Twin Continuous Cast™ Alloy Bass Engines
To produce our highest output single-box solution, we doubled up on the Continuous CastTM Alloy Bass Engines that bring critical acclaim to Serie S, altering them slightly for this twin front-firing configuration. These twin actives are responsible for 212/SE’s incredible speed and tactility. Our Continuous CastTM Alloy Cones reduce moving mass while maintaining rigidity, producing far more speed and precision than prior designs. These twin long-stroke 12″ bass engines, partnered with (2) matching 12″ passives provide the speed quality of a REL with a power never felt before. This combination offers the driven surface area of twin 17” drivers in a cabinet just 16” wide.
Sound Beyond Its Size
Dual Continuous Cast Alloy Passive Radiator
The 212/SE uses two matching Continuous Cast Alloy passives that are stiff, lightweight and incredibly well behaved. Our approach to passive design results in performance more akin to a variable ratio driver size – as more power and deeper bass is demanded, the passive comes to life, gradually expanding the capabilities of the active engines. The down firing passive produces deep, floor-crawling bass that makes a room shudder. Mounted above the amplifier panel on the rear is the second passive. This unit produces wrap around “atmospheric” bass that adds air and shimmer to the sound. Coupling with either the rear wall or the rear corner of a room allows for bass to develop exceedingly long wavefronts and adds an ease and effortless quality unique to single-box designs.
Command and Control
NextGen3 1,000w Digital Amplifier
Beyond our proprietary drivers, the performance of a REL is determined by our unique input filters and amplifiers. 212/SE harnesses a simple filter-type that is very fast—about 8 milliseconds in group delay– to cross out unwanted higher frequencies to our driver. This speed and gentle crossover slopes allow for seamless blending of RELs with the main speakers. RELs do not include a high pass filter to cross out bass from the main speaker because to do so would generally produce more unwanted effects than the minor benefits such a design confers. 212/SE’s power amplifier is a powerful NextGen3 1,000W (1,700 peak) digital amplifier. Our Herculean design allows each driver to output over 110 dB with ease–power enough to drive very large rooms to very high output.
LongBow Zero-Compression Wireless
LongBow permits very fast, uncompressed bass to be sent wirelessly within the same room approximately 45 feet (somewhat dependent upon room clutter). We have selected an uncompressed format as it results in natural, quick delivery compared with conventional wi-fi or Bluetooth systems. LongBow also offers both high level (or low level with crossover intact) AND .1 channel delivery so that REL Theatre Reference performance can be maintained even when using our wireless delivery system.
I added two REL 212 SE's as subs for my main music room using a pair of Revel Salon 2 speakers. It is a two channel system in a very large space, 24'x45' . Power comes from 2 Jeff Rowland 625 SE amps, Rowland Chorus Preamp w/ PCU, Berkeley Audio Alpha Reference 2 DAC, Esoteric Transport, all top tier Cardas, Shunyata cables & Shunyata Power conditioning. The REL's are pretty straight forward to set up and w/ about one month of adjusting placement & dialing in user control variables (all by ear w/ a diversity of source material.)
Main Take aways: Very fast, seamless, essentially neutral and very very low bass capabilities. The real surprise is how much air, atmosphere, depth, acoustic/spatial information and all around musicality they add. Even on recordings that are not specifically rich in low bass, the REL 212SE make the entire system feel effortless, relaxed and capable. It is transformative in nature and beyond question exceeded what I had imagined a pair of subs might do to an otherwise very good system. I have enclosed a picture and want to advise that I ended up w/ this unorthodox placement only after experimenting w/ dozens of placement options (the conventional outside flanking position did not work best In my room.) This inside position gave the most balanced results and supplemented the lower mid's w/ an authority and rich musicality that is simple stunning. Great job REL.
One word AWESOME! Holy amazing. Superb! Low end and pressurization! Watching Interseller at the 1 hour mark is unbelievable! There are a few other spots in the film as well....I felt like I was in the spaceship. I replaced a great sub from Paradigm (prestige 1000) but the 212/SE is in a whole other universe.
