The e-mailer was Jacob George of Rethm: "It's been quite a while. I thought to say hello and
update you on what's been happening way out here.
We had some luck with the east, Taiwan and China. Not big but it's a start. My Taiwanese distributor is an absolutely wonderful guy
who also organized the new dealer in Guangzhou for us. I therefore
ended up going to both the Taipei and Guangzhou shows this year. It
was an absolute pleasure with the distributors laying out total
to mention that I was in heaven for the 5 days I spent in either
place. Chinese food is a weakness.
"The Taiwan show in particular
was quite amazing both in terms of quantity and quality of attendees. (Guangzhou was even more packed but the crown was not quite as well educated as the Taiwanese in terms of sound and music
appreciation). Most refreshing were the large numbers of
women attendees. I would say that a good 30% in Taiwan were women— and not just passive women who had come along with their hubbies because they had nothing better to do—but women who seemed to know
what they were listening to! One of the perennial grouses I have
against high-end audio is our exclusion of the female race and Taiwan was a pleasant change.
"On the loudspeaker front, I believe you already have heard that we've made some big changes thanks in large measure to you. After your last review of the Saadhana came out, I had to put on my thinking
cap again and went to work on the bass module. 6
prototypes and 3 months later, I succeeded when I finally went to a unique isobaric system with three 6-inch Bolton paper drivers with cloth surrounds and an enlarged sealed loading chamber. We now reach into the mid to high 20s. We then worked on the Maarga's bass module as well. That now has a 2-driver isobaric system that does a lot better than the older single-driver quasi transmission line approach.
We also upgraded the amplifiers in both models to deliver a lot more power.
"The original Saadhana mono amp made about 110 watts into the 4-ohm load of the twin woofers. The new one outputs 200 watts into the 2.8 ohms of the three woofers. The amplifier FETs and power transformer were upgraded to increase power output. The controls of level and low-pass have been moved to the base of the unit and the removable top cover has been eliminated. The joint speaker terminals were moved to the outside to make connections much easier. The plinth too has been redesigned but internal hookup wiring is still cryogenically treated single flat copper conductor inside loose Nylon sleeving. The physical dimensions for the bass module remain 40.5 x 9.5 x 10" HxWxD but weight is now 22kg each.
"We also had to make a few changes to the exterior of the Saadhana.
Since there are quite a few major revisions, we may have to issue a
Mk2 or version 2 moniker.
"I am sending you some photographs of the new Saadhana, of our new
integrated ultra-linear single-ended KT88 amplifier—this is just FYI, we are not getting into
marketing this outside India at the moment—and some photographs of
our new rack shelves.
"The rack system was changed because I felt that the older one was too heavy and cumbersome (and too much
work for the customer to assemble).
"Essentially I believe in lighter is better to minimize energy
"It was a challenge designing a shelf that was light and strong and made of wood and remained easy to assemble while retaining its modularity (being able to add to the system one shelf at a time).
"But I believe we have achieved all our aims with this new design."
So there it is, an informal update on goins-on in Cochin where Rethm makes its home and builds some of the finest Lowther-based true widebanders—i.e. with real bass— I've heard thus far (and own a pair of).