Which REL sub, R528 or B2

I'm planning to buy a REL subwoofer. It will be used in audio system mainly, but also in HT from time to time. I listen to jazz, vocals, occasionally rock. It will support Dynaudio C1. I'm considering the new R528 or B2 ( can get them at roughly the same price).
The new 528 looks better but is it as good as B2?
Rel is till too slow. For stereo I would not want it even for free. Respons is not fast enough, same problem as Velodyne has. Wenn you use it in stereo intruments and voices are not small enough in proportion. I have done these tests many time. For me it is like 1 and 1 is 2. I use a Monitor Audio PLW-15 with Audessey Pro with my way of measurement. Now I have stralth low freq. Respons of the unit is in timing superior compared to Velodyne and Rel. Ones you heard this you can not go back anymore. It is that easy.
A few years back I had an opportunity to audition a REL Studio III, JL Audio 113, and a Velodyne DD 18.

Your description of the REL is what I heard along with the difficulty of integration. Running it through the Velodyne I was able to EQ out the bloat between 35-45hz in my room. Still, its presentation lacked the leading edge speed of the others. Using JL's onboard EQ alone I was always aware of its presences in the room.

The Velodyne completely disappeared until I turned it off. This was a huge difference from the REL. I've since replaced the DD 18 with two DD 12+s. As a working Bassist I have many raw track recordings on tape and digital files and I have never encountered any timing, coloration, or timbre issues with any of the Velodyne subs I've owned.

