Which subwoofer would you choose - 2 channel upgrade.

Which sub would you choose for 2-channel update?

  • 2x REL T9x

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • 2x Arendal 1723 1S

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • 1x Arendal 1723 2S

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Something else.

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Don't be an idiot you're fine as you are - the Dirac Live measurements show you do not have an issue

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
    11

gava

Well-known Member
Previously I had a poll asking about what combination of standmount, floorstander, sub and DSP people would choose.

Most people opted for subs and DSP and the standmount/floorstander was not desperately important.

As my C399 has Dirac Live on board the DSP is in the bag. I through perhaps it would be best to first upgrade the subs and take my time over auditioning speakers. I have listened to a few so far but there are a lot of options and my C300s are doing a good enough job at the moment.

My current subs are 2x REL T5i, they are nice and integrate well with Dirac Live, and they do produce enough bass in the frequencies they cover.

1647189380309.png



I'm looking for something final-ish. Budget is around £2-2.5k.

Having listened to and read a lot of reviews I'm settling towards one of the above 3 options.

Benefits of REL T9x - recently refreshed. Although some people are very skeptical of the high-level inputs, they provide the option. British company. Good looking and not too big. Excellent reputation as "best for music" subwoofers, and clearly not all of that reputation is simply good marketing. These have less low frequency extension than the Arendals ([email protected]) - if I'm going to upgrade to floorstanders later then I should really be looking for something that will go down to 20Hz.

Benefits of Arendal 1723 1 or 2 V. Much bigger woofers - to move the same volume of air they need much less excursion. Better low frequency extension ([email protected]). They claim their sealed subs - particularly the 2S is "the best for music" too. The cabinets are greater in volume compared to the T9x, but crucially they are taller but not wider than the T9x so in fact just as easy to place where I would put it/them. Dutch company - which is my favourite country after the UK (I lived there for a little while.) Very good in-built DSP - giving more flexibility.
 
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Yorkshire AV

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Do you happen to have the graph that shows the full sweep with your stereo speakers in too?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Rel, I think, may still make some subs in the UK, but they are 100% US owned; based in Berkeley, California.
 
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Yorkshire AV

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
^^ what he said. But there's a lot of presence in the UK - their distribution for most of the world comes through Bridgend and a lot of the original team that launched REL over here are still around too.

The T/x series I believe are made out east now but in their own factory.
Product finish is still excellent. Their higher end units I understand are assembled over here.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’m sure Rel are great subs, but I can’t get past how Americanly gauche they are.

They have the name Rel, printed or embossed all over their subs. Yuk.

And I also can’t help think that £2300 for a pair of ten inch subs is massively overpriced.

They cost that huge amount not because they are better than a top class pair of 12” subs, but because Rel are American and are marketed in the ever aggressive American fashion.

I’d say a pair of these will better them.


12” sub with a 12” passive radiator. And still have £1100 change.
 

gava

Well-known Member
Do you happen to have the graph that shows the full sweep with your stereo speakers in too?

@Yorkshire AV This is with the Harman -4dB target.

My currently applied target curve rolls off around 15KHz as I don't hear much above 14KHz anymore anyway, so no need to stress the tweeters,. I have the speakers toed in less that might be ideal for FR but gives an amazing soundstage.

I wouldn't be surprised if the majority opinion was that I'm an idiot and I should leave well enough alone. :)

1647197133238.png


With the target shown..

1647197212656.png


Just showing the corrected spectrum after DL applied. There is enough juice to play well over 100dB SPL too and the C300s don't complain at all. The background is clean as can be, even when it's very loud.

1647198613360.png


Stays within +/- 1dB from 500Hz to 10KHz and +/-2 dB of target from 50-500Hz.

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1647199371872.png
 

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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Or, if you need 10” subs then the mighty Velodyne DB10 would be a first class buy by all accounts and you’ll still save £300 over the Rel.

And again, for preposterous bass that will easily compliment any floorstander, there is the Velodyne DB12, a pair of which is a mere 200 quid more than a pair of the Rels.
 

gava

Well-known Member
I’m sure Rel are great subs, but I can’t get past how Americanly gauche they are.

They have the name Rel, printed or embossed all over their subs. Yuk.

And I also can’t help think that £2300 for a pair of ten inch subs is massively overpriced.

They cost that huge amount not because they are better than a top class pair of 12” subs, but because Rel are American and are marketed in the ever aggressive American fashion.

I’d say a pair of these will better them.


12” sub with a 12” passive radiator. And still have £1100 change.

I do like the look of the Arendal 1723 2S - with a pair of 13.8" opposed drivers, it seems to be a configuration that makes a lot of sense. I watched a youtube video which said that effectively with sub wavelengths a pair of subs in the corner 5m apart are effectively a point source anyway. Two drivers help evening out room response, but they don't need to be in opposite corners.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I do like the look of the Arendal 1723 2S - with a pair of 13.8" opposed drivers, it seems to be a configuration that makes a lot of sense. I watched a youtube video which said that effectively with sub wavelengths a pair of subs in the corner 5m apart are effectively a point source anyway. Two drivers help evening out room response, but they don't need to be in opposite corners.

