What are your thoughts on subwoofers: do they add anything positive to the SQ? If so, which models would you recomend.

Added a REL T5/x to my 2 Channel system.
I had a pair of big ‘Bassy’ Evoke 50’s that were bought specifically for my new Naim system just over a year ago. They sounded wonderful, but they were throwing far too much ‘Bass Energy’ into my listening space. We did manage to tame them a bit, but never enough.
Switching back to my Original Linn Keilidh’s however left me without sufficient Bass and the system sounded a bit too thin.
Addition of the REL and a fair bit of settings tinkering resulted in a perfect balanced sound and left me as a firm exponent of the 2.1 Channel formula.
I hope this helps.


Don’t want to step on toes everything is subjective.
In a 2 channel system I’ve always thought if you need a sub you’ve got the wrong speakers anything else is a compromise.
I’ve only ever accepted the philosophy that subs are for AV and special effects.
I’ll get my coat. :zipper_mouth_face:


IMHO subwoofers can be excellent with smaller speakers if you have sub integration and room correction s/w in your kit


Yes, totally, for me too, and not for the lack of trying!

I am just guessing there might be other opinions!:slight_smile:


Your PMC 20/26s are large speakers with a very extended bass response, so you almost certainly don’t need a sub. What makes you think that one might be of benefit?

I tried a sub for a while in my humble set up. On a few tracks it sounded great, but on most others it was either too lean or way too much. My takeaway was that unless I was willing to “dial it in” on an album by album basis, it wasn’t worth it.

When it did work though, I really enjoyed the improvement.

It was a fun experiment, but ultimately I think the answer for me will be better speakers from the get go, possibly isobaric. We’ll see.


It helps a lot, Quickstics. I’ll check out the RELT5/x.

All opinions help, thanks.


Good question. My dealer suggested it would improve the SQ.

I’d ignore your dealer. The last thing you need is a subwoofer. I’ve looked at your profile to check your system: you have an excellent amplifier and speakers, but basic sources. That’s where you need to be spending your money. Take a look at a Rega Planar 8 for the TT side, and a better CD player, or maybe get into streaming with a nice used NDX2.


Thanks, I think I will take your adivce.


I would agree with this. When I had relatively poor bookshelf speakers some time back, I added a sub and found the sound quality was improved significantly. However in the last year I have bought a (carefully considered) set of three way speakers for each of my two systems (B&W 702 S3 and KEF R3 Meta respectively) and I find the sub is essentially redundant. It is set to the very lowest registers. I still have it on the system that is attached to the TV, and it helps add realism if something like a WW2 tank battle is taking place!

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Ive got a REL T5/x with my PMC 20/26s. Works well if subtly applied.
The PMCs are driven by a significantly modified and improved MF Nu-Vista 300 power amp.

Im with Hungry Halibut on this one. Upgrade your source. You have a mullet system.

Rel advise you to use the S812 model for your speakers.

Subwoofers do not only give better bass response, but also higher in frequence.

The 812 sounds a lot more like it would make a real difference. But for the £2,900 it would be possible to pick up a used NDX2, or a Rega 8 and a CDX2. I know which I’d do, and I know you’d agree with that approach.

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Is the NDX2 straight forward to set up?

I have a Dynaudio sub supporting my Naim N-Sats and I wouldn’t be without it. It is powered by a 1250 watt amp and has software that enables you to tune its response from the listening position with response charts displayed on your tv. As well as enhancing the bass it improves the sound overall and adds a sense of air and ambience that I would not be without. I had to send it away for repair a few years ago due to an electrical surge damaging the power supply. Without the sub my system sounded weedy and unengaging in comparison.
I have previously had large floorstanders ( Monitor Audio GR60s and Wireless World transmission line behemoths) but the bass I have now is the best I have ever had. To get the best out of a sub it needs to be good quality and capable of being dialled in properly but given those criteria they are brilliant. I wouldn’t be without one. Why not try one in your own system and see what you think rather than listen to all the negativity?

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I had always hankered after a REL. It’s been an excellent addition to my system given that I do not have the space for another pair of 135s or 250, and I’m not going to upgrade my sources.
It’s worth talking to REL rather than a dealer as they can pair a suitable REL to match your speakers.
If you ask what the REL brings to my system, I would find it hard to define, except when listening to bass heavy albums. However, it is often said that a sub energises a room, which I think means it gets the air in the room ready, I.e. molecules vibrating, to transmit music via sound waves to your ears. I could be talking a load of tosh.

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NSats really need a sub, PMC 25/26 don’t. That’s the difference. It’s not negativity, but common sense. It’s important to consider the OP’s whole system and not simply recommend something one uses oneself.