Not enough low bass on REL HT/1003

SteamPunk123

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Mar 12, 2021
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I've been using logitech z906 sub with my hifi system and decided to get a proper hifi subwoofer as I didn't like bass from z906. It didn't have really low bass, just down to 40hz and it was slow - bass heavy songs had so unstoppable bass, but rock/heavy metal songs didn't even trigger the bass properly.

Today I kinda upgraded this logitech z906 sub to REL ht/1003 sub believing it would outperform z906 sub in every way, because I heard only the best about it.

It does play bass down to 50hz, but volume of bass goes lower when getting closer to 40hz... from 40hz to 24hz is the same volume - 4x quieter than 50hz+.
Even bass it does play in proper volume are not so robust as in z906 sub. It feels kinda underpowered when compared to z906 sub.
Other aspects of bass are good - it's fast and responsive and it's clean(at least the part with correct volume - 50hz+)

I didn't have chance to listen to it on higher volume, only on low. I didn't completed the burn in yet.
I also didn't have a chance to put it in the corner of room as rel recommends, because there is furniture in corners of my room.
What I did was check some corectures in my avr and in pc(sound source for avr) if there is something that is lowering the volume of lower frequencies(24hz-40hz) and there isn't really. I also tried to set phase on back of sub(0 and 180), without noticing a big difference.

Is this the way REL ht/1003 behaves normally or is there a mistake on my side?
By mistake of my side I mean for example that:
I didn't complete burn in
It doesn't play well on lower volumes, only on mid to high volumes
I didn't place it to a corner

Thanks
 

nopiano

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I’m sure a subwoofer expert will be along soon, but room placement makes a massive difference to deep bass. Once near a corner I’d expect the ‘missing’ frequencies to reappear.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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It does play bass down to 50hz, but volume of bass goes lower when getting closer to 40hz... from 40hz to 24hz is the same volume - 4x quieter than 50hz+.

I didn't place it to a corner
Hi,
I'm not a sub expert but do know a fair amount on room and psycho acoustics. Also do mixing and mastering. Couple of points for you to consider.

What you described is perfectly normal. We don't perceive bass and particulary low bass the same as other frequencies. Google Fletcher Munson curve to understand it a little better.

Secondly, placing sub in the corner could potentially give you more bass (well, at some frequencies) as the corner would reinforce it. Sadly, overall as a general rule I would not recommend it. I'm surprised with REL advice.

And then finally. Rock and Metal tracks depending on when they were released will probably not have much info sub 40Hz. If guitars are tuned normally, then the lowest string on a 4 sting bass is at 41.2Hz. That's the lowest it will go and will depend on the bass line and key of the song.

Kicks are usually tuned to the key of a song but never that low anyways so any info there would be done at mixing stage which wasn't common pre digital era.
 
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andybebbs

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Apr 30, 2020
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I was going to suggest the high level input but it seems this rel does not have it. how strange as my relt5i does. also this sub seems to be for the home theatre market not music according to there website.
 

millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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@SteamPunk123

Does your AVR have an auto EQ function? if so have you reperformed that since adding in the Rel?

It would help if we knew what your AVR is.

And yes you won't hear the bass a the same volume throughout its range on the rel. eg -6 db at 30hz- you'd be asking the impossible of that little sub. 15-18inch yeah maybe.
Not to mention that 50hz is where all the "exciting" bass is so will sound a little more in your face, it could also mean your room has a bass hump 50hz and room mode 30-24hz AKA bass suck.

Or is it user expectations and expecting too much. You have to remember a good sub won't sound FAT it won't sound like a G boys car its there to under pin and support not to be "heard" you shouldn't be able to tell it comes from the subwoofer at all it should only make a rumble when it needs to..

As you can see your question is a lot more complicated than you think. there are so many facets to unfold here to narrow down your problem.

You need to go through each and to diagnose the problem.

I think I would reset the AVR to the default settings and go from there. That will rule out any settings that may be making things act up on the AVR front.
 
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SteamPunk123

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Mar 12, 2021
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Thanks for answers.

So I moved my wardrobe from the corner and put my rel there for a while and yes, the bass were reinforced, but awful and lower frequencies were still missing.

I'm listening mainly to trap, but except that I listen to almost all styles. In trap you need very low bass response, but also in other music styles there is something missing, because this sub plays fine just to 50hz.

