Subwoofer.... Jl Audio vs Rel?

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
124
12
18,595
Hi,
I'm after a sub for my hifi system. (Roksan K3, Dynaudio DM 2/7 and the new Bluesound Node). I have spoken to a few shops, including long chats with Rick at Musicraft, so not wanting to come across across as unappreciative to him here, I'm just curious if anyone here has experience with both of these brands? I'm looking at subs up to £1000 and Rick stocks and recommends the JL audio subs (dominion). I have an audition locally tomorrow of some Rel subs. I have watched quite possibly all the videos available on youtube and tried to find first hand advice/reviews on the net. On reviews alone it is impossible for me to split the two. One minute im reading lots of love for REl, the next, I come across an extensive forum thread with almost everyone slating Rel. Not much out there for JL audio, apart from 2 very complimentary reviews.
I have a medium sized room 3.3 x 7 x 2.3m
I dont have a lot of space available for placement options for the sub, I'm hoping it can go to the side of my listening position (I know it wont be optimal, but as long as it doesnt sound bad!) and I know sound of subs can depend on how they are connected to my system.
Any advise or experience of these subs, or others to consider please,
Thanks!
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
961
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19,770
Both the brands you mention have a great reputation, and not being a sub user - beyond a modest AV system - I’m not sure how you’d choose between them.

Does the opportunity to try at home hold value for you, because I’d certainly want to try before deciding for sure, especially as you are feeling a bit constrained with positioning.

The only other brand I’ve seen highly recommended recently is SVS.

Lastly, without being very familiar with your kit, do you need any particular connection arrangement, or can you attach any sub? I know REL are often mentioned because they offer high level inputs.
 
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andybebbs

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2020
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Can vouch for rel here have a t5i which works great in my system but that`s the only sub i have ever had so others might be as good or better.
 
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Roger_A

Well-known member
Mar 31, 2010
19
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For others to consider, (as asked by the OP), it might be worth looking at B.K. Electronics who manufacture and supply direct and hence their prices are pretty keen. Not sure whether you get a trial with them if not satisfied but it could be worth contacting them for information. Note, I do not have any connection with the company.
 
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Increases his placement options. If you read the OP ..... oops, against forum rules.
not too worry, not exactly sure how that works but haven't seen the whole video. Just seemed to me a sub will work well in certain positions and they take up a similar amount of space wherever they are placed. Must watch the video in its entirety I guess.
Did that and still think I missed a bit as to how it improves placement......
as far as I can see it's simply a £200 box that sends signal wirelessly or am I thicker than usual today? :)
 
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The main reason you’ll see people slating REL is because they don’t have the low low numbers like some subs, and for sub “experts”, its all about the numbers. REL’s abilities lie elsewhere, not that you’ll be wanting 10Hz for music anyway.

There’s plenty of subs on the market, from complete rubbish, through subs made by speaker manufacturers that are ok at best (and some that are very good), through subs designed for music, and subs designed for home theatre. Generally, you don’t want the subs designed for home theatre. More often than not, their intention is to go as low and as loud as possible, and any other needs suffer because of it - and that includes some manufacturers that claim they do both. They tend to suffer from a “one note” type bass, as though they have a resonant frequency that dominates, a bit like car subs, but when it comes to reproducing intricate basslines that travel up and down the bass scale, they just can’t do it.

The only home theatre subs I would personally recommend are those designed by Ken Kreisel, but that’s partly because they’re produced with music in mind (as Ken started out as a recording engineer). THE best and easiest subs I’ve heard for integrating with any speakers, and subs that are designed to work “in-room”, producing fast, dynamic, detailed bass. They’re essentially exactly the same as his pro versions. You can’t currently buy them in the U.K., but they are coming soon (COVID delays unfortunately).

REL design their subs to act as an extention of your loudspeakers, which means they generally integrate better than most subs do. Attending a good REL demo should give you an idea of how well they can work. REL don’t try and be all things to all men, they ‘re just designed to work very well with music.
 

Pedro2

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2010
45
2
18,545
I can only vouch for JL Audio here; bought a D108 (the JL baby one) from Rick, days before lockdown 1 (March 20). Bought it on a 14 day trial at home and needless to say, it never went back.
It’s musical, fast and if/when it needs to be, room shaking. The latter rarely occurs, however, as I don’t generally listen to Chicago house and it’s carefully tuned in to the rest of my system.
They’re not the cheapest subs around but judging by my own personal experience , they are very, very good 👍
 

AndyCC72

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2021
91
67
120
I have 2 x REL T5i’s and they are excellent for music. Go as low as I need them to and I have them integrated to perfection thanks to Room Perfect on the Lyngdorf 1120 amp.

even before I have the room correction I was extremely happy with them. I haven’t heard the JL so can’t comment on them.
 
