Srajan Ebaen

Reviewer: 
Srajan Ebaen
Summary/PDF: 

Concluding a long review which unwound in various chapters, Rethm's Saadhana now joins ....as the highest relaxed-resolution devices I have in my stable of reviewer tools and pleasure machines.....when it comes to high fidelity as in, retrieving the tiniest of details while keeping the listening fun and compelling rather than anal-and-analitical, the Saadhanas presently take the crown in Casa Coral Bay.

For that and everything else already mentioned, this latest incarnation now deserves an award, wholly and unreservedly. This is a spectacular speaker.

Also -- and this will only be relevant to the obscure cadre of Lowther freaks -- it is a landmark achievement for a Lowther that's run wide open and uncut. After exactly one decade of ongoing obsessive work with this transducer, Jacob George has finally liberated it, truly and fully. Whoa, wow and well done. Over and out!

Summary at end of long review:

The end result of all this is wicked normalcy, i.e. with eyes closed, nothing now betrays an unconventional, tweaky freaky driver, the esoteric backhorn/transmission-line/dispersion lens/isobaric/whatever-it's-properly-called loading or that whole wonky wide bander/zero-crossover niche-ism. Until you revert to a really normal speaker that is. It'll sound ponderous, fuzzy and staid by comparison. Then you'll begin to appreciate the innate speed and reflexes of the Lowther, how it tracks the smallest of signals that elude lesser drivers but does so without front-horn loading which only works properly over less than two octaves to require 4- or more-way driver arrays. It's only then that one can begin to appreciate the sheer enormity of effort pooled into the Saadhana to strip it of the usual telltale giveaways of the genre (the limited bandwidth, the upper midrange rise, the overt response nonlinearities). With the rough felt fitted behind the diaphragms, the new cones and side panels installed, this Lowther has finally come home to utter normalcy. Thereby, it has wiped out all the compulsory counts against it.

Needless to say, had this thrown overboard the qualities special and unique to the Lowther, all good reason to use it in the first place would have vanished with 'em. Plainly, Rethm has not castrated, homogenized or otherwise crippled and neutralized the DX55. It's been set free. The result is very high but natural, unforced resolution. Integration with the active bass system is truly seamless in amplitude and texture and the adjustments inherent in the controls guarantee room adaptability. With a single pair of speaker cables running to the custom terminals, your main amp sees an unproblematic and efficient load that requires little power but benefits from all the finesse and quality you can throw at it. ....

It's a credit to Rethm's designer that he kept labouring to really leave no stone unturned and finesse his new flagship model to this level of perfection. (A crassly self-referential translation might read "I'm sure glad I bitched about that classical bit" because with the new back-flow guide, all types of music benefit equally from the new 'deeper throat').

Concluding a long review which unwound in various chapters, Rethm's Saadhana now joins Nelson Pass' First Watt F4 amplifiers as the highest relaxed-resolution devices I have in my stable of reviewer tools and pleasure machines. I'm committed to the polygamous audio lifestyle for reasons of refreshing variety and to support component matching as well as comparisons. Hence speakers like Zu's Definition Pros extend even lower into true sub bass and WLM's Grand Viola Monitors have feistier kick and denser tone. But when it comes to high fidelity as in, retrieving the tiniest of details while keeping the listening fun and compelling rather than anal-and-analitical, the Saadhanas presently take the crown in Casa Coral Bay. For that and everything else already mentioned, this latest incarnation now deserves an award, wholly and unreservedly. This is a spectacular speaker. Also -- and this will only be relevant to the obscure cadre of Lowther freaks -- it is a landmark achievement for a Lowther that's run wide open and uncut. After exactly one decade of ongoing obsessive work with this transducer, Jacob George has finally liberated it, truly and fully. Whoa, wow and well done. Over and out!

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