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This isn't it yet...

21 March 2012 00:22. "Here is our biggest and best. (Personally I do not fancy the wood on this unit. It was custom for an Indian client who was moving into his new apartment. All his wood there was going to be this walnut veneer so he sent us the actual veneer we needed). As you know I am not prone to superlatives. So I won't indulge in them this time either. All I can say is that if you thought the Maargas were good... you will be surprised by how much better the new Saadhana is. Even I was not sure how much better it would be if at all. Until I heard the final prototype. The 7" full-ranger is really really good. And the 3-driver bass module with the new active filters takes the bass performance up a notch too. There really is something to be said for the size of a full-range driver. If designed well, it does something the smaller units do not do." - Jacob George, Rethm
27 March 2012 17:09. "Got back last evening to DC. The SSI Montreal is not a big show, just about 100 rooms. But public turnout is huge for much larger numbers. It reminded me so much more of Munich and Taiwan. Far more serious and informed listeners too and many more women! These two ingredients are missing at US shows. This was probably the best sound I have ever made at any show.

"This was probably due to a combination of room proportions and the Gaanam amp and my cables I guess (which I was using for the first time at a show with the speakers). Response to our room and sound was outstanding, again much better than at US shows. Many more people seemed to 'get it' both aurally and aesthetically. So it was a good show from the perspective of introducing Rethm to Canada."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 1:38 PM.
"Apologies for the silence on the new Saadhana. The reason was that we decided to completely redesign it. This of course made it a much better product. We have just gone into production. It is now a one-piece unit and.... well, you will see it by and by. The 2-box system was something almost everyone complained about and I must say I empathized. I did understand how hard it was to move and realign. So we decided to undertake a customer feedback improvement. We had to rework both modules anyway—new drivers for the full-range and bass modules, hence new labyrinths and chambers—so this would be a timely opportunity to address the twin-cab issue as well. The bonus is that we actually ended up with a better-sounding loudspeaker when we managed to rework the labyrinth chamber and length for the widebander to extend its bandwidth even lower.

Even Trafomatic's Sasa Cokic has fallen for Rethm's charms at home
as shown by this pair of Maarga in Mladenovac

"Each bass module now also uses three 6x9 drivers instead of the 6-inch diameter units of the old Saadhana. These are again custom units from Milind. Well, semi-custom as he makes these as midbass drivers for car audio already. I wanted different spiders and more powerful magnets from the stock units he'd sent for trial. We tried several variations and finally settled on a type of spider called 'progressive' because I wanted speed at lower amplitudes yet not bottom out or distort at high levels. Everything had to be reworked very imaginatively to get all of this to fit in an enclosure the same size as before. Which was not possible! We thus ended up making the enclosure 100mm wider but not the curved parts, just the wood portion. This I designed such as to enhance aesthetics rather than detract from them. It actually looks a lot more proportionate and interesting now. For shipping it is one larger package instead of two smaller ones but as this is often just a one-time problem, I did not consider it a major issue. It is still not a backbreakingly heavy speaker like many of our high-end colleagues propose. Moving around the listening room is easier now being a single box. Considering how the Saadhana now competes with any of the big boys on performance, it is still relatively compact for that category." 

By December 5th 2012, Jacob had sent this photo. It would be of the world's very first pair of Saadhana 3 - had there been a name change. Without any fanfare instead, the speaker simply continues being "Saadhana - just Saadhana". In this final iteration the three 6x9 oval woofers had been changed to three 7" conventionally round ones. The retail price was set to $14.750/pr.

"We went to round woofers because we had to change the architecture of the insides when we redesigned the enclosure. Now the 6x9 no longer fit. This meant more delays as the 7-incher was an unusual size and had to be custom-made for us. It took a couple of months to source all the soft parts for it. The good thing was that since it was custom, we managed to make it better than the 6x9. We upped magnet size, sensitivity and control. The surround is rubber and we experimented with a few spiders before settling on the cloth spider we have now. The cones are coated paper. The bass amp is a 120wpc unit for each enclosure. Our final decision was to go with a passive filter which sounded more cohesive and organic without any downsides over going active. The woofer low-pass can be steplessly varied from 80 - 250Hz. 

"The full-range driver is the unit that took a
huge amount of effort - almost 15 months of work. The final iteration has two different kinds of paper, a thicker paper for the main cone and a thinner paper for the whizzer. This was because the thinner paper (the main cone material on the 5- and 6-inch drivers) became unstable on the 7-incher at large amplitudes. Yet when we switched to the thicker paper I did not like its sound. It lost a lot of transparency and high-frequency detail. Then Milind said that we could try heat-pressing the thicker paper to stiffen it without increasing its weight. So we did that with a pattern of embossed ribs. And that finally gave us what we wanted. The efficiency is 100dB/w/m. Dimensions are 108 x 30 x 70cm HxWxD. Weight is approximately 50kg each."

As promised, the appearance had filled out. It no longer seemed as precariously skinny as the precursors. With its gleaming broad bevels, the latest Saadhana cleverly disguises its new-found girth necessary to accommodate the longer internal labyrinths. Rethm aficionados now can intone that age-old chant: the old Saadhana is dead, long live the new one. Congratulations, Jacob!
Rethm website