Sound Quality


The $3,400 Rhumba 1.2 tube preamp provides exceptional sound quality for a component at any price.   We’re so confident you’ll love it, we offer a full money-back guaranty in the first 2 weeks after your purchase.

And it’s not just us.

Reviewer Terry London pitted the previous version of the Rhumba 1.2 (the Rhumba 1.1) against 5 high-end preamps with retail prices ranging from $7,000 to $24,000.  This shootout, across 3 different stereo systems, had surprising results — the Rhumba 1.1 “was on the same level as the best of the overall group” and was “quite better than 3 of them”.  Mr. London concluded, “this new Backert Labs preamp knocked my sonic socks off across the board.”  His full comment on this shootout can be found here.  Mr. London’s entire review can be found at Home Theater Review, here.

When he heard the new Rhumba 1.2, his comments were: “The new 1.2 offered the following virtues: 1) Even more transparency, so micro-details in the music were more easily heard. 2) An overall “kick” and dynamics that added more aliveness to any music that passed through it. 3) A more refined/finished sound, without being analytical in any way. 4) The new chassis on the 1.2 is much more substantial and the finish on it is quite beautiful, my demo piece came in a gorgeous red, and the 1.2 weighs about seven more pounds… When I put in different 12AU7 tubes I could easily hear the different flavors/colors/timbres because of the very high level of transparency of this excellent line-stage.”

The Secret to World-Class Rhythm and Dynamics.  The secret to the Rhumba 1.2’s winning performance?  It uses the exact same circuits as our $8,995 flagship, the Rhythm 1.2.

Sure, it uses some less-expensive parts, and the chassis is different.  But the Rhumba 1.2 “brings it” to any comparison you might want to execute.   As with the Rhythm 1.2, you’ll hear swinging, toe-tapping rhythm and real-world dynamics, due in part to the radically new power supply shared with the Rhythm 1.2, which we call GreenForce.  Not hyped-up dynamics, but accurate dynamics.  Not “loud bass”, but truly accurate, deep, fast, time-aligned bass.

Hey, Good Lookin’.   At our stereo shows where the Rhumba 1.2 sits at the front of the room in command of the system, we have heard over and over again the following comment:

“So, that’s your expensive one, it looks nice.  Where is the new cheaper one?”

It is our pleasure to let people know that the beautiful component they are seeing and hearing is in fact the “cheaper one”.

Speed and Attack.  Check.

Tone and Clarity.   Double check.  We think reviewers and others have fallen in love with the Rhumba 1.1 and Rhumba 1.2 in part because of the very high resolution and accuracy in delivering the music signal presented by your source.  You may notice the air, space, venue information, the sound of applause like it’s happening in your living room.  These cues lead directly to the reality of the music unfolding in front of you.  Or as Home Theater Review put it, “totally devoid of grain, creating a beautiful density of color with a silky-smooth liquidity that lost none of the little details.”

The Music.  The point behind all of Bob Backert’s radical technology is simple.  It’s the golden glow of a soft trumpet, the gut-punch of a full symphonic blast, the zing of a sizzle ride cymbal, the cry of an emotional vocal – and the grin on your face, or the tears on your handkerchief, that can so quickly result.

Soundstage.  The design of Bob Backert’s GreenForce power supply lifts the Rhumba’s presentation of soundstage accuracy to a new level.

The Rhumba 1.2.

We can’t believe it either.