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REL Studio in larger rooms

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Rob Sinden, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Rob Sinden

    Rob Sinden
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    Having used a REL Studio 11 briefly in my old large living room (34' x 18' x 9'), I can let you know that if you have a larger room or like it really loud you should look elsewhere for bass.

    The Studio used to bottom out in my room when playing some films at refrence levels. I switched to an M&K MX350THX (as used by most of the big film makers) using 2x12" rather than the 2x10" in the REL and for less than half the money I got a real jump in output level and performance and none of the chuffing that I heard from the REL at higher output levels.

    I think sticking with small drive units which are then ported is the problem with big RELs. All really high end speakers I've been impressed with are sealed enclosures rather than ported for a faster response.

    Perhaps this is why no REL has achieved THX apporval.

    If you want the ultimate bass though, I challenge you to try the new M&K MX5100. At £3,200 it ain't cheap but it's in a completely different league to anything REL have ever made.
     
  2. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Correctly implemeted, sealed or ported enclosures have no impact on "speed".
    THX approval is neither here or there in high-end designs and no doubt not even a consideration for Rel, who along with most others might realise that a THX badge is an unnecessary expense to be passed on to the end-user with NO guarantee of being any better than a sub without the badge.

    That all said i too have a penchant (be it psychosymatic or otherwise) to sealed (infinite) enclosures, for no other reason perhaps than dealing with "port placement/interaction" if you like.

    Regards

    Steven
     
  3. Nimby

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    Steven

    SamSaid actually said: "All really high end speakers I've been impressed with are sealed enclosures rather than ported for a faster response."

    This qualification makes it a personal preference rather than stating an absolute fact.

    N.B. Samsaid also refers to speakers and not subwoofers. Though he may have meant to include the latter. (?)

    BTW: Do any dealers offer true reference level demos?

    Niimby
     
  4. Rob Sinden

    Rob Sinden
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    I definitely agree that there are some crappy THX approved products out there, but one thing it does ensure is the output level of a product.

    My point was that in my room a REL Studio 11 simple couldn't play loud enough, whereas an M&K at less than half the price could.

    After that it comes down to a question of personal assesment of quality and I personally also found the MX350THX cleaner and more dynamic - I guess this is why all the top film makers in the world use M&K - not REL or Velodyne.

    I think personal assesment is the important thing, but I do also think that if Dolby Labs, Lucasfilm THX, DTS, Warner Bros, Sony, 20th Century Fox, Disney and Pixar all use the same product for the production of a soundtrack, using the same product in the playback chain is more likely to get you closer to the way they wanted it to sound.
     
  5. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Or it could be because REL don't want THX approval and have never submitted their subs. REL's origins are subbass in audio with the ST range and a THX stamp on the ST subs might well discourage sales of these to the audiophiles. I don't know for sure and neither do you, so I would think twice before touting speculation as fact.

    You'd probably be guessing incorrectly, then. What you are you saying is that all the top film makers in the world use M&K instead of REL or Velodyne because YOU prefer them? I'd be interested in knowing what makes your opinion so influential! But seriously. There could be many reasons why the M&K sounded better in your room. Who calibrated the subwoofers? What kind of system was used to take readings?
    I'd be guessing that nobody calibrated them. Did you even use an SPL meter?
    Sorry but you are dismissing two entire brands based on your one isolated and unqualified experience and then applying that opinion to an entire industry. I think I'll take your opinion with a lorry load of salt.

    Oh and I own both a REL Studio II and an M&K MX350 and I wouldn't presume to make a valid comparison because while my system HAS been calibrated with the MX350 in it, is hasn't been with the REL.
     
  6. Ian J

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    I think that most studios have a great variety of equipment at their disposal and if you look at the websites of many of the pro divisions of the subwoofer manufacturers you will see that they will all claim to be supplying the same studios.

    As to your comment that using the same product to playback as the studios use to monitor the recording - if that were true most of us would be using highly coloured Yamaha NS10M speakers and covering the tweeter with tissue paper to tame the very bright top end, just as the studios do.
     
  7. smooveone

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    I agree with mr. samsaid. I have had a studio, and although an excellent sub at low to medium volumes in a medium room, I was disappointed at its maximum output. The servo-15 kills it to death and provides serious trouser-flapping foundation shaking output levels- at less than half the price. The MX350 is also significantly more powerful.
     
  8. Rob Sinden

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    Hi Stuart

    I can't see why any manufactuerer would find THX approaval on a product a disadvantage, but who knows what goes in some peoples heads. THX settings can be switched off and then all you would be left with in the case of a sub is a product that is guaranteed to play at certain SPL levels, within certain distortion paramaters in a given sized room.