The ability to adjust phase, volume, and EQ presets on the fly with the Velodyne's remote control takes sub ownership into fun status.
My experience is limited to Velodyne SPL-1200R. I was not able to fully integrate it with the mains. I could feel some strange body in the system. Bass was to tough, not musical and tiring after long listening. I used hi level connection then. Maybe if I had used a better quality speaker cable ....
and reliability problem. I used to leave the sub in st-by mode. One day, after thunderstorm ... My electronic friend looked inside, no fuses, no protection, assembly quality like those from China. The authorised dealer said you have to replace whole electronics, can't replace parts. This is how it's designed. So I said to myself no more Velodyne.
The advantage of REL is it's connectivity, I'd like to use it in both, HT and stereo system.. I took a look what the guys from positive f use, mostly rel's if any. Unfortunatelly they are not available in my area for a test. I found some posts here, on audiogon saying a few persons used C1 and REL's with success hence the decision.
Thanks for your input, I'll have to rethink it....
The thing Velodyne does good is you have almost no acoustic problems anymore. But there is a big but.......it is still toooooo slow. Instruments and voices are still too big in proportion. My PLW-15 is superior in timing. But you need Audyssey pro to get it right. It has no acoustic system like Velodyne has. Velodyne speaker units are tooooo slow in respons. This is by far the weakest point of there subwoofers. Timing is crucial for using a subwoofer in stereo. For a long time I did not like it. The PLW-15 with Audessey pro did change my thought about this. Rel and Velodyne are both not capable og giving the stealth low freq. I want and need. Never buy a subwoofer with a bass reflex system. And Never one with more than only one unit in front. All the other kinds of sub's I test did fail in speed and in respons. You always will be aware of the flaw's. This can become very irritating!!
Go for the 528. It's an outstanding sub, easy to connect and integrate. I was never happy with the B2. Been tremendously satisfied and still own the G1x2, 505x2 and a solitary 305.
All the best
As a fellow C1 owner I have been very happy with my Rel B3. I did at first think it was slow but that was because I didn't have the phasing/timing right. I had to move it about 3" back to finally get it right. Also on a whim I bought a Nordost Baseline made to Rel spec and I after putting it in place of the stock Rel cable I heard attack and decay I didn't even know I was missing.
I have a REL Q150E that is anything but "slow"...just a beautiful sounding little front firing sub that works really well. I shall continue to defend it regardless of the naysayers! Perception of "slowness" from a sub likely has to do with placement, or listening rooms of more than 10,000 square feet in damp unfurnished Medieval dungeons...like my guest house.
I sold and tested the Rel Q150E. It is a paper low freq. unit. This never will be fast. Wenn you think this is fast? I do not think you understand stealth low freq? There is enough music what will be not syngron with the music. Instuments and voices still need to be very sharp focussed. I never have heard a Rel do this. Paper units means slow. No argument about it. A Monitor Audio PLW-15 is so much faster in respons compared to any Rel subwoofer. I sold them for many years. Now I will never sell them anymore. Because I do not want my clients get this average quality. It is that simple. If it would be good, I would have used it!!
Bo1972 you have confused me with the "slow" comment a bit. A reviewer of Tone Audio writes "B2 was more then fast enough to keep up with these speakers (panels)" and again "it was also a great match for the Manger Zerobox speakers and that is one of the fastest speakers I've ever heard"
It must be some setup issue...
Bol1972...I don't give a rat's ballsack about what you sold, and condescension and dismissal of other's opinions make you sound like my Uncle Dick. After over 40 years as a professional musician, professional live sound technician, audio fan, and male model (well...not the last one), I've found that you can tell a lot about how things sound by listening to them. Period.
I did compare them, if Rel would be better I would have said it. It is as it is. This is about quality. About timing, nothin more nothing less. I do not say Rel makes worse subwoofers. The only thing I say; they are not the fastest. Paperunits are not fast in respons. That is why other materials are used these days. Lighter materials means faster. Faster means better integration with the speakers. I think it is time for Rel not to use paperunits anymore. I am always looking for the best quality in every pricetag for my clients. I want them to get a 10 ( A) and not an 8 or 9 ( B) This is about good
, better best!
Well said Wolf
Super stuff. Couldn't agree more.
I was running REL subs with Quad 2905s. If a sub can keep up with a planar speaker, IMHO, it would be difficult to classify it as slow no matter what quality of hooch you prefer .
I compare the respons of a Monitor Audio PLW-15 with a Rel subwoofer. This difference in respons is huge. So the respons of the Monitor Audio is my reference. Your focus is still at the Rel respons quality and speed. I would suggest; Compare a b with other sub's in respons like I did. After this you will have a different opinion. I did test so many stuff in Audio in the last 15 years. It is my job. I am always looking for the best, because good never will be good enough. Learn to look further.....
Bol1972...Again with the lecture, and utterly missing my point. I respectfully suggest you carefully READ posts and try to comprehend what they say before yammering away with your self important declarations, as they make you look foolish and slightly crazy. This forum is full of people who's taste, experience, and opinions differ from yours, and in many cases may be more refined. I'm now going back to listening to my wonderful REL supported system feeling satisfied knowing you've learned an important life lesson from my caring and compassionate post...you're welcome.
I sold a lot of Rel for many years in the past. 10 years ago they were still popular also in europe. But technique goes on and there are new competitors which make better sub's these days. The difference is in timing and respons. I read the post. So I say once again; why choose a Rel, if you can get a better one for the same money. In europe Rel is not so big anymore. In the last 6 years the lost a big part in the market overhere. Welcome to the new world in audio. Do your homework and choose the best thing for your money. I had a client with a B2 and he wanted to buy a B1. After I said there are better competitors, he wanted to test some others as well. At the end he was glad I opened his eyes. He said: Rel is still good, but your are right there are better ones these days. He bought a JL Audio sub at the end. And that is why I reacted at the post.
B2 is a killer sub!
Very happy with my Stadium III and Contour S 1.4's. Fast, seamless and really adds to the total sound tonally/sound stage-wise. Now lisstening to Missing Brazilians rip it up.
Bo1972, it makes sense what you write but I'm looking for a sub that is musical first of all, I want to implement it in audio system and there are not many subson the market making "music" . Majority are just headbangers, exellent subwoofers for HT but not for music. Example, my Velodyne that I had. It's harness was to much for a long run. But it was great in HT, great.
Big advantage is REL connectivity also that makes them more versatile, useful. Again, when I got my Velodyne I thought why the heck I can't connect HT amplifier and stereo amp at the same tame. Maybe Rel is not the fastest in the world but all the virtues plus very good bass they produce make them one of the best options for my purposes.
Thanks for your comments anyway.
My used RELQ150e cost me $200 a couple of years ago, and remains my all time "bargain component score" champ, about which I am (maybe annoyingly) smugly satisified. Note that speaker "speed" is another one of those psuedo techno terms that means nothing in the real world of experienced listeners, bass players, and otherwise non biased individuals lacking a retail agenda.
Another example, in the past I sold many Rel subwoofers. Like the Stadium III. It was okay, but still not that fast. We did compare it with a Monitor Audio GXW-15. This one is also a lot better in timing. I sold this Stadium III and he bought a Monitor Audio. If Rel would make a better sub, I would have sold this. At a show were I used the Monitor Audio PLW-15. People were amazed how fast it was. They all thought they were only listening to speakers without a sub. Many of them never heard this quality in stealth level. I think most of you are still at this level. Time goes on, so does speed and timing for subwoofers. For a long time I sold normally Rel. But these days you can get better!!
I rest my case.
Xti16, what crossover frequency have you set up with C1? How big is your room?
My room is 26 1/2 ft X 12 1/2 ft with the speakers on the long wall. It's the only way my room allows. Anyhow I have the B3 crossed over at 33hz. The sub sits about 3ft to the right of my right speaker. For me I want to have the sub pick up where the C1's leave off. That being said I only have a few recordings that go below what the C1's are capable of. But the sub adds just a hair of weight to the mids also. Again if a Rel is in your future and you are going to use the high level input consider an aftermarket cable.

