Stellar Strata and Subwoofer Pairing

Hi All

I am thinking of getting an appropriately sized subwoofer for my floor standing speakers. If anyone knows what subwoofers pair with the Strata, please share.

I have 4 criteria that seems to guide subwoofer matching. Tell me if I am wrong.

Size. I am thinking small because as our friend Steve Guttenberg shared in a recent subwoofer YouTube talk, if you have small midrange speakers you don’t want to go with a big subwoofer. So I have 6” midrange and am looking for a 8” or smaller subwoofer.

The second part of this is getting the volume decibel steps to match the Strata. As I understand from the Strata specifications page, the Strata has +/-1dB steps — so I assume the subwoofer should have the same correct?

The third, but probably least important part, is getting a subwoofer that goes low enough on the Hz bandwidth to make it worthwhile to accompany your speakers. Why buy a subwoofer if it can’t compensate for your speakers limitations, right? My speakers are 35-20.000Hz ±3dB, 8 ohms.

A fourth is that is that it sounds good. Lott’s of junk out there. And of course quality is the deciding factor of if it is worth purchasing in the first place. Ideally it would be $500 but I am skeptical something that costs $500 is good enough. I am aware there are several at the $2000 and up mark. If it’s $2000 I would rather put that toward getting newer speakers since good audio is more affordable than ever before (people have been chatting up Zu Audio and Magnepan as far as I can see).

All relevant thoughts are welcome and many thanks in advance. My speaker manufacturer does not make subwoofers — which would make this easier.

Based on your criteria one option would be a pair of REL T5i subs at$599 each. You could add one at a time.

Thanks @weedeewop. I was looking at the T5 and Tzero this weekend. Have you heard these with the Strata?

REL does have a 60 day trial. And happy to buy American.

Many thanks!

I heard them with Simaudio Neo 340i driving Vandersteen VLR-CT speakers.
Also, with Hegel H120 driving Aerial Acoustics 5T and Dynaudio Confidence 20’s. Pairig with speakers is more relevant than the integrated amp IMHO. I’d say the above combo’s worked great.

Integration in the room and with the speakers are critical, with the integrated secondary. If an integrated does not pair up with the sub I’d question the merits of the integrated.


I thought REL was British.

@Craig_Burgess I saw “Berkeley, CA 94710” and Mr Hunter from REL had an American accent. I do see a UK address now but unclear of origin so will look deeper later

REL company is located in both Bridgend, Wales and Berkeley CA, I believe, but the units are built in China.

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A $599 powered sub is definitely not made in the UK or US. I do not agree with an 8" sub. As Paul McGowan has guided us true subwoofers state at 12" minimum. My floor standing speakers have 7" modbass woofers and work great with 12" subs.

Would recommend Paradigm’s Defiance Subs with smart phone control app, good sound and fair prices for Canadian made subs.

Interesting thought on subs below $1000.

@nortonkp thanks for your thoughts. Pooraudiophile dot com — that’s hilarious!

If you live in the UK then BK Electronics have a range of locally manufactured powered subs under $600. Well built and remarkable value for money. They used to build the subs for Rel. Direct purchase only.

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Chris, BK Electronics sells them for $600 US in the UK, strange? Is that with or without VAT :grin:

Wish we had a sell direct speaker maker here in the US who made budget products. If that BK Electronocs sub would be shipped to the US, exchange rates factored, duties paid and a distributor’s make up added, we would paid $1500 to $2000 plus sales tax if purcahsed locally.

Since it is a direct consumer site the sterling prices quoted have to include the 20% VAT, so for export that would be deducted. Obviously if importing to the US you would have to pay shipping and insurance, and any applicable customs and local taxes. I am surprised that would triple the price, but they certainly would not be the bargain that they are in the UK

Does anyone know if the GoldenEar ForceField subwoofers are good? I don’t see any reference to accelerometers or servo technology in them.

I was reading about their speakers on parttimeaidiophile dot com, then saw they make subwoofers as separates. And see one for sale on Audiogon for A low risk price. Don’t know if these subwoofer us or even the speakers are all hype but would like to ask please. Thanks in advance!

They appear to be just a basic sub with a passive radiator and a Class D amp. Depends on the age and condition as to whether or not it is a good deal. Generally their products are good for what they are designed for.

@dawkinsj. Thanks, the frequency response seemed appealing so that was the draw. I am looking for 10” or smaller so as not to overload the sound of my floor standers. Most 10” or smaller don’t go very low (no surprise).

Looks like there is no clear choice so I think I’ll buy a used REL or the above named on eBay. That way if I need to sell it because I’m not happy with it it’s a small loss. I don’t want to pay a lot unless it really was wonderful— something subwoofers are not known for.

I’m wondering if a REL Tzero is a waste of time (interested because it would fit under a certain piece of furniture nicely).

Not sure what you would gain from the T-Zero. Might want to look into the RSL Speedwoofer 10 as Joe offers free shipping and a free trial period.

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Hello again. I have researched further and you definitely need a bigger unit to reach to lower frequencies close to 20hz. 10” really does not cut it. Of course that does not explain how it sounds.

Another thing is that having a volume button on the front is a good idea so you can lower the base when you are doing non-bass-wanting activities.

Velodyne claims to have a servo/accelerometer-based technology. Oh and some do you have that volume on the front.

I had a conversation with Steve the owner of Decware and he suggested looking at Hughes subwoofers. However I cannot seem to find them. Has anyone heard of them and happen to have a link by chance? They may be custom-made by someone who ,you guessed it, has a last name of Hughes.

how big is your room?

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20 feet by 18 feet. Half of it is the kitchen so we don’t crank it

not a expert at all but i would contact rel, jl audio, rhythmic, svs and tell about the room size and even send a picture or drawing of your room and they will get you heading in the right direction as far as size and how many perhaps.the musicroom is also a good place to look for used subs