REL Acoustics Carbon Special Subwoofer Review w RELs John Hunter and Upscale Audios Kevin Deal


Video Creator’s Channel Upscale Audio High Fidelity

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Hi This Is Kevin Diehl From Upscale Audio

and today we’re going to talk about the Rel carbon special subwoofer and I have here with me. John Hunter, the chief designer from Raw acoustics. Kevin Okay let me tell you something. John is one of my heroes for everybody is in high-end audio when we do shows at the consumer electronics show or these other shows. I sometimes partner with but even if I’m not partnering with Rel specifically, but if i’m setting up speakers.

I Always Try To Get John To Come

into my room because he is the master of setups. I’m telling you and I’m not kidding talk to anybody in the industry and John is the guy and the thing about that is that it’s that knowledge in that background I’ve known John for decades right it’s that background that he has the understanding that allows. to take all of that thought process and bring it to subwoofers. I’ve said this to you before Don’t buy a subwoofer from speaker manufacturers because those companies are going to be called and companies right we make all these great speakers and we make subwoofers now that’s not an absolute rule. This is not an absolute rule, but it is out it is true most of the time and rel is a company that doesn’t do in-wall speakers.

Theyre A Company That Doesnt Do Surround

them sound They’re none of that stuff. They do one thing and they do it so well and that is subwoofers and I love their stuff so much. We’re one of we do a tremendous amount of business with you and customers. Don’t buy a subwoofer because you need more bass by a subwoofer because you want better mid-range and sense of scale and musicality and I’ve got to say one more thing before I turn it over. I’ve heard I just talked to a customer He goes yeah.

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I Want To Get This Up So

bad but I do I can’t. I don’t have space to get a pair of them. I go what are you talking about you know it’s really popular to do pairs of subs but that doesn’t mean you don’t you know you don’t get one. It is one of the biggest deals that you can do forget getting a new amplifier a subwoofer. Even if you have large speakers can be a life-changing thing.

This Is The New Carbon Special.

It is unbelievable and I got to ask you john. I look at this driver and it looks. You tell me what’s going on sure sure absolutely thank you for that intro Kevin So this is actually the Mark Iii version of the driver. This is the latest one that’s used in the G1 Mark Ii reference right it’s a fantastic piece the newer one we’ve gone through and subtly rebalanced it’s got a much larger surround so we’re getting into the technology of it, but the point of it is is that this is the absolute latest technology we have in a 12-inch driver.

All Carbon Fiber.

We actually use a composite we prefer using a secondary piece to stiffen up the center section. I know it’s very popular for people to to just do a cast single cast molding works great no issues with it probably works fine for again conventional speaker we’re under so much stress the pressure that builds up and this thing. Is such a big issue that we find it’s actually much better to have a double layer composite, so by the way just a little little point of it. We’ll get into some of the fun little details but you’ll see as you start to look around this piece.

Well Spin This Around For You In

a moment. All kinds of little carbon fiber details and Kevin asked me a question as we were as we were working is this real carbon fiber or is this like a plastic photo overlay. You know piece that looks really pretty everything we do if it looks like it’s aluminum on some of our less expensive pieces. It’s aluminum. The feet on a T9.

Those Are About A Pound And A Half

of cast aluminum. So if something looks like it is it is to me It’s duplicitous If you’ve got stuff that looks you know you can chrome plate plastic these days right it’s just not how I roll won’t happen so yes when you see details that appear to be carbon fiber. They’re real carbon fiber and I can tell you. It’s a pain in the ass to work with these things the reject rate for just for the cosmetics. The stuff works fantastically right but the levels that our customers would insist on for fit and finish to get that in carbon fiber is not easy so it’s fun yeah so we’ll dive in a little bit here so what’s the purpose of a carbon special we’ve already got an 812.


The Sa-12 is an incredible piece in the Us. It sells for about 3000 pounds dollars excuse me in the Uk. I want to say around 2 700 pounds the the the bottom line is that these pieces are fantastic. They’re compact.

Theyre Powerful Theyve Got Perfect Filters In

them that have really filled out the bottom and beautifully Have this nice little special filter that really allows this wonderful handoff between the base and the mid-range to top in stuff. When you listen to the modern assets versus anything that went before them in a sort of intermediate sized piece. They’ve got such incredible reach right up into the high frequencies. It’s crazy so with that why do we need a carbon special. This was really developed for people who wanted to.

In Many Cases Even Had The Budget

to be able to to go out and buy a six-pack of number 25s or a six-pack of G1 mark twos. They just don’t physically have the space and and nothing. There is a huge jump off between say G1 Mark Ii at almost double the price and the A12. So it struck me that there was a need for something that was really an Uber high performance but compact piece and i’m going to use the term compact a little loosely right. This is a roughly 85 pound pretty heavy beast.

