I never owned REL. I have one SVS purchased to add to the existing two HSUs already in the system. If the HSUs ever fail I would definitely go for SVS as replacements.I love that app.Adjusting all of the settings from my listening chair is great.
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YouTuber Nemo Propaganda does a good job of doing explaining the differences between the two brands. Might want to check him out. I too had a hard time with REL’s specs as on paper they don’t seem impressive. It’s hard to explain, you kind of have to hear one. They produce bass and have extension but it’s like there is no sub in the room. Just more low end articulation that seems part of the mains. The two brands are just different philosophies. No right or wrong, it comes down to one’s preference.
I own one of each, a REL S2 and SVS SB1000 Pro, and I prefer the SVS. They augment a pair of OB speakers in a 16' x 21' room to great effect where you feel immersed in the sound.
As @soix mentioned, 2 subs better than 1. Easier to get good sound. 3 subs even better! Multi-subs are able to smooth the lumpy bass found in all rooms.
A while back I managed to borrow 2 ported subs to play with and found them a little difficult to place and that is why I chose the SVS sealed unit. I placed the SVS in the rear right corner and the REL about middle of left wall. Omnimic confirmed a better room response than the 2 ported designs and that was before any fussing over their positions.
The SVS has continuously variable phase adjustment and with the ability to change settings from the listening seat is a great help. In addition to phase there is also low pass, parametric EQ, room gain compensation and presets.
The REL ( it's the S2 I think) which I found used at a bargain price was placed along the side wall so I would have the option of moving it about for best integration because the phase is only switchable from 0 to 180 degrees.
Setting up these 2 was a breeze. With Omnimic guiding me I moved the REL backwards and forwards, each time readjusting the SVS then move REL again and further tweak the SVS and so on. Will now build myself a servo-sub to add to the fun.
To me ^these statements^ translates to use a REL or two in a 2 channel system, and either add a n SVS or use a couple of them for HT.
it is hard to beat speaker level inputs and Analogue SIgnal Processing (ASP) for the two channel.
Without disclosing specific models Nemo uses a questionable analogy of the personalities of two different women and another using two different German automobiles to describe basic differences with four subwoofers, REL, Rythmik and SVS and JL Audio. He also places something on appearances.
Three of these subwoofers is equipped with differing methods of equalization, two add room optimization all are vital in producing variable presentations. With the exception of REL they all meet or exceed their claimed low frequency response.
Better to give Nemo his twenty thousand leagues under whatever and begin with mrteeves’ philosophical differences.
All REL’s are sub bass speakers. Rythmik has optional frequency cut and boost and JL Audio F series has an internal frequency generator and a calibrated microphone to automatically (only) adjust the frequency response. All are set-it and forget-it subs.
The SVS uses a smartphone (remote control) based application that allows you to see what your hearing while making crossover, phase, frequency, Q and volume adjustments to your liking. And the ability add those settings and two others to memory presets. If you want the SVS to sound like a REL it’s up to you.
Best of all you can change the volume by remote control as well as the presets all from the listening position. Velodyne offered far more detail version of this almost two decades ago in their DD and DD Plus lines.
mrteeves, "No right or wrong, it comes down to one preference." All the best with your search.
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