REL Acoustics Strata III Subwoofers

Strata III

100W DC coupled internal amplifier. 10" downfiring driver in a sealed cabinet. A low-pass crossover beginning at 22Hz (!), with 24 semitone crossover points, extending up to 95Hz. Speakon ABC high level inputs and dual RCA line inputs. 1.25" cabinet thickness for greater definition and dynamics. Defeatable crossover for line level inputs allows .1 channel LFE management of the Strata III from the sound processor. Strata III features variable and independent gain adjustments on both high level and low level inputs for perfect gain matching in both two channel and theater applications. Full set-safe circuitry for protection if overloaded. 16.5"w x 20.5"h x 12.25"d. 48 lbs.

User Reviews (42)

Showing 1-10 of 42  
ad   AudioPhile [Jan 18, 2011]

the blanco nalco is a real jung o man f@@k those jings ho sais its aint the shang man what the ray mai
barny fun truble and one of the best if i might add amazing slinging ratio my shizel.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Ondrej Simek   AudioPhile [Dec 18, 2008]
Strength:

- world champion in the integration with the main stereo speakers (music listening)
- extremely fast, tight and precisely controled sub bass. It's mainly due to closed
construction (no bass port)
- bass sounds very "analog"
- very musical expression
- beautifull executtion
- actually best value for money too

Weakness:

- suitable rather for smaller to midddle rooms like mine 20sqm (you can always
use pair of them for bigger rooms)

Having built my small home studio equiped with pair of actve Dynaydio Acoustic BM 6A speakers (amazing itself) I came quickly to the need of proffesional grade subwoofer to pull whole hearable spectrum out. Dynaudios are class itself and I'm extremely satisfied with them Therefore it was quite challenge to find the best possible bass extension to fit with them and still keep my limit max 1kEUR. then I spent many days reading reviews, talking with audiophiles and friends. Must admit this forum gave me most of all sources to decide the best option - REL Strata III. Quickly I found good piece for 700Eur in Holland (btw I've realised there's signifficantly more REL offers per capita then anywhere else - probably good distributor's work :) . As I've never listen them before (no distributor in Poland :( ) my curiosity was extremely high when I finally pushed "ON" in my home setup. Already first impression was simply amazing. Sound stage grew up signifficantly while subwoofers stay virually "invisible". After some testing twidling and tweaking I've fixed cutof frequency at 31Hz with volume knob turned at around 2'o'clock. The sound I'm getting is one of the best I've ever heard and couple of my friend's just selling/changing their "High End" couldn't accept it sounds like cheap Tesco minisystem compare tto my sound :) REALLY!
Although I can not say I have ever compared with any other subs at my home, I'm still absolutely convinced I'm getting better sound than I was ever dreaming for!!!!

Remark: I swear I'm not linked to any REL distributor, all claims above are my very honest opinion based on long term usage of my beloved REL Strata III :)

Similar Products Used: My equipment used :
Speakers: active Dynaudio Acoustic BM6A
Pre-amp: Technics SU-A6
CD players: Technics SL-P8
Technics SL-P10
Sony CDP-502ES
Sony CDP-559ES
Denon DCD-2560
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
cathal   AudioPhile [Apr 16, 2008]
Strength:

gr8 sound

Weakness:

bit big ...

I picked up a pair of second hand Strata 3 subs and hooked them up to Cyrus 8vs amp and ProAc Studio 110's... the stereo bass effect is great!!!
Easy to set up!

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Iqbal   Casual Listener [Jan 05, 2008]
Strength:

looks good

Weakness:

poor quality

I purchased the REL (One from the dealer and another from a private party) Strata III. My main listening consists of movies and television. I have owned the products less then 3 years, both products started to crackle and pop after 2 years. Considering the product is only less then 3 years old and costs arms and a leg to purchase and install, it was a big disappointment. If I had one unit I might have considered it was a fluke a bad unit, however, both units going bad? Now that is just poor quality and product. I would not recommend the unit to anyone. To top it off, my dealer closed the store close to our house and I cant even get them to return my call to let me know if it is still under any type of warranty. Having read other reviews on the same problem with REL, I am not sure if I should get it repaired or just junk it and purchase something else.

Customer Service

poor, cant even get the dealer to return my calls

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
jon0008   AudioPhile [Nov 02, 2007]
Strength:

sounded great then started crackling

Weakness:

over heated

the rel sub worked for a while but then the main amp burnt out rel charged me the earth to get it repaird and since found out the it was a design fault that that is inherant in all the ST3 range and they have used the same amps in many of there B range subs buyer beware

Customer Service

poor long wait for reapair

Similar Products Used: mj acoustics
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
accurus   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 13, 2006]
Strength:

Incredible Speed Can play down to the lower range of bass Strong Amplifier ABC dial in setup makes it easy to install Blends in with any speaker Augments the lows and enhances good characteristics of the system

Weakness:

None, especially in this price range.

