Field Notes

Horses for Courses:

How Serie T/i and Serie HT Comfortably Coexist

Wow, since the introduction of the new HT Home Theater range last month, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in questions and the excitement this new range is creating is palpable. Some folks are trying to sort out what the roles of our traditional Serie T/i range are, versus the new kid on the block, Serie HT. We  felt it important to weigh in and provide guidance. It all comes down to your order of priorities in building your system. Let’s jump in below and take a look at two different ways to balance your priorities in a system.

Natural Bass Delivers Extraordinary Music and Very Fine Theater: I will try to keep this short and succinct. If you value the balance of virtues REL have long espoused: perfect blending of fast, natural low bass to main speakers having the benefit of transforming every facet of a system well above traditional bass resulting in systems that deliver incredibly musical results AND good theater results, then stick with T/i. The ability to utilize our High Level Connection is remarkable for those who love music as it allows the signature sound of the entire system’s sound feeding one’s main speakers to feed forward to the REL ensuring that it is possible to obtain a perfect blend, not just of frequency matching but also character of the system.

HT delivers sledge hammer theater and very musical 2-channel: Why HT? The answer is, theater. Specifically, big theater for the many who enjoy really high output, devastating power. These theater afficianados needed something more. Something able to play significantly louder than our own T/i range when used just for .1/LFE. We went a step further and made sure it would also outdo our competitors’ offerings in this price range; able to play much louder; bigger and heftier sounding with more weight and higher output. HT delivers over-the-top theater effects in spades.

Does that mean that REL engineers ignored the musical aspects of HT’s performance? Absolutely not, it is simply a matter of degree. Measured against every other conventional subwoofer offered by our competitors, the HT range are incredibly fast and musical, even though they are connected up by simply using the traditional RCA-RCA subwoofer output connection from your receiver. Compared with the High Level feed, superior filters for music and all the other bits of precision engineering in T/i it’s not quite as complete. Priorities.

Simplicity: Connectivity on the HT has the added benefit of being “normal”, meaning a customer simply plugs in an RCA-RCA cable from their receiver’s output into the RCA input on the rear of the HT and they’re done.

In the end, the T/i continues to offer the best overall blend of virtues for those who prioritize music with occasional theater use, whereas HT is for the serious movie buff who uses their theater for more than just movies.

Does Anyone Use Both and Why? Yes, we know of at least a couple dozen systems in the 30 days since we began shipping that are based around combining Serie T/i (or S, or even larger Reference systems) and the new HT range. By using a combination of a traditional REL for all of its wonderfully, natural blending of speaker and sub with extremely low bass extension and adding one or more HT’s for additional emphasis on the dramatic special effects that make movies memorable, one can attain the best of both worlds.


July 12, 2018 - Posted in: System Thinking