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Should I go for a REL sub ?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by pmladeira, Dec 9, 2002.

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  1. pmladeira

    pmladeira
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    I'm after a sub to complete my system which includes :

    Receiver - Harman Kardon AVR5000
    Front speakers - B&W 603S3
    Center speaker - B&W LCR600
    Rear speakers - B&W 601S3

    I was after the Q series from REL, Quake or Q150, but after reading some posts, I see that more pleople dislike this series than the people who really likes.

    Here in Portugal, we don't have a dealer for MJ Acoustics or Velodyne, but I can always get one of them directly from the UK dealer.

    Should I buy a subwoofer which I cannot test and follow other users comments ?

    And which could be the best subwoofer for my system ?
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Although everyone rightly claims that the sound produced by speakers is highly subjective and you should always demo first to ensure the sound that they produce is to your liking, the same is not so true of subwoofers.

    The MJ Acoustics Pro 50 is quite a nice little thing but you might think about something a little more powerful to go with the speakers that you already have.
     
  3. pmladeira

    pmladeira
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    And which could be the more powerful sub that you are talking about ?
     
  4. juboy

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    It is true that the Rel Q150 was so completely rubbished by Uncle Eric that there aren't many people on these forums who will claim that it's a World beater... mainly because Eric is an acknowledged authority on such things and people tend not to challenge the views of such contributors (or are quickly shot down if they do).

    I personally own a Q150 and find it does a great job in my system and in my listening environment. It doesn't hum, is easy to integrate and I couldn't possibly listen to it at the level necessary to induce distortion, so don't find that a problem.

    I dare say it's not really worth £500, which is why I bought mine brand new for £385. I also dare say there are comparable and probably slightly better subs out there for similar money but I needed something fairly small.

    I personally do not believe the Q150 to be the pile of crap that Eric has suggested it is but if you are prepared to discount it completely on the grounds of what has been written on these forums, you need look no further than buying a Velodyne from a certain... Uncle Eric.
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Without rubbishing any competing subs, the Velodyne range is good and are sold at a competitive price through the Power Buys.
     
  6. GJC

    GJC
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    Can we have an attached copy of a Hearing Certificate for anyone who cares to offer reviews of any equiptment...

    This will prevent any confusion between sweet treble and tinnitus.
    Or
    Muddy Bass and Very Low Distortion bass.

    :D
    ---
    Moderators: Can a seperate Sub-Forum for High End Kit be setup. This will enable budgets to be distinguished, views to be seperated and put into context within there relevant price area.

    Should advice be sought on a particular product then a key individual in that forum can be a Point of Advice. E.G, The forums could be segregated by System Price from New.

    This will ensure that someone who listens to a £500 sub will use a lead for example within the context of the cost of that sub, and not, a lead that would ordinarily be used with a £2000 sub etc. (assuming that that would be the case?!)

    My jist is that systems are put into context.


    -------

    Disclaimer:
    This is not a jibe at any particular individual/s, and as such please take as an opinion only. (Bullet proof vest now on)
     
  7. juboy

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    Actually, GJC makes some valid points.

    To put my use of the Q150 in context, I use it with a Denon 2802 amp (which isn't the best in the world) and a £50 Ecosse 'Conductor' cable, mainly because I thought a £500 sub deserved better than the freebie that came with it. I also accept that the Conductor is a budget cable.

    As I use the Kef Q.55.2/Kef Q.15.2/Q.95c x2 set up for my 6 speakers, I again accept it's a budget speaker system... and one which I feel the Q150 helps bring to life.

    Looking at pmladeira's set-up, I'd say it's in similar territory, hence my bothering to post in this thread with some comments I hoped might be of assistance.
     
  8. Doomlord_uk

    Doomlord_uk
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    Hi, first off, as well as considering REL or MJ Acoustics you might like to consider trying a B&W sub. If you've bought B&W speakers then I imagine you could buy a B&W sub from the same place. Stands to reason. I'm not aware of any particular comparisons between these and other subs - but I know B&W to be capable of very good designs and given it's size and engineering resources then I think it's reasonable that any sub they build will be pretty good. But any manufacturer can fluff a product and this advice leaves you none-the-wiser as to which is best which is what you want to know, isn't it? :)

    My tuppence ha'penny-worth says that REL make excellent subs and that includes the Q series as well as the ST series which rank amongst the best in the world IMHO. Richard Lord would be the first to admit (and I've heard him admit it) that the Q series is geared towards HT systems that require much greater bass output than any (normal) music but that doesn't stop them being musical, transparent and uncoloured. I've owned a Q200 and whilst it was difficult to set up it put in a sterling performance and quite frankly if it stood out at all it was because it plainly outclassed the rest of the kit it was used with. My friend to whom I sold it still has it and gets a great deal from it. A REL Q200/201 would not be out of keeping with your system and, cash in hand, should cost little more than £550 I should think, if not even less if you are lucky. If you possibly can, try before you buy. At least that way you can satisfy yourself that what you are getting works for you.

