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Rethm Bhaava - A listening experience

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square_wave

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#1
This is my third visit to Rethm. And as usual, a truly enjoyable one. I still remember vividly my first visit about ten years back. An encounter with a crossover less speaker was a pleasant shock. Those were the original big rethms without the built in subwoofer and made with lowther drivers.

Being in Cochin last week for the Biennale, took the opportunity to take those long winding suburban roads that take you to the beautiful rethm listening room again.

Much has been said about the new and older versions of the Sadhanas so I can share my experience with the Bhaavas. Hydra has covered a lot of ground here and I pretty much agree with him.

These new babies are fantastic for the money! Some speakers make fine sounds but some speakers sing. The Bhaavas sing well. Really well. I have heard the more expensive rethms doing this as well. But getting a speaker at Bhaavas price point to do this is no mean feat. I am sure this is a result of careful design choices and very competent thinking coming from years of experience with these kind of speakers.

Some key qualities that caught my attention.

1. Very musical and expressive. The pedigree is the same as the main rethm line.

2. The speakers disappear into thin air.

3. A very deep and cavernous sound stage.

4. Connects very well with the listener.

5. Great tone. Those modified paper cone Philips drivers have such a natural tone.

6. The entire frequency range is devoid of any muddiness. All sounds in the musical space is heard clearly with its attack, sustain and decay without anything mixing up with the other. And they all sound part of the same musical fabric.

7. The bass is really nice. Detailed and easy to track. Makes your foot and head move along with the bassline.

Most of the listening was Jazz (small bands as well as vocals), and classic rock. It played AC DC also pretty nice. Leonard Cohen and dire straits sounded sublime and ethereal! If most of your music sounds good with this speaker, it is a must listen for someone who is looking for a speaker at this price point. Else you may lose something special.

I switched to the new Sadhanas and listened to couple of tracks as a comparison. It is better. But for most people, with the Bhavaas, you are not really losing a lot. If you want to play the high end game, the sadhanas open up a platform and world of opportunities which you can explore.

From my conversation with the designer, Bhaavas are not finicky with the associated gear. Nice solid state works. I am sure some of those competent mid level tube amps will work too. They are about 94db. So you dont have to chase super fine and expensive first 5 watts as you would ( should ) with the Sadhanas.

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square_wave

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#2
A quick note to say that the Bhaavas were placed much wider when they were played. The photo was taken while the bigger Sadhanas were playing. The amplification were rethm tube amps...new ones in development.
 
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apk

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#3
Nice review of the Rethm Bhaava, square_wave.

Just a couple of quick questions:
- did Jacob mention the ideal distance from the back and side walls for the speakers to sing? I know that the other rethm models do need some space from the back wall - and hence the question.
- this might have been discussed in some other thread - but what is the approx. MRP on these speakers?

Best,
apk
 

apk

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Thanks Prem.

That is value for money, especially if these speakers come close to what the other models in the Rethm line up delivers - and from what 'square_wave' mentions, it does seem to do that.

Anyone else had an opportunity to hear these?

Best,
apk
 

prem

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#6
No Bhaava will not play anywhere in Saadhanas league. The problem was the Bhaava speakers were in the centre when the Saadhanas were playing. As a result the sound got messed up. You just cannot have another pair of speakers placed in the centre when your main speakers are playing.
 

square_wave

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Thanks Prem.

That is value for money, especially if these speakers come close to what the other models in the Rethm line up delivers - and from what 'square_wave' mentions, it does seem to do that.

Anyone else had an opportunity to hear these?

Best,
apk
For music lovers with sane budgets, these are a fantastic buy. It is very difficult to get such behavioral traits in a speaker at these kind of price points. That is where they impressed me.

Like Prem mentioned, the sadhanas play at a different level. But bear in mind that someone in the market at the price point of the bhaavas will not consider the Sadhanas. If you are a picky audiophile and want to play real high end, the sadhanas open up that opportunity.

But the bhaavas will surely impress you ( and more) for the amount you pay.
You should listen and decide for yourself.
 

prem

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#9
Agreed square wave. In fact I would recommend Bhava over Saadhanas even if budget is not an issue to most guys since it is going to be a lot less picky about ancillary equipment and also more forgiving to the average recordings
 

AVM

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#10
I had the opportunity to audition Rethm Bhaava speakers at the Sound by Design, Gurgaon. Sid Trehan, a hospitable gentleman has 3 listening rooms in his basement.
These are new and haven't been through sufficient break in period.The amplification was Cayin A 88T and source - Cary CD player.
Spinning familiar CDs it was immediately evident these new Bhavas live the Rethm sound - coherence, expansive soundstage and speed.
One aspect I have come to expect is to listening at realistic levels. By that I do not mean loud but imagine an instrument being played in front of you, in your listening space.
The Rethm Saadhnas V1 I previously owned did that with out losing musicality and coherence.
The Rethm Bhaavas lived upto this expectation. They have an uncanny ability to portray complex tracks with ease and holding the singer(s) and accompanying instruments within the soundstage. Track after track it was a revelation listening to them.
A superb implementation of single driver with an integrated active bass unit

Two factors to recommend these - Jacob's years of experience behind this creation and the VFM pricing.

