Rel T1 subwoofer

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by BAD Dave, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    Does anyone have any experience of the new Rel T series subwoofers?
    The T1 is the biggest in the range and looks like good value!

    Thanks,
    David
     
  2. Member 96948

    Member 96948
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    As a man with obvious superior taste in speakers, may I suggest we short circuit the value of Rels debate and move directly to discussing a sub that's going to be capable of doing your main speakers justice?:)

    The new budget 'T' series is as yet a bit of an unknown quantity, but past form has suggested, that whilst REL do make some good subs, their value is questioned by subs sold without having to incorporate dealer and/or distributor margins.

    I haven't heard a T1 and can't think of anybody on here who has. Fortunately Crustyloafer is in an ideal position to comment as he probably stocks most of the 'high street' brands. I have noticed that he is 'diplomatically' quiet on the relative values of the forum favourites (SVS and BK) though.


    Russell
     
  3. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    It's a fair cop! I know I will end up with something expensive but I can start low and work up! I have only just ordered a PMC speaker system.
    Having made that decision, I could not bear not agonising over the next thing and as a result my thoughts have turned prematurely to subwoofers!

    As I am already over budget I will probably make do with my Monitor Audio ASW100 for a while and get used to the sound of the PMC's before buying a matching sub.
     
  4. Nimby

    Nimby
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    One has to be so careful to avoid offending REL owner's sensibilities.

    REL were once a famous British make of well respected and rather expensive subwoofers.

    Now I believe they are badged, Chinese-manufactured products.

    Independent tests have shown that some REL products from the past are relatively overpriced for the performance on offer.

    Previous REL owners have moved on to other makes with pleasure and surprise at much lower prices than REL's previous offerings.

    Times and subwoofer performance expectations have moved on. As has Richard Lord, I believe.

    The family trait of relatively limited maximum output, limited extension and high distortion seems to have carried over to at least some the newer models.

    I would aim a little higher to find a better match to your speaker choice.
     
  5. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I am not in a position to comment directly on the relative performance of the new T Series from REL. My preference is towards the ST series which are much more geared toward high musical performance as well as movie performance. This is not a factor that I believe is involved in the design or components used in the R series or T series from REL.

    Unlike many on here, I do not run my system at ear splitting levels and do not therefore require the headroom that some of the bigger Velodyne DD series can offer. What I do value in my own REL Stentor 3 is its ability to blend in seamlessly with both my 2 channel and 6 channel systems and do so without drawing attention to itself (except physically of course).

    There are of course subwoofers that offer greater power and in certain circumstances greater performance that some of the REL models at the same price, however I have found none that offer the connection flexibility or the ability to perform as well for music which is a high priority for me.
     
  6. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    I think one of the reasons the ST range 'worked well' for music is because of it's lack of real low bass. With music you can make the whole bottom end tighter, and less woolly, and sound faster/in time with the rest of the music, if you filter/have very little below 30hz, which seemed to be the characteristic of the Rel Strata 5. I didn't like the Storm 5 as much for music; probably because it gave greater extension, but didn't sound as tight as the Strata. I think when a sub is reproducing good amounts down to 25hz, or less, it needs to be pretty competent, so you're not getting a load of woolly, boomy mess.
     
  7. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Some good points, Timbo.

    The quality of the VLF is what matters rather than the actual extension. IMHO.

    REL subs seem to have a family resemblance in having a humped response with poor headroom and high distortion. They have poor extension at any reasonable output levels without producing serious distortion.

    Slightly off topic regarding REL but illustrates of what I'm trying to get across:

    I was very happy with music using my (budget SVS model) 16-46PCI which went down (or rather up) to a very naughty 15Hz. :devil:

    Its level relative to the speakers for music was fairly insensitive depending on the type of music.

    Acoustic music was far more sensitive than electric or electronic. I could still dial the sub gain in by ear in just a few seconds without any effort.

    My IB goes straight on down past the 10Hz mark but the bass quality is much better again.

    I find it almost completely insensitive to relative level on any type of music.

    That said, many people don't have a smoothly responding room like my attic.

    Normal room modes will be vastly more important for many of you than it is for me.

    I didn't even need a BFD for my PCI: Yet many would generalise and say that such a frequency response would completely drown the music in soft, flabby bass. The truth is that it doesn't. My wife usually adds 6dB on the sub's gain when playing rock music at a steady 95-100dB.

    Generalisations about bass (and hifi) are often dangerously inadequate in describing all situations. Except perhaps when discussing REL subwoofers? :suicide:
     
  8. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    I need to read more about subwoofers! Most of this talk goes straight over my head.
    I need to hear how my trusty Monitor Audio ASW 100 goes with my new PMC FB1+ fronts, TB2 Centre & GB1+ rears. These are all large speakers with Transmission Line technology which go low anyway!

    I will probably replace my MA sub with something similarly compact, 12" front firing and unported. So far the SVS SB12+, BK XLS200 & Velodyne SPL 1000R have all caught my eye.
    I do not need massive low bass, just something reasonably low but good quality to prop up the PMC's (am I speaking the right language now?). The SVS SB12+ seems to fir the bill!
     
  9. Nimby

    Nimby
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    PMC claims a usable 22Hz from your speakers. Let's assume that means 22Hz -6dB. That will give you close to 100dB @ 25Hz I suppose.

    I think you need a subwoofer which can extend the response much further than that at higher levels and lower distortion to make a sub even worth using.

    No point in just overlapping what you have already.

    Which means a compact sub isn't even in the picture unless you cross over higher than necessary.

    So you are getting into "fingers on one hand" territory.

    SVS PB12+... Velodyne DD18.....B&W ASW850.. ...umm...

