i am interested in adding a sub to my system and don't know much about them.My system is ML336,ML380s,Sony SACD-1,B&W N802's,Transparent ultra XL cables.What is the most musical sub in the $2000 range.My room is 16'x25'
The subwoofer which has consistently been rated as one of the best on the market for MUSIC is the Vandersteen 2Wq. This sub is different than many, in that it has a crossover between the preamp and power amp. The 2Wq integrates seamlessly with a variety of speakers. Widescreen Review magazine reviewed a very large number of subwoofers, and the 2Wq was one of about 5 subs that received the highest ratings for musical presentation (and all other rated factors as well). MSRP for the 2Wq is $1295, and at the price it is a real bargain. For more info about the 2Wq, contact your local Vandersteen dealer, or go to Vandersteen's Web site:
I guess at $2K new it would be the REL Storm III. I would also consider the REL Stadium III. It can be has used for around $2k, the Stadium II even less.
used entecs l2f-20s w/ updates. CANNOT be beat.

Save yourself the pain, get a REL (ST series) and forget the rest. You have a very high-quality system which means the servo subs are out (they will sound maddeningly slow and thuddy), and your speakers can easily go full-range so there is no point in screwing up the sound by putting a crossover in there. The REL ST series is by far the most musical sub out there, and will integrate perfectly (use the high-level connection and set the crossover point a lot lower than you think it should be- this means for your speakers, probably around 28-30 Hz!). Don't be put off by the 10" driver, it can do things your ears won't believe. First choice in the $2000 range would be a used Stadium III; next is a new Storm III or used Stadium II. I'm not affiliated with REL, I just think that if you're looking for a MUSIC sub there is no comparison. See

I agree with you 100 %. The best upgrade I ever made was adding two REL Storm III's to my Spendors.

ditto Karl's response 100%
If you're planning to have your REL do home theater AND music, then get the newer version (III); the connection options are much more flexible. Otherwise, you'll find yourself swapping cables back and forth at the sub end between music and HT. I'd go with the Stadium III, since that's what I have. A big step up from the original Storm.

-- Greg
Hi karl
I am also looking to add a sub for music listening with matrix 801 III, scd1 , lev 336 ,380s
I read good/and bad thing about servo design .
some swear it's the best way to integrate with main speaker ?
can someone elaborate the pro/cons on servo design.
Rel! Rel! Rel!
Here are some reviews:

Good luck!

-- Greg
I have to agree with the above posts and repeat dbw1 great words. Rel! Rel! Rel! If it wasnt for Rel I wouldnt have a subwoofer. I was so pleased with mine that I went out and bought a second one.

There are many reasons for their superioty. First, and most importantly to me, is their intergration. They intergrate so well with your original system that it will sound like the bass is coming form your speakers. Its the only sub I have ever heard that I thought was truly non directional.

Then there is the quality. Top notch. Fast, punchy and not boomy. The bass is so clear that it will actaully increase imaging and stereo seperation. You will hear detail and nuences never heard before and you will feel an uncontrollable urge to play all you old favorite cd's.

I have found that even for movies nothing is better. It may not move as much air as some of the foward firing subs but the added realism of detail makes it so much more involving.

A Rel is something that will stay in your system for a long long time to come. When you do upgrade it will only ever be for a better Rel.
Like a lot of people have said, REL ST. I use a Strata III but your room will probably want something bigger. I would highly recommend a III series over a II.
The Rel subs are nice well built subs, but not as good for music as the Vandersteen 2Wq. Because the Rel is like every other sub in the world - other than the Vandersteen - the way it gets hooked into your system is half the problem. The Rel and all others give you a line level connection that comes from your preamp. This means that the sub will only be augmenting the bass below where your speakers stop working. This doesn't help free your main speakers from any burden of making deep bass, nor does it relieve your power amp from any burden in the bass. The Vandersteen system will roll off your mains before the power amp making both perform much better than they do full range. Vandersteen does this with an unobtrusive 1st order crossover that consists of nothing more than a capacitor. Also, the Vandersteen sub gets its signal from you power amp and will take on the sound character of your amp which allows the sub to blend much more seemlessly than any other sub. Sorry Rel.
The Rel also hooks directly to your amplifier and benifits from this design as well.
Just want to put in another vote for the RELs. Probably a Stadium 3 used or Storm 3 new. With your equipment and budget I can't think of anything close. They are very adaptable and man are they fast. I am reticent to say don't look any further, because then you never learn about new things. I would say that you really should listen to both of these before buying a sub. You'll figure it out yourself. Happy listening

