BEO.ZONE

Beovox RL 45.2 Passive Loudspeakers

BeoVox Loudspeaker

Production: 1988 - 01/1992

Designer: David Lewis

The RL range of passive loudspeakers was radically different from anything else which had gone before it. In 1984, two new loudspeaker models - the RL45 and the RL60 - were introduced to Bang & Olufsen’s speaker range.

Looking totally different from their own and other manufacturers’ loudspeakers, the slightly ‘concave’ design allowed for greater flexibility of any other speakers in the range up to that time.  In a cross between ‘normal’ speakers and ‘panel’ speakers, the RL range was produced in a variety of sizes and able to accommodate different power handling.  For the RL45 this was 45 watts RMS and for the slightly larger RL60, a total of 60 watts RMS could be handled. An auxiliary bass radiator (ABR) or ‘drone cone’, was included to give the speakers that extra ‘punch’, especially at higher listening levels.

Looking directly at the speaker the viewer would see a proud ‘Bang & Olufsen’ stip embossed vertically on its upper front. Manufactured from resin injection moulding the speakers’ cabinets were mid-grey in appearance with similarly-shaded grey cloth fronts, wrapped around with thin translucent strips of plastic. What determined their ‘RL’ or ‘Redline’ labelling however, was the thin red line painted right around the speakers’ casing.

 They looked very stylish and suggested modern electronics within.  However, their technology was relatively orthodox. It was just their appearance which made them stand out and gave them flexibility unlike any other speakers in that they could be mounted on a wall, hung from a ceiling, or stood on the floor using their own specially-designed black metal floor stands. It was just the smallest in the range - the RL35 - which could not be affixed to a ceiling.  The ceiling bracket was bought as an additional extra although the range all came fitted with an individual metal ‘prop’ to help support them at an angle on the floor which is where, so Bang & Olufsen said, that they performed their best. In practise this theory actually worked, although it was dependant on the type of floor on which they were placed as far as extra bass being brought about!

The bass-reflex design allowed the produced sound to ‘curve’ around their non-parallel interiors thus, as the theory went, “eliminating irritating resonance”. Whether it actually worked or not depended on who was doing the listening, but it’s safe to say that these modern-looking speakers were immensely popular over the years and remained on the company’s product list for several years, undergoing just subtle changes further down the line.

Changes between the earlier model and its 45.2 replacement were that the ABR system was removed and replaced with a bass port. A choice of cabinets was made available with the standard grey being joined with a white-bodied version (the red line around its circumference was replaced with a silver line) although its cabinet stayed grey.

The Beovox RL45.2 was the recommended speaker for Beomaster 3000 system.  The speaker was eventually superceded by the Beovox RL2000.

Beovox RL 45.2 Passive Loudspeakers technical specifications

Type: 6514 (1988 - Jan 1992) 
Dimensions W x H x D: 54 x 40.5 x 16cm 
Weight: 6.8 kg 
Long-term max. input power: 75 W 
Maximum noise power: 45 W 
Speaker impedance: 8 ohms 
Frequency range: 48 - 20,000 Hz 
Power at 96 dB SPL: 2.5 W 
Sensitivity 1 W: 92 dB 
Distortion: < 1 % 
Cabinet principle: Bass Reflex 
Woofer: 16cm 
Tweeter: 1.9cm 
Crossover frequency: 3500 Hz 
Net volume: 16 litre 
Connections: spring terminals