Volti v Charney v Rethm

I am looking for a new speaker and like the horn sound. I have had a lot of exposure to Rethm Saadhana and do love the sound. But in reading I am also interested in the Volti Rival and Charney Companion Excalibur with AER BD3B. I have not heard the Volti or Charney, and will not realistically be able to audition those due to work obligations. Also, there is a used Charney available 

I play a wide variety of music, Floyd, Bach, Eva Cassidy, Emenem....

I have a Innuos streamer with equal play between CD and Qobuz. Weiss DAC, Atma-sphere MP-3 into Atma-sphere Class D. 

I like to close my eyes and feel like I am in the room with the band. I am sure that is what we all want, but I prefer to have realistic over analytical. 

I know this is very broad, but if anyone has thoughts about the difference in sound from these three, I would be grateful


You have picked three very good sounding speakers.  They are all lively sounding speakers.  The Rethm has, to me a little bit more of the horn and full range coloration, but, it is not that extreme.  The Rival can deliver deep bass and sounds good at high volume levels, but, I find the bass a touch disconnected from the mids and highs.  The Charneys, for my taste, are the best, but, to be clear, my priority is delivery of a lively sound at modest volume level—all three are very good in this respect but I like the Charney best.  I’ve heard them with Voxativ and AER drivers and like the AER more.

Sorry, can I add I have my system in the living room area. No other place is possible. My wife is not picky in looks. But my room is an open LV, kitchen and dining room. 25x30 feet with 13 foot ceilings 🙁

I really like both Charney and Volti with a preference for Charney I find them to be very continuous and lively. Rethm I've only heard once and don't remember the model I liked it but that's all I remember.

Have you considered perhaps the Fleetwood Deville SQ? I’m using them also with Weiss 501 DAC , Shindo amp and pre amp and the synergy is awesome.After many trial and error’s , I’ve come to the conclusion that my ears finally like what they hear.

I’ve heard the Volti and the Rethm Trishna, both in show conditions, one year apart, the Volti with Border Patrol amplification, the Rethm driven by the new Western Ekectric integrated.  I liked them both, but loved the Rethm.  I find myself increasingly drawn the the delicate immediacy of single driver designs - or brant’s thereto - these days, and the Rethm definitely scratches that itch.  I heard them with a good friend who’s almost on the opposite endbofvthe audiophile spectrum from me - high powered solid state amps, Wilson Sasha X - and he had almost the exact same reaction to the Rethms.  Btw, I’ve corresponded with both Angie and the Rethm founder; they’re both great.

How big a room and how loud do you want your system to play and how important is really deep and powerful bass?  It is NOT the case that I found the Charney deficient in any aspect of performance, but, physics dictates that a single 8" driver cannot do all things as well as larger, multi-way drivers can do.  I would expect such limits would be more of a challenge for the Charneys than with the other speakers.  Still, I really love the sound of the Charney speakers and would recommend them for anyone not looking for head-banging volume in a large room.  


My room is 30 x 25 feet. 13 foot ceilings. I don’t usually listen super loud, but infrequently do pump it up. Quality is more important than quantity (volume).

Thanks everyone so far for your input!



Your large room and high ceiling might make bass reproduction difficult for some speakers.  My bet would be on the Rivals, among the three choices, working the best in that situation.  But, these days, many single driver or small driver two-way systems are quite capable to performing well in large spaces.

I heard a system that employed a single 8" fullrange driver, but, it was supplemented with active woofers coming in to handle deep bass.  It was shown at an audio show in a fairly large ballroom.  I was surprised at how good it sounded and how well it filled the space and played at very high volume level.  The speaker was the Cube Audio Nenuphar Basis speaker.  

I also heard two-way Acora speakers demonstrated in a large ballroom also do a good job filling the space and providing adequate bass.  

If one can place the speaker near a corner, Audio Note AN-E speakers, which utilize an 8" woofer and a dome tweeter sound terrific and can fill large spaces and deliver fairly high volume.  

Not intending to throw a monkey wrench into your post, but you may also wish to consider Pure Audio Project Quintet15 with the center horn driver and four 15" woofers per side. I have the Trio (two 15" drivers per side) with horns, which may work for your room size (my room is smaller) but if you can spend more I would think the Quintets might better fill your room. Absolutely love the horn and open baffle combo sound of these. And at 96+ dB, very easy to drive. These have become my "forever" speakers. Good luck with your search!

I too love the Pure Audio Project Quintet 15 speakers.  I heard them with the center horn driver too, but, I would really love to hear them with the Voxativ fieldcoil driver-I have heard that driver in another system and it delivers a very vivid and lively sound.  Even with four 15" drivers, my concern would be bass energy in a large room because of cancellation of the front and back output which are out of phase (this reduces bass by 6 db/octave).

This is still an excellent recommendation that is consistent with the kind of sound that would be delivered by the likes of Charney, Rethm and Volti speakers.  An important reason for picking these kinds of speakers, to me, is that they can be driven by lower-powered tube amps which are my favorite kind of amp.  While a SET amp might not not be ideal, given the size of the room (the Charney might be efficient enough), there are many good lower-powered pushpull amps and a few OTL amps that would work well.  


I’ve only heard the Rethms at a few shows with unfamiliar associated equipment but they did sound beautiful in the midrange & very pleasing overall but not truly full range & not near as good up loud. They & I’ll guess the Charney’s, while being quite sensitive, are more akin to Quads in sound than to the Volti Rivals that I’ve owned & enjoyed for two years now. 

Rivals are very sensitive also & perhaps the absolute last word in gorgeous seductive midrange & fine etched, “hifi” detail some other even much more pricey speakers but can fill a big room like yours w/ live sounding, dynamic, full bodied & full range sound w/ ease. They are much akin to a high quality version of a big Klipsch, JBL or Altec horn loaded system. I too have a big room (23’x 25’x 12’ )  & the Rivals are a ton of fun  & if you like to really nice sound at any sound level but occasionally like to really open it up & wake up your hidden teen spirit ( as well as your wife or neighbors ( forget doing this in a condo)while maintaining excellent sound quality, then definitely check them out. 

... my concern would be bass energy in a large room because of cancellation of the front and back output which are out of phase (this reduces bass by 6 db/octave).

I believe this is true in general,  but as per Ze'ev, not so much with his PAPs as his drivers?/implementation? reduces this typical OB cancelation (exactly how I do not recall). Unless Larryi has measured this cancelation himself or knows a reliable study showing this for the PAPs specifically,  I would ask Ze'ev directly if this is a concern. 


I was impressed with the bass of both the Quintet and Trio speakers I heard because I like fast and nimble woofers that can keep up with the kinds of midrange/treble drivers they use which are also very fast and dynamic sounding.  I also saw that PAP employs the kind of woofers I like which use pleated paper surrounds—those tend to deliver very clean and articulate bass—but because they also limit excursion, they don’t deliver deep bass at high volume levels.  I admit that I don’t prioritize extremely deep bass, so I did not evaluate the PAP speakers I heard for that aspect of performance.  My “concern” was hypothetical and raised as something to look into rather than something I actually heard.

I did see that PAP did employ one approach to reducing back wave cancellation—they effectively widened the baffle with small side supports that extend backwards like the side of a conventional speaker with no back.  This is commonly done with open baffle designs.  It is generally considered better to “widen” the baffle with such wings than to use a wide front panel because of problems with reflections off a wide baffle and diffraction issues.

Aside from the particular demands here--large room and high ceilings—my favorite speakers mentioned here are the Charney Companions with AER drivers and the Quintets.  If corner placement works, I would add the fieldcoil version of the Audio Note AN-E to my personal favorite list.