Maximum Performance, Zero Compromise
The R-528 delivers performance which previously required either a vastly more expensive REL or multiple RELs to achieve. Even in our enormous listening room, the R-528 delivers performance reminiscent of the vastly more expensive G-series than the R-Series which it replaces. Voiced about an octave lower than the previous R-505, the R-528 has substantial grip and superior drive, energizing any performance and also integrating more fully than any previous REL R-Series effort. The improved crossover circuitry allows the R-528 to mate well even with smaller speakers, something which eluded its predecessor. This reveals a whole new world of dynamic range, whether the material is loud or soft or fluctuating between extremes, the R-528 is completely unflappable, rock solid one instant and light as a feather the next. The new passive radiator is a wonder, allowing the R-528 to dig deeper and woof harder without distortion or noticeable artifacts. This means the R-528 reaches its prodigious dynamic limits gracefully without overloading or compressing. Although the R-528 is really geared more towards larger systems or bigger rooms or enthusiastic listeners, we absolutely adore this sub and we heartily recommend it to anyone.
R-528's Bass Engine
The main active driver is a brutal Heavy 12™ - a driver capable of
handling sixty percent greater power and offering superior dynamics and
speed. To aid extension, punch and swell, REL developed a new downward
firing, lightweight and very stiff carbon fiber 12” Acoustic Bass
Radiator, pitched very low in frequency to avoid the slow and boomy
quality of typical ABR designs.
VariCone™ Passive Radiator
REL's 12" ABR, known internally as the VariCone™, is different from traditional passives, at low volumes or with delicate material, the VariCone™ acts
like a very fast 10” driver, allowing excellent integration and
clarity. However, as the music swells or if there is a large transient,
the VariCone™ transforms into the equivalent of a 15” driver delivering deep, powerful extension with excellent control. This gives the R-328 ultimate
flexibility, high-end two channel complement during the day and home
theater powerhouse by night. All from a compact, rigid and elegant
REL is Different
REL has a unique perspective on low frequency reproduction. Unlike the
booming, flatulant thunderboxes which have come to be called subwoofers,
only REL Sub-Bass systems accurately reproduce the lowest frequencies
and integrate seamlessly into any system. Inserting a REL enriches the
tonal balance and resolution of the entire system. The soundstage moves
back and opens up, voices become more human and real, instruments
achieve proper power, timbre and weight, even the highest frequencies
become smoother, richer and more defined. Inserting a REL into any
system is a revelation; once you've heard a REL in your system, you'll
never be satisfied with anything else.
You Need a REL
We've heard every excuse for not integrating a REL Sub-bass System over
the years: "I've got full range speakers", "I have a small room", "I
don't like subwoofers", "I'm only doing stereo", the list goes on and
on. The real question is "Do you want to hear your system at its very
best or not?" Regardless of the size of your main speakers, your room or
even your budget, a REL will improve your system. Adding a REL allows your system to dig deeper, play cleaner at any volume and create a deep, virtually holographic soundstage.
Why Most People Don't Like Subs
The biggest obstacle to getting a REL into someone's home is the
erroneous perception of what a subwoofer is and what it's supposed to
do. Thanks to clever marketing, anything with the name subwoofer must be
a booming, thumping and thundering box. However, a sub-woofer, by
definition and as the name implies, supplements the frequency range
below the capability of the woofer in the main speakers. A quick look at
the frequency response of most subwoofers shows them to actually be...
simply a woofer. A REL on the other hand delivers true deep bass, far
below the range of the woofer in the speaker cabinet.
Richard E. Lord (REL)
REL was started in 1991 by a two-channel guy, Richard E. Lord, who
couldn't find a sub to integrate into his two-channel system. He
listened to every sub available to him, but every piece he put in
destroyed or distorted the tonal balance of his system. What he found
was that for proper integration, the subwoofer had to crossover very low
in the frequency range, required a powerful amplifier, a low-distortion
driver and the ability to accurately and consistently choose settings
for the sub. Move forward to the present day and every REL still adheres
to these core principles, no matter how advanced REL's manufacturing
ability has become.
