DeVore Orangutan Reference Loudspeaker System

Common Wave Hi-Fi in Los Angeles Debuted the Devore Orangutan Speaker System

This past Saturday evening Common Wave Hifi hosted the North American Debut of the Devore Fidelity O/Reference Speaker System. These high sensitivity speakers feature a 2 box design. From the Devore Website:

O/Reference A

10” paper-cone woofer with a cast Bronze chassis and an all new woofer motor, fully optimized with a pure AlNiCo magnet, copper Faraday rings above and below the gap, a titanium former, and a machined bronze phase plug resulting in better magnetic and inductive linearity, increased sensitivity, and an order of magnitude lower distortion throughout most of the frequency range.

1” silk dome tweeter loaded by a cast & machined Bronze horn with an all new tweeter motor utilizing a large rare-earth magnet and an underhung voice-coil for increased linearity at lower treble frequencies and higher sensitivity.

.75” silk dome super-tweeter with a cast & machined bronze horn and rare-earth magnet.

Solid machined Bronze port tubes and machined brass input-plate are de-coupled from the cabinet to reduce vibration.

Solid machined Bronze port tubes

O/Reference B

11-inch reinforced aluminum woofer and all-new motor system capable of a massive 2 1/4 inch excursion.

11-inch reinforced aluminum passive radiator naturally tuned below 20Hz in-cabinet with no equalization.

Rigid two-inch thick birch plywood front baffle and solid machined brass input-plate to reduce vibration.

Dedicated 700 watt amplifier and all analog signal path including fully adjustable low-pass crossover, variable phase, subsonic filter, and equalization at 20Hz and 35Hz to tailor response to different room installations.

If you were able to hear this speaker system, please share your thoughts.

The New Green Mountain Audio Eos HX

Green Mountain Audio Eos HX
photo by Vahan Baladouni

Associated Equipment:

Source: Macbook Pro running Pure Music with a large variety of recordings and resolutions.

Amplifier: Anthem MCA-2 class A/B

Computer interface: CI Audio Transient II USB to S/PDIF converter and VDC-5 MK II (power supply)

DAC: Crane Song Avocet DAC/Monitor controller (Discrete Class A)

Power: Shunyata Hydra 2 x 2 and power cables (various: copperhead, sidewinder VTX, Hydra VTX…)

Cables: Audio Magic Sorcerer speaker cable, Excalibur II interconnect, DH labs D-75 BNC to RCA, & Wireworld starlight USB

Eos HX

When you think of traditional speakers you often expect a wooden box of some type with drivers arranged inside. Not so with Green Mountain Audio’s Eos HX. In fact, no wooden cabinets here, except for the lovely Cocobolo wood that surrounds the tweeter. By taking a closer look it becomes evident that unique materials were used to build this speaker. The handcrafted Eos HX from Colorado Springs, CO combines artisanal workmanship with engineering refinement.

The Eos HX Tweeter surrounded by Cocobolo wood
photo from Green Mountain Audio

This HiFi meets steam punk design is the brain child of designer Roy Johnson. Mr. Johnson has spent years researching and developing a full range of speakers, and the Eos HX sits at the top of his 2-way designs. Never quite satisfied, the Eos has seen three iterations: the Eos, the Eos HD, and the latest being the HX. 

These speakers are  full of innovation. Starting with the Q-stone cabinet material, these monitors have a unique ability to be shaped in acoustically appropriate ways while also maintaining a low self resonance. The curved shape around mid/woofer allows for the fullest dispersion of sound, and the adjustable tweeter employs wool felt discs to eliminate early cabinet reflections. Without metallic resonances, the lightweight soft dome tweeter from Seas extends beyond 30Khz. The twin ports for the woofer have  been specially designed to more efficiently handle bass pressure. What you end up with is a truly tuneful bass response with an excellent percussive attack.

The heart of the Eos HX is found in its crossover circuit. Through much refinement, Roy Johnson has arrived on a crossover design (1st order) that works at achieving time-coherence  across the audible frequency range. Further sonic enhancements include Marigo internal wiring and Audio Magic nano stream process for the entire crossover circuit (including internal wire and binding posts). All these combined refinements further the speaker’s ability to reproduce nuances in the music.

