Rethm Maarga Impressions.

I have been going about trying to find the right system for about 5 years and this is the culmination of my journey.

The speakers that I had last were a pair of Klipschorns. Irrespective of what I did they did not become small. They were also slightly fatiguing and seemed to lack details at low volume. Now, they were stock and needed the crossovers replaced. But they were not easy on the eyes and were very large.

I went through listening to
B&W 800 or 801 D - sounded reasonable, needed a lot of power to get them to sound that way.
Devore 9s- sounded better than B&W, still lack finesse
Harbeth 40.1- Not really easy on the eyes, bass could get boomy with wrong room
A smaller Harbeth- mid range was to die for, relatively easy to drive, no bottom end.
Wilson Audio Sasha- quite bright with a good CJ pre amp and monoblock amp. Perhaps needed more power from solid state.

I proceeded to fly down to New York and listened to Rethm Maargas after making an appointment with Gideon.
They left me completely stunned. This was my second exposure to Full range speakers. The Zu house sound had left me quite turned off.
The music was making every molecule in my body to experience the passion in it. I was bobbing my head, could not stop although I tried. I was impossible to not get involved in the music. I could not stop listening to 1 song after another. Finished the entire hour without ever realizing it had passed by. The music from my compressed 128 kpbs Iphone was quite good but the music from vinyl was ravishing. The best speaker to speaker soundstage, all the low level detail one can dream of without getting overwhelmed with the detail, liquid sound, very immersive. Not at all fatiguing.

I have since purchased the speaker and have had it for about a month. I got the dealer demo which appears to have been completely broken in. After going through some amps, I found the incredibly cheap T amp to match well with the speakers. The sound almost as good as they did with the Jadis monoblocks that was used to run them in Audio arts. I am sure if I had them side by side I would end up preferring the Jadis SET monoblocks but for now this is a great solution.
Gainclone amps with a good tube preamp also works well but getting a good inexpensive pre is difficult.

Now the part which I have deliberately left out- the way it looks. Gorgeous. Art . Sculpture. The attention to detail is stupendous. It is not something we like initially and then grow tired of (say like an outrageously colored car which becomes tiresome after some time). This is truly a work of art. Does a great job of sitting there and entertaining me and then when music starts playing it become better.

My rest of system is just as modest as the T amp. It includes Apple TV and Mac Mini for source, home depot cables. Large open room which includes dining and kitchen, about 600-800 sq feet. Hardwood floors.

Now a shout out to the guys who have worked with me to get to sound this way- George Jacob from Rethm. He has been answering my emails for the past year while I was considering the speakers. Gideon from Audio arts, who has no patience with anything but the best sound and great synergy. Gary, my local audio dealer for his infinite patience, allowing me to audition as many components as I wanted without every losing his temper. Due to his patience, I have tried at least 7 pairs of speakers in my house, along with different components.

Wanted to get the word out on a particularly good speaker.
I have Lowther Medallions and have heard them with t-amps many times. While the sound can be decent a set amp is much better. Also the Transcendent sound single ended OTL would also be heaven with your speakers and can be built as a kit for $750. Enjoy
I heard this speaker at the RMAF 2011 and thought it was very good! Get a 'high quality' low power amplifier driving it and it would really sing.
Thank you for your responses.
Ahendler- I have been looking at the Transcendent SE OTL- the mini beast. Seems to have adequate power. Have the grounded grid pre amp from them which is quite good except it has too much gain for most amps.

Charles- what would be your list of good low power amp? Don Allen has a 300 B up for sale but it is slightly pricey and is not an integrated one box solution. I have thought of bottle head and am now looking at RWA signature 15.

The other option is to ditch all this and go straight to Gaanam amp from Rethm itself. I am told that this is a divine combination.

Looking forward to suggestions.
I`m partial toward SET amps and I don`t know your budget.6 Moons really likes the RWA amp you mentioned, and if Rethm makes its amps as good as the speaker you could`nt go wrong with that choice.

