T/7x: Bass, Perfectly Balanced

If Momma Bear Designed a Subwoofer

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In the world of our competitor’s subwoofers, boasting huge numbers is the norm. Some of those claims are actually true, but beyond all the bombast and chest-thumping lies a simple observation. Listen carefully: Some, probably most, customers don’t need (or even want) a subwoofer that plays at 115 dB, and would be disturbed by one that descends into the nether regions below 20Hz. What most people want is something that does it all well—makes deep bass that goes down pretty deep, plays loud enough to easily trigger a “can you turn it down honey?” and doesn’t take up a vast amount of real estate. A huge plus if it doesn’t look horrifyingly ugly, as well.

This is why we created the T/7x. It perfectly solves the needs of tens of thousands of customers, while looking beautiful and balanced in almost any decor. It’s equally at home supporting a pair of high-quality $3,000 European monitors, or just keeping up with a nice loud pair of middling Klipsch speakers in the typical living room.

T/7x uses a beautifully designed 8” long-stroke driver, paired with a down-firing 10” passive radiator. There’s something magical about splitting these driver sizes that helps it avoid that thickness of middle bass which most subs suffer from. When driven by a glorious little 200-watt monoblock Class A/B amplifier, the T/7x fairly bounces along. Bass takes on urgency and clarity and the whole system resolves into something better than it was without the T/7x in the mix. Taking it back out of the system will make you sad.

When listening to music, especially via REL’S HIGH-LEVEL INPUT – which takes its cues directly from your receiver’s or your power amplifier’s speaker terminals – there’s an organic rightness to the sound that, once heard, is instantly recognized, for it is the sound of music itself.

Yet, turn on Netflix or one of the Ooo’s (you know, Voodoo, Hulu, etc.,) and the T/7x’s separate, dedicated .1/LFE channel (complete with its own volume control) adds special effects-driven bass that will have you raving to friends at the next dinner party (“Have I told you about my new REL?”). This separate dedicated input, coming from your receiver’s subwoofer output, has its own filter that’s opened up a little wider than music likes for even better dynamics.  The separate volume control means you avoid the need to reset its level when switching between music and home theatre. No need for yet another remote control, and certainly no need for yet another phone app. Yes, we offer other subwoofers (like our T/9x, or the brutally powerful HT range) that will play louder, but this is all about a balance of virtues; the ability to do everything very well…and nothing wrong.

And then there is the T/9x ‘s simple beauty. It’s not just the shape, a basic radiused cubic form, but the exquisiteness of the finish as well (don’t be afraid to try the gorgeous gloss white). The way the amplifier panel is a delight to the senses, the chrome-plated perimeter bolts contrasting against a beautiful REL Navy blue panel with a small forest of inputs and natural aluminum controls. The feet, echoing the basic form of the cabinet (and yes, they are truly solid, heavy, billet alloy) anchor both the design and the sound to the floor with a solidity that defies any spec sheet.

Returning to the theme of functional perfection, that fact is that for the vast majority of owners, the T/7x delivers so much basic greatness in such beautiful form, in such a right-sized package and a reasonable price that it answers the “What subwoofer should I buy” question. To paraphrase the quote with which this piece began, “We took out everything we could, and when there was nothing else we could remove, there was T/7x.”

March 20, 2023 - Posted in: System Thinking