JM Labs Electra Sub SW900
I use a single REL Storm III with my Magnepan MG 1.6s. Great results. I use the Hi-Level connection which comes from the power amp to the REL. This Hi-Level connection allows the MG to operate as a full range speaker. It rolls off at its natural bass rolloff point (somewhere between 35Hz-40Hz). The REL starts at around 35Hz - 40Hz and goes down from there. I prefer it this way because the MG 1.6 sounds great as a full range speaker and I wouldn't want to screw that up by cutting the signal fed to the MG via the Low-Level connection option on the REL.

I have also heard the Strata III with MG 3.6s and was impressed.

If you really like a lot of deep, big bass consider the REL Stadium III, Stentor III or Studio III. I have heard the Stentor III and the Studio III in a Classe / Wilson Audio home theatre set up and it moved me (literally!).
Seems there are quite a few folks here who enjoy their REL's. Well.. I've got to tell you, I prefer the Velodyne HGS. Side by side, the Velodyne HGS will beat any REL on any test and integrates as easily with any system.

When listening to music such as "Enya", it is amazing how much the REL misses. The Velodyne's 1200 watt amp (3000 watt peak) makes this driver so fast and so tight it will blow your mind. By comparison, the REL is quite simply... slow.

However *I* would buy a REL if wood finish was my priority.

It is not.
MAN, a star visiting Audigon's web site!!!!!

I just visited your home page:

I love the way you say your name.
My cover is blown!

AND you have a sense of humor!!

I am tempted to take your advice on subs for that reason alone.
The new and first Martin Logan Sub is quite good.
Only $2500, and its not your basic black box. 3 ten inch aluminum woofers.
Look for one and give it a try.
Having never heard the Vandersteen, I cannot and will not comment on it. BUT it is clear that "" knows nothing about the RELs either. One of the best features of the RELs is the flexibility of its hook-up and adjustments. As "tlhubbel" has stated, RELs can be connected to the speaker outputs of the power amp leaving the speaker to run full range - nothing in the signal path between preamp and amp. The first demo of a REL that I heard was by Allan Haggar of Sumiko (the REL importer) at Overture Audio in Ann Arbor with a pair of $3,500 Sonus Faber Grand Pianos. The sub was a Stentor III which was crossed over at only 23hz. It was absolutely seamless and even noticeably improved the ambience and soundstage of a piece of solo piano with no information under 60-70 hz. The sound was deep, taut and never overbloated - but, most importantly, always musical. Build quality is stunning and customer service is superb. But, as always, YMMV.
I don't have a ton of experience with subs, but I did hear the difference between Velodyne and a few others in the sub-$1k price range. I'm a very picky classical musician, and as far as I'm concerned, the Velodynes sounded like music, the rest sounded simply terrible.
I use to own a 15" Velodyne before going to a Rel and although Rels quality is superior it is still a trade off. I would compare the Velodyne to the manufacture's setting on your tv. Its made to jump out at you. The Rel is more like your tv's picture after using DVD essentials. More detail and overall better picture but it doesnt jump out at you as much.

There is no question the Velodyne, in the same price range, moves a lot more air then the Rel. A lot more. To get the same air movement of the 15" Velodyne I had to go to the Rel Stentor.

I think the Velodyne is something some would pefer in the showroom but the Rel is somethimg most would pefer after using it a bit. Its strange in a way that the Rel intergrates so well you forget its there at least until you turn it off. The Velodynes precense is never forgotten.

