HT/1003 MKII Product Overview

Delivers Twice the Output With Looks to Die For


The text below is a transcription of the video

Hello, this is John Hunter with REL. I’m REL’ s Lead Designer and I’m really excited to walk you through the new HT/1003 MKII. HT, of course, just stands for home theater. This piece is a little different. So this is a 300 watt, and I’m going to say something. 300 watts the way we do it is the way that a high-end amplifier does it. These are 300 watt mono blocks driving a 10 inch very long stroke cone that has been developed just for this project. Nothing else. It uses black glass fiber for the primary surface of the cone, and then the internal center desk cap here. It’s not a dust cap, but the center cap that actually stiffens and makes this piece hold together under duress is all pure carbon fiber. So this is a very long stroke 10, a true 300 watt amplifier. We do ours continuous, not peak, and it’s a mini beast. It is an absolutely incredible piece for theater, and I’m going to walk you through how we got an extra 10 decibels out of this over the predecessor. So, as I said, on this 10 inch driver, this is a bespoke piece. We just developed this very carefully just for this application, knowing that we were going to really be stressing the limits of the amplifier in order to get the most out of this. And we did. So I already alluded to the fact that the cone and the center cap are completely new. And just for this, the purpose of this is when you’re shoving a driver very quickly back and forth a couple of inches at a time in a few milliseconds, that surface comes under tremendous distortional forces. You’ve got air surface, you’ve got high air pressure inside, but low on the outside, it’s really hard on a cone of a subwoofer.

So we worked really hard to get all of that wiped out. It just negates all of that tendency to flexure, to buckling and twisting. It’s such a great little inexpensive, perfect piston. And that was a key for us. We didn’t want these to suddenly grow up and blow up and become a very expensive product. We were able to do really intelligent application of materials and techniques to get very high performance, high end experiences out of a piece that in our country, retails for $699. In the UK, it’ll retail initially for 699 pounds, and you should see relative plus 10-15%, that sort of thing spread out across the globe in your currencies.

The amplifier is a little, as I said, minibeast of a 300 watt monoblock. It’s very high current. We upgraded everything in it. The thickness of the boards. We went to a tier one amplifier manufacturer to get everything down the way we wanted and are used to doing it. Boards are thicker, power supplies are much bigger, the regulators are tighter coupled. The quality of the caps, the coupling caps, all of those things. We looked at every little thing and upgraded every one of those items. This is a really big step up, and the net result, as I said, was we’re getting over 10 decibels more output. And to put that in human terms, not engineering terms, 10 decibels means it is literally more than twice as loud. 10 decibels get you twice as loud. I secretly snuck into the lab a few nights ago and I pulled a plus 12 and a half out of it.

So it is an extraordinarily powerful piece at prices that we just don’t see that kind of output at. It goes down deep. It is going to be reliable because of all the things we did to de-stress the componentry, to increase the thickness of the glass fiber boards. And then we went through and made sure that in the way that we do our perfect filters and the perfect filter, I’ll explain it briefly. It’s a combination of several things. First, we have to, in the case of our home theater product, we have to move the secondary filters way out in order to be able to capture the reality of an explosion. When an explosion happens, if it’s loud enough, the first thing that should happen is your eyes blinking voluntarily. Why? Because it’s a high frequency transient that starts it’s metal shearing as the explosion begins to tear apart its container.

Then there’s the woo of the actual explosion to get that shearing sound believable, which is what makes you blink. We had to move that filter out. Then we have our regular crossover filter, and to that we add a perfect filter, which is an elevation control. Every driver in a box has a curve that looks like this. It falls off as you get lower and lower in frequency. So the perfect filter gently elevates this, but only below about 30 hertz, so it looks nice and flat and normal. And then where it would really be beginning to be dropping off, we’re pulling it up. So it’s much flatter. When you do that, that expansion continues to rise well past 20 hertz, well below 20. So we went through and rather than using DSP, which we briefly thought of like 12 seconds, we used a trick from my days in analog turntable design, and we inserted an analog subsonic filter, much like you would in a phono preamp, and its set very low.

This one has set at about eight hertz. Eight hertz, you’re just talking about problems, you know, in the low twenties and high teens. The secret is you do it much lower than that. It’s a very gentle kind of a curve that does this. And what it does is it just gently, progressively takes out all of that crud, that info based material that can actually damage drivers and amplifiers and it well below the resonance of the driver just slowly takes out all of that stuff, which means we can push our limiters and our amplifiers harder knowing that it’s not going to see something down at 12 hertz and try and reproduce that, waste all of its energy and destroy the driver.

