Subwoofer pairing for Sonus Faber Elipsa SE

Currently have a 20+ year old M&K single VX-1250. It adds a very noticeable difference in fullness but looking upgrading

100% music, no HT

Full PS Audio BHK stack with 300 mono blocks

Already have GIK room treatments for 1st reflection and corner bass traps. My thought was to bring in a pair of matched subs.

Rel recommends a pair of S812's. @ $6k ish for a pair this isn't an option. The older 212 seems like it might actually be a better music only option but a pair isn't affordable. Seems like if I go the Rel route  it would have to be as a single. Maybe a used single G1?

Sumiko S.10 pair seems like a much more cost effective option. A pair is less than a single Rel. I read a lot how it's a variation of the Rel S5 with different cone material. Its unclear to me what the sound difference would be.

Last option is a pair of Syzygy 850. Beefer amp but only 10" compared to the Sumiko. Room correction is the interesting value here. Wondering how much value it adds.

I've ruled out SVS and the JL line is out of budget.  Feels like I have 3 real options

1) A single Rel, perhaps able to find a reference unit used 
2) Pair of Sumiko S.10
3) pair of Syzygy 850 for the room correction 

Thoughts? None of these can be auditioned within 1000 miles so looking to hear from anyone that has 1st hand experience with any of these

1ac50bce 1592 4ff6 98aa f7e46272d9dcdoitwithlife
Hello doitwithlife,

       As I'm sure you know, the Elipsa SEs are very high quality performers. However, they each have only a single 10.25" woofer in each cabinet and the bass extension is only rated down to 35 Hz.  I don't know your budget or anything about your room, but my suggestion is you'll get the best results using subs or a bass system that is similar in quality to your Elipsa SEs.  I believe an excellent solution, that performs extremely well in virtually any room and with any pair of main speakers,  would be the Audio Kinesis Swarm bass system at about $3,000 for the complete system.  Here's an Absolute Sound review of the system from a few years ago followed by a link to it also being awarded a 2019 Golden Ear Award by The Absolute Sound:

     The owner of Audio Kinesis, Duke Lejeune, has stated that two subs perform twice as well as one, Four subs perform twice as well as two and eight subs are good grounds for divorce.  The Swarm system is based on the 4-sub distributed bass array concept (DBA) pioneered by a couple of PHD acoustical experts, Dr. Earl Geddes and Dr. Floyd Toole.

       I've used the almost identical Audio Kinesis Debra 4-sub DBA in my system, with a pair of 6' x2' Magnepan panels that are considered notoriously difficult to seamlessly integrate subs with, for about the last 4 years.  I've been so thrilled with the results that I started a couple of threads describing my experiences. Here's a link to my most recent thread that you may find useful:

Good luck,
I used a pair of REL S3's with my Elipsa SE's.  They were a good addition to my system.  I then sold those and bought a pair of REL Carbon Limited subs.  My what a change those make in the system!  They blend extremely well with the SE's and contribute heartily to the bottom end without drawing attention to themselves if you have them set up correctly.  You won't even know that they are there until you turn them off.  They add so much atmosphere to the listening experience.  I consider them essential in my system, and would not be without them.  A pair of REL S5's should also work well in your system. Good luck and enjoy the music!

I'm hesitant to recommend much of anything anymore, but I agree with your statement about REL Carbon Limited subs. I sold a single JL Audio F112 v2 and replaced it with Dual REL Carbon Limited subs. My speakers are Monitor Audio PL500 ii, but the results are the same. They don't draw any attention to themselves, but they add to the overall sound like no other sub I've owned. I don't think they "hit" as hard as JL subs, but in my system they provide more shades of bass. 
Hello doitwithlife,

     I have no doubt that rdoc and ricred1's suggestion of a pair of REL Carbon Limited subs would work great with your speakers but, if a pair of REL S812s at $6K/pair was too expensive, I don't know why they thought a pair of these at $7K/pair are going to be an acceptable option for you.
    In terms of bass quality and bass integration with your main speakers, I can tell you with certainty that a pair of subs will perform twice as well as a single sub and 4 subs will perform about twice as well as a pair of subs.  This is based on scientific research done by PHD acoustic experts, Dr. Earl Geddes and Dr. Floyd Toole among others, and my personal experience over many years of attempting to incorporate subs in my own system.     
     It's useful to consider the number of subs utilized in terms of good, better and best with the quality of the subs employed also being an important contributing factor.  

Good-a single good quality sub is capable of providing good bass response at a specific single listening position if the sub is positioned properly in the room in relation to the listening position.  I recommend using the crawl method (google it) for optimally positioning the sub.  I've found that the quality of the sub is more important when a single sub is used than when multiple subs are used.  

