This Backert Labs Rhumba is in pristine condition and is one of those rare finds on the used market. Comes with factory box, remote control and owners manual. The original owner says he never used the remote and it looks like it. In fact, everything about this piece seems that it was barely touched!
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The new model sounds remarkably similar to the company’s flagship. “Although it is less than half the price of the Rhythm 1.1, we were able to bring the fun factor of the new model extremely close to the Rhythm 1.1,” said company president Andy Tebbe. “So things like rhythm, dynamics, emotional impact – in these areas, you have to listen pretty carefully to hear a difference.”
These sonic characteristics form part of the company’s mission. Mr. Backert noted, “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 audible improvements in these areas. As a result, I believe we have made significant progress toward the goal of reproducing truly live sound.”
The Power Supply
One part of the Rhumba that improves timing and dynamic accuracy is the power supply. Patented by Mr. Backert, GreenForce™ is the first completely new kind of power supply since switching supplies were invented in the 1950s. “GreenForce allows the power supply to use far higher quality capacitors, yet still at a reasonable price point for listeners. Our Rhythm 1.1 uses an exotic capacitor that is literally unheard of in a power supply, and our new model uses polypropylene caps, still way ahead of most manufacturers,” said Mr. Tebbe.
“The way it works is also key,” said Mr. Backert. “It’s very different, because it actively pushes power into the amplifying circuit, instead of passively bleeding out power as the circuit demands it. That ‘push’ makes GreenForce more nimble in responding to power demands from musical recordings. This improves the accuracy of rhythm and dynamics.”
GreenForce gets its green “cred” by shunning typical power supply parts (electrolytic capacitors) that contain environmentally unfriendly chemicals, instead using environmentally neutral “film” capacitors.
The Rhumba 1.1 has a few things that are not found on the Rhythm 1.1, including:
- XLR input and output, in addition to 3 RCA inputs and 2 RCA outputs
- Home theater bypass
- Transparent tube cover, to enhance late-night listening sessions
Built in the U.S.
Like the Rhythm 1.1, the new model is designed by veteran circuit designer Bob Backert, and assembled in the U.S. under the close supervision of his son, Chief Operations Officer Gary Backert.
Two 12au7 tubes are utilized for the gain stage, accessible by a convenient transparent access door that highlights the warm glow of the tubes through the top panel. The Rhumba comes with JJ Electronics tubes.
Gain Stage – “Dynamic Linearity” Circuit
As in the Rhythm 1.1, the gain stage features a unique tube support circuit that allows more accurate dynamics, lower distortion and low output impedance. These benefits are achieved without resorting to common tools that Mr. Backert feels are detrimental to sonic accuracy, such as negative feedback and cathode followers.