The Eos HX rear with Vampire Wire binding posts
photo by Vahan Baladouni

Spending some quality time with the Eos HX proved to be very enlightening. While the bass extension rolls off around 50 hz, these 2 way compact speakers (6 inch mid/woofer and fabric dome tweeter) produce an even and smooth marriage between tweeter and woofer. The dual ported Eos HX maintain an accurate and satisfying extension of low-end, especially in smaller listening rooms. Recordings like Count Basie to more modern pop styles of Beach House were reproduced with greater resolution than I had previously heard. Even micro details were more readily heard, but never in an overhyped way. With such a natural sound reproduction of voice and instruments, I found myself hearing much deeper into recordings. The stereo image is quite amazing for a monitor of this size.

I cannot emphasize enough the emotional quality these speakers reproduce. All the attitude and inflection of singers were heard with an obvious transparency.  listening to multiple voices proved to be very revealing, localization and distinctions from singer to singer became more obvious. When I turned my attention to percussion instruments like cymbals, the articulation of attack was easy to hear and subtle differences between strikes were apparent. Cymbals have never sounded so real and fully textured. Whatever the instrument, The Eos HX have an uncanny ability to reproduce it without adding to or smearing the sound. Most importantly, these speakers produced a highly musical and involving listening experience. Without reservation, I highly recommend auditioning the Eos HX.

Pure oxygen free copper directly gold-plated binding posts
Photo from Green Mountain Audio

Further information on Green Mountain Audio can be found here.

Happy Listening!

Devialet D-Premier

Devialet D-Premier

Pleasing modern aesthetics isn’t always associated with audiophile gear. In fact, finding Hi-Fi equipment that blends sonic delight with great design is something to be applauded. French audio firms Focal and Devialet are no slouches in this department. Devialet, in particular, produces an integrated amplifier that incorporates unique and compact audio circuits with a clean industrial design to match.

The D-Premier ($15,995USD) is an integrated amplifier with onboard digital-to-analog conversion for various digital music sources (digital coax, optical, & AES/it also has analog inputs) as well as a hybrid power amplifier section capable of driving a variety of speakers. Devialet seems to favor short signal paths while harnessing the strengths of class A and class D amplifier topologies. It is my understanding that the D-Premier incorporates a class A input section with a digital switching amp for power output. I am certainly oversimplifying this design, but proof is in the listening. Technically speaking, the D-Premier achieves very low distortion (THD+N (harmonic distortion) at full power: 0.001%) while providing 240 watts of power into 8 ohms. This power can be increased (2×400 watts and THD+N lowered to 0.00025%!) by using two separate D-Premier’s in a mono block configuration. That’s lots of power in a relatively small/thin footprint! – eloquent dual mono setup.

I heard this amplifier powering Focal Stella Utopia speakers while playing source material from a Sooloos digital music server. Music was reproduced with precision, clarity and control. When over limited recordings were played (Adele’s 21), all the vocal distortions came through with obvious detail. This amplifier is very accurate, and provides the listener with all the sonic layers while providing precision and control to speaker drivers.

The Stella Utopia incorporate an active Electro-magnetic speaker technology which of course requires power and some serious floor space! I would have really liked to see how the Devialet-D and the Focal speakers sounded with vinyl playback, but with the demo provided I could be easily persuaded to do further listening.

For blending with room decor, the Devialet -D integrated amplifier may be hung on the wall. This allows all wiring to be done through the wall, thus eliminating unsightly audiophile cables. A video demonstrating the chrome finish, and how it reflects the rooms colors can be seen at the Devialet website homepage. Ergonomically, the D-Premier’s wireless remote provides a luxurious dial for adjusting volume level,audio inputs, and even a phase invert button. Right now, it is only available in chrome, black, and white finishes. I am told (by the US distributor) that other colors will eventually become available.

Devialet’s modern industrial design comes complete with Apple style packaging. Firmware upgrades provide improved features such as wireless high-definition audio (up to 96khz).

This integrated amplification system combines powerful fidelity, flexibility, ease of control and graceful design. Getting to the heart of music seems to be a priority with the D-Premier, and I for one welcome this approach.

Happy Listening!