Hi Pete, Martin is going to make a sub. you may want to wait and see how that one sounds. I don't know any details on it though. Sorry.
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The Bag End Infrasub 18 is very nice, especially x2 with music. I think it blows the Vandersteens away. The only thing I have heard that is better is the Aerial SW-12. The biggest problem with subwoofers is being able to get them placed properly and adjusted to the right levels. I have not personally heard the REL Subs, but others have told me they are on par with the Bag End. The problem with Bag End is the size of the box. I would have went with 2, but my wife said the furniture had to stay in the room also (the sub liked to be in places where there is currently furniture. The Ariel is a much smaller box that would sqeeze into areas that the Bag End would not. Vandersteens were just not enough sub for me.
Hi Pete. Which ML's do you have? If they CLS's, not hybrids, look for a pair of Kinergetics SW800 subs towers. Even they guys at ML will tell you that this is the sub system that best integrates with the CLS.
It should, as it (including the crossover) was designed by a CLS owner (Tony Di Chiro) specifically for the CLS's. Hell, they are even the exact same height as the CLS. Like the CLS the SW800's are line sources (to 200 cycles). The results with these subs are nothing short of amazing. However, they are no longer in production and can be hard to come by. But... well worth the effort. After trying other subs I decided to just wait it out and by sheer luck and good timing wound up with Gayle Sander's pair that were just sitting around at ML. Also, after posting a "wanted" ad on Audiogon, I did get a couple of responses. You may try to do the same.
I've listened to Vandy's & REL's in my system and while both are excellent subs they do not work well with full range ML's. If you have hybrids, you are your own as I've had no experience with these and subs. Good luck.
They are different animals. The 2W uses a crossover between the preamp and power amp. The sub replaces your main speakers below the cutoff point. The REL supplements the main speakers, filling in the bottom below you mains. It can be adjusted in 2Hz increments. I went with the REL because I loved the sound of my mains and did not want to change the sound of the system, just enhance its one slight weak point.
I hear you there. I had a Mirage sub at one time. I forget what model ( it was around $800 retail ) it just would not keep up. I have wondered how some higher priced units would perform. The best thing locally around here seems to be the Vandersteen stuff, and it is pretty reasonable price wise. Of course then I would have to head down the road of running an I.C. equal to the others in the system which would cost as much as the sub. So then I am back at the = or close to the investment that would get me the Ascents. There is the dilemma. I think with the Ascents I might get as much base as I need for my room, I would much prefer not to overload the base plus the fuller sound of the larger panels.
As far as cost effective solutions: I'm using a Genesis Servo 12. It does keep up with ML, but it does not have the bass extension I would like. While it's rated to go down to 20 Hz, it begins to roll off around 25-28 Hz (but it is flat to that point). At 20 Hz it's more than 6 db down. It was very inexpensive, so I really can't complain, but I would like something that goes lower in the future.
Absolute Sound (for what it is worth) rated the Rel Strata and the Hsu TN1220HO (surprise) as the best subs for disappearing and seamless integration. I have experience with the Hsu's and they can be very very good if the crossover point is 50 hz or lower and you take care to dial them in. The Rel and Vandersteen are better choices for a higher crossover point but will not crumble the foundation nor give you the realistic LF hall ambience if you need it. On the Hsu's though, you have to be able to tolerate sub par asthetics as compared to the furniture grade Vandersteens and Rel. This is not a minor point.