Rel vs the world


Staff member
So whenever you look for subwoofer recommendations for 2 channel hifi, one name keeps dominating the conversation.. rel. And the flagship no 25 is seen as the ultimate subwoofer by many. My question is, has anyone compared well made but more affordable subwoofers (JTR, PSA, Rhythmik) to rel subwoofers (especially no 25) and go equally good or better results with the more affordable subwoofers?
Also thoughts on effects of cone material on sound in subwoofers? I am very interested in the choice of using carbon fiber cones on speakers like Alon in Magicos and Michael Borresen in his speakers. When I saw this in the rel no 25 I wondered if that was one of the reasons people were impressed with its performance. I found this article that Tom from PSA sent me pretty interesting.

"Myth: Cone Material Affects the "Timbre" of Subwoofers

At low frequencies, in the bass region below 125Hz, the cone material has no effect on the sound. If it did it would only be because of peripheral side effects such as a large change in the moving mass of the driver, or a cone who's strength and stiffness is deficient for the application allowing a lot of flex and distortion. A subwoofers cone or diaphragm should be stiff enough to not flex appreciably even when under heavy air loads. Any sufficiently stiff subwoofer cone would have resonances or breakup modes which are well beyond the bass range and should be inaudible with a typical low pass filter applied. If we have 3 identical sub drivers with different cone materials, one with an aluminum cone, one with a carbon fiber cone and another with a pressed paper cone and all are adequately stiff and the total moving mass of the driver is within a few percent of each other they will be indistinguishable from each other in a blind listening test.

The main take away here is that subwoofer cone material choice is primarily a consideration of strength/stiffness/durability/cosmetics/cost and weight. Sound is not one of those considerations."
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