Bottlehead and Decware are lower cost but considered by many to be very good amplfiers.
Why not start with cost no object solutions and see if there is an equivalent cheaper solution, or am I asking for too much?
The Dayens Ampino amp sound great for $799. Get the US version with the Clarity caps. That is a big improvement over the T amp you are using and will compete to the ultra high dollar tube amps.
I concur with Bluecara, they are outstanding loudspeakers, but if it wasn't for Gideon and Audioarts efforts we will not have the possibility of discovering the most innovative audio gear that exist in this shores.
I have the chance through many years to listen to all kind of audio equipment, most recently a mega system worth more than 1/2 a million and yet no comparicion to what you can expect at Audioarts.
Gideon will guide you through the many options and at same times he will insist that you don't need to expend more to obtain better results.
AA it is one of those magic places that the moment you step in you sense something very special will happen.
It is not audio gear you will listen to, but music.
And that is the big difference, because after all the reason and propose we are into this is music, isn't it?
The musicality and synergy that Gideon systems posses are out of this world.
Golden ears are passe now is the era of platinum ears.
When you enter AA you consult the oracle.

Thanks you for your post. I have been seriously considering Rethm speakers after reading the positive reviews for the speakers in other journals; and like you, disappointment with well know brands such as Zu (fatigue factor###!!). And I concur that Gideon is a wonderful person with high principles having met him at a regional audio show last year. A few questions for you though.

When at Audio Arts did you compare the musicality of the Marragas with the Ampeggio Voxativ speakers that I assume Gideon had in his showroom. If so, could you comment.

Secondly, based upon what I have read on the Rethm site, your square footage would be better suited for the Saadhana rather than the Marragas which the literature says is for rooms up to 400 sq feet. Why did you not go with the larger speakers. Do you feel you are lacking in any areas of musicality ( sound stage, bass, midrange, etc) with your choice--which may have very well been driven by economics as the Saadhanas are considerably more expensive.

I think it is time for me to also book a ticket and fly to New York to audition the speakers in Gideon's show room. By did way, did he have the Gaanam integrated in the showroom at the time. Or any informtion on pricing? I can''t find much on the net except for a post that says that Jacob has changed the driver tube for the Gaanam.

Thanks for you feedback for another prospective Rethm owner.
Sorry for the delay in reply. For some reason I was unable to login for the past couple of days.

1. Maargas vs Saadhanas- I am a VERY cheap guy. I did not compare the Saadhanas (which I think are still not out yet). The square footage might be slightly over cautious there. I sometimes listen to the speakers from my bed room and still they sound stupendous. Truly big sound. Anything bigger in my room would have been overwhelming sonically and visually.

2. I listened with the Jadis monoblocks and did not see the Gaanam when I purchased. It has been more than 3 months since I first listened to them. Gaanam were priced closer to 6-7k.

3. Voxativ were off to RMAF when I got there. I did want to do a side by side. Also they are quite expensive.

4. Dayens ampino- I did not see that coming. I was thinking of gainclones integrated but I think they need a very good tube pre to work with. Problem is trying or sampling it in your home before buying it. Selling it is a hassle. This is where a local dealer comes into picture, like Gary from Summit sound, Bangor - great guy to work with.

I am not sure I can do much better with other amps. There is great synergy here that I had previously not experienced with T amps. The DAC I am using is Bryston which is at least 2-3 steps higher than Rega. Every small difference gets amplified in this sensitive system. That said I could not make out much difference between apple lossless and HD tracks download.

Gideon gives about an hour to listen to his gear and works 1 on 1 in that hour. Take some LPs or good CDs. He was much less than impressed when I took my iPhone and plugged it in.
This is very different from other dealers in Boston who generally do not have experience with low powered amps and cannot for the life of them figure out why you would want 10 watts when you can get 100?!!
Maybe I can revive this thread as I am also interested in the Maarga or even the new Saadhana.

So any new input/impressions is very welcome. In particular, after reading the reviews of these speakers, I wonder whether they are suitable in the longer term for a broad range of music including rock, big orchestra pieces, maybe even some opera, so not only small acoustic/vocal music, as my musical taste is fairly broad.

I would also be interested in hearing about your experiences/thoughts regarding suitable amps. To compensate for the maybe somewhat lean character maybe an amp with a bit more grunt such has an 845 or even push pull would work nicely?

Thank you!
I have heard the older Saadhanas several times. they are truly exceptional in their speed and agility as well as the way they are able to resolve all the harmonic content. the powered bass module helps in the low end grunt as well. I believe the Maargas are all that in a smaller package for smaller rooms.

