXXXsonic" terms, my understanding (which could well be wrong!!) is:

Ultrasonic - frequencies above normal human hearing, usually taken as above 20 KHz;
Infrasonic - frequencies below normal human hearing, usually taken as below 20 Hz, hence is probably the term that is most applicable to a subwoofer;
Subsonic - an aircraft flying slower than the speed of sound (767 mph) ;
Supersonic - an aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound.
Infrasonic it is Ken.
 

Jason72

Active Member
Please excuse me for my comment Steve, but I've just sold my soul to the devil to buy a pair of Dynaudio special 40's which (brand new) were considerably cheaper than this REL sub. I understand the 'apples and pears' thing that people might point out, but my main fear is that with these kind of prices (for a mid range sub) they are going to be for an elitist few and not for the masses. Having said that, 90% of my kit was bought through this Forum's classifieds at considerably reduced prices.
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
I just can't bring myself to spend so much for something that could possibly perform worse than a subwoofer a quarter of the cost.
I assume you mean worse than the Monolith? I own a version of the cheaper sub and it's the best sub I've ever owned But I wouldn't for a second believe that the Rel will sound worse than the PB's, just maybe not "that" much better.
 

Ormy

Member
The VFM score seems to be completely meaningless and doesn't in any way match up with the item or the review. VFM should be a comparative rating based the performance of competing subs at the same price. If you're getting 90% of the performance for 25% of the cost, 95% for 66% of the cost or even 120% for the same cost then clearly the VFM score should be very very low.

I agree very strongly with this. How can these scores be considered credible or taken seriously in light of this?

Maybe it comes down to how you measure or perceive 'value'. To me its clear that the S/812 has a significantly better quality finish (they mentioned a number of paint coats in the review), I think that is a significant fraction of what you're paying for with this thing. Yes a SVS PB4000 (very similar price) is in a whole other league when it comes to bass performance but it doesn't look as pretty as this REL.

Some people are willing to pay a premium for audio equipment that is also pleasing aesthetically. I'm certainly not one of them but I can understand those motivations. Maybe that should have been made clearer in the review? The fact that in terms of its bass output compared to price its pretty poor compared to products from SVS/BK, but if an exquisite finish/look is important to you then it could be considered good value.

I must say I'm slightly shocked that REL genuinely expects anyone to buy 6 of these (costing upwards of £10k) and stack them as the picture shows. For that money you could buy 4x SVS PB4000, or something really extravagant like a Funk Audio 24.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
I agree very strongly with this. How can these scores be considered credible or taken seriously in light of this?

Maybe it comes down to how you measure or perceive 'value'. To me its clear that the S/812 has a significantly better quality finish (they mentioned a number of paint coats in the review), I think that is a significant fraction of what you're paying for with this thing. Yes a SVS PB4000 (very similar price) is in a whole other league when it comes to bass performance but it doesn't look as pretty as this REL.
@Ormy Mr Steve Withers also reviewed the SVS PB-4000, so he will be able to say how these two similarly-priced subwoofers compare. I've not seen either the SVS or this REL, so I can go only by the reviews, and both seem excellent, but I'm in no position to say if the SVS is indeed "in a whole other league when it comes to bass performance". I'm not sure if Mr Withers is still following this thread though? @Steve Withers
 

Ormy

Member
@Ormy Mr Steve Withers also reviewed the SVS PB-4000, so he will be able to say how these two similarly-priced subwoofers compare. I've not seen either the SVS or this REL, so I can go only by the reviews, and both seem excellent, but I'm in no position to say if the SVS is indeed "in a whole other league when it comes to bass performance". I'm not sure if Mr Withers is still following this thread though?

I was just reading Steve's PB4000 review, that's what inspired me to post here in the first place.

If the published specs were somewhat similar then I could agree, that you or I would have to listen to both to get an accurate comparison, or at least read a review by someone who has done a direct comparison. However the specs are not similar, the PB4000 is certainly the more capable of the two, and not by a small margin either. If you compare the specs of the SVS PB4000 with the specs of the REL S/812 you will see a marked difference.

E.g. the REL is -6dB at 19Hz, the SVS is -3dB at 16Hz (and you can extend that to -3dB at 13Hz if you plug certain ports), that on its own is a huge difference and puts the PB4000 in another league in my opinion.

The REL has 800Wrms, the SVS sports 1200Wrms, 1.5x as much as the REL. Also the driver is bigger, 13.5in vs 12in for the REL.

Some people may not think this one counts for much, but I'll say it anyway: the SVS is twice the weight of the REL (75lbs vs 172lbs).

Also, the fact that the published specs for the SVS are far more detailed (they even include a frequency response graph!) then the REL specs tells me that SVS have more confidence in their product, and that it's aimed towards enthusiasts who know a bit about bass reproduction. The REL is aimed at people who will buy it because it looks good and don't know or don't care that in terms of bass output per unit currency it gives pretty bad value.
 
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Lrehcsa

Active Member
So money aside and if you had a 70/30 split towards movies over music would you guys get two of the S/812 or two of the Rel HT1508? Again assuming they were the same price as I don't care about the price difference.
 

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