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Sator

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  1. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    I put a deposit down today on a JL Audio f113 at Lifestyle Store. I was really impressed by the JL, particularly by the more refined controls eg of the slope of low pass roll off and by the way it integrated with the mains far better than the REL to the point that it just disappeared. Add in the automated 18-band EQ capability and it's a no-brainer. I think the JL Audio f113v2 fully deserves its 2018 Stereophile Class A classification. https://www.stereophile.com/content/recommended-components-2018-edition-subwoofers And no...I don't deal with Mr Know-it-All. I deal with one of the nicer sales staff members, who offered me an excellent price for the f113 that made it more than competitive with what I could have gotten going down the B&W DB1d route (RRP $6900). After months of research, I am pretty confident I made the right choice.
  2. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    The justification REL give for their High-Level input is pure propaganda. Firstly, it's just another form of connection to pass the signal from amp to subwoofer. There is nothing exceptional about it, and I am afraid to say that any other subwoofer maker on the planet would agree. Secondly, in the REL vs JL Audio comparison, the engineering characteristics of the subwoofer itself overwhelmingly dominated the quality of the sound output and the subwoofer's ability to integrate with the main speakers. For me, enjoyable sound is crisp, dry, analytical, and brutally neutral. When I hear tubey types pour contempt on gear, I prick my ears up in eager anticipation. When know-it-all guy at Lifestyle suggested I get "better amps" than the Devialet, meaning Audio Research tube amps (eek), I asked him how much he is willing to pay me. Bidding starts at a million dollars
  3. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    Well, the answer was always going to be a "yes'', but the more important question is whether it can be done without degrading the signal by passing it through an additional electronic stage. That review suggests that the $5K may give you precisely that signal neutrality. Yes, you read correctly...may. At the moment, I am sufficiency impressed by the engineering from JL Audio that I am inclined to give them the greater benefit of the doubt but am open to being proven incorrect.
  4. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    This has become a good thread. In fact, it's quite possibly now amongst the more informative subwoofer threads around on the net. Yes, the Devialet 220 can be programmed to delay the speaker output to make them more in synch with the subwoofer. I mentioned that to the same know-all guy at Lifestyle Store and he just scoffed and sneered condescendingly at my suggestion. The only reason he could give sounded like more abject REL propaganda to me. He proclaimed that only by having the main speakers and subwoofers overlap via their allegedly vastly superior High-Level connection, can you possibly attain seamless integration between them. However, I disagree, and find that a large overlap between mains and subwoofers creates gross bloat from the lower midrange downwards. This REL-educated so-called "expert" with the Big Opinions argued that such bass bloat (protruding in a phallic manner out of the frequency-response plot) is not only desirable but some sort of higher Ideal to strive for (LOL). The dreadful sound from the way he set up the subwoofers going only by ear (1980's ghetto-blaster type of doof doof doof) merely drove home the virtues of the neutrality attained by an even frequency-response plot. The reason REL would "educate" sellers to say this sort of thing is that they have failed to develop a quality high-pass filter option that rivals the JL Audio CR-1 subwoofer crossover. Once again, REL have been sadly reduced to arguing that they are so far behind that they are actually streets ahead of the race. In the case of a Devialet amp with a built-in high-pass filter, it just obviates the need for something like the CR-1 altogether. http://intl.jlaudio.com/home-audio-electronics-subwoofer-crossovershttp://intl.jlaudio.com/home-audio-electronics-subwoofer-crossovershttp://intl.jlaudio.com/home-audio-electronics-subwoofer-crossovers http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/jl-audio-fathom-f113v2-subwoofer-and-cr-1-active-crossover/ I quote: "As good as the Fathom f113v2 is, and as well as it integrated with main speakers, the system’s overall sound is transformed by adding the CR-1 outboard crossover. Although I’m the first to regard with suspicion the idea of inserting an active piece of electronics into the signal path, I found that the CR-1 is extremely clean and transparent. If it weren’t, the CR-1 would be a non-starter. ... The CR-1 introduced no noticeable degradation to timbre, soundstaging, or dynamics. Every time I’ve added a subwoofer to a system I’ve felt that the available adjustments were relatively crude tools that allowed me to get close to ideal integration with the main speakers, but involved some guesswork, trial and error, patience, and just plain luck. The CR-1 is an entirely different story. This device provides extremely fine control over the critical hand-off between "subwoofer and main speakers. The damping controls, in particular, give you an ultra-precise adjustment over how the sub and main speakers sum at the crossover point. In a remarkably short time, I had dialled-in the CR-1 so that the entire system was perfectly seamless from top to bottom. It’s amazing that it took so long for the industry to create a device like this; once you use it you’ll find it indispensable." I must add that I was impressed by the vastly superior controls on the front panel of the JL Audio f113, which allowed far more finesse and refinement to dovetail far more seamless integration with the main speakers (e.g extreme low-frequency trim and ability to change the slope of fall off on the low pass filter) than the REL. This alone put the JL Audio far ahead of the REL, and any claims by the latter to superior integration based on the High-Level connection seemed increasingly like desperate sales rhetoric.