RELs for Theater
We often emphasize how important a REL is for two-channel listening, but
a REL will also transform a surround system into a theater. Connecting
the LFE signal to a REL provides a thrilling experience unlike anything
you've experienced at home. Bass is taut, deep, powerful and has
surprising slam. Nothing else sounds as natural or as real. The best
part is that the way a REL is designed, there is no compromise for
stereo performance and setup is extremely easy. There are separate
inputs for stereo and the LFE input, simply adjust the volume on the
separate LFE input and no matter what you play, the REL will make your
system even better.
REL takes great pride in building powerful, reliable and musical
Sub-Bass systems and a critical element of every REL Sub-Bass unit is
the amplifier. Serie-R employs a REL designed and built Class D
amplifier with exceptional power delivery characteristics, large
high-quality power supplies and excellent overload protection. These
amplifiers are purpose built for driving Serie-R Bass Engines which give
this series virtually unlimited power to play louder, deeper and
cleaner with extremely low distortion.
On a “green” note, Serie-R amplifiers have a unique power saving feature
called “power starvation”. Whenever there’s no signal present, the
amplifier goes instantly to maximum power saving efficiency, consuming a
mere 5W of power (less than an LCD TV in standby), yet the amplifier
remains at maximum readiness to immediately respond to a sudden
transient signal, even after a long quiet period and regardless of
level. This innovative feature eliminates the need to switch off an
Serie-R woofer when not in use.
The crossover in the REL Serie-R is a 12dB/Octave hand-built crossover
manufactured by highly skilled Welsh technicians. The precision and
testing that goes into these crossovers are consistent with the highest
manufacturing practices to ensure long life, reliability and rock-solid
performance. This does not mean added complexity! To adjust the
crossover point upwards, simply rotate the crossover knob clockwise, to
lower the crossover point downwards, rotate counter-clockwise. In
adjusting the crossover, please notice that REL has chosen to use a
“stepped” switch instead of the more conventional smooth rotating
crossover adjustment. This allows the user to precisely define the exact
crossover point with confidence and the ability to achieve 100%
repeatable results. This also makes integrating a REL extremely easy,
simply move the crossover point one click at a time until a proper blend
has been achieved. Want to double check the results? Simply adjust the
crossover by one click up or down; does the entire system sound better?
If not, simply reverse the change and the REL is exactly where it needs
to be. This precision and attention to detail are hallmarks of REL
products and engineering. There’s are great tips for setting the
crossover point in the owners manual.
Design & Cabinetry
Serie-R has a gorgeous finish with polished aluminum side inserts &
top-plate and a thick aluminum amplifier panel in the rear. The solid
construction and contrasting finish gives Serie-R a slim elegant and
unobtrusive look. 1" thick MDF cabinets reduce resonance and the
crossover/amp section are built into a separate internal box, away from
the stresses of high internal pressure.
REL has a different approach to low frequency reproduction and also a
different perspective on how to achieve this goal. All REL Sub-Bass
systems offer two types of connection, a unique High-Level (Speaker
Level) connection and a .1/LFE connection (RCA), each with their own
volume controls. Serie-R has an additional input, a Low level input
The High-Level connection is highly preferred as it connects the REL
directly to the system’s amplifier, allowing the REL, chameleon-like, to
take on the sonic character of the entire system. The very high input
impedance (100kΩ) of the High-Level connection ensures that the system’s
amplifier doesn’t even see (electrically speaking) the REL, yet this
connection enables the REL to very accurately reproduce both the timbre
and timing of the system.
The .1/LFE RCA connection is a separate connection designed to be used
in tandem with the High-Level connection to provide unparalleled
flexibility in a home theater environment. The High-Level connection
provides low-frequency reinforcement to the main speakers while the
.1/LFE connection provides reproduction of the exclamation point bass
the LFE channel is intended for. Simply connect an RCA cable from the
LFE output on the surround processor to the .1/LFE input on the REL.
This input has its own volume control, but all crossover adjustments for
this input are done at the surround processor.
If for some reason the High-Level connection cannot be used, (e.g. a
system with powered speakers) then the Low-Level input should be used,
allowing Serie-R to be connected via an RCA cable. This is a mono input,
so if stereo output is available from the preamp or processor, a
y-adaptor should be used to combine the signals. The Low-Level input
shares the crossover and volume control of the High-Level input. The
Low-Level input is not the preferred connection, only use if High-Level
connection is simply not possible.