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Subwoofer upgrade?

goatlips

Active Member
Good evening all,

I am looking to upgrade my subwoofer, I am currently running a Rel Q150E. I have a few options I am thinking about....

Buy another 2nd hand Rel q150e, two better than one right??

Or Upgrade my Rel and get an either SVS P2000 or a BK monolith plus??

I really like my Rel esp for music but I do feel like it runs out of power at only 150wats.

I have a normal medium size living room.

Which is better? Your view please guys?
 

Gasp3621

Well-known Member
@goatlips

Monolith Plus/PB2000 would be different animal to Q150e with typical action/scifi movies. You are going to get lot more impact & rumble generally and especially deep bass which you probably never heard of yet as the tiny REL can´t produce it.
There is one new gloss black DF M+ as grade-b likely in mint condition under 600£ if intrested, from BKE.

Q150e has 17litre cabinet, 10" driver, 150w rms amp so basically its like comparing BK Gemini II to BK Monolith. Specs are identical. From experience i can say there is massive difference between those two on movies. One is more suited for small room with music or light HT in mind. Mono can put a smile on your face and really give that cinematic feel which the 2 little RELs wont! You do get other benefits with dual subwoofers, but i get a sense that you want to really step it up this time (for movies) with the new expensive av-receiver in play also.

SVS PB2000 is even larger which offers some extra performance over BK and modern design
(class-d amp & DSP)with 5year amp warranty. The new Pro model can be controlled with app, new driver and amp also. Forum advertiser has still few "old" PB2000s available as in manufacturer refurbished with full warranty for 705£!

I think @Ultrasonic could give you some idea how Monolith sounds when listening different type of music and i assume he blasts some movies (romantic comedies and dramas) too. ;) Although he has the "basic" version not Plus, there shouldn´t be much between those in real life. You do have Dirac Live in the Arcam receiver which will come handy and hopefully few spots to try where the sub works best. We can assume there is space as you are considering these large models and wife/gf should be warned cause they are massive boxes compared to that tiny shoebox of REL.

If the music listening has higher priority then one could consider dual sealed XXLS400 from the BK`s ebay site at 400£/each (buy second when they get same finish there), i assume that is within budget cause PB2000 normally costs over 800£.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Just a quick reply after the monster one above!

I'd agree with getting a better (bigger) sub over a second little REL. There are loads of options in between this and the likes of a Monolith or PB2000 though. I assume you've checked their dimensions? I'm sure a single XXLS400 would be a big upgrade, and these are rather more compact. It's also a sealed sub like your REL which tend to be what most view as better for music if this is a high priority. I've not owned a sealed sub to comment though and as mentioned I very happily use a Monolith in my system which I use something like 80/20 music/movies.
 

maxkolonko123

Active Member
I did own a Monolith df + for few years and it is a awesome sub for the money and powerful but after upgrade to psa 3010 Im not looking back, but at the same time u can't compare those too, but if you will choose Monolith cos its only what u got in your budget range I wouldnt hesitate at all, cause I know you won't find anything better then that
 

goatlips

Active Member
@goatlips

Monolith Plus/PB2000 would be different animal to Q150e with typical action/scifi movies. You are going to get lot more impact & rumble generally and especially deep bass which you probably never heard of yet as the tiny REL can´t produce it.
There is one new gloss black DF M+ as grade-b likely in mint condition under 600£ if intrested, from BKE.

Q150e has 17litre cabinet, 10" driver, 150w rms amp so basically its like comparing BK Gemini II to BK Monolith. Specs are identical. From experience i can say there is massive difference between those two on movies. One is more suited for small room with music or light HT in mind. Mono can put a smile on your face and really give that cinematic feel which the 2 little RELs wont! You do get other benefits with dual subwoofers, but i get a sense that you want to really step it up this time (for movies) with the new expensive av-receiver in play also.

SVS PB2000 is even larger which offers some extra performance over BK and modern design
(class-d amp & DSP)with 5year amp warranty. The new Pro model can be controlled with app, new driver and amp also. Forum advertiser has still few "old" PB2000s available as in manufacturer refurbished with full warranty for 705£!

I think @Ultrasonic could give you some idea how Monolith sounds when listening different type of music and i assume he blasts some movies (romantic comedies and dramas) too. ;) Although he has the "basic" version not Plus, there shouldn´t be much between those in real life. You do have Dirac Live in the Arcam receiver which will come handy and hopefully few spots to try where the sub works best. We can assume there is space as you are considering these large models and wife/gf should be warned cause they are massive boxes compared to that tiny shoebox of REL.

If the music listening has higher priority then one could consider dual sealed XXLS400 from the BK`s ebay site at 400£/each (buy second when they get same finish there), i assume that is within budget cause PB2000 normally costs over 800£.
Thanks, that was the awesome reply I was looking for and yes I want to step up big time with my new receiver.

