AV Luxury Goods: Raidho and Margules

If you're pressed for time at a busy audio show, it can be a mistake to walk into a room just to say hi to an industry contact. Should the music speak to you, and the sound is dead-on, you may succumb to the temptation to sit down for a longer-than-expected listen. That's what occurred this morning. You know what? I regret nothing.

Mexican electronics company Margules and Denmark's Raidho speakers, both brands represented by distributor Bruce Ball's AV Luxury Goods, have a rare synergy. I first got to experience it at the 2022 AXPONA, where a duo of Margules U280-sc tube amps drove a pair or Raidho TD3.8 loudspeakers ($119,999/pair) to such heights that two things happened: seemingly helpless, I eventually had to buy one of those Margules amps; and I excitedly arranged to audition the TD3.8s in my home (review to come).

In Tampa, Ball had installed a pair of "lesser" Raidho's, the TD2.2s ($46,500/pair)—but clearly lesser is a relative word here. The 2.2s had no problem bowling me over in seconds flat. "Tight and right," was the phrase that came to mind. Also: "Seductive." "Engaging."

Low-end grunt was just about unbelievable considering that it was produced by just four 6" drivers, two for each channel. Margules Group USA's Carlos Smith brought out the tape measure to confirm the transducers' diameter beyond a doubt, and reminded me that there were no subwoofers in the room. I'm told the 2.2s go down to 32Hz, but it sure seemed even lower than that.

Margules' head honcho Julian Margules was on hand to explain why, from his perspective, the rig managed to sound as holographic as it did—something to do with feedback adjustments that benefit harmonics over fundamentals. It's above my pay grade, but my ears knew how to appreciate Margules' careful work and decades of experience.

Inevitably, it all comes at a price: the U280-sc amps now cost $12,000 each (up from 10 grand last year), while the SF220 preamp retails for $8000. The digital source was a prototype Margules music server, specs and price to be announced. Cable brands were RSX and Atlas.

From solo voices to lone percussion hits to full-force orchestras: everything sounded first-class . . . and often borderline exhilarating.