Which Sub. Rel B-1 or Fathom F-113

Thinking about adding a sub. to my 2-channel system. I have a pair of Martin Logan Summit's. I am still trying to decide if I realy need a sub. with these fine speakers.
What do people think in matter.

I run an F113 with B&W S800's, it adds quite a bit but I have a large room.
Just my own opinion, but I have had stereo REL Stentor IIIs (a few years ago) and now have stereo Fathom F112s and I prefer the Fathoms by a fairly significant margin. The RELs are nice and I enjoyed them but the Fathoms exposed the RELs limitations. The JL subs are the best built I have ever seen (the driver is exceptionally well built) and are tighter, faster, more articulate with more musical nuance while extending so deep it's quite astounding. They are easily integrated and the ARO system really dialed them in for me after I adjusted them manually. In my room and my system at least, they have no equal that I have experienced.

FYI, I have Verity Audio Sarastro IIs (with 11" woofers) and, like you, didn't feel the "need" for any more (or to improve the) bass. I bought the JLs on a lark figuring I could sell them if they didn't help. I can now say they are very much here to stay and didn't just improve my bass response in ALL areas but the entire musical presentation as well. I hope this helps.

Frank, are you using rolling off the signal to your main speakers with a high pass, or are you just running the mains full spectrum? Thanks, Peter
Peter, I considered an upscale external crossover to roll off the signal into the Sarastros (and I know many would think that would be prefereable). However, when I got the Fathoms in and set them up (with the ARO done separately on each speaker), the integration was so seamless and the sound has been so good I never felt the need to add all of the extra connections, components and cost. So yes, I am running the Sarastros full range.
If you check HT Shack Subwoofer test you will see data on the JL F113 - it is pretty impressive (although distortion is a wee bit high - and compression does become an issue - however it is amazingly good for such a small sub - appears to beat everything else that size)

I am in favor of a sealed box for a sub like the JL (and the Rel B-1 is ported - so I am not sure what that does to the impressive low group delay of older generation Rel's - as I have not seen any data on the B-1 so far)
I have a pair of jl audio fathom 113 used for my 2ch system with stats and an external xover--they are the best subs I have ever owned --not only is bass extension great but the bass quality ie timbre is exceptional--also have one in a separate HT system and it adds to the movies musical scores as well as with deep bass --they are just exceptional subs---Rich--good luck -
Thanks everybody for your fine advise. I will know have to go to my dealer and listen to the fathom 113.

thanks again

Once you own the Fathom you will lust for the Gotham. IMO the JL Audio subs are the ones by which all others are judged. You won't be as happy with the Rel

I run a pair of Gothams in my system.
Not true, the Rel subs are more musical and also faster. They integrate better with high end speakers. If you are going 2 - channel get the Rel. Nothing loads a room better than a Rel! I dont think you will need the brute force of the JL, which is better for high SPL. BTW, there is absolutely no port noise.

You have to try them both. The Rel will win because they are fast enough to keep up with you Martin Logan's and disappear into the background.
Well I had Rel stadium III, jl 112 and 113 as well as Martin Logan Depth's in my house. Each over 3-4 days. Of the three the Depths were the least appealing. They never integrated properly or sounded like real music. The Jl's were significantly better than the REL in my system with full range speakers. There is no "faster" there is only hertz. I think the transient response of the Jl's is better and there is no overhang. They are sealed so obviously port noise is not an issue. Interestingly I found the 112's were superior to the 113's for music in my medium sized room.. After looking at the spec's you can see they probably play better above 80hz or so which was confimed to me in a phone call to Jl Audio. Several of them own pairs of 112's for their own systems.This was a surprise to me. They are coming out with an F212 which has a pair of newly designed 12 inch drivers which are said to be better still. The only reason I might go with 113's would be spl for home theater in a large room. I found that pairs work alot better than single subs. I never heard the B -1 but I did speak with Sumiko on the phone some time ago and the rep felt that the B series was superior to the Stadium in upper bass quality but he personaly prefered the Stentor to the B-1 JMHO Jim
Not true, the Rel subs are more musical and also faster. They integrate better with high end speakers. If you are going 2 - channel get the Rel. Nothing loads a room better than a Rel! I dont think you will need the brute force of the JL, which is better for high SPL. BTW, there is absolutely no port noise.

