Anyone Experienced With Revel Gems and Sub15/LE1

Hi All. I have a pair of Revel Ultima Gems and I am going to be purchasing a matching set of the Sub15/LE1 sub and amp combo in a few months.

I would like to know what my best option would be in hooking up the system. I believe the two ways are:

1. use either an integrated (with pre-outs) or pre/power amp for the Gems and run interconnected from the pre-outs to the LE1 inputs; or
2. use an integrate (without pre-outs) or pre/power amp for the Gems and run a speaker cable to the LE1 line-level inputs.

What would be the best in terms of a) sound quality and b) convenience. Also, which of these setups will allow me to use the LE1's filter (so that the Gem's only get higher frequencies)? Or is there another setup needed to use this filter?

Thanks in advance,
Do yourself a favor and if you need a sub with the Gems buy the newer sub30. Far more reliable. Revel had nothing but trouble with the LE1 amps, not to mention when running through the LE1 crossover, the sound was "not so good".

A friend had the Gem/Sub15/LE1 some time ago, and we always enjoyed the Gems direct, than with the sub and crossover. The crossover added a noticeable sibilance to the Gems which was not there without it.

I have Gems alone in a second system in a smaller room. When I bought them used I thought that low frequency extension may be problematic however as they are I have been quite pleased.

A dealer I know sold 8 sets of the Gem/Sub15/LE1 combo some time back. He told me 7 of the 8 LE1 amps went sour.

So, that's what I know. To this day I consider the Gems to be an outstanding speaker on their own. Boogie factor and midrange that many others can't touch. I wish I could say the same for th Sub15/LE1.


Paul :-)
Hmmm...thanks for the info, I had no idea. The Sub30 is out of my price bracket unfortunately. The LE1/Sub15 I could get at a good price from the person I originally bought the Gems from. I am also fairly limited in terms of choice as I am in South Africa, not the US or EU.

Would you perhaps recommend getting an alternative powered subwoofer to match with the Gems? If so will I still be able to use some form of crossover to limit the low frequencies sent to the Gems (I assume that the crossovers would be part of the subs)?

If so, what would be the best way to connect the system together? I will be getting amplification too so I now have a choice of either getting an integrated amp or a pre/power amp. Would it make much difference which I go for (other than the added cost of going separates)?

I can confirm the problems with the LE1. Bought it in 1999. Went bad in 2004. The worst thing was that I had to send the whole amp from Europe to the States. They exchanged the crossover module which is a much better design now (in view of the board and electronical parts) and better sound as well. Since the repair no problem whatsoever. So you should make sure you'll get the latest version of the module! I run my Ultima System directly from Wadia's 27ix into LE1 which is feeding the McIntosh MC 2000. The sound is superb! I also tried your setting #1 using the Burmester 808 pre and feeding the GEMs and Sub seperately. Not bad either but the above setting is superior. I only can encourage you in view of this speaker system. I haven't found a bettter speaker system for classical music and jazz (along with the McIntosh tube amp and Kimber Select 3035, 1130) so far and I guess I stopped searching - which means true High End, right? Good luck!
Unless you are really playing LOUD, I would run the Gems full-range.

Most subwoofer on-board crossovers do more to degrade the sound than improve it.

You would need a preamp with two sets of outputs to run the Gems full range. One set of outputs to the amp for the Gems, and the other set of outputs to the subwoofer. The lower you set the high pass control on whatever sub you get the better.

These are my thoughts, others I'm sure will have different suggestions. Best of luck no matter how you do it!!

Paul :-)
Hi guys. Thanks for the responses! Are these reported problems with the LE1 specific to the crossover? In other words, would using (as suggested above) the Gems in full range along with the LE1/Sub15 combo give the desired results (by bypassing the crossover in the LE1)?

If that were the case, what I planned to do is get a very good integrated amp which has pre-outs/sub-outs. I will then connect: source to integrated amp, amp to Gems with speaker cables, pre-outs to LE1 with interconnects, LE1 to Sub15's. Oh and BTW I do means Sub15's in the plural: the person I can get it from has the complete combo (LE1 with two Sub15's) which is one of the reasons I am so drawn to complete the package that way.

Alternatively I believe I would look into another subwoofer such as a Rel or Velodyne. If I do so, would you still suggeset running the Gems full range as described above (integrate amp and pre-outs)?

No, the Revel Sub is the one! It's incredibly good. And yes: the probs seem to stem from the crossover module. In my case anyway. The only thing that I wouldn't know is how to circumvent the crossover module since it's part of the whole amp and pulling it out definitely cuts the circuit.
By the way: I tend to disagree with the thought that the GEMs alone are real fullrange setting. They do need the Sub IMHO
Good luck!
Hi there. Thanks for the reply. If I use an integrated amp with preamp outs, the Gem's will be running full range. The preamp out will then feed the LE1. Wouldn't that effectively cut the crossover/filter out of the equation? I believe the problems that you guys are experiencing have to do with the filter which cuts out low frequencies to the Gems, right? Since the audio signal is going first to the Gems and then the LE1, the only filtering being done would be that of the high frequencies sent to the Sub15's. Am I right in my thinking or is there something I am missing?

Thanks in advance,
Contact Adidadi (his Audiogon moniker) he can give you a good deal on Sub 30s or the B-15. The B-15 is very comparable to the Sub 30 and could save you some money.
Adi is very knowledgeable and can really help you build your system. Tell him Steve sent you!