New Stellar m700/GCD -- hookup to a single REL?

I’m excited to receive the m700/GCD combination in 2d, replacing my existing Rogue Sphinx v2 integrated with Mullard tubes, that my son will get as a nice hand-me-down. This is my first time with the forum.

My inputs are an Oppo 105D playing Tidal and CD’s. I have Magnepan 1.7i and a single REL T9i. With the Mullard-modified Rogue and the stock treble attenuators in place on the Maggies, the system provides a nice midrange and bass extension, but with some congestion and lack of clarity with complex treble passages such as orchestral climaxes and intense lead guitar.

In an old post, I saw that Paul liked Rel’s in general. An advantage is the high level connection via a Neutrik cable from the main speaker outs from the amplifier. This supposedly helps with coherence between the Rel and the main speakers. Rel’s instructions discourage use of a single sub with monoblocks. The alternative to getting a second T9i would be an RCA cable hook-up from the pre-amp, potentially sacrificing the coherence provided by the high level Neutrik connection. The problem with attempting a high level connection with two monoblocks is apparently the risk of a ground loop, with hum or worse consequences. A second T9i is not in the cards right now, but maybe down the line.

Does anyone have experience with this type of set-up? Does the presence of a second speaker output terminal on the m700’s come into play? Thanks in advance.

i have the m700 combo with maggie 1.7’s and a single rel t5; i used the neutrik cable with the connection scheme being yellow to left +, red to right + black to chassis and experienced no hum…yes it was not the recommended for a single mono block application but it works…


Thanks Pete. I appreciate your experience, sounds encouraging.

Welcome, DougB!

pwfulpete givens excellent advice to correctly connect the high level Neutrik for a BTL amplifier such as the M700s.

There’re certain system configurations or set ups where the Neutrik connection with a single sub is just not practical. Even though I would recommend you go with the high level, I would not let it be the deciding factor on whether or not to buy a REL sub. They’re simply the most musical sub I’ve ever heard, even when fed audio via an RCA.

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Thanks for endorsing pwfulpete’s set-up advice, Darren. There are not many companies where the product designer weighs in on a blog post from a new customer. I’m truly thankful and excited to start warming up the combo tomorrow!

I’m now about 50 h in to burn-in, and am delighted with the sound coming out of my 1.7i’s. The sense of liveliness and richness is superb, now that I’ve made XLR connections (Mogami quad wires). I’m floored with the bass extension, even without the sub. For what it’s worth, I have the m700’s side by side rather than stacked, a la Stereophile.

I’ve made the hook-up suggested by pwfulpete and Darren with no hum issues. I’ll give it more time to decide what the sub is contributing.

Thanks again for the great gear and support.

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Thanks for letting us know!

Sorry if this is a bit old, but could you please clarify on the connections to a single REL sub. Pete says the black goes to the chassis but gives no specific point to connect to on the M700.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I guess you could try loosening one of the top panel screws at the rear of the M700 unit, wrap the black wire around it then tighten it down. My after market REL cables would not work with that approach. I wound up leaving the black wire loose (wrapped in black electrical tape) and connecting a cheap RCA cable from the REL 1/LFE input to one of the digital inputs on the GCD. That’s the approach REL suggests. It works great.

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Hi colin:

As you mentioned, there is no specific ground terminal on the m700’s. Following the advice earlier in the thread from pwrfulpete, I connected the black Rel wire to a chassis screw on the lower surface of one of the M700’s. Works great.

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Hi Doug, apologies for not replying sooner.

I had it sorted before your email (I undid a top screw and slid a spade connector between the top plate and the chassis), but many thanks for taking the time to help.

Thanks again and best regards,


Hi guys. This is my first post here. My M700s arrive today. Can’t wait to get them hooked up.

I also have a REL T/9i sub and a question regarding an alternative connection method.

Currently I have a Marantz SR6011 integrated receiver with both low level (LFE) and high level connections to the T/9i as per REL’s instructions. When my M700 arrives could I simply leave the REL high level connections connected to the speaker binding posts on the Marantz, rather than connecting them to the M700s? Would there be any downside to leaving them connected that way? I would simply connect my main speakers to the M700, but leave the sub’s existing connections to the Maranatz high (and low) level outputs?

Thanks in advance

The .1 connection leave the same for movie soundtrack info. When hooking up your M700s they are the new source for your speakers now. So the Marantz speaker posts will no longer be putting out a signal, your new amps will. So you have to hook the cables (red and yellow) from the Rel sub to each amps positive terminals (red), and don’t hook up the black ground wire to anything, snip off the end wire and cover it with electrical tape. You may need to separate the wires from the casing (Rel) to stretch to each amps terminals if you plan on having them side by side. I just did this set up with a Rel 328 subwoofer to M700s on Sunday.

You could certainly do this, yes. Let us know how it goes. The gain differences will have to be accounted for in the subwoofer setup.

Hi Shawn. Thanks for your reply.

Although I am no longer connecting my speakers to the Marantz amplifier, the speaker posts are still active. I have verified this by connecting disconnecting the LFE (0.1) cable and can confirm the subwoofer still receives a signal from the speaker posts on the Marantz.

I expected that this setup would work, but was concerned whether there may be any latency between the signal from the Marantz high-level output versus the Marantz pre-outs (and therefore the M700 outputs).

Having tested a little today everything seems ok and certainly I can’t detect any latency between my main speakers and the REL sub.

Hi Paul. Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate your input here.

As I just posted, I can confirm this is working well and the REL and my mains seem in sync just as they were when both connected to the Marantz.

Yes, I anticipated I’d need to adjust the gain on the sub based the output level of the amp it’s connected to.

As a side query (which perhaps I should start a new thread for), is there any adjustment of the brightness of the power lights on the M700 units?

Finally, thanks for making such a great product. These sound absolutely fantastic. Fast, detailed, great stereo separation and soundstage as expected from these excellent monoblock amps. Looking forward to running it all in now.

Not sure why this would still be working, maybe my knowledge of this area is insufficient. Interesting though because you could have 2 front pairs running at the same time. The Rel link draws power from this, so I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. You should see if there’s a difference in power/loudness when hooked up to the M700s vs the Marantz. You might have to crank the power in the Rel when connected to the Marantz, to match the power in the M700s. Experiment. Yes it’s a pain to hookup listen redo it, but that’s the hobby. Good luck

Thanks. No, the power lights don’t have a brightness control. I am assuming they’re too bright? Maybe that’s something we should someday consider.

Hey Shawn, as Paul pointed out, the REL needs an adjustment to tune it to the output level of whatever amp it’s high level input is connected to. The REL’s internal amplifier has more than enough power to fill my space with plenty of bass, so it’s not so much a case of “cranking” it up, but rather setting its level to blend in as seamlessly as possible with the main speakers.

This is similar I suppose to how low level (line level) signal voltages vary from one source to another and may need to be compensated for in the preamp.