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Latest Article:

Amplifier Power Consumption

“Please Standby, We are Experiencing Technical Difficulties”: This should have been the headline that began the notification from the EU when it enacted its current standby circuit regulations. And it affects many in North America as well.

We at REL have always adopted a design stance that favors efficiency wherever possible. This approach extends to our amplifier designs. Recently, a customer wrote to me stating that he so enjoyed the purchase of his new REL Tzero MKIII that he wanted to purchase a larger unit, our T/9x but he would only do so if we offered a Standby circuit. I wrote him back explaining that in North America we don’t offer Standby circuits on anything except our Tzero MKIII and our larger Class D amps (in the EU and UK we do so by requirement but perhaps if more gear were designed like ours, it would never have become necessary).

Back in the not-so-distant olden days of 2010, standby circuits were employed on all sorts of low level audio gear. When I say low level, I mean items like source components such as CD players, tuners, and also preamps that don’t draw much by their very nature. It was also pretty common, and still is today, for tube equipment to feature a standby circuit as well as an audio mute circuit to allow the heaters on their tubes to warm up quietly and eliminate possible noise during startup.

These circuits were great because they allowed enough power, say 5 watts or so, to keep the sensitive low level circuits warm, which cut the warmup time from an hour or so down to a few minutes. Solid state preamps and even amps featured these too because the input circuit for a large power amp can take hours and sometimes even days to arrive at their best sound. But the European Union’s draconian requirement to limit current draw at idle (standby) to just ½ watt changed all that.

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Our Purpose

We make subwoofers. That’s it. Nothing else. No distractions. Nothing to steal our focus. No kidding ourselves that we can be good at everything. No trying to conquer the whole world. We just do our best to conquer our bit of it.

Each day we come in to work in pursuit of only one intention, to produce the most raw, perfect, pure sound possible, to capture the raw intention of the artist. We use the best quality materials, employ the most exacting construction requirements. We think of the problem holistically. We pursue the chase of the perfect experience of sound with an obsessive passion and vigor.

We do it because we love sound. We believe sound can move people more than any other sense. We believe it’s the integration of the bass via the perfect subwoofer that makes everything else better. And, ultimately, there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from doing this well, creating something of unique quality, such that you know it is going to inspire. It makes the hard work and the obsessing over each and every detail worth all the effort. That’s our reward.

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