REL High Level + ARC Genesis

Greetings! I have an Anthem STR Pre that has excellent internal DAC and ARC Genesis built-in. Downstream from STR is the amazing M700 mono blocks, which drive a couple of Focal Chora 826s. The Chora is fantastic at stereo imaging, but quite light on the low end. So I got myself a pair of REL T9x subs. Here’s the conflict that I ran into when trying to integrate the subs:

  • According to Anthem: Use LFE connection, and let ARC do its job, i.e. figuring out the crossover, LPF, HPF slopes etc.
  • According to REL: It’s preferred to use high-level (speaker-level) for the speed and “cohesiveness.”
    If I use both connections, the HPF for the L and R channels is at around 80Hz. There won’t be much to pass to the subs on the high-level connection.

Have you dealt with a similar setup before? I’d love to hear your thoughts.



I think the only way to really know is to try both the LFE and the speaker level. What you are after is going to be effected by your room and your personal taste. I’d set it up one way, listen to it for a few weeks, take some notes, and then set it up the other way and listen again. Your ears will guide you.

I have been using Anthem with subs for a very long time. If you use ARC, as I do, LFE is your only choice. The reason is ARC cuts the lows from the mains which means little to no bass would be sent through the main left and right outputs. This is because high level connects to the left and right channel outputs. That is how ARC works. With the LFE output the subs get the signal they need as do all the other speakers. In a system without ARC I would choose to use high level. People who do not understand what ARC does might say use high level. ARC changes things in a fine way and requires the LFE connection.

In my experience the benefits of a real crossover and room correct FAR outweigh any potential and debatable benefits of high level inputs.

I own the STR Integrated and use ARC.

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I would set the L&R speakers as Large in ARC and use the SUB out connections from your Pre/Pro.

IME, ARC does a proper job of sub(s) integration crossing over for music and movies in this manner.

If you have a typical center channel speaker (meaning it’s a bit lacking in low-frequency driver surface area) set the C speaker to large and add an appropriately sized REL sub by connecting it the “REL way”.

I get great results from my AVM 50v 2 and ARC in my system, which does HT and stereo double duty.


Actually, if I understand my set up correctly w/ my AVM50v 2, if you set your main speaker channels to large and connect the subwoofer(s) to the Pre/Pro using the RCA or XLR subwoofer(s) out connections, your main speakers will play “full range” AND you will get proper LFE information shunted to your sub(s) when called for while listening to movies/tracks encoded with this type of sonic information.


Does your AVM50 offer ARC? If it does and you use ARC then your understanding is a bit off.

Anthem Room Correction = ARC?

Then, yes I have lots of experience.

Always willing to learn and experience more, though…

Please clarify/explain my apparent misunderstanding, at your convenience.


ARC correction effects the bottom end the most. When you run it it removes the bottom end signals from the mains and sends those signals to the sub(s). So if you use the high level inputs on an REL, i.e. the main speaker outs on your amplifer(s) there will be an absence of low bass present in those signals. ARC requires using the LFE output to the subs to function correctly. I believe the proper term is bass management.
I understand the thought behind setting the mains as large speakers but looking at the graphs presented with ARC on my system, measured and corrected, I see a shelving of the lower frequencies to the mains. Do you see something different? I just did this recently on my home theater setup and removed the high level connections and went with the LFE connections. Thisi s the point I am trying to make. Am I missing something?

The RCA/Balanced connections you use are the LFE outputs so you are doing it the same way I am. My point is all about using the high level inputs on REL subs. Only REL subs.

This is why I bought the JL Audio CR-1. To avoid this mess. In Two channel with PS Audio gear it does my low level sub mix in pure analog. And both PRE and JL have bypass and I let Anthem Arc take it from there. I think they do shut off mains at 40 (that was lowest setting they allow in ARC). I have never looked back since getting the CR-1. Expensive fix, but I love it.

It’s not a mess. The CR1 performs the same function as ARC. The CR1 is a more robust solution.

This issue is about the high level inputs on REL subs. Look at the thread title.