  5. Please read the posted updates. Sale is imminent at the asking price. I have no time for lowball offers. Feel free to make an offer at above the asking price however and you may be in for a chance.
  6. Tick...tick...tick. The sale is about to go through any moment now. Please be quick to respond to PM's as you WILL miss out if you are slow to reply. Yes, this is an unbeatable bargain, but my Dynaudio C2s (40kg each, 150cm tall) have unexpectedly arrived early at Lifestyle Store. I need to quickly make room for these new speakers and don't want to have my living room blocked up by multiple pairs of speakers. That means cash on pickup only as electronic means of payments may not go through on time before Thursday night. This is purely pragmatic as I don't have room for four large speakers in my living room.
  7. As for the front grills on the speakers, I think I may be able to dig them up out of storage. There are wooden protective covers for them which I still have. Yes, the matching stands are included.
  8. I've been a little surprised at the amount of interest. Meanwhile, my replacement Dynaudio speakers have arrived in store and I need to make room for them. As a result, I will have to prioritise those who are able to pay cash on pickup and collect by this Thursday night.
  9. Item: JM Lab/Focal Mini Utopia (date of manufacture: 1998) Location: Western Sydney (pick up only) Price: $1990 (over $12K when new with stands ) Item Condition: very good except for minor deterioration of foam around tweeters (see pictures), does not affect sound quality Reason for selling: After 19 years, an upgrade is surely well overdue (to Dynaudio C2 Platinums) Payment Method: Cash on Pickup, Paypal (3% surcharge), Bank Transfer Purchased from Len Wallis Audio back in 1999. Many people still prefer this generation of Focal tioxid tweeter to their current metal dome tweeters. At 91.5dB, they are of above average sensitivity. The overall voicing of these speakers is a little on the richer, warmer, laid-back side of neutral and are particularly good with vocals. At this price these high-end bookshelf speakers represent quite a bargain, so be quick. Sorry, I prefer to avoid the hassle of inter-state shipping. No flippers, please. The piano gloss fronts with Anigré cabinets are in excellent condition save the usual minor scratches barely visible to the naked eye. Design: Two-way bass reflex speaker design in D’Appolito MTM array. Weight: around 26.5kg each Dimensions: 61 x 40 x 25cm (H x W x D) 2 x 6.5" Focal woofers (JM Lab is the maker of Focal drive units) in an MTM configuration around a 1" inverted dome Focal tioxid tweeter Frequency response: 50Hz to 25kHz +/- 3dB. Efficiency: 91.5dB (2.83V/1M) Nominal impedance: 8 ohms (not dipping below 4 ohms) Real-wood side panels made of Anigré, a dark-blonde African hardwood to strengthen the cabinet walls. A Soundstage review: https://www.soundstage.com/revequip/jmlab_mini_utopia.htm The measurements are all quite exceptional: https://www.soundstage.com/measurements/jmlab_miniutopia/ Previous SNA listing: Pictures:
  10. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    Supposedly so, but when people have measured the Devialet 200 (200W into 6 Ohms) Class D amp's average power consumption they found it was around 26-29W at typical listening volumes. https://devialetchat.com/thread-255.html For the Devialet 250 (dual mono 250W into 6 Ohms) Class D amp the figure is around 31W: https://devialetchat.com/thread-1413.html So manufacturers massage their figures in different ways and this appears to be especially true of Class D amps.
  11. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    These are class AB amps, IIRC. Even at 400W, if you measured the average power consumption, they may well consume more than a Class D "1000W" amplifier, these being more power efficient as a class.
  12. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    Yes, Stereophile does publish those "measurements" of in-room frequency response plots, which aren't anything more than what each of us could take in our living rooms. I don't think that counts for much so have chosen to discount them. It seems active speakers, in general, are a bit tricky to measure, and John Atkinson doesn't/can't really test the amplifier separately (at least not without disassembling the sample unit submitted by the manufacturer) e.g. https://www.stereophile.com/content/dynaudio-focus-200-xd-powered-loudspeaker-measurements
  13. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    But increasingly this is the only parameter that the makers state as it makes the values look more impressive. JL Audio even talk about "RMS peak [sic] output" rather than RMS continuous output. Don't shoot me (the messenger), shoot the manufacturers. No, there are no independent measurements of continuous RMS output available—if there were, I would have quoted them. We are in sore need of independent measurements of subwoofer performance. Not even Stereophile publish these, unfortunately.
