Pairing Perfection – Part 1
Dual RELs, With Common Ground Mono Block Amplifiers
One of the more interesting questions we are asked with increasing frequency is using REL(s) in high end 2-channel systems with mono block power amplifiers. –For those of you in a hurry, the answer is simple; if you are using mono block amplifiers, use 2 RELs–1 per channel. Doing anything less perverts the entire purpose of choosing mono blocks in the first place.
Now, mono blocks are royalty in the world of high end amplification. The person who purchases a mono block is essentially saying, “I am such a perfectionist, I don’t want anything– not even the power transformer– shared between right and left channels.” It is the Porsche twin turbo of power amplifier topologies, the supercharged and turbocharged…er, you get the idea. Having owned several examples of state of the art mono blocks over the course of my journey, I can say that the best examples of this approach offer a level of effortless power, coupled to a background silence and illumination of soundstage extremities that is eerily natural.
Using a REL with Mono Blocks: Often, the owner of mono blocks chooses to add a REL to get all the extension and effortless air that their new rig offers. We receive the question –sometimes expressed with great indignation–why we don’t support the use of a single common REL subwoofer? Our experience indicates that there are a myriad of ways to design mono block grounding schemes. Enough new designs with increasingly complex ground return paths come out every year that our engineers sometimes suspect that amp designers are staying up late conjuring these up just to torment them. The results of trying to cram a single high level REL connection with a shared ground into a pair of mono blocks runs the gamut from hum induced by ground loops, to dangerous coupling schemes that load down the output of certain amplifier topologies. Our advice? Don’t do it.
In the end, the reality is that using (2) RELs configured as bass mono blocks, 1 per channel, ensures that the system’s design goals remain consistent and in a few instances, can even prevent damage from some of the more rarified grounding schemes.So, how to hook up REL “Mono Block” (2 – 1 left and 1 right) subs?
For connection to common ground mono block amplifiers, see below: Step 1 – For connection to common ground mono block amplifiers, see below.