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REL
Operating Instructions
for the
STORM
Sub-Bass System
REL Acoustics Ltd
North Road,
Bridgend Industrial Estate
Bridgend, Mid-Glamorgan, CF31 3TP
United Kingdom
Telephone: 01 656 768 777; International: +441 656 768 777
Fax: 01 656 766 093; International: +441 656 766 093
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  • Page 1

    REL
    Operating Instructions

    for the

    STORM
    Sub-Bass System

    REL Acoustics Ltd
    North Road, Bridgend Industrial Estate
    Bridgend, Mid-Glamorgan, CF31 3TP
    United Kingdom

    Telephone: 01 656 768 777;

    Fax: 01 656 766 093;

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    International: +441 656 768 777

    International: +441 656 766 093



  • Page 2

    WELCOME
    Thank you for buying the REL STORM Sub-Bass system STORM has been
    carefully hand crafted from the finest materials available and we are sure that it
    will give you many years of listening pleasure. This manual contains important
    safety information as well as helpful advice and should be carefully studied
    before connecting up.

    World Wide Warranty
    In addition to any local Warranty, REL offer a 3-year conditional Worldwide
    Warranty to the end user. It is done in collaboration with our Distributors .
    The conditions of this Warranty are:
    1. That REL receive the necessary registration details from the end user.
    2. That these details are received within six weeks of purchase.
    3. That the product is not exported from the country of purchase for at least eight
    weeks after purchase.
    4. That any claim is accompanied by the necessary proof of purchase.
    5. That it shall be for a term of 3 years from the date of purchase.
    6. That the product has not been abused or modified in any way.
    This Warranty is offered in good faith and is in addition to any statuary rights or
    existing Warranty that may be available to the end user.
    Should your STORM unit give you a problem, please contact your Dealer who will
    be able to make whatever arrangements are necessary to correct it.

    SERVICE AFTER WARRANTY
    Please contact your Dealer in the first instance before returning any product
    direct to us. Should the unit need to be returned for any reason, all carriage
    costs will be payable by the Customer. Losses or damage caused during transit
    are the Customer's risk.

    WARNING
    This item is heavy! To avoid risk of injury, take care when handling.

    2

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  • Page 3

    CONNECTING UP
    Always switch off your system before disconnecting any wires.
    To increase the versatility of the choice of connecting up, Storm has three
    entirely separate sets of input sockets, two Neutrik and one pair of phonos.
    The first Neutrik is a dual channel (stereo) unbalanced input at high level
    designed to accept the much higher level signals from the speaker
    terminals of the power amplifier. This does have the advantage of ensuring
    that your STORM 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 STORM's Active Bass Controller (ABC), ensures far superior system
    integration of the sub-bass with the main system. So far as we are aware,
    REL are the only sub-bass manufacturer to take this aspect of performance
    sufficiently seriously to offer the listener this level of sophisticated control.
    The second Neutrik is a single channel high level balanced input designed
    to take the high level output again from the speaker terminals of bridged
    monoblocks. (Two Storm subwoofers required, one for each channel).
    The low level unbalanced phono inputs would normally be used to source
    the signal from the "Sub-woofer Output” sockets, where available, from the
    preamp or Dolby surround sound processor.
    Screw the spikes into the feet of the sub-woofer, level them up or if
    necessary compensate for an uneven floor. It is important that all 4 spikes
    are located securely and that there is no tendency for STORM to rock. If it
    does rock, simply adjust one (or more) of the spikes until it fits securely.
    To Connect to the Power Amplifier:
    See Fig. 1
    1. Use your existing plugs or connect the STORM Neutrik interconnect to a
    spare set of speaker terminals. In effect the STORM is bi-wired from
    your power amplifier. However, note that there are only three
    connections to STORM. This is deliberate and helps preserve the
    existing star earthing of your system (assuming it has a star earth
    arrangement). Connect the Red coloured wire from the Storm Neutrik
    interconnect to the RED speaker terminal of the right channel of your
    power amp. Then connect the yellow coloured wire to the RED coloured
    terminal of the left channel on your power amp. The BLACK wire is
    connected to either one of the Black terminals of your power amp. Do
    not connect this black wire to both black terminals - this is important as
    some amplifiers do not like having their black terminals joined. Connect
    the Neutrik plug to the high level input on STORM.

