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  1. #1
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    REL subs and Magnepan 1.6's

    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- http://www.sumikoaudio.net/rel/idx_r.htm

    REL B series - http://www.sumikoaudio.net/rel/idx_b.htm


    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.
    Last edited by blackraven; 01-23-2010 at 08:26 PM.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
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    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.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
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    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
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    PS Audio Quintet

  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    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.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  4. #4
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    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
    http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...l-r-305-a.html

    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.

  5. #5
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    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.
    ARC SP9 MKIII preamp,VPI HW19jr, Rega RB300
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    2 Adcom GFA-545,2 radically modified Dynaco MK3's,2 bridged Crown XLS-402, Paradigm X-30, Behringer CX2310, DSP1124P
    2 12" Transmission Line Subs (PASS DIY El-Pipe-O), Acoustat Spectra 22 ESL's (fronts), Acoustat Model 1 ESL's/SPW-1 Woofer (rears)

  6. #6
    Forum Regular
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    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.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  7. #7
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    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.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
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  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    ....

    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.
    Last edited by Feanor; 01-26-2010 at 07:17 AM.

  9. #9
    Bill L
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    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.....
    Music:
    Magnepan 1.6 QR's, upgraded xovers
    B&K 125.2 reference amp
    SONY SACD 2000ES
    Technics direct drive TT

    HT:
    Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver
    Bang&Olofsun Penta Surrounds
    SONY Bravia 46" HD LCD

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