Quantcast

REL S/812 Subwoofer Review & Comments

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Just wanted to say two things:

1. Once you've got a Sub that uses a remote control, it's really difficult to imagine not having that capability, not matter how good the performance.

2. But, if you've decided that performance is more important than convenience, then the least they can do is put the bloody labelling upside down! How hard can it be?

I'll admit that, unless you're an inveterate tweaker, you just tend to set up Subs once and don't bother making adjustments again. But those boffins in their white lab coats who do the designing (that's my image anyway), are they all super flexible or regularly practise Yoga? Because having to peer over a Sub and read tiny writing upside down is actually really difficult!
 
Last edited:

steviedr

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the review Steve, would love to see my wife’s face if she walked in and saw those bad boys stacked - I’m sure they would sound fantastic though.

You mention the SVS, do you know if the new SB2000 pro will be coming in for review in 2020? Looking forward to your thoughts on it compared to the original 2000.
I’m finally going dual subs this year so will partner with original SB2000 or go for 2 of the refreshed model (assuming they sound better and have not just gained app control).
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
But, if you've decided that performance is more important than convenience, then the least they can do is put the bloody labelling upside down! How hard can it be?
Considering REL does do this on its cheaper subs, the decision to not put the labelling both ways up on the S/812 is just bizarre, especially as there's no remote control.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Thanks for the review Steve, would love to see my wife’s face if she walked in and saw those bad boys stacked - I’m sure they would sound fantastic though.

You mention the SVS, do you know if the new SB2000 pro will be coming in for review in 2020? Looking forward to your thoughts on it compared to the original 2000.
I’m finally going dual subs this year so will partner with original SB2000 or go for 2 of the refreshed model (assuming they sound better and have not just gained app control).
I'm sure we'll be getting a review sample in the next couple of months.
 

Olliefreddie1

Active Member
Interesting that you make the comparison with the BK sub at a fraction of the price. In real world living room volumes how close are they.
I’m toying with changing my sub and the appeal of the BK is the downward firing option with no drivers on view - far nicer on the eye and a better option for those with kids and/or pets
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Interesting that you make the comparison with the BK sub at a fraction of the price. In real world living room volumes how close are they.
I’m toying with changing my sub and the appeal of the BK is the downward firing option with no drivers on view - far nicer on the eye and a better option for those with kids and/or pets
I think Steve already answered your query in his comparison after the main review?

The REL may cost 5 x more, but I doubt that it's 5 x better.

What's your current Sub and which BK are you interested in? The Monolith+ seems a bit of a beast!

I suppose there is an element of perceived value at play here: that something very expensive has to be way better than something 1/5 of the price. But BK get the engineering fundamentals right and don't have all those expensive overheads thanks to their direct selling method.

They're a steal at the price.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
On price alone, I'm slightly surprised that the (as big as a washing machine) SVS PB-4000, currently £2249 at Richer Sounds, isn't given as an alternative? Or even the SVS SB16 Ultra at £2549, rather than the SVS SB3000, which is almost a thousand pounds less than the REL?
 

Stinger69

Active Member
Ultrasonic is mentioned a couple of times in this review, doesn't ultrasonic refer to very high frequencies?

Andy
 
Last edited:

Olliefreddie1

Active Member
I think Steve already answered your query in his comparison after the main review?

The REL may cost 5 x more, but I doubt that it's 5 x better.

What's your current Sub and which BK are you interested in? The Monolith+ seems a bit of a beast!

I suppose there is an element of perceived value at play here: that something very expensive has to be way better than something 1/5 of the price. But BK get the engineering fundamentals right and don't have all those expensive overheads thanks to their direct selling method.

They're a steal at the price.
You’re right just interested to know how close they are. I currently use a B&W PV1 (paired with the matching M1’s).
Fancy a change as PV1 lacking for film dynamics in my view.
Limited a bit on space and don’t anything too industrial - choice has to work in a living room - appreciate there’s some great subs out there but not many I could live with aesthetically in a living room. The downward firing BK’s in a gloss finish look appealing although never seen one in the flesh.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
You’re right just interested to know how close they are. I currently use a B&W PV1 (paired with the matching M1’s).
Fancy a change as PV1 lacking for film dynamics in my view.
Limited a bit on space and don’t anything too industrial - choice has to work in a living room - appreciate there’s some great subs out there but not many I could live with aesthetically in a living room. The downward firing BK’s in a gloss finish look appealing although never seen one in the flesh.
I used to have a PV1 and you're right, they look great and are very compact, but the performance leaves a lot to be desired for truly deep punch and impact.

