REL Strata III with Paradigm Studio 40 V.2

I bought the REL this Saturday and since then trying to find the optimum crossover and level setting for the room and to blend it with the Paradigms.

I have concluded that a setting of cut off frequency of 28 Hz (Coarse on A and Fine on 5) is the maximum I can go to before muddiness creeps in. Seems this setting is "just under the main speakers". The current setting of the level on the REL is about 1 o'clock. I will continue to fine-tune it in the next days and maybe weeks to come to try to have as close to perfect match as possible.

The frequency response specified for the Paradigms is 59-22,000 Hz (+/- 2 dB) with low frequency extension down to 34 Hz (+/- 3 dB, in a typical room). The Paradigms are on a rigid metal stands with 6 inch center post filled with river sand and decoupled from the flooring by spikes. REL is positioned on the far left corner of the room 3 inches out from side/rear wall and its mode button on 4 (180 deg).

My room dimension would make an audiophile run like hell, W 13'-3" x L 13'x H 9'-6", but this is what was available for exclusively setting up my system.

The overall sound quality is very much listenable with good low frequency extension that was missing before the REL was put in.

Opinions and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I never received any responses to my post but I did get very good tips on other forums and thought I would update for the benefit of those who use the REL sub bass systems.

I spent almost 6 hours listening to music and tweaking the system on Sunday. I got some excellent tips from fellow members on the LS3/5a club, of which I am a member. One of the guys was quoting about his discussion with Richard Lord who said that most of the audiphiles make the mistake of setting the crossover point too high and gain too low which actually does not help the overall balance. In my case, I had set it at 28 and gain between 10 and 11 o'clock, so to a great extent it is not incorrect. Anyway, listening session on Sunday was very useful as I managed to bring the crossover point even lower at 25 and increased the gain to 12 o'clock. I did not notice anything wrong with the system or its overall balance. In fact the system was sounding much smoother at this point. So I will not touch it for next few days and continue to listen and evaluate various albums.

The other interesting point that was informed to me on the club is that according to Richard Lord, setting between A1 and A3 is somehow workable with all speakers no matter what their frequency extension. I was surprised to find this out but realised that somehow folks at REL know what they are talking about. I did set it on this position and the system is sounding wonderful with great extension and depth, without my missing anything in between whatsoever. The most surprising disclosure was that REL themselves tested the LS3/5a's and they used the same low setting and higher gain and according to them its was subjectively very good integration. Do not ask me to explain this as I have no clue whatsoever how it is achieved but that is the exact setting I used for the Chartwell also, it was surely sounding great.

Any REL owners wish to share their experience on this thread?
Agree that setting the crossover low is key. I think it is more acceptable to have a slight dip in the bass than a hump caused by excessive overlap (which then sounds boomy).

Corner placement didn't work at all for me ... far too boomy. It sounded better positioned just to the inside of the main speakers (i.e. well out into the room, next to my right hand main speaker). Main speakers are positioned 3 feet from rear wall and about 2.5 feet from side walls. My room is approximately the same size as yours.
As per REL/Sumoko setup procedure the recommended placement as you already know is in the corner, but yes, they do acknowledge that if it does not suit you you can place the sub anywhere. In my case the sub is certainly not sounding boomy. They may be other variables at play I guess.

I have been listening to the LS3/5A and REL combo for the last two days and I just do not feel like connecting the Paradigms back. The sound is so open and fatigue free! I am afraid that if I continue listening to this combo I may waste the Paradigms. The LS3/5a seem to be having the voice coils of God (courtesy B&W ad :-))
Hmm ... I borrowed a pair of Spendor S3/5 (the latest incarnation of the LS3/5) from a friend for a week, and, while I agree that the REL/S3/5 combination works well, my Spica Angelus speakers sounded much much better to my ears. I was really surprised as I had expected to be really impressed with the Spendors, but in imaging, low level detail and general "liveness" the spicas won easily.
Do the S35 sound worse that your spica's when it comes to vocals? Very curious to know!
Yes ... worse on everything. It may be my taste, or that I'm used to the sound of my spicas but my wife agreed that my big ugly speakers sounded a lot better than the cute little speakers (to her dismay .. she hates my speakers).
"Cute little speakers" compared to the " big ugly speakers" and that too by your better half, I must believe what you are saying as it must be true.

Recently I came across a review of the S35 which concluded that it was an excellent speaker. As you know it is not a cheap speaker hence I am really surprised at what you are saying. But this is not the first time that I have come across conflicting reviews. It has happend with me as well when I heard few components in my own system I found them to be ordinary or unbearable even though the press was raving about it.

I guess your point about personal preference is what we need to concentrate on to come to a conclusion when it comes to subjective analysis.

Sorry for being off topic here.
I am also really surprised that, given the reviews and excellent reputation of the S3/5 and given the somewhat mixed feelings that reviewers have towards the spicas, that the spicas should be so totally superior to the s3/5s (to my ears). I think that I beleive I made a valid judgement also because I went into the comparison absolutely convinced that the spendors would beat the spicas and that Sunday evening (when I had to give the Spendors back) would be a painful parting. Also as mentioned in looks and build quality the spendors won by a mile.

I also agree that its a subjective comparison. I did not use any test equipment, other than my ears. I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who prefers the ls3/5s to the spicas to hear why they do.

I have to say that the amazing breadth of soundstage and pinpoint imaging of the spicas was what really drew me to them. I know that imaging is not something that everyone is interested in, and if imaging is not so important then perhaps the spicas will not be for you. I'm quite sure that the spica's frequency response curve is less flat than the spendors ... perhaps this bothers some ears more than others. I'm also sure that the phase response of the spicas is much more linear than that of the spendors .... perhaps this is what my ears are hearing.

Also if you get a chance to hear some old spicas then go for it. You might prefer them also, but if you prefer the ls3/5s then I'd certainly appreciate your feedback as to why. Used tc-50s and Angelus often come up for about $350 ... IMHO it's well worth a punt at those prices and if you don't like them then selling them is easy.
Well I will certainly keep that in mind when I come across Spicas and I must listen to them. I would very much appreciated if you can point to a review on the net of the spica you have that YOU think represents the speakers best. I want to read it to get some idea of what these babies are. I cannot form an opinion by reading the review as they say "proof of the pudding....." so will hunt them down and have a go at it, but till then the review would suffice.

I think I agree with nearly all of their comments, except that, like many reviewers, they say that the treble is rolled off. I certainly don't find that the Spica Angelus treble is rolled off in comparison with the Spendor S35 ... if anything the Angelus sounded slightly more extended than the spendor.