REL's T9 has Audiophile Chops and a Massive Dose of Steroids
Top of the T-Series, the T-9 receives a newly redesigned active driver, improved crossover network, upgraded amplifier section, and a brand new and specially tuned passive, the T-9 exceeds all the expectations set by the previous series and vaults this new woofer into the forefront of high performance, low-frequency reproduction.
The T-9’s 10” ULT passive and 10" ULT active driver with 300W Class A/B amplifier create a deep and wide soundstage with superior layering and texture. Images are more palpable and separation of instruments is far greater. The T-9 delves deep into the lowest frequencies with superb grip and extension; the new carbon fiber passive woofer allows the T-9 to play louder and lower than all previous T-Series designs.
REL Sub-Bass systems are the benchmark by which all other low-frequency speakers are measured. Consistently awarded high praise and top awards all over the world, REL offers an alternative to the flabby and flatulent bass produced by many so called "subwoofers."
"Richard Lord, founder of the Welsh company, sees it as the subwoofer’s task to deliver musical fundamentals below the reach of ordinary loudspeakers. It’s an approach that can work well with compacts, but often works even better with large speakers…"
– Alvin Gold, Gramophone
REL has a unique perspective on low frequency reproduction. Unlike what has come to be called a subwoofer, REL Sub-Bass systems are designed to create powerful, deep and tuneful bass which enhance the performance of any system and integrate seamlessly in virtually any room. REL Sub-Bass systems achieve extraordinarily high levels of performance and sound quality without resorting to Digital Signal Processing (DSP), complex optimization schemes or even a remote control. This is a testament to REL’s unique and revolutionary approach to recreating the bottom octaves.
T-Series Sub-Bass Systems
REL’s T-Series represents the first time REL quality and performance has been available in a series all under a thousand dollars. Built to the same refinement and sonic expectation as all RELproducts, the T-Series is a serious endeavor by REL to make quality bass affordable for everyone.All three T-Series Sub-Bass systems are excellent values with outstanding performance and build quality that far outstrips both their reasonable price tag and small size.
REL takes their woofer engineering very seriously; the Bass Engine is the heart of REL sound quality and performance. The Ultra Long Throw (ULT) Bass Engine driver used in the T-Series went through 11 generations of prototyping before finally being approved as offering performance worthy of a REL. The T-Series actually makes use of two drivers; an active downward-firing ULT and a passive forward-firing carbon fiber ULT. This is in direct contravention to traditional approaches of incorporating a passive driver into a low-frequency system; however, longtime REL aficionados will recognize this approach as being quintessential REL. By firing the active woofer downwards, the T-Series achieves greater depth and precision while the forward firing passive design offers outstanding punch. This unusual arrangement gives the T-Series superior sound quality and surprisingly high dynamic output.
REL takes great pride in building powerful, reliable and musical Sub-Bass systems. A critical element of every REL Sub-Bass unit is the amplifier. The T-Series employs wideband, high-current Class A/B amplifiers, with large high-quality power supplies and excellent overload protection. These amplifiers are purpose built for driving REL Bass Engines and give the T-Seriesvirtually unlimited power to play louder, deeper and cleaner with extremely low distortion.
On a “green” note, T-Series amplifiers have a unique power saving feature called “powerstarvation”. Whenever there’s no signal present, the amplifier goes instantly to maximum power saving efficiency, consuming a mere 4W 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 a T-Series woofer when not in use.
The crossover in the REL T-Series is a 12dB/Octave hand-built crossover manufactured by highly skilled Welsh technicians. The precision and testing that goes into the T-Series crossovers are consistent with the highest manufacturing practices to ensure long life, reliability and consistent 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 REL 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 a great tip for setting the crossover point for T-Series woofers in the owners manual.
"There may be a tendency to set the crossover point too high and the volume of the Sub-Bass System too low when first learning how to integrate a REL with the system, the fear being one of overwhelming the main speakers with bass. But in doing so, the resulting set-up will be lacking in bass depth and dynamics. The proper crossover point and volume setting will increase overall dynamics, allow for extended bass frequencies, and improve soundstage properties. Note: volume must be adjusted in conjunction with crossover changes. In general, when selecting a lower crossover point, more volume may need to be applied."
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. The T-Series has an additional input, a Low level input (RCA).
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/LFEconnection 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 the T-Series 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.
Good, Better, Best
The Good, Better, Best philosophy too often leads to compromised products or a “one-model fits all” mentality. REL does not adhere to this flawed marketing scheme. There are no compromises in REL models and in our opinion every single REL woofer is worth owning. However, like all high quality tools, every REL is engineered for a specific purpose, which makes it easier to pick the right tool for the job; some models work better in small rooms, some models work better with large speakers, some integrate better with small speakers, some models even work better with planar speakers! With REL, there are no bad choices and hopefully the description above has helped guide your choice, but if you have questions that aren’t answered here or if you’d like a recommendation for the best fit for your system, please don’t hesitate to call us and ask for a REL specialist.