And I also agree with you entirely about the aesthetics of Subs - they are hideous! Just this huge black box staring at you menacingly in the corner.

After I sold the PV1 I bought a Paradigm Seismic 110 which picked up a good review on here and is still available:


Much better performance than the PV1, okay aesthetics, but still black. Finally bit the bullet and bought a proper big Sub after trading in the Paradigm for a Monitor Audio Gold W15 - 15" driver, built-in Room EQ, remote control, still relatively compact and not in black!

Since you've been doing your research, you'll know that BK do a range of sizes and finishes to fit available spaces. I do think that the Light Oak DF (any model) is particularly attractive as it looks more like furniture than a Sub.

What's your budget?
 

Olliefreddie1

Active Member
I used to have a PV1 and you're right, they look great and are very compact, but the performance leaves a lot to be desired for truly deep punch and impact.

And I also agree with you entirely about the aesthetics of Subs - they are hideous! Just this huge black box staring at you menacingly in the corner.

After I sold the PV1 I bought a Paradigm Seismic 110 which picked up a good review on here and is still available:


Much better performance than the PV1, okay aesthetics, but still black. Finally bit the bullet and bought a proper big Sub after trading in the Paradigm for a Monitor Audio Gold W15 - 15" driver, built-in Room EQ, remote control, still relatively compact and not in black!

Since you've been doing your research, you'll know that BK do a range of sizes and finishes to fit available spaces. I do think that the Light Oak DF (any model) is particularly attractive as it looks more like furniture than a Sub.

What's your budget?

Thanks again for the response.
Not really working to a budget - if something blows me away I’d consider it - last thing I want to is a sideways step. Of course if the online options are up there for a big saving on the shop sold brands I would consider.

The one I’ve listened to and considered so far was a Rel T9i.

At the moment my goal is to improve the system and changing the sub seems most obvious option. Don’t really want to change M1’s for aesthetic reasons talked about earlier.
 

SPINO

Well-known Member
Hi , got a pair of T9 from Richer sounds for 779 euros each and have not looked back since .At that price they were a no brainer
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
I moan about this a lot in relation to the reviews on this site as I find the "Value for Money" rating just bizarre and utterly nonsensical.

In this review you have a REL which is better but seemingly only marginally better costing 5 TIMES as much as the BK getting 8/10 for VFM. That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. What possible justification is there for 8/10 VFM rating on this sub? The wording and comparisons in the conclusion just don't match the score.

Furthermore as others have pointed out you've compared what are arguably mid ranged competitors costing (quite literally) thousands less when you surely should be comparing like for like on cost? As someone pointed out you could pick up a SB4000 or even for a little more a SB16 Ultra. As for BK you could get a Monolith+ (or actually 4). Both are a bump up in performance from the comparison used in the review and in the case of the 16 Ultra I'd suggest would wipe the floor with the REL performance wise. You then go on to suggest both compared subs are slightly lower performing as a negative? Why?

The VFM score seems to be completely meaningless and doesn't in any way match up with the item or the review. VFM should be a comparative rating based the performance of competing subs at the same price. If you're getting 90% of the performance for 25% of the cost, 95% for 66% of the cost or even 120% for the same cost then clearly the VFM score should be very very low.

G
 

steve sph

Active Member
One of these or 4 Monolith+ ?
I think that's what they call a no-brainer.
Which is probably what my neighbours would call me if I invested in 4 Monolith+.
It does look nice though, and I'm sure it will find favour with the B & W soundbar massive*

*more money than sense trendy cool folk who know as much about hi-fi as I know about Byzantine basket-weaving*

**awaits death threats from the B & W fanboys**
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
@Steve Withers I suppose, in addition to the questions that I asked in post #9, a relevant question is how much better is this new REL S/812 subwoofer than (sticking with the same stable rather than comparisons with SVS and BK subwoofers) the fairly recent REL HT/1508 Predator subwoofer? I know that that has not been reviewed on AVForums, but Mr Withers did review the impressive slightly smaller version, the REL HT/1205. And the REL HT/1508 Predator has been very favourably reviewed by Richard Stevenson at Home Cinema Choice. How does this new REL S/812 at £2299 compare with the REL HT/1508 Predator at £1,600?
 

Paul_thx

Active Member
Ultrasonic is mentioned a couple of times in this review, doesn't ultrasonic refer to very high frequencies?

