The Difference Between Classic 99 and Classic 98

Find the Perfect Subwoofer for Your Room Size


The below text is a transcription of the video.

Listen, we’ve got an opportunity here to compare a couple of new favorites. We have the larger Classic 99, which is the big brother to the little Classic 98 that we love so much. So let’s just discuss a little bit about what the talking points are here. How do you make a decision between these two, apart from the fact that there’s about a $500 difference in the US, probably similar amount of poundage or euro overseas. So, it’s not just a price thing. These fit different size rooms. They match up with different kinds of speakers. The size alone sort of dictates what we’re talking about. This is self-suggestive, right? This is designed for medium, large and smaller rooms. So anywhere from a small room to a medium, large room. And it does a beautiful job in that case. And it’s really very flexible.

This has the capacity to fill large rooms, especially in stereo pairs. You can do large rooms to what I would describe as a medium small room. You wouldn’t want to put this in a truly tiny little studio apartment, for example. It’s quite powerful. It’s 500 watts. It’s a down firing 12 that’s got two inches of stroke. It’s a big, powerful beast of a subwoofer. This one goes both ways. It’s extremely powerful. People who bought these are kind of shocked, especially people who used to own Classic RELs back in the day are shocked at how much output, how deep this goes, how powerful, this is in a very compact cabinet. I’m 1.8 meters tall, about 5’11”. And look, it’s right there. It fits beautifully in a variety of different settings. Everything from high-end apartments to modest sort of suburban, you know, single story homes.

So this goes anywhere and everywhere. This one is a little more robust in size and scale, and it’s intended to go with larger speakers in the US. Speakers like the Classic Vandersteen 2s. There were like five different generations of Vandersteens. But this is a big full blooded floor standing speaker. The kind of speaker, by the way that the myth goes, oh, I don’t need a subwoofer, I’ve got a full range speaker. Nonsense. Full range speakers are great. We love full range speakers. The better your speaker is, the more we can help it. That seems counterintuitive to people that think that these are supposed to be band-aids to fix tiny speakers that don’t make bass. It’s not how the world works. So things like Vandersteen 2Cs, the 3s, some of the medium to larger KEFs over the years.

Some of the medium to larger Bowers & Wilkins over the years. I’m mentioning these as well-known brands that will give you some sort of a site picture on this, right? So if it’s, you know, the 604s from Bowers, for example, in the KEF line, you can easily do something like a KEF Reference 3 with a pair of these or a single one of these. The 99 is a big, very powerful piece that still is incredibly quick and clean and incisive. The way it finishes, notes and tails and echo and decay patterns is remarkable.

So in conclusion, what we’ve got here is horses for courses. You’ve got a smaller subwoofer that’s still very powerful, goes very deep and is room filling, and it works beautifully with smaller speakers to, let’s just say medium sized speakers, six-and-a-half-inch stand mounted down to smaller floor standards. Beautiful, very affordable and again, voluminous room filling bass. When you step up to the 99, it’s a larger piece. It’s a 500 watt down firing 12. It is going to play louder. It is going to go deeper. What’s remarkable about this piece, and it was just fine tuning at the end, it’s so quick, so supple and it finishes so cleanly that you can make it work with smaller speakers than you would think. And, you know, at the other end of it, you can make it fill very large rooms effortlessly. So this is really a matter of you deciding what speakers am I likely to aspire to in the next five years say, I always want you leading the curve.

Don’t buy what you have now. Buy what you are thinking you’ll probably end up with in the next two or three years if you’re on the move. So, if those are the differences, if you’re thinking sort of a medium sized room, even a little smaller than that, you’ve got this to work with. If you’re talking about a larger room, and if you just like to listen to like ACDC live at really, really like concert like volumes, there’s a good reason that people buy bigger subwoofers. So you’ve got latitude to work with. These things make sense. They’re not incredibly expensive for the performance they deliver and they’re absolutely beautiful. It’s beautifully veneered in real Walnut 360. So, it’s just a very simple, quiet, mid-century modern design statement. The feet are designed to disappear. I deliberately went with a black anodized finished, although I just had to find the REL logo is actually silk screened on and a high gloss black on black. And they both fit beautifully in a variety of different internal environments. If you have modern, if you have a traditional, it’s the perfect bridge for both of those.

June 18, 2024 - Posted in: Sound Insights