    I think actually it's not critical to go out to get the best that your money can buy. If it does a damn good job - that's great. The goalposts and the standards always move and the more time you spend looking the more you end up chasing your tail. A different approach to buying a sub (or any other component) might be to say - I need it to do a job. Does it do the job? I reckon I'm gonna get good an proper flamed for saying that... but it's an idea.

    There is certainly a lot of support for Velodyne on this forum, but to be brutally honest, how much of this is due to Uncle Eric and his 'powerbuys'? value for money is an important factor in a purchasing decision but it doesn't really answer the question of which is best. Does Uncle Eric sell REL? if not, why not? A man who sells product A is naturally going to be inclined to rubbish product B if it is likely to lose him sales. I'm in no position to criticise Eric or call into question his integrity as a person or his expertise in assessing audio equipment - but he still has a vested interest in one product.

    I've not heard a Velodyne sub and I look forward to the day I get the chance to. I have heard REL subs both at home, in-store and at Richard Lord's superlative Hifi Show demonstrations. I know how good REL subwoofers are.

    GJC - I wonder how dividing the forum into low- and high-end would work in practise? Where do you draw the dividing line and what about those people or pieces of equipment that cross that line? I think if someone comes along and says - what cable should I use with my £3000 sub then no-ones going to (seriously) recommend a ratshack cable, and vice versa. I think most people understand the concept of price context and certainly any crazy recomendations would get called out wouldn't they?
     
  9. pmladeira

    pmladeira
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    Doomlord_uk,

    maybe I'll follow your advice and test the subwoofers from B&W. I just went after REL because I always heard they make good subs.
    I disagree with you and you say that I should not go for the best money could buy, because I'm not going to spend 850 EUR (maybe I'll get a discount) for a Q150 and I week later find that for the same money I could have bought a better sub.
    A agree with you when you said that the more I look the more confused I get.

    And I was introduced to Home Cinema I never thought buying a product would be so difficult, you have so many options that at some point you don't know what to buy.

    And even more here in Portugal. Even if I wanted to try the subs from MJ Acoustics or Velodyne I couldn't do it, because there is no dealer for Portugal.
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You can be forgiven not knowing the established members of this forum as you have only been a member for a few days.

    As everyone who has been around a while knows, Eric's personal subwoofers were a pair of REL Q100 which he sold when he became a Velodyne dealer and replaced them with a Velodyne HGS-18.

    He has always rated the older REL Q series and ST range and has never run them down. Look back at pre-powerbuy posts and compare them with current ones and you will see that his comments have always been consistent.
     
  11. uncle eric

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    I agree, it can't be a pile of poop because juboy owns one.
     
  12. uncle eric

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    Thanks Ian, and to prove this fact, have a look at this thread posted long before I became a Velodyne dealer.
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=31044&highlight=rel+subterfuge

    May I also point out that there are scores of products in the market place I could choose to sell. Sadly, many do not come anywhere near my high standards of value in terms of their price performance ratio. This includes the 150.
     
  13. helipilot

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    Have you considered the Anthony Gallo MPS-150 Sub.

    I did back to back testing with the REL Q150 and bought the Gallo.

    I found the sound from the Gallo to be much more musical than the REL.

    Ideally you should listen for yourself then decide.
     
  14. Geoffrey Shrek

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    Careful, Juboy will think you work for Uncle Eric :D
     
  15. juboy

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    The funny thing is, I very carefully considered buying a Velodyne from Uncle Eric. From what I've read, the guy is helpful and extremely knowledgable. If I was in the position of requiring a high end home cinema installation, I reckon Eric would be my first choice.

    In fact, I was offered slightly more money for my second hand Q150 than it would have cost to have bought the smallest Velo from Eric.

    The thing is, despite the 'upgrade' bug biting hard, I realised that I liked the Q150.

    What I love about this Forum is that several people will have read that last sentence, sneered and made an instant judgement that I obviously know nothing about what I'm talking about.

    In many posts I attempt to re-dress a balance that I think is way out. People come on here and ask if they should buy a multi-award winning, budget sub to upgrade their system and are categorically told 'No' (probably by people who have read Eric's sermons but not actually heard the thing in real life) - I just don't think that's very fair - much like some people feel certain mag reviews of the Gallos aren't fair.

    I have said many times that the Q150 isn't anywhere near the best sub out there, probably not even the best sub at it's price point. Even this, it would appear, isn't negative enough for some people's liking.
     
