Baseball, Apple Pie and the Sound of a Great Subwoofer

Tuning for Sports

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.” – A. Bartlett Giamatti

Aah Spring,the crack of a bat, the roar of the crowd. After a long, cold, dreary winter nothing raises expectations for the exciting season to come like sitting down to soak in a game. Baseball, bats and bass as they say… Or should say, because nothing transforms a simple sound system into a theater capable of transporting you and your family to events as dramatically as a great subwoofer.

As a lifelong baseball fan, I have been struck by my REL’s transformative ability to conjure up crowd size and properly recreate the scale of the stadia of games I am watching—or just listening to the game in the background for accompaniment. Take it out and it sounds like you’re listening to a transistor radio in a phone booth. Beyond recreating the scale of the real experience, when my REL is switched in, we are able to more instantly conjure up the crowd’s energy level, the instantaneous elation that erupts at a great defensive play, the subliminal “Ooooh” under pinning a particularly heroically struck home run. Just as with music and film, I am struck by how my REL brings out the emotion in the performance.

For frame of reference, I am using a simple, high quality 2-channel system augmented by a REL T/9i and the effortless dimensionality it affords – the grumbles of the disgusted crowd when the hometown team is seemingly incapable of getting out of a long inning, the intimacy the cameras and the mics pick up in the dugout after a teammate homers are all significant contributors to a greater sense of being there. These seemingly simple-yet-no-one-else-gets-it-quite-as-right sonic cues convey the very human nature of the game, a game founded on the premise that the best in the game will fail two-thirds of the time.

Connections and Setup of REL for Sports 

Connecting to a Stereo: For a simple 2.1 system using decent stereo speakers, follow our standard connection methods for High Level and you’re done. The REL can still fit into a corner or anywhere along the same wall as the speakers and TV. Connection variations exist for Class D and Balanced Differential receivers/amps, so please visit our High Level Connection Guides.

Connecting to your TV: What if I just want to use the built in speakers in my tv (many people just want to add a tv in the master bedroom or a guest room)? Many tv’s have external speaker connections which means you can actually use our High Level Connections here too! Just connect REL Red to R+ television speaker, Yellow to Left+ and Black to either channel’s ground wire and the REL should fire right up—you may have to select “Both” in your tv’s menu to turn on the speaker outputs.

With an AV Receiver: Please follow the standard connectivity for Theater. Presuming you are using quality main L/R speakers, you will set your main speakers to Large and use both High Level and .1/LFE and you’re set. Visit our Theater Tuning Guide.

So break out the grille, turn on the game and, if you haven’t tried the REL Challenge (listening with it in and out for simple comparison’s sake) try it with our national past time. Oh and make mine with onions on the side and jalapenos just for a little extra kick, kinda like my REL.

Enjoy the game,
John Hunter
Owner & Design Director




May 2, 2017 - Posted in: Deep Dive Setup