    3

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  • Page 4

    R/H
    R B

    L/H
    R B

    Amplifier Speaker
    Outputs
    Red

    Neutrik Speakon

    Yellow

    Interconnect
    (Supplied)
    Black
    To Subwoofer
    High Level Input
    Fig. 1
    2.

    Connect the Mains lead to STORM and to the mains and switch ON.

    To Connect to a Dedicated Sub-woofer Output:
    See Fig. 2
    1. For this connection it will be necessary to use whatever type of
    connector is needed by this output. Normally it would be a phono type
    connector. For this method of connection a phono to phono type
    interconnect is required, available from your dealer.
    Note:- If only a single phono subwoofer output is available, either use a ”y”
    splitter to connect the two phono plugs from the REL or use a single
    phono to phono interconnect. This will reduce the volume by 6db.

    R/H

    L/H

    Amplifier Dedicated
    Subwoofer Outputs
    Phono to Phono Interconnect
    (Optional Extra)
    To Subwoofer
    Low Level Input
    Fig. 2
    2.

    Plug one end of the phono to phono interconnect into the dedicated
    sub-woofer outputs on your power amplifier or surround processor
    and the other end into the line level input on STORM.
    4

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  • Page 5

    3. Connect the Mains lead to STORM and to the mains and switch ON.

    To Connect to Bridged ( Monoblock) Amplifiers:
    See Fig. 3
    1.

    Connect to the amplifier using the Neutrik interconnect supplied with
    Storm. Connect the RED and YELLOW cores to each of the positive
    terminals of the amplifier, ( It does not matter which way around the
    red and yellow are connected ). Connect the BLACK core to ground.
    (See your amplifier manual for this ground connection)

    Bridged Monoblocks
    (One channel shown)
    Amp 1

    Left Speaker
    +VE
    (Left)
    Red
    0V

    Neutrik Speakon
    Interconnect (Supplied)

    Black

    To Storm Balanced Input
    Yellow
    (Right)
    Right Speaker
    +VE

    Amp2

    Fig.3
    Note:Two Storm units are required with Monoblocks. Each Storm will
    sense one channel only.
    2.

    Plug the Neutrik plug into the balanced high level input of Storm.

    3.

    Connect the Mains lead to STORM and to the mains and switch ON.

    SETTING UP
    5

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  • Page 6

    Initially, test the effect of the controls with STORM sited in any convenient
    position in your listening room. Check that the phase switch is in the
    Normal position. Turn the two filter controls fully clockwise (maximum
    bandwidth) and the gain to minimum. Play some music with known bass
    content, then adjust the gain control for similar sound levels from your main
    system and your STORM. Now reduce both filter controls to minimum.
    Notice that the level of the bass has almost disappeared. This is because
    these very low frequencies are not being boosted by your room Without the
    ABC you would never be able to hear them properly in your room. Increase
    the Gain control until this deep bass is heard. Slowly increase the coarse
    control one step at a time. If one position appears too much, reduce to the
    lower setting then increase the Fine control a notch at a time until there is
    a good match between the two systems. It may be necessary, also, to
    readjust the Gain control.
    Do not worry if it is not immediately obvious which setting is correct. It is
    sufficient at this stage that you perceive that there are differences and that
    one is too extreme in each direction ,i.e. on maximum settings there is too
    much bass and at minimum settings there is too little. It will be necessary
    to test with different types of music with different instruments. At this stage
    try and get a roughly correct setting.
    STORM has a phase reversal switch to allow partial cancellation of the
    frequencies around the crossover point between the two systems. Listen to
    the quality of the bass with the phase normal and reversed. Choose the
    position which subjectively offers the tightest and cleanest bass.
    It may take several days before you are completely satisfied that you have
    found the final best setting. Your acuteness and ability to perceive very
    subtle differences will improve over these days, possibly because you may
    not have previously had the opportunity to hear very deep bass in your
    room. With the ABC you can site STORM almost anywhere you choose. If
    the bass sounds too prominent, simply reduce one of the filter controls a
    notch. If there is a "hole", increase one of the filter controls until it is filled
    in. It is often surprising just how much effect the room is having on the
    bass response. Sometimes even quite small speakers appear to need very
    low settings of the ABC. If this is the case, accept it and feel pleased that
    your stereo imaging extends down so far. It is always better to try and set
    up for a subtle, rather than an overblown effect if possible. However,
    personal taste is the over-riding factor here. If it suits your ears, it is
    correct.
    STORM is designed as a true sub-bass speaker. It is designed to
    reproduce those exceptionally deep notes that are felt rather than heard.
    This it will attempt to do at whatever volume you set on the gain control on
    its panel. If set too high the driver cone will simply run out of movement
    with the lowest notes, causing a "crack" to be heard. If this warning is not
    heeded and the unit is continuously played in this manner, permanent
    damage will be done to the driver. This damage is NOT covered by
    Warranty. Please remember, STORM is there to supplement your main
    system, not overwhelm it!
    6