After owning a set of Magnepan MG10's I found that my Paradigm PDR-12 was far too boomy on any material past 60hz. I then went in search of finding a better subwoofer. My first thought was go from a 12inch woofer to a 8 inch or 10 inch woofer and have the enclousure be sealed. I wasn't initially looking at spending $1300. Instead I was looking at something around the $400-$600 range. So I went out to my local Magnolia Hifi and listened around. A 8inch Definitive Tech seemed to be the best offering at the time compared to a single 12inch M&K VX125. The M&K felt too thuddy and more of a movie than musical subwoofer. The Definitive Tech seemed musical. After taking the Definititive Tech home I was still not pleased with the setup. It didn't really seem to go low enough, thougnt the speed of the subwoofer was much better than the Paradigm. After I returned the subwoofer to the dealer I decided that unless I was going to spend over $1000 on a subwoofer there was nothing that would meet my needs with the MG 10s. Deciding that the MG10s were far to finicky for a 19 year old I went out and traded then up at Bradford Audio for a set of Magnepan MG12s. I had previously owned a set of MMGs and I was hoping that the MG12s would give me the bigger sound of the MG10s with the better bass repsonse of the MMGs. My theory was right on and I decided to keep the MG 12s and then go in search of a subwoofer. The Magnolia dealer was surprised that I returned the Definitive Tech subwoofer. They suggested I bring in my Magnepans and give them a spin in the store that way I could listen to my own speakers in store and compare them. As well they could have a better estimate of what I needed for a subwoofer. After the dealer listened to my speakers they understood why I was having problems with subwoofer integration. The Maggies are incredibly fast speakers in the bass section and need a subwoofer to augment the low end rather than just play all of the bass notes, and it must be as fast. The first sub they hooked up was a REL Q150E Mark II. Immediately I was shocked by the difference. The sub was well controlled and enchanced the better qualities of the Maggies. Rather than sounding like the Magnepans had a subwoofer hooked up, it sounded more like a larger set of Magnepans. This was exactly what I was looking for. At a $900 on sale I was well over what I was wanting to spend, but I was far too impressed with the sub not to buy it. So I went ahead and picked one up. The Strata III at the time was around $1600. I had heard the Strata II before at a dealer, however I disliked the port noise generated by the sub and it seemed to be not powerful enough compared to the Storm II. A few weeks later Magnolia calls me and tells me they have the Strata III's on sale for $1300 and I can get full price on the Q150 I recently purchased. So I went down to the dealer and had a listen. THe Strata III was a much more enhanced version of the Q150E. In the deeper area of bass, the Q150E would sometimes back down a little bit, where the Strata III would continue push furthur down. As well the Strata was much for powerful and dynamic sounding. When the subwoofer plays lower notes you know it is really hitting them, but the sub is not blowing the room up when it hits that low. The Strata III was much more musical as well and seemed to have more transparent bass that was in the room rather than hard hitting bass that sounded like a movie soundtrack. Plus the Strata III was a sealed enclousure and fixed the problems with port noise that hard hurt the Strata II and was much more powerful. So I decided to get the Strata III. And I was completely happy with the setup, then I found a deal for a second Strata III and went ahead and purchased it. Now I have finally been able to solve all bass issues I ever could have had. To be honest one Strata III was enough, but the addition of the second just made the bass sound deeper and even more transparent sounding. Overall I could not be happier with the sub setup and I will not be looking for a new subwoofer solution anytime soon, infact I will probably keep these subs until they die and then just get them repaired. Rel has a real killer here on the Strata III and two Strata IIIs is probably the best anyone can do for subwoofers unless your willing to spend enough to buy a new home. I would even say the two Strata IIIs would kill anything else in the Rel lineup. But don't worry about getting two Stratas for good bass. One will be more than enough to make anybody happy or at the minimum impressed with the quality of sound that this subwoofer provides to both bass and the soundstage/presentation of your loudspeakers.

Similar Products Used: B&W ASW 600, Paradigm PDR 8-12, M&K VX125, M&K MX-60, Definitive Tech ProSub 80, Rel Strata II, Rel Q150E Mark II
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DonDeBusk   AudioPhile [May 15, 2005]
Strength:

Price is amazing for what you get. These can be had for less than half of retail now!

Weakness:

I suppose it could use another hundred watts when listening at VERY high levels. WHich I dont.

