Subwoofer addition

Hi guys

Just a quick one… I’m after a subwoofer and apparently REL seems to be the one to go for… But I’ve done the speaker pairing thing on the website and it’s paired me with one over 2k !!
I really don’t want to spend that much… I’m thinking about 800quid second hand… any recommendations?

BK Electronics? I’ve not seen them mentioned here recently, but a search should find other users and comments

Also tried rel config and they recommend to my speakers the S series that are also over 2k, and that put me away of a sub at the moment, I was also considering not spending more than 1000 to 1500 euros to add a sub to my sopra n1.

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Went down that path before. First, I would suggest a pair and I wouldn’t consider anything less than the s/510’s. You have a nice system a moderate price sub (especially one) will not do it justice imho. Curious what especially is missing, is it bass at low listening levels or what specifically?


Yeah it’s just low volume listening… I feel like I’m always having to turn it up a bit to hear it properly and get decent bass. I work long hours so can only really listen after 20:00 at night always a bit conscious of the neighbours lol

I have a velodyne which you set up with a mic at your listening position
very good

I fought with that (not enough bass at low levels). It’s how I ended up at the 500 level system. The frustrating thing is the fix is for Naim to come up with a LOUDNESS BUTTON. Such a simple fix. My 1975 Marantz has one, but no not Naim.

Sorry about the Loudness button rant, it is my pet peeve with modern electronics. But yes, for $5000 you can fix the lack of bass at low listening levels, but it brings up other problems (at least for me).

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With your system you obviously need an N-Sub! I think they were about £1600 when they were discontinued, and I’m sure a good one now should be within your budget.
Failing that, BK are certainly worth a look if you can’t find a suitable Rel.

Can you not get an old one of the £2k new ones secondhand for closer to £800? Otherwise, given that profile says you have B&W804D4 main speakers, if the sub is to pair with them, do you think you’d get similar sound quality from a lower budget sub?

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if done well any adverse aspect would be more than compensated by the benefit when listening at low levels. This gives more detail of my thoughts:

I agree with your assessment. I have an old pair of REL R-328 and plan to replace them with a pair of REL S/510 early next year. In a high end Naim system skimping on the subs may not work so well, and for HiFi a pair of subs is the game changer.

I understand the financial limitation and hope you will get what you seek. Nevertheless, I would caution that inferior subs will bring more harm than good, and in this case it’s better to live without a sub than having one in the system. I switched from PMC TLE1 to REL S510 and found that the quality of the sub matters.

Ironically, I lived with the PMC sub for more than 10 years(in and out of systems, used in home theater for a period when it failed to blend into a music only system). At one point of time the sub was put in cold storage for several years. The decision to go with the REL is a difficult one as the S510 was above my budget (REL support suggested that the lower end models are not good enough for my speakers). Better late than never. I currently have one sub in the system placed symmetrically between the speakers.

There are other sub manufacturers worth investigating but I don’t have experience with those. I wanted a REL as it looks good to me aesthetically in comparison to other boxes, apart from sound quality considerations.

If funds are tight get one used and save for a second. Also it takes time to find the right used REL in the right condition. I have a single S/3 in a 52/250 system and am pretty happy with it. Cost was about $1K. That said for most of what I listen to it’s not doing much (jazz & classical). But with modern films and electric music it really packs a punch. I do hope to get another someday.

Interesting. Most of what I listen to is jazz and classical and that’s where I feel I get the best benefit, vs rock and other electric music.

I’ve a single sub that works fine, what does a second do that makes you say a single sub should be avoided?

Apologies for not being clear. What I meant to say was it’s better to live without a sub than having a poor or inferior one in the system. A poor sub is worse than having no sub in the system. I have a single sub that works fine in my system too, and 1 is better than none. 2 is better than 1 but I don’t have the budget and space for a second one so I’ll stick with 1.

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The BK XXLS400 is one I use on a 552/300/SL2 setup. Sub is connected at high level connecting direct to the back of the SL2 speaker terminals.
After some fine tuning the sound is stunning and not just in the bass department. The XXLS400 is around £500 and you by direct from BK, excellent telephone support if required from the Tony who assembles the subs.
BK used to make REL subs.


I have a Rels510 and it really filled in the blanks - when I play it in isolation it just rumbles along - hard to believe something that does so little does so much to overall sound

Rel recommendations on matching with speakers are worth considering and we’ll worth watching the videos re set up and dual subs on their site.

Appreciate it can feel like a lot of money so I would counsel you to do a home demo but for me it really resolved some room acoustic issues I had.

I have done a home demo of dual subs and will go there when I scrape a few more pennies together as they did something very interesting that I find hard to describe - something about equalising room pressures.



Another happy BK XXLS400 user here. I’ve also owned the smaller XLS200 in the past which was good in a smaller room.

Very high quality subs for a bargain price. They offer a no quibbles return policy if you’re not satisfied.