My AVR - Sony STR-DH750 has passed through fatory reset, so I think no corrections are active. Also I can't perform any room correction, because I don't have calibration mic and all I can set inside AVR related to speakers is volume, bass and treble. If you ask why AVR instead of stereo amp, it's because this will be also a gaming/ht speaker setup in the future, but quality focus should be on music, because that will be playing there for most time. For gaming I need just positional audio, no quality setting for games. Now it's only a stereo setup with sub, but that will change soon :D

I knew this sub is for HT use, but REL promised it would have response down to 24Hz and I thought it would go down there without lowering volume earlier. Also I read reviews where was written that it's just fine for music, just a little bit boomy - which I would like, because I like aggressive bass when it is fast, responsive and can go low enough. And that REL is company that focuses only on subwoofers, so I put belief into them. There wern't many other cheaper or equally priced subs, that had such low frequency response written. Those which had, were ported subs, and I was afraid of ported subs to have uncontrolled and slow responding bass like logitech z906 sub. Also I was afraid, that some of the subs would be too weak as some of them had just 100Watt written in specs.

Yes, maybe I am expecting too much, but I came from PC speakers, which are likely not such a big joke to hifi as many people say. Subwoofer from logitech z625(not to be confused with z906) could go down to 28hz and the driver had just 8 inches. Old 4Watt creative a120 sub could go down to 40Hz (cca 3 inches) etc., so I thought, that this sub could do that with response down to 24Hz.

I still didn't have a chance to listen to a little bit higher volumes to see if the lower frequencies would come to life. Could volume make a big difference to this frequency problem?

Also if this can't be resolved, what subwoofer would you recommend me to get if I want response to go down to at least 28Hz(25Hz- would be better) in this price category or lower? Are ported subs likely to have uncontrolled slow responding bass like logitech z906 sub?

Thanks again.
 
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andybebbs

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Apr 30, 2020
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I would say if your primary use is Music get a music amp and sub the avr is not going to give you what you want musically from what i read on here. I have a re t5i 125w connected to my rega amp via the high level input and i like the sound but it only fills the gap my speakers can`t give and you can`t specifically hear it on its own.
 
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millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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Thanks for answers.

So I moved my wardrobe from the corner and put my rel there for a while and yes, the bass were reinforced, but awful and lower frequencies were still missing.

I'm listening mainly to trap, but except that I listen to almost all styles. In trap you need very low bass response, but also in other music styles there is something missing, because this sub plays fine just to 50hz.

My AVR - Sony STR-DH750 has passed through fatory reset, so I think no corrections are active. Also I can't perform any room correction, because I don't have calibration mic and all I can set inside AVR related to speakers is volume, bass and treble. If you ask why AVR instead of stereo amp, it's because this will be also a gaming/ht speaker setup in the future, but quality focus should be on music, because that will be playing there for most time. For gaming I need just positional audio, no quality setting for games. Now it's only a stereo setup with sub, but that will change soon :D

I knew this sub is for HT use, but REL promised it would have response down to 24Hz and I thought it would go down there without lowering volume earlier. Also I read reviews where was written that it's just fine for music, just a little bit boomy - which I would like, because I like aggressive bass when it is fast, responsive and can go low enough. And that REL is company that focuses only on subwoofers, so I put belief into them. There wern't many other cheaper or equally priced subs, that had such low frequency response written. Those which had, were ported subs, and I was afraid of ported subs to have uncontrolled and slow responding bass like logitech z906 sub. Also I was afraid, that some of the subs would be too weak as some of them had just 100Watt written in specs.

Yes, maybe I am expecting too much, but I came from PC speakers, which are likely not such a big joke to hifi as many people say. Subwoofer from logitech z625(not to be confused with z906) could go down to 28hz and the driver had just 8 inches. Old 4Watt creative a120 sub could go down to 40Hz (cca 3 inches) etc., so I thought, that this sub could do that with response down to 24Hz.

I still didn't have a chance to listen to a little bit higher volumes to see if the lower frequencies would come to life. Could volume make a big difference to this frequency problem?

Also if this can't be resolved, what subwoofer would you recommend me to get if I want response to go down to at least 28Hz(25Hz- would be better) in this price category or lower? Are ported subs likely to have uncontrolled slow responding bass like logitech z906 sub?

Thanks again.

If you're not getting any bass now moving to another subwoofer isn't going to change that. Ported or not

You need to figure out why you aren't getting bass.

Seems like a strange promise for Rel to make to be honest, not all rooms can produce 24hz tones and that goes for any frequency. You need to find out the problem. And it certainly won't produce 24hz at 100db you will be lucky to get usable bass out of it in the 30's it just too small. what they say it can do on paper is completely different in real life.

So lets troubleshoot-

Does the sub actually make any sound at all?

Have you turned the volume on the sub up?

Is it in phase?

Have you crossed it over properly ie have got it set at 30hz or some such where it should be around 80 and above if you're using satellites? also have you also turned the cross over knob all the open on the back of the subwoofer if it has one.

Is the trim level on the AVR been set to low? this quote from you makes me think so "but rock/heavy metal songs didn't even trigger the bass properly." though not all rock music has massive bass and see point above this can affect this.

Are your speakers set to small or small and large? if not they need to be

Have you set the distances in the amp so it can work out the delays you need in place.?

