View Full Version : Rel Storm III
06-04-2002, 06:03 PM
Seeing as how I'm unemployed and have nothing better to do, I stopped in to Tweeter to check out the Rel Storm III sub ($1700). All this talk about amazing subwoofers as of late finally got to me. I also checked at the local Paradigm dealer, but they didn't have the Servo-15. The salesman there claimed that they don't carry them, because the B&W subs are better for the money. Anybody ever A/B them? Mantis?
Anyway, back to the Rel. Naturally the Tweeter salesman didn't know his head from his ass and couldn't really tell me much about the sub. He was able to tell me about the Rel proprietary speaker-level input cable (called a Neutrik Speakon connector according to their website). It uses three wires which go to the left positive terminal, left negative terminal, and right positive terminal on the amp side and a single connector on the sub side (at least that's what he said). That's definitely unique. It also has balanced high-level and low-level inputs and RCA intputs. I assume the balanced low-level inputs use a special Neutrik Speakon connector with an XLR connector on the amp side. I didn't know there was such a thing as a balanced speaker-level connector. Does anybody know what this is? Then there's a switch which toggles between line-level (0 or 180 degrees phase) and speaker-level (0 or 180 degrees phase). I assume the sub can sense which type of line-level or speaker-level connector is being used. Anyone, Mantis?
He hooked up the Sonus Faber Concerto bookshelfs to the system so it would approximate what I'm looking to do. Unfortunately the system was using a receiver, but it was a Denon 580x. It didn't even sound like the sub was on, so the salesman was fooling with the gain and crossover. Naturally he couldn't figure out how to work the crossover, so he had to go look for the manual. After he left I took a look at it and figured it out right away. There's nothing to it. It uses two knobs to control the crossover: a course adjust and fine adjust. There's a 2-dimensional chart on the back of the sub that tells you what the crossover frequency is for a given position of the two knobs. I played around with it a bit and got it sounding decent.
The sub did blend very well with the speakers. It went reasonably low, but I was completely underwhelmed with the low-end extension. I really didn't even think it sounded that tight. The first problem I see was the sub position. It was positioned halfway between the front speakers and my listening position along the side wall. According to Rel's website, their subwoofers should be corner-loaded. The second problem was the crossover. Also after doing some more reading on their site I think the crossover was set too high. I think I had it set around 49Hz., which I thought sounded a little high. In actuality it was probably way too high. I'm guessing 35-40Hz. or possibly lower would have been much better. That way I could have increased the sub's gain without making the it sound boomy. This would have increased the low-end extension. Of course, as a customer I shouldn't have to do any of this crap!
At any rate, I wasn't impressed. I have a feeling that the sub is capable of so much more, but it just wasn't set up properly. CDS (Crappy Demo Syndrome) strikes again.
06-04-2002, 09:24 PM
i listened to the sonus faber concertino bookshelves 3 weekends ago at a tweeter, and the demo was also less than impressive. they were powered through a B&K AVR307, but were placed on a shelf about 8" from the rear wall. the guy wouldn't move them out, the only thing he offered is that i could take them home to 'bounce them off my walls'. i was less than impressed and was hoping that i could at least recieve a 'decent' demo in the store before narrowing down my search and bringing several bookshelves home. i guess i'll have to look elsewhere for a decent demo of these...
06-04-2002, 09:39 PM
Which Tweeter did you go to? I got a decent demo of them at the Mechanicsburg store, and I'm sure I could get a good demo at the Harrisburg store (where I was today). You just have to force the issue (or do it yourself). The Concertino's are just so-so in my opinion. I have a feeling that the LSi9's are better. The Concerto's are a lot better (at almost twice the price). Still, the B&W N805's are better and the Revel M20's better yet. What's your price range? Are you looking to be around $1000? Heck, I've been really tempted to buy the LSi9's online for $600. There's nothing that will touch them at that price.
06-04-2002, 11:51 PM
all I can tell you about the B&W sub's is there nice, steady and clean down to what they can reproduce.The asw4000 is a animal.its big and hits really hard,not a real musicial sub like the rest of the lines are.The Paradigm sub's I have little experience with them and couldn't give you a fair judgement.
But I do know the B&W's.
The Rels are a unique line.Different then what I'm used to playing with.The first Rel I set up i was confused with all the setup required.I didn't like it at all.
After time and time again messing with there sub's I found a real musicial ability about them I found in no other sub's.they are really musicial.They can take line level and there balanced speaker level at the same time,this works great for home theater /music 2 channel systems.
They believe that a sub is a sub when it can play down to 20 hz,which they can.I feel the same way as well.
I feel bad you didn't get a good demo,maybe next time you can get a salesman that knows REL really well,maybe ask for a REL expert the next time you go into Tweeter.
06-05-2002, 12:09 AM
maybe ask for a REL expert the next time you go into Tweeter.
I asked the guy if anyone else knew more about Rel, and he said that they all knew about the same. Errrr...... :mad:
06-05-2002, 10:16 AM
Come on Dan, you can do better than that. Answer all my questions. You're the Rel be-all/end-all, right? :p
I didn't know there was such a thing as a balanced speaker-level connector. Does anybody know what this is?
I assume the sub can sense which type of line-level or speaker-level connector is being used. Anyone, Mantis?
The first problem I see was the sub position. It was positioned halfway between the front speakers and my listening position along the side wall. According to Rel's website, their subwoofers should be corner-loaded.
What's your take on this positioning? Do you usually corner-load them? The room was a typical Tweeter room with the mains on the shorter wall and the sub along the longer wall. My listening position was about 10' from the short wall, and the sub was about 3' in front of me (so 7' off the short wall) and right against the long wall.
