Check out the goods at www.rel.net There should be one that fits your needs and REL subs are hard to beat at any price point.
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Most of the REL's have adjustable crossover at about 2 Mhz intervals. The crossover is not actually a crossover, since the adjustment is on the sub, which lets your speakers run full range. Why do you want forward firing ?? The best RELs for music are the down firing ones. The forward ones are for HT. The Stratus III is a sealed unit. I think the Stentor is also.
The best I have heard (better than the REL's) is the Talon Audio "Roc". It is (very) fast and will move air like you wouldn't believe. The unit has a frequency "cut-off" dial. Check it out at www.talonaudio.com. The guys at Talon report that is is fast enough to negotiate a 900hz cutoff frequency. Regards, Mike PS> I have the Talon Khorus and I know first hand that these guys are for REAL.
I did not know the Merlins were $7000 to $8000 speakers. The REL Stratus a $1300 sub (and a steal at that price). So the Talon being a $4000 sub should be better although I have never heard it. The RELs in that class are the Stentor $4000, Stadium $3000, and Studio $80000. There are lots of links to reviews available on these subs at REL's website and Audioreview.com
I can really recommend the Velodyne FSR or HGS series subs. Sealed box, front firing, adjustable corner points, a reasonnably steep slope to cut the subs top end off (12 DB per octave increasing to 48 DB per octave after the first octave)and they are QUICK. I've had both the HGS & FSR subs and I feel the older FSR series sounds better for a given size cone. The high pass section is quite transparent and lets the benefits of bi-amping come thru, however, your corner point is limited (80 or 100 HZ)and the slope shallow (6 DB per octave). The good news is that the FSR series can be had cheaply on the used or N.O.S. market (about $800 for an FSR-12, for example). If you want a steeper slope to cut off the bottom of the Merlins, you can go to an outboard electronic x-over from Marchand (highly recommended)and bypass the internal x-over in the Velodyne (called sub woofer direct, or something like that). These guys are as quick as the RELs (an excellent series of subs by the way)and can keep up with my Apogees. Good luck.
i tried the rel stratus - typical one-note-thump is what i heard. i like a pair of vmps larger subs w/a quality outboard x-over, like the marchand xm-9 deluxe version, & a pair of beefy decent solid-state amps. my entire setup - subs/x-over (bought new)/amps (one new, one used), cost under $2400. can't touch it for anything near the price, imho. doug
Bag end elf processor/crossover (1,700) and 2 S 18's.(700.00 each). Stereo subs puts bass image in the sweet spot right with the mids and highs. Smokes rel, velodyne, and others. Paired with decent amp or amps you will not miss the one note character of all other sub system that operate above resonance. Blends seamlessly with Kef 3's.