Sub­woofers of the Year

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As Richter’s MD Brian Rodgers re­marked when col­lect­ing this award on the night, the com­pany’s Thor sub­woofers have a prob­a­bly un­par­al­leled suc­cess in col­lect­ing awards. We had no hes­i­ta­tion in adding this one, for the lat­est $1499 Thor 10.6 de­sign. Richter’s Se­nior En­gi­neer Dr Martin Gos­nell was tasked with de­vel­op­ing the new model to be smaller and lighter than any pre­vi­ous Thor sub­woofer. He not only suc­ceeded (at 44 × 31 × 39cm the Thor 10.6 is 20% smaller than the Thor Mk V, and 30% lighter too), he also raised the in­ter­nal am­pli­fier power to 450W from the pre­vi­ous 300W to ex­tract the high­est lev­els of per­for­mance from the newly-de­signed high-per­for­mance 254mm long-throw bass driver.

Per­haps most re­mark­able of all, Richter has also made it look sig­nif­i­cantly pret­tier (you know, for a sub­woofer). With the grille fit­ted you can’t see the twin tune­able bass re­flex ports, while the the front-fir­ing of both th­ese and the driver means you can re­cess the sub­woofer into a wall

— or into a cup­board or cab­i­net — to com­pletely re­move the sub­woofer from the lis­ten­ing room. Even out on dis­play, it’s no eye-sore, with no vinyl to be seen, just a very classy matte-painted sur­face..

It’s also ver­sa­tile, with more con­fig­u­ra­tion op­tions than any pre­vi­ous Richter sub­woofer, and with bet­ter-qual­ity fit­tings as well. The low pass fil­ter is not only ad­justable, it’s also de­feat­able. In ad­di­tion to the usual ro­tary vol­ume level and crossover con­trols, there are three modes of DSP equal­i­sa­tion for ‘Mu­sic’, ‘Mer­lin’ and ‘Home The­atre’; the ‘Mer­lin’ mode is de­signed to in­te­grate per­fectly with Richter’s award-win­ning Mer­lin book­shelf loud­speak­ers. And there are both bal­anced and un­bal­anced LFE in­puts, plus speaker-level in­puts, ac­cessed via multi-way gold-plated speaker ter­mi­nals.

As for per­for­mance, Richter has suc­ceeded where most other sub­woofer man­u­fac­tur­ers have not, de­liv­er­ing a small sub­woofer that doesn’t sound small at all, ex­hibit­ing mar­vel­lously deep bass per­for­mance, with tune­ful, rhyth­mic mu­si­cal de­liv­ery and su­perbly low lev­els of dis­tor­tion. Add the ex­traor­di­nar­ily high level of con­nec­tiv­ity, mul­ti­ple EQ modes and classy fin­ish, and the Richter 10.6 will surely ex­tend the fame of Thor.

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JUDGES’ COM­MENT “Aussie com­pany Richter has suc­ceeded where most other sub­woofer man­u­fac­tur­ers have not. It’s man­aged to build a small and ver­sa­tile sub­woofer that doesn’t sound small at all.”

Richter’s Brian Rodgers col­lects the Award.

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