I wondered why I had to readjust my Velodyne F-1200R for almost every disc. After a couple of months of adjusting the controls – frequency and gain – it should have been right. So as a reality check, I tested a beautifully finished REL Stadium II in the system. After about an hour of adjustment, I was done. In the year after I bought the REL, I moved the sub’s volume a hair up or down, but mainly left it alone.
I should note that I did not use the Velodyne’s high-pass filter, and it was hooked up just like the REL. The REL is superior to the Velodyne in the following ways:
- Much faster, with far greater low level detail
- Goes deeper
- Is quieter when no bass is playing
- Has no midrange output
- Better match for several speakers
- And, is easier to install with less room problems.
The REL is up to the challenge of mating seamlessly with a pair of Merlin VSM-SE speakers driven by Atma-sphere M60 mk. 2 OTL amps. If you can guess how good that combination sounds, you’ll get message about the REL. The servo subs sacrifice good sound for good specs, but the servo itself, in models I’ve heard, sounds like a filter that blocks low level information. It is this low level signal that gives bass its nuance and emotion. Without it, all you have is a boom box.
I suggest that compared to the REL sub, all others are boom boxes. If you buy a REL, and take the time to dial it in, I’d bet you will not be disappointed. (The rating for this product has been adjusted from 10 LPs to 7 LPs after auditioning the REL Strata III sub. Such is progress. Review here.
Overall Rating: 7 LPs