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Sub to replace 2 x KEF 45B Subs in THX system

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Jules, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Jules

    Jules
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    I have the KEF Reference THX speakers and use 2 KEF THX 45B subs.
    However, the subs are probably the weakest link in my set up, and I'm looking to replace them both with a single more capable sub.

    A wise move?
    If so, any recommendations good for music as well as movies.

    I always fancied a nice big REL as they seem really well built, but they also seem really expensive.
     
  2. rags

    rags
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    Whats your budget Jules ?
     
  3. Jules

    Jules
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    With the sale of my 2 existing subs and an iminent pay ward due from work, I reckon a maximum somewhere around £1200.
    However, I 'm hoping something much better could be had for considerably less than that.
    If I have to spend a bit more to avoid disappointment I wouldn't rule it out.

    The combined value of my 2 KEF Subs when new would have been around £1600, but I'm aware they were probably over priced.
    AVIA test signals indicate they only go down to around 30Hz, are rather sloppy sounding with music, and the cabinets tend to rattle when they're pushed.
     
  4. russraff

    russraff
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    Yeah, the old KEF THX subs were a bit "slow" sounding and didn't really go down too low.
    I was recently informed that a M&K sub I heard a while back was the VX-1250 which can be bought for that kind of money. Even less in the none THX guise (V-125). Surprisingly powerful, despite the "modest" 125W power supply (not that much store should be placed in this regard). Thing is M&K are a bit overpriced in this country, which may put you off.
    Then there is the B&W ASW750 - a very powerful and articulate sub indeed. Equally at home with music and movies.
    One sub I have heard a lot of praise for is the Velodyne SPL range, the SPL-1200 is in your price range. I haven't heard it myself, but I would try to audition one if I were you, such is it's reputation.
    All the above options can be demonstrated by your local dealer, though the Velodyne may prove difficult to find. However, a lot of people have been singing the praises of SVS subs recently. If you can find someone from the forums willing to show you what one is like then this may also be an option. SVS only deal through the 'net directly to the customer. The benefit is reduced cost for any given performance, but increased hassle, such as importing the unit from the US. Many posts have been generated on this subject. A PB2 plus "regular" sub or if you prefer the cylinder type, then the 16-46CS+ with Amp seems to fit. There are others with more know-how regarding SVS that can advise better.

    Russell
     
  5. Stellavision

    Stellavision
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    I have the B&W ASW750 and it is a superb sub.
    At RRP of £1200 it should be within your budget and I would certainly reccomend you try and have a listen.
     
  6. Jules

    Jules
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    B&W do seem to attract plenty of positive comments, but I'm put off by that 'big square box' design.

    Moving to single sub is going to bring about changes to my room layout. (each of the existing subs acts as a stand for the main
    L & R speakers).
    This in turn is going to require a subwoofer able to sit more discretely against a wall whilst the main speakers sit on 'proper' stands.
    So I'm drawn towards a REL, perhaps a Stadium III.

    I guess my question is not just about what sub would be best, but whether its a good idea in my circumstances to sacrifice the benefits of using 2 subs.
    Its very unlikely I'll have the money in future to buy a 2nd super-sub, so I can't aford to make a mistake.
     
  7. russraff

    russraff
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    I have tried two subs before and to be honest, I found it near impossible to set up (two StrataIII). I would much prefer a single better sub that two lesser one's, but that is just my opinion. The actual sonic gains didn't seem like it was going to be worth it either.

    So you'd like a Stadium 3, then? You are aware that the Stadium comes in an even bigger less square box, are't you? ;)
    Joking aside, not only is the REL Stadium III overpriced compared with the competition, but it produces an awful lot of distortion. For more read the thread "Superb Subwoofer Reviews in Hifi News" or buy the latest edition of the magazine. Basically the Stadium III always runs at a 10% distortion, which is very poor and doesn't have nearly the bass extension the website would lead you to believe.

    If it were my money, I'd go for the B&W 750 , which should go down to 20Hz as the website states (B&W seem to be much more realistic than some manufacturers).

    Of course KEF have a completely new range, too, which I'd forgotten about. The PSW 4000 may be worth a listen and is perhaps more pleasing to look at than most?

    Russell
     
  8. rags

    rags
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    Although I havent heard the PSW4000 - I did have a listen to two PSW5000s in a rather good system. I was quite impressed. The PSW4000 might be worth auditioning.
     
  9. Jules

    Jules
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    Thanks Russell,

    That's interesting, and certainly will encourage me to take a closer look at the B&W.

    From what I gather though, the REL is taller and narrower, meaning it protrudes far less into the room, and it's designed to be positioned along a wall. Very handy.

    Also, since my main speakers are THX designs, their frequency response rolls off at 80Hz, so its vital the sub I choose is tuneful at higher frequencies as well.
    A low frequency response would be nice, but I'd sacrifice a few Hz in order to get something that can play a better tune.

    Isn't that 10% distortion mentioned about the REL in the review only at 25Hz?
    Surely not all the time! That would be really bad.
     
  10. SamirP

    SamirP
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    Hi Jules
    Do you want a brand new sub or are you looking at second hand aswell?

    I've seen Velo HGS15's go for about £1200 and HGS18 for about £1500:)
     
  11. Jules

    Jules
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    Hi
    I'm only looking at new.
    I don't want to gamble on a used sub... you never know how hard a life it might have had.

    Besides, part of the thrill with this hobby is getting something brand new out of it's box. (sad but true!)
     
  12. SamirP

    SamirP
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    Yeah I must admit I'm a sucker for brand new stuff ;)
     
  13. russraff

    russraff
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    There is nothing like the smell of brand new stuff fresh from the box! :D

    If you look at the graph, the distortion does seem to be peaking at the 70-80Hz range, but only slightly. The percentage of distortion seems to remain broadly the same regardless of frequency. Quite frankly, I was very surprised at what I saw especially as the Infinity Kappa manages ten times less distortion at precisely half the price (albeit with less outright bass extension).

    Russell
     

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