Reference Rhapsody Loudspeakers

Hundreds of hours of design and development have produced a loudspeaker with superb sonic qualities rivalling many true high-end designs

The superb new Reference Rhapsody loudspeakers from Reference Fidelity Components:

The Rhapsody is a large stand mount speaker designed to appeal to a wide range of music lovers and hifi enthusiasts and has been designed to work well in a wide variety of listening rooms.

Their unique low colouration constrained panel cabinet design, careful selection of well matched high quality drivers and attention to detail and quality in their crossovers sets them apart from the maddening crowd as a ‘speaker with true sonic virtues’ which shines through in their astonishing dynamics, clarity and tonal accuracy.

The Rhapsodys have a very tonally accurate sound, great dynamics, close to full range response and superb imaging.  How can a wide baffle speaker image well?  The secret lies in the design and specification of the drivers and crossovers but they image as well as any narrow fronted bookshelf speaker with the added advantage of providing genuine large scale.

Whether you like to hear every breathy nuance of a close mic’d vocal, the full spread of a symphony orchestra with the ability to pin-point every instrument or the hard charging rhythm of a rock band, these will do it all equally well.  They have startling mid range realism and presence combined with pin-point stereo imagery!

Add to that their stunning build quality (each pair weighs in at over 52 kg) and they start to look like something of a hifi bargain. Only limited numbers are produced each year using only the very best in hardwood timber veneers, slow grown Baltic Birch Ply cabinets and hand produced high quality crossovers.

The hand crafted solid hardwood open framed stands, their 24K gold plated adjustable feet and the magnetically located acoustic grilles (designed to eliminate edge diffraction) are all specifically designed for only the Reference Rhapsody Loudspeaker.

Crossovers are hand built and individually matched to each set to ensure that response between speakers is within 1dB.  Each pair is matched to its partner using a calibrated mic to measure frequency response and crossovers are also measured using specialist loudspeaker impedance measurement tools.  Each pair of loudspeakers comes with its own certified response plots for impedance and frequency response.

Only high quality parts are used in the crossovers.  All inductors are hand wound to within 1% tolerance.  Many hours of listening tests and measurements were conducted to help fine tune the end response of the Rhapsodys which are as tonally natural as any speaker you’re likely to hear. The crossover design ensures that the drivers both operate within their most efficient envelope exhibiting minimal harmonic distortion, maintaining excellent phase accuracy with the drivers selected to get as close to providing for a flat frequency response as possible, so true high fidelity sound reproduction is assured.  Unlike a majority of mass produced boxes available to the public, these crossovers employ accurate zobel networks and notch filters individually matched to each driver to effect the best driver response and so that the amplifier sees close to an “ideal” load from each loudspeaker circuit.

Crossover slopes are 18dB/Octave.  Crossovers are all hard wired and housed in external custom built real wood boxes which bear the “Rhapsody” logo on the front.  All connecting cables are included in the price (Black Rhodium high quality pure copper cable).  Crossovers are designed to be located either on the floor or to be cradled within the optional custom made matching speaker stands for neatness.

Room positioning is very unfussy thanks to superb off-axis response.  The high quality drive units selected and crossover design means that side wall reflections reach the listener at close to the same sound pressure levels of the direct radiated sound meaning that a stable stereo image is preserved.  As with all side reflections, phase is affected, but imaging is likely to remain better than a vast majority of speaker designs.  These can be placed up against walls or in free space.  A reinforcement of bass will occur if placed against walls but they respond to pretty low frequencies even in free space.

The front ported design lowers bass response over a sealed cabinet equivalent but thanks to the choice of mid-woofer, very little compromise is made in “Group Delay” or bass response time, making these sounds very open, accurate and fast.  Unlike many ported speaker designs, the port is not obvious at all.  You will hear no “chuffing” sounds emanating from these as the design maintains port air velocities well below that which causes port noise.  There is also no mid-range leakage evident thanks to the internal cabinet design and damping.  Ports are positioned towards the inside face (speakers are supplied in mirrored pairs) to avoid any unwanted room interactions by reducing standing wave risk usually encountered when placement from side and rear walls is equi-distant.