I think I do have the space for it behind the tv but I will make up a cardboard box just to see how big it really is. As you have also stated I've not really heard proper LFE with films but I would say 80/20 music and films. I bet you was laughing typing that. I was just wonder shall I spend the extra on the SVS? My budget is about £800, I'll just piss the neighbor's off if I go larger lol. I think a ported sub will match my music type that has lots of deep bass, old sch drum & bass rock etc.

Thanks for the reply, I'll get my REL in the classifieds tonight! 👍
 

Gasp3621

Well-known Member
Thanks, that was the awesome reply I was looking for and yes I want to step up big time with my new receiver.

I think I do have the space for it behind the tv but I will make up a cardboard box just to see how big it really is. As you have also stated I've not really heard proper LFE with films but I would say 80/20 music and films. I bet you was laughing typing that. I was just wonder shall I spend the extra on the SVS? My budget is about £800, I'll just piss the neighbor's off if I go larger lol. I think a ported sub will match my music type that has lots of deep bass, old sch drum & bass rock etc.

Thanks for the reply, I'll get my REL in the classifieds tonight! 👍
There isn´t huge difference in price with M+ and that manufacturer refurbished item, but if you jump to PB2000 Pro then quite a jump!

Here you can get some idea about the size. Gemini II / XLS200 has same size cab as your REL. Better not to show this picture to wife/gf as the Monolith size is not that far away from washing machine. :D Also as you see the DF is taller, FF deeper which might matter aswell.

For the PB2000 you can check some youtube videos to give you idea how it looks in typical lounge. Massive box indeed!

 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
I think a ported sub will match my music type that has lots of deep bass, old sch drum & bass rock etc.
That sounds reasonable but for info. don't assume that ported subs necessarily go deeper, especially in small rooms. You won't find it wanting but the output of a Monolith falls off sharply below about 20 Hz, whereas a sealed sub will have a more gradual roll-off that typically makes it easier to get in-room output to 10 Hz and below (not necessarily an XXLS400 but bigger, more powerful sealed subs). Really big ported subs can go as low and importantly louder but I'm just saying it's not as simple as ported = better bass extension.
 

goatlips

Active Member
There isn´t huge difference in price with M+ and that manufacturer refurbished item, but if you jump to PB2000 Pro then quite a jump!

Here you can get some idea about the size. Gemini II / XLS200 has same size cab as your REL. Better not to show this picture to wife/gf as the Monolith size is not that far away from washing machine. :D Also as you see the DF is taller, FF deeper which might matter aswell.

For the PB2000 you can check some youtube videos to give you idea how it looks in typical lounge. Massive box indeed!

Omg that the MF big next to that washing machine....😳😳 I wonder if the Mrs will notice the swap, perhaps I wont she her that pic. I dont think I will have room for the SVS.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Omg that the MF big next to that washing machine....😳😳 I wonder if the Mrs will notice the swap, perhaps I wont she her that pic. I dont think I will have room for the SVS.
I have an oak downfiring Monolith that sits in the corner of my lounge and has been mistaken by guests as just a corner table. I'll actually be replacing my sub with a slightly smaller one soon but as this will be black with a front firing driver I expect it to do a rather poorer job at blending in!

People do genuinely use Monoliths as tables to put plants or lamps on which does make them less intrusive I think.
 

goatlips

Active Member
I have an oak downfiring Monolith that sits in the corner of my lounge and has been mistaken by guests as just a corner table. I'll actually be replacing my sub with a slightly smaller one soon but as this will be black with a front firing driver I expect it to do a rather poorer job at blending in!

People do genuinely use Monoliths as tables to put plants or lamps on which does make them less intrusive I think.
Is there a performance difference between downward or outward firing??
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Is there a performance difference between downward or outward firing??
Very occasionally someone will suggest there is but the overwhelming view is that it makes no difference, which makes sense to me.

Edit: I have owned a front-firing sub but it was about 15 years ago so I can't really compare :).
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
Very occasionally someone will suggest there is but the overwhelming view is that it makes no difference, which makes sense to me.

Edit: I have owned a front-firing sub but it was about 15 years ago so I can't really compare :).
I imagine no performance difference, but it I imagine it will affect how bass propagates throughout the room, so you may encounter peaks/nulls in different places :)
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
but it I imagine it will affect how bass propagates throughout the room, so you may encounter peaks/nulls in different places :)
No, that's definitely not true.
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
No, that's definitely not true.
Really? That wouldn't make sense to me, as that would suggest the orientation of a front firing subwoofer wouldn't affect the sound, but I can say that after a significant amount of testing recently, that the orientation does change where the nulls/peaks are within a room.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Really? That wouldn't make sense to me, as that would suggest the orientation of a front firing subwoofer wouldn't affect the sound, but I can say that after a significant amount of testing recently, that the orientation does change where the nulls/peaks are within a room.
I'm surprised you've found this - do you have some graphs you could share? The omni-directional radiation pattern at the frequencies of importance make this seem unlikely. Unless perhaps the shape of the sub means the driver is in an unusually different position between orientations. I've tried rotating my sub 90° and there was no meaningful difference in the response, but I don't think I've ever turned it to face forwards rather than down to measure.

