Subs & dsp

so i find myself in a probably old debate.i got my maggie .7 speakers in and will be getting subs.keep reading and get more sugestions for rel subs. i was looking at svs sb 3000 with dsp with the possibility of useing rew and microphone if i wanted to go that route. no dsp with rell t/7i and after talking with rel i know why. anyone else kinda struggle with dsp vs trusting your ears with setup and balance. it is pretty close on price between svs and rel. thanks from a new guy.

You’ll get more sub with SVS than Rel for the same money. I used a pair for years with my stand mounted KEF’s.

1 Like

Rels have a great reputation for musicality and speed, how are SVS in this department?

I have no experience with them but I am curious.

I have a pair of SVS SB13-Ultras with upgraded amps from the new 4000 series. Bass is extremely tight and fast with these subs…very musical indeed, with a very attractive bang for the buck.

1 Like

REL Fanboy here.


I also have Magnepan .7’s and I currently have a Cambridge Audio Minx X201 (diminutive little thing) behind each speaker.

Not tons of bass by any stretch, but it’s something.

But as is the way with this stuff, I’m also having an internal REL vs SVS debate. I’d love to hear what things sound like with a more substantial subwoofer.

I think the SVS’s have a pretty liberal demo policy and, depending on where you get your REL’s, probably the same.

When the time comes, who knows… maybe I’ll buy both at the same time and demo them and keep the pair I like.


I feel your struggle, diving into the rabbit hole of subwoofers can be daunting. I have been at this for over 20 years now starting with a cheap passive sub that came with my Sony 5.1 home theater system to now where I have 24" custom designed monsters; there was a lot of learning in-between. Once you get a taste of that sweet bass nirvana you will become an addict too :wink:

For what its worth, here is my opinion:

There is no such thing as musicality in subs, just room modes (address via DSP) and design compromise (usually as a function of size/weight). The former is usually what people associate with a sub being ‘musical’ as untamed peaks will result in, ‘slow’, ‘boomy’, ‘muddy’ bass.

Great bass in a perfect environment isn’t rocket science it comes down to size [internal volume], material [enclosure dampening/driver size + structure] and power [amplification]. The sealed sub topology is a compromise, their only real advantages are that its footprint is smaller and it is inherently easier to design. Previously you could argue that sealed subs had an extension advantage and better group delay response, however, in modern competently designed ported subs this is no longer the case.

Comparing two sealed sub is relatively easy by just looking at the spec sheet. You want power, a large driver/enclosure and heavier sub. Out of the gate the SVS is ~20lbs heavier, this tells me that the enclosure has better dampening (better internal bracing) and the motor structure of the driver is more significant (better command of the driver). The SVS also has a larger volume (2.2ft3 vs 1.5ft3) and more power (800w vs 200w).

It really is no contest in my opinion, go with the SVS and don’t look back. The ability for DSP to eliminate room modes is just icing on the cake. Depending on your room size and music selection, you could find the limits of the REL really quick.



I can’t judge about REL vs. SVS, but imo a sub without DSP or analog parametric EQ is definitely to avoid as wherever it stands there’s always several frequencies where due to the affected nodes there it’s producing too much bass while correct or too low on others.

Whatever REL claims as reason not to use DSP, I’m sure the disadvantages of resulting resonances are bigger.


I have heard extremely good things about Rhythmik subs.

1 Like

yeah, me too. Comparing the entry-level models…

Rhythmik L12 ($599)

SVS SB-1000 ($499)

Although I’m tempted by the SB-2000 PRO ($799)

SOUNDS like you might need a different room setup or a better sub-woofers…also, maybe try with Herbie Sliders to improve clarity…

i lifted my (Transmission Line Subs) PMC XB3’s & PMC XB2’s off the floor, 3’ and 2’ respectively, with Sound Anchors and coupled to Herbie Sliders …
Musicality can be had…

I have 2 SVS SB3000 subs. I set them up in my system by ear and they seamlessly integrate with the main speakers. They are flat down to 20hz (spec’d to go further down), include an 800 watt amp, and seem bullet-proof. I wouldn’t get their full-range speakers for high-end Audio, but do like their sealed-box subs.

1 Like

I’ve got the same setup here and once you get them integrated you can’t live without them. :blush:



Jim Salk is a huge fan of Rythmik Subs and utilizes their servo woofers and amps. He builds a much stouter and better braced box and can add custom aesthetics as well. He took my design and built me the two custom subs pictured here to match my sats. I use a DSpeaker X4 for DSP and sub crossover and couldn’t be happier. Perfectly integrated bass that digs deep, tight, and super clean.

From his website:




We have built many custom subwoofers over the years for all kinds of applications. But since Rythmik introduced their Direct Servo Technology, we’ve pretty much limited subwoofer production to Rythmik-based designs. They are simply too good.

It takes a lot of air movement to generate deep bass. And there is just as much energy coming off the rear of the subwoofer cone as there is initiated by the front of the cone. The result is a tremendous amount of energy being directed back into the subwoofer cabinet. This energy can easily create cabinet resonances and can cloud the clarity of the bass response.

We address cabinet resonance in two ways. First, with our Rythmik 12" builds, we use 1" walls rather than the standard 3/4" walls. This added mass lowers cabinet resonances to extremely low levels. We also add very substantial bracing to further reduce the chances of cabinet wall resonances. The result is extremely clean, precise and musical deep bass.

When set up properly, the sub should never call attention to itself. But your system will play significantly deeper than before and the sound will be very clean, accurate and musical…which is how it should be.



Tried a SB1000 but sent it back within the return window as it wasn’t fast/musical enough for my liking. I also have a couple of REL’s and Velodyne around the house and find both much better for music performance.

My $.02 is SVS for the boom, REL for the music.

1 Like

I tried a pair of SVS SB-3000 subs before going with dual REL S/3 SHO subs. The SVS subs are great and I love the idea of phone app. I sent the SVS back as they just didn’t do it for me personally. For me the REL are more musical. I prefer the REL High Level Neutrik Speakon connection to the RCA.

The great thing is you can do a try and buy with SVS and REL and I’m sure others.


I too prefer driving subs high level directly from the amp, so I use a Jensen ISO-Max to convert high level via speakon to XLR low level into my SVS subs. :+1:

1 Like

I love the way REL does it, hooked right in to the speaker outs from the amp. MMMMMM.

1 Like