I can't decide between the Rel 150e that I used to own and I know it is easy to blend with the other speakers. I have changed fronts to full range speakers but prefer the midrange with a low powered amp. The other sub is the Velodyne spl8r which is tempting due to the room eq with microphone and remote-it sure looks good on paper. Thanks, Ed
The Velodynes with the room EQ device are well-reguarded, but a smoothly EQ'd bass curve doesn't guaranty a seemless blend with the mains. This blend is paramount. Since you know the REL, and the Velodyne EQ unit is available as a stand-alone item, I would stick with the REL, possibly adding the bass EQ unit if you feel it would make an improvement. Just my $0.02.
I'll second the recommendation of the Velodyne SMS-1 stand alone DRC unit (or similar, like the SVS/Audyssey) with any decent sub of your choice. DRC doesn't guarantee a seamless match, but I can assure you it improves your odds by about an order of magnitude.
PS - The 18" Velo is a monster with enormous clean sub bass output capability. IIRC, the REL 150 was an 8" model (am I mistaken?) which probably has zero sub bass output capability, but - like many RELs - is excellent down to about 50hz or so. You might look at SVS or Rythmik (my choice) which fall somewhere in-between, Rythmik leaning slightly to REL and SVS slightly to Velo. Either one is probably a good choice and definitely a good value.
BTW all products recommended here are available on a money back in-home trial basis. So, trial away.....
The Vandersteen 2WQ is what I think you are looking. whether you are using lower powered Tube amps or any power amp the Vandy 2WQ and also the rel gets its input from speaker level. This offers us better matching or blend from Main speakers with Sub because the main amps character is preserved. Where the Vandersteen design takes this a step further is by a unique high pass which allows for optimized or best turnover point. This not only improves dynamics but dramatically lowers distortion increases clarity and transparency with the whole system.
I have to echo what Audioconnection has layed out here - because that nicely describes my experience with the Vandy subs; but let me elborate a bit furthur. For me,the way the high pass filter allows the sound stage to "grow" - and the images in the sound stage to get more focused and dimensional - is as important as all the other pluses noted. They're simple enough to just drop into your system but they also are complex enough to really allow the fine-tuning that helps make the illusion more real.I've seen alot of equipent pass thru my system in the last 10 yrs. but the Vandy subs are here for good!
Sorry - I misread your original post. The Velo SPL8R is an 8" sub. I know it well, since I own two of them. They offer fine performance for the tiny cabinet size, but....
Trust me on this, I've done extensive direct comparison. If you can accomodate the larger cabinet - the Rythmik is a clearly superior performer - provided you use external DRC like the Velo SMS-1. OTOH a 12" Rythmik and an SMS-1 will cost almost $1200, so it's not really a fair comparison to the SPL8R. Still, IMHO, it's worth the price tag if you can swing it.
(((If you want to really take the bass load off the main amp, then you have to look at bass management. I'm pretty sure the REL does not support BM internally. The SPL8R has a passive (I believe) first order high pass filter, but you'd probably prefer either an external BM controller or a sub that provides BM with higher order filters.))) He is running a clean trube pre amp What makes you think he would prefer a BM system which would then have his pre amp going through a 50 Cent integrated circuit and lower input imp? Cheers Johnnyr
As far as I'm concerned, the real question re: bass management is not what Dred's preamp is, but rather at what frequency he wants to cross the signal to his subs. The simple truth is that subs will (almost certainly) be better able to adddress destructive room effects in the octave or so cenetered around 80hz. This is easily (and dramatically) demonstrable with RTA - and we're not talking subtle here.
For best results (in the vast majority of rooms), these frequencies should be handled by the subwoofer(s), even if it means compromising the "purity" of a tube pre-amp. As Bob notes, this will usually require bass management, though your point about the generally poor quality of built-in bass management is taken.
(((You failed to mention that the Vandy's sub design essentially requires using two and that they neeed to be placed near the main speakers -- due to the first order low pass filter of the sub. Richard told me years ago to not bother buying a single 2Wq sub -- save up until I could buy a pair.))))
Bob This is True with any sub yes they are all better in pairs in a High performance Audio system. The beauty with the Vandersteen 2WQ is they are flexible with set up and a more tranparent solution than anything thats been mentioned which again takes into consideration his tube pre amp by not loading it down IMP wise and BM ICs or cheap OP amp wise instead using a more transparent time,phase correct simple High pass. The 2WQ Subs are also designed to work in a corner if need be or wherever your favorite place may be because they have adjustable Q. by the way to the discerning ear all subs sound best when near main speakers or near the same wall. Cheers Johnnyr