Subwoofer Recommendations for Audiophile Monitors

Do any of my fellow Audiogon members have any subwoofer recommendations that might play well with Harbeth 7ES-2 speakers? I love these speakers. With my ARC VSi55, these speakers make beautiful music… unless I chose something like the Bach Cello Concertos or Beethoven’s 3rd. In these cases, it seems like a different piece of music. The fact is, with most of the sub-60 Hz missing, it simply does not sound “good enough”. Yes, I am spoiled. Most of the time I am enjoying my Coincident Total Victory speakers. There is nothing lacking here that I particularly miss. It just seems that these nice speakers need some help. To that end, I have tried several solutions. I tried my home-theater system’s Klipsch RW-8 with the Harbeth. That sound was simply NASTY! This sub does fantastic auto crashes and star cruiser impulse power, but terrible Bach. My dealer was kind enough to lone me a REL Studio III (the only sub he carries, aside from the Klipsch). I must admit, it did sound quite nice. The problem here is that it is large enough to be mistaken for a steamer trunk. Just out of proportion with the rest of this office-size system.

The other subs that have been recommended to me are the Spendor SUB-3, Epos ELS-SUB, and the Monitor Radius 360. The problem is that none of these are available for audition to someone living in the center of the Pennsylvania forests. Has anyone had any first-hand experience with any of these subs?

Thanks in Advance,
2bd77dd6 2bb9 450e bb57 c078df761f00lanceo
For a two-channel system, you might consider the new REL subs, which are a bit smaller and offer better performance than the ST series. I had a Stadium III for a few years and bought a B1 a few months ago. I haven't heard everything, but I think the REL subs offer great build quality, integrate well and are competitively priced. I am in no way affiliated with REL or Sumiko.
I own a REL Q108 sub bass system, small, with unbelievable sound, very happy with it.
I have had a Rel Stadium 2 for several years and it is an excellent integrater with many speakers but if size really matters what about those little Carver subs, they are only about 1 foot square? Good luck.
Lanceo, I think your dealer's recommendation is right on the mark, However; if your room is normal size I think a Rel Strata 111 is more than enough. If you think your Harbeth speakers sound good now, adding the Rel will not only supply integrated seamless base, your speakers themselves will sound better. I have a Rel Strata 3 in my system now with Eggleston speakers and it is nearly impossible to perceive there is a sub in the system. Over the years, I've owned Klipch, several Velodynes, Entecs and a Janis and without a doubt the Rel integrated seamlessly with more pairs of speakers. IMHO one of the best.
Gotta agree with everyone else, seemless integration. I own a REL strata3 and storm3 , and with the speakers i've used[spendor,proac.decapo,fostex,sounddynamics], it's hard to hear the sub when it'd adjusted right.

I am very appreciative of your recommendations; however, there is one overwhelming problem… REL “ST” series subs are no longer available to my dealer. Fact is, he has ordered every single sub listed on the Sumiko Audio web site, and he can get NONE. Furthermore, the most widely suggested STRATA has been discontinued (the only ST series currently listed on the web site are the STENTOR and the STUDIO). It is his belief that the B series will eventually replace all of the ST series subs, but these are not currently available either. My dealer also informed me that REL’s senior designer has left to start his own company. And last of all, I will not pay $9,000 (the current retail price for the Studio III) for an auditorium-size subwoofer, which my dealer can provide only in walnut finish.

My point is: I need a reasonably sized subwoofer, which is intended for in-home use. I agree that the REL STRATA is a wonderful sub… but if it is no longer available, isn’t this simply beating a dead horse? And for those unfamiliar with the REL STUDIO, it is a 65 liter, 300 pound behemoth, over twice the size of the STRATA. I realize that used STRATA do become available, but I would rather not purchase a used subwoofer because it seems that these speakers are the most prone to abuse. This is precisely why I have been asking about the Spendor, Monitor, and Epos subwoofers. All three are widely available on-line, seem to have garnered some fine reviews in 2-channel applications, and are of appropriate size for the Harbeth speakers. The prices also seem to be quite reasonable, with the Spendor being the most expensive, at $1,199. Problem is; I have no dealers available to me locally, so audition samples are not available. I have been fortunate to have received some very good advice from this forum in the past, and it would make me feel much more confident to hear the first hand observations of this learned body. And, if anyone is aware of any other “2-channel friendly” subwoofers, that are currently available, I would be delighted to hear about them also.

Many Thanks,
Blending a sub with monitors is tedious. Your Harbeth's are similar to teh Spendors. The Spendor sub is very musical and a pair would blend well with your speakers. However teh Spendor subs are NOT very dynamic.

Martin Logan makes great subs. A pair of Grottos would work nicely. Their Depth is great but pricey.

I've hear lots of good things about the Vandersteen subs and the design is very logical.

Good luck!
Lanceo: Please re-read my post about the new B (Britannia) series REL subs, which indeed are available. Statement Audio in Knoxville, Tenn., has sold several during the last few months. They start at $1,995 retail and are A LOT SMALLER than the ST series. So my point is that not everyone is urging you to buy a Studio, Stentor, Stadium, Storm or Strata sub.
Dear Lance: First, I really like your Harbeths ( btw, any Harbeth ): great speakers.

There are many sub choices out there: The REL subs are very good ones but my advise is that you try the Velodyne HGS 12 or 15 ( second hand at very good prices ) or the new DD series. In my experience no one have the sub experience than Velodyne people and their today electronics ( internal crossover and amplifier ) are first rate.

I own Velodyne, two HGS-15, and before I buy it I test: Aerial, Revel, REL, Paradigm and Krell. The Velodyne's meets better and closer to my music/sound reproduction priorities.

Regards and enjoy the music.
You might want to look at Art of Sound subs. They use an amp that I understand is from the same mfgr as the REL. I use the Tycus and it blends well with my Tannoys. Hookup is preety much the same. Just a thought.
9rw is correct, B-series are available now and I own a B1 as well. In fact, there was a B3 for sale on Audiogon a while back and a B1 right now.

I had a Stadium III before, B1 is significantly smaller and easier to place due to front firing configuration. Like all REL, it integrates with just about any speakers out there. A bargain consider how much more you will have to pay if you were to get a floor standing speaker that can go down to 20 Hz with the same visceral impact.

I wish to thank all of you for the excellent advice. I managed (after considerable pleading) to audition my dealer’s STRATA. This subwoofer is (and has been for quite some time) a fixture in his Vandersteen demonstration system. After being reminded that it is not (and probably never will be) for sale, he allowed me to have an in-home audition. I have found my subwoofer. Now the task of finding one begins.

Thanks Again,