Revel is the flagship speaker brand for Harman International (JBL, Infinity, Mark Levinson, Lexicon) and their Ultima line is their very highest-end offering to the consumer marketplace. For low-end bass reinforcement for their speakers at the Ultima level, there is but one option, and that option is a very good one in the Revel Ultima SUB 30. Priced at $5,990, the Revel Sub 30 is towards the top of the food chain for subwoofers and, for the money, you get a lot of value.
Revel's Ultima SUB 30 in an active subwoofer, packed with a robust 15-inch driver pointed forward, with a 15-inch passive radiator pointing towards the floor. The radiator allows the SUB 30 to breathe better and move a huge volume of air. The driver designed for the Revel Sub 30 is nothing short of incredible, with a huge magnet and a driver excursion of three full inches. Unlike the trendy small subwoofers on the market, Revel chose to put a beefy class AB 1,000-watt power amplifier inside the SUB 30, which gives a heftier, weightier sound to the woofer, compared to the dynamic but not as authoritative output you get from digital (class D) amplifiers found in lesser though expensive subwoofers.
Revel was one of the first speaker companies to offer room correction for subwoofers and it started an industry revolution. Simply put, even the most studied audiophile is unlikely to be able to properly set up and tune a subwoofer to a room to the level that a professional acoustician can achieve. With that said, I have had the chance to compare the results between a pro and Revel's set-up software and, while the $3,000 a day set-up was better, it was only by a small margin. Trying to set the woofer up on my own was a lost cause. Not only were there issues like room placement, but there was phase, EQ and beyond. Revel's simple set-up will take you about 30 to 60 minutes, which is longer than that of other systems, such as Sunfire and Velodyne, but it is worth the time investment. You can get deep, tight and fast bass by yourself in your listening room in less than an hour.
Read about the high points and the low points of the SUB 30 on Page 2.