Suggestions for replacing a REL Stentor III

chambeaj

Well-known Member
Hello,

I would appreciate some input/suggestions from fellow AV Forum members with regards to choosing a new subwoofer.

I have had a REL Stentor III since about 2005. It cost me around £2,500 at the time. The unit has developed a fault on Saturday whereby it now keeps producing a crackling sound which I have not been able to resolve (even with nothing connected to the sub). I am forced to accept that I now have to fork out for a replacement if I wish to continue enjoying the benefits of a subwoofer in my setup.

I cannot justify spending the aforementioned sum on a subwoofer these days. Its just too much. However, I am prepared to spend up-to £1,000 (my ideal limit) on a new subwoofer and would consider stretching to around the £1,500 mark if this proved necessary to get the desired performance/quality.

My system is used entirely for TV/Films. I am not really into music.

I understand that ported subwoofers are the best in terms of producing the low frequencies and shifting the air. It seems like a lot of the new makes/models on the market today are closed port designs.

I've been a bit out of touch with the AV market in the last few years and do not yet have a clear idea of what would be the best choice to replace my REL.

One thing which is very important to me is the quality of the electronics/drive units so far as the sub does not produce any unwanted buzzing/hiss/hum that would be detectable in a quiet room (unless ones head up against the sub). I have sensitive hearing. The REL is (or was!) silent in a quiet room when standing even just a few feet away.

I see that REL have rejoined the subwoofer market in recent years. However, they do in my opinion remain a highly priced brand and all their models appear to be closed box designs. It also disappoints me to observe that REL subs are now assembled in China. The other brand which stands out to me is SVS. There seems to be little to offer from B&W or KEF these days.

I have only spent a couple of hours looking into subwoofers thus far and the models which are standing out to me so far are:

SVS PB3000 Sub Woofer £1549.00

REL S/510 Series S £1699.00

SVS PB2000 Pro Black Ash Subwoofer £999.00

My room is only about 13 feet x 13 feet.

Any input/ideas would be most appreciated


Some details of my current subwoofer.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
It's a great time to be buying subwoofers these days as the quality/performance and price is superior to what was around last time you bought.

Unfortunately most subs these days are made in China but designed by U.S. or European marques so I would not worry too much about that. SVS and PSA (Power sound Audio) are US designed and made as far as I am aware.

Really your choice is pretty vast if you want a ported which will give to the greatest output but also tend to be larger than the sealed equivalent which whilst not going quite as low give plenty of deep powerful bass.

Look at subs from SVS PSA Arendal and Monolith by Monoprice all will give top performance at prices from around £500 and up to £1500 max depending on what size and amount of drivers you decide you need.

I would say almost any of these will be better than what you had prior as REL then and now are relatively over priced compared to rival makes.

I am sure some of our subwoofer experts will be along soon to point you in the right direction.
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
I briefly looked at Adrenal last night, but upon googling there did not appear to be any UK stockists ?
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
The Monolith Brand appears to be all sold out until next year. The SVS brand seems to be the only one that's easy to get hold of.

With my current sub you could feel the energy/depth (even at the low volumes I tend to run at). The question is am I getting too hung up on the idea that my new sub needs to be a ported design ?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
If you are running at low volumes a sealed may be a better option.

The Monolith are out of stock over here till Feb so if you want a replacement now the others are better choices.

Arendal as is Monolith are only sold on line but that is no problem unless you want a demo. PSA is available from Kalibrate in the south but I think he may be waiting for stocks to come in.

SVS have a few dealers around so can be demode if needed and also I would think from stock depending on what model you want.

I would send Arendal an e-mail telling them your room size speakers and avr you have and explain your listening patterns volume/genre. They will be unbiased which sub will suit you best. They have a good range of subs and will tell you honestly how they compare to a specific SVS model. They can be shipped quickly so 7 days or so is usual wait.

Arendal also do a buy and try for 60 days and if not happy send it back, they will just charge you carriage.

Cheers
Keith
 

Conrad.

Moderator
A few more questions that might help.

What sort of volumes do you listen at?
What placement options do you have?
Do you have space/appetite for dual subs?
What's your AVR?
What floor are you on, suspended or concrete?

Ported will give you more output/volume through most of the range and especially around port tune than sealed. Below port tune the response tends to drop quite steeply and doesn't take as much advantage of room gain as a sealed design. If you're on a concrete floor then ported is the only way to get any kind of tactile response (TR) in room, without adding something like actuators or a specific TR device.

If you're on a suspended floor you can get TR from sealed as well.

Sealed tend to be smaller so if size is an issue then that's a factor.

What's important to you (other than silence) - slam and impact (TR and upper bass output), sheer SPL, depth and extension, or size?

You can have all of them, but it's expensive. If you can share your priorities it'll make recommendations much easier.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
The room is 13ft x 13ft and he has an old Denon A1HD so won't have any onboard EQ.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
Good spot, thanks. Something with onboard EQ might be an idea then, like the SVS or new Arendals.
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
What sort of volumes do you listen at?
I tend to use my system at low volumes i.e. -40db on my Denon.

What placement options do you have?
Currently my sub is situated at front left corner of room. It would be awkward to place elsewhere.
Its basically one of the back bedrooms approx. 14ft x 13ft

Do you have space/appetite for dual subs?
Do not have the space or desire for 2 subwoofers.

What's your AVR?
I currently still have my Denon AVC-A1HD.

What floor are you on, suspended or concrete?
It's a bugalow. The floor is concrete. All the internal walls a solid i.e. breezeblock or whatever.

