For audiophiles and music lovers who love to read...
Waiting on first X2t production, I re-read fairaudio's late 2022 review of the €12.9K/pr 85dB X2. The article makes brief mention of the XT2 costing €16K so €2K more than today's X2t. The writer used darTZeel's NHB-108 amp. His comments begin with and in the end return to exceptionally exploded soundstaging, his inability to identify the speakers as actual sound sources, surprise that despite recommended wide setup toed in sharply his center fill didn't dilute and more surprise over well-developed depth of field. He calls the menal disconnect between enclosure and soundstage size "virtually absurd". He felt equally rattled by the X2's bass power to grant it unexpected turn-on factor despite not breaching any real sub bass. At the opposite end of the scale he found the treble turned down a bit so mellower than anticipated. It rendered Steve Winwood's "A whiter shade of pale" from Santana's Blessings and Miracles more pleasing than his more lit-up Ichos N°4 SE manage. He also found the midband slightly warmer and silkier than textbook neutral. When he questioned whether this tuning sacrificed raw detail, he found nothing amiss though called the speaker's core focus to be pleasure listening not detail overload; "relaxed euphony" is his exact turn of phrase. As special forté he mentions listening at lower levels because tonal-balance coherence and dynamics kicked in surprisingly early on the SPL curve. All of it tracked my earlier Raidho findings of easeful organic not explicit high resolution; and whisper kudos.
The latter are typically less expected from 85-87dB speakers to traditionally affix to high-efficiency horns and equivalent widebanders. Apparently there's more to it than raw driver sensitivity. Crossover complexity and parts count, hookup wiring, impedance/phase angles perhaps even cabinet loading must be other factors which influence whether particular speakers must first be goosed before they give good; or come on song already at lowly levels. Once we think it over, needing to be cranked is quite counterproductive. In real life it's not the guy with the loudest toy who wins but she who uses hers the most. How often can your household really rock out? Wouldn't it be rather more useful if we could feed our hifi Jones at 7AM or 23PM without upsetting co-dwellers and neighbors? Now softly does it as long as it won't wash out and up.
Here's another takeaway from the German review. Raidho did themselves a real disservice when until recently they called their tweeter a ribbon. In many quarters ribbons are viewed as lit up, super fast but also bedeviled by a metallic subliminally etchy coloration. It's why the German reviewer was so surprised to find his loaner doing none of it. He clearly expected otherwise based on preconceptions about aluminium-foil ribbon tweeters. Had Raidho instead referred to their tweeter by planarmagnetic, expectations would have culled from equivalent headphones, very few of which are known for explicit forward treble. Like the earlier course correction between Raidho v1 under original ownership and now v2 under new management, finally calling the famous Raidho tweeter by its correct tech term should effect another course correction to better correlate sonic expectations with the actual reality at hand. That's if people pay proper attention. Assuming that they may not prompted the last four paragraphs.
How Raidho and valve amps are on good terms we know from this show demo with Margules tube kit from Mexico. Whenever manufacturers opt for such collaboration, it's fine public encouragement to any consumer hoping to duplicate it at home. As to where else shoppers could find planarmagnetic drivers in speakers not headphones, there's Germany's T+A Solitaire range, the Hypostatic Blackbird from Finland, the Diptyque panels from France and Eminent Technology from the US. There might be more but the list is certainly short. Typically such non-standard drivers are rolled in-house, something not all speaker brands are capable of.
That it's not only the cream of the crop of metallic drivers which exploit modern materials sciences for hardening treatments we see with many 'soft driver' brands. Revival Audio, a new French brand by two former Dynaudio members, use basalt fibers culled from lava rock which bond to a foam substrate with polymer glue for their 12" woofer. Vandersteen combine carbon fiber with balsa wood. Zu apply nano carbon tubes to their paper-pulp membranes. Sonus faber bond coated cellulose pulp or nano-carbon skins to syntactic foam cores. In short, old-fashioned basic paper/plastic membranes seem on the way out wherever higher performance is key, multi-layer laminated sandwiches in. High-strength neodymium is popular for enabling physically smaller motor structures but rare-earth magnets are far costlier than generic ferrite. With these 'go faster' tweaks not really visible once installed, the discerning shopper must read up to distinguish between basic and advanced drivers. Once set into a cabinet, most of them look very similar indeed. By now you appreciate how the important stuff happens behind the front baffle.
Tantalum resistors and capacitors in inserts.
For some more factoids, non-ferrous non-magnetic tantalum is considered a transitional metal whose melting point doesn't occur until 3'017°C and to boil takes 5'458°C. Its hardest forms are nitrides and carbides. Hence like tungsten carbide, tantalum carbide shows up in cutting tools whilst tantalum nitride enjoys applications as thin-film insulator in microelectronis. In the form of super alloys, it factors in jet engines, nuclear reactors, missiles, heat exchangers and surgical appliances. NASA used it for radiation shielding of parts in the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. Like titanium, tantalum also appears in jewelry like men's wedding bands and exotic watch cases where it is appreciated for its hardness. In the audio sector, Audio Note make popular tantalum resistors, Stealth two interconnects with tantalum conductors.
Integral cast stand-offs to mount the motor ring brace.
That circled our X2t wagons with basic company background and tech. Incidentally, 2023 becomes Raidho's 20th year in business; just one year younger than 6moons. Good things get better with age? Exactly a month after the X2t launch announcement hit, I had my DHL Freight tracking number to follow my 67kg pallet's progress from Northern Denmark to Western Ireland. Three days into its journey, DHL's tracking page stopped working. Then Morten's email asked "how is it going? Very anxious to hear what you think. You are first in the world to review it." The weight of my world came crashing down. Not. First or last, ears don't know the difference. I was only hoping that DHL's lorry was in good nick. Both the UK and Ireland had gotten snow. Without access to tracking updates, I had no idea on status. Morten and I had to feast on fried grasshoppers to taste patience. Just then an Audio Group Denmark press release made the rounds for their new X3 speaker. At €10K/pr it'll be on the radar of X2t shoppers. Its extra driver in the 2½-way array nets a 7.8" compound woofer surface just slightly more than Raidho's 7.4". The Børresen membranes use spread-tow carbon skins around a central aramid core. How about cab sizing? It's 129 x 34.5 x 60.7cm HxWxD for the X3 versus 106 x 30 x 49cm for the X2t. At 20cm less height and 10cm less depth, the Raidho is more compact. That could matter. I'll always prefer smaller where performance remains comparable. I also find the X2t's form factor more attractive. Purely on paper, for me the X2t had it. It's also more expensive. So savvy shoppers want to know all their options.
Would you like to download the current image?
Would you like to download the current image?