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Raidho C1.1 Stand Mound Loudspeaker - Vanishing Point (Part 1)

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Raidho’s small but perfectly formed C1.1 loudspeaker makes itself scarce when there’s music to be reproduced

There is, as we all know, no such thing as a perfect loudspeaker. It all comes down to physics, whose laws are immutable and not even the design team of a high-end speaker company with a vast development budget can change them. The problem is that with only a small cabinet, small speakers can’t produce realistic bass. But when you go up to a large cabinet which can get bogged down with all sorts of other problems – not least controlling the cabinet you’ve designed to solve the first problem. As such, in upsizing their speakers, many designers spawn a monster that comes back to eat them! For this reason, there’s a school of thought that says small speakers do more right than wrong.

Raidho C1.1 Stand Mound Loudspeaker

Raidho C1.1 Stand Mound Loudspeaker

Listen to a well-engineered compact box like Raidho’s C1.1, and you’ll hear why. It sports a painted, 25mm thick high-density fiber board cabinet, with the drive units fixed directly to the rear face of the 20mm-thick aluminum two-piece baffle. This gives a very stable mounting for the drivers, the first of which is a bespoke, in-house planar-magnetic tweeter using a thin aluminum trace etched onto a diaphragm of Mylar sheet. Magnets either side move it in time to the music to produce the sound. And the sound it produces is blisteringly fast, as the overall mass of the thing moving the air is far less than a metal or doped paper dome.

Listen to a well-engineered compact box like Raidho’s C1.1, and you’ll hear why

Listen to a well-engineered compact box like Raidho’s C1.1, and you’ll hear why

This arrangement has a host of benefits, from lightning attack transients to low distortion, but is hard to integrate with a conventional moving coil mid/bass unit, not least because the latter is a good deal heavier. As such, many speakers using this combination of transducers give a sort of ‘buy one get one free’ sound, where it feels like you’re listening to two speakers in one. Raidho’s answer is to develop a special 115mm ceramic-coated cone for the mid/bass unit. Just 100-microns thick, with an aluminum base sandwiched between the coating, it is designed to offer up a light, stiff and well-damped structure to move the air. Behind this, the driver motor is an array of neodymium magnets in a push-pull arrangement, vented to further aid dynamics and reflex loaded by a rear-facing port.

These two drive units are divided at 3kHz by a simple second order crossover using bespoke inductors and capacitors built to high tolerances, set into the narrow (200 x 370 x 360mm), but sturdy (12.5kg) cabinet which is lined with natural sheep’s wool to damp standing waves. The finish is – as you’d expect from a high-end Danish design superlative. Raidho customers can choose between a standard gloss lacquered paint finish in literally any available paint color and Walnut Burl ($1,950 extra). There’s also the option of a matching stand costing a whopping $2,392.

They have a light, bright, spacious personality with an open top end

It sports a painted, 25mm thick high-density fiber board cabinet, with the drive units fixed directly to the rear face of the 20mm-thick aluminum two-piece baffle

It sports a painted, 25mm thick high-density fiber board cabinet, with the drive units fixed directly to the rear face of the 20mm-thick aluminum two-piece baffle

The C1.0 put Raidho on the world map for small, high-quality loudspeakers, but this new C1.1 boasts an improved tweeter with a differently patterned high-frequency membrane for greater rigidity under load. The mid/bass unit gets an uprated former and double layered winding with new titanium voice coil, and the cabinet enjoys extra internal bracing.

Outside, the bespoke speaker terminals replace the WBTs of the C1.0, and these lead to improved Nordost Odin wiring within. External differences are very subtle then, but the new 1.1 proves quite a performance leap...

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