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the rel is far better than the other subs for much more money, the hgs series gives good bang for the buck,I have a hgs18, three rel studio2s and martin logan statement2s, theater ref center and prodigy rears, in my home for two channel and movies the velodyne is hooked up to the effects channel, rels for left right and rear. as you can tell im an extremest. cant go wrong with any of them. depends on what your looking for and what speaker your trying to match with. the only down side to the rel is they dont take any low frequency from your main speakers so if their small you wont increase your headroom.
I bought the Velodyne FRS15 myself because I just thought it sounded best all around. I have had it in my system for a while, and I guess I have noticed two things:
First, the Velodyne responds to IR remote control signals not meant for it by producing a barely audible buzzing noise. It is however loud enough to really annoy me. Called Velodyne, they informed me this is normal and I should just ignore it. Hmmmm....
Secondly, whenever power goes out briefly, like less than a second, the velodyne will turn off and stay off. Velodyne's answer was to unplug, leave unplugged for about an hour, then turn auto-power off, turn main power off, plug in, turn main power on, and don't use the auto power feature. While it solves the problem, it is also rather annoying. I was informed this was a known issue on some models for which there is no solution.
I only use he velodyne for HT, and for that it works quite well. It is more than loud enough, and seems to be accurate and deep. But boy, the 'bugs' are annoying.
It really matters on your preference and application, the Vandersteen and REL are much more suited for music than the Velodyne, which can sound a little bloomy in the sub 40Hz area, which actually really sounds nice in a Theater. The REL stadium is one musical mofo that can go LOW, if I were you, I would grab Toy Story 2(the first 5 minutes are hell on a Sub) and you favorite music CD and go listen. I think you'll be able to decide quickly, SUBs are much easier to gauge than speakers, just don't forget to account for placement.
Im a REL fan myself!!!
I think stereo Storm IIIs will change your world! Can you say eviction for noise pollution? hehe
The Vandy model you want to reference is not the 3A (full range speaker) but the 2W or 2WQ.
They are very musical subs.
If I were you I would look for one use - they can be found for $500 or possibly less. I myself have one for sale, but want Boston area pickup. You must have a separate pre & amp to utilize the in line crossover.
I replace my Vandy with a BagEnd Infrasub 18, which can be found used for $800. I have never heard bass as tuneful as the BagEnd, for me, after about 5 minutes, all my other subs went out of the audio room.
Both of these options will have less SPL's than the Velo, so perhaps buy two and use them in stereo. That really makes a big performance leap again.
I have heard nothing but positive comments on the REL, and on the ACI Titan II, but have heard neither.
save your money & check out vmps subs - easily the best-quality low-frequency reproduction at anywhere near the price. no amplification included, & the option to provide your own x-over make for superior electronics as well. even when factoring amplification & x-over costs into the equation, it's still a bargain compared to the powered subs. check out the output, distortion, & frequency specs on these - the best in the industry. many mfr's don't even give all this info. i know ya don't listen to specs, but in this case, they tell the story - vmps subs are *accurate*.
doug s., no affiliation w/vmps, other than being a satisfied customer.
ps - my system is music-only, i don't watch movies...
Once again you guys have some good tips.Sedonds last word so far is really very interesting.I am getting to hate Sensible Sound because they go the same manufacturers over and over.But they did and interesting article on VMPS.We all know that their are few good VALUE products in our little hobby (err way of life.I wonder who would make a good outboard X-over with simmilar bang for the buck.Review mentioned Paradigm for $160.Anybody know of more?
chazzbo, re: outboard x-overs, if yure a diy'er, czech out john pomann's active x-over kit site: http://members.nbci.com/activecross/ i unnerstand this is a wery hi-quality kit, awailable for *cheap*.
the x-over i use, the marchand xm-9 deluxe, is wery flexible, & supposedly better than the wery good bryston b10. also less than half the price; also awailable in kit form, so ewe can save even more.
re: walue, i *am* a cheapskate - my rig's retail cost is ~$35k; i paid ~12k. the vmps larger subwoofers, the marchand x-over, & one of the adcom gfa-555's were purchased brand-gnu, & the whole set-up was still under $2400...
regards, doug s.