BTW is are your C1's the original or MKII/Sig? I upgraded from the original to the Sig in Mocha and have only the rear post (stand4) filled with sand about 3/4 full. The MKII/Sig sound a lot better at lower listening levels.
My C1 is the original one, stands are filled with sand, actually "cats" sand, both posts filled. I've read good things about MKII. Better clarity and better at low level listening as you said.
33 hz makes perfect sense, I've seen frequency response to crossover plot of B2, quite interesting. The output doesn't prgressively extend towards higher frequencies when you change crossover setting but it acts more like tilt control.
You have kind of "Audio Physic" setup. They recommend speakers on the long wall. Your sub is not in the corner then, how far is it from the wall? the front wall I mean, not the side wall?
I've ordered a REL, and have some expectations...
Xti16, one more question, have you tried the SignalCable subwoofer cable?
Case reopened. My main speakers (Silverline Preludes) get thin around 50 and thinner around 40 (ignore the specs for these...they're kind of silly), so the REL sits at 50 ish with frequent level adjustments (a "chicken head" knob allows easy gain changes) relative to source material. It does "charge the room" though, so everything sounds better all the time. Building your own cable is easy and the angled Neutrik Speakons are great and sit better. Another note for naysayers...in the March issue of Hi-Fi + a reviewer (Alan Sircom) says about the REL R-528SE, "Rel subs are always fast - it's one of the reason they consistently score well in hi-fi magazines, they are some of the only bass bringers that can keep up with snappy little sealed box speakers with ultralight 100mm mid-woofers." He's just another dude...but still...
I currently use a REL T5. It can keep up with my Sonus Faber Guarneri
Hommage's! IMHO, any sub that can keep up with these speakers is anything
BUT slow!!
The set-up of a sub- and REL is no exception, is crucial in this regard, wrong
set-up and the results will be a mis-match with the sat's....leading to the
impression of a "slow" sub. Subs are NOT 'plug and play', particularly
when you are trying to get the blend with a quick mini to be seamless. IMHO.
YEAH! So now the "Fast REL" contingent is leading in the total point score...this could be a win.
My REL T-1 has no problems keeping up with the 7" woofers in my Vienna Bach Grands. I have always found REL's to be extremely fast subs!
These days I use my Monitor Audio PLW-15 from 16hz till 140hz. I does this with ease. Above 80hz low freq will become touchable. Voices and instruments become better focussed and still have the same proportion. My clients call it vodoo. Because the are amazed about the speed and that the all say; we can't hear a sub at all. Wenn you compare the speed of this one with the G1. You understand speed a lot better. I sold Rel for a very long time. After you heard others and compare them, you understand time and technique change fast. And these days there are subwoofers who are superior in speed. That is why I am not that interested in Rel like in the past. I want my clients to get the best for there money. Why you want a B wenn you can get an A for the same money. Just open your eyes, or should I say your ears!!
Bo1972, Wenn (????) you are a dealer and a competing product is superior, it can be very tempting to denigrate the competition.
Unfortunately, wenn (????) your customer discovers the facts, this can lead to a less than stellar reputation...just a thought.
I re-rest my case.
Jkuc The only cable I have tried is the Nordost baseline. My brother in law has the Q150 and he has the signal cable and said it was a big improvement too. The C1's would sound better if they were on the short wall but I have a strange room and that's the only way I can set them up. Anyhow my speakers are about 7ft apart and about 2ft from the back wall. The sub is about 3ft from the corner and sits back about 1/2ft from the back wall. My right speaker is about 6ft from the side wall and the left is about 12ft from the left side wall.
Wolf - Bo1972 did the same thing in the cable forum when a question was asked comparing Nordost to Transparent. He said how much better Audioquest Redwood is superior to the Valhalla and Transparent.
Seems to me Bo sold higher end stuff before dropping down to more of a mid grade IMO. Probably didn't have too many sales.
The Voodoo that he do so well.
Bo1972, you are kidding, right? you must be kidding, just having a good time on Audiogon. Somehow I recalled Forest Gump...
I have the Signal Neutrik cable and it really made the bass more defined with more extension. Just have to get a new power cord, any suggesions?
If he's kidding he's my hero. Really...it would be so cool.
I has nothing to do with what I sell. I have possibility to test and compare. This is what I like to do. I always like the things which are the best in a price range. Name of the brand I really don't care. I want the best for the bucks. I hope people will open there eyes (ears) and try more different brands before buying it. In America there are even more brands in audio than overhere in europe. So more options, I would say; use them!
Bo1972, what is best for you may not be the best for everybody else. You write in your review taht you crossed over your sub at 120 Hz and you are using full range speakers? Do you use one sub only, corner placement, crossover 120 Hz? That's really interesting.
First of all I use Audyssey Pro. Second I meassure at different hights and places what Audussey discribes. What is the different between the Audyssey way and my way. This is very big. I did test many different ways of measering in over 2 years time. My way captures a lot more dynamic and details. Focus is sharper and I play about 1 metre beside my spakers and about 4-5 metres behind the speakers. As you know sound becomes touchable above 80hz. My sub starts at 16 hz till 140 hz at this moment. Wenn I go higher the overwhole sound becomes even more touchable. The PLW15 of Monitor Audio is a 50kg sub which box is sealed. It has a 15 inch unit. The respons of this unit is superior in speed compared to brands like Rel and Velodyne. Material they use is a lot lighter. But very stiff. The magnet they use is very big and wide. My subwoofer stands more on the right side of my front speakers. Instruments are still very small in dimension and very direct to locate. I test many sub's in respons and if instruments and voices are still in proportion. A friend of mine had a small concerroom with a Steinwaywing. He gave classical concerts of about 2-3 people. Instruments and voices are very smalle in proportion and very easy to locate. I was amazed how much smaller instruments and also voices are in proportion. A voice and even an instrument sounded so much more intimate. That is why I hate systems wenn instruments and voices are too big in proportion. You will loos the intimate sound. Intimate sound is one of the most important parts in realistic sound. It sucks you into the music. Wenn instruments are being played to big the distance between you and the music gets bigger. This means less emotion. Of all the cables I tested Audioquest and Purist Audio design are both capable of giving an intimate sound. I call this individuel focus of instruments and voices with the right proportion. I had this discussion with musicans. They will tell you the same about how big instruments and voices should be. With Audyssey Pro and the PLW-15 the first time in my life I heard stealth low freq. 4 weeks ago I had my set at a show of over 50 distributers. They said; I was the absolute sound of the show. Why? Because I had a 3d stage whit a focus most people never heard this sharp and touchable. It was easy to let people know what depth is and a 3-dimensional sound. The last day was a day for shopowners. Many never heard a sound this good. For many it was new that there music could be so sharo focussed and touchable. Cause of the wide and deep stage you hear every single instrument and voices by ease. I did do hundreds of tests during 15 years. This gave me a lot of information what I use. That is why I know all the different properties of many brands. This makes it easy to compare. Time and technique will make you think differently about audio. I never wanted a subwoofer to use of stereo. These days timing and speed did change my mind about this. I always used big loudspeakers like the B&W 800 Signature without a sub. Now I would not want to miss it anymore!!
I have the R528 attached to the astonishing Focal Micro Utopia Be - The result is magnificent.
The sub blends perfectly: Fast, Realistic bass.