    ....there's a new SVS Ultra model coming soon. :cool:
     
  10. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    Thanks for your comments, Nimby.

    I don't know much about frequencies, but my MA ASW100 sub only seems to go down to 27 Hz!
    Does this make it inadequate or even obsolete?

    My head is starting to hurt!


    Any more details? For me, size is the most important initial consideration
     
  11. Nimby

    Nimby
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    No details apart from a larger 13.5" driver.

    SVS have usually used large ported (reflex) enclosures for their best subs.

    There are plenty of examples posted here showing images of the SVS PB12+ subs in domestic situations.

    I would imagine the new Ultra won't be very different in size but I can't be sure.

    Watch the SV Sound News page on their website or visit CES 2007 in the US for further details.
     
  12. Member 96948

    Member 96948
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    Dave,

    My GB1s are quoted by PMC as going as deep as 29Hz. As you will learn, that doesn't mean you want them to.

    I roll them off with the crossover at 80Hz. The result?

    Firstly and most importantly, the quality of the mid and treble frequencies are more transparent and frankly, effortless. This is because the demands placed on the amplifier are vastly reduced by redirecting the power hungry bass frequencies to the sub.

    To put it another way, greater demands are placed on both the speakers and amp, by having to reproduce lower frequencies. These demands result in distortion, as both the speakers and amp approach the limits of their 'performance envelope' trying to meet these demands. The harmonics of these distortions, manifest themselves far higher up the frequency range. Although they reduce in severity as frequency increases, they muddy other sounds at those freqencies AND require their own demands on power to be reproduced.

    Secondly, a good sub will reproduce these frequencies with lower levels of distortion, even if they are apparently only equal to those frequencies which your main speakers are quoted as reproducing. It will have an amp and driver optimised for reproducing low frequencies.

    An SB-12 may only look like your main speakers low frequency 'equal' on paper. In practice, it will kick lower, harder and cleaner, whilst benefitting the entire bandwidth of you reproduction chain by separating out the demands of (sub) bass from the rest of the audio chain.

    And that's for movies AND music.

    Russell
     
  13. ttree sound

    ttree sound
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    Whichever sub you go for, make sure that the crossover can be adjusted to below 30Hz, otherwise you will have duplication from the sub and PMCs particularly if you are contemplating using the front stereo pair for music as well.

    I use PMC floorstanders for this purpose and crossover my sub at 22Hz. Anything higher overlaps with the PMCs but at this setting music is perfectly produced.

    For movies I crossover the AV reveiver at 60Hz which seems to work particularly well for me.

    Make sure you have the flexibility to do both if thats your current or future intention - it is important. IMHO

    Even though the PMCs can produce low bass, there is much music out there that has bass content well below 30Hz that a good sub produces better.

    Take care with your choice and if possible listen to one partnered with your own equipment if you can.
     
  14. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I agree with all of that. The REL's ability to bypass the crossover on the low level input (the receiver deals with the crossover) but still have the sub's crssover active on the high level input makes them very flexible if you plan to use them for both movies and music.

    This allows both 'ttree sound' and myself do the following:

    I have the crossover on my AVR350 set to 60Hz and the crossover on the subwoofer bypassed on the low level input. This means that for movies the main speakers only have to go down to 60Hz which puts a lot less strain on the amp and the speakers and lets the subs do what it's good at.

    I also have the sub's own crossover on the high level input set to 24Hz. On the high level connection the subwoofer gets a full range signal directly from the speaker terminals that the front left and right speakers are connected to. This allows the subwoofer to still be active when playing back stereo only material even when AVR350 is in direct mode and not sending specific subwoofer information on the low level connection. This allows me to set a crossover on the subwoofer that blends in with the natural frequency reponse of the main speakers allowing them to operate as full range speakers whilst only extending their reponse with the subwoofer.

    This flexibility with connectivity is very rare and useful. As you will see both 'ttree sound' and myself have very similar equipment and have both chosen the same route in terms of how we use it and have set it up.

    BAD Dave, if you need me to explain this more clearly the you know where I am.
     
  15. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    WoW! Thanks for all the replies guys! I am beginning to understand a bit of this, although I did get a bit lost with Crusty's talk of low level and high level crossovers!

    It seems I have 2 options.

    1. To buy the best compact sub I can find and use it to take some of the strain of bass reproduction off my PMC speakers, allowing them to concentrate their efforts on mid & treble. I appreciate this would not plough really deep, bass wise but is aesthetically the best option (with a high WAF).
    The SVS SB12+ looks a good option.

    2. To buy a bigger sub and place it somewhere else in the room. Better acoustically but low WAF.
     
  16. Moviebuff

    Moviebuff
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    I think that statement could not be levelled at all of the ST range - as, by definition, from base to top model, their abilities (and yes, prices) were quite wide apart.
     
  17. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Dave

    Relax a little.

    I think you really need dealer support to maximise your system's potential at this level of sophistication with your admitted level of experience.

    Everybody has to start somewhere. You've started further up the system ladder than most without having learned the ropes by putting together cheaper systems first.

    Nothing wrong with that (at all) but you are being asked to make decisions that you simply do not have the ground rules to understand.

    Lean on your dealer for professional advice even if you may feel you need to upgrade your first sub a couple of years down the road.

    Upgrading happens all the time so why agonise over your first subwoofer purchase? :)

    Enjoy your system whether you end up with an SVS or some other make. :smashin:
     
  18. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    Thanks, nimby. You are absolutely right.
    I am going to sit down with a beer now.
    Do you fancy one?
    David
     
  19. Nimby

    Nimby
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    I think I'll have a pint of "Old Speckled Hen" thanks.

    As long as it isn't one of those horrible Danish frozen lagers. ;)

    Cheers! :)
     

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