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I recently sent a note to REL support, asking for their opinion on whether my system would be better served by a pair of T/5x or a single T/7x, and as part of their response, they said this:

“When using monoblock amplifiers you need to have 2 subwoofers if you want to utilize the high level connection method. You can use a single subwoofer if you connect low level but you will be missing out on your amp characteristics but that isn’t a huge deal breaker honestly. The Low Level connection method is VERY VERY good still.” [emphasis added]

I know your question isn’t one vs two subs, but still, I took that response to mean that the quality differences between high level and line level would be modest at best, if even discernible on my system (M700s, SGCD, Magnepan .7s). Assuming honesty and candor on the part of their rep, of course.

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@scotte1, maybe the implementation of ARC is slightly different between the AVM (HT) and STR (2ch) series. As far as I know, there is no way to specify the size of the speaker in STR version of ARC. For STR, it does the frequency sweeps for the main speakers and the subwoofers, then determines the HPF and LPF slopes respectively. You then have the option to do another sweep to fine tune the phase shift for the sub integration.

Back to my original question, thanks for all the responses! I think I will test out low-level only, and low-level + high-level but probably adjust the filter slopes to push more low frequency to the high-level signal path. I’ll let you know what my findings are.

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I have not had time to check @aangen’s checking my AVM 50v facts (I think I did mess something up regarding the relationship b/t the large/small setting and how ARC works), but more on that later after I have a chance to confirm how I have the 50v set up at the moment.

I am absolutely sure that I can set speakers to large or small and that changes what ARC does with bass management.

That said, RELs are different and they present different options. I read somewhere you can use the LFE AND the high level connections in a stereo/HT configuration. I think it would be worth your time to contact REL and discuss your set up and see what they say about your options.

One other thought, my AVM 50v allows one to set one bass management configuration for music and a different configuration for movies. I don’t know if the newer units (STRs) can do the same. If yours is two channel only, I am pretty sure it cannot (but will probably have a home theater bypass if you want to add other DSP options with a separate piece of kit).

I will say this though: ARCs Room Correction and Bass Management is an excellent performer and I recommend you really give it a go according to your STR’s instruction manual. I think you will be really pleased.

Please let us know how it shakes out for you. (Ha, “shakes out”. See what I did there? :slight_smile: )

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Your facts are fine, we agree on them.
Do you own an REL sub?

I have two RELs in my office set up - No ARC using mono amps and the high level Speakon connection. They are wonderful performers.

I have a single REL hooked up to my center channel speaker (again with the Speakon connection) in my dual hat HT/stereo set up.

My main/LFE subwoofer is an ancient SVS PB12 Plus 2 Ultra that I have hooked up to the RCA subwoofer output from my AVM 50v 2. Even though it is long in the tooth, it is an excellent performer for stereo and HT impact.


True not a mess, overstated. But I can only fit one sub in my area unless I wanted in the middle of the room. My choice was Rel or Rythmik. Rel I would use speaker level, and great for 2 channel, but Rythmik would be low level (many ways with their inputs). I really did think about two. One big boomer for HT and nice Rel for 2 channel, just could not see doing that. I ended up with Rythmik., The mess for me was just trying to integrate for both. CR-1 was it.

That said If I had the room I would have done two. Same price as one with CR-1. But now that I now a bit more I really would have hard time picking between the xover integration of CR-1 vs using speaker level (only read of benefits, never heard - no local dealers) with Rel.


I have been following this discussion.

I have one Rel S 5 subwoofer.
Was instructed to run it through my Krell Foundation instead of the way Mr. Hunter recommends from REL.

Have floor standing speakers.

I have Krell multi channel HT amplifier.

Not using ARC.

Doses this set up seem correct instead of using the supplied REL speaker Cable with the Neutrik plug?

Thank you

I would use the supplied cables from REL with the Neutrik connectors in that setup.

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I am trying to remember why my dealer said the opposite.

For some reason I thought my set up was bit different.

My speakers are running full range.

I can always give your recommendation try.

Can you please explain the differences between these two connections?

Thank you