Have you tried a Y splitter to increase the reactivity of the trigger? mine would struggle without it, this will also increase the output of the subwoofer.

have you got any test tones? if not find some on youtube and play them see if it makes an agreeable rumble.

The problem isn't the sub (as long its producing sound and working) its the setup, if you're having trouble get the dealer to help you out, this is where say you got it from a big box store!
 
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SteamPunk123

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I'm getting bass from my subwoofer, but lower frequencies than 50hz are much more (cca 4x) quiet and hard to hear - i'm not getting low bass from it.

Also I thik I got you a lil bit confused.
I mentioned two different subs: logitech z906 sub and rel ht/1003
The sub that has slow and unresponsive bass, that heavy metal didn't trigger properly was logitech z906 sub. And because that unresponsive bass, non-flat "himalaya-like" response curve and bass just down to 40hz, not lower I got a new sub - REL ht/1003 with which I have problem, that it won't go lower than 50hz properly.

I have turned volume on backs of sub, but still didn't have chance to listen to it at higher volumes as my family is home all time.

I tried phase setting to 0 degrees and to 180 wihtout noticing any difference, so put it back to 0. No other phase options available

Crossover is set to 80hz on sub and in avr - yes, I tried to pllay with it on both sides without greater effect for my problem. And speakers are set to small in avr.
Distances in avr are set to 1meter as it is really and I don't have any Y splitter to try.

I use tone generator at https://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/ for testing frequency response

Yes, my room is probably weird... When I put this sub - rel ht/1003 to middle of the room, the difference between low bass and 50hz+ is smaller - the lower frequencies are almost normal hearable(only 2x quieter), but still not in norm. Also then there is a thump up from 60hz to 70hz bass, which is annoying too.
But to that weirdness of my room: How is that possible, that from many subwoofers of PC speaker sets I had, not even one had this kind of problem in my room. For example: logitech z625 sub could go down to 28hz, logitech z906 sub to 40hz, soundblasterx's katana sub could go down to 42hz, creative a120's small 4watt sub could go down to 40hz and so on. All subwoofers except logitech subs had almost flat response curve - not big differences between frequencies they played. creative a120 sub was "tested" in 4 other rooms(as they're small, I'm taking them with me on vacations to hotel rooms) with same results and logitech z625 was in 1 different room and had response just to 30hz there - no big difference. That's why I'm confused.
Could my room be just too bad for bigger subwoofers than the ones from pc speaker sets?
Or could this REL sub be engineered such bad, that it's really hard to place it for it to have it's full sound potential?

When I will be able to I will try my REL sub in different room to see how it will perform there.
 
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jjbomber

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I'm getting bass from my subwoofer, but lower frequencies than 50hz are much more (cca 4x) quiet and hard to hear - i'm not getting low bass from it.

When I will be able to I will try my REL sub in different room to see how it will perform there.
Trying ringing REL customer services. They have been excellent whenever I have spoken to them.
Option 2 is to ask the retailler to help. Most will fit a product they've sold for free.
 

SteamPunk123

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Trying ringing REL customer services. They have been excellent whenever I have spoken to them.
Option 2 is to ask the retailler to help. Most will fit a product they've sold for free.
Thanks, I asked retailer and they will test the sub for me tomorrow, if it behaves like that, or it's my room.
 

insider9

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Can I point out a couple of things here as it may just be that you're expecting something else. I can assure you not many people test their subs with tone generators. Assuming all is connected correctly and functioning as it should.

Your Rel sub specs state -6dB at 24 Hz. 6dB is a lot. It would probably be better for Rel to specify no frequency roll of at X frequency (but that doesn't look that impressive). If said roll of is not steep being only 6dB per octave that means that anything below 48Hz will be quieter.

Our perception of volume in relation to frequency and volume can't be ignored. We just don't hear bass frequencies that good. For us to perceive 20Hz and 40Hz (listening not very loud) as the same in volume for, you'll need 20Hz to be 10dB louder. Pair that with your sub roll off and you'd need a swing of 16dB. That's massive!

Are you listening to the test tones or attempting to measure them? If so with what?

Add your room acoustics into equation. Check out this link and put your room dimensions it will give you a good indication what's happening

With cancellations, and there will be plenty (just frequency dependent), you may be completely missing some notes.

Either way, I very much hope you'll resolve this and get best possible sonic results. Good luck! Keep us posted.
 

millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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I'm getting bass from my subwoofer, but lower frequencies than 50hz are much more (cca 4x) quiet and hard to hear - i'm not getting low bass from it.

Also I thik I got you a lil bit confused.
I mentioned two different subs: logitech z906 sub and rel ht/1003
The sub that has slow and unresponsive bass, that heavy metal didn't trigger properly was logitech z906 sub. And because that unresponsive bass, non-flat "himalaya-like" response curve and bass just down to 40hz, not lower I got a new sub - REL ht/1003 with which I have problem, that it won't go lower than 50hz properly.

