REL T3 Woes


Standard Member
I have an 11 year old REL T3 which has served me well in all that time. Last year I bought a Yamaha AS1200 which worked in tandem with the Onkyo AVR. This recently died and is now replaced with a Denon 3700H.
Whilst hooking up the new Denon I thought I'd give the high level input a go with the AS1200. Yamaha says not to use it, REL says ignore that it's completely fine. It had worked great back when the Onkyo was on it's own. It was suggested to not connect the ground wire of the High level cable to a negative speaker terminal. Better to use the grounding post or even not at all.
So basically now the Denon is connected to the REL's LFE input, Yamaha on the HL input. The difference of having the Yamaha on the HL input instead of pre-outing to the LL input is mega, it really is a much better sound. The low level way of doing it sounds lack lustre in comparison.

However there's a rub:

There is an annoying hum now coming from the REL. It increases with intensity when raising the cross over and the HL/LL knob. Adjusting the volume on the Yamaha has no effect. It's not loud enough to be noticeable while something's playing but in those silent times it just annoys me that it's there. Time to fault find! I downloaded a decibel meter app on my phone and placed it halfway under the REL so I could still see the screen.
What I tried:
First disconnecting the HL lead from the REL. Hum completely gone, so probably not a fault on RELs end.
Disconnecting absolutely everything, just the REL, Yamaha and the KEF R7s hooked up.
Isolating the mains, turned the whole house off except obviously the lounge. Maybe some other rogue device making noise.
Hooking up the original HL cable that came with the REL.
Different mains leads.
The Phase switch every single time I made a change.
Connecting the REL to the same and different mains outlets.
Connecting the HL ground to: Binding post, chassis screw, spare rca ground and to nothing at all.

Yamaha told me not to but finally I tried just hooking it up conventionally with the ground wire attached to a negative speaker terminal.
Woosh the hum reduced substantially, still there but greatly reduced :eek:. I hooked everything back up and the hum maintained that lower level. I adjusted the REL's knobs back down to my preferred level and the hum is now barely noticeable. Certainly no louder than the general equipment hum of all the other gear. It still annoys me that its there though, maybe I'm expecting too a perfect situation?

One thing that compounded my frustration without realising at first is the hum would very slowly gain about 5 dB from a cold start. Takes several minutes for it to level off. So many a time I had this red herring when I thought I'd made some progress.

Again it's now hardly noticeable at the levels I prefer which is just around 10-11 o'clock on the REL's knobs so I think I can live with it. However I would be interested to know if the latest REL subs have better filtering/noise reduction to combat hums. I'm quite open to buying a new one as I've slowly been replacing everything else. But if the issue will carry over I may as well keep going with the old T3 for now.
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Active Member
Is it possible for you to do a home trial of a newer REL sub from a local friendly retailer?

I recently tried a T7i and a HT1205 in this manner.

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