My 212/SE (running high level and .1) is paired up with:
- Totem tribe IIIs for LCR powered by a Parasound A31
- Totem tribes for the surrounds, Totem KINs for the 4 Atmos channels all powered by an NAD Masters M27 Amp
- An Anthem MXR720 runs the show
- also have a T/9i paired up with the center (awesome as well)
I've added a 212/SE to my hifi setup (NAD Masters + Totem Wind speakers). While the Winds already have an excellent bass output, the REL 212/SE delivers a crisp, substantial low level layer. When the bass (drum) kicks in, this excellent sub yields not only the sound but also the feel. Amazing. Oh - it's across the room, Longbow connectivity is a miracle.
Well, I am
Probably the most vocal on how happy I am about selecting a pair of 212SEs when I designed my HT last fall. They met all my requirements from their capability to provide a controlled, clean, crisp and the ability to blend extremely well with my B&W 803 D3 Mains. Best decision I have ever met. Thank you Rel Acoustics.
Reviews + Awards
"In a word, the REL 212/SEs are sublime. Like a linebacker who loves to paint, they have the ability to hit hard when called for, but their more gentle side allows delicate brush strokes that infuse the midrange and upper frequencies with three-dimensional body and sheer presence"
The Absolute Sound
I’ve had the privilege to own and evaluate thousands of components in the last two decades. Nothing has ever come close to achieving so much at such a modest cost. $8,000 is by no means chump change, but when other companies are asking ten times this for wire, that they claim is a “component level” upgrade, I call shenanigans. If your system doesn’t go to 11 right now, a pair of these will get you there. And if it already does, hang on; you’re still in for a ride you aren’t expecting. In the end, I’m not sure what freaks me out more, that a pair of REL 212SEs are this good, or knowing that there are two more models above the 212SE. Read More +
"The amount of energy this subwoofer proved able to deliver to the listening room was astonishing. At some point in the manual REL says this subwoofer is designed to Chinese orchestral drum, or indeed an 1812 Overture cannon, it roared. Conclusion While the REL 212/SE performs very well with music, especially with mighty crescendos, it really comes into its own with home theatre work. With these, it is seemingly without volume limit. SD be able to ‘play shatteringly loud’. Shattering is a good word, but it’s a shattering via the administering of pure, undistorted signal." Read More +
Sound + Image
"The REL 212/SE is more than just another subwoofer. While it has foundation-threating levels of bass energy on tap, it’s also one of the best upgrades you can do for your system, because it takes everything you like about your existing system and makes more of it: more midrange clarity, more high frequency extension, more soundstaging, and a lot more speed." Read More +
Alan Sircom, Hi-Fi+
“The 212SE, the newest venture from sub bass specialist REL, is a mighty quad-driver woofer capable of of making profound, structure-borne seismic lows that will flow through walls and foundations. It probably isn’t fit for semi-detached suburbia, unless -like me- you have The Best Neighbors Ever.” Read More +
Adam Rayner, Home Cinema Choice
"Listening to music is an experience for the emotions. It’s a practice that needs to engage, to connect and to seize the listener allowing him or her to share in the visions of its creators. At its most beautiful and captivating, it can be an escape… a transport into the realms of the imagination. But for the facsimile to approach the ‘live’ event, the reproducing apparatus needs to reflect music’s full potential in terms of frequency span, even if, its true dynamic power is as yet unobtainable." Read More +
Edgar Kramer, SoundStageAustralia
“This four-strong array serves up an astonishingly accomplished delivery, with impressive slam and depth matched to speed and subtlety – both movie soundtracks and music benefit from its sheer scale. And where some high-performance woofers falter when it comes to design, the 212/SE is dressed to kill, while compatibility with REL’s LongBow wireless transmission system makes a cable-free install a possibility” Read More +