REL S/812 subwoofer Review

March 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

“A downward-firing 12in carbon ‘SuperProgressive’ passive radiator again uses a new design intended to produce extremely long travel while retaining the variable stiffness of its suspension. The thinking here is that it enables the S/812 to act like a sealed-box compact 12in design at low volume, but still deliver bass down to 19Hz when pushed. At the rear are the inputs, including high-level Neutrik Speakon, low-level stereo phono, and LFE (phono and balanced XLR) connections. There are also high-level Neutrik Speakon and LFE (phono and XLR) outputs. 

Otherwise the back plate is surprisingly sparse, with just two switches (On/Standby, and 180-degree phase), and knobs for high/low/LFE levels and crossover. The Serie S subs are also compatible with REL’s new wireless transmission system (AirShip).

These are the first mid-sized RELs designed to be stackable, thanks to special fixtures and included metal plates. You can safely stack and lock S/812s up to three units high. That sounds bonkers but there is logic in REL’s madness. In the real world, bass has width, depth and height; by stacking these subs you can create bigger bass presence from a smaller footprint.”

Arendal Sound 1961 Subwoofer 1S review

January 22, 2020 § Leave a comment

What this well-priced woofer won’t do is completely overwhelm you in subsonic mayhem. For larger setups and bass obsessives, the vented Subwoofer 1V model, which claims to hit 16Hz, might be a better fit – as long as its bigger cabinet and €200 price hike can be accommodated.

A more obvious criticism concerns usability. Ideally, the parametric EQ and other features would be accessed via a smartphone app. The sub’s dial/button arrangement is simplistic and intuitive, but making adjustments is long-winded, and the back of the woofer might not always be easily accessible depending on

REL no.25 six pack $45,000 Review

January 11, 2020 § Leave a comment

A single REL no.25, or even a pair, is the finest subwoofer I’ve heard. But the six pack is in a class by itself. There’s nothing to compare them to. The level of realism that they bring to a world class system is unmatched. That is why the REL no.25 six pack is more than deserving of one of our first ever Product of the Decade awards. This is the new benchmark, indeed it is the missing link in our systems, not just for low frequency reproduction but for dissolving the boundary between recorded music and physical reality happening in one’s own home. And there’s no other way to get it.”

Paradigm Defiance V12 Review

January 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

His final test, using “She Will,” from Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV and featuring Drake (16/44.1 FLAC, Cash Money), was the one that made the differences between the subs “most obvious”: “The SB-4000 managed to dig down deeper in reproducing ultra-low bass, and the slam of the thumping bass notes had just a bit more pressure with the SVS. Still, these differences were obvious only in these direct comparisons. The Defiance V12 really did perform admirably, especially considering its price.” In the “Conclusion” of his review, Diego summed up: “All told, the Defiance V12 is a great value that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone — even those willing to spend much more.”

When Diego’s review of the Paradigm Defiance V12 was published, the subwoofer earned, based on his high recommendation, our Reviewers’ Choice award. In December 2019, the Defiance V12 was recognized as one of our 2019 Products of the Year: Exceptional Value. This month, we add it to our list of Recommended Reference Components — the lowest-priced subwoofer yet to be included.”

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bass Wireless Subwoofer $999 Review

October 9, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Bass-heads can find more boom for fewer dollars if they want, but the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bass isn’t designed for that audience. This subwoofer is designed for applications where more traditional subwoofers might just not fit in. It’s designed for the new school, wireless set who demand great sound as well as good looks. And yes, it’s an expensive subwoofer for what it is, but you get what you pay for in a top performing, gorgeous sub.”

Sonus faber Gravis VI Subwoofer Review

September 21, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Still, though, taking that price into consideration, the Gravis VI lacks a few niceties that I think it deserves. For one thing, I would like to see a subwoofer of this caliber ship with its own measurement mic. Even a Dayton Audio EMM-6, low-priced as it is, would be an improvement over the mics built into smartphones, and would provide better calibration.

Unrelated to price, I also wish there were a bit more variety between the four EQ presets for the Gravis VI. While there are differences, they’re so subtle that you’ll likely hear more tonal shifts by leaning your head back and forth a foot or so. Only the Streaming Mode preset differs substantially from the other three, with a decent boost around 50 Hz and a steeper roll-off of frequencies below 30 Hz. I’m not really sure what that has to do with streaming, but there you have it.”

SVS SB-3000 powered subwoofer $999 Review

September 16, 2019 § Leave a comment


“Lengthy listening sessions suggested that the SB-3000s, placed in diagonal corners, were quicker to set up and sounded better with the Quad ESL-989s than with the MartinLogans. Because I was not able to try the 800Xes in the diagonal corners, or try to blend them with the KEF LS50s, I am hesitant to draw any final conclusions about which pair of subs might be better for other rooms or other satellite speakers. Within those limitations, the SB-3000s showed better pitch definition, greater dynamic range, and did a better job of covering the audio spectrum below 80Hz evenly in my room. Be aware, however, that each SB-3000 is larger, 25lb heavier, and costs $200 more per subwoofer than the MartinLogan Dynamo 800X.”

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