I have turned volume on backs of sub, but still didn't have chance to listen to it at higher volumes as my family is home all time.

I tried phase setting to 0 degrees and to 180 wihtout noticing any difference, so put it back to 0. No other phase options available

Crossover is set to 80hz on sub and in avr - yes, I tried to pllay with it on both sides without greater effect for my problem. And speakers are set to small in avr.
Distances in avr are set to 1meter as it is really and I don't have any Y splitter to try.

I use tone generator at https://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/ for testing frequency response

Yes, my room is probably weird... When I put this sub - rel ht/1003 to middle of the room, the difference between low bass and 50hz+ is smaller - the lower frequencies are almost normal hearable(only 2x quieter), but still not in norm. Also then there is a thump up from 60hz to 70hz bass, which is annoying too.
But to that weirdness of my room: How is that possible, that from many subwoofers of PC speaker sets I had, not even one had this kind of problem in my room. For example: logitech z625 sub could go down to 28hz, logitech z906 sub to 40hz, soundblasterx's katana sub could go down to 42hz, creative a120's small 4watt sub could go down to 40hz and so on. All subwoofers except logitech subs had almost flat response curve - not big differences between frequencies they played. creative a120 sub was "tested" in 4 other rooms(as they're small, I'm taking them with me on vacations to hotel rooms) with same results and logitech z625 was in 1 different room and had response just to 30hz there - no big difference. That's why I'm confused.
Could my room be just too bad for bigger subwoofers than the ones from pc speaker sets?
Or could this REL sub be engineered such bad, that it's really hard to place it for it to have it's full sound potential?

When I will be able to I will try my REL sub in different room to see how it will perform there.
One last thing! have you done the subwoofer crawl test? putting the subwoofer where you would sit and then crawling around on all fours to see where the bass actually gets louder. Where it "loudest" / most powerful is where the subwoofer should be placed. Then move it a few cm's here and there to fine-tune it. Should get you 90% of the way there for powerful bass.

And insider's comment about cancellation is a good one.

Put a subwoofer in the same place as the old one is no guarantee it will work the same way. I find this with normal speakers all the time in my room, what suits one pair won't suit the others.

Hope you get your problem sorted soon and that dealer can help you set it up. Subwoofers aren't the easiest things really and can be very hard to integrate into a system.
 

SteamPunk123

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Mar 12, 2021
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So, retailer tested the sub for me (in front of me) and the sub sounded really really good!

Bass weren't so static, but very energic and dynamic. There were all frequencies, even the lowest. Idk if it went down to 24hz, but in the songs we played on it, it could go so low, that I even forgot to test it with online tone generator :).I'm sure it went minimally to 27/28hz at full volume, as other frequencies. And it worked like that even on low volumes, as I listen to it home. And when the guy cranked the volume almost to max, sub could handle the low frequencies as well - windows were shaking a little bit, and that room was maybe 10x12 metres big.
And one more note: it was connected to my AVR with my cable.

So it must be my room.

Are you listening to the test tones or attempting to measure them? If so with what?

Add your room acoustics into equation. Check out this link and put your room dimensions it will give you a good indication what's happening
Thanks, I will check it, and about test tones, I was just listening to them, not measuring.

One last thing! have you done the subwoofer crawl test? putting the subwoofer where you would sit and then crawling around on all fours to see where the bass actually gets louder. Where it "loudest" / most powerful is where the subwoofer should be placed. Then move it a few cm's here and there to fine-tune it. Should get you 90% of the way there for powerful bass.
Nah, no crawl test yet, but I will do soon, as I know that room is the problem.

Thank you, I will keep you posted how will this go.
 

SteamPunk123

Active member
Mar 12, 2021
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Ok, so I checked my room in amroc and found out, that the space where sub is usually sitting is 57.17hz pressure zone and it almost exactly is the frequency when the sub comes more quiet - 50hz. If it does not show zones with frequencies lower than 49Hz, does it mean, that this room does not have any pressure zones for 49hz-?
Here is the link for amroc and my room: https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc?l=350&w=300&h=250&r60=0.6

I also did really thorough crawl test with sub on my usual position(including top of my room) and now I'm even more confused. There are three zones containing half volume low bass(room middle, one of rooms top corners and maybe 5-20cm in front of sub) and one zone containing full low bass(just to 32hz - still not enough as I know the sub can go lower), but really late(maybe up to 0.25sec latency), as if this place was final destination of bass after bouncing from 3 zones(idk if it actually works like that), but I didn't find any other zone containing full volume low bass. I checked other rooms neighboring with this one for any "bass leaks", but I didn't find any.

Is there anything that could be done to bring full volume "non-late" low bass to this room with this sub? Or it's a dead end here?
Thanks in advance
 

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