How does a REL add dimensionality and depth to a sound system?

The below text is a transcript of the video

Hey there, John Hunter with REL. Here, so a question arises, and it’s how is it that subwoofers can produce so much dimensionality and spaciousness, particularly in high-quality two channel recordings, isn’t space sort of conveyed by the main speakers.


Of course, it is in part. The simple answer is this, space the amount of time that year brain mechanism requires to decode larger distances happen as a function of bass and it’s because the spaces themselves are tuned if you will to very, very long wavelengths. And that means very deep bass. So, for example, we were fortunate enough about six or seven years ago to tour Notre Dame in Paris


and just walking into that space. First of all, it’s just a little awe inspiring. It just is. If you haven’t been there once it’s opened back up to the public, you have to go. You walk in and with your eyes closed, you can tell you’re walking into a vast physical space. Why? Because the ear brain is decoding. Just the sound of natural footsteps. You know, your boots on the ground send out a little mini concussion wave and it takes a certain amount of time to hit the ceiling, the walls, those beautiful stained glass windows, and return to your ears.


That time is your brain going, oh wow that was like 1.2 seconds. This is a really, really big space I’m in. Right? Deep bass produces extremely long wavelengths. I forget the exact number, but I believe a 32 Hertz note is somewhere in the 46-foot range. That’s roughly 15 meters.


The amount of time it takes sound to travel 15 meters, 46 feet, and return to your ears is measurable. It’s decodable. Your brain can tell the difference between that and something that happened very quickly. There’s another part of it. So I’m going to get REL specific here. The way that we connect seamlessly with the main speakers is unique.


Not that other people aren’t trying to do high level now, but we have all kinds of copycats trying to pile in, but the way that we do it is unique, and what it allows the ear to do and the brain to do is relax. When you get it right, and that requires crossing over significantly below the main speaker in order to have really a truly flat passover between main speakers and REL. When you do that right and you have a subwoofer going down, perhaps in the low twenties or in case of some of our big ones well below 20, it conveys a completely seamless, natural three-dimensional stage.


You’re not aware of the location. So many theater-based subs it’s two speakers and a sub there are 2 speakers during their business and occasionally there’s a sound over there and your eye ear go, right there’s the sub. If you, do it properly with a REL it’s impossible to decode the location of it. It just transforms your main speakers into truly full range devices. And again, it’s that full range which we experience in everything we do naturally outside of listening to music.


On a recorded basis when you hear it done properly and you are able to get very close to 20 hertz, all of a sudden space is what opens up. And it’s not just space because when you have that deep bass foundation underneath, you get complete restoration of all of the harmonics all the way up the next nine octaves. You just get these beautiful mathematically, correct. Because it’s grounded, you get this beautiful set of rising harmonics that just restore it to the way your brain knows it happens in real life but can’t when the speaker is truncated. Great question. Thank you.

November 30, 2021 - Posted in: Q & A With John Hunter