REL Subwoofer Cable Upgrade?

I've read in various forums that upgrading the cable that runs from amp to REL subwoofer can make a substantial sonic difference. These discussion all reference cables in the $700 to $800 range.

I have to believe that one can achieve a substantial portion of this improvement for $100 or $200? Do any of you have experience with this and some recommendations?

Thank you.
It *might* make a difference, but surely not $700 worth! Your money would be better spent on upgrading the sub with that $700. Keep in mind that a sub cable only needs to carry freq. from 150Hz on down.

Don't waste your money on a cable...

Perhaps shortening the original (35 foot?) cable is the ticket?
You do not need to spend $700 to $800. There are ones available for $150 to $300 depending on length.

Check with The Cable Company for custom orders. They use to provide one made by XLO.

Also see this AudiogoN ad from Dedicated Audio.

"The Cable Company" has a superb(I own it)XLO cable,made for REL subs.It cost me 196 bucks,and outperformed the stock unit considerably.
The REL presents a very high impedance load on the driving amp. Basically, it uses the amp as voltage souce, with the cable carrying virtually no current. Also, you won't be hearing anything in the signal above about 80Hz. Ordinary telephone wire would work perfectly well for this application. Upgrading the stock cable between amp and a REL sub is a TOTAL waste of money. Rather spend your money on music!
I bought an aftermarket cable for my Storm III from Mark Zikhmark here on the Gon and I thought it made a slight difference in bass definition, although I only ran the sub up to 32Hz with my Wilson speakers. I agree with the others that buying a $800 cable for a subwoofer is probably overkill.
Hey Art Thanks for asking that question. Its one I had for awhile. I have a Rel B3 and found cutting the stock cord to the same length of my speaker cables (10ft) made a tremendous difference. I still use the stock cable but after upgrading IC's and PC's I found that they change the sound (so far all for the better) so I would think a cable in the $1-200 range would help. As far as a $700-up would be better but not by as much of the $$ spent. If possible try to get someone to demo a cable for you. Also remember rule #1 let your EARS be the judge and jury not reviews or specs (everyone has different expectations although some are better than others).
Signal cable makes one and I have this one. It's definitely a step up, but I have not heard the Synergistic Research cable or any others.

I believe it cost just over $200 for a 12' cable.
"Upgrading the stock cable between amp and a REL sub is a TOTAL waste of money."

Not true, at least for me. I had a custom high grade cable constructed by Savant Audio for my Rega Vulcan (REL based) and it did make a difference. Bass is more forceful and powerful. The difference is not night and day, but it is there.
Check out an MIT offering and let us know.
No offense, but put simply...those that think it is a waste of money without trying themselves, don't actually know, since they don't have one to compare with.

I am wondering if shortening the 35ft stock cables would also help. Most people buying after market cables are buying just enough, not 35 feet for a rear installation. Cutting the stock cable makes it hard to sell later. Might just as well buy a better one.
Because the input impedance is so high (~100K ohms) the cable is really just responsible for a voltage reference. That along with the fact that it is only used down deep in the bass (below 80hz) will help to minimize the sonic contribution of the cable used.

Still, that doesn't mean that there won't be any sonic changes with different cables. I would recommend trying something solid core as an upgrade to the stock stranded wire supplied from REL. It doesn't need to be a large gauge given that there is no real current involved. Silver plated copper solid conductors might be interesting as I have found them to result in tighter bass.
I own a Rel B3 and tried many cables and I found the Synergistic Tesla Rel Spec 2 to be the best. The cable company can send you a demo. TAS reviewed the previous model Rel Spec Phase II X2 and said it is a must have and I agree.
"I would recommend trying something solid core as an upgrade to the stock stranded wire supplied from REL."

Aha - back to the "coat hanger" conversation?

Seriously, I'm tempted to call the Cable Company as a next step - I remember they had a great loaner service.

Have any of you tried soldering the Neutrik onto a cable? I'm pretty sold now on shorting the stock cord, I'd like to solder a Neutrik onto the second piece, for future flexibility.

Art, for $200 you can achieve a big difference in bass quality for your REL sub. I tried an extra pair of Cardas Crosslinks I had and put the neutrik end on them for my MJ 200s. The difference was not subtle. Bass was tighter, cleaner and had more umph to it. The Neutrik end screws off with the wires clamped inside with a small set screw. It is also marked + and - for proper polarity.