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  • Page 7

    ADVANCED SETTING UP

    It is an unfortunate fact that most listening rooms are not perfect. Most
    suffer from various problems, particularly in the bass. This is why the
    majority of sub-woofers will not work effectively in most systems - they
    simply overwhelm the system, causing boom and a poor bass
    performance. All REL sub-bass systems incorporate special circuitry which
    we call the Active Bass Controller, or more simply the ABC. The ABC will
    ensure, when set up accurately, that a REL sub-bass matches into your
    system precisely. Of course, should you choose to set the controls for a
    more fulsome bass, or even a totally overwhelming bass, so be it. The REL
    will oblige!
    If your listening room has a rather boomy bass, it may be advantageous to
    deliberately reverse the phase control on Storm so that partial cancellation
    of the bass occurs around the crossover frequency between the REL and
    your main speakers. This will require some patience and care over setting
    up. But many listeners have reported that what was previously a lost
    cause, has been totally cured by this simple expedient. Listeners who have
    had to make do with very small main speakers with a deliberately tapered
    bass response to offset their poor listening rooms are the ones most likely
    to benefit from this option. It is impossible to predict the sound experience
    within a room. We at REL realize this and go to great lengths to offer you,
    the customer, the means to control the sound within your system. Bass
    frequencies are often the most troublesome to predict and control. It is one
    of the reasons why some audiophiles have either given up on trying to
    reproduce very deep bass within their system or put up with an overblown
    bass. REL offers the listener the means to control their system sound.
    If you are one of the very fortunate few with a superb listening room, then
    keep your phase switch in its normal position and ignore this advice.
    However, this switch also allows you to ensure that any phase reversal
    within your power amp can be corrected (where the main speakers should
    then be connected deliberately in reversed phase). Doing this will ensure
    correct absolute phase of your system.
    One of the most frequently reported benefits of owning a REL is the
    improvement in imaging and depth at ALL frequencies. Many theories exist
    as to why this should be, but with many listeners, this has been their most
    pleasing and substantial benefit of owning a REL. Strangely, it often occurs
    most obviously with those listeners who previously have had the least
    interest in deep bass! This effect is most pronounced when the REL has
    been adjusted for the flattest, i.e. not a pronounced bass. It certainly
    disappears where the listener has it set up to give a deliberately over-blown
    or boomy bass.