You have to try them both. The Rel will win because they are fast enough to keep up with you Martin Logan's and disappear into the background

I hate to say it but you are delusional/ BTW, I would like to think that my Wilson X-2's are high end speakers. Prior to my pair of Gotham subs I was using a Wilson XS which had a pair of 18" drivers. After I heard the Gotham I immediately sold the XS as IMO it couldn't compete anywhere near as close to the Gotham.

I agree that the pending 212 will be great as well. When it comes to JL Audio subs there hasn't been one critic that feels there is a better sub made.

Here is an interesting read from Jeff Fritz

Obeobgyn, HAVE you ever tried a Rel subwoofer???? I have tried a JL and the REL... and the REL won in MY room in MY system. Not all subwoofers are the same and integrate well in all rooms. I have a small room and the JL was too much, too sloppy and too boomy. It didnt sound good at all. The Rel blended perfectly. Have you tried some aftermarket cables as well? I'm using a Synergistic Rel spec speaker cable which works wonderful, better than any sub cable I ever tried. It really brings the performance to reference quality.

You have a big room and big speakers so I'm thinking the JL worked better for you, but you will not know for sure unless you tried a REL. Rel's biggest are the B1 and Stentor III and Studio III sub, have you tried any of them in your room????

Your post is not only fair but honest as well IMHO. You are fair enough to point out that the REL worked best in YOUR room and YOUR system. Like you, I have had both subs - I had BOTH the Rel Stentor IIIs (stereo pair) in my system AND now I have a stereo pair of the JL Fathom f112s.

UNLIKE you, I came away in MY room and MY system with the exact opposite impression. While I very much enjoyed the RELs (I even reviewed them for Stereo Times and gave them a very good rating), the Fathoms are even more seamless, faster and the best part for me is that they are more musical because that amazing driver provides better articulation, harmonics and the low level detail and musical nuance that I didn't quite have with the REL.

Like one of the posters stated above, I prefer the 112s in my 14' x18' dedicated room.

The great thing about audio is that we do not have the same tastes, preferences, rooms or systems and can therefore disagree (or have dissimilar experiences) without anyone being right or wrong.

I have a very good friend who has the TOL Rel in his system and each time he listens to my setup he just shakes his head and smiles.
As far as cables I have ~$50K of cabling in my system so I am very familiar with cables and you are preaching to the choir. For the size of your room the F112 either singly or as a pair would work just fine. I agree with the previous poster as to the speed of the JL Audio drivers.
A final caveat is perhaps your room isn't set up correctly or your subs weren't positioned properly.
I also agree that it is a matter of preference. IMO the REL used to be the leader of the pack but they now have some catching up to do
speed of the JL Audio drivers.

"speed' is a good description of the JL design. What does this mean in practice?

It means low group delay - which means critically damped design and generally a sealed box.

Compare the Group Delay and response plots from HT Shack Subwoofer Tests.

SVS PB13 ports open

SVS PB13 Sealed

Notice that a port can raise output level, reduce distortion however the trade off is Group Delay. Basically it allows the use of a cheaper driver and a smaller cheaper box to get the same undistorted output as a more expensive sealed box design.

Most subwoofers are intended to make a profit for the manufacturer and therefore you can guess which way most designs go......ported!

What is the downside to group delay. Well it means your bass will sound 'slow' like it does with bass bins folded horns at a concert...for each bass note you are getting an extra cycle or more from the subwoofer and hence it lacks "musicality" and there is a loss of accurate timbre.

A glance at the REL Storm 5 shows that it too has low group delay and is indeed a "fast" or musical sub. (I have seen no data on the B-1)
If Richard was still in the sub game the 'bassmeister' would without question have one in his range to conquer all subs that would be put before it.A really sad day in hi-fi Mr Lord's retirement. The Rel name will mean nothing now. Big sigh.
Well I suppose that one can then have a look at the new Thor's Hammer by Wilson Audio
Hello gentlemen,

REL started out in Wales and like Dynaudio, another European speaker manufacturer, REL focused on a typical European set up (smaller room, brick building, 220 V electricity, etc...) It makes sense for an audiophile who has a small-mid size listening area to go with REL where REL power subwoofers would do best.

