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. As mentioned in the comments, the setup was far from ideal and the sound was equally so.

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!

MBL of Germany at T.H.E. Show Newport 2012

MBL GmbH

Walking around T.H.E. Show Newport this year was certainly a trek, and it definitely requires more than one day to see a good chunk of exhibitors. While the Atrium hotel didn’t have exhibits spread out on 10 floors like the Hilton, there were hidden nooks and crannies of audio fun waiting to be discovered all over.

One room that proved to always be full was MBL of Germany. Their unique Radialstrahler speaker is usually a hit at hifi audio shows, and this time was no exception. I brought a Bill Frisell CD along (Gone, Just Like a Train), and asked if I might hear a track through the MBL system. The gentleman representing MBL obliged, but only after he told me that it must be demagnetized first. I smiled, and apologized for bringing stray magnetic fields into his room. After the cheesy audiophile banter, I sat front center and took off into the recording. The depth and width of the soundstage was exquisite. Not only could I localize all musicians, but the space around them was natural and not exaggerated. From top to bottom I heard all of Frisell’s stereo guitars, the thunderous deep bass of Victor Krauss, and Jim Keltner playing the drums in just the right space.

While these speakers sounded thrilling, the reproduction of sound was something of a fantasy- dispersing sound in 360 degrees while bass is fired below- this creates some low mid mud that is minor, but discernible.

The MBL audio experience is a must for any visitor to a hifi show. I have never heard a grand piano sound so convincingly real than when they play one over the MBL full range systems. This is the kind of excitement and realism that fools the ears into believing a live music performance is actually taking place! Involving, fun, fun, fun for millionaires!

Although the MBL audio systems are extremely expensive, it’s always fun to walk in and hear a demo! I must say that the smaller version of this speaker did not impress very much. It was my experience that the large floorstanding Radialstrahler has much better depth and evenness in frequency response than the stand mounted MBL speaker. Here is a pic from last year’s show in Newport.

The Dark “Man Cave” aesthetic – so prevelant at hifi audio shows

Photos taken by Vahan Baladouni

Speakers that Sound Natural

Image

(EXHIBIT A: EOS HDphoto courtesy of Green Mountain Audio 

Green Mountain Audio has been producing fine loudspeakers out of Colorado for some time now. Over the past several years I have been lucky enough to test drive the Eos HD in my system.

The Eos HD is a 2 way time coherent* monitor which employs a 1st order crossover design. This is achieved when the tweeter and mid range speaker driver move in unison or synchronously. Being made of a composite marble material helps dampen cabinet resonances while also allowing the designer to shape the cabinet in more acoustical appropriate ways.  Bottom line: The Eos HD produces music with excellent imaging/localization and a transparency that is truly amazing.

Happy Listening!

*The best comparison I can give to experiencing time-coherent speakers is listening to a DAC (digital to analog converter) with extremely low jitter through headphones such as the Sennheiser HD-600.  Since most headphones have one driver per channel, time coherence is built into the design. While a good pair of headphones and a DAC can reproduce digital music with great results, the experience is very different from sound produced over loudspeakers.

Note: I was able to hear the Lindemann BL-10 at T.H.E. show last year and was very impressed with the sound of this 2 way  speaker (employs a simple crossover design for minimum phase). I have not had extensive listening sessions with the Lindemann, but hope to review it in full in the future.

Happy Listening!