Carbon Special Product Overview


Learn more about Carbon Special at

Hi, I’m John Hunter of REL, RELs lead designer, and today we get to introduce you to something truly special. All of our products are very, very close to us, but every once in a while, we do a special edition and the new carbon special is something we’ve been working on for about a year and a half and it is just magical. 

This is a 1000 watt amplifier that we actually limit down to 800, but a beast of an amplifier driving our best reference quality drivers. This is a 12 inch carbon fiber driver with 4 full inches of stroke, 2 front, 2 back. 


It’s an amazing piece in a bespoke cabinet. This is not a conventional 812 cabinet. This has larger internal volume than anything we’ve ever done in this category. This is the absolute apex of what we’ve ever been able to accomplish in a medium chassis design. 

Going back 10 years ago, we introduced the first limited edition, the 528/SE. It was a very limited edition piece that was only out for about four or five months, and it sort of announced the close of an era.


More recently, about two years ago, we did the Carbon Limited. Really pretty much the same thing. It was at the very tail end of the original Serie S, and a certain number of units limited. This will be limited in scope and it won’t be available at all times necessarily throughout the year, but it’s something that’s important to us.

This is an ongoing product within this range, and as such, it’s gotten a lot more attention in development during engineering. This is a real ground up, authored bespoke piece that will be with us for the next four or five years. 


So with the carbon special, we use our state-of-the-art wireless. It’s called Airship. It sends 5.8 gig signals, two of them wide bandwidth. So, we have one for the high level, one for the 0.1, both separated. You can run both simultaneously and it just produces this incredible zero compression sound. A lot of wireless still uses a fair amount of compression. This is completely uncompressed.

It’s about as good as you can ever get wireless at this time, and what you’re going to find is this is a piece for very good speakers. We’re talking about speakers at 10,000 and above whether it’s pounds or dollars. As you start going into pairs, you’ll be able to pair this up with speakers that are extraordinary, and this also lends itself to stacking.


The driver we use on the Carbon Special is lifted from the G1 MKII reference design. It is a 12 inch driver, 350 millimeters. It weighs next to nothing. The actual moving mass of this thing is incredibly low and yet it has four inches, two inches forward, two inches back. Massive amounts of stroke, which allows it to go extremely loud, and also is needed for going loud with extreme extension down low. So this design will go down into the teens with authority. It’s an incredible piece of engineering. 


So, for the amplifier and filter, we borrowed the amplifier from the No. 25, our reference piece, which sells for almost twice as much money as this. It’s a fantastic amplifier. It is a 1000 watt per channel design. It has tremendous amounts of headroom, and it’s just so open and dynamic. The sound of this amplifiers is fantastic. The grip down low is wonderful. 

So this is, a medium-sized cabinet, but it’s bespoke. This is a unique cabinet only for the Carbon Special. 


It’s been extended a little over one complete inch front to back, and the reason for that is simple. Even with the special passive that we use underneath. The cabinets still needed more volume. You could hear it immediately in testing, so we extended it and it snapped everything together. All of a sudden we had this huge weighty concussive sound to it.

The dynamics were breathing. Before it sounded all tight and congested and it wasn’t plumbing, the real depths. So we try and do some fun things in industrial design every time we do one of these pieces so it doesn’t stay stale for people. 


Our design language is just constantly evolving, and sometime ago I decided to do these very small highly polished stainless steel badges that are on the heel. 

The whole point to these is, you’re sitting there in a room, you’re looking across and there’s just something that catches your eye. You get this glint in the back of it underneath where you were expecting nothing. It just sort of reminds you of the specialness really complete design.

So in conclusion, with the carbon special, what we’ve offered here is our absolute finest medium-sized chassis. 


Not everybody can afford to have some of our big reference pieces and certainly not stacks of them in their room. So this gives you a really big slice of that in a much more compact chassis. Something that you can live with in an everyday living room. 

Everywhere you look on this piece, there’s just a feast for the senses. There are wonderful subtle accents of carbon fiber, and really highly polished stainless steel. Things that just catch your eye underneath, this beautiful sparkling top, a little twinkle on the front of the grill. It’s an amazing piece of fun design. 

October 26, 2020 - Posted in: Product Videos, Videos