Andy
I spotted that too. You’re right. Ultrasonic frequencies are those above 20kHz. The most applicable terms to use in reference to low bass would be subsonic or infrasonic although technically both of these would be frequencies below the range of human hearing. Still, ‘subsonic’ sounds about right in relation to a subwoofer I suppose.
 

Paul_thx

Active Member
I bought the REL S/812 last week and I can confirm that it’s an excellent subwoofer. The dials on the rear are detented with 40 clicks each so you do have an idea of where each are set if you count the number of clicks. For the crossover control, this means that each click of the dial represents a 2.5Hz increment from 20 to 120Hz. It’s therefore quite easy to set this at the specified -6dB point of your main speakers. I‘m using mine both to fill in the very low frequencies below what my main speakers are capable of (Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2’s) using the high level input and also for the LFE channel for home cinema. The sound from the REL is excellent and really extends down to extremely low frequencies. I’d say it took me a couple of days of tweaking to get the settings exactly right but now that I have, it’s amazing. Rather than hearing a ‘subwoofer’, I feel that I’m just hearing the film soundtrack accurately and that’s the ultimate goal I suppose. I’m very pleased with the S/812.
 

Attachments

D

Deleted member 707962

Guest
@Paul_thx How do you feel it compares value wise to the likes of the aforementioned subwoofers above?
 

Paul_thx

Active Member
@Paul_thx How do you feel it compares value wise to the likes of the aforementioned subwoofers above?
I haven't tried any of the subwoofers mentioned above so I can't say how it compares unfortunately. All I can say is that the REL is extremely well made and it's evident that the money has gone into building a very high quality subwoofer which doesn't compromise on performance. Previously I used two Bowers and Wilkins ASW10CM subwoofers in the same system. My intention was to eventually get two of these S/812's but actually, I really don't need to as one is more than enough in my room. I was slightly apprehensive in purchasing the REL initially as I wasn't sure it would offer a significant upgrade to the previous Bowers subs but it's in a completely different league. You get what you pay for with things like this and the S/812 is a vast improvement over the pair of ASW10CM's I previously used.
 
D

Deleted member 707962

Guest
I haven't tried any of the subwoofers mentioned above so I can't say how it compares unfortunately. You get what you pay for with things like this
You see, this is where I'm conflicted. I really need to get a demo, but BK are renowned for producing subwoofers that go head to head with far more expensive offerings. Evident in Steve's review in that he compared this to a cheaper BK offering than the Monolith+, of which you could have multiple for a single S/812. If it sounds good to you and you're obviously happy with the performance to cost, then great. I just can't bring myself to spend so much for something that could possibly perform worse than a subwoofer a quarter of the cost.

I am open though, it might blow me away on demo and be worth every penny over a Monolith+.
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
You get what you pay for with things like this...
That depends entirely on your criteria. If it's 100% performance then you absolutely don't. There are equal or better performing subs for a fraction of the cost of this sub. Go the DIY route and it's an even more stark difference.

I'm lucky in that in my cinema (almost done!!!) I have the luxury of not needing to care TOO much what it all looks like. For that reason I've managed to shoehorn 2 full marty subs with UM18-22 drivers in. I will comfortably say they will wipe the floor with this sub in almost every conceivable possible measurement and metric. I can guarantee you they cost me under half what this cost.

On the other hand, if you are after a very specific size or aesthetic then it may be worth the extra money to you but for me that's a huge price delta that I would never be prepared to pay. If you're happy with it that's all that matters ultimately. I'd just be wary of perpetuating the audio industry bull of "you get what you pay for" as in the audio industry, more than any other, this couldn't be further from the truth in most instances.

G
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I spotted that too. You’re right. Ultrasonic frequencies are those above 20kHz. The most applicable terms to use in reference to low bass would be subsonic or infrasonic although technically both of these would be frequencies below the range of human hearing. Still, ‘subsonic’ sounds about right in relation to a subwoofer I suppose.
I normally use subsonic, but as is typical on this forum someone moaned that it wasn't correct. I meant to use infrasonic as an alternative, and mistakenly typed ultrasonic which, as you point out, is wrong because it relates to very high frequencies. I'll change it back to subsonic, and anyone who moans can shove it right up their jacksie!
 

Similar threads

Trending threads

Latest News

UK telecoms come together to keep country connected
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Sharp and NEC display venture to push 8K + 5G tech
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Denon and Marantz bring Roon compatibility to products
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Melco launches home demo scheme
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Virgin Media and Openreach: Our networks can handle surge
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom