REL's S/5 SHO exceeds the mandate for mid-level models and crosses this model into true reference quality. The S/5 SHO produces exceptionally low bass with tremendous impact and speed. Even difficult-to-render instruments such as pipe organs are dealt with effortlessly. Large scale, high end two-channel systems make a perfect pairing for the S/5 SHO, and grand theaters are ideal. Medium to grand rooms are appropriate. The scale is very large, the speed is exceptional, and attack and slam are visceral.
The S/5 SHO won an Editors' Choice Award for 2016 from The Absolute Sound magazine. According to Neil Gader, "Its bass extension is terrifyingly deep, yet it has the delicacy and dexterity to become one with the music, from deepest fundamentals on up, and to do so invisibly, without effecting the character and transparency of even the most highly resolved system."
"Don't even think of plugging in the S/5 if you ever expect to use that outlet again," said Neil Gader in the May 14, 2015 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine. "An exceptional performer in any class."
"It pretty much goes without saying that if 'low bass systems' are the only products you build, you'd want to make absolutely certain that you build pretty good ones!" reports Gregg Borrowman in Australian Hi-fimagazine. "In creating the Serie S5, REL has not just 'built a pretty good one'; it has built an exceptionally good one!"
The S/5 SHO's driver features an all-new alloy cone structure that takes REL's mid-level product to a performance that exceeds REL's reference products of only a few years ago. By reducing moving mass, with a balanced approach to design, the engineering team was able to produce far more speed than prior designs. By carefully adjusting key parameters, the team managed to increase a high-end component's ability to resolve space and inner detail. Improvements in REL's designs translate into enhancement in your entire system.
The S/5 SHO uses a special carbon/carbon passive that is stiff, lightweight and incredibly well-behaved. REL's approach to passive design results in performance more akin to a variable ratio driver size. On an S/5 SHO, think of it as a sliding ratio design in which the S/5 SHO begins as an ultra-fast 12" sealed box design, and as more power and deeper bass is demanded the S/5 SHO gradually morphs into the power and output of a 15" design.
Beyond the proprietary drivers, the performance of a REL subwoofer is determined by the company's unique input filters and amplifiers. The S/5 SHO uses a simple filter-type that is very fast (about 8 milliseconds in group delay) to cross out unwanted higher frequencies to our driver. This speed and carefully sorted filters allow for seamless blending of RELs with the main speakers. REL does not include a high pass filter to cross out bass from the main speaker because to do so would generally produce more unwanted effects than the minor benefits such a design confers
The S/5 SHO's power amplifier is a powerful NextGen2 550W digital amplifier. This design has powered thousands of RELs and has proven exceptionally reliable and very fast with deep, extended lows, and it provides a perfect mate to REL's new driver.
The S/5 SHO is compatible with REL's LongBow wireless system, which requires the optional LongBow wireless transmitter (sold separately). LongBow permits very fast, uncompressed bass to be sent wirelessly within the same room approximately 45 feet (somewhat dependent upon room clutter). REL has selected an uncompressed wireless signal format, which results in natural, quick delivery compared with conventional wi-fi or Bluetooth systems. LongBow allows both high level (or low level with crossover intact) and .1 channel delivery so that "REL Theatre Reference Performance" can be maintained even when using REL's wireless delivery system.