These were specifically designed by the way, to be a harmonious team player with our Serie TXs, which are a little more expensive, and also the Serie S’s, which are significantly more expensive than this because really savvy people who maybe already have a good two channel system based on it are starting to realize oh, wow. Yeah, I listen and use home theater every night for three hours. It’s not going into a Mayan temple themed home theater with $40,000 worth of theater seating. I’m sitting at home, I’m watching Netflix, I’m watching Hulu. I’ve got my favorite shows, and guess what? All of that is some version of home theater. So this is a really inexpensive and very compact, and this is only about 12 inches wide, maybe not even very compact piece that you can slip behind a couch, behind an occasional chair that’s set in a corner and all of a sudden have devastating low frequency effect space.

And believe me, the first time it hits, it’s really pretty cool. And you realize, what have I been missing all of these years? It’s incredible. So here we have a piece that’s done in line grain composite. This is a really expensive composite that we use. The line graining is all horizontal, very much like it’s used on high end pre amplifiers and amplifiers. It completely changes the way that the light strikes. It’s such an expensive, subtle look. We’re doing a full composite piece up here. This is HDF high density fiber board, actually is considerably thicker than what you see in the center of it because it really needs to dampen couple the top panel as well and just gorgeously finished five coats of beautiful hand rubb blacker. There you go with the lovely REL logo. And this is a very subtle version of it.

It’s a very light gray and it’s put on very thinly. It almost looks like it’s buried inside the black paint and just peeking through. It’s a really nice, subtle, elegant touch. These radii exactly match the radii on our new TX range. So you can intersperse and intermingle these with TXs and they fit perfectly together. Same touch here. You’ve got these beautiful, these are a mineral filled nylon foot, very tough, very quiet, and they’re finished off in the same subtle dark gray, gun metal gray with a very faint logo here that allows them also to match up with all the modern RELS, whether it’s S’s or TXs. This is not the baby brother to the HT 1205. This is its own product that stands on its own now. It is transformative. Plus 10 DB in this price category is unheard of. This is an incredible upgrade in just the raw output.

We kept the deep base, we kept the delicacy and all that. We built more delicacy in so that it handles music better. And if you have an affordable clips or high efficiency horn speaker, holy smokes, this is an incredible upgrade to that. We have all kinds of little techniques and tricks we use. You know, we have this magic brace that we use inside, which is a four post brace. So it damps the top, the bottom, both side walls. A lot of people use a very inexpensive small version of that. Ours is about that wide, about three four inches wide, I’d say. It’s got this very large center section with hole in it. Why? Because if you mount the brace behind, like almost everybody else does, the shot of air that’s coming out of the driver, most drivers have a hole called a vented pole piece.

That vent has tremendous acceleration of a stream of air. And if it hits that center cap, it tends to splatter. And if you’re listening carefully for it, if you turn off the speakers during development like we do, you can hear that splatter, it’s not good. It comes right back through the cone as a distortion. So what we did was we made it large enough that it could actually sort of circumnavigate the magnet. We line the interior of it with soft felt so it wouldn’t rattle, it would actually damp that the back of the driver itself. So now you’ve got the ability for that vent to do what it’s supposed to do, which is go all the way back to the cabinet and dissipate, not splatter, and go back through the front cone. So it’s 699. This is such a prop popular price point, right?

Let’s talk about what kinds of speakers it would apply to. Everything from inexpensive little 399, 499 pieces, right on up to, if you were just using it for 0.1 theater probably could underpin a good solid $3,000 high quality speaker from one of the better known manufacturers without issue. That’s a huge spectrum, right? You’re traversing a sort of a 10 to 1 gap and yet people would be thrilled and this would be able to keep up with even very good, you know, English American, well considered, very well constructed speakers in that 2,500, $3,000 price point, be they high quality sort of six and a half inch stand mounted or bookshelf mounted speakers, right up to sort of medium sized floor standards. You know, the kind of speaker that’s a pair of six and a halfs with a tweeter in a cabinet.

Just a great use piece. It’s so wonderful, so applicable in so many cases. And honestly, you know, the ability to throw one of these in the back of the room when you’re doing a 3D setup, a REL 3D setup where you’ve got a main sub, a high level center channel sub that just brings the whole front of the stage together. And then you need that. You’re saying, this sounds great, but I’m missing something. What you’re missing is the deep base that needs to continue back to the back of the room. And so the ability to just tuck one of these back in a very little scene corner of your room and dial it in and just have a huge three-dimensional oral circus that you’re stuck in the middle of suddenly. So, there’s so many things that are clever that we’ve worked on really hard to make these a better real world product and to give it just much better performance, top to bottom.

May 10, 2023 - Posted in: Videos