Rythmik or REL Subs to pair with Totem Element Metal V2?

I'm looking at one REL S/810 or two Rythmic F12SE subs as that works out to be about $3k total which is my budget.

What I'm looking for is more low-end growl, weight, and visceral punch - in proper proportion.   I want a bass guitar to sound like a real bass guitar and I want to fill in the bottom end.   The Totems are awesome from about 60Hz up, but they just don't move the air at the lowest end.

My current rig is:

Xfinity Modem ->AQ Vodka-> LHY SW8 switch ->AQ Vodka-> NAD M33 ->Cardas Cygnus Biwire-> Totem Element Metal V2.   Power cables are AntiCables L3, AC filtering is a Panamax 5300.

My room is 32' wide, 17' deep with the speakers along the long wall. with the front baffles about 18" out from the wall.   Some spousal-approved room treatments are in use.   Also, and importantly, I'm in a high-rise condo, so I don't want to be inadvertently massaging my neighbors with pounding bass.

Any recommendations or thoughts?


No question, I’d go with two F12G subs over one REL.  And I’d go with with the GR Research driver instead of the aluminum driver in the SE as it’s probably better for music.  Best of luck. 

Not sure the punch of the Rel. I have an F12 G with the GR research driver. It’s a good sounding sub….. but it does not have a lot of punch but blends well. Seems to do lower bass much better than mid bass. My JL Fathom F113  amp is being fixed right now. Night and day for punchiness. Depends on what you are looking for I guess.  

I have a pair of the F12G with GR drivers. Paired with DALI Epicon 6’s crossed over at 50Hz. They are authoritative, and plenty loud for my tastes. Be aware that if you use a Y-splitter to split the input signal to both inputs of the F12G, you will get a 6 dB gain over using a single line level input. No in-home experience with the REL.

Rythmik without a doubt as you pay no middle-man or dealer markup and if you have an issue you can deal directly with the owner. There is a reason you can buy two instead of one. I own two pair.  

Two subs over one, Rythmik over REL. I have both. In my opinion, REL is good but overpriced, given (a) the flexibility of control available on Rythmik (adjustable phase, especially) and (b) the premium paid for REL. REL fanboys will disagree, but having completely solved the bass in my room (using analyses of room modes, placement, and every possible adjustment), there is no substitute for the control offered by Rythmik.


The *adjustable* phase on Rythmik and the various toggle switches make a huge difference for dialing in subs and getting the bass correct.


REL Acoustics S/812 Subwoofer


I love the idea of having two subs, getting one REL, and then start saving up for another one is the path to take. Unless you’re 90 and on your deathbed, enjoy the journey. Sure the rhythmics now Will give you plenty of satisfaction. I just truly believe that two REL‘s S810 would supply much much more.

Rythmik all the way.  More for less is better, and more subs are better.  You're paying a lot extra in dealer markup for REL vs. buying direct from Rythmik.  

I have the Metal V2's, although in a smaller dedicated room. Have you looked into Totem's Tribe Solution Sub? Years ago I had a Rel subwoofer.I wasn't too impressed with it. If I was in the market I would look at Rhythmic.

I can't speak to your particular room setup, or exactly what you're looking for.....but absolutely check out Rythmik. I have a G22 (dual opposed 12") and the thing is an absolute beast. Very musical and comparatively easy to integrate. JM2CW.

I’m going to echo @hilde45 for several reasons. I have zero experience with REL, but appreciate that they are well regarded. I use Avantgarde horns (Duos) and had several old Velodynes (an 18" and a 15") that were part of a large home theatre projection system. I could not get them to cohere with the horns for the two channel audio system. I bought one Rythmik 12" (paper cone) and got some sense of what I could accomplish. When I moved from NY to Texas, I bought two 15" woofers from Rhythmik (those do not have the paper cone option or at least did not at the time). I added a cheap DSP unit that only affects the subwoofers and do not roll off the main system integrated woofers. The end result is seamless, very coherent and extremely cost effective. Dialing in phase/delay makes a significant difference in my estimation:

 Dual stereo Rythmik stereo F12SE with paper GR Research drivers. I agree with others here. The integration with your speakers can be more flexible and I agree the output is not extremely loud but accurate. I think REL makes good subs as well though.

Post removed 

I’ve been emailing with the people at Rythmik and they are talking me into dual E15HP2 subwoofers.   I’ll place the order tomorrow, barring unforeseen problems.

Fingers crossed and Merry Christmas to me.   And Happy Holidays to you all.  Thank you for your cogent advice.   Give me a few weeks (I hope) and I’ll report back on how it sounds. 

I just wanted to close the loop and report on what I did….  Ok, I went with the dual Rythmik E15HP2 subs.   Adjustments and controls galore.   I can’t imagine being unable to pair these with about anything.   Following the Rythmik guide, I had these setup and plating within minutes with my Totem Element Metal V2 mains.

After a week of continuous low-volume playing, I retweaked them and got them pretty dialed in.   Then I enabled Dirac Live and did my in room analysis.   From top to bottom my in-room measurements were remarkably flat.   Just a. minor dip below 30Hz and another dip at around 14,000Hz.   The high frequency dip didn’t bother me (probably above my hearing range anyway).   Regardless, I fixed that right away with Dirac, then turned off Dirac and made the low frequency adjustments on the sub itself.   Perfect!

Just a note here, that to my ears, the trick was to keep the volume on the subs low enough that they compliment the Totems.   I don’t want to hear the subs, I just want to hear the music.

The Totems are great speakers and punch well above their MSRP.   They go down to 30Hz in my room where they fall off a cliff.   No sweat, I set the crossovers to 40Hz and let the subs pickup the bottom registers.

The imaging improved, the fullness of the music improved and most notably the micro-details really improved.   That growl and percussive nature of bass guitar is really present, and I like that.   

All in, I’m very satisfied with my Rythmik and Totems.

The rest of my system is a NAD M33, LHY SW8, Cardas cables, Morrow cables, Anitcables, and Audioquest.

I'm glad to read they worked out for you. I also have Totem Metal V2's and sent Rythmik and email a few days ago and they recommended the same E15HP2 subs. My dedicated room is smaller at 13' X 21', and I have them placed further into the room at 4'. I thought that the 12" subs might be better in my room.

I can only surmise, that the 12's should work fine, but they won't dig as deep with effortless authority like the 15's do (or at least they are spec'd to do).    A slammer room will constrain the bass you can get no matter the speakers, so you are to be commended for thinking about that.


I'd like to know how that turns out for you.   Good luck and great listening!

Former Rel owner here. Rythmik all the way. There's not really too much room for innovation in the subwoofer realm it seems. Rel just keeps on dressing up their subs in fancier lipstick and makeup year after year and using it as a reason to charge more.

They've lost the plot basically. Rythmik focuses on making subs that sound good. Plain and simple.

+1 soix. I think two REL could also do the trick. I own the F12SE with GR Research drivers myself. But not irritating the neighbors in a condo???? Not sure about that one. Keep it low volume.