Question Sub for 40W Stereo System

squidfish

Novice Member
Hi all,

Like many before me I'm having a hard time settling on a sub to fill out my stereo system. Amp is Denon PMA-30, speakers Q Acoustics 3020i. No plans to jump to surround sound anytime soon, and while the amp is also hooked up to my bluray player, what I truly care about is music.

I'm leaning toward BK Gemini II, but I've seen too many references to the XLS200 being a significant notch above. What I haven't figured out from hundreds of forum posts is whether that'll hold true given that they'll be paired with bookshelves (on the Q Acoustics stands), on fairly low volume. Of course I'd like to save the 100 euros if I can.

I live in a condo, concrete floors. Living room area is only about 3x3m, with tapered ceilings going down to about 1m where the music equipment is, but it all opens onto an open kitchen, making the entire area ~3x10m.

I also took note of the Rel t/zero mk iii. The big advantage here is that I can get it delivered in a day, whereas current lead time on Rel subs are ~25 working days given Covid set backs. Would be interested in any opinions as to whether this one might cut is too. And of course I'm open to other sub suggestions, but I'm on a budget. Located in Italy.

TIA
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Well the cabinet is nearly same, XLS200 has better driver from Peerless and almost double the power so it`s better product and personally when i had Gemini i always wondered/regretted slightly not getting the better smaller one. Some members have compared them head to head and with movies i think there was difference when pushed, but for music both did good job what i remember. If you easily get buyers remorse get the better one. Technically it´s the better product which will have extra performance on offer if you ever need it and for many people this is long term purchase so..

Looking at your total room size 30sqm which you need to consider not just the listening area, most people would look in to P12-300SB (440€) as minium i can imagine cause for little extra money it offers noticeable jump from XLS200. I didn`t use my Gemini for music much, movies/series mostly. But i think it really would perform better in hifi system rather than movies where it comes bit short. Can´t really fault it otherwise as it´s nice looking and very well made, didn´t have issues during 4years. Bass quality was also much better than what i had before with the cheap ported subs, aka boom boxes.

Knowing now that you get hungrier with this hobby so easily i would save up until you can afford P12 or SVS SB1000 even if you listen low volume cause there won´t never be issue it being too much if the physical size is ok. We just had a member who ordered REL T5i and SVS SB1000 for music system. SVS sounded better and did things the small REL couldn´t. The T-Zero is way too small, maybe ideal for some tiny bedroom. 6,5" driver is usually found in bookshelf speakers.





Keep us posted what you decide. :)
 

WozzaB

Well-known Member
I had the BK Gemini II, it was a nice little upgrade from my Q Acoustics sub, but not a massive difference, so I sold it and got an XLS200, and even though they are the same size it was a big difference in my room, due to the better driver and more power as @Gasp3621 said.

I did move on to a pair of XXLS400's as I wanted more bass, but if you're looking at the smaller BK's, then the XLS200 is worth the extra over the Gemini II in my opinion.
 
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squidfish

Novice Member
Thanks to both of you chiming in! Yes, I think I can safely strike the t/zero off the list of contenders... I had looked at the t/5i too but at that point BK is ahead by just too much in value.

Interesting that the room might favor the P12. I was assuming that there could be increased volume/mode/dropoff problems in a larger room with a smaller sub---if I wanted to have music on while cooking, say---, but that with the listening area being small that it shouldn't make too much of a difference when it came to active music listening. Am I wrong about that?

Looking up a size the Double Gem really stands out to me... no peerless driver but it's just so gosh darn sexy. But it seems like that's the problem with BK pricing doesn't it, at every level there's a small stretch you can make for some nice increase... until you don't have space for a coffee table in your small condo anymore and the monolith is blocking your view of the TV 😅
 

WozzaB

Well-known Member
For a lot of people there is always that "what if" thought when you get a smaller/less powerful sub, I really wish I had listened to advice when I was getting my first proper sub, I could have saved some time and money! But it depends what you want from a sub, monster movie bass or more to add a solid bottom end to the your current speakers for music etc.

So I went in this order, Q 7070si - BK Gemini II - BK XLS200 - Dual BK XXLS400's and currently Dual XTZ 12.17 Edge's as I'm after more powerfuI deep bass for movies. I went in that order as I was always worried about the next step up being too much for my neighbours, but in reality you can always turn down a powerful sub, but if you get a small lower powered sub and it's not enough then there's nothing you can do, apart from upgrade!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Double Gem would be great alternative. It should have similar performance to P12. Narrow cab and ideal to hide in corner with some plant on top of it to make wife happy. 😁 Few pictures below from members..

20200123_170142-jpg.1291432


20200123_170159-jpg.1291433




Next to Monolith:

gem-jpg.1110377


20200706_140609_hdr-jpg.1329961


20200706_140642_hdr-jpg.1329962


20200706_140625_hdr-jpg.1329963
 

squidfish

Novice Member
Ah, thanks for the pics! OK looks like I have some thinking to do then. I saw on another thread that BK are short on parts for the 12" drivers, so it'll be between the XLS200 or the Double Gem... 25 work days is already long enough...

My biggest problem is that I'm not even sure I'm going to be in Italy this time next year, so part of me feels a bit silly decking out a hifi system with everything I want... the other part of me thinks that there's uncertainty ahead for the economy whatever the case, so might as well enjoy it while I can. Even if it ends up being relocated to my in-laws house there'll always be a room for me when we visit :)
 

squidfish

Novice Member
Thanks, I noticed that myself. Yes unfortunately we've got our hearts set on a mahogany or walnut, perhaps cherry in a pinch. If anyone is interested in that finish though I'd jump on it right away---in my e-mail correspondence with BK they mentioned that the subs would be "pulled" from ebay until after the New Year, I think not just because of parts but also the current backlog in orders.
 

squidfish

Novice Member
Just pulled the trigger on the Double Gem, walnut finish. It'll be more than a month, but can't wait to hear that bass on Melody Nelson!
 

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