Subwoofers: Inexpensive Hsu vs REL

Does anyone feel the incremental dollars for a REL subwoofer versus an Hsu TN1220HO are well spent? I know the Hsu TN1220HO goes to 20Hz and is down only a little at 16, so it is not the depth. I would 'crossover' Merlin VSM-Milleniums at 40 or 50 Hz, so it is not a wide bandwidth involved. You don't need incredible detail below 50 Hz, so I imagine you have to work real hard to hear differences between subwoofers presuming they both roll off steep. The Hsu rolls off at -24db per octave, so you are not going to hear much above 50Hz, therefore it should not give its position away (e.g. 'directionality'). The Hsu fires toward the ceiling, not the floor, so you are not exciting the floor too much. You can get two (2) Hsu's for $1,500 - you can't come close to that with REL. Am I missing something? Has anyone heard both?
I can not comment on the Hsu or Rel.
I run a Paradigm Servo 15 (95% for music) and it is quite incredable. From what I found the Servo 15 is far else expensive but also not as attractive than what your looking at unless you jump up the real wood veneer.
Good luck !
Havent heard Hsu...but REL makes one the most musical subs I have ever come across...and there are very few...Sunfire is another...Hsu is a mail order doing an a/b m against REL is next to impossible...they do get great reveiws though...if money is an issue...hard to ignore their trial and return policy...or go used with REL..good luck...
They are both nice subs and good brands. The TN1220 is also a very different animal from a REL. (The VTF models are more similar.) I own two REL's. I also met Dr. Hsu at CES in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago. He put on a very impressive demo. He is also a nice guy and smart.

Have you contacted anyone at Hsu?? Maybe you should express some of your concerns with them. I am confident Dr. Hsu will give you his honest opinion.
One area that HSU is able to save money is the quality of construction. REL subwoofers are furniture grade fit and finish, while the HSU somewhat lags behind in this area. But like I stated, it is a functional, cost saving move. If you were to build 2 HSU-like sonotube subs, with better drivers, it would cost you about $300 in material (+ your time in labor). If you are woodowrking inclined at all, that is the way I would go. Good luck.
Hsu subs are extremely responsive but, in my experience, can get a bit boomy and thus may be better for HT than audio. RELs, unless you go to the big ones, are a little dynamically shy for HT. If you are watching Das Boot and listening to a REL, when the rivets blow out you're impressed. If you are listening to a Hsu (or either of the brands listed below), when the rivets blow out you jump out of your chair and duck on the floor. That being said, REL subs are extremely musical and famous for mating easily with the mains.

For dual use at not too much cost, you might want to consider the Paradigm Servo 15, as suggested earlier, or the VMPS subs.

I would go with the REL, simply because of its ability to mate with just about anything. It takes its input signal from the same line as your speakers, so it's "seeing" exactly what your speakers see in terms of the amplifier. The flexibility of the crossover is amazing. I'm using a REL Storm III to augment the bass on a pair of B&W Signature 800's--no slouches themselves in the bass department. I'm able to cross the REL over at 25 hz, so 98% of the time it's not even doing anything; but when it does, there's no question that it extends the lowest octave beautifully.
You might consider contacting Dr. Hsu and seeing about confirming whether auditioning his units for a period, with an option for return if not satisfied, is feasable. If so, you may well find that they fit the bill...for a much smaller one than the fine performing RELs. Many factors will dictate their performance, notable among them the quality of the crossover which, in the case of the Hsu's, may prove to be an issue of compatability both up and down stream upon audition.

As far as Dr. Hsu's general designs possibly being of a HT bent, rather than being more suited for music reproduction, I would attest to their being -- at the very least -- dual use, if not having a definite bent towards music. Moreover, the fact that these designs can rather efficiently meet the requirements of most HT applications is a testament to Dr. Hsu's engineering. However, don't mistakenly consider his designs as primarily HT performers. Rather, I believe that most owners of Dr. Hsu's designs, such as I, will also attest to their respective Hsu model's fundamental musicality, as well as ease and versatility in mating with main speakers. Such performance at the Hsu's price points are a real audio bargain while admittedly his units' componentry and level of finish, as has been pointed out, are no doubt areas where some of the savings passed on are reaped.

FYI, in case it may help in your assessing my comments, I utilize a pair of Dr. Hsu's original 7' tall upfiring 12" passive design units(flat +/-1db to 19Hz) powered by a Kinergetics (Class A) amp crossed over through an active crossover (Krell KBX) in the mid-low 30s from a Krell KRC-3 which, above this, also runs to a Krell KSA 200S on to B&W Matrix 802IIIs run full range. Not a hint of HT bluster.... All good luck to you.