I did keep this set up for a while then tried the SR PhaseIIs. It did require a bit more tweaking but it was worth it. If you have one sub, give the Cable Co. a call for a loaner or an affordable used one if available.
Personally, I'd forget the cable. An audiophile friend of mine that replaced the rectifiers in the amp of his REL sub reaped better sonic benefits than any cable could ever hope to.
I switched from the standard REL cable on my Strata III to a Synergistic Research Alpha II and found the bass to be tighter, a little deeper, and with a little more punch. Additional, similiar improvements were realized by upgrading the power cable to Audience, and by replacing the Strata's fuse with a HiFi Tuning fuse with ESST contact enhancer. I felt they each made very worthwhile improvements.
Hi Artmaltman,

First post from a new member in Australia.

I've recently purchased a Storm 5, and am using it for music only duties with a pair of Epos M22 speakers.

Currenty using the stock cable but have on order a Cardas Quadlink cable from Dedicated Audio. US$290 or thereabouts delivered.

Should arrive over the next few days so if you like I'll post some impressions in due course.

Regards, Dave
Dave, I'm sure very curious.
What 'output' connectors are available from your 'amp'?
I use the speaker outs, which REL recommends.
Upgrading to first the Synergistic Research REL SPEC Phase ll active shielding cables on both my Strata lll and my Stadium lll subs made a substantial improvement in both bass extension and soundstaging over the stock REL cable, it wasn't until I upgraded to the SR REL SPEC Resolution Reference and then had the Resolution Reference cables upgraded to the Zero Capacitance active shielding and the Quantum Tunneling treatment that BIG changes took place.

There is now what seems like another half octave of extension and the soundstage took on another order of dimensions in all aspects not to mention much better pitch definition, and this applies to both the Strata lll and the Stadium lll! Yes the SR REL SPEC RR upgraded cables are on the spendy side but IMHO, are a worthy addition in a high resolution system where REL subbass systems are being utilized.

One warning, once you hear your REL sub(s)with the SR active shielding cables, going back to the stock cable is a MAJOR let down and don't forget that upgrading the stock PC also has benefits but I would start with upgrading the stock Neutrik cable first.


I bought a storm3 which the factory cable and a Cardas thrown in ..I tried both and found no real difference..Sold the Cardas and recouped some money
"Zero Capacitance active shielding and the Quantum Tunneling"

I wonder what marketing genius came up with that?
Just gave my Rel Stentor a HUGE boost in performance!!It has been plugged into a dedicated line with a superb P/C,but no line conditioning.Sounds good too.
The rest of my set-up is plugged into Exact Power EP-15a/Ultra Pure conditioning.Really great stuff,and works as advertised.Runs cool/no heat as well.
So,I figured why not see if there is an inexpensive type of "effective" noise reducer,for the sub(just to see if I could squeeze some more from it).I did not want to run a twenty ft P/C from Exact Power stuff,so added a cute little,and really cheap PS Audio Noise Harvestor to the same duplex outlet as the REL is plugged into.
AMAZING results!!!NOW I am getting ALL my money's worth from my "quite expensive" sub.
Mogami 2549 DIY or have Redco make it up. I use screw-on compression bananas on the amp out and reused the stock neutrik which has the screw terms. Some but not all prefer compression, WBT etc, over soldering for better signal transfer...
Enjoy your music!
Absolutely. I use a REL Stadium lll and a REL Strata lll in 2 different systems and upgrading to the Synergistics Research Resolution Reference active cable made a substantial improvement in both sub's performance.

Both blended MUCH better and had deeper bass response and quicker transient performance, they just completely disappear now.

And don't forget about power cables. Using a SR Tesla 3 on the REL Strata lll bumped the performance up another coupla notches and an addition I would highly recommend.

I have two rel subs. One with original stock cable and the other with a different maker. I swapped them around and I can tell you that there is absolutely NO difference between the cables. It is indeed a waste of money... My hearing is excellent for whoever is wondering. Please no offence directed to anyone, I just want to share my experience.
I also have two Rel subs. I bought cables on line , on here I think, and I thought that they were better than the stock ones. Not that expensive and they looked to be better made.