REL Acoustics No. 32 Reference Subwoofer
Replacing a legend is never easy, whether it is a person or a product. REL’s No.25 outsold the entire production of the epic Studio series (Series 1-3) produced from 1995–2009. No.25 accomplished this on the first afternoon it was for sale and never looked back. However, No.32 is superior to its forbear, No.25, in every meaningful way. In some ways, it is only slightly superior. In other ways, it far exceeds the capabilities of No.25.
No.32 has been in constant development since the day that the first No.25 was delivered to a customer. Seven years of lessons went into making the No.32 better—this is the REL way. We are never satisfied, always learning. When we get to spend time in the field with our customers, we learn even faster.
We make sure, however, to retain the great aspects of our previous product line. When a product is universally loved for its appearance as much as its performance, we do not change the design merely to be different. When dual parametric filters prove perfect for gently bolstering the extreme low bass while allowing careful tailoring of output slightly above the crossover point, even more perfect blending of sub-to-main speaker, AND elimination of upper bass room-boom, we keep it. Certainly we make it better, but we maintain its proven greatness.
No.32 enjoys the rarefied position of elevating our Reference range to an even higher orbit. No.32 retains the exquisite beauty of our curvilinear reference cabinets, an updated 15″ (380mm) true carbon fibre driver that boasts 4″ (100mm) of total stroke and our ultra-reliable 1,000 watt amp outfitted with thin film capacitors, higher gain and superior limiting.
The net result is a flagship model that stretched the edge of the art further with superior dynamics, richer tonal color, and a freer, more expressive character that opens up the midranges and highs in an unprecedented manner.
When Nothing but the Finest Will Do
EDGE OF THE ART DESIGN
No.32 represents the sum of our efforts, research, and knowledge gained over the past three decades as a leader in audio and subwoofers. Nothing we have built competes with the speed, agility, absence of texture, and vivid dynamic contrasts delivered by No.32. It represents the pinnacle of REL’s considerable experience and is our standard for future innovation. A remarkable sonic achievement, it transcends its illustrious forebear, which was named Product of the Decade just a few years ago. It is 1,000 watts, has a 15”(380 mm) pure carbon fibre driver, and has exquisite cabinetry requiring three weeks of labour to complete. However, each of these features only hints at what it takes to reside at the top of REL’s offerings, and No.32 is poised to be a design for the ages.
Beautiful Form Follows Functional Perfection
It is often said that form follows function. If that is true, what a lovely function we are following. The cabinet traces a curvilinear path established over a decade ago on the original Gibraltar. Here, the top surface tumbles down at the rear corners – a difficult treatment to execute, but one that produces a uniquely beautiful effect.
Triple-plated steel handles are inset into ellipses that allow for a secure grip, which is necessary when lifting an object over 200 pounds. Inside, the rear backing plate is well over half an inch thick and contoured to follow the inner surface, yielding a massively strong structure.
No.32’s new badge treatment combines the materials that appear most frequently within its design; the carbon fibre used throughout the driver is inset within a polished, cast alloy basket that is finished in 3 layers of plating to achieve a jewel-like sparkle. The overall design speaks to the remarkable efforts that went into ensuring No.32 is as striking visually as it is technically.
Arrayed For Battle
No.32 permits the same vertically stacked line array as the ultimate No.31. It delivers transformative performance that no competitor has been able to. For those who have been seeking the ultimate musical and theatre experience, Line Arrays unlock the final dimension of system reproduction. Audiophiles have chased three-dimensional sound for years, yet they have missed the simple fact that the height—not the depth—of image is the missing link. By creating products that are designed to be stacked 3 (or in exceptionally tall rooms, 5) units high while retaining individual crossover and gain control of each subwoofer in the array, REL has created a masterpiece that finally delivers what the most experienced audiophiles have been chasing for the past 40 years.
The Utterly Reliable Beast
No.32’s 1,000-watt amplifier was also used in its predecessor for over seven years. Thousands of these amplifiers are in use all over the world; they are a paragon of reliability. Its implementation in No.32 combines a new limiter with a much wider envelope to permit the widest dynamic swings possible. Also, No.32’s dual parametric EQs allow for robust and flat response in the lowest ranges, extending below 20 Hz. When its second EQ is set to frequencies above the crossover point, No.32 meshes perfectly with the main speakers while simultaneously reducing room-based resonances.
As with all RELs, No. 32’s heart and soul is its 15” (380mm) driver. The driver’s cone is constructed entirely of carbon fibre. Additionally, a carbon fibre centre cap is overlaid on the primary cone surface. This cone design results in a far stiffer driver that possesses superior self-damping qualities, removing even minor resonances that can obscure detail retrieval whilst keeping moving mass to an absolute minimum. No.32’s driver suspension permits a full 4” (100mm) of travel fore and aft, an enormous amount of travel for such a large driver. These are some of the secrets to its performance. Transparency, allied to tremendous dynamics, is the result.
Closed box, front-firing driver
ACTIVE DRIVER SIZE & MATERIAL
15 in., 380mm long-throw, carbon fibre cone with inverted carbon fibre dust cap
PASSIVE RADIATOR SIZE & MATERIAL
LOW FREQUENCY EXTENTION
15Hz at -6 dB
High Level Neutrik Speakon, Low Level stereo RCA and XLR, LFE RCA, LFE XLR
High Level Neutrik Speakon, LFE XLR, Line XLR
1,000 watts (RMS)
Pure Class D
Yes - Rel Airship II [required] sold separately
FULLY ELECTRONIC SET SAFE
MAINS INPUT VOLTAGE
220-240 volts, 110-120 volts for certain markets
7 Amp semi delay 230 volts operation, 15 Amp semi delay 115 volts operation
W X H X D
29 1/4 x 21 x 32 1/8 in. (743 x 540 x 816 mm)
187 lbs. (85 kg), shipping weight - 225 lbs. (102kg)
Piano Black Lacquer, 12 coats
Yes (10 Meters Nominal)
In the interest of product development, REL Acoustics Limited reserve the right to vary these specifications without notice.