The second problem was the crossover. Also after doing some more reading on their site I think the crossover was set too high. I think I had it set around 49Hz., which I thought sounded a little high. In actuality it was probably way too high. I'm guessing 35-40Hz. or possibly lower would have been much better. That way I could have increased the sub's gain without making the it sound boomy. This would have increased the low-end extension.
What's your take on this? What do you think the crossover should have been set to with a pair of Concerto bookshelfs?
06-05-2002, 10:23 AM
i went to the local tweeter here in lancaster. i would LOVE to hear these things really sing. i was TOTALLY unimpressed with the concertinos (probably mostly due to set-up). maybe i could plan a trip to the mechanichburg or harrisburg to hear the concerto's. they run what, about $1700 for the pair? i am trying to spend around $800-1000 on my bookshelves. i really loved the 'live' quality that the kirksaeter silverline 60's presented. i think right now, they are my speaker to beat at the $800 price mark. i would love to hear the revel m20's you RAVE about. :D anyone by you carry these? if i remember correctly, you listened to these somewhere up by school, right? i am looking to make my purchase at the end of the summer, around sept. or so. i'm gonna have to plan a whole weekend to audition a bunch of speakers and be willing to drive a couple hours to hear some of them. i am hoping to narrow it down to 3-4 and bring them home for an in-home demo of each. that's the plan...
06-05-2002, 12:37 PM
I believe the Concerto's run $1900 (without stands). The Sonus stands are pretty pricey, I believe. Nice thing about Tweeter is you can finance them at 0% and no payments for 12 months (if I recall correctly). When I listened to the Concertino's, I had the guy set them up with a B&K separates system. After he left the room I tweaked the positioning and got them sounding better. From memory, I'd say the Kirksaeter's are more detailed, image better, and have a much larger sound stage than the Concertino's. But, and this is huge, the Kirksaeter's seem to be harsh on the top end and fatiguing. It's too bad Wee Bee doesn't have the LSi's. That would make an interesting comparison. If you come up to Harrisburg for a demo, let me know. We can hit Tweeter and Hi-Fi (they're right across the street from each other). The store that carries Revel is up in Allentown. They also carry Magnepan, which I would recommend listening to. Lastly there's Soundex in Willow Grove (where Mantis works), which carries Dynaudio. I'd give those a listen, too. When I am ready to make my purchase it will probably be between the Revel M20 and Dynaudio Contour 1.3. I love demoing!
06-05-2002, 06:03 PM
yeah, i am really hoping that weebee will get the LSi's so i can compare the kirksaeter's next to them. the kirksaeters didn't seem harsh or fatiguing to me, but that's just MO. maybe when i get a free saturday, i can come to harrisburg and get my demo on. maybe even head to allentown too, i would LOVE to demo both the revels and maggies. i also need to plan a trip to visit dan at soundex sometime, so much demoing to do, so little time...:D
06-05-2002, 10:50 PM
I'm not sure that I'm the be all end all of Rel sub's, but I do have experience seting them up.
Ok let me answer your questions the best I can....
1)The balanced speaker thing is a Rel thing, Its called a Neutrik speakon connector.It looks like a balanced connector at the sub end, then It has 3 wires on the other.Left positive,right positive, and a common ground.It doesn't matter which negitive you but it in,its made to go inline with your main speakers.In 2 channel, its the only cable you will need to hook up.Its a high level connection.They have a main purpose for this type of connection,they feel you get a sonic signature from you system that way,including the tonal balance and timber cues of the entire system.This is how they receive the same exact signal that the mains are getting.
2)Yes thats true it can play them together as well, at the same time.Rels are neat subs,unique thats one of the reasons I like them.
3)Rels are made to be in the corner,not wedged in but like 2 feet by 2 feet out.You can place them closer if you like, funny they don't get boomy there as lots of other subs do.
Rels are designed to run from 40 hz and down,they play upper/lower mid bass but then the localization comes into play.
Sonus speakers as any speaker mated with a sub, you really need to check the spec's and find out where they roll off.You don't want a HOLE in your sound.It's been a while since I played with Sonus, you would have to find the spec's or ask them At Tweeter to let you read the manual.
Back to the placement thing,I have set Rels up in all kind of different places, the corner always seems to work the best.
I will give you my short version on how I feel personally about Rel sub's.........I have mated them with just about every speaker tweeter carries and many they don't.The Rel blends right in after about a 1/2 hour of setting it up, then tweaking it.Its like it's not even in the system and the mains just grew a new set of balls,big ones.The deep bass they reproduce is mind boggling.They are so musicial, perfect of Audiophiles who want to use bookshelf type speakers, even full range towers of such benifit from Rel.My new Home Theater will be powered my a Storm3.
If you ever come down again I can take you to a Tweeter store and set one up for you so you can hear what it got,I would use the Vienna Accoustics Hayden bookshelf.I feel it's a totally better speaker then the Sonus Fiber's are.Those little speaker's mated with the Rel Strata sound like full range higher end speakers.
Did I cover everything???If you want more I can continue.
06-06-2002, 10:02 AM
1) The balanced speaker thing is a Rel thing, Its called a Neutrik speakon connector.It looks like a balanced connector at the sub end, then It has 3 wires on the other.Left positive,right positive, and a common ground.It doesn't matter which negitive you but it in,its made to go inline with your main speakers.In 2 channel, its the only cable you will need to hook up.Its a high level connection.They have a main purpose for this type of connection,they feel you get a sonic signature from you system that way,including the tonal balance and timber cues of the entire system.This is how they receive the same exact signal that the mains are getting.
OK, if that's what the balanced hi input is, what's the [regular] hi input? Whould that be some kind of Neutrik connector that has four wires, a pair going to the left and right channel's + and - terminals?
06-07-2002, 10:47 PM
I don't remember another high input, just theres.The cable comes with the sub.
There is a low pass input.
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