OK, this isnt a Studio II, but I dont wish it were. I listen mostly to music and am very particular about tone and timbre, imaging, depth, etc. I bought this unit to add low end to my theater system which to me is far less important than music. I paid less for the entire system than I'd pay for one of the drivers in my main speakers. That said, this piece has impressed me greatly. Some have said that it might get a bit "untidy" at and below 20Hz. Fine. Do YOU hear 20Hz? Does anyone really sit for an hour and listen to test tones? At any reasonable and realistic levels, this sub is rich full bodied and transparent. For example, in the beginning of LOTR Two Towers as Gandalf is battling the Balrog, there is no boominess, or flab; on the contrary, nice tight and full. Others have stated difficulty in set up. I merely set it between my mains, set the frequency to the roll off point of my surround speakers and left it. After about a week, I got tweaky and decided to try it with my mains on some music. wow. Bass guitar got rounder and fuller. There is more trailing edge to the open B (six string bass) to the open A strings. There seems to even be more air around the instruments in bassier chamber recordings. I have several Telarc recordings, which are notoriously bass enhanced and they sound richer and fuller, if less natural. All in all, I would recommend this unit to anyone for either music or cinema. Save your money! Buy this sub and spend the remaining $7500 youd pay for a Studio sub and put it into new mains. A real winner! Dont bother with the Strata 5---- stinks!

Similar Products Used: Strata 5 inhome audition. Velodyne CT150 B&W ASW675
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lidoma   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 2005]
Strength:

Intergration is very good in almost every system.

Weakness:

Manual

Well first off all I have to say that this is really a stunning product. It adds so many good things to my system and, also important, it looks great! Mine is in cherry! I am still trying to find the right adjustments but that will come, however in my system i use high level and low level connections. When I do so there is a lillte brumming sound when I turn low level volume up. Does anyone else has this problem? When I disconnect the high level it is gone? Is this normal? Where should I look. When someone has advice for this please email!? (lidoma@hccnet.nl) My system: Denon AVC-A1SRA Denon DVD A1 Front: Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Rear: Dynaudio Contour 1.1 Center: Dynaudio contour Front and center: Audioquest Gibraltar speakercable Rear: Monitor Black&white LS-502 Interlink: Audioquest Python en for digital Audioquest VDM-5 Low level connection: Monster 300 High level: supported cable rel

Similar Products Used: Rel Q100
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tcoaching   AudioPhile [Mar 11, 2005]
Strength:

Seemless integration with 2-channel system

Weakness:

For sure You need a pair to perfection.

Amazing! Glorious! Pure joy! One may not be enough, I may need two. I am an owner of the original Dunlavy IV. Right from the start I felt the speakers were shy in the bass, below 28Hz. Over the years I contemplated in ways to improve it, ranging from change tube amp to solid-state, change woofer drivers and upgrade the crossovers with superior parts. Of course, I did some minor tweaks like rearranged speaker positions, swapped speaker cable and interconnect, but none was satisfying. Overtime, I spent less and less time with the 2-channel system and more time with the HT 5.1 system. Recently, I surfed the net and came across many interesting discussion on the use of subwoofer with 2-channel systems. It was obvious that there were two distinct audiophile camps: one disliked the idea and one did. I am with the 1st camp. I just couldn’t see the value of adding a subwoofer. It could destroy my 2-channel system, image and all. But after some careful thinking and rethinking, I said to myself what the hack, try it, no harms done. I could always unhook and return the sub if I didn’t like it since most high-end retailers offer free trials. Once I reached that decision, I pawed through many reviews and looked for a sub that would integrate well with the Dunlavy IV. My research led me to Rel Acoustics. I selected them because of what they do and their design philosophy. Rel Acoustics makes sub-bass system only, nothing else. Their sub provides direct hook up to the amplifier’s loudspeaker terminals to ensure the sub receives the same signal as the speakers. Hence, no change to the source, no alteration of sound. The Test and Result: I got an old stock REL Strata III and took it home and started the calibration. Two days later, I was speechless. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing … absolutely stunning. The bass was tighter, puncher and yes, went much deeper (Stereophile Test CD, track 27 to 31). What I didn’t expect, to my surprise, the entire system opened up. The sound stage was wider and deeper, reaching physical limitation of the side-walls and back-wall. Orchestras came in layers and well defined; and yes of course, the sound of canons (Philip Classics, Tchaikovsky Ouverture Solennelle 1812.) I want to thank many reviewers on this thread. Your input let me to REL. There may be better subs out there but I am keeping this one for good. Now, I need to get another one to maintain true balance.

Similar Products Used: Velodyne ULD-12
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
joelj   AudioPhile [Jan 12, 2005]
Strength:

Strata III works seamlessly with my kef's Beautiful cabinetry

Weakness:

I would say that the cost is a bit prohibitive but when you hear the sound then its all worth the investment

I bought the REL's to compliment my YBA integre DT and Kef 104.3 floor mounted speakers. I don't know how I ever listened to my system without the Strata III. The difference is unbelievable. I have auditioned other subs before purchasing the REL's and a lot of the ones that I tried seem to muddy the main speakers. But the Strata III was seamless. My system's depth is truly hard to imagine. If you are looking for a Sub and you are considering the REL, go for it. You will not be disappointed and you will be very impressed with the product.

Similar Products Used: Numerous subs in A-B testing
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 42  

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