They are fine looking engineering, I agree. I’d have some. 👍

As for positioning, Dirac is easily capable of dealing with any but the most obtuse issues.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Sorry if I've missed something, but why aren't BK being discussed?
 

eastsoutheast

Well-known Member
I have a pair of Rel T9x subs. I am happy with the contribution these subs make to my system for both music and movies. Yes they are expensive and I do wish Rel hadn’t resorted to adding Rel to the feet on all sides and the drivers but I don’t notice in my living room once in situ so not really an issue. I also own a BK XXLS400 in another room which if I am being honest is almost as good from a SQ perspective but much larger and a SVSPC13Ultra which goes much deeper but not as fast albeit not slow itself. I am happy with the Rel‘s and their build quality is phenomenal…
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I have a pair of Rel T9x subs. I am happy with the contribution these subs make to my system for both music and movies. Yes they are expensive and I do wish Rel hadn’t resorted to adding Rel to the feet on all sides and the drivers but I don’t notice in my living room once in situ so not really an issue. I also own a BK XXLS400 in another room which if I am being honest is almost as good from a SQ perspective but much larger and a SVSPC13Ultra which goes much deeper but not as fast albeit not slow itself. I am happy with the Rel‘s and their build quality is phenomenal…

I’ve no doubt the Rels are good, as I said earlier, but for a proper comparison with the BKs, you’d need two XLS400’s (or P12-300SB-PR’s), and in the same room and position as the Rels.

I’m not familiar with the SVS sub, is it a ported variety?
 
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gava

Well-known Member
It's sometimes difficult to separate out marketing claims from what's real, and then what's audible from that again.

I have only ever owned the subs that I have now, starting with one and then adding the second later and then adding DSP after that.

My priority is on music, though I do play my TV via the system, but in terms of weighting I'd say I'm 80-20 concerned with music v movies.

For this reason I believe that sealed is likely better as it is more dynamic and completely eliminates any port resonance, though the trade-off is less low-end extension and lower SPL. For my room however I don't think that the SPL will be an issue as my existing subs can go loud enough, and any of the options under consideration will be capable of far more.

Dynamics are something I am interested in for the best musical experience.

Now possibly the DSP takes care of phase alignment anyway and the actual speed of the subwoofer response is less relevant. REL make much of the low-latency of their crossover and trumpet the high-level connectors for integration. It sounds plausible, but compared to a good DSP solution I admit to being somewhat skeptical. If the main difference between a REL and BK subwoofer is simply the latency e.g. T9x = 8ms and P12-300SB-PR = 16ms - well wouldn't Dirac Live take care of that anyway? In which case there would be no point in paying the premium for REL.

The other element to consider is the driver size. The advantage of smaller drivers is that they allow for a smaller size overall and perhaps are somewhat easier to manufacture. The advantage of a larger driver is that to move the same volume of air they need to move a much smaller distance and can therefore be faster and more dynamic for a given SPL/frequency.

A 180 degree "force cancelling" opposition configuration seems to be something common in many high-end speakers and subwoofers and makes a lot of sense to me to help eliminate vibration without simply using sheer box mass to counteract driver forces.

For this reason it seems to me on the face of things that the Arendal is a serious consideration, and it also comes in slightly cheaper than two T9x, but of course more than two P12-300SB-PR.

Have I got any of this wrong? ^^

Any links to material on this subject that has not been edited by a marketing department would be much appreciated.
 

eastsoutheast

Well-known Member
Yes the SVS is a ported sub. I have been a very happy BK Electronics customer for many years and believe their VFM is incredible. My son has a BK Monolith plus which I bought him and my spare XXLS400. I have one XXLS400 and have previously owned a Monolith Plus and 200 sub.

I wasn’t comparing my pair of Rel’s vs a single XXLS400, if I had more space I would have purchased a 2nd XXLS400 but couldn’t accommodate.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Remember that BK are a direct seller so don’t have the retailer (or whole seller) profit on top of their price so are likely to be 50% cheaper than a comparative (performance wise) mainstream brand that sells through shops.
 

gava

Well-known Member
Been aimlessly Googling - so a bit left field but how about a pair of these?


I've always thought that opposing drivers are the way to go.

Extend the long dimension, but otherwise quite reasonably sized.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Extend the long dimension, but otherwise quite reasonably sized.

And 16Hz @ -3dB is none too shabby.

The 18S is clearly aimed at professional users. Details of the 18S on the Dynaudio website are found in the "Pro Audio" section. Strangely enough, Dynaudio also sell a sub aimed at the domestic (i.e. hobbyist) market - it's the Sub 6 - and it's details are found under the "Home Audio" section of the Dynaudio website. These subs appear to be identical yet the Sub 6 model sells for 70% more than the 18S!

Re-enforces the notion that products aimed at the pro audio market generally offer better value.
 

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