Some customers struggle with where to land on the decision between our high value all ‘rounder T/i range and the bred-for-kick-ass-theatre HT range. But is it as simple as this Series for theatre and that one for music? Maybe and maybe not. Let’s walk through the decision-making process of where to wind up if you’re thinking of a unit in this price range and you want to make sure you get the right affordable REL for your needs.
Let’s start at the obvious; before you ever fire up a given REL and ask a store sales associate to demonstrate what a T/5i sounds like compared to an HT/1205 stop and use your eyes. They both look very nice to be sure. But one features 5 coats of glossy, deep lacquer along with beautifully machined aluminium feet and badges. The other is larger to accommodate that bad boy 12”/300mm driver and 300 watts of power with a line grained composite cabinet. Size alone may have you veering toward one choice, and finish treatments matter. Only you know what strikes you as looking right. One person’s beautiful gloss lacquer may be another person’s strong preference for a low key, line grained professional “satin” look. This criterion alone may decide it for perhaps 75% of those seriously looking at investing their own dollars/pounds, euro, shekels or loonies.
Start with whether you want your sub to do it all—no problem, leave large unmarked bills in a bag marked “For 212/SE collection platter”–or get realistic about your preferences. If you express a strong preference for listening to music as a primary priority, then the answer becomes an easy decision for T/i. Want big theatre with super simple connectivity? You’re going to love Serie HT.
Where it gets sticky is the unspoken majority who reside somewhere in the middle, that want great theatre sizzle, but listen to music pretty much every day and night. For us, it’s not quite as simple as HT for theatre and T/i for music. While the T/i’s are fantastic at music and good at theatre, the smaller models of these have their limitations in ultimate output level and deep bass extension. Where a T/5i or T/7i get down into the lower 30’s—lower than most pundits understand as being darned low– the HT/1003 and HT/1205 make clean fast, deep bass into the middle-to-lower 20’s. Too, the HT range plays louder so if your musical tastes run toward large scale symphonic or classic rock, the HT’s come into their own.
In the end, between design and appearance, size versus ultimate loudness, and easy connectivity versus possibly needing to learn a little bit about which version of connectivity of our High Level Connection to use with the Serie T/i (maybe 2 minutes well spent on one of the many videos we publish on rel.net—any confusion, drop us an email and we’ll point you in the right direction). We make it easy and safe but it takes one extra step to connect a T/i properly. Do so and you’ll be rewarded with a seamless transition from your speakers straight down to the bottom note of a pipe organ.
Either way, it’s a big win for the customer. By offering these choices, it has made it possible for both music and theatre boffins AND the middle ground who need both to find a winner.