I have heard them with 2A3 based SETs and would suggest you try them with those. Fi/Yamamoto et al should all be great options.

you do owe them good cables. I believe solid core goes well with them . the person i know who has taken it to a very high level uses ASI Livelines
I’ve owned Rethm Maargas for a year and a half and I now find it hard to be overly impressed with a speaker that does not perform as well or close in transparency and coherency. I powered them with a Shindo Haut Brion amp which is a push pull amp. The Audio Notes AN-E SPe to me comes close in presentation. Of course they charge the room differently because of the corner placement needed. The AN-E’s sound bigger and bassier but the Rethms are more transparent and coherent. You just don't seem to notice a little lack of coherency in most well designed speakers but in the Rethms and I guess some others you do notice a very coherent sound in a speaker that does it well. They also do the 3d imaging well, have depth and width and are very non-fatiguing but are still alive and dynamic. For different recordings, equipment, CD, radio, they will all sound different and not homogenized. The speakers I had before annoyed the shit out me with their implementation of a beryllium tweeter and I’ve heard it better in other speakers. I've also read and agreed with the Maarga’s likeness to the electrostatic Maggie's but with bass and air pressure. Although if you are techno listener, this is not the speaker for you. Tuneful bass, yes, even for most rock and reggae. Dance reggae and techno probably not. And yes they can rock loud and best of all they can rock at low levels too! I can’t count how many times they have brought a smile to my face after coming home from a stressful day and I am listening to my favorite jazz radio station at a low volume because I want to and I still hear the full spectrum of what high audio listening is all about with nothing diminished. But I also concur with Srajan Ebaen of Six Moons that heavy grunge rock doesn’t do as well. They are just too clean and not lower midrangey enough for that effect to come off as well as intentioned. I'll also add that I first heard them with Jadis 845 amp. Even though the Maarga pair I heard had only about 2 hours on them, I could hear they had a delightful sense of touch. I bought them on this basis. I’ve since heard them with their partnering Rethm hybrid amp. I did not care much for those but with the Shindo gear they shine even better than the Jadis I first heard them with to my ear.
My musical taste is broad as well with a lot of jazz, blues, rock, reggae, indie, and a little classical. The Maargas with their 6 inch driver will be a little lite in the lower midrange / upper bass but once your tubes reach peak operating temperature you’ll find it really hard to notice. I’ve never lived with an SET amp and have not heard a lot of them to be any type of authority even in the smallest way but from what little I’ve heard it seems to me that a push pull might be the way to go for this widebander if only to get the frequency extremes through them that I think I hear I miss in SET amps. But like I said I’ve only ever heard a couple. Maybe some other tube experienced folks could chime in on this.
Having said all that, I liked the presentation of the Maargas so much I just traded up to the Saadhanas. They just got here and I haven’t got them up and running yet. I have to finish some paint work in my music room and its going slow due to work lately so I’ll have more to come soon.
I'll also add that Gideon at Audio Arts is great to work with.
I have a George Wright 2A3 mono amps for sale right now for $1500 and without spending $4000 or I doubt you will fine a better sounding amp.
Thank you for your input which sounds as if I am on the rigth track. No techno, hip hop or trance music for me but I think all speakers should be able to play Rolling Stones, Allman Bros. and the like well, not only Diane Krall "audiophile-approved" stuff, and it seems the Maarga does that nicely (possibly with a bit less in the bottom end than other speakers with front-firing woofers).
Jhardy, I would love to hear more as you run in your new Saadhana!
Regaring amplification, 2A3 is less power than I am thinking of in view of my fairly large open-architecture room.
I have both the Maarga and the Trishna, and they're both great speakers. Your caution is well founded, as most single driver implementations, while being superb for midrange heavy program material, have trouble playing a wide range of music well (because they're not truly full range).

Rethm designs all of their speakers for full range performance. Zu is another single driver designed for full range, but I prefer the sound of Rethm personally. In terms of full spectrum performance in a single driver design, it would be tough to do better than these.

As far as amplification, I get plenty of scale and authority from only 6 watts of SET. I had 15 watts of push pull power that didn't really compare, so wattage alone is not everything. If you're going with Rethm and need tube amplification, I would stick to SET; in terms of power output you won't find it lacking if you choose the right amp. Good luck.

