The Rhythm 1.2 is completely quiet, highly resolving, explosively dynamic, and sounds freakin’ amazing. I suppose you could say that I’m a fan.” – Part Time Audiophile
The Rhythm 1.2 is a single-ended line stage preamp that provides a new level of audio enjoyment by employing radically new technology.
Designed, machined and assembled in Pennsylvania, the Rhythm 1.2 utilizes two 12au7 tubes in its gain stage. In addition to its remote volume control, the Rhythm 1.2 has a balance control, mute switch, mono switch, five sets of RCA inputs and two sets of RCA output jacks in addition to a Record Out. Its handy tube access door allows tube changes with no tools, just the touch of a finger. And the pleasing glow of the volume knob’s LED indicator points out where volume is set.
Sound at a Glance
Acquire the Rhythm 1.2 if you want your music to come alive, if you want toe-tapping rhythm like you’ve never heard before – especially from a tubed unit – and if you want your music to have all the clarity, accuracy, and beauty that is present on your source material.
More on sound quality
Technology At A Glance
The Rhythm 1.2 uses an amplification circuit (“gain stage”) unlike any other. The way it amplifies is extremely easy on your tubes, running at a constant current and a remarkably low voltage (150 volts) for the blackest backgrounds possible.
Its internal parts are of the highest quality, including the best capacitors ever built into a power supply (V-Cap™ capacitors), a first in audio made possible by Bob Backert’s patented GreenForce™ power supply. Although every other active preamp in the world uses them, the Rhythm 1.2. uses no aluminum electrolytic capacitors in the power supply or anywhere else.
Very low output impedance (<200 ohms) means that the Rhythm 1.2 combines beautifully with any power amplifier. The transformer is toroidal. The IEC connector allows you to experiment with various power cords. And the premium RCA jacks are so sturdy and widely spaced, the Rhythm 1.2 can handle whatever interconnects you may select.
The Rhythm 1.2 tubed preamplifier provides exceptional sound quality, in several key areas.
Rhythm. So often ignored by audio manufacturers, it is rare to see rhythm even mentioned in product literature. At Backert Labs, we believe that accurate rhythm, the precise timing of your music, is essential to experiencing a live performance in your living room. With accurate rhythm, music becomes more compelling. More “right now”. And of course, with many kinds of music, more fun and toe-tapping.
Dynamics. With its radical gain stage and the advanced capacitors in its power supply, we believe the Rhythm 1.2 presents the most accurate dynamics of any stereo component you can buy.
Speed and attack. It sounds a bit odd to say that an amplifier is “fast”. No, the Rhythm 1.2 will not speed up your music. But it will provide lightning-fast response. This applies to the very front edge of each sound, and to the immediate cessation at the end of each sound. From powerful drum hits, to a sudden wall of emotion from a fortissimo chorus, the Rhythm 1.2 starts, and stops, on a dime. Its speed and attack are due to the Rhythm 1.2's gain stage, the technology driving its GreenForce power supply, and the V-Cap™ capacitors in its power supply.
Tone. While many preamplifiers can present a beautiful tone, the Rhythm 1.2 digs deeper, and shows you the inner tone of an instrument or voice — the slightest wavering of a trumpet, the woody details of that particular bass violin, the quiet sigh of a female vocalist. We think the Rhythm 1.2 will convey more about the tone of your favorite music than you have heard before.
Soundstage. The design of Bob Backert’s GreenForce power supply lifts the accurate presentation of a massive soundstage to a new level.
Clarity. With its point-to-point circuit connections and absolutely *no* aluminum electrolytic capacitors, one of the first things you will notice about the Rhythm 1.2 is its striking clarity, its open, “right there”, true-to-life presentation of your favorite music.
In addition to its rather impressive specifications, the Rhythm 1.2 preamplifier has several unique technical features.
Audio “Firsts” In the Rhythm 1.2
The first power supply that can use all V-Caps capacitors. GreenForce™, patented by Bob Backert.
The first active preamplifier with no aluminum electrolytic capacitors inside. Better sound, and better for the environment.
The first preamplifier that adjusts tube bias automatically and continuously.
Our gain stage
The section of a preamplifier that amplifies your music is called the gain stage.
When people hear our gain stage for the first time, they tend to focus immediately on the music. It’s not about better treble, or better bass. Our approach is so new, such a complete overhaul of the typical tubed amplification circuit, that audiophile phrases become less important, and what matters is the performance happening right now, in front of you.
Life-like dynamics. Spaciousness. Real-life clarity. No sweeteners, no thickeners, no “warmed up” midbass. Our gain stage delivers music as it really sounds.
Our gain stage has several technical features:
Constant Current: Backert Labs chose to keep the current on your tubes constant at all times. This is easier on them, allowing your tubes to last longer. Constant current also results in more linear amplification, or put simply, more accurate sound. Not many manufacturers utilize constant current circuits.
Automatic Bias Correction: Unlike any other preamplifier, your Rhythm 1.2 will automatically adjust the bias of your tubes, continuously.
- Just bought a new pair of NOS tubes? Once you put them in, the bias is immediately adjusted specifically for them. In fact every pair you insert will again receive a specific bias, customized just for them. Automatically.
- Using the same tubes for 10 years? Bias will need adjustment to a small degree as they age, and to a larger degree toward the end of their life. Bob Backert’s gain stage does that.
- Playing music? In other preamps, the bias will be changing constantly, in real time, due to the music signal itself. The Rhythm 1.2 and negates this effect, allowing your tubes to run at a constant, smooth and correct bias.
No Cathode Follower: Many tubed preamps use an extra tubed circuit after the gain stage, called a cathode follower. This circuit is intended to lower the preamp’s output impedance. Because a cathode follower can impair the accuracy of a preamp’s dynamics, the Rhythm 1.1 does not use a cathode follower. It doesn’t need to, because our gain stage is naturally very low in output impedance.
The Rhythm 1.2 preamplifier, from Backert Labs
Line stage tubed preamp, single-ended
5 inputs, 2 outputs, 1 “Rec Out”, all RCA
Balance control, mute switch, mono switch, remote volume control
Tube complement: 2 X 12au7, accessible via tube access door on top panel
Phase: phase inverting
Gain: 9dB (we can adjust this to suit your specific system)
Frequence response: 1.5Hz to 320kHz
S/N ratio: 98dB (90dB referenced to a 1V output)
Input impedance: 55,000Ω
Output impedance: 150Ω
Power consumption, idle: 23W
Power consumption, maximum output: 24W
Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 4 inches
Weight: 23 lbs shipping 30 lbs