  16. pmladeira

    pmladeira
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    Do they have a web site ? I need to check if they have a dealer in Portugal.
     
  17. Ian J

    Ian J
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  18. Matt F

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    So what does stop them from being musical, transparent and uncloured then? ;)

    Seriously, a good sub should be good for movies and music and a sub that isn't good for music will not actually be any good for movies, unless you're just after a load of ill-defined rumblings.

    If someone says a subwoofer is geared towards HT then to me that suggests that it isn't that musical which means that it isn't reproducing bass accurately due to distortion.

    I'd say that the problem with judging subwoofers is that unless you have heard a subwoofer with very low distortion levels, you have nothing to judge other subwoofers against i.e. all you will ever have heard is distorted bass (be it from nightclubs, car stereo's or subwoofers with distortion) - you can say that one subwoofer is better than another but you can't say whether the better of the two is actually producing clean bass.

    I originally had an RELQ50 then changed it to a Q200 for space reasons. The Q200 seemed pretty good to me with movies but wasn't that great with music - it sounded a little bit "slow" - in other words was not playing cleanly.

    I then heard truly clean bass for the first time in the form of a Velodyne HGS15 and it was quite a startling experience because my first impression was that there wasn't as much bass - of course there was - in fact there was more - deeper, cleaner bass - what there was less of was distortion. It was quite an eye-opener I can tell you!

    Matt.
     
  19. Doomlord_uk

    Doomlord_uk
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    I think the point was that the Q series produce considerable bass at a high level compared with a similar costing ST range sub and therefore are better suited to the huge amounts of bass f/x in movies. The Q200 is not much more than the Strata III in price yet outputs (subjectively) two or three times the acoustic power, with much greater slam. I also felt it was subjectively deeper. Both subs work well with music yet the Strata III is definitely underpowered for HT use. I don't think it follows that a product geared to HT use must have higher distortion or an inferior performance envelope.

    I'm currently looking for a cheap av system for use with my PC. Yet although games and movies will both be used as well as music it's music that is the acid test and that's what I'm using to audition equipment. Speakers that can't do music don't get to handle movie soundtracks in my house. But I know well enough that just because a speaker (or sub) can reproduce beautiful acoustic chamber music for instance doesn't mean it can handle The Fast and The Furious. I think REL are quite right in producing a line of products optimised, if I may use that term, for use in the ever growing HT market. Don't forget that REL were producing and selling subs before HT took off at all.

    Also, note that the Q range come in under the Stadium, Stentor and Studio in the overall REL price range. The two ST subs in the Q's price range are underpowerd, IMO, for serious HT use. I certainly found the Srata III to be inadequate.

    I read your post from your link, Eric, and I admit to some surprise, but I guess my milage and yours vary some! I certainly remember the older Q100 - that was a good sub. It's closest competitor I felt was the Kef 30B, which was close but no equal. I too read of RL's visit to the cube factory - there's no denying where he got his inspiration from.

    Well, I for one am a fan of the Q200. I owned one and was thoroughly impressed. I've not had the pleasure of auditioning a velodyne but if anyone in the Manchester area would like to offer me the chance then I'd welcome it. But it does bother me when I read 'akc, the Q200 was crap!!1!' Whether it's the best or not, it ain't half bad.
     
  20. Matt F

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    I think "subjective" is the key word here because if you look at the +/-3dB figures, the Q200 drops to 25Hz whereas the Strata III drops to 20Hz - in other words, the Strata III produces deeper bass.

    It's also worth noting that whilst the Q200 has double the power of the Strata III, the Q200 has a 4 ohm rated driver whereas the Strata III has an (easier to drive) 8ohm one. Then, to compound this, the Strata III's cabinet is practically twice the volume of the Q200.

    Matt.
     
  21. helipilot

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    UK Website here
     
  22. Doomlord_uk

    Doomlord_uk
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    Matt, where do you get the -3dB figures? I just checked on Rel's website and they only quote -6dB figures, 18Hz for the Strata and 17Hz for the Q200. During my possession of the '200 I tested it both with a set of test tones (from the Sounc Check 2 test disc) and some silly car bass CDs from the US. The notes for these latter mentioned that some of the tracks were based on sub-20Hz notes and nothing else. Not very musical - but the point is that at 20Hz the 200 still quite happily chucks the bass out. I always had it set at the minimum 25Hz for upper roll-off. I rarely turned the gain up high (except for fun!) and got great bass from it. I can appreciate that the Strata was engineered differently from the 200 - but so what? So far as I can tell it's no different in principle to the Velodyne cubes.
     
