Best musical sub to pair with Atohm GT1 SE bookshelf speakers?


Hi all,

I recently purchased a used pair of Atohm GT1 SE bookshelf speakers and while I am very impressed with the quality of low end from these speakers (low freq ext: 45 Hz), I think a good sub will definitely help make them sound much fuller.  

I am looking for a small budget sub, the smaller the better and appreciate any advise on recommended options.  Some details:

Source:  Naim Uniti Atom with music streamed via ethernet cable connected to wifi router (Macbook pro as roon core)
Power Amplifier:  Naim NAP 250
Cable: NAC A5

Musical tastes: Rock/Soft Rock/Blues - Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Doors, Eric Clapton, Sting, Audioslave etc; Vocals: Norah Jones, Adele, Lucinda Williams, Beyonce, Sade, Joss Stone, Ray Charles etc.; some instrumental like Spanish guitar, Sitar etc. and very little jazz/classical

Room Size:  approximately 300 sq ft (27 sq mtrs) but open on two sides;  the speakers are kept about 7 feet apart and I have very limited options in placing the sub in the room (most likely only options are next to either of the speakers).

Where I live there aren't dealers for many of the products and internet delivery is not an option.  There is dealer representation for some brands (SVS, JL, KEF, Focal, Sonus Faber, Vivid Audio, Dali, B&W, Wilson, Monitor Audio, Dynaudio etc.) but unfortunately not for REL, Rhythmic, Velodyne.

I recollect reading good things about REL subs and especially that they are best suited for music which was my requirement as well as I do not intend to use this for Home Theatre at all. 

I am considering either the SVS SB-1000 or the REL T5i both of which are small in dimension although with very different specs.  Also, as I don't have an REL dealer here I would be looking at importing it which would mean I'd  have a tough time returning it if something went wrong.  I'd also prefer to get the sub in a white finish to please the missus and help match the decor in the room.  Both the SVS and the REL are available in white which doesn't seem to be the case for many other companies subwoofers.

Appreciate any advise on whether the SVS SB-1000 is as good as the REL T5i (or perhaps even better) and will be a good match for the Atohm GT1s which I think are a very good quality set of bookshelves.  And if there are any other alternatives that you'll can recommend, I will try and see if I can find dealers for those brands too.

Thanks!


rsure
While true that you can’t listen to it, the Rythmik L12 is probably the best one for your budget. It’s for sure better than the SB-1000, and the T5i is hard pressed to be called a sub, it’s -6dB point is 32Hz, so that’s 35-38Hz using standard F3 parameters. Meaning, it’ll get as deep as like a subwoofer from a soundbar package, it’ll just sound/perform better.
I would always try to go for two small subs for a smoother in-room response. For the same reason an Antimode 8033 dsp room eq system is also very useful.
@rsure

I just received a pair of the Atohm GT1 SE today.  I have two subs that I will be trying out later today.  REL T/5i and an SVS SB-2000.

My room is only about 160 sq. feet so I'm hoping the REL is enough.  I don't need to shake the room, which the SVS will have no problem doing.

The REL has a much higher WAF factor too!

Will report back later this evening.
IMO, The sealed 12 woofer SVS would be a much better choice. I owned one years ago with small Spendors and it blended great !
Rythmik, regardless of budget. Buy two. 
@yogiboy 

The SVS was clearly better in my room.  The REL had a very nice sound, but wasn't able to go low enough.  Sticking with th SVS for the foreseeable future. 

By the way, the GT1s sound spectacular on their own too.  Very good bass response for their size.
@robelvick thanks for sharing your feedback.

Unfortunately for me I don't have the option to audition any subwoofer either at my place or at the distributors.  Where I am located, I can buy these subwoofers currently: 

1. SVS SB-1000 at $625
2. SVS SB-2000 at $730
3. REL T9i at $1,222
4. JL Audio D110 at $1,200
5. JL Audio E110 at $1,700

There is obviously a huge difference in the prices between the SVS and the others so I'm not sure if it's worth stretching that much to the REL and JL Audio ones. 

I'm wondering if I should just stretch my budget like crazy and get the E110 and use that as an end-game sub which I will never change and continue to use even if I upgrade my Atohm bookshelf speakers to larger, full range ones.  Is that a good way to look at it?  Or is it better to just get the cheaper SVS now and look to upgrade it later?  If I do go that route then I will most likely go with the SB-2000 as the price difference is negligible and I am more concerned with the size difference to be honest. 
 
All these subs I've listed have been reviewed well and I'm just trying to understand if the more expensive ones (JLs especially) are noticeably/significantly better than the SVS SB-1000/2000 and can be used even with much larger floor standing speakers?

Also, is the REL T9i a better buy than the JL D110?

Appreciate all inputs, thanks! 
@Rsure

The only experience with JL Audio that I've had, was a small sub in my car back in high school, ha!

The SVS SB-2000 has more power, and will go lower than the REL, and I feel like it's one of those "bang-for-the-buck" subs.  

I'm always switching out speakers a few times a year, and don't always need a subwoofer, so the SVS is perfect for me.  Great low freq when I need an extra boost.  I've never used the SVS and wished I had something better.

The REL does look much nicer, if that's important to you.  My wife loves the RELs I've used, and hates the SVS, but she doesn't spend much time in the listening room so it's not an overall issue.

The T/9i will definitely do the job, and look great, but for me it's not worth the extra $$.  I would try out the SVS.  If you wanted to sell it down the road, you wouldn't lose a whole lot.

@robelvick - apologies as I seemed to have somehow missed your earlier post.  Thanks for sharing your feedback.

I have decided for now to not add any subs after speaking with the SVS  dealer who is also the dealer for the Atom GT1s.  He told me that it might not be easy to blend in an SVS sub with the Atohms and especially just one.  And especially for music rather than HT.  He is also the dealer for the REL T9i and said that it is definitely better than the SVS but he still felt I'd be better off not using just one additional sub and rather just experiment with better speaker positioning to try and get improved bass.  He did advise me that the GT1s can be placed closer to the wall to help improve the low frequencies and this is what I've been experimenting with over the last few weeks.  And it does seem to work although I think it does impact the soundstage width a bit but not dramatically.  

Since I also have limited placement options in my living room for not 2 but even just 1 sub I've decided to put this off for a while longer.  I am also inclined to buy a nicer sub(s) just once and be done with it rather than keep trying different models so would like to try and audition some models especially from JL Audio and Rhythmic if I get the chance.  I might be traveling to London in a month or so and was hoping to audition some pairs then.

Longer term I'm also considering moving to a floorstander like the Focal Kanta's or the Magico A3s even and would be very keen to see how they'd compare with a pair of bookshelves (like the Joseph Audio Pulsars) paired with some good subs.  But that's another discussion!