Congrats on your new Saadhana and please let us know your impressions as they settle in. I'm curious, did you compare them to Zu Definition IV, by chance? These would seem to be the two main options for high-efficiency full-range speakers with a smallish footprint and minimal crossover.
You have a very nice room and I liked your system pics. Hopefully you will re-post your system once the new speakers are up and running.
Nd4Speed - could you elaborate on the differences between the Maargas and the Trishnas? I've got an 11x12 listening room and am considering both. Would prefer to get the Trishnas if they can give me everything the Maargas can in my relatively small space.
@Milpai: Hey there long time no see! I deleted my system because I went on about being "done" and just about everything changed LOL. A bit embarrassing, but I guess that's how this hobby goes. ;)

@Cfluxa: Sure thing. First things first, in full disclosure: I'm selling my Trishna here (mainly because I was contemplating a second system that may not happen now). If it doesn't sell I won't be heartbroken in the least, and will gleefuly keep it, as it's a great speaker. Anyway you were warned. ;)

Sonically, the Trishna doesn't lose much to the Maarga. They clearly are from the same sonic "family tree" (characterized by extreme coherence, presence without "edge or shout", microdynamic detail in the vocal range, and speed). The key differentiator, as you'd expect, is in the lower octaves (because of different cabinet size), particularly in larger spaces. The Maarga goes down to the mid 20hz range, whereas the Trishna will go down to the mid 30hz range. Whether this matters to you will depend on the program material you listen to primarily. In terms of midrange body, there is a slight advantage in the Maarga, although it could be argued that the Trishna does high frequencies a little more justice (again, as a matter of physics...give and take).

I think the Maarga would simply overwhelm your room unless always played at modest volume (the room I used the Trishna in was larger than yours; about 12x13 if I recall). The Trishna would not be far very off, but would have the advantage in this regard. The reviews don't mention it, but these speakers are very responsive to corner loading. If you back them into corners (whether by choice, or if you're short on room) you will get precipitously more bass (for better or worse). Fortunately there is a bass output attenuator which helps.

I tend to look at speakers (or any other component for that matter) as "a specific tool for a specific job". Similar to your choice, I was mentally and financially prepared for the Saadhana, but given space size for my listening area (roughly about 330 sq ft with a vaulted ceiling), the Maarga was recommended to me by Jacob as the better choice. In retrospect, I feel he was absolutely right.

Ultimately your ears will be all that matter, but in the absence of being able to listen to both, I would talk to Jacob.

Good luck on the search.
Wrm57, I did listen to a Zu model at the Montreal audio show last year. I don't recall which model but they just were not my cup of tea at all.
Thanks, Jhardy. Care to elaborate?
Don't really have much of a review. I'm not sure of the model but I'm sure they were the latest at the time. They were a blue color. I don't remember what the associated gear was. I just remember I was immediately turned off by the sound. I recall a very thick, heavy, flat sound. I have to admit I didn't give the time to hear what a lot of their fans like so much. Also they were not situated in their own room but in a part of a large foyer, not a good critical listening condition. I didn't bother to sit down.
Thanks for your feedback, Nd4Speed. May I ask what amp you are running on your Maargas and what your experiences are?
Jhardy, I appreciate your comments. People do seem polarized by the Zu sound. Gotta hear it for myself sometime.
I'm using an Art Audio PX-25 with it. Dick Olsher's review of the amp is an accurate summation of the amp's character. However keep in mind that his Basszilla he uses does not have amplification to augment the bass driver like the Maarga does.

The synergy between the amp and the Maargas is really very good. The speakers are really a wide open window into this amp.

It's very difficult to convey their level of dynamics and bass capability given their relatively diminutive cabinet dimensions. Suffice it to say, they are much more than they appear in this regard.

I would recommend checking in with Jacob about matching your room to your speaker selection. I find his room dimension specifications to be in line if not conservative, but he may have additional insight for you.

Let us know how you make out.
any news on your Saadhanas? I would love to hear more on the difference you feel they are making vs. your Maargas.
I had not realized that the thread had continued and I have not come back to Audiogon much but it is quite nice that we have so many more responses.

Since the time I had posted my review, I have had to move twice (will hopefully stay here for a few years), and have changed my system quite a bit.
My hunt for an amp or a DAC has ended, but the journey has been extremely interesting.
1. Transcendent sound SE OTL with 4 watts per channel with grounded grid pre amp- I had built the grounded grid and tried building the SE OTL. Man, is it tough. I am no engineer and should have realized my limitations, had to send it back to have it built right. The owner is not easy to deal with and can use more PR skills.
But, the amp and the speaker combination is almost religious. Single amp was unable to provide enough oomph and did not have head room for home theater, but ,if anyone is able to hear this combination, you should. It will change the way we perceive speakers and sound reproduction.Kinda like SIT amp with Rethm Saadhana on 6moons. The combination is detailed, never harsh, physically moves you (perhaps I am easily movable or just move a lot!). You hear everything (never harsh) and you have so much space around each performer. 3 D imaging is locked down tight. Wow and more wow. I just don't have the patience to deal with the company to build a second amp. If i find a used one may be.

