This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

In the flesh I had to give it to Jacob. Of all the Rethm models prior and current I'd laid eyes on, this Saadhana had the most agreeably balanced proportions. As always his highly architectural geometries of curves, angles and their many complex intersections made for a visual feast. And as per usual I marveled at the utter complexity of how this speaker had been put together. The unibody construction with four soft-tipped bolts as floor interface conveniently accessed from above with a hex driver made moving about and adjustments for leveling child's play. Track Audio's bigger shoes had the perfectly sized opening to make for ideal floor protectors. For smooth wooden parquet leave their stock felt skins in place. For my rugged sisal rugs I've taken them off to slide without friction. Now I could easily position the Saadhanas to millimeter precision with my laser finder.

Each wooden cheek is bordered by mitred brushed aluminium trim and adorned with this cut-out design (I overlaid the level and low-pass controls which really live on the integral plinth adjacent to the power IEC). Once the internal bass amps are powered up, the equally cut-out Rethm logo on each angled deflector panel above the plinth is backlit in attractive white (see left speaker below).

It all adds up to a most unique highly stylized appearance. Due to its difference with anything else to market, it obviously also takes chances with polarizing its audience. I can't imagine anyone reacting lukewarm. The looks are an either/or proposition. I happened to really like them. Two visitors were less enchanted but so overtaken by the sound as to have any décor concerns apparently overrun in no time.

Toeing the Saadhana directly at my seat would have followed my custom so I obviously tried that straight off. But not only did it look very odd due to their depth—I thought of two cops directing traffic diagonally from each corner of the room—but more importantly, it created too much tonal forwardness and what I would describe as speed-related blistering whitishness. Aiming them straight out as I've always seen Jacob do it at shows (and from photos also in his home) instantly redressed that balance like magic. By about a foot, I simply moved each speaker toward the room's center line as indicated by the seam where my two fiber rugs meet. This produced stronger center fill. Again, having the speakers on the denuded British sliders made all that child's play which so hadn't been the case with the prior twin-cab scheme.

A closer look at Jacob's proprietary 7-inch widebander shows the Y-shaped heat embossing of the main paper membrane and his customary hole-punched whizzer. Different from earlier Saadhana iterations is the coat-hanger metal phase plug. The heavily perforated ring around the driver is not only a cosmetic but acoustic trim bit. Following that, the metallic copper coat of my loaner pair was dive-in lustrous and flawlessly applied. And there was one more note from Jacob.

The only thing you need to know—which we'll now remove from the manual—is that with solid-state amplifiers, when powering down you no longer must turn the bass module off before you power down the main amplifier. Before you could get a feedback howl in the bass module which could get louder and louder....and well, rather bad. We've since solved this with a resistor shunt between the speaker terminals. As for the low-pass filter setting, I usually have it at about the 100Hz setting but I'm sure you will play with it for what's right for your space. 

Having just come off the Wave 40/Submission combo, my first impression was that this time Jacob had nailed bass integration smack on its head and into submission. What the capital 'S' Submission had over it was its 6dB one-octave boost option which I'd set to a center 26Hz point for an eq'd rising infrasonic response. How the Saadhana retaliated was with stereo coverage of the same band in a non-boosted setting. I'd need quality time to suss out which solution had the advantage and my final vote for this space and these ears. Other first impressions were that the bigger driver really did add tonal mass over its predecessors; and that the treble, despite being not as champagne-bubble fizzy and airy as the Raal ribbon in the Swiss wooden eggs, was actually denser and apparently also more dynamic.

As expected with first impressions, prolonged exposure could easily shift my quick first take whilst fine-tuning on the two controls would likely add their own effects. But a few hours past setting up, I already felt in the inner circle of the bull's eye I'd hoped to find myself in. There definitely was nothing whatsoever wrong with babySITting the Saadhanas with Nelson's transistors. There was however something wrong with using Tellurium Q's Iridium 20. Therein lies a tale.