Raidho and Margules at AXPONA: Unreal how real this sounds

I'm in the middle of an audition in the room where Raidho TD3.8 speakers ($119,999/pair) are producing sweet music in synergy with two $10,000-each tubed Margules 30th-Anniversary monoblock amplifiers running in triode mode. (JVS reviewed an earlier version of the amp in November 2017.) Suddenly some deep-voiced dude speaks up, just to my right: "You guys ever heard of the Purple Man?" Puzzled, I look in his direction. No one's there.

Being from Maine, I wonder if I accidentally sauntered into a Stephen King tale.

But a thousandth of a second later, my brain clicks into gear, confirming that—duh!—the voice is on the recording (nine seconds into Natalie Merchant's "The Peppery Man"). Now I'm elated and embarrassed at the same time. Embarrassed because apparently I'm no smarter than my dog, who sometimes barks at other dogs he sees on the TV. And elated because this is no surround-sound setup. The incredibly deep and wide soundstage is entirely the product of a stereo system crafted and tweaked to near-perfection.

Built with two 8" bass drivers per speaker that Raidho says work with "a patent-pending motor system shaped like a turbine," the impressive bottom end goes down to 24Hz. Above 400Hz and 2.4kHz, respectively, two 5'' midrange drivers and a TD ribbon tweeter take over.

It seemed to me that the concave baffle of the Danish three-ways must be contributing to excellent phase coherence, translating into a soundstage that was bested by nothing I heard at AXPONA. In my experience, most loudspeakers image mostly behind the imaginary line between the speakers' fronts. The TD3.8s, if set up well, break free from that constraint, placing instruments and voices in all directions. I heard a tuba that extended several feet beyond the right wall, and a lead vocal that appeared so close I could almost touch the performer, even though I was about seven feet from the speakers.

There's a virtual-reality quality to this astonishing Danish product. It should be on the must-hear list of anyone lucky enough to have deep pockets and a craving for state-of-the-art audio.

The preamplifier was also Margules, the companion Special Edition. Turntable (not in use when I was in the room) was the VPI Avenger. Phono preamp was by Phasemation. The server/streamer was the flagship A30 by Aurender. Phono cable and power distribution were by RSX.

Glotz's picture

Your report is just fantastic and I feel even worse for missing it... lol.