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The first order of business is positioning within the room. This is better achieved with the active bass modules turned off. This will allow you to optimize imaging and soundstaging. The more you can move the Trishnas out into the room, the deeper the soundstage they reward you with will get. Those narrow point-source speakers are staging and imaging giants. My crossover-less Essence are quite good in that regard but the Rethms operate in an entirely different realm where visual elements are concerned. If you take the time to finely tune your setup, the stage at some point will lock into place and the recording venue will materialize in your room in stunning detail and contrast.

That said, at least in my room I had to compromise a little between stage width and midrange fullness. Width was better with the speakers further apart but the lower midrange then started to get somewhat hollow. This was mostly cured by moving the speakers closer together and having them fire straight forward although this gave up a little of that holographic magic in the far corners.

The second optimization step is to turn on the bass modules and set their level for perfect integration. Unlike the Maarga, the Trishna operates with a fixed crossover point. There’s no adjustment of turnover frequency to worry over. Naturally each speaker comes with a bass volume control. Jacob indicated that in his room the right balance is achieved at around 11:00. In my more lossy room I preferred 1:00. My observation was that there comes a point where bass suddenly becomes too much. Its drivers start bleeding into the crystalline midrange. Then you know that you’ve gone too far and need to back off a little to reach perfect equilibrium. One of the Trishna’s most striking qualities is just how remarkably integrated bass and midrange can be. Jacob has achieved something very few designers have managed in the past. While it comes with a few concessions I’ll cover later, the transition from widebander to active bass module is flawless. That makes finding the right level very easy. If the woofers bleed into the midrange you have set them too high. If there is a gap in the upper bass—a cello recording will tell you all you need to know—you set it too low. When it’s right you’ll know.

Once positioning and bass level are locked in, you are ready to roll. Even so you'll likely find out as did I that the Trishnas are highly sensitive to ancillaries. Whilst the Rethm did reasonably well with solid-state amplifiers particularly the FirstWatt F5, I could not completely eradicate that lower midrange hollowness mentioned earlier. Switching to tubes completely cured the issue. I don’t know the exact reason but tubes and particularly power triodes seem tailormade for the Trishna. They add some tonal density and far more fluidity. It almost felt as though the transistor amplifiers did not allow the widebander enough freedom - something akin to overdamping the bass but here it was happening to the midrange.

The Yamamoto A08s and its mighty 2 watts were divine with their lit-from-within musicality and uncanny imaging. Both played to the Trishna’s formidable strengths. Cables did matter too - not so much the power cords to the bass modules where I heard very little differences between various brands but speaker cables to the highest degree. You will want to take care of not picking a cable that's too zingy or bright. The Trishna already offers a lot of upper midrange and treble éclat (I use that word to indicate that in this case it is a valued quality, not ear-drilling defect). The Genesis Absolute Fidelity speaker cables worked very well but to my initial surprise not the model Gary Koh had designed for my Zu. That offered way too much top-end spunk. Instead his normal model designed for his own speakers was the winner. On second thought I shouldn't have been surprised. This cable is meant for speakers which are built around very revealing ribbon tweeters and active bass modules, i.e. not completely unlike Rethm. This association translated to a relaxed midrange with tight and fast bass. Combined with the Yamamoto I was finally hearing the Trishna's full potential.

Folks keeping an eye on cable pricing will know that the Genesis cables cost almost as much as the Rethms to be unlikely candidates outside a reviewer’s system. A cheaper alternative was the Ocellia Reference. This worked every bit as well and costs less than half. I also had good success with Zu Libtec. That's no longer manufactured, leading me to believe that Zu’s affordable new speaker cables might be a valid contender. Readers knowing my system and tastes might be surprised to find no mention of the ASI Liveline. Although I believe Jacob George enjoys this association, I found it too tonally lean. Detail retrieval and imaging were spectacular but to my ears the Trishna required a little more tonal support than the ASI could provide.