Rel Sentor II Speaker Cable Upgrade evaluation

Rel Sentor II Speaker Cable Upgrade

I recently upgraded the stock Rel cable for my subwoffer that came with the unit to Discovery Signature Speaker cable. I purchased on audiogon a used 12' set of Discovery and then bought a Neutrik connector for $7 at my local speaker supply retailer. The Discovery Signature cable is there mid level series that consists of (4) 16 guage stranded copper conductors. I cut off the two spades on one of the two cables I had bought and installed the 4 wires to the neutrik connector which was fairly easy and fast.

The Sound: The overall improvement was a bit more that I initially was expecting. I have my Rel Sentor II set at 32 for the crossover point going from my Convergent Audio JL2 amp to the subwoffer. The bottom end bass was much fuller and more pronounced. The added richness combined with better definition produced a much more lifelike and convincing bottom end. After several days of listening in my system the improvement was at least 25-30% in the low end bass. The only regret I had is waiting so long to do the upgrade. I have owned the Rel for about 2 years and had I known it would have made this much difference I would have done it much earlier, even my wife who is not a audiophile noticed how more pronounced the bass was when she first heard it over this last weekend. For under $150 total it was the most cost effective upgrade I have done for my speaker system. The cheap stock cable the Rel comes with does not do this fine product justice. The stock thin wire looks metallic in color and does not ever appear to be copper.

Conclusion: In comparison the stock Rel speaker wire sounds somewhat thin, lacks the extension, definition, fullness and body of the Discovery cable. This cable upgrade along with a very good aftermarket powerchord can transform this already excellent product to the next level bring one a step closer to the live sound we all seek.

John, thanks for the valuable info. I have a pair of Stentor IIIs and have been meaning to upgrade the cables for a while so your post has just prompted me to get it done.

I have been told that, due to the type of signal going to the sub, it may actually be better to use a decent shielded interconect cable terminated in the Neutrik connectors -- have you heard this? I want to get this upgrade done but now need to determine what cable to use. I have also been told that XLO has made upgraded cables for RELs. Have you heard any other cables versus our stock one?

Thanks again.

I have not heard of using interconnect as a subsitute for speaker cable. I would rather use a good quality speaker cable myself sine the conductors are bigger and can handle bigger loads. I choose Discovery cable because of its good value and excellent sound quality. Cardas Cross would be a compairable alternative but the cost per foot is much higher due to marketing. Any high quality copper speaker cable will sound better than what comes stock with the Rel subwoffer in my opinion. John
Thanks John. Between the time I posted and you answered I called and confirmed with Terry at Sumiko that he was the one who told me that an interconnect should be better because we are dealing with voltage and not current and it may provide greater shielding. BUT, he said the improvement would be subtle. I have a number of decent speaker cables I am not using so I may just try them first.

Finally, two last questions. First, I was under the impression that the REL cable only used three wires (thus using only three of the four Neutrik connections). Second, I was wondering if there was any reason you did not use the Neutrik connector that REL supplies (or did you not have them)?


Frank, In answer to your first question you are correct the Rel only uses 3 conductors to the Neutrik connector, (2) + and (1) - . Since my speaker cable has (2) of each I hooked up the fourth (-) white wire in the extra (-) slot in the neutrik. If you take apart the Neutrik you will see 4 connector slots and since I had one extra wire I just put it in that extra slot, as a alternative I could have cut it off but since they are both connected to the same Amp binding post it really does not make any difference either way. In answer to your second question I did not use the existing Neutrik connector because if you take it apart and look at it there are (4) crimp sleves where the wire is installed via a set screw which tightens to form the connection. Trying to reform and make the previously crimped sleave round and big enough to hold the larger wire was more trouble that its worth. Just buy a new connector put your wire in and turn the screw, its that easy. For the 4 wire it took me about 5 minutes total. John
What wires and how did you connect to your amp's speaker posts? Thanks in advance
Thanks John. I am going to try to construct a pair tonight and I'll let you know what happens!

Msa, when I bought my 12' pair of Signature speaker cable it came with (2)spades on each end, (4) total. I cut of the 2 spades going to the Neutrik connector end for the new connector going to the subwoffer. I left the two spades on at the Amplifier end of the cable and connected it to the (2) left hand channel binding posts on the amp. The original conection calls for (1) + going to the left channel and (1) + going to the right channel for true "stereo" bass. I contacted Sumiko last week about this and asked them why you needed stereo seperation at 32hz and lower when bass this low to the best of my knowledge is Non-directional. The answer I recieved from Sumiko was confusing and to me did not make sense. How can somebody distinguish stereo bass below 32HZ? In any event the new cable sounds great hooked up to one channel on my amp, I had it hooked up in stereo before with the stock cable. Try it yourself but I personally do not believe it will make a difference. John
Thanks, John, but there are 3 wires from the original Rel amp-to-rel connection. Does the 3rd wire not matter?
Frank was corrent in pointing out interconnect would be a better cable to substitute the stock REL cable. The signal cable in a REL sends low level info to REL, this is how REL detects how hard the main amp is working and at what freq range. Like power amp input, it's a high impedance input into REL and will not draw much current if any at all. For that fact, you want to keep the signal as pure as possible and shielding is more critical than current capability in this cable. Speaker cable does have shielding mechanism buildin, but not quite as extensive as interconnect in most cases.

Otherwise you will see the stock REL cable at least as thick as those Monster cable you can buy from Circuit City.