    The stuff I've quoted about M&K's Pro users list is what they have been using in their ads for years. These and hundreds of other Pro users are listed on their website. I can only assume that this info is true as I'm sure if it wasn't they would be had up for lible (?) by now!

    I know REL was started by a hifi enthusiast a decade or so ago, but I'm not aware of any Pro people using their products. M&K invented the active sub over 30 years ago and from what I've seen on their site, they do still seem to be the undisputed choice in the professional domain.

    What size is you listening room? I calibrated my system with an analogue SPL meter to refrence levels with C weighting. When I moved the same system to a larger room, the REL started making very strange noises on certain recordings and was clearly bottoming out. Changing to an M&K sub at half the price stopped the problem and improved the overal sound of the system.

    What size is your listening room?
     
  9. Steve.EX

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    Smooveone

    I too have owned/borrowed Rels, larger MK's, Revel, Mirage, etc etc and for the last few years settled on 4 Servo 15's, which have offered me superb service/performance for mickey mouse money (by comparison to other manufacturers and indeed the rest of my kit!).
     
  10. Nimby

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  11. Ian J

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    Firstly it is a costly process which would end up being added to the price of each sub and secondly the REL ST range appeals to hifi enthusiasts who may find a home cinema award a bit of a turn off.

    THX approval may have meant something a few years ago but nowadays it's mainly a marketing tool.
     
  12. Moviebuff

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    You are entitled to your opinion, but my expierence of the Rel Studio II could'nt be more different. It sounds bloody awesome, and countless people that have heard mine (which I have carefully set up), have been blown away by it.

    Glad you enjoy your MK - but the REL Studio II in my mind is one awesome sub-bass system. :)
     
  13. Moviebuff

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    Totally agreed Ian.

    When THX came out, it was mean't to be the pinnacle of AV - where systems cost more than most people would dare contemplate.

    The logo to my mind has been weakened tremondously over the years - take "THX Select" - the most meaningless "standard" in years.

    Therefore, from a personal point of view - THX is now merely nothing more than a slightly credible marketing tool, where if the manufactuer stomps up the fee, they get the rights.
     
  14. Moviebuff

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    Now that must sound awesome !!!!!!! :thumbsup:

    Must have been a bitch to set up though! :eek:
     
  15. recruit

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    The one thing i would add ref to haveing THX speakers and sub is that it makes setting up and intergrateing my speakers and sub a very easy task, but i do agree that just because a system is not THX approved it does not mean that they are not capable of meeting those standards as i am sure that alot of speakers and sub's would easly pass as there are so many good ones out there.
     
  16. Moviebuff

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    I think there are many that look on THX as providing guaranteed good sound - this is most definately not the case in my expierence.

    As stated, one of it's brief's is to marry equipment that compliment's one another - but it doesn't always end in the bed of roses that the brief may imply.
     
  17. recruit

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    Very true but i must stress that with M&K and it's reputation it does make very good speakers and subs,so buy with confidence and not just because of the THX rateing on it's kit. ;)
     
  18. Moviebuff

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    Agreed :)
     
  19. Timbo21

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    Yes, it seems quite funny when you get audiophiles using gold plated plugs
    & minimum signal path amps etc. when the studios all have patchbays with
    the cheapest flimsiest wires & listening on NS10's.

    I work in music mastering & most places are using full range PMC's & various satellites from PMC DB1's to Leemas (without a subwoofer I may add).
    Our 5.1 room has no seperate active subwoofer, but is incorporated into the large PMC's.

    I haven't heard many diff. subwoofers, only MJ, Quad & Rel & I have to say the Rel's reproduce bass guitars & bass drums beautifully, & intergrated seemlessly
    with bookshlefs/satellites I heard them with. I have no doubt other brands
    can outdo Rel's in cinematic power, but they will have to go some to reproduce
    a bass guitar as well as Rel does.
     
  20. Rob Sinden

    Rob Sinden
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    Hi

    With all due respect - no one seems to be addressing my original point.

    My REL was great in a smaller room, but just couldn't cut the mustard in a really big space. If there is to be any science in this at all, in your answers you do need to answer the question .....How big is your room?
     
  21. smooveone

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    Steve.Ex "settled on 4 Servo 15's", damn, I can't even imagine that! I like the sound of that "quaking" SVS but the Servos have an unbeatable bang (or should I say quake) for the buck, heh..
    Samsaid, I had my Servo 15 set up in a room 14'x26'; my listening area was roughly half of that although the sub easily filled the entire volume of the room (with pressure waves, not just size). The sub was near the long wall, midway along its length. Hope thats useful. :cool:
     
  22. Ian J

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    With all due respect you made a number of points in your original post, all of which are matters of opinion and all of which have been addressed at least once.
     
  23. Rob Sinden

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  24. Moviebuff

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    Stop bragging - most of us don't live in mansions anway! :D :D :) :)
     

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