I would say that the Rel articulates your current system like a better pair of speaker wires and the Velodyne adds something new to it.
I agree that "" comments should be ignored. I went to and what do you know, he is a Vandersteen dealer. Just a sales pitch disguised as advice. Even the information of his product the Vandersteen is misleading. The Vandersteen runs with a crossover between the preamp and amp along with the amp. He claims it runs off the amplifier. The REL is the one that runs directly off the amplifier outputs, which is why it integrates well. I will say the Vandersteen is a nice sub for $1200. It is a different animal. It replaces the bass produced by your main speakers (the crossover). The REL compliments and completes your main speakers running full range.
i heard a $1200 rel in my home; i've heard the 18" velodyne in a store. bottom line: i wouldn't trade my pair of vmps larger subs, adcom gfa555 amps, & marchand deluxe xm-9 x-over for a *pair* of the top-line models from rel or velodyne. i might consider a pair of the servo towers from the old infinity irs models, or the sub towers from the $130k new genesis model. or, a pair of bag-end's largest double 18" subs, w/their $3k elf processor. but, since my system as described cost only $2400, & that was buying the fully-tweeked subs & x-over brand-new, i'd have to win the lottery first... ;~) used, i'd look at the entecs mentioned above, or the five driver per side kinergetics research sw800's... go to vmps' website & check out the specs on their subs - nothing can surpass 'em at *anywhere* near the price. only a few can even *match* 'em. and, their sound matches their specs.

doug s., no vmps affiliation, just a satisfied customer

I second Perfectimage's comments (and will elaborate more than my first post). I also went from a 15" Velodyne (the FSR-15) to a Storm-III. I can't bring down the walls as much with the Rel, but the Rel plays deeper, more accurately, faster, etc. True, the HGS series is supposed to be somewhat better than the FSR series, but I've heard them at audio shops, and they're really only marginally better. The Storm (and it only gets better as you go up to the stadium and stentor) is a true audiophile sub. As some have already mentioned, I hardly notice it's there until I turn it off. The slower rolloff (12db/octave vs. 24 in the Velodyne and most subs) is key - the velodyne 'jumps out' at you because it's thumping the mid-bass but can't keep up at the real deep bass and rolls off quickly as you get to higher frequencies. It creates a very noticeable presence for a certain frequency, unless you just turn it down, at which point you're REALLY missing the deep bass, which is what the sub is for, particularly if you have mains that go pretty deep (forgive the run-on). I hope this post adds, rather than just piling on / ganging up. Anyway, as everyone always says, opinions do vary, and home-demo if possible.
the Aerial SW12 is a stretch, but an amazing sub. The REL's are nice, sure. I have Rega Vulcan, which is made by REL. Great little sub for the kitchen system. The ML sub is worth listening to, and looks better in person than in pictures. The Revel B15 is worth a listen too.

The ultimate bang for the buck is doing homebrew subs however. I have a pair of 12" subs I built using the NHT 1259 drivers, in multi-layered-laminated sonotube enclosures. They are as dead acoustically (the enclosures) as any sub I have seen in the store or my house, and with a Bryston 10b and Classe CA200 powering them, as good a sub solution as I have heard too. And, they would run equally well with a cheaper (Paradigm X-30) Crossover and a cheaper amp. One driver I've been itching to try is the Stryke HE15, made by TC Sounds. ( The Shiva has had good reviews as well.

Thanks for all your help,,,its gonna have to be REL.......
It sounds like you're obviously being overwhelmed here with the REL responses... but I have to join the party too. I've got a Stadium II which I absolutely love and couldn't possibly be without, now that its spoiled me so... I've used it with Martin Login Aerius i's and am currently using it with Audio Physic Tempo III's. It's a GREAT "integrater" and will keenly improve the image roundness, sense of depth and space... and add a virtually seamless bottom extension which never draws attention to itself in any unnatural way.... Just deep,fast,articulate bass. A real gem, and an excellent customer support outfit. Good luck and enjoy.