Better-the multiple benefits of using multiple subs first becomes evident with the use of 2 subs. The bass is noticeably, smoother, faster, more detailed, more effortless, more natural and blends better with the main speakers.

Best- the bass benefits of using multiple subs in a given room only increases as more subs are employed up to the scientifically identified optimum threshold number of 4, beyond which additional subs only have smaller and more marginal benefits.  This is why the Audio Kinesis Swarm and Debra distributed bass array (DBA) systems utilize 4 subs.  Using either of these bass systems will outperform any pair of subs available, no matter their quality level or price,  in your room and the total cost is a relative bargain at $3K.  Either system will provide the best quality bass as well as the most seamlessly integrated bass with your Sonus Faber Elipsa SE speakers.

     If $3K exceeds your budget, I'd recommend buying a pair of very good quality SVS SB-1000 subs brand new for $950/pair (on a free in-home trial basis) that would provide very good quality and well integrated bass to your system right away.  Then, if you liked the results, you could add a 2nd pair and create your own custom 4-sub DBA system when you're ready.  Here's a link to the SVS SB-1000 sub:

Thanks for all the feedback. Had a huge project here on the ranch that nearly beat me, but its done of now so back to important stuff.

Just finalized an order for a pair of S/812. I'm pretty optimistic they are going to integrate nicely . 
Hello doitwithlife,
     I'm sure you'll be able to get very good results at your listening position by using a pair of S/812 subs if you position each of them optimally, which likely means not just placing them where they're most convenient.
    The goal is to position each at the exact positions in relation to your listening seat that avoids inevitable specific positions in your room that will cause bass peaks, dips or nulls at your listening seat.  This involves using the 'crawl method' and here's exactly how to do this:

1.  Hookup sub#1 and place it at your listening position. 
2.  Set the volume on the sub to about 50%(12 o'clock), the crossover frequency at 40 Hz and the phase control at "0" (in phase).
3.  Play some music with good and repetitive bass. 
4.  Beginning at the front right corner of your room, slowly begin walking, in a counter-clockwise direction around the perimeter of your room, listening carefully for the exact spot that the bass sounds best to you (solid, smooth, detailed, dynamic and natural).  Take your time, listen closely and repeat the process until you're certain of the exact spot the bass sounds best to you.
5.  Once you determine the exact spot, move sub#1 to this exact position.

6.  Hookup sub#2 and place it at your listening position. Set the volume on the sub to about 50%(12 o'clock), the crossover frequency at 40 Hz and the phase control at "0" (in phase).
7. Play some music with good and repetitive bass.    
8. Beginning at sub#1, slowly bcontinue walking, in a counter-clockwise direction around the perimeter of your room, listening carefully for the exact next spot that the bass sounds best to you (solid, smooth, detailed, dynamic and natural). Take your time, listen closely and repeat the process until you're certain of the exact spot the bass sounds best to you.
9. Once you determine the exact spot, move sub#2 to this exact position.
10.  Sit at your listening seat and verify the bass sounds very good to you.  If it does not, you'll need to repeat this procedure beginning at step#1.  If it does, continue to step#11.
11. This step entails fine tuning the settings on the volume, crossover frequency and phase controls to optimize the bass quality and seamless integration with your main speakers.  I set the volume and crossover controls as low as possible with the bass still sounding very good to me and the phase to whatever sounds best, too.  Of course, you're free to set these controls to whatever you prefer.


Thanks , I've read this elsewhere it will be useful.

I'll be interested to see how the process compares to Rel's placement suggestions. I have a challenging room. I sent them pics, measurements,  and descriptions of my space and gear. The response was pretty specific and referred back to my room attributes.

