RMAF 2018: Raidho Acoustics, SimAudio Moon and a Deep, Deep Window into the Music


My first hands-on experience with Raidho Acoustics’ loudspeakers occurred a few years ago, when I was pulled into an exhibit room to listen to a new digital technology. I can’t even remember what that product was, but I do remember the small yet very expensive Raidho 1.1 monitors that were in the system. They provided one of the most vivid and clear windows into a musical event I’ve ever heard—albeit with limited low-frequency information. I was so impressed with that demo, and the 1.1s, that I continue to suspect that they’re one of the finest 2-way monitors you can buy…if you can afford them.


New From the Inside Out

Since then, I’ve always wondered what the larger Raidho loudspeakers could do, and I was finally able to answer those questions at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest when I witnessed the North American debut of the TD-4.8 loudspeakers which will retail for $158,000 to $177,000 per pair. Tall and slim with a minimal footprint, the 4.8s sounded big and effortless—they’re the first Raidhos to go down flat to 20 Hz. While the 4.8 looks like most Raidho designs, this Danish company went back to the drawing board and designed completely new drivers, including new Tantalum-Diamond cones and a tweeter that has almost no measurable distortion below 22kHz. The TD-4.8 also feature a completely new crossover design that ensures the speaker is time-aligned at all frequencies, which leads to a much faster sound.

Driven by a stack of premium components from SimAudio Moon, the Raidho TD-4.8s were able to transform Brubeck’s “Take Five”—a track I always felt was a little over-rated as an audiophile standard—into an event that was more live and dynamic than I thought possible. That classic drum solo was far more forward than usual, with Joe Morello’s whacks on the snare leaping out into the room.

Attention to Detail

For this kind of money you should expect the Raidhos to be as close to perfect as possible—if there is such a thing in speaker design, which there probably isn’t—but what’s particularly thrilling about the Raidho TD-4.8, like those 1.1s I heard many years ago, is how that perfection slowly reveals itself as you walk around the speaker and view the fit and finish up close. If you casually glance at a pair of Raidhos and wonder how they can be so expensive, you’re probably not paying attention. Even the tiniest of details reveal a complete and utter devotion to producing the finest transducer possible.

Do these meticulous practices translate to the sound? Again, I believe so simply because I’ve listened to these designs twice now, and I can’t imagine a deeper view into the musical event.