  23. Matt F

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    Hi - REL used to quote +/-3dB figures before they got daft and started using +/-6dB - maybe the marketing men got their way. Some stores, however, are still using the +/-3dB figures as I guess they put them on there before REL changed their figures: http://www.avland.co.uk/rel/q200e/index.htm

    You should also note that the REL figures are "in room" figures i.e. the output is augmented by the room itself i.e. even the +/-dB 25Hz figure maybe somewhat massaged.

    The problem with measuring output yourself using test discs and an SPL meter is that it is easy to pick up distortion which will register as output on the meter - this happened in a recent thread where a chap measured his MJA Pro 50 (50 watt, 8" driver) outputting a fair old whack at 15Hz! Now, a 15", 300 watt, Velodyne CHT15 will only go flat to 23Hz (in an anechoic chamber) so why did this guy measure output at 15Hz from his tiny sub? The answer is that the little Pro 50 was producing a load of distortion and the SPL meter was picking this up of course.

    All I was trying to get across regarding the Strata was that because it has a bigger enclosure, it can produce lower bass with less amplification - it was the same with the Q100 - big enclosure, 12" driver, 100 watt amp - deep, fairly clean bass. This leads on nicely to the Velodyne "cubes" - I guess you're talking about the HGS10 here - now here is a foot square cube that can go flat to 20Hz but it's engineering is quite different to the Q200 - firstly it uses servo control to keep distortion to 1% or lower and secondly it uses a 1250 watts (RMS) amplifier!! In other words, to get a foot cube subwoofer to go flat to 20Hz you need some very special engineering and a massive amplifier.

    Matt.
     
  24. uncle eric

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    Great post Matt
     
  25. Brox

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    I'm sure the Velodyne is better but it's also a lot bigger and quite ugly - for those of us with small rooms the 150 is a good compromise.
     
  26. Matt F

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    Which one? The Velodyne HGS10 that I was talking about above is actually smaller than the REL Q150 - it's nearer the size of the Quake! Ugly? No uglier than the Q150. The only thing it can't compete with the Q150 on is price - it ain't cheap but quality costs.

    Matt.
     
  27. Guest

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    Stop bullying people Matt.


    Adzman.;)
     
  28. Apocalypse

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    And another innocent thread has turned into the "Forum versus Velodyne Owners" :rolleyes:

    I think the problem lies with people assuming Velodyne owners are being arrogant/showing off when infact they are merely trying to help. I consciously try and avoid talking about my Vel sub now as it's a sure fire way of starting an argument in here. MattF's post above was IMO spot on especially the bit where he talks about hearing "clean bass" for the first time. Why do members get defensive when they are told their sub's stats are wrong. My previous sub the B&W ASW675 was quoted by the manufacturer in the manual as having a 17Hz extension, because I didn't know better at the time I assumed that the figure was of course true as surely a manufacturer can't lie. It's only when I learned about the term "flat to ##Hz" and how to measure it in your room that I realised the truth, my figures at normal llistening levels of 75Db gave the B&W a flat extension to about 27Hz :eek:

    After that moment I knew that everything people like Uncle Eric etc were saying about the "true" low extension of a sub was not just anti-REL/anti-MJ Pro rhetoric but was the truth the whole truth and nothing but......

    But here again you need to be sensible, once I had set up the B&W in it's sweet spot I was very pleased with it, it was far better than the 2 x PS1000 (Paradigm) subs I used previously and it's musical prowess was leaps and bounds ahead of the dual PS1000s.

    I went for the HGS-18 because the lure of this so called clean bass etc was too much for me to ignore, it wasn't about me being unhappy with the B&W more a case of if I didn't get the HGS I'd always be wondering what I was missing. At this point I'm not going to go into the comparison between the two subs as that's not the point of this post, my reason for posting is to hopefully mend this silly feud that constantly erupts whenever someone sings the praises oh his/her sub. Velodyne owners too aren't innocent in all this, though the comments are tongue in cheek most of the time IMO, it's obvious that they still create animosity some of the time. As I mentioned above, I was very pleased with the B&W and I wouldn't have liked someone telling me it's just a toy and that I should get a Velo. It seems this forum has forgotten how to advise a fellow member but instead tries to assimilate that member into his collective (must stop watching that show :D )

    Regards
    Phil
     
  29. pmladeira

    pmladeira
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    I'm glad I had so many replys for this thread, because I've started another one some days ago and nobody post a reply :( .

    As I understood the Q150 goes deep but at some volume levels it starts to distort. At the same price range, what's the Velodyne model that I should consider?

    I'm going to have a Q150 and Quake for a about a week to make some testing.

    Could someone tell how can I hear all those not so nice things you tell about those sub woofers ?
     
  30. juboy

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    According to some people, it's very simple: look at the back of the sub and make sure the letters REL are there.
     
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