I'm pretty jazzed to get the new subs in. I started tweaking the settings on the old M&K and trashed my systems voice when I started pushing it. Oh well great expectations moving forward 
     I thought you considered a pair of REK S/812 subs at over $6K/pair a bit too expensive?  Hopefully, the custom positioning advice they included for the steep price is optimal. If they suggested positioning one or more of their subs should be positioned in a corner of your room, however, it's a good indication they're not actually certain of the optimal positioning for their subs in your specific room. 
     They're likely just guessing and hoping that the increased bass sound pressure level, well known to result from corner placement of one or more subs in any given room, will convince you that their positioning suggestion was a good one.  I recommend you take the time up front to position the subs according to their suggestion first and listen to them critically like that for a few days in your system and room.  Then position them per the procedure I suggested and listen to them critically for a couple more days.  
     This evaluation process will definitely take more time up front.  But I guarantee that the bass reproduced by one of these two different positioning methods will sound significantly better to you.  The bass qualities to listen for and compare are the realism of leading edges on bass notes, the overall bass smoothness, speed, detail, naturalness, ease,dynamics and the realistic decay of bass notes.  You can take notes if you prefer but it'll be obvious that one method sounds significantly better at your listening seat.
     I think you should also consider what Audio Kinesis owner and speaker designer, Duke Lejeune, has stated many times that I know to be true based on personal experience: 
     If the bass from a single properly positioned good quality sub sounds very good in your room, the bass from two properly positioned good quality subs will sound twice as good as one sub and the bass from four properly positioned good quality subs will sound twice as good as two subs. 
     As I mentioned on my first post to your thread, the four sub option refers to the Audio Kinesis Swarm or Debra 4-sub DBA complete kit system or a custom 4-sub DBA system consisting of your choice of subs.  The  Absolute Sound review of the Swarm system, linked to on my first thread post,  is a very accurate description of the exceptionally high quality bass performance level one can expect from this $3K 4-sub DBA system. 
     It's unfortunate that you already committed to spending over $6K on a pair of REL subs since you could have bought a complete AK Swarm or Debra 4-sub DBA system for $3K and saved $3K.  The complete Swarm or Debra systems consists of 4 relatively small subs that are each 14.5"w.5"wx12"dx28"h, weigh 44 pounds, have a 10" long-throw aluminum woofer and includes a 1K watt class AB sub amp/control unit.  
     I'm almost certain that either AK 4-sub DBA system, or any custom 4-sub DBA  system with 4 subs of your choice, would significantly outperform any pair of subs, regardless of quality and price.
     It's definitely a shame you didn't decide to first take advantage of AK's 30-day free in-home trial period, audition this system's near state of the art bass performance and save about $3K. 
      Fortunately however, you will now probably never experience the exceptionally high quality bass response performance level of a 4-sub Swarm or Debra DBA system, fully realize that you purchased an obviously inferior sub system solution instead and paid over double the price for the privilege.  
     I understand that you and others may feel I'm being too blunt, unsympathetic and honest in my assessment but I think it's appropriate given my perception of certainty in the severity of your lack of good judgment on this particular purchasing decision.
     I honestly do want to help you and think I'd be breaking the glass to deploy warning lights right about now if they were available.  I urge you to immediately cancel your order for the two REL S/812 subs and place an order for a complete AK Swarm or Debra 4-sub DBA system on a 30-day in-home trial basis, instead.  It'll be a win-win for you with no downside except maybe a few days delay.  Better bass performance and at least a $3K savings.
     You can thank me later after you fully experience the bass quality and  better understand my advise and urgency.

I am using dual JLaudio E112 with my Elipsa SE.   though I am still tweaking it and about to order JL CR1 x-over controller.    
Hello antman,

     Two subs properly positioned and configured can provide very good bass at a single designated listening position, but it takes a minimum of three subs positioned in a distributed bass array (DBA) method to provide very good bass throughout the entire room.  The bass will also be faster, smoother, more detailed, more powerful and more dynamic.


Sounds like a nice fit with the pair if those. I've never heard any of the JL Audio line, but I understand them to be nice performers.

These SEs are so sweet and smooth. What a change we found going from a single older model to a top performing sub pair.

WAF was , her words "wow"

Still tweeking and needing to order a special cable dealie as I have what I'm learning are fully differentially amps. Never knew of such a thing
Well, after 3-4 months of backorder from JL.   I finally got my CR-1 to work with my pair of JL E112...   just plug an play.   Set x-over at 70hz.    For both E112 and Elipsa.   

OMG.   It sound so balance.   The subs blends in so well.  Less stress on main speaker.   Now I have too see what I can do to get it better.....

Hello antman,

     Life's too short to have ugly speakers in your living room, right?

    I'm a user and proponent of the 4-sub distributed bass array (DBA) concept but I realize that very good bass performance can also be attained through the use of 2 good quality subs that are properly positioned within the room and in relation to the listening position, especially if the user is primarily concerned with very good bass performance at a designated listening position and not throughout the entire room.
     Apparently, this describes your requirements.  You certainly obtained a very good quality pair of subs, the JL E112s, and even a very good quality active sub control unit, the JL CR-1, in order to create a very high quality 2 sub bass system to utilize with your very high quality SF Elipsa SE main speakers.  I'm not surprised you've obtained excellent results thus far.
     in an effort to hopefully assist you in even further improving the performance of your overall system, I'm just curious about a few things:

What is the size of your room?
Where are the 2 subs positioned in your room and in relation to your designated listening seat?
Do you use your system for music and HT?