So much depends on the room when experiencing bass. Unless you've had different subwoofers in the same room and setup then it's almost impossible to say for certain what the differences/strengths are for each model.
I have the Strata III and I can say it's wonderful for music, but I doubt that it would be as fine for a home theatre setup. My $100 Parts Express sub does wonderful earth shaking things there, but is sloppy on music.
Agreed. My REL Strata II adds a dimension to the music that I would not be without. It integrates with my stereo wonderfully and is fast and detailed. But it does not seem to do the earthquake type bass that a home theatre setup would entail. To be fair though I have NOT tried it with a home theater. It could surprise me.
Ptmconsulting, have you tried what you are saying, or are you suppossing it? I mean, that it's almost impossible to say for certain what the differences/strengths are for each model.
I ask you it because I am sure I will not be able to do that comparison.
Another thing: Do you have any kind of acoustical treatment in your room?
Artmaltman, did you compare your actual Strata with other Rel subwoofers (ST series) when you bought it?
If so, what differences did you notice?
I have an Art of Sound (which uses a REL clone amp and simliar Peerless drivers) sub. I use mine for both 2-channel and HT. This hooks up the same way also with Speakon and low level inputs connected simultaneously. It is awsome with music, meaning it adds well-defined bass to my Tannoys which go down to about 35HZ. With HT, it does not "shake the foundation", however it adds impact in a very accurate, believable way. There are times when the bass is low enough that it can be felt, although not in any painful way (no kidney damage). The impact will get your attention, but not in an overbearing manner. It blends so well with the R/L for music that the Tannoys sound even better. Unless you're trying to annoy people in another city with the bass volume, the REL's and Art of Sound and some others are engineered so well that you shouldn't feel deprived with either music or HT.
feelings? emotional or physical...REL can give u both.( or any other highend brand)..Depending on room size,room tunes,
room absorption ,diffusion etc...IN GENERAL the smaller subs will complement smaller speakers and smaller rooms and give them added depth missing.depth as in lower frequencies,making seamless music if all else is okay.if it's not in tune ,in the wrong spot ,it's boomy and it will sound like mud... Now this applies to music as well as HT, when someone says I 'm not sure for HT...then he is used to bad boomy bass, movies with great explosions that shake the room ...you see with a rel your going to feel and hear the explosions...with a bad set-up your going to hear and feel annoying bass when bass isn't called for, someone walking,talking,doors closing (no slam) wind blowing ,background music etc...
AS for stentor3 types ,in size and quality, different animal... i have one ,it's like comparing a dog to a dog,or a dog to a lion...different animal
No, I haven't actually tried my Strata III in my home theatre setup. It may do VERY well there for some/most people. However, I actually LIKE the house shaking and powerful bass that comes out of the cheapo sub that's in my home theatre now, and I doubt that the REL would be as powerful. It's a more subtle subwoofer. Yes, it's unparalled in my music system and truly wonderful there. Deep and textured, but based on what I hear there I don't think it would do dinosour stomps as well as my other sub. I can say I don't even have the urge to put it in the HT setup for a trial.
Enough said - so please take my opinion with a grain of salt and by all means, try it for yourself if you can.
To answer the question (sorry for delay) I have never heard any other REL sub other than the Strata III in my home. (BTW there is a Strata 5 coming out soon!).
I was discussing my sub yesterday with the folks at REL and found myself making the following characterization, which I wanted to pass along to you: When I play the REL Strata III, I don't hear the sub. What I hear is that my speakers sound better, fuller, deeper, richer. I have heard a lot of subs in other circumstances (but to be fair not in my home) and other subs seems to always sound like subs. You hear the sub, it's like - yeah I hear the sub. When I play my REL Strata III I often question whether it's really on because I don't "hear the sub". As an experiment I turn it off and sure enough my speakers suddenly sound threadbare by comparison.
Curious feeling, Artmaltman
Maybe someone has used two Stratas any time, or has listened to both of them?
Yes, that's a much better explanation that my feeble attempt. In my music system the Strata III disappears. It just supports the speakers seamlessly. But in my home theatre setup I expect to hear dinosaur stomps and cannon blasts with dramatic effect. That's why my wife calls it "rumble vision". The sub there needs to kick in and be noticed, as opposed to a delicate blending.
You may also find that you prefer the non-ported Strata as opposed to the ported Storm. I felt the Strata was more accurate...it was close...but it seemed quicker and a bit more accurate head-to-head.
Troutki, your comment is quite interesting, since Storm is more expensive than Strata.
By the way, we should wait to listen to the new Strata 5 (www.rel.net)
When I purchased my Strata III, I was sitting in the store with the coin ready to buy it or the Storm. I listened head to head on the demo system, and found that the Strata better suited my tastes. The Storm goes a bit lower probably due to its porting, so it maybe a bit better for HT....i have never compared the two head-to-head for HT so I am just speculating.
I wouldn't go with the Storm III. If you are getting the sub for mainly HT, then I would do nothing less than the Stadium III. The Stadium III will give you that visceral bass that pressurizes most any room unless very, very large which then you may need more than one. The Stadium III does retail for $3,000. It is also an incredible sub for music. If that is out of your price range then I would recommend either the Paradigm Servo 15 or their step down PW2200. Very good HT subs at better price points, just not as refined as the Rel subs for music. The Strata III is a nice sub that will do well for music but really lack for HT unless your room is pretty small. It may simply come down to which activity is more important HT or 2-Ch music.
I have 2 Strata IIIs and the effect is amazing. Check my virtual system here. I just listened to the flight of the valkyrie scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" the other night. Specifically the end of the scene when the colonel wants to surf and he orders the napalm strike on the tree line off the beach front, it was window rattling. I was so in awe, I played it again just to make sure I heard it right. The Stratas have all the effects that have been mentioned above when it comes to music but I think many people sell the Stratas short when it comes to movies. As for the Strata subs not being good for big rooms, my room is a sunken living room that measures 22'x 13'x 9' and the back of the room is open through the foyer for another 12'. My Stratas have no problem at all providing more then enough bass response in both music and HT applications. Also, with 2 subs, you eliminate standing waves, dead spots and spikes in frequencies. Just my .02.......John