REL Strata III - disappointed

BenPremium

Standard Member
I wonder if anyone could help me out. I've just got my REL Strata III and I'm not very impressed. So far the bass just doesn't seem as deep and powerful as my Paradigm PS-1000. I've noticed that there is actually a very small (like 1cm) tear in the rubber surround - there's none of it missing, it's just been torn. I wonder if this could be responsible?

If so what should I do? Do I need to get it professionally repaired or would some rubber solution from a puncture repair kit repair it?
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
It sounds like a tragedy.

If the cone is no longer sealed you'll get no output worth having. Subs work by air pressure and the piston is obviously leaking through the hole in the surround.

If the sub is new then contact your dealer immediately for free repairs or an immediate exchange of units under the guarantee.

If the sub is second hand then contact REL for expert advice.

Make no attempt to repair it at all. None! Or you'll void any guarantee. It is doubtful you could make a decent permenent job using any normally available materials.

Don't run the sub at all until it is repaired.

Please keep us informed of your progress to help others in making their purchasing decisions.

NIMBY
 

BenPremium

Standard Member
I purchased it 2nd hand off a member of the forum actually, just went to pick it up today. Seemed a really nice bloke, I'll email him and see what he says.

Will it really make that much difference if it's just a small tear?

Thanks for the reply.
 

russraff

Well-known Member
Will it really make that much difference if it's just a small tear?
Oh yes.

As Nimby pointed out, sealed unit subs, like the Strata III, work on air pressure within the cabinet. If there is a leak, then this pressure is reduced and the driver will be running free without that pressure to hold it in check. You risk making a bad situation worse if you continute to use the driver if there is a tear.
Contact REL and find out how much a replacement driver will cost so that you know where you stand if worse comes to worse.
Did you demo the sub prior to buying it?

Russell
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
Did you have a decent demo at really high level without obvious distress of the sub? Any excuses made for a below par performance or the need to "keep it down a bit because of the neighbours"?

Has anything changed since the demo or was it the same on demo? Was there any hint of problems during the demo or odd behaviour by the vendor?

There's no way to repair a surround effectively and you could do more damage than good. Imagine if you thought you had it fixed and it blew on The Haunting at reference level! The poor cone would be damaged beyond repair without its cushion of air sealed safely behind the cone.

You have to decide whether the vendor knew about the damage or not. If you think they did and you were not personally responsible for new damage then you ought to ask for your money back.

It is a delicate situation. You were either ripped off or you weren't.

Personally I'd be naming and shaming if the vendor didn't refund in full immediately. Unless you <know> you did the damage yourself it seems too much of a coincidence that it should be sold with a tear. Perhaps I'm too cynical?

Your call. There's no ned to be nice to anybody. There's probably a fair bit of money at stake here. REL isn't going to replace the driver as a personal favour. Do you know what REL drivers cost?

NIMBY
 

BenPremium

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply guys. I foolishly met halfway to collect the sub as I didn't fancy the long journey - looking back I realise that this is a bit risky. I've contacted REL so hopefully I'll find out how much a new driver is going to set me back, I imagine it'll probably be costly.

I know that the rip was not because of me because I actually saw it when I was safely positioning the sub in the car for transport but at this point the guy had gone.

I'm not going to name and shame just yet as I've got a reply to my email and I think they deserve a chance to help me sort this out.
 

benji_m

Novice Member
REL are usually very good with customer services, they should be able to sort something out for little money as has happened in the past.

If I were you I don't know if I would mention you are not the original owner though!
 

russraff

Well-known Member
Even so, there is nothing to say REL won't sell you a driver. They may want to deal through a dealer, but you should still get a driver. I think it is an Audax driver, if memory serves? If so then it won't be much more than £80.

Russell
 

BenPremium

Standard Member
Ok cheers guy, I'll keep my fingers crossed and let you know the outcome. I'll also keep you updated on the response from the vendor.

Thanks
 

fraggle

Active Member
New driver is not needed. Many places can glue a new rubber surround in place and then test the cone for proper excursion and air tightness, as can REL themselves.

I had this done to a pair of old AR11s which surrounds had crumbled to dust, cost £30 for the pair, excellent job! :)
 

BenPremium

Standard Member
Thanks for the info fraggle - I've never actually bought new hi-fi, I've always been a second hand buyer (being a student with no money :) ) so I'm not really familiar with hi-fi shops. Will most places do this kind of job? Can I find them in the yellow pages?

Cheers
 

jag1967

Standard Member
Originally posted by BenPremium
I know that the rip was not because of me because I actually saw it when I was safely positioning the sub in the car for transport but at this point the guy had gone.

I'm not going to name and shame just yet as I've got a reply to my email and I think they deserve a chance to help me sort this out.
Given that the that the rip was already there, then the seller should at least pay for the cost of repair. This seems only fair, esp. as you've had to go thru the time and hassle to sort it out. I'm assuming the sub was advertised as in perfect working order. If so, then the original price you paid should also be lowered as you bought something which was effectively faulty. If the seller says they didn't know about the fault/rip, it's still an inaccurate description of the sub at the time of purchase. Obviously you will have to negotiate with the seller; but if I was the seller, I would be doing my best to make sure a proper and fair trade has been made.