    7

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  • Page 8

    POSITIONING STORM WITHIN YOUR ROOM
    Ideally, STORM should be positioned mid-way between your main
    speakers but pushed back as far against the wall as possible. This will
    help with sound integration between the two different sources. It seems
    that we humans prefer to listen to plane waves rather than spherical.
    Waves become planar as they travel away from the source, just like waves
    expanding from a stone dropped in a pond. The further the waves travel,
    the more planer they become. Perhaps it is because we tend to hear plane
    waves at a concert or in a Cathedral or any large building, but whatever the
    reason a more distant source, particularly of low frequencies, appears
    more interesting. It follows that the very worst place to position a subwoofer would be just behind the listening chair. Because of the Haas effect
    (precedence effect of two similar frequencies) we would find such a position
    very fatiguing if not downright offensive. Fortunately, in the preferred choice
    of position even with surround sound, very acceptable results can be
    obtained with a single very low frequency source. Note that these
    comments apply here because all REL sub-woofers are integrated into the
    main system by means of the ABC. Thus only very low bass is being
    generated by the sub-woofer. Such very low frequencies are truly omnidirectional. Unfortunately, with many sub-woofers which cross-over up
    around 100 Hz, there will be problems because the crossover has a roll-off,
    it is not a brick wall! Therefore there will be some radiation from such subwoofers even at 200 to 300 Hz. At these frequencies we can detect their
    source.
    If the preferred position is not possible, try moving the sub-woofer to one
    side or the other. Possibly for a Classical music lover the right hand side
    may be preferred because the double basses are generally on that side.
    (This is being very purist of course).
    Note that a subtle effect is far more effective at improving imaging and
    depth than an up front, overblown bass. Tests appear to show that when
    the bass is made too prominent, the subtle effect of stage depth
    improvements are completely masked. This may mean a much lower
    setting of both the filter controls and the gain than might at first have been
    thought necessary. It is necessary to emphasise that manufacturer's
    claims for their speaker’s in-room low frequency responses should be
    treated with care. It is far better to trust the results you are getting in the
    room with your own ears rather than someone else's in their room.
    When the final position has been settled, it is better to shorten the signal
    lead to the ideal length, rather than coiling it up. Although most modern
    amplifiers are usually exceptionally load tolerant, it is foolish to tempt fate
    by inviting trouble with a coiled up speaker lead (which is what it is in
    effect). A shorter lead also minimises the risk of RFI (Radio Frequency
    Interference). This is more likely than instability today with so many CB
    enthusiasts around. STORM has internal circuitry designed to reduce the
    possibility of RFI to almost zero. Unfortunately, many power amps do not.
    The pick up on the speaker leads (any speaker leads, not just STORM's )
    can be fed back on the amplifier's internal negative feedback circuit to
    8

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  • Page 9

    provoke trouble through the main speakers. Where this occurs, shortening
    the signal leads will usually effect the cure.

    RUNNING-IN
    Care taken over running-in will be rewarded by many years of pleasurable
    use. Both the electronics and the drive units will benefit from an initial
    period of carefully controlled use. During this period, permanent damage
    can be sustained by running the unit at too high a volume setting. On the
    other hand, by taking a little care over this initial period, about 24 hours of
    actual use, a longer life with a higher potential eventual performance is
    assured

    CARE AND POLISHING

    The high quality finish is best cared for by using a dampened lint free cloth.
    Alternatively, a soft bristled brush may be used to sweep off any dust
    falling on the surface. If objects are to be placed upon the top, it is
    advisable to use a small mat to protect the surface and to avoid risk of any
    rattles.
    Everything about STORM has been designed and engineered to last a
    lifetime.

    SOME DO'S AND DONT'S

    1. Always protect the sub-woofer from getting wet.
    2. Always ensure that the panel is correctly earthed via the three core
    mains cable - it is not sufficient to rely on the earth being made via the
    signal ground.
    3. If the mains lead is lengthened (or shortened) make absolutely certain
    that the wires are correctly terminated before switching on.
    4. In the unlikely event of a fuse failure, always replace by an identical fuse
    of the same rating and characteristics. A spare mains fuse is located in
    the sliding drawer of the mains input socket. Further replacements are
    available from your supplier.
    5. Do not attempt to remove the panel or the drive unit from the enclosure all Warranties become null and void if the seals are broken.
    6. Never try to force the switches or the Gain control around further than
    their normal stops.
    9

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  • Page 10

    7. Do not try to modify or "improve” the design by putting things into the
    reflex port.

    It is not necessary to switch off between listening sessions - it will not
    significantly shorten its life by leaving it switched on. On the other hand, it
    will not harm sound quality if it is always switched off. The power
    consumption in the quiescent state is negligible.
    It is perfectly safe under all normal domestic circumstances as it is fully
    protected.