Were your measurements made without moving the microphone and with you out of the room for the measurements so that you being in a different position can't have affected the results?
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
I'm surprised you've found this - do you have some graphs you could share? The omni-directional radiation pattern at the frequencies of importance make this seem unlikely. Unless perhaps the shape of the sub means the driver is in an unusually different position between orientations. I've tried rotating my sub 90° and there was no meaningful difference in the response, but I don't think I've ever turned it to face forwards rather than down to measure.

Were your measurements made without moving the microphone and with you out of the room for the measurements so that you being in a different position can't have affected the results?
No graphs unfortunately as basic testing was done on my old XS, which I have since sold and didn't backup the screenshots I made.

The procedure was:

Set sub at the front of the room on left wall, listen from main seating position, switch phase to 180 degrees, check again, reset phase, move the sub right by 20% width of the room, repeat until I've done the width of the room.

I found that with the subwoofer parallel to the length of the room, and the driver facing towards me (i.e. a typical setup) that I couldn't hear the suwboofer in my MSP. I was at a bit of a loss here, so out of interest, I moved it back to the original position (at the left wall, facing me) and rotated the subwoofer 90 degrees, such that the driver was now perpendicular to me, firing across the room. I listened to some audio clips from my MSP and could now hear the subwoofer, with no other settings changed.

I then used my anti mode to correct the sound, as there was a peak at 50-60Hz with this orientation.

The only graphs I have are of the recent anthem room correction I performed.

I was surprised to find that rotating through 90 degrees made a difference, since I was under the impression that sound waves of a frequency typically produced by woofers (i.e. most bass) was not very directional, if at all.

I'll see if I can find any sound/audio specialists within my department at university tomorrow to see if they can provide some insight, and if they can't, perhaps I can do some more thorough testing.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
I'll do a quick measurement myself in a bit. I'm curious to see now...
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
OK, I've done a quick test and I have to admit I'm pretty surprised by the result. The red curve below is for my sub in its normal downfiring orientation; the blue curve is with it stood on it's end with the port at the top like a front-firing Monolith and facing down the length of the room, and the green curve is with it then rotated to front-fire across the width of the room. The difference in the green curve above 100 Hz is significant and I'm going to be honest I'm struggling to understand why this is happening as I really would have thought that the radiation pattern was still pretty omnidirectional at this point.

(No averaging has been applied to the measurements and no EQ has been applied to the sub signal.)

Subwoofer directivity.jpg
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
@goatlips I've just seen your for sale advert. Are you sure you want to sell your REL before you've got a replacement? Unless you really need the money for the replacement I'd wait.
 

goatlips

Active Member
@goatlips I've just seen your for sale advert. Are you sure you want to sell your REL before you've got a replacement? Unless you really need the money for the replacement I'd wait.
Erm... dont need to sell it no? I just dont want it laying around. Why??
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Doing a bit more testing and I think I've figured out what is going on :).

Being quite large, rotating my sub is moving where the center of the bass driver is a fair bit. I put the sub back to being downfiring and moved it out from the corner enough to get the center of the driver the same direction across the room as for the green curve above, and the result is the purple curve below. In this position the center of the driver is still lower than it was for the front firing test. It's not easy to raise the sub higher to test but my bet is if I did I could get a result pretty similar to the green curve.
Subwoofer directivity 2.jpg


So my thinking right now is that it probably doesn't matter which way the driver is facing but it's location in the room does, and the latter will be changed by a change of orientation of the sub. I did refer to this possibility earlier in the thread but I'll be honest it seems to be having a bigger effect that I'd expected.

Edit: the other thing I'm changing when I rotate my sub is where it's sizeable cabinet is in the room which could also contribute to the effect.
 
Last edited:

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Erm... dont need to sell it no? I just dont want it laying around. Why??
If you sell the REL but don't get a replacement delivered for a month then you will be without a sub for a month...
 

goatlips

Active Member
If you sell the REL but don't get a replacement delivered for a month then you will be without a sub for a month...
Oh ok, I was going to order the mono this week or next from BK direct. Mrs given the all clear...😳🙈
 

goatlips

Active Member
Is there much vibration felt from the cabinet of the DF mono?
 

goatlips

Active Member
Can you see what I am thinking ??🤔
20200212_211451.jpg
 

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