I use Audioquest Sub-3 + Russ Andrews-Kimber Kable 8TC Neutrik Speak-on REL cable.

The room is about 35 square-meters.
Bo1972, I take it your sub is not in a corner placement while crossing very hot?
I'm using a Rel B3 connected to a Synergstic Research Rel Spec
Reference Subwoofer cable and using a Synergistic Research T3 SE
Power Cord. This sub effortlessly integrated with my system with speed
and power. Best sub I ever owned.
Joey - Did you have the original Rel cable when you first got the B3? If so how would you describe the difference after upgrading to the SR cable?
Yes, I used the original but after I installed the Synergistic Research
cables and I noticed a lot of definition and separation of instruments.
Especially in the bass department. This sub is fast enough to keep up with
my Focal speakers and disappears and is unlocated. The bass is perfect
low and loud in my room. Only one was needed in my corner to supply all
the bass my room needs. I also tried Audioquest and some others but they
were not the best. Synergistic Reseaech Rel Spec Reference Cable does
it all.
Thanks for the reply. I will say the cable did the same for me. I would have to say the cable added to the speed of my B3 because again I heard attack and decay I never knew existed. It blends in perfectly with my Dyn C1 sig's.
I'm upgrading my Synergistic Research Tesla SE REL SPEC Reference Subwoofer cable to the new Synergistic Research Element CTS Rel Spec Reference Subwoofer cable in the next few weeks and I will have a full review here.
I just made a new REL cable from some Canare "star quad" stuff originally for no reason other than the Canare looks better (black mesh covered). Surprise surprise...I thought my old simple cable (some generic 4 conductor OFC my local audio joint gave me) was fine but this is better. Much better. Weird but true...higher sensitivity and definition for about 30 bucks (I, of course, used the same angled Speakon with good spades on the amp side). Oh yeah...and it looks really cool.