“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

RBH Sound SX-61/R Bookshelf Speakers Review

RBH Sound SX-61/R Bookshelf Speaker

RBH Sound SX-61/R Bookshelf Speaker


  • Product Name: SX-61/R Bookshelf Speaker
  • Manufacturer: RBH Sound
  • Review Date: October 21, 2011 07:00
  • MSRP: $1900/pair
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz (±3dB)
  • Sensitivity: 87dB (2.83V @ 1 Meter)
  • Recommended Power: 75-150 Watts
  • Drive Units: (1) 6-1/2" (165mm) Reference Aluminum Cone Woofer
  • (1) 1.1" (28mm) Reference Silk Dome Tweeter
  • Tweeter Protection: Yes
  • Crossover Frequency: 2,700 Hz
  • Crossover Slope: 12dB/Octave
  • Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Cabinet/Color: Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)/Matte Black Oak
  • Grille: Black Cloth
  • Finished Dimensions: 8-1/2" W x 13-3/4" H x 10-1/8" D (216mm W x 349mm H x 283mm D)
  • Weight: 18 lbs. (8.17 kg)
  • Warranty: 5 Years

Sometimes we get caught up in the specs and features of products - in fact, that's often the most stand-out thing about some of the things we review. When we fired up the RBH Sound SX-61/R Reference Bookshelf speakers, all that went out the proverbial window. For the next two hours we didn't do anything but shuffle in and out various discs and tracks and listen. And I mean "lose ourselves in the moment" listening. The SX-61/R's have that signature RBH Sound midrange that let's you hear things you just don't with most bookshelf systems. The speakers just dissolve into the room and you can detect every nuance in the music. Things like a snare drum played with brushes just become ear candy and kick drums reveal that decisive snap at the top. You can listen for hours and not get tired.

 RBH Sound SX-61 Bookshelf Speaker YouTube Video Review

We coupled these speakers with an RBH Sound SX-12 subwoofer which has a 350-watt linear amp with an aluminum cone driver, but we've got a separate review of that product. Just realize that the SX-61/Rs have limited output below 55Hz - so you'll want to pair them with something to pick up the bottom end. I'll tell you, though, listening to these bookshelfs with that SX-12 sub resulted in one of the most natural, full-range experiences we've ever encountered. And for $1900/pair, they should sound good. No, scratch that, they should sound pristine.

phase plug driver

So let's talk about what's under the hood. The boxes measure about 13-3/4" tall x 8-1/2" wide and just over 11-inches deep. The curved cabinets, which helps eliminate unwanted standing waves, are beautiful and you can get them in Black Oak or Rosewood veneers. They are also well-braced and the front baffle is made of double-layered MDF, a full 1-1/2" thick, which is very unusual. These things are built like cinder blocks and they make a rather unusual sound when you knuckle them... kinda like a wood block.

The Reference SX-61/Rs have aluminum cones like nearly all of RBH's speakers, but this is an upgraded 6-1/2" model with a cast basket and phase-plug. A liquid-cooled Scanspeak silk dome tweeter commands the high end and the crossover has been modified to handle the upgraded drivers. Just so you understand, this tweeter is well-known in audiophile circles and costs more than all the drivers combined in most bookshelf systems. This speaker is the proof that quality parts + know-how make for quality sound. You really get what you pay for.

The shorted dual pairs of binding posts allow them to be fully biamped if you want to and the posts themselves are of excellent quality. You can pump anywhere from 75-150 watts into these 8-ohm speakers, so they're going to be able to be used with almost any amplifier. Sensitivity is just 87db SPL at 1 meter, so, in our opinion, the more power the better. I will tell you this, though, we drove them with a reference Integrated amplifier as well as a standard home theater receiver. Given the price I think you're going to want to give them as much power as you can to get the most out of the drivers.

binding posts

OK, back to the music. Besides the clarity - I mean the details are incredible - they also image well. Lead vocals come right out of the middle of the soundstage and if you close your eyes you're listening to a live concert or studio recording. If you're not, it's just as likely the fault of the mix engineer. On their own, without a sub, they still sound great and I could honestly have lived with them except for the fact that a sub really makes them come alive. So here's our recommendation: these are superb bookshelf speakers with superb drivers. They just make you want to listen to music. But they don't produce a lot of bass. But alot of times that's what's wrong with many bookshelf speakers. They try to do too much. And they fail. These don't. Add a sub and this might be the finest system you ever hear for the money.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

Andrew Gash was the online personality for Audioholics' video reviews back in 2010. He's an accomplished video editor and scriptwriter and enjoys masochistic events such as entering 48 hour film festivals each year, for which his last several attempts have placed in various nominations and awards.

View full profile