which woofer do you prefer

I am in the market for a subwoofer (again) and have narrowed my choices down to the "A-list". I have used several subs over the years, some that lived up to their billing and others that fell short and I am alway curious to see what other audiophiles have found to be their woofer of choice. I have noticed recently that REL subwoofers are consistantly coming up in the used market. I was always under the impression that REL is essentially state-of-the-art and found it curious that so many of them are traded second-hand. so what woofers do you like? DIY, REL, Velodyne........I know there is a tremendous amount of smaller companies that make high-quality, high-end woofers and if you won one of those woofers, I would like to hear about it. Thanks
I am using two Vandersteen 2W's in stereo and I am very pleased with their performance. However, you must have preout and mainin jacks to insert the crossover between the preamp and poweramp....good luck with your endeavor..

ADIRE TUMULT.End of story!
Art of Sound
Yes, a lot of REL's are traded second hand. It is because they sell a lot of them, and a lot of people start with a Strata or Storm, then decide to upgrade to the Stadium, Stentor, etc. Note the used ones listed for sale, usually sell in a day or less.

No different than a lot of Camry's and Accords are traded second hand on the used car market.

The Vandersteen is also a very nice sub. The REL is a little more setup friendly.
I have only one reference between 2 new woofers one was the REL Q401 and the Sunfire EQ 11". I have been running the Sunfire for 4 days or so and I know that is a short time but every time I switch it on I get a grin from ear to ear. One of the few times I feel that I made the right choice.

PS. I thought it would be as hard to setup as my meridian equipment was to get the best out of them. but the EQ series comes with a mic. to configure it. "nice touch"
Thanks for your responses!! I would certainly like to hear the Vandersteen, seems as though its owners are always very happy. The Tumult is very interesting and I have thought about making a custom project out of it. Kgvetern....did you make a sub out of the Tumult and if so what design did you use? I have also given the North Leviathan a great deal of consideration, but it does cost a good deal more money. I have heard older versions of the Sunfire sub before and was very impressive for its size. No exp. with Art of Sound. I did notice that most of the Rel's are gone within a day or 2 but it leaves me wondering what those particular subs lacked (spl, depth, ???) in order for the owner to think he needs more. I certainly know that within this hobby it is usally more of a want than a need when we upgrade, so I will take that into consideration as well. Thanks again guys!
I purchased two of them and had on hand a pair of cabinets that are 2.5cu. ft. sealed.Larger cab's would yeild a better F3.I run Adcom GFA 555mkII's in bridged mono on each.Go to Acoustic-visions forum and look at the pic of them.The cabinets are a little rough but are made quite well.Two inch thick MDF.Any skilled cabinet maker could put them together for peanuts.My subs crush,they have unlimited reserve but,I owned a Vandersteen 2W and for music that thing was unreal.I know it would take multiples to pull off hometheater.With a pair of monsters like I own you will need a parametric.I use a behringer 1124p and it cleaned up room modes just fine.Good luck.
I've sold woofers in 6 audio/video stores now over the past 15 years, and there are some excellent choices to be had indeed. I even sold the Rel's in 2 stores. Here's what I find....
....I think most people's (even probabaly yours from what I'm reading) experience is that they never get the sub's set up right in the first place! (I like EQ'ing subs also as well in the right situation, like mentioned above).I've heard absolutely atrocious(?) results from the best sub's in the world!...and I've sold em all really! The set up is easliy 75% or more with bass woofers!...really! I've heard world clsss Velodyne HGS18's, Bag End's, MX5000's(M&K), Servo 15's(my fav for the buck) Theil and Wilson mega buck woofers sound horrid incorrectly set up!!!!...time after time, after time. And you'd walk in and hear the system with them in place, and say "why would I bother?!"
Anyway, The Rel's are potentially very tight, accurate sounding subs. I like em better for music myself. But that's me. For the money, for HT dubties in even large rooms, I'm a fan of Paradigm Servo 15's, Earthquake 12 and 15" sub's(yes, very good), M&K MX series in the right sized rooms (in multiples even), and a few others for not so much bucks. I know I can set these subs up for world class restults sonically. more expensive Revel B15's, Infinity MTS woofers, and more expensive offerings start diminishing returns I find.
Heck, I would never buy a $10k subwoofer!...ever! There's much better results to be had in the hands of a skilled system designer with multiple lesser expensive 500-1000w+sub's out there! I just don't see it.
IF I was running a mostly music first system, I would buy a Rel at the right price, sure. I wouldn't go there for dedicated HT though.
good luck whatever you get
I have a Velodyne DD-12 on order. In addition to being a very good, musical sub (which actually lets you adjust how "fast" it is with the servo), the advanced analysis and EQ potential seems like a very good addition. It really lets you find, and correct for, whatever room/system anomalies you have going on. But most of all, they sound great. Very tight and musical (or slow and boomy, if you want that).

Exertfluffer, you seem to have heard lots of subwoofers. What about Vandersteens compared to Rel Strata or Storm?

I suppose you would advice me to buy two Rel Strata or Storms instead of a single Stadium for stereo. Is it right?

REL makes great sounding and logically performing subs as does Vandersteen. Unfortunately, the Vandy is quite large and somewhat difficult to set up - but once done, it's done. Lots of RELs because they sell lots of units and, like someone else said, people trade up. I have a Strata III and am considering moving up. I bought it new a year or so ago because I could not find a used one - they sold to quickly to catch.