  14. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    ^ It looks like the divide between ported vs sealed is indeed much blurred these days. This seems a good article: https://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/sealed-vs-ported-subwoofers "Unfortunately, there are a lot of popular misconceptions out there: you might hear some folks say that ported subwoofers are no good for music, and are only useful for delivering big sound effects, or conversely that sealed subwoofers are “musical”, but lack the depth to deliver the bass called for in today’s blockbusters. While some subwoofers may certainly fit these stereotypes, the truth is considerably more complex. Ultimately, sound quality is far more a function of good engineering and choosing the right tool for the job rather than a question of sealed vs ported. Nonetheless, each alignment does come with specific strengths and weaknesses, the balance of which may make one type more suitable to your situation than the other." Note these statements: "While not all sealed subwoofers are created equal, properly done the alignment has a lot to offer. Size is typically manageable. ... While small size tends to come at the expense of extension, sealed subwoofers generally have a shallow low-end roll-off profile, which corresponds with good performance in the time domain (i.e. group delay/ringing)." "...[P]orted subwoofers add a bit of complication to the mixture. On the upside, porting augments system output at the vent’s resonant frequency, which extends the subwoofer’s response and allows for substantially more output capability at the tuning point relative to a comparable sealed subwoofer." "It should also be noted that ported enclosures are typically much larger than their sealed counterparts." Again, little wonder then, when comparing the JL Audio f113 V1 against a less expensive—and much lighter—ported REL design of the SAME SIZE, the REL came off second best when tested in a two-channel audio setup. The more you look at it, the more you see how much anyone who is knowledgeable about subs should have been able to pick beforehand that the REL was always going to get left standing in this contest based on "performance/litre ratio".
  15. Sator

    B&W DB1D vs REL Subwoofer

    The guy made some other extravagant claims too. He alleged that REL subs only have a phase lag of "2-3 milliseconds" and then pointed to the JL Audio claiming that it, and models from other firms, have a "10 ms phase lag" supposedly—reputed meaning that "you cannot possibly get it to integrate properly with the main speakers". I have looked far and wide, but nowhere can independent corroboration of these alleged measurements be found. REL would never dare to publish such statements on their website in rightful fear of litigation by rivals, but it would appear that does not stop the REL reps from dissing the dirt on rivals by word of mouth. It was also alleged that only REL's way of connecting from pre-amp to sub going through the speaker outs ("High-Level input" in REL-speak) could possibly give musically satisfactory integration between the subwoofer and main speakers. All the other companies who connect pre-amp to sub through the RCA/LFE or balanced/XLR line outs, it was claimed, were using a deeply flawed method of connecting subs that rendered them all utterly useless for serious audio systems and were only acceptable for home theatre! Only the High-Level Input used by REL, it was claimed, could eliminate the electronic differences between the sound produced by the main amp and sub amp—of course, you will have spotted the error there, since the only way to achieve that would be to have the main amps drive both the main speakers and the subs passively. Next, on discussing the REL 212 SEs, he claimed that the addition of the two passive drivers made the model superior to a sealed sub like the JL f113 for audio purposes and that in no way did passive drivers make this model more suitable for home theatre. He scoffed and talked over me repeating "NO! NO! NO—WAY!" when I pointed out these functioned similarly to ports/vents. The only justification he could give for these claims was that he said so and that he must be right because he was shouting louder than me. He did take smug pleasure in correcting my error in thinking that the REL S/5 SHO was a sealed model since it has a rear and down-firing passive driver, but he shot himself in the foot in stating this because this is clearly one of the reasons this REL would predictably sound inferior in a two-channel audio setup compared to the sealed f113. Next, the guy claimed that REL's superiority rests on the fact that unlike JL Audio, they only do subwoofers. Then he repeated the same old story about the founder of REL decades ago couldn't find subs fast enough to match electrostatics and had to make his own, blah blah (it's on their website too). But this is clearly a lame argument because it is entirely dependent on the quality and quantity of R&D time and money invested in this market segment. Dynaudio make drivers for car audio but it hardly makes their home audio speakers and drivers any less coveted. Oh, I did mention didn't I, that when I went up to the Castle Hill HiFi place, I got the same spiel?—if not quite so in your face. If Lifestyle tried vigorously to talk me out of JL Audio, Castle Hill tried to talk me out of B&Ws ("only the High-Level Input allows seamless integration with the main speakers etc etc"). Both places sound like they'd been evangelised by the REL sales reps. I bet you REL hold "educational" junkets for sales staff, have generous kickbacks for achieving sales targets etc. It was clear that this guy designated as the "expert" on setting up subs had been brainwashed ("specially educated") by REL because he was saying that using equalisation, or even frequency response plots, was utterly pointless. REL would say that because they are behind after failing to invest R&D funds into developing equalisation software/hardware, and so need to come up with a lame excuse for why they are so clever that they are way behind in the competition, a party line they probably include in their "educational programmes" on how you have to set up subs by ear alone. It was bizarre. At first, I was impressed at how both the staff at two stores were spontaneously and independently pushing me towards the REL, but the overblown unsubstantiated claims made in their favour are only making me more and more suspicious that it is just aggressive marketing of a kind that bordered on charlatanism. BTW no blight on Lifestyle Store as the floor staff were equally split on their views on REL, with one salesman siding with me, another neutral.
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