Real advances in high-end audio these days seem mostly to be centered around perfecting the play back of digital files. it’s been a long time since I’ve read about or listened to an analog component ,particularly a preamplifier,which has moved the needle forward in a dramatic way.
Bob Backert’s preamplifiers have changed all that.
They do not simply sound more transparent, more dynamic, more nuanced, etc. then any other preamplifiers witch come close in price, they actually seen to be performing the role of the preamplifier In a new and unique way. One of the arguments against using preamplifiers is that they color the sound i’m provide a list directly play back of the signal. Proponents of preamplifiers have always excepted a little shading because the dynamic and harmonic affects of using a good preamplifier outweighed Any unwanted shading.
When you put a Backert preamplifier in the system that sense of coloration simply disappears while the retrieval of harmonics and dynamic contrast not only remains but is exponentially improved to such a degree that you might be wonder whether the preamplifier you replace it with might be faulty.
It has been a long time since I could say that replacing a ten year old preamplifier with a new one of like grade and quality is a game changer-but the Backert preamplifiers are just that -components which improve the overall performance of a system far beyond their relative cost.
Put it in another way:
if your Digital is five years old or less changing your old preamplifier to one of the three Backert models might very well be the biggest single improvement you can make in your system.
From its debut, the Rhumba has wowed listeners.
The Rhumba 1.3 features a convenient tube access door, which allows easy tube changes and comes off with 2 chunky thumbscrews that remain attached to the door, so they can never get away from you. Other features carried over from the Rhythm 1.3 include fully balanced XLR input and output, a luxurious remote volume control, mute switch, stereo/mono switch, balance control, REC OUT jacks, Home Theater Bypass jacks, toroidal transformer and IEC inlet to allow you to experiment with various power cords.
The Rhumba sounds remarkably similar to the company’s flagship. Although it is about 1/3 the price of the Rhythm Backert was able to bring its fun factor, its detail retrieval and its harmonic richness extremely close to the Rhythm’s.
These sonic characteristics form part of the company’s mission. Bob Backert has said, “When you enter a club or restaurant, it’s usually easy to tell whether the music is live, or being played on a stereo. The mission I set was to make it impossible to tell the difference. To do that, we focus on the accuracy of two things: dynamics, and timing. Several of our technical innovations have brought out audiblmprovements in these areas. As a result, I believe we have made significant progress toward the goal of reproducing truly live sound.”
Take 90% of the innovations and technology found in the Backert Rhythm 1.3 and put it into the same chassis as the Rhumba 1.3 and ,voila, you have the Rhumba 1.3 Extreme.The formula seems just right. 90% of performance for 60% of the price seems like quite a feat, but then again, we are talking about Bob Backert! Of course there are some differences besides the chassis.The rhythm has a dual mono power supply while the Extreme uses a dual mono regulator.V-cap copper foil power supplies run the power supply in the Rhythm 1.3 while the Rhumba 1.3 Extreme uses polypropylene caps.In the output the Rhythm uses Mundorfs best capacitors while Mr. Extreme employs Jantzen silver caps.
Yes you can hear the difference even if its only 10% , but in most systems the Rhumba Extreme more than carries the day.
At the top of Backert's lineup stands the Rhythm 1.3,the latest iteration ofthe Preamp that Scott Hull described as"freaking awesome " in the March 19, 2016 issue of part time Audiophile
I am guessing that if he had a chance to hear the 1.3 the " freaking" might be replaced by something even stronger(very freaking?).In that review the Rhythm 1.1 was compared to a $ 25,000.00
Tidal Preamp , which seems to be par for the course -that is to say the Backert Rhythm is so good that one naturally tends to compare it to components many times its price. The Rhythm 1.3 incorporates the finest capacitors made (V-Cap capacitors), a first in audio made possible by Bob Backert’s patented GreenForce power supply.and that is just where the unique innovations begin.
The Rhythm 1.3 uses an amplification circuit (“gain stage”) unlike any other. The way it amplifies is extremely easy on your tubes, running at a constant current and a remarkably low voltage (150 volts) for the blackest backgrounds possible, as well as the longest tube life you will find anywhere. Its 75 ohm output impedance means it is compatible with any amplifier made regardless of type.