Would I get one - Yes.
 

apk

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#11
I had the opportunity to audition Rethm Bhaava speakers ............

Track after track it was a revelation listening to them.
Could you elaborate on the type of music that you listened to? Would you classify these speakers as 'all rounders', suitable for most genre of music?

Best,
APK
 

AVM

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Vocals were from Lataji, Asha Bhosle, Abida Parveen, Jagjit Singh including Eric Clapton.
Instruments included Percussion by Gundecha Brothers and Indian fusion
and Bollywood.
One track that awed both Sid and me was the soundtrack from the movie Fitoor - Ranga re by Sunidhi Chauhan and Amit Trivedi. This track was definitely a test good enough.

Although I do not listen to hard rock try listening the above track.
 

hydra

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#13
RETHM and their dealer Well Pleased Audio displayed the Bhaava at AXPONA 2017 in Chicago a couple of weeks back.

From the Stereophile Show Report: Jana's Day 3 at AXPONA | Stereophile.com



"It is a matrix-like gestalt. Takes two seconds once you find it," my notorious muse Herb Reichert once said to me (in a context I can no longer recall.) But these precise words came into focus as soon as I heard the system in the Well Pleased Audio Vida room. Throughout the entire show weekend, I had encountered many sonically and aesthetically pleasing roomswith prices ranging from the affordable to the aspirationalthat would have satisfied me for years on end. But thisthis was something else. In the moment, and in thoughtful retrospect, this system was my favorite of the whole show.

Music was selected from an iPad pulling from Tidal and an Innuos Zenith music server ($3499) through an Aqua HiFi La Scala MKII Optologic DAC, a LinnenberG Maestro preamplifier, LinnenberG Allegro power amplifiers ($5400/pair), and out to Rethm Bhaava loudspeakers ($3900/pair). All wired by Anticables. I selected my defaults: Brad Mehldau's interpretation of "All The Things You Are," Kidsuke's "The Other Day We Thought Of Our Friends," and Telefon Tel Aviv's "Fahrenheit Fair Enough." Mark Sossa of Well Pleased AV selected a bass-heavy track from DJ Shadow's newest album, The Mountain Will Fall. The Rethm Bhaava speakers, with their mysterious angles and shy radiance, shocked me with their sonic maturity and depth. Pure sonic bliss.

I kept wanting more and more. I had to forcibly hold myself from back from adding entire albums to the queue. As I was leaving, a gentleman who clearly wasn't a fan of electronic music belched, "play some jazz!"
 

panditji

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I am sure it sounds good but it seems the speaker is the cheapest component in the entire chain.... The Rethm Bhaava retails for less than USD 2000 in India and the components used with it are phenomenally expensive when the speaker is supposed to be the most important component...
 

Naturelover

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I believe it was mentioned that Jacob has deliberately kept the price low in India. It's $3900 in the review.
 

malvai

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I am sure it sounds good but it seems the speaker is the cheapest component in the entire chain.... The Rethm Bhaava retails for less than USD 2000 in India and the components used with it are phenomenally expensive when the speaker is supposed to be the most important component...
This should go very well with your Luxman!
 

panditji

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#17
My point is that a USD 3900 speaker is sounding nice with $15000 worth of components... So if someone uses it with an integrated amp and DAC worth 3000 USD, will the sound be the same?
 

malvai

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My point is that a USD 3900 speaker is sounding nice with $15000 worth of components... So if someone uses it with an integrated amp and DAC worth 3000 USD, will the sound be the same?
On the other hand, it seems to play to its strengths without sounding like the weak link in the chain, despite its modest price.
 

square_wave

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#20
I am sure it sounds good but it seems the speaker is the cheapest component in the entire chain.... The Rethm Bhaava retails for less than USD 2000 in India and the components used with it are phenomenally expensive when the speaker is supposed to be the most important component...
Hey, I listened to it at the creator's listening room with a v $ 500 ifi dac and other gear which are also modestly priced. Well chosen gear is more important for speakers like this than just expensive ones.

You never know if the price will be increased for this speaker soon. Once that happens, there is going to be a mad scramble and whole new perspectives to discussions ;)
 
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