Raidho often features on audiophiles’ wish lists, and for good reason. The Danish company crafts loudspeakers for discerning music lovers who seek superlative sound, world-leading technological innovation and striking visual design. At the top end of Raidho’s range is the new TD Series, which has just arrived in the UK.
The new Raidho ribbon tweeter
At the heart of all Raidho speakers lie the company’s own ground-breaking driver designs. The new TD Series includes a brand new, upgraded version of the famous Raidho sealed ribbon tweeter. The new tweeter features an even more powerful magnet system and a new acoustically optimized rear chamber, both of which serve not only to increase sensitivity and resolution, but lower distortion levels by an amazing 35dB compared to the (already reference-standard) previous design. Importantly, all of these enhancements are achieved without sacrificing any of the open and detailed sound that is a Raidho trademark.
Tantalum: the new ingredient in “the stiffest and best inner-damped cone in the world”
The mid and bass drive units in the TD Series not only improve on the company’s unique C-Series Ceramix drivers, but also on its advanced D-Series Diamond units. ‘TD’ stands for Tantalum-Diamond. Tantalum is a rare and impressive metal – extremely dense and hard, yet also very ductile, it conducts electricity and heat tremendously well.
Raidho’s design team, led by Benno Baun Meldgaard, added a 1-micron layer of tantalum to the drivers’ ceramic layer, making the latter even harder, while also countering the brittle nature of ceramic. This greater resilience allows them to then bombard the membrane’s surface even more forcefully with the subsequent diamond layer, effectively adding more diamond and less carbon to the surface. The resulting five-layer sandwich membrane is therefore even stiffer than that of Raidho’s (already extremely stiff) diamond cones, while the new tantalum layer also adds a considerable amount of extra inner damping. In fact, the company says that this is now “the stiffest and best inner-damped cone in the world”.
From coils and magnets, to crossover and cabinet
The tantalum layer also helps to efficiently conduct heat away from the voice coil. As a result, the TD Series mid and bass drivers are able to achieve astonishingly low levels of distortion and a lightning-fast transient response, providing the perfect partner for those enhanced ribbon tweeters, and delivering a gorgeously musical and organic musical performance.
Additionally, the mid and bass units of the TD1.2, 2.2, 3.2 and 3.8 models all feature a new patent-pending motor system with a magnet assembly that delivers quite staggering tesla levels, and which Raidho cites as “the strongest underhung motor design on the market”. Again, expect something very special indeed in terms of dynamics and resolution.
The TD Series has benefited from Meldgaard’s singular approach to speaker design, in which all of the basic elements of a loudspeaker have been effectively reconsidered, almost from first principles. The crossover has been reengineered to ensure ruler-flat phase behavior, and Meldgaard’s instinctive touch has equally been applied to the internal architecture of the cabinet. He is a firm believer in mastering the natural properties of sound so that its energies and vibrations work for you and not against you – which is what enables his designs to control and direct vibrational energy without constraining the organic musical performance.
The result is a range of loudspeakers rightly pitched among ‘the world’s best’, capable of microscopic resolution and tremendous musical insight, and with a wonderfully natural and organic presentation – qualities that are very close to Meldgaard’s heart.
As can be reliably expected from Raidho, all models in the TD Series are striking in looks and beautifully finished, and are available in a choice of piano black, walnut burl veneer, or any colour to order.