The main driver is unique in that it is found in very few other commercially found speakers as yet (it is relatively new).  New “Curv cone”, a woven polypropylene with excellent self damping together with perfectly matched moving parts gives a smooth, extended frequency response.

A bumped back plate in the magnet system together with a high temperature voice coil wound on an aluminium voice coil former gives low distortion and high power handling capacity.  A heavy copper ring below the T-shaped pole piece reduces non linear and modulation distortion.

A bullet shaped phase plug reduces compression due to temperature variations in the voice coil, avoids resonance problems which would occur in the volume between the dust cap and the pole piece and increases the long term power handling capacity.

Extremely stiff and stable injection moulded metal basket, keeps the critical components in perfect alignment.  Large windows in the basket both above and below the spider reduce sound reflection , air flow noise and cavity resonance to a minimum.

These are available in a wide range of real wood veneer finishes (the pair shown are a natural finish: ie. oiled Baltic Birch un-veneered and are quite attractive in their own right).

The main cabinets are made from slow grown Baltic Birch Ply which is double thickness at strategic points and very heavily internally braced.  The external frames are made from hand finished solid Walnut.

Veneered options include:  Ripple Sycamore, Birds Eye Maple, American Black Walnut, Rosewood and European Oak.  Many other finishes available to special order

The following comments are from music lovers who have already had opportunity to listen to the Rhapsodys:

These things need to get out there and be heard.  People will like them!

…I like the sound they made, when I dropped my (own) speakers off … for the full RFC treatment we had a listen to the Rhapsody’s.  Bass was very low and controlled, when the piano started playing it could have been in the room with us, the drummer was playing a high hat to the left of and behind the left speaker, excellent sound staging, and the singer was sat slightly to the right of centre.

I was very much enjoying the music they were making, the speakers just disappeared and we had the performers in the room with us.  You need to hear these!

From a fellow enthusiast and reviewer:

It is pretty obvious in the short time I’ve had them that they are very good.

They are very good at low volume.  These would be an excellent choice for those in semi-detached or terraced housing.  There’s bags of res there and it sounds balanced somehow – I wasn’t wishing for a loudness control I should theoretically needed.

Scale is a good – a nice big open soundstage is created.  Depth – forward and backward, and image height is all very good for the size of the speaker.

They go loud without strain.

  • Type: 2-way front ported high fidelity bass reflex loudspeakers.
  • Frequency Response: 32Hz – 25KHz (-6dB)
  • Sensitivity: 92 dB for 1W at 1m
  • Crossover:  3rd Order Externally housed; 18dB/Octave filter slopes.
  • Off axis response: Within 5dB up to 30 degrees off axis to over 13KHz (within 3dB to 5kHz)
  • Load: 6.4 Ohm nominal, 10 Ohm (max) 5 Ohm (min)
  • Power Handling: 100 Watts program
  • Suggested amplification: Suitable for ALL amplifier types.  Suggested minimum amplification from 15W upwards
  • Dimensions: 680mm x 422mm x 291mm
  • Weight: approximately 52Kg per pair (unpackaged)

*(including resonance and impedance flattening filters)

Mk2 Version available soon using SB Acoustics Satori tweeters as an option.

From £3,600

 

Price includes:

  • Hand crafted matched pair of speakers
  • Custom External individually matched high quality crossovers
  • Acoustic grilles
  • Individually prepared build documents for each unique pair detailing photos, user manual, impedance plots, frequency response plots and full specifications

Options: wide choice of real wood veneers, custom stands, upgraded tweeters. Please contact us for further details.

For further information, to arrange and audition or to place an order, please contact us through the contact link in main menu.