Monday, April 8, 2013

Launch of the Raidho D1

Raidho has been getting a lot of good press lately, and deservedly so. Mr. Michael Borresen, President and Chief Designer of Raidho Acoustics was in town to showcase Raidho's flagship stand-mounted speaker, the D1, at the local dealer, AV Intelligence.

As I came towards the tail end of the event, I did not get to hear the earlier comparisons with the C1.1. During the demonstration, the D1 was paired with Devialet amplification and an Oppo Blu-ray player, which was a welcome change from extravagant pairings that only oil sheikhs could afford.

The D1 cast a wide and deep soundstage, with pinpoint imaging. Driver integration between its ribbon tweeter and diamond coated woofer was outstanding. Despite the small driver size, the woofer extends quite low - much lower than expected. Midrange is on the slightly warm and full side of things, while the top end is detailed and glare free. Despite the high level of detail, the D1 avoids an overly analytical presentation and scores high on the musicality scale. 

The D1 has startling dynamics with sudden progression from total silence to extremely loud. The young gentleman in front of me literally jumped out of his seat in shock at the explosive opening of one of the test tracks. 

By the end of a few tracks, it was quite obvious that we were facing a speaker that was clearly at the top of its class, which is reflected in its asking price - in excess of S$ 30,000 (stands included and with standard finish).

Some interesting points on the D1 were discussed including the manufacture of its state of the art drivers, and why Raidho chose to compromise on speaker sensitivity in designing its drivers. It was clear that Raidho had invested tremendous effort in examining speaker and driver design and innovating where possible to achieve their design goals. It was interesting to note that the D1 uses a series crossover and Sparkz technology in its wiring.

Michael mentioned that the D1 does need a certain amount of power, although they had experienced very successful pairings with push-pull tube amplifiers. From discussions with both AV Intelligence and Michael, they believed that a 60 watt tube amplifier could drive the D1 adequately depending on the acoustic space in question and typical listening volume.

The D1 is well worth checking out if you are seeking the finest stand-mounted speaker that money can buy. It is definitely beyond my budget, but it is nice to dream once in a while.

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