2. Red wine audio signature 15- there have some times when i had hoped for a much more saturated midrange without giving up the frequency extension or delicacy in treble. RWA gives enormous midrange saturation but delicate nature of sound is not present ( at least not in my set up). I think if this improves a bit, the combination would be the best- solid state, continuous on function etc.

3. Rethm Gaanam- Does everything right. Not as much detail as SE OTL but everything else is right. Good detail, great control over speakers, fantastic to look at. Only down side is that it has to be switched on and off to conserve tubes, otherwise ideal combination.

DAC-- Lector audio DAC- tube dac, which, when used with a good SET, increased the spaciousness and imaging. Great combination for the speaker. If you have a good preamp with a first watt F5 with this DAC you probably will have best of solid state and tubes. In some circumstances the DAC may be a little rose tinted to be accurate.

Room and set up- they really need about 3 feet or more from the front wall and corners otherwise some of the transparency is lost. Still will sound good but not fantastic.
They dip down to about 30Hz usable and by 20 HZ it is not a lot of input. I will get a radio shack measure and get a graph plotted soon.

About Maarga vs Saadhana- Saadhana looks like it has more usable bass but it is much deeper too, so positioning would be easier with Maarga. i would probably use a REL subwoofer with a Maarga and pull the speaker out more. I am planning on purchasing a REL myself for home theater where the explosions are not as explosive as I would want. My room is about 12 ft by 10 ft and Maargas may be a little too big, so bigger is not always better.

I have tried JL and B&W PVD1 but REL seems like the best choice to integrate with the speakers.
Will keep updating as things go along.
I used a free app to measure various frequencies by using stereophile test tone.
I think I owe the speakers an apology- they are quite flat from 300hz down to mid 20hz. The test tone does not go below 20. I did not hear hear the sound well below 30hz. I am not sure if it physiological or pathological.

There was a dip at about 300hz but it stayed stable after that (? Room interaction). Used the REL R528se but it overloaded the room very easily. Will tweak it a bit more after breaking in.

I happened to see this thread and thought I'd sound you out on deepOmega Micron subwoofers. If you haven't heard of Louis Chochos and his single driver designs you might want to look him up for a subwoofer design that will complement your Rethms.

I'm looking to buy a pair of Rethm Trishna but I dont have the option to listen to or try them at home first. I will be driving them with a 300b SET so about 8 watts max to play with.
I have a modest sized room about 20 square meters which means they will have to be used back against a will. I'm currently using Snell J/111's which are quite efficient an dont mind being up against the wall. I just dont have the space to accommodate full size horns etc. However: I have a number of concerns:
Will their close proximity to the wall destroy their imaging and sound stage?
I also hear because the was the bass is produced by the isobaric chamber. Does the Rethm’s bass loading reduce significantly the physicality and impact of the bass. Drums don’t hit, explosions don’t bang for example.
I also love male singers particularly opera like Pavarotti and Bryn Terfel’. Its been said that they sound a bit winded, and lighter than usual, with less of  projection power or presence.
I wondered if anyone can comment of these points?
Good questions Complin. I hope others weigh in with their perspective.
Just an update for anyone looking for long term opinion.

I got a Seaton Subwoofer to pair with the Maarga and I think the way to go would be to add a dedicated sub with either Maarga or Trishna. You would need to pull the speakers out into the room a bit for stable and 3d imaging, but it isn't bad even if placed close to back wall. 

If I had to do this all over again, I would probably just buy the speakers and amp without going through the journey of finding the "right amp". Just not worth the trouble and I spent more money than just buying it together. 

Something about the REL sub and tube amp gave a bad humming noise so I settled for Seaton. The sound is great but it isn't a great looking sub, especially next to the Rethm Maarga.

After 4 years, the speakers still sound great. No sense of fatigue, no feeling of need to change, no restlessness that maybe I could get something better, nothing.