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REL Stentor....what is an SVS equal?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Bill Law, Jan 25, 2003.

  1. Bill Law

    Bill Law Well-Known Member

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    I have been advised that the REL Stentor sub is THE best match for my Vienna Acoustics speakers...it blends best musically.



    Which, if any, SVS should I consider as an equivalent.
    The REL can be connected high-level (Neutrik?) and low-level (LFE-rca jacks) simultaneously without me having to manually switch back and forth.
    Current setup:
    LR=VA Mahlers
    C=VA Oratorio
    4 surrounds=VA Waltz's
    Sub=????
    Thankshttp://www.homecinemachoice.com/testbench/Subwoofers/REL/RELStentorIII.php]
     
  2. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Well-Known Member

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    Sumiko distributes both VA and Rel in the US,so no wonder they would recomend that sub.
    The SVS 16-46 pc+ would smoke this thing with real extension,and power.Not to mention it's a lot cheaper,but don't know if this matter to you after laying down 9k for the Mahlers.
    So maybe an SS package would be a better idea,you could match the color of the VA's as well.
     
  3. RichardH

    RichardH Well-Known Member

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    No advice to give, but here's a fixed link:

    REL
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Well-Known Member

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    I find it odd that REL subwoofers have been largely ignored and unreviewed by American companies.

    All the "independent" reviews I've read are from the UK, they are all subjective in nature, and I've never seen one independent American review where somebody like Tom Nousaine or John E Johnson really wrings one out and stacks it up against the competition.

    Is it possible the extraordinarily expensive REL aura and mystique will vaporize under the harsh light of objectivity? Or will it really prove its mettle and justify its price tag?

    Ed
     
  5. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Well-Known Member

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    "I have been advised that the REL Stentor sub is THE best match for my Vienna Acoustics speakers...it blends best musically."

    That might sound crazy, but there are are certain speaker/sub combos that sound good together, FOR MUSIC. HT is a whole 'nuther ballgame.

    For instance, the B&W Nautilus 804/Rel Strata III combo, which I happen to own. The Strata III, the cheapest of the Rel ST series, is the way to go with N804s. NOT any of the more expensive Rels. The crossover on my Strata III is set at 25Hz, BTW.
     
  6. Mark Leitch

    Mark Leitch Well-Known Member

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    The REL's beat SVS soundly in two areas:

    o their special crossover to blend in when you run full range.
    o their cabinetry (I have not seen the wooden SVS versions).

    The SVS will likely demolish the REL in pure output/extension. For music though, I would take the REL hands down... I find the people at Sumiko very good and pretty straight up.

    M.
     
  7. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Well-Known Member

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    I'd say it comes down to how the integration process will be, if you're going to cross it at 80hz which is typical among most AVRs/pre-amps then SVS will still be an excellent choice as it should have a very flat sound and can easily be eq'd (I have yet to see an outboard neutrix parametric eq though I don't know if rel incorporated it on their subs). Both subs might still be hindered by the simple fact that unless the room is appropriately treated and carefully positioned bass traps are used that the integration of either might be a personal preference.

    I do believe the main advantage of the Rel is the ability to cross-over very low, appearance (for those that like the traditional wood cube/rectangle look), and prestige (sorry but some will never admit that a very well designed ported sub is "musical" plus Rel has that "audiophile" reputation).

    I think the SVS will beat the Rel in driver quality, cabinet design (round cylinder is about as great as it gets), output, extension, and price (Ultra is cheaper than even the entry level Rel when I last looked). The SVS might also have more problems just from the fact it can also maybe affect other things in the room that the rel can't and this could induce a background noise if you will.

    I'd say pick up both, and return the loser.[​IMG]
     
  8. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Well-Known Member

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    "I'd say pick up both, and return the loser."

    Robert, that's an interesting statement, for several reasons. BTW, the rest of your points make excellent sense also.

    You see, I'm planning to order a SV 16-46PC+ late next month. For HT, I think the performance/price ratio of the SV subs can't be beat. BTW, when I say "for HT", that's not a cut. One of the big reasons I like about the SV 16-46PC+ is its ability to stay reasonably flat from 16Hz to 80Hz, although I'll be using a 60Hz crossover point.

    For music, I like to keep the electronic path as clean as possible. That's a big reason for why I like my Strata III and plan to keep using it. The integration of the Strata III with my N804s is seamless.
     
  9. Bill Law

    Bill Law Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the REL may be the best bet since music is my main concern. HT is less demanding and sounds good now.
    Why doesn't SVS include a similar high-level crossover?
    Is that REL's only advantage?
    And yes I did sink a wad in the VA's but I'm not one of those "eat up with it" audiophiles. I just like good sound. Could an external crossover and an SVS compete?
    REL sure SEEMS overpriced.

    The ULTIMATE would be a REL connected high-level (speaker jacks) AND an SVS connected low-level (rca jacks).....but $5k is my absolute limit for the sub.
    Thanks again.
     
  10. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Well-Known Member

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    "Why doesn't SVS include a similar high-level crossover?"

    Added expense/complexity and the fact SV subs are made for HT (not a bad thing at all). SVS is a very price conscious company, a very good thing!

