REL subs and Magnepan 1.6's [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-23-2010, 06:20 PM
I just returned from Audio Perfection in Minneapolis. I was there auditioning REL subs.

Here's a list of the subs- REL 205, 305 and B3. They range in price as follow $1300, $1600, and $2K. Music used- Patricia Barber Cd Cafe Blue, The XX Cd, Cowboy Junkies the best of, Eagles Hell freezes over tract 6.

Cd player -Rega Apollo se. amp-Theta Dreadnaught and Theta Casablanca III prepro Speakers- Magneapn 1.6's. Subs were set up as follows-Speaker level inputs with cross over set to 50hz.

First off, let me say that I always thought that the 1.6's did not need a sub, but after today I've changed my mind. I was blown away by all 3 subs I listened to.

The 205 and 305 are both 10"'s but the 305 has more power and a slightly larger cabinet. The B3 had the largest cabinet and was a 10" as well. All 3 increased my listening enjoyment although there were differences. The subs were tuned so that they disappeared into the music. The 205 and 305 sounded similar by adding a fullness and warmth to the sound and added punch to the music when called for. The 305 seemed to be smoother with a bit more punch and fullness. During the first 60 seconds of Hotel California when the big bass drums or conga's are playing, you could just feel the reverberation and swear they were right in front of you. The sound was definitely more visceral.

The Brittania 3 sub had a totally different sound. It did not lend as much warmth to the over all sound. It went deeper and you could really feel the pressure and vibration in your body. The bass was much tighter and more controlled and was more seamless with the Maggies. You definitely could not tell that the sub was present I felt that the bass was better but I preferred the overall warmth that the 305 added to the Magnepans.

All 3 subs are ported and at no time did I feel that they could not keep up with the Maggies. They have the 505 there but time was running short, so I will probably give it a listen next week.

REL R series subs-

REL B series -

By the way, they have the only pair of Magnepan 1.7 speakers out side of the factory. I'm going to give them a listen next week.

Mr Peabody
01-23-2010, 06:42 PM
How do you think the REL compare to what you remember of the Velodyne? Even if you decide to go Velodyne glad you got to hear an alternative.

01-23-2010, 08:23 PM
The REL's seemed to disappear better except for the 205. The Velo's were smoother at louder levels. but they have gobs more power and are sealed. The B3 was probably the most transparent.

Now I have to find a dealer around here that has the Martin Logan Grotto i. It lists for $1500 and I can get it for $1K. There are not many reviews on this sub.

audio amateur
01-24-2010, 06:18 AM
The Home theater shack has an amazing archive of real subwoofer measurments made outdoors, of quite a few subs. You can look at the results for the REL 305. At 90dB only, overall THD sky rockets underneath 30Hz. Have a look at the results and his conclusion in the last post

IMO, REL subs are not good value for money compared to a lot of other subs. Of course, measurments aren't everything, but they can say a lot when it comes to subs.
Have a look at the other subs in the archive, you may find the DD10.

JoeE SP9
01-24-2010, 07:38 AM
On another forum I made some comments about REL sub's being a bit pricey. This is probably because they're imported. Stuff imported from the EU is relatively pricey right now. If we pay our Chinese debtors off this may change.

I keep hearing comments from people saying that only sealed subs should be used with Maggy's. This is something I really don't agree with. A properly designed and constructed sub is all that one needs. Sealed, ported or whatever isn't relevant. Only the results are. As for a "fast" sub vs a slow sub, a sub is a sub. It's either designed and made properly or not. AR and KLH brought the design of sealed boxes to science and Theile&Small did the same for vented/ported systems.

For me the Pass Labs El-Pipe-O transmission line sub does the trick. It's loud, deep, cheap and clean. It's also very easy to build. What else do you want?

There are plenty of good subs out there vented and sealed. Hsu Research and SVS make excellent products at very reasonable prices. Adding more options to the table is what I'm doing.

Mr Peabody
01-24-2010, 07:45 AM
My SVS sub is the fastest I have heard to date. Incredibly accurate. I don't know if all the Velodyne sound similar to the SPL series but my SVS is way superior to the old SPL.

harley .guy07
01-24-2010, 11:22 AM
Yes I would agree with Mr. Peabody on this. I have heard Rel, Hsu, I used to sell Velodyne, and SVS and to me it is hard to beat the SVS for bass accuracy. Velodyne subs are good and at one time they were one of the top picks but I believe that SVS has taken the thrown as far as marketed subs. And as for the Pass labs DIY sub I havent done any research on it so I don't know but I have liked every thing else Nelson Pass has had his hands on so far so it is probably a good setup.

01-25-2010, 10:20 AM

First off, let me say that I always thought that the 1.6's did not need a sub, but after today I've changed my mind. I was blown away by all 3 subs I listened to.

I agree to a large extent. First, MG 1.6's don't play the bottom octave -- neither do a lot of other speakers. If you want <40 Hz, you need a sub.

Of course the other reason for a sub is to augment the bass power -- this is a different matter. I think this requires that set a high crossover point, say 80 or even 100 Hz, and use complementary high- and low-pass filters in the interest of smooth integration. I did this when I had MMGs but I don't today with the 1.6's.

I use a PSB Subsonic 6, (a vented 10" sub) . The low-pass is set to 50 Hz, (lowest possible), meanwhile the 1.6's are full-range. The latter's cut off is pretty steeply below 40-45 Hz and I don't find the overlap to be a problem. It would be nice to do some equalization of the sub though I'm not really concious of any peaks.

01-25-2010, 06:56 PM
First off, let me say that I always thought that the 1.6's did not need a sub, but after today I've changed my mind. I was blown away by all 3 subs I listened to.

I too currently don't use a sub with my 1.6's. I tried, at one time, a cheapy HT-in-a-box sub, but that really sucked so I quickly gave up on that. Having read all the posts in this thread has got me thinking again along the subwoofer line. But I'd really like to get a first rate CD player.... and wouldn't it be nice to sit there with a laptop and have tons of music at your fingertips...... what a world... what a world.....