Last edited:

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
384
184
570
Hi,
I'm after a sub for my hifi system. (Roksan K3, Dynaudio DM 2/7 and the new Bluesound Node). I have spoken to a few shops, including long chats with Rick at Musicraft, so not wanting to come across across as unappreciative to him here, I'm just curious if anyone here has experience with both of these brands? I'm looking at subs up to £1000 and Rick stocks and recommends the JL audio subs (dominion). I have an audition locally tomorrow of some Rel subs. I have watched quite possibly all the videos available on youtube and tried to find first hand advice/reviews on the net. On reviews alone it is impossible for me to split the two. One minute im reading lots of love for REl, the next, I come across an extensive forum thread with almost everyone slating Rel. Not much out there for JL audio, apart from 2 very complimentary reviews.
I have a medium sized room 3.3 x 7 x 2.3m
I dont have a lot of space available for placement options for the sub, I'm hoping it can go to the side of my listening position (I know it wont be optimal, but as long as it doesnt sound bad!) and I know sound of subs can depend on how they are connected to my system.
Any advise or experience of these subs, or others to consider please,
Thanks!
In your room even the little REL T Zero will be fine. You want speed not volume….and ignore those who say RELs don’t go low enough…that’s rubbish 👍
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
if my house move completes then once we are settled in I am planning to revisit adding a Subwoofer or two into the system.
Good luck (y) and good to hear that subwoofers are still on your radar :)

If you do look at subs again then JL Audio subwoofers are also worth consideration. We and I have successfully used and sold many ATC monitors with JL Audio subwoofers over the last nine years. Even as recently as last Friday a client bought a Fathom f110 v2 to use with his recent purchase of curved SCM11's, CD5 si and Nait XS3. ATC monitors and JL Audio subwoofers simply continue form an exquisite match time after time.

Btw, and fwiw AV Tech Solutions (JL Audio's UK distributor) and JL Audio have successfully used and demonstrated JL Audio subwoofers with ATC monitors at the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Bristol Hi-Fi /AV shows. The highlight being 2018 show with the UK debut of the reference Gotham g213 v2 subwoofer and on this occasion used with curved SCM19's, C3C MK2 and curved SCM11's both for music and AV duties -

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDnQ5PfySJo
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,156
604
6,070
I don't think you can go wrong with either. I used a Rel Quake in the past - it worked. Not much to shout about, speakers I used at the time did go down low so might not be fair. It was fine room was treated and I was ok with it but fine without.

What I would say though is from my interactions with Rick both here on the forum and in person/on phone I would definitely listen to him as he's vastly experienced. Not only that but his ears are really good. So by all means try for yourself. If it was me I'd know from a simple conversation with Rick whether I'd like a component or not.
 
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radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
124
12
18,595
Both the brands you mention have a great reputation, and not being a sub user - beyond a modest AV system - I’m not sure how you’d choose between them.

Does the opportunity to try at home hold value for you, because I’d certainly want to try before deciding for sure, especially as you are feeling a bit constrained with positioning.

The only other brand I’ve seen highly recommended recently is SVS.

Lastly, without being very familiar with your kit, do you need any particular connection arrangement, or can you attach any sub? I know REL are often mentioned because they offer high level inputs.
It would be great if i could try at home for sure, its a large outlay for sonething that id hope i wouldnt need to change for a very long time.
I demod the Rel the other day and it was very nice. They said i can take other subs along to compare in the future if i like, so depends if i can find a jl available for try before buy...
I can connect from line out as well as speaker level.
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
124
12
18,595
For others to consider, (as asked by the OP), it might be worth looking at B.K. Electronics who manufacture and supply direct and hence their prices are pretty keen. Not sure whether you get a trial with them if not satisfied but it could be worth contacting them for information. Note, I do not have any connection with the company.
Yeah, i caught whiff of BK (bad analogy soz) recently. Id heard of them a long long ti.e ago, and had completely forgotten about them, alsmost assumed they had stopped making subs. But yeah, seems they are still going and making good subs. I have since been considering them.
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
124
12
18,595
The main reason you’ll see people slating REL is because they don’t have the low low numbers like some subs, and for sub “experts”, its all about the numbers. REL’s abilities lie elsewhere, not that you’ll be wanting 10Hz for music anyway.

There’s plenty of subs on the market, from complete rubbish, through subs made by speaker manufacturers that are ok at best (and some that are very good), through subs designed for music, and subs designed for home theatre. Generally, you don’t want the subs designed for home theatre. More often than not, their intention is to go as low and as loud as possible, and any other needs suffer because of it - and that includes some manufacturers that claim they do both. They tend to suffer from a “one note” type bass, as though they have a resonant frequency that dominates, a bit like car subs, but when it comes to reproducing intricate basslines that travel up and down the bass scale, they just can’t do it.

The only home theatre subs I would personally recommend are those designed by Ken Kreisel, but that’s partly because they’re produced with music in mind (as Ken started out as a recording engineer). THE best and easiest subs I’ve heard for integrating with any speakers, and subs that are designed to work “in-room”, producing fast, dynamic, detailed bass. They’re essentially exactly the same as his pro versions. You can’t currently buy them in the U.K., but they are coming soon (COVID delays unfortunately).

REL design their subs to act as an extention of your loudspeakers, which means they generally integrate better than most subs do. Attending a good REL demo should give you an idea of how well they can work. REL don’t try and be all things to all men, they ‘re just designed to work very well with music.
Yeah, thanks for this. Been doing a lot of reading and watching on this topic the past week. Both the Rel amd JL audio are praised for their abilities with music. The Rel seems to have a lot of engineering specifically geered toward music listening, like the high level filters, and lightweight cone. JL praised in some press for musicslity too, so really would like to hear the 2 side by side......
 

Markmaguire

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2012
42
5
18,545
I recently got a KEF Kube 10b and can recommend that, It takes line level or speaker level input and has a switch for placement - in room, wall or cabinet. Variable output and crossover. Cost £600 and sounds great.
 

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