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REL Soups Up Subwoofer

Berkeley, Calif. — Sumiko, the North America distributor of multiple high-end audio lines, launched a special-edition version of REL Acoustics’ R-528 subwoofer.

The subwoofer is being is promoted as delivering much of the performance of REL’s flagship Gibraltar G-1 subwoofer in a much smaller enclosure for space-challenged rooms.

The R-528SE ships in mid-March at a suggested $2,799. It takes the shape of a 17.5-inch cube, compared with the $4,499 G-1, which measures 18.25 by 22.5 by 26 inches.

The R-528SE doesn’t go as deep as the Gibralter but has “a similar sonic signature” in terms of “slam and speed,” a spokesman said.

Compared with the original, the SE version of the R-528 features upgraded power amplifier with additional current capability and greater cabinet bracing. The R-528SE still features an active front-firing driver and down-firing passive radiator, but it now uses the same carbon-fiber 12-inch driver used in the G-1. The 12-inch passive radiator also uses carbon fiber. The two drivers produce the equivalent of a 16-inch driver in a larger cabinet, the company said.

The R-528SE is available in hand-rubbed gloss piano-black lacquer with gloss white available on special order. To further distinguish it from the standard version, the top and side name badges and the massive support feet are coated in nickel-plated chrome.