    "Is that REL's only advantage?"

    Most Rel ST series subs, especially their only sealed sub (Strata III), have very fast, very tight sound that helps them 'hide'. Once set up correctly, you don't hear their presence until you turn them off.

    "Could an external crossover and an SVS compete?"

    Maybe.

    However, for a lot less than $5k, you can get a setup like the one I plan to have next month. By that I mean a Strata III and a SV 16-46PC+. Check around, there's bound to be people using Strata IIIs with Vienna Acoustics speakers. The Strata III is the unsung hero of the Rel line. It's only 'failing' is the fact that it's the cheapest ST series Rel. That bothers some people.
     
  11. Bill Law

    Bill Law Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately my large basement room dictates the larger subs.
    42' x 17'6 w/ an 8'6 ceiling.
    Thanks for the replies!
     
  12. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's one long room! Maybe you'd need TWO SV 16-46PC+s...
     
  13. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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  14. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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    Rels have speaker and line level inputs (RCA and XLR) and separate volume controls for each. The speaker level connection taken from the amp terminals to the Rel is via a Neutrik Speakon connector which makes a great connection. I think one of the earlier posts pretty much summed up the differences. If you are looking for sheer output for HT, expecially at its price point, SVS is pretty much on top. If you are looking for HT and music, Rel is the way to go
     
  15. Bill Law

    Bill Law Well-Known Member

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    Dustin,
    You are wrong. They use 3-wires for high-level/speaker-level. The 2 positives from L&R plus one negative from either L OR R. Yes im calling high-level=speaker-level=amplified signal.
    They ALSO have low-level=LFE=line-level=the usual rca jack connection.

    Phil,
    Looks like REL is way to go since music IS important.
     
  16. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    So there is no high pass signal that comes back out to be amplified and sent to the mains?

    Wow, I just did some more reading. I was big time confused. I thought the Rel, Aerial and Revel all had the same basic connectivity. Turns out the Aerial and Revel are basically the same (Adire HS series is this way too). While the Rel is different.

    There is no highpass that comes back out of the Rel, you just hope that what you set the low pass to on the Rel will match up to the natural roll off of your mains nicely (big hope IMO). The other three implement an actual full 4th order crossover that has adjustible low and high pass filters. The high pass feeds line level outputs you are supposed to take back to your amp that feeds the mains.

    I'm not impressed with that connection scheme at all. Doesn't relieve your amp or mains of any of the deep bass duty. Except for the ability to also connect the LFE signal at the same time, the speakon connectors and that the low pass can be turned down to 22hz on the Rel (entirely pointless IMO considering the real world extension ability of the ST subs) and 40hz on the SVS, this is not really any different than what is on the PCi/PC+ series from SVS.
     
  17. Bill Law

    Bill Law Well-Known Member

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    Huh?
    The REL connects to the same place your mains do on your amp simultaneously (not passing-thru).
    This has always been one of their main features.....& supposedly makes them blend better? Negligible draw from amp (i was worried that the additional current draw would hurt the amp, supposedly not tho).
    So crossover point on REL can go lower 22 v/s 40?
    Why is the lower limit only 40 on most?
    confused again........thanks.
     
  18. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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    Bill, have heard your speakers many times. My friend who works part time at high end shop has the Strauss along with the same center. Sumiko is usually pretty good with their recommendations, however, since every room is different (even though they have lots of experience), I would see if you could find a dealer who would let you try different ones. You can make some of their subs sound different or match different speakers sometimes by putting in the spikes or removing them. I have 4 Rels in my system, 2 Storm IIIs (stereo - set at 22HZ), a Q150 on the center and a Strata III on the rears. I still have 2 other non-Rel subs, one in the bedroom system and one I am saving for the basement, both of which are more modest both musically and for HT. I have also owned many other subs, including before there was HT and a ".1" channel. If music is important, I have found nothing better. One has to remember that many people are more into HT and have never heard a system set-up properly (I do virtually all the installs with my friend and have seen many systems that people think do music right and it is to their taste which is OK). The connection to the amp allows the Rel to see the same signal and be sonically similar to the mainsSet-up right, they just vanish sonically except for the ability to play the low bass without distortion.
     
  19. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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    Bill, all products are made for a price point and market. Most people will just use their subs with the crossover built into their pre/pro or receiver which means that the crossover on the sub will be set at a point above the one in the processor so that the processor can control the division of frequencies. HT has exploded as a market vs. music and even Rel on the newer subs (than mine) has 2 low level inputs, one regular and one that is plus 10db. Many people I know who went to CES indicated that high end audio was quieter than usual. That is what makes SVS such a great HT product. It is sold direct by the manuf. and engineered to kick out awesome bass levels. Bass frequencies sum, that that if you mains drop off in your room at 35HZ, you want to set your sub (for music) to fill in what the mains don't reproduce a little below the drop-off (e.g. 32HZ), otherwise you will produce a bass bump above the 35HZ point (e.g. setting the crossover at 35HZ) and you won't have the same sound. Whether or not someone prefers that is another matter.
     
  20. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Well-Known Member

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