What's important to you (other than silence) - slam and impact (TR and upper bass output), sheer SPL, depth and extension, or size?

The depth of sound and feeling that sense that low frequency is moving from front to back of room
i.e. when a train rumbles from front to back of sound stage.


I've been happy with the REL I've had for the last 15 years as far as sound quality. I think thats only about 300W RMS. My main complaint about REL is some reliability issues i.e. Neon power light died after 2 years, slight buzzing on occasions from unit when in standby mode & non-responsive customer service.
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
I think I'm already leaning towards SVS. My shortlist so far looks like:

SVS SB3000 Black Ash Subwoofer £1275

*SVS PB3000 Black Ash Subwoofer £1549

SVS SB4000 Black Oak Subwoofer £1799.00

SVS SB2000 Pro Black Ash Subwoofer £899.00

*SVS PB2000 Pro Black Ash Subwoofer £999.00
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
It's just a question of making the decision between ported or closed box design and then determing which of the above would be over the top in terms of power levels!

Your above post is already suggesting that ported would be best given our concrete floors!
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
By the way, thank you so much for all the input so far - very much appreciated to you all.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
I think so, yes. If you're on concrete and you want to feel the rumble then ported is probably the right choice for you. SVS and Arendal offer good options. They both come with onboard EQ but you might want to consider something like an antimode. For a little bit on top of the sub it'll smooth out your bass response and could improve things by a lot.

The REL is a hell of a sub though, have you looked in to getting it repaired?

Or a curve ball option, @IWC Dopplel has recently swapped the amps in his subs with outboard amps. If it's the amp that's faulty that could be an option. As I understand it he's very pleased with the results.
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
Just moving the REL sub is a task in itself. Its about 65kg. Furthermore, I finally got rid of the box/packaging a couple of years ago when we moved to the bungalow. I think I would rather just move on now and go for a new make/model. I also found REL customer service to be very unhelpful back in 2008 when the neon rocker switch failed.

I just need to do some more reading/review hunting and try to decide which of the ported options would be right for me.

*SVS PB3000 Black Ash Subwoofer £1549

*SVS PB2000 Pro Black Ash Subwoofer £999.00

Both have much higher power ratings than my current REL, so I'm wondering if the PB2000 would be more than sufficient for my room, or is that an oversimplification?
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I use the BK 500 amps capable of 1000w peaks, substantial power supplies and very well built, totally silent a worthwhile upgrade on a lesser Internal 400w amp Only £270 each
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Not being funny but at -40db I am surprised you could hear let alone feel the bass.

I would get a much cheaper sub and buy a tactile transducer.

That way you can really feel the bass through your body. :D
 

password1

Well-known Member
Canton sub 1500r


IMG_20201206_151136.jpg
IMG_20201206_151154.jpg
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
B1E993CD-A599-4484-ADB0-526276416C02.jpeg
Comparison I built external boxes for them
 

Conrad.

Moderator
If you're only after one then the usual advice is to get the biggest sub you can fit and afford. You can always turn a big sub down, you can only turn a small sub up so far.

There are usually deals to be had on the SVS range and @Gasp3621 tends to know where they all are.
 

sm1ggsy

Active Member
If I was in your position I would get the svs pb 2000 pro and a new AVR with Xt32
 

martin 39

Well-known Member
Not sure if this will help but i have just changed from a 20yr old rel to a new arendal 1961. I am completely blown away buy the difference. My room is nigh on the same size. Hope this can be of some help
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Just curious, why didn't you opt for a Behringer NXxxxx like unit?

I am nervous of some of the class D designs and know this unit works well with excellent cone control and damping, I had one as it was recommended by a high end speaker designer for my sub used in my 2 channel set up, and I tried it as an experiment and was very pleased with the results. Some high power class D amps can be noisy and this is totally quiet. 1000w peak is enough to be honest. There might be better but the build quality and over specced transformer appealed. I also know the high end speaker manufacturer didn’t have an eye on cost and recommended this. I mean he sells crossovers at Trinnov processor prices....
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
@chambeaj you got some old beefy receiver there! They won´t make such products anymore. It does have: Audyssey MultEQ-XT with ALFC (Advanced Low Frequency Correction) so it will do some form of correction for the sub, but Antimode 8033 Cinema for ~200£ is not big cost if needed.

AVO has grade2 PB2000 (non Pro) for 705£ if you want to go with lower cost product. Also PC2000 cylinder SVS refurb for 721£. AVO is forum advertiser, you need to call and ask the specific condition and warranty if intrested.


The new Pro model (999£) has new driver, new amp with app control, new cabinet and port design with two ports against one. Performance wise the gains are mostly in the mid-bass range where it was welcome addition. As the article says it offers superb performance for a 12" ported model and clearly sounds great.


If you always listen -40 loudest and this won´t be changing then spending more for PB3000 would be questionable over PB2000 Pro cause the 2K Pro isn`t even getting warm with those levels. You are basically just tickling it.

Arendal 1961 1V would be in the middle at 900£. Clearly this is another great product which you can also run sealed, typical for many Arendal sub owners. Something to consider is the side firing driver and 10cm clearance needed for it, the cabinet is narrow though! Also rear firing slot port. Similar amp warranty 5years and people are happy with the support from company. Free fast shipping and buy&try 60days but returning costs 10% of total price if not changed.




If you can wait around February then Monoprice Monolith 12 THX is unbeatable! The price is likely around 500£ with code so you are making some crazy deal cause it´s basically main competitor to PB2K Pro. And to get something like that for half price is... fricking amazing!

Sorry for long post. I tried to stay away, but Conrad made me do it.. 🤓
 

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