Blue Blood

Knowing When to Step to BassLine™ Blue

Bassline™ Blue, our remarkable step up High-Level Cables are yet another in the long line of REL experiences that, once heard, cannot be unheard. Remember the first time you heard a REL do its magic? Then some kind soul explained that one of the reasons that what you were hearing was unlike any normal subwoofer is because RELs connect broad bandwidth using a High-Level Connection. Systems work better when a subwoofer–a REL– is fed precisely the same signal as your speakers. We derive our input signal from the same speaker outputs on your amplifier that your speakers do. Then you hear a system with BassLine™ Blue in it and realize that BassLine™ Blue takes that concept to a whole new level.

But when to make the move to “Blue”? We’re big fans of delivering remarkable value, including in the pricing of our cables. Compared with many high-end speaker cables, BassLine™ Blue is an outright bargain. Still, at between $449 and $699 per cable, one needs to pause and consider whether you should part with your own hard-earned cash (or Venmo or PayPal) or if should you allocate it to something that will make more sense in the context of where your system’s evolution lies.

Let’s deal with an obvious pairing that makes little sense. If you own a REL T/5 of any vintage (might be a current T/x or a slightly older T/I or an even older T) investing in a cable that costs as much as your sub (both are $699 for both T/5x and 10m BasslineBlue as of this writing) may not make a lot of sense. You’d be wiser, for example, purchasing a second REL T/5x in this example, rather than the upgraded cable. You’ll certainly gain a far more dramatic improvement by doing so. Heck, look at other parts of your system, might an upgraded affordable DAC not be a better upgrade than making do with the -decade-old CD player?

So, first tip; anytime it comes down to a toss-up between upgrading to pairs of RELs and staying with singles for similar money, finish off the stereo pair of RELs first. This holds true for T/7x as well. T/9x customers are some of our best at understanding the benefits of stereo pairs, we see them purchasing pairs frequently. And, it’s here that BassLine™ lets you readily hear the improvement in overall system dynamics, clarity, and resolution.

Where BassLine™ Blue begins to make instant sense is when one gets up to Serie S and beyond. Plugging Bassline™ Blue into anything from an S/510 or higher and, as soon as a couple of hours of running in have taken place and you’ve made a few small tweaks to gain and crossover, you’ll hear a truly significant jump up in both dramatic ways and subtler ways. Why? It simply comes down to the elevated performance that Serie S enjoys over its lesser brethren.

Some of you know that I’m a car guy. Mostly I’m into German stuff, but I have owned and still do own a little American iron. Over here, guys who get into American cars get their hands dirty and one of the biggest mistakes to avoid is that when changing out a camshaft (responsible for all the timing events that produce power in an engine) one must resist the notion of simply grabbing the camshaft with the most impressive specs. Instead, it has to meet the balance of objectives you’ve set out for this engine (sound like familiar advice?)

To take this analogy a little further, if the fuel/air feed (carburetors or injection) has been properly handled, and the cylinder heads (responsible for both bringing cool gas and air into a cylinder so that God’s own tiny explosion takes place in the combustion chamber and thence out the back door efficiently to one’s exhaust is well handled) then changing out the camshaft to the proper model for your intent is incredibly dramatic. All of a sudden, gains of 50-100 horsepower are possible for a very reasonable sum of money; about what a BassLine™ Blue cable costs. If, on the other hand, one had a tired old small block engine with lousy heads and a tiny intake manifold and you installed a hot camshaft into it, there’s a very good chance it would run worse, exposing the fact that the engine can’t reveal the superior performance that is possible. As in our engine example, it’s important to build one’s audio system in such a way that you get the building blocks in place, then install the audio equivalent of that “hot” camshaft and all of a sudden, lots of good things are happening. BassLine™ Blue can be that catalyst.

BassLine™ Blue installed on a Serie S-based system will unlock incredible dynamics, clean up the transition between REL and main speaker, improve clarity, and illuminate the soundstage beautifully. But only if the system and REL are capable of revealing its contribution. Just like the camshaft in my example, if you own a T/9x pair and certainly if you own Serie S models including Carbon Special 212/SX, and our Reference models, you will hear a remarkable transformation at an incredibly reasonable investment. And, if you currently own one of our less expensive Serie T models, you would be better served investing in a pair of RELs before making the jump to BassLine™ Blue. Thanks for listening.

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January 16, 2024 - Posted in: System Thinking