Capital Audiofest 2017: Well Pleased AV takes us backstage

The Story

Death, Taxes, and Good Sound from Well Pleased AV. Three things in life you can be assured of. I say this because in typical fashion Mark Sossa has brought us something new to gawk at and exhibited it with showstopping results. Namely his latest addition of Rethm loudspeakers. Mark was demoing a system of familiar electronics carried over from previous audio shows in 2017, and the new entry level Bhaava loudspeakers from Rethm. At the heart of the Bhaava tower is a retro 7” Boston/Philips Hi-Q driver, a transducer underutilized in its heyday, now finding new life in a horn loaded tower. Each tower is augmented with a 75 watt self-amplified dual 7” isobaric loaded sub that extends bass down into the 28hz region.

The Sound

The first thing of note about this room was the depth of the soundstage. I measured the backwall of this demo room to be 10ft behind the front baffle of these Rethm Bhaava speakers, that said the soundstage was appearing somewhere between 12-14ft behind the speakers depending on the recording. Instruments seemed to be locked in orbit around the back half of the room. An experience of staging that would sadly be unequaled at the show.

John Foreman’s track Mercy’s War had its vision of space and varying locations of recording put on display, calling attention to aesthetic choices in regards to multi-tracking from different mic’ing schemes. Eddie Vedder’s track Long Nights from the Into The Wild soundtrack, had ghostly vocal characteristics that go so well with a system that can convey spatial distances, and bass that floats forward of everything else. Great and mysterious sounds coming from these speakers. Drums and piano from Tierney Sutton’s track Get Happy were as full and brooding as I’ve ever heard.

The System

Rethm Bhaava Loudspeakers ($3,750 pr USD)
Qualiton A50i Integrated Amplifier ($7,500 USD)
Innuos Zenith SE Server ($7,000 USD)
Linnenberg Telemann DAC ($5,400 USD)
Anticables Power, Interconnect, and Speaker Cables