    ACTIVE BASS
    FREQUENCY

    CONTROLLER

    SWITCH

    versus

    CROSSOVER

    These settings determine the commencement of the upper frequency limit
    of the sub-woofer. The lowest operating frequency is totally unaffected by
    these switches.

    The 4 steps on the Fine control equal 1 step on the Coarse control

    Switch Positions
    Coarse Fine
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    4
    4
    4
    4

    Frequency
    Hz

    1
    2
    3
    4
    1
    2
    3
    4
    1
    2
    3
    4
    1
    2
    3
    4

    30
    33
    36
    39
    43
    47
    52
    57
    62
    67
    73
    80
    88
    98
    108
    120

    10

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  • Page 11

    SPECIFICATION
    Type
    Linkwitz-Riley Loading
    Enclosure volume
    40 litres
    Input connectors
    Two Neutrik Speakon and one pair phono
    Gain control range
    40dB
    Amplifier type
    DC coupled complementary MOSFET
    Input impedances:
    High Level Unbalanced
    Two Channel
    100K Ohm
    High Level Balanced
    One Channel
    100K Ohm
    Low Level
    10K Ohm unbalanced
    Power output
    100W RMS, 200W Peak
    Drive Unit
    Heavy duty Cast chassis 26cm
    Frequency Range
    18 - 120 Hertz
    (Upper frequency dependent on user setting of ABC)
    Phasing
    Positive or reversed
    Mains input Voltage
    220-240 or 110-120 V AC to order, via fused I E.C.
    standard socket with spare fuse in drawer
    Dimensions
    415mm x 620mm x 330mm (WxHxD) (22.5 x 20.5 x
    14 inches approx.)
    Weight
    30 Kg (66 lbs approx.)
    Protection
    Internal electronic self-resetting
    Fuses
    1 x 1.6 Amp semi delay, 240V operation 1 x 3.15
    Amp semi-delay, 120 V operation
    (Factory selected - do not change without seeking expert advice)
    Supplied accessories: 1.
    2.
    3.
    4.

    Mains lead
    10 metre Neutrik Speakon Interconnect
    Operating Manual
    Set of 8 mm spikes

    In the interest of product development, REL ACOUSTICS LTD
    11

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  • Page 12

    reserves the right to vary this specification without notice.

    Please Note
    This apparatus is designed to Class II specification
    and is double insulated, therefore it does not
    require to be earthed.

    UK OPERATION
    This apparatus is supplied with a fitted three pin mains plug. A 5 amp fuse
    is fitted in the plug. Should the fuse need to be replaced, use a 5 amp fuse
    approved to ASTA or BSI 1362. Do not use without the fuse cover in
    place. Replacement fuse covers are available from your dealer.
    If for any reason the plug is cut off it must NOT be re-used. Please
    dispose of any such plug safely. There is a danger of electric shock if the
    cut-off plug is inserted into a 13A mains socket.
    IMPORTANT
    The wires in the mains lead are coloured in accordance with the following
    code:
    Green and Yellow Earth
    Blue
    Neutral
    Brown
    Live
    As the colours of the wires in the mains lead may not correspond with the
    markings identifying the terminals in the replacement mains plug, proceed
    as follows:
    the wire coloured Green and Yellow must be connected to the
    terminal marked with the letter "E" or with the earth symbol
    or
    coloured Green or Green and Yellow.
    the wire coloured Blue must be connected to the terminal
    marked with the letter "N" or coloured Black.
    12

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  • Page 13

    the wire coloured Brown must be connected to the terminal
    marked with the letter "L" or coloured Red.
    Revised July 9rd 1997, Nov 11th 1997

    This product is CE marked and has been tested to ensure it satisfies all
    relevant standards for EN 50081-1 using the limits of EN 55022 class B
    and IEC 801 - 4 wherever relevant.
    It satisfies all tests for Conducted Emissions, Radiated Emissions,
    Susceptibility and Immunity.
    It also complies with the requirements relating to class II construction
    detailed in clauses 9 & 10 of BS EN 60065 1994.
    It also satisfies all relevant safety tests for consumer use provided it is
    used within the guidelines of this manual.

    13

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