This is an excellent forum for s/h gear and we need to keep it that way. I hope it gets sorted out for you BenPremium, (as I was originally interested in buying the sub but saw it too late)
 

BenPremium

Standard Member
Yep, the sub was described as being in excellent condition with no marks and working perfectly.

There are a few very small dings but nothing I can't live with - it hardly detracts from this beautiful piece of furniture - unfortunately it is just that at the moment though.

Another question about the sub - when you're using just the LFE signal from the amp (sub pre-out) do the frequency roll-off settings apply? I'm sure I wasn't hearing any difference when I was playing around with them - I just hope that it doesn't have faulty electronics too!
 
Small world indeed!

I have owned a Strata III and prior to that, a PS1000. Don't expect the Strata III to go any deeper than PS1000, in fact the PS1000 has quite a bit more grunt but you can expect a little more definition from the Strata III.

I personally was underwhelmed with the performance of the Strata and only had it a week before I got rid and bought a Servo 15.

As far as I know Rel use Volt drivers in there high end units such as the stadium and studio, so if all else fails and Rel can't supply a driver you could order a Volt 10" - they do many so you would need to research the best for your situation.

Also Volt drivers are widely regarded as the best bass drivers in the world, I'm not talking SPL/power handling here but definition and depth.

I heard the Stentor III just after christmas and it made a mockery of the anything I'd ever heard and that particular model uses the just one 10" Volt 2500.1 driver yet reaches 11hz -6dB. But the price of £2500 means most people will never consider it.
 

fraggle

Active Member
Originally posted by BenPremium
Thanks for the info fraggle - I've never actually bought new hi-fi, I've always been a second hand buyer (being a student with no money :) ) so I'm not really familiar with hi-fi shops. Will most places do this kind of job? Can I find them in the yellow pages?

Cheers
Where I got my speakers repaired wasn't a "hi fi" shop, it was a little place on the outskirts of Birmingham that seemed to do nothing else apart from fix speakers. I went in there and it had ripped/burned/trashed cones & speakers everywhere!

It was ages ago but googling turned up this
http://www.djequipment.co.uk/speaker_repairs/default.htm
or
http://www.fane-acoustics.com/public_html/pages/misc2/service.htm
or
http://www.rmjloudspeakes.co.uk/

To give you an idea.
 

GaryG

Active Member
You could use a bicycle pucture repair kit as a temporary measure to repair the tear until you are in a position to replace the driver.
 

BenPremium

Standard Member
No reply yet from the seller. I have his his home address and phone number so I'll have to start pestering if there are no replies to my emails soon.
 

Ian J

Banned
Perhaps he doesn't use his computer as frequently as some others do. If you have his telephone number why don't you ring him.
 

Matt F

Active Member
Originally posted by ShinObiWAN
I heard the Stentor III just after christmas and it made a mockery of the anything I'd ever heard and that particular model uses the just one 10" Volt 2500.1 driver yet reaches 11hz -6dB. But the price of £2500 means most people will never consider it.
11Hz but that's in room at -6dB. It's a nice sub but £2.5K?

Incidentally, avforums' resident subwoofer expert Nic Rhodes owns both Servo 15's and a Stentor - I think it's Stentor II and not a III - but he's always maintained that the Servo plays deeper and cleaner than the Stentor.

Back on topic - this sounds like a bit of a raw deal as, split driver surround aside, even the description of "no marks" sounds rather inaccurate given the "few very small dings" the buyer has found.

Matt.
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
I'd be absolutely livid if it was me. But it's not my sub and not my problem. If BenPremium would just tell us who it was we could go round and beat the xxxx out of him. Virtually of course.::devil:

Just read on another forum that the owner of a Strata 111 gets 15Hz in room at a steady 73dB right up to 37Hz.

The cost of the rest of his kit would make even installer09's eyes water. So let's not have any doubters! :nono:

NIMBY :D
 
Originally posted by Matt F
11Hz but that's in room at -6dB. It's a nice sub but £2.5K?

Incidentally, avforums' resident subwoofer expert Nic Rhodes owns both Servo 15's and a Stentor - I think it's Stentor II and not a III - but he's always maintained that the Servo plays deeper and cleaner than the Stentor.
Hiya Matt,

Already said its at -6dB in my post, pretty sure you'd be looking at 15hz -3dB.

I've owned a Servo15 which was sold to JIT in December on this very forum and ran the test sweeps on it, *only* :) had usable output to around 17hz despite the 14hz -3dB claim by Paradigm. Anyway this was seriously good quality from the Stentor III not just about how deep it could go ;)

So when I heard the Stentor III in January I was fully briefed on the Servo's performance. The Stentor was very nice and managed to sound effortlessly powerful without ever being in your face. Never heard such quality before, very realistic and very dynamic.

Not sure on the differences between the Stentor II and III but what I heard was definitely better than the Servo and so it should be £2.5k. I wouldn't pay that money personally but it was an eye opener.
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
REL has a new Strata 5. Now quoting to 18Hz (-3db) with remote control for balancing/matching from sweet/hot spot with blue digital display etc. etc..£700 black & £800 veneer.

NIMBY :)
 

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