It It Varies From The 812 If

you look at this thing and if it looks like it’s just maybe a little bit deeper it is it’s just over an inch deeper and that was necessitated because we have so much air movement. The teal small equations dictate that we needed more physical internal environment and you could hear it like that we of course prototyped this using a standard A12 cabinet we went through and built up special. There’s a passive on the bottom and it’s it’s crazy. It’s a special piece that goes fifty percent a longer stroke than the one that’s in the A12. The driver itself has two times the stroke of an A12 driver sounded pretty good and you could hear it was just tense right you could never get it to just relax and bloom, and I I you know spent about a night just working through calculations and there’s a point where you have to just let go and kind of go.

Whats Your Instinct Say Too We Managed

to get it down to just a little over an inch of extra depth, and when we heard the the first prototype cabinet about 35 days later, the way it just released everything all the big deep rolling concussive stuff just was effortless. All of a sudden. We finally weren’t fighting this cabinet, so it was fantastic to have that and and be. Able to pull it off. I mean believe me I was getting calculations that were like no No you need 50 more cabinet volume.

It Worked Out Great Yeah So Here We

are the the the piece itself uses the same thousand watt amplifier that we supply in the A12 now remember in the Sa-12. We specifically limit it to 800 watts. Here it’s a thousand watt amplifier. We’re able to open that up just a little bit more because we’ve got so much more power handling available in this driver and as I said the passive that’s on the underside has a tremendous amount of stroke while staying under control. So we won’t get specific about the wattage, but it we certainly have a looser limiter built into this one.

Its Like Having A A A Kind

of a a speed limiter on a car that’s been modified by. Tuner right yeah! It comes out of Porsche, saying 155 miles an hour hard and and for you know 100 worth of tuning. You can release that thing and suddenly it’s doing 183. so here We are we’ve got a a loose limiter that lets us really plumb the depths of this thing. I I have to tell you just a little personal story.

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So I Bring Home Almost All Our Prototypes

and I listen to them and I have a nice high and two channel rig. When I got this piece in that the timing was perfect. I just had to take the little Ferrari red T9i. We’d been using that in the little impromptu home theater that we have and I took the the red T9i in for shooting. So I slipped this thing in Oh my lord.

It Was Incredible That The Stuff That Were

seeing these. days right we’re all trapped in front of Netflix or Amazon prime whatever it is We’re that’s our sort of our form of entertainment for video and the things that are being built into production stuff These days is insane. It’s got to be some of this stuff is it’s got to be plus five plus six db below 20. Hertz my my daughter where I swear should just become a lawyer looks at me at me at one point and the doors and the windows were rattling everything is creaking in the room and she says, Have you ever considered requiring your customers to sign a release form. It’s a it’s a lot of fun anyway.

So This Piece You Can Probably Hear

in my voice. There’s a certain amount of enthusiasm that’s creeping through we love all of our projects. We don’t do them unless we we really are mentally and emotionally invested heavily in them. This one became very special along the way for both Justin and I there’s just something so magical. It’s so delicate and yet so concussive.

At The Same Time.

I’d like to say something about that that delicacy thing rell’s whole deal is to not do anything that’s negative to the music all right. I mean they are the audiophile brand period period and I gotta say something to those that are not aware. If you don’t think you have a subwoofer out because you have a tube amplifier or something rails typically don’t get hooked up that way they use what’s called a speak on connector that hooks up to the speaker taps of your amplifier. You can also hook them up line level if you choose to and the beauty of this.

Brand Is That Youre Able To Have Individual

adjustments for both high level and low level, and we’re going to teach you all of that at upscale audio. We’ll make sure that you know what’s going on But I just don’t want you to go and I can’t hook up a subwoofer because I don’t have a subwoofer out or because I’m on audio file and this isn’t for me. It absolutely is for you yeah if I could.


Kevin Diehl from upscale audio and John Hunter from Raw acoustics. John Hunter, the chief designer from Raw.& John Hunter . John is one of my heroes for everybody is in high-end audio when we do shows at the consumer electronics show or these other shows . Don’t buy a subwoofer from speaker manufacturers because those companies are going to be called and companies right we make all these great speakers and we make subwoofers now that’s not an absolute rule, but it is out it is true most of the time . Rel is a company that doesn’t do in-wall speakers.& They’re a company . don’t do surround them sound. They’re none of that stuff. They do one thing and they do it so well and I love their stuff so much. John is the guy . Diehl says it’s really popular to do pairs of subs but that doesn’t have space to get a pair of subs. He goes yeah yeah….. Click here to read more and watch the full video