Classic 99 Product Overview

Big, Bold, and Full of Character


The below text is a transcription of the video.

Hi, this is John Hunter with REL. We’re here to celebrate this new Classic 99. Now, last year we came out with a piece called ‘The 98’ that kinda lit the retro vintage market alive, but also got to a whole bunch of people that really, they’ve let us know, you know, they were waiting for wood. They just wanted the natural beauty of wood in their home and in their system. And this just solved everything. So Classic 99 builds on the success that happened with the Classic 98 that came out last year. We almost instantly were inundated with requests for reviews on that piece. I’m sure Steve Gutenberg has given a perfect score to other pieces in his long and storied career as sort of the Potter familiar of the whole YouTube renaissance. But I’ve never seen one before and the man did about a 26 minute long video and found it to essentially be a faultless product in terms of what it delivered, the sort of latent desire for things that are beautiful and simple and elegant that make our lives better.

And the sound quality was perfect with a very affordable price. 99 builds on that. This is a piece that is coming on the heels of a thing that I think it got five best of awards in the three months it was out for all of 2023 last year. Came out in like October and we were named Best ofs in five reviews for the year. I want you to understand this is not just a bigger, essentially version of the Classic 98. This is better in every way that matters to music lovers and theater lovers. It’s faster. Intonation is crisper and more precise. It releases things with a suddenness and a hugeness that 98 does a really good job of. But this is in a completely different league. So when we say it’s better, we don’t just mean that it plays louder and it goes deeper, sort of traditional subwoofer or virtues. This is better because it follows along. It’s more rhythmic, it’s quicker, it’s more insightful, and that’s what we built into it. Oh, by the way, it goes a lot deeper and plays a lot louder.

So let’s dive into the sort of the interior of this just a little bit. The original 98 was a 300 watt piece and it played exceptionally loud. This is a 500 watt amplifier that is just cruising along. Now we only rate this as I believe 450 watts. It’s very conservative. Rest assured, it’s a 500 watt’er that’s just cruising along in six gear. It’s never stressed when it plays definitely loud. It’s so far inside of its comfort envelope. You don’t have to worry about it, which is a huge thing for us because reliability is an absolute touchstone for REL. It has a big fast down firing 12. For the sort of boffins that say tens are quicker than twelves, not this time, this is quicker. This is absolutely a more precise instrument, not just a big blunder bus of a thing that plays loud.

So we have a 500 watt amplifier driving a 12 inch with massive stroke. And look, one of the beautiful things about these Classics is they don’t have the ultimate speed, but my God, they put this huge carpet of bass out. When it hits the floor, it spreads out in 360 and you just get this huge reassuring deep concussive wall of bass. It just rolls through a room and you get this effusion that is really appealing and you can’t get it out of conventional subwoofers. It’s a cool way to do things. This is also a callback to RELs of yours, this is how Richard did it in the nineties. It’s a neat homage to him as well. This is a great piece that I predict is gonna really find homes all over the world. It’s not so large that you’re gonna be overwhelmed by its scale and yet because of its greater scale compared with a 98, it just does things in this huge comfortable, effortless way.

You know how big dogs walk a little bit different than small dogs. This one walks a little differently than the Classic 98. It’s a great piece. And if you’ve got larger speakers and larger rooms, you’re like, oh, I wanted to get that 98 but it just wasn’t quite right for me. This is it. And going back to the speed part of it, this thing in stereo pairs is insane. If you want to hear a really huge open, fast modern sound stage, do stereo pairs of these and it’ll be a real wake up call for you.

Let’s jump into the physical design of this piece a little bit. It is beautifully damped. It is beautifully constructed, big thick cabinets. We’re using, I think, 32 millimeter MDF on the sidewalls to keep everything quiet. That’s about an inch and a quarter for those of us who are not well steeped in the metric side of things. It’s a very thick cabinet wall dimension gives a lot of strength and also a lot of damping. And we use them to sort of damp. We do it in multiple layers of MDF, so you don’t just get the big one, big slab. When you do multiple layers, each one of the layers has the ability to quiet down the layer before. So we’re using two big thick layers on each, either one of these walls and we have a massive amount of cold air for the amplifier to stay cool.

Even though this is a sealed cabinet within, there’s a huge amount of convection that happens. You can imagine as you have a 12 inch driver that’s stroking back and forth a couple of inches, it’s fully capable of stirring up the air that is trapped inside there and that air we use to our advantage. It keeps the amplifiers running very cool. Even though they’re Class D, we want these things running forever. So we want to keep the ambient air that they’re exposed to cool. So here we are with the rear panel of our Classic 99. This is a 500 watt pure Class D amplifier. It is cruising. We only rate this at 450 watts. Believe me, if you get to the point that you’re using 450 of the 500 watts, your neighbors are gonna be unhappy with you. This is a very loud, high output subwoofer. So, this is the Classic 99 500 watts, 12 inch. Play stupid loud, goes incredibly deep and just makes you happy.

June 6, 2024 - Posted in: Videos