BHK 250 and REL G1 Sub

Does anyone have experience using the REL subwoofers with a BHK amp? I’m going to home audition one but I’m a little concerned because the manual states the way to connect it (for music not HT) is through the speaker terminals on the main amp.

To increase the versatility of connecting up, the G1 has two separate stereo inputs. A Neutrik Speakon socket and two phono sockets. This is to facilitate use with various system configurations.

The high-level, unbalanced, dual-channel (stereo) input is via a Neutrik Speakon connector which is connected to the power amplifier’s left and right channel speaker terminals.This has the advantage of ensuring that the REL receives exactly the same signal as the main speakers. This means that the character of the bass from the main system is carried forward into the sub-bass. This is a very important point and together with the REL’s Active Bass Controller (ABC), ensures far superior system integration of the sub-bass with the main system. There are two RCA sockets for Low Level connection to the output of a stereo preamplifier or receiver. Another single RCA socket connects to the .1/LFE output of a home cinema amplifier or processor.

The idea of connecting two pair of speakers to the BHK terminals makes me very nervous. Does anyone have any experience hooking up a sub this way?

I’m interested in the REL because while I think my Wilson (Duettes) could use the help, I have to be able to audition one at home before I buy in case I don’t like it. I’m NOT a basshead though I have a pair of subs for my HT setup.

Thanks. confusedsmile

This has come up many times. See, e.g., here.

Thank you Elk. smile

What I didn’t see was how to connect the REL as a stereo sub to the BHK. It sounds like if I want to do that I need 2 subs. At the end of the day that’s obviously preferable but 2x as expensive and 2x the real estate in the living room.

Here is another thread which may help: Click

Thank you again. My PS audio dealer just got the REL line and said I could audition the sub. I guess if I keep it I will get the kit from PS Audio to eliminate the hum while in standby. TBH, I don’t listen through speakers all that often (I know, I know then why so much invested in the system? Wife asks the same thing). Turning the REL off after each listening session doesn’t seem like that big a deal to me. Especially because I have a separate system for 5.1.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all. smile

The REL, BHK, and Wilsons should be blinking amazing!

Thanks Paul. I let everyone know. If it works eventually I want 2 RELs (and mono BHKs). Let’s see what the budget (and the wife) allows for 2018. smile

For those that have the BHK 250 and a single REL sub…

Did you end up with the sub in a corner? I’ve read the owner’s manual and I know that’s what REL suggests but it seemed a little counter-intuitive to me. I figured you’d get the best sound-staging with the single sub in the middle. I could of course try it both ways but given the size of the speaker I didn’t want to have to move it around any more than absolutely necessary. In my HT set-up I could definitely hear directionality in the bass when I only had a single Velodyne in one corner.

I would place it in the right corner. The corner support of the bass waves and the ability to most easily tune to the room mandates a corner placement for me. Plus, in pop recordings the bass is centered. In classical, typically to the right.

One should not be hear the location of the sub however. If you can, you need to lower the knee of the low-pass filter and/or decrease the volume of the sub.

Thanks Elk. I take it you have a single REL. Is it the G1?

I was hoping you’d say either corner is fine because the way the room is set-up it’s easier to get it in the left corner than the right. I will try to get it in the right corner.

I wonder how much better two would be vs the single corner placement. Pricey for 2 but we can dream can’t we?

Either corner is fine. I like the right corner for a single sub only because it is in the correct place for classical music if you happen to end up hearing the sub at all. For me, it is likely as much psychological as real.

Two subs are better as they work together to load the room more like actual instruments and, perhaps counter-intuitively, it is easier to adjust them to the room as the nodes are less prominent.

You know when you have the subs set up correctly when the sense of the recording venue space is greater even when only the softest instruments are playing. The reverb tail also becomes longer and smoother in its decay. Low frequency reproduction is critical to hearing the venue/hall.

Thanks Elk. I will try the left corner first then and see how that goes. We’re in a rental now and the system is set-up in the living room with way more furniture than I’d ever have in a listening room. Despite that through dumb luck, the purchase of good equipment (PS Audio primarily) and good cables it sounds much better than anything I’ve ever had before and I’ve owned more expensive stuff. When I finally get everything into a good room (and add the subs) I think I could have a system I’ve always wanted. For me it’s always been about the midrange and reproducing the recording venue. As an aside IMHO, RedCloud is really a set up over Huron in reproducing the venue…maybe that’s just a my equipment/my room thing but it makes the DSD sound like an entirely new DAC.

I got the sub today and I think I have is positioned about as well as I can. It’s bigger than it looked in the picture and is kind of scrunched behind the right Wilson Duette. First thoughts:

1)Very different from a HT sub. I have a pair of Earthquake SuperNovas in my HT set-up and stuff rattles on the walls during some movies. This effect is much more subtle.

  1. I can’t turn it up much without wrecking the soundstage. Anything above 5 and everything smears. It seems the optimal setting in my crappy room is 35hz and volume at 4. On some rock/pop CDs (Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor) I get great drums with a volume of 8 or 9 but the imaging is just so/so.

  2. I’m not using the spikes since I am still kind of futzing with positioning. I’m also using the stock Speakon cable. I have a Baseline Blue as well I can swap in. Not sure how much difference that makes.

Sound about right to people? I think I should be able to turn it up but to my ears everything sounds best about where the settings are.





You are going to have to use test tones and an SPL meter or SPL phone app to get it right and as you’ve already found you don’t turn the sub up as much as you think. If you don’t have a test tone CD like the one from Stereophile or HFNRR you can download them and either connect your laptop to your DAC or make a CD copy. Here is one example.

I expect, once you have it set up, you will find sitting on the floor with your ear close to the sub you can just hear it. Consider it is only handling a few frequencies, typically an octave or an octave and a half. (The low E on an electric bass guitar is 41.2 Hz)

Unlike in home theater, an audio system sub is not about thrills.

dawkinsj said


You are going to have to use test tones and an SPL meter or SPL phone app to get it right and as you’ve already found you don’t turn the sub up as much as you think. If you don’t have a test tone CD like the one from Stereophile or HFNRR you can download them and either connect your laptop to your DAC or make a CD copy. Here is one example.

RealTraps - Test Tone CD

Thank you Jack. I have a good SPL meter. What would be the setup procedure? Is it adjusting SPL at my listening position for max output on the meter?



Simple method is to put the meter at your seating position and set it at 80 db. Turn the sub off and then play the test tone through your main speakers and adjust the volume on your preamp to the 80 db mark. Pick a tone that is well above the subs crossover frequency . I usually use 100 hz and then one higher up around 1000 khz but above the crossover frequency of the bass driver. Leave the preamp alone and turn the sub back on. Then play a test tone below the crossover mark and adjust the volume of the sub until you reach the 80 db mark. There are more complicated methods to do it but this gets you pretty close considering the hookup method of the REL and much closer than by ear. Looking at JA’s measurements in Stereophile I would probably start with the crossover set at 45 hz and if the sub is recognizable at that mark lower it to 40 hz.