For music reproduction the high level is better, My HT is also 2 channel so I can't comment on 5.1.
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The Speakon connection routes from the speaker outputs on your amp, sending to the REL the same full-range signal that your main speakers get. The REL then applies a low-pass filter to that signal -- which you adjust on the REL for level and frequency -- and plays the lowest bass to supplement your main speakers. (Alternatively, you can send a pair of RCA interconnects to REL from a preamp output, but the Speakon is the preferred method.)
The .1 or LFE from your AV receiver is a separate channel in the mix, which contains Low Frequency Effects. While the Speakon connection is filling in the lowest octave that your main speakers may be missing, the LFE channel is supplying special effects created in the mix just for the subwoofer. You can hookup the REL with either the Speakon or the LFE, but the great thing about it is that you can hook them both up and they give you both bass supplement and LFE.
I know I haven't done the best job of explaining this. I hope it's clear.
If you think your main speakers would benefit from additional low end support from a sub then use the neutrik in conjuction with the .1/lLFE, if you feel your mains are adequate you can just use the .1/LFE by itself. The nice thing about the Rel you have is that you have separate gain controls for the LFE input and the neutrik/speakon input. You could always use the speakon connection for your center channel and use the LFE input for effects. Some people don't prefer this setup because of how the LFE track can interfer with dialogue coming from the center channel, experimentation in your system is the only way to know.
That helps... I thought the LFE connection did everything necessary for the sub. Adding the Speakon cable just added confusion even though I had a vague idea that it was supplementing the main speakers low end.
Since my speakers (Dali Motif LCR) don't reach very low (78-25,000 Hz) and would benefit from additional low end support then I should use both LFE and Speakon. And as suggested, I was going to try it all three ways.
Although another REL owner said I shouldn't use the Speakon with LFE unless my speakers are full range. More confusion. ;-)
What about dialog playing through the sub? I've read that with LCR speakers that don't have very low range, and depending on the x-over point, that low male voices could play through the sub. That just wouldn't sound right to me. How do you avoid that?
Yes male voices could play through the sub if you have the crossover set high enough for that to happen, will it sound "right?" Maybe yes maybe no, if the sub is crossed over perfectly, is positioned correctly and gain is set correctly you should never know the sub exists, the sound will be seamless and balanced. If your running a center channel and the sub is not hooked up to the center channel the chance of voices being transmitted throught the sub will be on the rare side. In my 3.1 setup, the sub is hooked up to mains, there is rarley dialogue from the mains, its all handeled by the center. The mains are transmitting music and effects with the occasional voice if its off center of the image. Contact me through email if you have more specific questions, i will try to help the best i can. If you hook up the speakon and LFE inputs and get a hum out of the REL i can tell you how to eliminate it, I dont beleive the REL manual describes waht to do when this happens.
As far as aftermarket speakon cables, i heard a differenece. Since your just getting the sub i would wait and get famialir with the sub, play with postioning it etc. RELs are easy to make sound "good" with little time setting them up, once you get familair with them and really start tweaking is when they really start sounding great. Take some time setting it up in the beginning, let it break in for a couple hundred hours then come back to it and dial it in.
The single "subwoofer" cable will produce mono, even if you had two subs and you used a RCA splitter both subs would be receiving the same signal. To get stereo bass you would need two subs and use two speakon cables, one summed to receive the left channel signal and one summed to receive the right signal. You need to provide further information about your receiver, the line level output of your receiver is "meant" to connect to the low level input on A SUBWOOFER, remeber a rel is not like most subs. A REL provides this option for use with powered speakers, since you have an amp driving your speakers the hi-level/neutrik is desired and shoul be used. Don't use the low level and the neutrik together. Connect the SW output of your receiver with an RCA terminated cable to the .1/lfe input on the REL. You should be able to assign your receiver to output LFE through the SW Jack. If your reciever has a subwoofer crossover setting for the SW output make sure it's set as low as possible, I say this only if you are using the neutrik and .1/lfe togethr. That way you are utilizing the Rel crossover. Earlier you stated you main speakers go down to around 70hz, I see no reason you wouldn't want to use the speakon cable to suppliment them. And use the sw output of your receiver connected to the lfe on the rel for effects during movies. As far as a dedicated cable for the .1/lfe track, I would thinking investing in cable for that would not yeild better resulsts then the money spent to upgradIng to a better sub in rel line up i.e. a r305, r505 or a b- series.
Setting up the REL is clearer now that I've unpacked it and read the manual again. I'll be using the Speakon and .1/LFE to great effect, I'm sure.
I'm still deciding on a phono cable and definitely want to get a better Speakon cable (the supplied cable is much too long). I've spent more then I should have on a sub (half the LCR speaker cost), so movin' up isn't an option, but better cables and power cord is and will yield an improvement.
I have the Marantz SR5004 A/V Receiver.
Thanks for your help.
You can always trim the stock cable down. I have heard benefits from after market power cables and neutrik, I've never tried my higher end Transparent cables for the LFE though. Let me know if you hear a benefit. It's a good idea to re-torque the driver and amp mounting screws when it's new. They seem too loosen after being on the boat, be sure not to over torque.
Pardon me for jumping in the middle of this thread, but it's active and it seems there is a good knowledge base. How would I wire a stadium III (high-Neutrik-2 ch) with two McIntosh mc 501's? I am running one Stadium three now with B&W 802's, the wiring for monoblocks with two subs is not in the manual. Also, my manual states one would "disconnect" the lfe while listening critically to two channel, thoughts?
Thanks for any help,
Wdt: Sorry I can't help.
As far as using my new REL; this thing is fantastic and integrates perfectly with my Dali Motif LCR speakers. I'm only using it with LFE at the moment, with stock power cord and HiFi Tuning Fuse, but the bass is so well defined, with tremendous punch and authority, and no flabby rounded edge or "BOOM BOOM" rattle/vibration. No room integration problems either. Feels/sounds like I'm in a movie theater. Also reminds me of my Horning Agathon Ultimates bass. Can't wait for my subwoofer and custom speakON cables to arrive, plus speaker cables (note; switched to WireWorld. Analysis Plus dealer had a mental breakdown with custom order). Decided on Oasis 6 subwoofer cable and still figuring out details for custom speakON cable.
If you want to use High-Pass you should wire the speakon connector to the front L & R speaker posts. This will send the exact same signal to both the main speakers and the sub. Since both receive the same signal at the same instant in time, there is no phase loss as there is whenever the signal is sent to any additional processor - such as your receiver. If your Cary processor is setup as most 'n.1 or n.2' processors, then you have probably identified the front speakers as 'small' to indicate that you want all low frequency content directed instead to the processor tonvert it into a stream to output to the subwoofer output jack. This means that technically, you would have a superior signal path that preserves precious phase and time values but your sub would rarely or never see anything to play.
The only time it makes sense to choose to wire your sub to the binding posts of the amp is when you have all the signal going to the amplifier and the system has high enough resolution that phase distortion is audible.