Production: 1984 - 1987
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.
A little better equipped than the RL45, the Beovox RL60 was slightly deeper than its smaller partner. Looks-wise it had strong similarities although on its rear a DIN socket had been added to the original spring connector, thus allowing the user two methods of connection.
Compared to the single woofer of the RL45, this larger speaker was fitted with two 160mm units to enhance the bass yet more although it still retained the single 25mm tweeter that the RL45 possessed. And like its compatriots the speaker was fitted with an Auxiliary Bass radiator (ABR) to allow a fuller bass sound.
The Beovox RL60 was subsequently replaced by the RL60.2.
Type: 6503 (1984 May 1987)
RMS power handling capacity 60 W
Music power handling capacity 90 W
Impedance 8 ohms
Frequency range +4 -8 dB 45 - 20,000 Hz
Power at 96 dB SPL 2 W
Sensitivity 1 W 93 dB
Distortion 250 - 1000 Hz < 1 %
Distortion > 1000 Hz < 0.5 %
Acoustic principle ABR, Auxiliary Bass Radiator
ABR unit: 15 x 33cm
Woofer: 2 x 16cm
Crossover frequency: 2500 Hz
Net volume: 19 litre
Dimensions W x H x D: 54 x 40.5 x 18cm
Weight 9 kg