Red Means Passion and Energy

What Goes into Making the T/9x Red

Rosso Corsa is the color that Italian racing cars have traditionally worn since the 1920’s. Initially a darker red – verging on maroon – it’s evolved over the years to what we are now accustomed to. An intensely passionate, vibrant red that costs $585/gallon the last time we ran a special edition version of the T/9 model. These days, it’s well over $700/gallon and, since we paint all our T/x models with 5 double coats of paint, we go through a lot of it. Expensive? Yes…but it stirs passion and emotion, and that’s something REL is familiar with.

Wait until you see one of these retina-searing (in a good way) beauties with your own eyes. I’m pretty sure it raises the blood pressure of everyone who sees one for the first time, but… let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

At REL, we love color. That may not be obvious since we’re often forced to bow to market demands for high gloss Piano Black Lacquer and High Gloss White. We’re proud of the quality of prep work and paint we build into every subwoofer we deliver in black lacquer and gloss white. Still, when the chance comes to issue a special edition color, it gets everyone on the REL team extremely excited!

Three years ago, it took us more than 12 months and, if memory serves, 58 iterations of the painting process to get it just right. That’s right, 58 samples using various primers, paint, and polishes before we were satisfied. This time, we knew to use three different primers to get the underlayment perfect, both for the flatness of the surface and to render the color perfectly. Most people don’t realize that paint is heavily dependent on the primers beneath the color coats; these affect our sense of the depth of paint and also contribute to perfect smoothness in the final 2 coats. You can’t produce something in Rosso Corsa – the official name of Italian racing red – and not have the final article turn out perfetta.

We wanted to take the performance up a notch from the already high standards of the T/9x. After considering various options, we realized that a different amp would have burdened it with significantly higher costs and might have resulted in too much amp for the driver. In the end, we settled on improving the bass “engine”, the driver that is the heart and soul of every REL. We know how critical (and expensive) using carbon fibre can be to upgrading performance.

While an all-carbon-fibre cone would have taken it up into Serie S territory, could we replace just the center cap and achieve meaningful improvement? We ordered a 6k carbon fibre center cap—it’s a very finely woven version of carbon fibre –and chafed while we waited for our factory to build our one-off sample. Would it produce the results we were hoping for?

To understand why this was such a killer upgrade, know that the complete cone of an S/510 weighs just 10 grams. That’s right, the entire 10” cone of an S/510 weighs less than two sheets of copier paper. And, here’s the zinger, by moving to carbon fibre for the center cap, and replacing the aluminum cap which is already lightweight, we’re able to save the equivalent weight of an S/510 cone from the moving mass of the T/9x driver. Speed kills, they say. Kills the competition is what they mean!  So, taking moving mass down by 40% means the driver is faster, more reactive, and has more jump factor. That’s precisely what we achieved by taking moving mass down. Essentially, we made the amplifier more powerful, and, by reducing mass, we also wound up with a design that plays a tad louder. Not a huge amount, but a measurable 1.5 db, which confirmed that what we were hearing subjectively translated into greater output…which means more efficiency.

Of course, we couldn’t just leave it at that. We turned to our specialist boutique badge maker, the same one we use for the badges on Reference and the Carbon Special and whipped up a triple chrome-plated top badge with the debossed logo, backfilled with gloss black enamel. The feet received the same chrome plating and subtle light grey-on-chrome logos were feather-sprayed onto the vertical surfaces. The final result is stunning, yet subtle.

We loved turning out this special edition so much that we might just keep the roll going. Since some of us are Porsche people, we may turn to some of their classic colors in the future. Who knows?  For now, revel with us in the deeply seductive shade of Italian racing red on this special edition of a bestseller. Know Enjoy the latest special offering from Carrozzeria* REL, knowing that its performance is as fast as its looks!

*Carrozzeria, in Italian,  refers to the bodywork of a car. In England, it would be called coachwork.

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November 17, 2023 - Posted in: System Thinking