Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way
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  1. #1
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    Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    Thanks in part to the endorsements in this forum, I now have a modified Rhumba Extreme 1.2 on order! Andy says they will be able to upgrade one of the remaining 1.2 extremes to 1.3 specs with no real loss in performance between the modified 1.2 and the new 1.3 (a couple of lights and switches on the 1.3 apparently).

    Looking forward to see if it will replace the 509X as the preamp of choice for the MQ-88SE!

    I have high hopes.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; Luxman MQ-88uSE; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Naim Uniti Atom; Klipsch Heresy III (70th Anniversary Edition); JL Audio d110; Transparent power cables & WW interconnects
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  2. #2
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    Congratulations! It'll be a wonderful preamp.
    Joe

    Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M, JBL 590.

    Job INTegrated, Naim Supernait 2 w/ HiCap-DR.

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3 (X2 - one as backup), Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos.

    Lumin U1 mini, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, Audio Mirror Tubadour III NOS R2R Tube Dac w/ upgrades.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    Awesome! I can't wait to hear the outcome, and see some pics.
    -----------------
    Brian

    Main System -
    Rotel 1072 CDP / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Dynaudio Audience 82s > Synergistic Cables

    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs Cables


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  6. #4
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    The Rhumba Extreme 1.2 arrived yesterday and I was able to spend about 3 hours with it last night.

    First impressions are very good - I admit, I thought I'd be a little more blown away right out of the box but it could be that I'm used to HOW GOOD the preamp in the L-509X is that the strengths of the BL are not as immediately evident.

    One clear strength the BL has over the 509X pre - the soundstage is quite a bit wider and more expansive. Layering is much more detailed. The "black" background and the space around the notes is improved with the BL.

    Where it can't stack up against the Luxman is in terms of bass control, attack and authority. Kick drums seem softer on the BL... Vocals are natural and lifelike but there are times where it almost seems the singer backs off the mic or something, rather than being consistently forward like with the Luxman. The Luxman also has a sweeter top end, notes seem to be a bit more natural and dynamic on pianos and strings.

    This is a little surprising to me, as the "rhythm" and bass command seem to have been big talking points from BL and the reviews I have read online. I am wondering if it's just a matter of having to burn in the caps or something - or could it be the NS Mullards that come stock with this preamp. Considering buying another pair of Ciftes or Amperex tubes, but I want to give the preamp time to fully bloom and break in.

    Finally, it occurred to me that I'm not making most use of Bob's patented power technology, because I do not have a direct wall outlet to plug the preamp into. I have no available wall outlets left - only going into my power strip. I know this is not ideal but I wonder how big of an effect it could have on the sound I am hearing. Unfortunately where my gear is placed, I have no other access to power without running an extension cord which would also not be ideal (nor I assume allow the BL to fully benefit from the wall AC).

    Very interested in hearing from any other owners on my initial impressions!

    Attached Images Attached Images
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; Luxman MQ-88uSE; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Naim Uniti Atom; Klipsch Heresy III (70th Anniversary Edition); JL Audio d110; Transparent power cables & WW interconnects
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  7. #5
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    On my DAC it was recommended to use the OEM power cable and to plug directly in the wall.

    I tried changing cables and went back to the OEM, the I plugged it into my Distribution and the soundstage collapsed, back into the wall and it literally snapped back.

    So if the maker recommends direct into a wall, I would find a way to do this. An option is to jump off your first distribution to a second and rearrange what is plugged in so power hungry is on primary and secondary for sources and such.

    Curious what you find out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R with 4point 9 arm & Kuzma 40 Cartridge
    Source Digital: Aurender N10 | Brinkmann Nyquist MK II
    Amplification: Dan D’Agostino Momentum Pre Amp and Monos | Boulder Phono 508
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    Cabling: Nordost Valhalla 2/Odin: power, interconnects & speaker | Ansuz: C2 power & interconnect | Audioquest Diamond RJ45’s
    Power: Nordost QRT series | Furutech FP55SN cable from 20 amp breakers within a grounded sub panel to Furutech GTX D NSF packages | Keces P3 & P8 | Surge Guard at Main Panel | ADD POWR series
    Other: HRS M3X | Stillpoints Ultra 6, SS & Mini | Nordost Sort Cones TC & BC | AQ Vox SE switch | etherREGEN | Gigafoil v4 | Vicoustics | Audio Desk Systeme - Gläss








  8. #6
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    I do think if I have the preamp at the far left side of my console I can stretch the PC over to another outlet which is close to my speaker. It won't be ideal in the looks dept; I'll have a very visible black PC suspended between the console and the outlet. Currently my AVM 60 is plugged into that outlet so I'll get that moved into the power distribution behind the console. At least that will show me what the difference is between the two options. It kills me that I have my entire home AV system against a 16' wall, which has a single outlet in the middle of the wall.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; Luxman MQ-88uSE; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Naim Uniti Atom; Klipsch Heresy III (70th Anniversary Edition); JL Audio d110; Transparent power cables & WW interconnects
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  9. #7
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    Give it time to burn in. Caps and tubes will change over the next 50 hours or more. Especially the capacitors over a longer period of time. Teflon caps take about 500 hours to break in.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  10. #8
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    Wasn't this a Demo Unit that was already used and broken in, or was it a brand new unit? I guess it says a whole lot for Luxman.
    -----------------
    Brian

    Main System -
    Rotel 1072 CDP / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Dynaudio Audience 82s > Synergistic Cables

    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs Cables


  11. #9
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    Andy at Backert says this unit is just about burned in as it needs to be - I don't believe this was a demo unit, but it was modified after I placed my order with the 1.3 upgrades. I am guessing they ran it in on the bench over the past 10 days.

    I have done a few things that are seeing improvements.

    Placement: I had this unit on the glass top of my BDI Corridor cabinet (and yes, the terracone feet scratched my glass, yuck). BL recommends not to place on a glass surface so now it is on a vented shelf in the vented Corridor cabinet.

    AC: I had it plugged into a distro strip and it was recommended to plug directly into the wall.

    Input: Plugged directly into the REC OUT per Andy's advice since I only have 1 source component (Qutest). This added some additional snap to transients.

    All of this has shown improvements in the Rhumba Extreme's performance. It is still a close call between the pre section in the 509X and the BLRE though. Each of them have some big strengths - the BLRE has a deeper, "blacker," wider soundstage with better layering and separation. The 509X still has better control over the bass and transients. It seems to have a "higher end" presentation where the BLRE has a more "musical" presentation.

    It's going to be a tough call... I am optimistic that tube rolling with the BLRE could close the gap even further.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; Luxman MQ-88uSE; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Naim Uniti Atom; Klipsch Heresy III (70th Anniversary Edition); JL Audio d110; Transparent power cables & WW interconnects
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  12. #10
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    Re: Rhumba Extreme 1.2 is on the way

    Some tube rolling may fix some of those issues. Do you know if it has teflon caps? They take 500 hours of burn in. When I replaced the worn out Jensen PIO caps in my BAT, it took 150 hours to get back to sounding great like it did. I thought I ruined the preamp at first. Then one day around 150 hours turned it on and the first few notes played and I started smiling because it was like someone flipped a switch and changed the sound.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

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