Red Rose Music R3 loudspeaker Manufacturer's Comment
Editor: We appreciate Michael Fremer's excellent review of the R3 ribbon speaker, and thank Stereophile for its consideration.
It is curious but true that if a piano is tuned in perfect fifths, the octaves will be out of tune. This required the development of the tempered scale. So much for logic in music.
Most companies tune speakers for flat response measurements. In addition to making measurements, my associates and I fine-tune Red Rose speaker models with music. We make recordings of classical, jazz, blues, and spoken-word artists, and optimize so the playback sounds like what the musicians just played. This kind of fine-tuning is most successful with a complete-system approach, so all components can be matched. The R3 speaker and Model 5 integrated amplifier are cases in point. Musicians say this system really reproduces the emotion of their music.
Because the review process of most audiophile magazines does not allow systems to be tested, you will have to listen for yourself to appreciate the significance of the system concept. Our Live Recordings at Red Rose, Volume 1 SACD sampler contains 12 tracks recorded at our small New York showroom at night, featuring some of the best jazz, classical, blues, and spoken-word artists. No equalization, mixing, or processing was used. Only a Red Rose Model 3 Silver Signature preamplifier was used as the mike preamp between the mikes and the DSD recording rack.
Evoking emotion is more important than any measurement we know. One side benefit of this approach is that Red Rose, having achieved this faithfulness, does not have to continually modify or obsolete its products. In the 1950s and '60s, people were happy with a record player, small amplifier, and speaker. In the last decades, people have bought ever-bigger and more expensive equipment, only to find they are not necessarily getting much benefit on a feeling basis. The real goal of Red Rose Music is to reconnect people to the love of music not through the hearing, but through the feeling aspect. As Michael points out, this is now possible with a very compact and affordable system.
For feeling music, we strongly recommend vinyl records as a source, or good SACDs. But SACD is just getting started and sorted out. Many SACDs are made with PCM digital recording or mastering, and so are basically CDs at a higher price. It is difficult now for small audio companies to make SACD players from scratch because the subassemblies are costly to buy and complex to engineer into a finished product. Hopefully, DSD (the operating system of SACD) will replace PCM digital. This will help us reconnect to the love of music.—Mark Levinson, Red Rose Music