Thinking of a new sub, why does REL get recommend so much?

I have just got back into Hi Fi this past 18 months, and made the speaker upgrade from Amphion Argon 1’s to Argon 3 LS. And added a S300 power amp and Stellar Gain dac/pre. The Anthem MRX520 is now just used for a/v. The sub I got back in 2019 was a English BK unit (circa £550). I am now looking to up grade it to something more “Hi Fi” in the region of £1500. Why does the Rel make get recommended so much to work with PS products? Is it they are just SO much better than the competition? Any thoughts?

You can’t have mine.

I have a BK 12" sub on both my stereo systems. I am very happy with their performance. REL subs have a reputation for being ‘musical’. Are you dissatisfied with your BK, or do you want to move upmarket for its own sake? I have never tried using a REL sub. In one review of the BK Monolith the reviewer said it sounded the same as his normal REL, so I suspect you might experience only marginal improvements for significant extra money.

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To be very honest, I have lost my faith in the BK, its been returned twice now, once for a new speaker surround, and a few weeks back as it was making a rumbling noise that seemed to be amp related, Tom found no problems, but like a car thats been in an accident, even tho its been repaired, it does not feel the same. So wanting to move up in terms of money, and even tho I said Rel were never to be considered, well, they always say “never say never”


shucks, ha ha ha

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Sorry to hear that. I have had a BK P12-300SB-DF for about 3 years now and a P12-300SB-PR for two. Both have performed faultlessly. It should be noted that I listen at very moderate volume levels, and mostly to chamber music, so the subs have not been stretched much. I still find that I notice fairly quickly if I have forgotten to turn one on.

My recollection is that separate subwoofers were originally made for AV use, and REL decided to design them specifically for 2-channel audio.

BK was a subcontractor for REL and then started making their own designs for a fraction of the price. I have one of each.


I am going to spend a few minutes attaching the High Level cable, see if that makes any difference. IF it does, then will keep the sub, and upgrade to what I was want in the first place, a pair of M700’s :laughing:

Fit, finish and performance.

IME, the only thing that keeps most of the models from being among the best, if not the best, subwoofers on the market is the fact that (AFAIK) they don’t offer any DSP options for integrating the subs in a room by helping to off-set room modes.

I also think that their extensive model line allows them to offer real value. You can get a lot of bang for your buck throughout the lower levels of their offerings.

My $0.02.

I recommend Rythmik Audio subwoofers. They are servo controlled and have the greatest flexibility and adjustments that I have seen anywhere. They are also the most musical subs out there and very affordable.

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Dynaudio Sub 6 includes DSP to manage timing, phase alignment and room modes (ease of positioning) They use opposed drivers in sealed enclosures. The cut off frequency is manageable using a small screen. For those who own Dynaudio speakers, they have to select their speaker model from a pull down list. I suspect Martin Logan and a few others have introduced similar subwoofers.

…sounds like a great product/performer.

The B&W DB1 has had all the features you mentioned in the current Dynaudio sub since 2011. It also has a 5 band eq feature. Sounds like Dynaudio borrowed their ideas.

The DB1 is a great sub! First sub I ever owned and had it in my system for years, many years ago.

I have RELs and am considering a line array of them, but these new KEFs intrigue. KEF claims -3dB at 11hz with 2x 6.5in drivers.

Size-wise, they’re very compact.

Anyone considering them?

I had a velodyne sub with DSP which I thought represented better value in the US. Also very much aimed at hifi rather than cinema - unfortunately I don’t think they are in business any more.

Velodyne Acoustics is around. It was purchased by Audio Reference in Germany.

I saw that as well and was trying to do the math and I couldn’t work out how it could make 11hz at any reasonable SPL. The air required to move off of such a small radiator would require a very long throw to make any volume. I wonder what Chris B. would say.

Edit to note on the KEF website the max output was 105db which would drop off as the square of the distance so if you are at 3m it’s not going to be very loud

Good to know. Don’t see them talked about these days.