I have heard of JL Audio years before they entered the home audio market and indeed it is a reputable company. But keep in mind that unlike REL, JL Audio started out as a car audio company based in Florida and its design philosophy is totally different than that of REL. Since JL Audio focused entirely on American market where the majority of the market demands are bigger means better. It makes perfect sense if you have a listening area the size of Brazil to use JL Audio powered subwoofers rather than REL.

A million dollar system would not sound great in my man cave (I am a dirt poor accountant who could only afford Hsu or Outlaw power subs or TOTEM if I am lucky to come across a great deal on audio) but of course this system will definitely sound great in Mr. Oneobgyn's house. A hometheater system that costs less than $20K will not do his listening area justice.

REL is a good company and it still has many serious audiophile followers. However, REL is no longer the little mom-and-pop company like TOTEM or maybe JL Audio (I am not too sure because I assume JL Audio is) so the quality of REL products have been somewhat decreased.

Kind regards,
Mr. REL sold his company to Sumiko several years ago and REL design and marketing philosophies have changed a great deal since the time Mr. REL still was in the industry.

Kind regards,
I am curious how the Velodyne DD series compares.I do believe that the room is the biggest factor,then our personnel preferences and then our systems.I am a two channel listener,I have Thiel CS6s driven by Classe Cam-350s in a 22'x25'x11.5' room.I only want to help the Thiels and achive a better listening experience.From what I gather reading the Rel would be more musical,the JL a bit more for HT and the Velodyne even more so?
I have a B-1 attatched to my B annd w 802d's and the B1 is astounding!. Yes Rel was sold but this speaker was in the works way before the sale and it is Fast and Acuurate. I also have 2 r305's that I am using on my center nad rears for Ht. This is the beauty of the rels. They can be positioned within a system to give you unbelievable detail no matter where and how you need it. I have auditioned Velodyne and revel b series and the B1 simply blows them out of the water. With the Synergistic Research rel cable you simply cannot find a better subwoofer.
Okay let me chime in here. I've owned a REL Storm which was sold and replaced with a REL Stentor III. Both were used in my room 21x15 which you can reference thru the link under my name. I subsequently sold the Stentor III after I bought a pair of JL audio F113's. The JL's do outperform the REL as stated above. The REL was/is more polite and softer on hard heavy notes, probabaly a hold over from the British mini monitor days where all of their speakers were "polite" sounding.

The REL is a great subwoofer and I'm glad you are happy with it in your room, and your system.The comparison I would make is that the JL plays lower and tighter and louder than the REL ever could. I'm not talking boomy bass either. These are the tightest cleanest subwoofers I have owned to date and I've owned at least four different brands of subs in my 30 years in audio. To make the comparison fair I only used one JL sub when I compared the REL Stentor III and the F113.
I must add to the statement of "no port noise"! You're kidding right? I got my Stentor III to get the port to chuff a couple of times. Not excessively but it still did it. The big advantage the JL has over the REL is the built in ARO to adjust in your room. I shouldn't even bring up the fact that my REL Stentor blew a resistor in it's amp(known problem)that Sumiko initially tried to blame on my Levinson 335 amp,WTF?
I just ordered a JL Fathom F-113 sub.
I own Eggleston Works Andra 2 speakers and Pass Labs Amp and Preamp.

I have moved the Andra's out in the room where I get much better sound stage, but the low bass has suffered.

I do not like the idea of adding more electronics and cables using electronic crossovers.
So, I am planning to use the Andras full range and the JL F-113 to fill in the bottom.

Can the JL's be used successfully in this fashion or do I need an electronic crossover?
Ozzy...I run my X-2 series ll's full range and use my two Gotham's to fill in the bottom. Depending on the input impedance of your amps you might need a tube buffer or something similar as you will be running two loads in parallel. Here is how I solved the problem in my system

Thanks, My Pass Labs Preamp (XP-10) has 2 sets of outputs.
So, will that still be a problem?
My Ref 3 also has 2 sets (4 in all)....two balanced and two SE, so it will be no problem
So why did you have to use the Tube Buffer? I read your link but I still dont see why it is needed.
With two unequal loads running in parallel it would have put great strain on my Ref 3. This way it is prettty effortless. It was done also at the advice of the people from ARC
Oneobgyn, Thanks, I am going to send you an email.