There is one unifying conceptual thread that runs through all our products, and that is: that we will bring a product to the market only if it is something uniquely different from the competition. We are not interested in bringing out "more of the same".
Having been in the Audio Industry for 20 years, we know that it is impossible to get a consensus on what exactly is the "right" reproduction. Rightly or wrongly, this has become largely a matter of personal taste. But that having been said, we at Rethm go to great lengths to convert OUR aural convictions into audio products that can be enjoyed by music-lovers. Apart from all the usual audiophile boxes that need to be ticked, the most important factor for us is whether an audio system has the ablilty to connect emotionally with the listener.
Almost as important as its sonic performance – are the visual attributes of our line. As architects, both form and function are given importance when we design anything. Yes, here again, we are dealing with an area of great subjectivity. But the fact remains -- that painstaking care is given to the way the loudspeakers look. It is often said that most people buy products with their eyes. A pair of loudspeakers is not exactly inconspicuous. It becomes an important visual addition to any space it is put into. And most people who acquire a pair of speakers – often costing as much as a car – would want this acquisition to be a positive aesthetic addition to their space. Being Architects, we start with a distinct advantage over the competition – as innovation and "looking at things differently" are ingrained in our psyche, not to mention our years of training in areas related to aesthetics. WIDE-BAND TECHNOLOGY
We believe that all truly great design embodies an "elegance – that comes from simplicity". A full range driver is such an example within the realm of music reproduction. Loudspeakers designed around this concept are capable of an aural magic like no other - IF done right. “It sounds so real and natural ” …….is a comment we hear time and again from non-audiophile music lovers. “it has everything -- tonal accuracy. detail, dynamics, transparency, imaging -- and yet is totally relaxed and relaxing to listen to. …...is what we often hear from the more experienced listeners. Fundamental and critical to getting closest to a live reproduction, we believe, is the use of wideband drivers….which reproduce the frequencies from 50 hz to 20khz. Multiple drivers create multiple problems.
– Wave interaction anomalies between the drivers, like the comb effect. – Tonal anomalies as a result of different drivers of different sizes and different construction and materials trying to reproduce the same sounds. – Disturbances resulting from the the same music coming from more than one source. – The necessity of having a cross-over network-- which creates its own set of problems, including phase shifts, a subtle veiling of the signal, and the robbing of drivers of some of its dynamic potential. And these effects -- combined -- also create inaccuracies in imaging. We are great believers in the importance of imaging. This is because, in the absence of a "visual" ( a live concert, or a video ), it is accurate imaging that creates very important spacial cues that allow us to "see" the performance -- in our minds eye. While some of these effects are audible, others are not. But -- they can be “felt”. Critical to good audio is the absence of these aberrations that the mind picks up subconsciously. This is part of “psychoacoustics”. The brain is an amazing thing -- highly flexible and adaptable. It can work around these anomalies and present the listener with a “listenable whole”. However, there is a price one pays. Just as a CPU gets hot when it is “processing”, the brain gets tired when it is asked to do this subconscious work of smoothing over the problems created by a loudspeaker. And this leads to “fatigue”. Which ceases to exist when a good single source produces all the music. But -- not all wide-banders are made equal. We design and manufacture our own custom drivers which underwent several years of development. And this is at the heart of the “Rethm advantage”. We have a different custom driver for each model. We use only paper for our cones as we think it sounds best. We use Neodymium magnets as all our drivers are high-efficiency drivers because we believe that the subtleties and nuances of the music are best revealed and communicated through high-efficiency loudspeakers. Even at low volumes. There is also the added advantage of being able to use even the least powerful valve amplification. High efficiency loudspeakers are extremely dynamic and transparent as a result of its ultra-fast reaction to the inputted signal.THE ENCLOSURE
Any driver is only as good as the enclosure it inhabits: Sealed or vented boxes, naturally, impart a "boxed-in" quality to the sound. It is also well known that because of the pressures these boxes are subjected to, it does add its own signature to the sound. The horn-loaded enclosure (one of the earliest enclosure designs) if designed well, can eliminate this problem as it provides the driver with an unrestricted free-breathing environment which, while extending mid-bass response, also allows it to retain immediacy and naturality. Although we have chosen to adopt the horn-loaded enclosure as the basis for our loudspeaker, we have broken with traditional horn-load design principles and geometries, and invented our own. The horn loaded enclosure works on the "quarter-wave" principle. The length of the labyrinth should be one quarter the length of the wavelength of the frequency one is trying to reproduce at the bottom end. We made the mistake of going for low bass frequencies as is traditionally done – down to 30Hz, and therefore having labyrinths of 10 ft. But since we have bass augmentation, we realised that we did not need the horn to go below 60 Hz….which meant shortening the labyrinths substantially, and thereby netting us substantial gains in the lower midrange and midbass regions. We believe that attention to the smallest details do make a difference to the ultimate quality of our loudspeakers performance. We therefore do things "our way" which is often a departure from what many would consider "the norm". The compression chamber has been designed to eliminate, completely, any back-wave reflections re-impacting the driver. Driver colouration therefore does not exist. The phase plugs. With its unique shape ( a result of weeks of testing various geometries), these were designed to smoothen out the frequency response. Each model has a different phase plug. The internal wiring of our loudspeakers. We believe in single-core wire. Splitting a signal at one end, allowing it to pass through multiple conductors and bringing it all together at the other end with absolute concurrence and coherence, we feel, is asking for a miracle. We therefore use a single flat copper tape; cryogenically treated (we could hear the difference the treatment made) .THE BASS MODULE
The big question that is almost always asked about wide band horn loaded loudspeakers: what about some REAL bass? This is because virtually all pure single driver loudspeakers do not have any bass energy below 50 Hz. We know – from the first hand experience of struggling to do this for 7 years. We finally decided that the only way to achieve good bass – was to add a bass module to each speaker Getting bass was not the problem. However, getting great bass that was capable of keeping up with the incredible speed and dynamics of our wide band driver, blending in perfectly, seamlessly – was a big problem – and took several months of experimenting to solve. The first decision was that each channel would have its own bass module – as we believe that even bass frequencies have to be reproduced in "stereo" to enable realistic reproduction of depth and texture. Bass is often referred to as being non-directional. However this only applies to very deep bass. Mid and upper bass becomes increasingly directional. The second was that it had to be powered – as there were no bass drivers available that was 98 db efficient. We therefore have individual amplifier modules within each enclosure. This decision also gave us the advantage of having speakers with adjustable bass. Both level and cross-over point can be adjusted by the owner…..to suit the room, speaker placement, front end electronics, or even just personal taste. Most "regular" speakers do not have this facility, which we believe is a huge boon to the customer. The third was that we would have sealed bass enclosures as we preferred the tight and accurate bass this provided, rather than the characteristics of ported bass enclosures. We finally adopted an isobaric architecture that allowed us to make the bass enclosure compact enough to fit into our cabinet, while going deep. The fourth was the adoption of reasonably small drivers that stopped and started much faster than large and heavy bass drivers. We just doubled the number of drivers to get us the bass output we were looking for. so we ended up with 4 drivers per enclosure – 2 front firing into the listening space, and 2 behind this in isobaric configuration. And all of these drivers are driven by high wattage Hypex N- core class D amplifier modules to ensure that the drivers are perfectly controlled even with the most demanding tracks. The filter is a continuously variable electronic unit optimised for each different model.