"In a Single Word: Excellent"
The REL Serie R-328 is a powerful, high output, ultra fast device capable of underpinning virtually any main speaker. R-328 combines a heavy die cast frame, air-dried hand thrown paper cone, 4-layer voice coil and long travel suspension with a unique REL carbon-carbon superlight passive. This results in the driven surface area of a 16" driver. Driven by a powerful 500W next-generation Class D amplifier that is limited to 350 watts for maximum driver reliability, R-328 is the sweet spot in the Serie R lineup.
"The R-328 made my system sound more dynamic, and remarkably increased its ability to convey the ambient information contained on most naturally miked recordings," reports S. Andrea Sundaram in a May 1, 2013 review for SoundStageHiFi.com. "To sum up the REL R-328's performance in a single word: excellent."
"A well-sorted sub like the R-238 can work wonders," notes Alan Sircom in Issue 85 of HiFi+. "The only downside is they are addictive. You start with one, and pretty soon you have three or four."
Serie R-328 is exquisitely crafted, grounded by a thick billet backplane milled from 6mm T-6063 aerospace grade aluminium. This backplane doubles as a heatsink, thereby eliminating an external heatsink resulting in a cleaner, more modern construct. Naturally a full REL connectivity suite is featured using high quality gold RCA's, Speakon High Level Input and separate .1 inputs. R-328 provides independent volume for High level as well as .1 for perfect flexibility.
R-328 features a next generation Class D amp capable of great speed and high current while keeping power consumption low when not in use. The amplifier is actually a high current 500W model borrowed from its stable mate, the R-528, but limited to just 350 watts to properly mate it with the bespoke 10" driver.
Super Secret Circuitry
One of REL's unique technologies is embedded within our input and filter boards. This is so secret that even now, every unit is encased within an impregnable compound that ensures destruction of critical components if disturbed. These simple circuits allow all the speed and transparency of bass REL's are famous for. And the R-328 can crossover as low as 25Hz, ensuring the ability to blend perfectly under even very sophisticated speakers.
R-328 features a die cast aluminum heavy frame that better controls unnecessary vibration resulting in greater purity of bass. The cone structure is air-dried, hand thrown paper—each takes one week to produce. A high power handling 4-layer voice coil ensures the ability to handle large output signals with ease. The carbon-carbon passive is a special design that adds very low mass but more than doubles the driven surface area, producing a unit that acts like a fast, low mass 10" but has the output of a 17" driver.
Extra Special Cabinet
While every review of Serie R notes their exquisite finish quality (Serie R features 9 layers of hand rubbed lacquer), less visible but more important to the sound quality is the instrument-grade bracing employed within. Every Serie R features laminated hardwood internal spars. R-328 uses a full height spar that runs top-to-bottom up the side panel, continues across the entire top in one unbroken run. Hemi-secting this across the top plane is an additional spar that continues down the entire height of each side panel. The effect is to split each large panel into much smaller panels with higher resonance points that are well damped. This technique is a huge contributor to the speed and clarity of Serie R.
REL Theater Reference:
Note the High Level Connection that allows seamless blend of sub with main speakers. Note also the .1 input which can be used simultaneously with the high level connection to provide a unique Home theater experience that provides truly immersive bass due to the restoration of low bass in the soundtrack to the main speakers.
"The R-328 made my system sound more dynamic, and remarkably increased its ability to convey the ambient information contained on most naturally miked recordings. To sum up the REL R-328's performance in a single word: excellent."
- S. Andrea Sundaram, SoundStageHiFi.com, May 1, 2013
"A well-sorted sub like the R-238 can work wonders... The only downside is they are addictive. You start with one, and pretty soon you have three or four."
- Alan Sircom, HiFi+, Issue 85