DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/96 loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Garrard 301, Thorens TD 124 turntables; EMT 997, Ortofon TA-210 tonearms; Ortofon SPU, EMT TSD 15 70th Anniversary & OFD 25 & OFD 65 pickup heads; Denon DL-103 cartridges.
Digital Sources: Wavelength Proton, AudioQuest DragonFly USB D/A converters; Apple iMac G5 computer running Apple iTunes v.10.2.2, Decibel v.1.0.2 playback software.
Preamplification: Auditorium 23 Standard (SPU version), Silvercore One-to-Ten, Hommage T2 step-up transformers; Shindo Masseto preamplifier.
Power Amplifiers: Shindo Corton-Charlemagne & Haut-Brion, Fi 421A.
Loudspeakers: Audio Note AN-E/SPe HE, Line Magnetic 755I, Quad ESL.
Cables: USB: AudioQuest Yosemite. Interconnect: Audio Note AN-Vx, Shindo Silver. Speaker: Auditorium 23.
Accessories: Box Furniture Company D3S rack (source, amplification components); Keith Monks record-cleaning machine; Peter W. Belt Cream Electret.—Art Dudley

COMPANY INFO
DeVore Fidelity
Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Ave., Unit 259
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 855-9999
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
bplexico's picture

Art - I enjoyed reading your review, not least because I am a happy owner of the DeVore O/96s. But beyond any need for validation that I may or may not have made the right choice a year ago, I have learned so much from your writings and along with Michael F, they re-kindled my interest in both analog and putting together a system that would satisfy me emotionally and allow me to really connect with my number one priority, music.

With the aid of a wonderful dealer in my area, who has spent an inordinate amount of time with me, allowing me to listen to a variety of systems, I have been able to acquire at last a truly satisfying setup. Oddly enough that system is composed of Shindo, Garrard, EMT, A23 and DeVore, go figure.

A belated thank you for sharing your passion.

Barr

mrplankton2u's picture

"Well balanced"? "Uncolored"?

To start with, 5 db of difference in sensitivity between published specification and measured response is pretty ridiculous for a pair of standmount 2 way speakers costing $12,000. If you can't produce a product that's a little closer to spec than that for that kind of money, then what else could one expect? 

For starters, one could expect a lousy power response. But to the technically educated, crossing over from a 10 inch woofer to a 1 inch soft dome tweeter was going to be pretty predictable. Interestingly, we're not told in this review or in specifications where the crossover point is. But the mess that is the off axis response betweenn 1.5 and 3khz is a pretty good indication.  This might explain the toe in fussing and limited window of accuracy beset upon the listening position. 

And I haven't gotten around to the pretty cabinet that rings like a cow bell...

 

John DeVore might be a great guy. I've never met him. But the tone of this review has me wondering how different it might have been if the "factory" wasn't down the road from those doing the reviewing and the relationship between reviewer and manufacturer of the product being reviewed was a little more "arm's length" - say, made in Taiwan or merry old England. This review reminds me of the $6000 dollar 60 watt tube amp whose volume control got excessively hot to the touch, yet still managed a "very highly recommended". And surprise, surprise - it's builder too was located in New York. Could this be a trend? Hint to budding niche high end audio entrepeneurs:

LOCATE YOUR BUSINESS IN NEW YORK AND INVITE CERTAIN AUDIO JOURNALISTS OUT FOR A DRINK NOW AND THEN....

John Atkinson's picture

mrplanton2u wrote:
the tone of this review has me wondering how different it might have been if the "factory" wasn't down the road from those doing the reviewing...

To address your comments in reverse order:

Art Dudley lives 220 miles from the DeVore factory, which is indeed real, despite your scare quotes.

Regarding your skepticism about the match between a 1" tweeter and a 10" woofer, I shared your skepticism unitl I auditioned the speaker - see my comments in the "Measurements" section of the review.

John DeVore addressed the matter of the O/96's sensitivity in his Manufacturer's Comment.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

mrplankton2u's picture

However, (are you surprised - I'm sort of the critic in chief around here - someone has to be), John Devore's explanation about the published sensitivity isn't making any sense. True sensitivity isn't defined by electrical power dissipated. It is defined by the acoustic output typically measured at 1 meter at 1khz. In  more comprehensive testing regimes as you have sometimes done - the measured acoustic output is averaged over a span of frequencies to which the average human ear/brain have been found to be sensitive. This means that the output impedance of the device driving the loudspeaker under test is or should be irrelevent. If 2.83V (the widely accepted standard) of drive voltage is measured at the loudspeaker while the tone or sweep is being generated, you will obtain the correct sound pressure output of the device under test. If the source impedance is 50 ohms instead of .05 ohms, it really doesn't matter. When 2.83V is measured across the loudspeaker, you will get the correct specification output albeit with a much higher drive level voltage being necessary at the source to overcome internal losses. This is basic electrical engineering 101 and I would hope by now that Mr. DeVore has passed that technical milestone but his explanation doesn't appear to suggest that.

John Atkinson's picture

mrplankton2u wrote:
If 2.83V (the widely accepted standard) of drive voltage is measured at the loudspeaker while the tone or sweep is being generated, you will obtain the correct sound pressure output of the device under test.

Except that with a speaker like this, whose average impedance is greater than 8 ohms, 2.83V will be equivalent to less than 1W. John DeVore specifies his speaker at 1W input power rather than 2.83V input voltage, meaning that my measured sensitivity will be somewhat lower than his O/96's specification. Like you I think of loudspeakers as being voltage-driven devices, which is why I am consistent with using 2.83V as a drive level when measuring sensitivity, but this is a convenience as speakers are actually current-driven.

The source impedance of the amplifier becomes relevant when you are discussing the transfer of power from a source to a receiver, as in the olden days of telecommunication. Power transfer reaches a maximum when source and load impedance are the same.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

mrplankton2u's picture

The sensitivity rating should be defined as acoustic power output vs applied voltage drive level. The efficiency rating should be defined as the acoustic power output vs. eletrical power consumed. The two are frequently confused because manufacturers love to use the one that makes their product look better - calling them both the sensitivity rating. Regardless, DeVore's explanation was a useless distraction. Speakers are supposed to be rated based on the actual signals applied - not what type of amplifier is being used. If you know what the current through load,, voltage around the load, and phase between the two is - that's all you need to know. The rest is BS fluff.

As for what this speaker actually measures, my guess given the impedance plot and sound output at 2.83V of drive is that it is a few decibels down from the 96db rating with one watt consumed at 1 meter's distance at 1khz. Still pathetic for a loudspeaker that costs six figures. That's one thing I would expect from an expensive speaker - close adherence to published specifications. Is that too much to ask? I guess so.

John Atkinson's picture

mrplankton2u wrote:
The sensitivity rating should be defined as acoustic power output vs applied voltage drive level.

Except that it isn't defined that way. It is sound pressure level  - pressure being the acoustic analog of voltage - on a specific axis at a specific distance for a given voltage input. See my discussion of sensitivity vs efficiency at www.stereophile.com/content/measuring-loudspeakers-part-one-page-3.

mrplankton2u wrote:
my guess given the impedance plot and sound output at 2.83V of drive is that it is a few decibels down from the 96db rating with one watt consumed at 1 meter's distance at 1khz. Still pathetic for a loudspeaker that costs six figures.

I disagree, Loudspeakers as sensitive as this DeVore Fidelity and that measure as well are relatively rare - see fig.1 at www.stereophile.com/content/measuring-loudspeakers-part-one-page-4 - and almost always expensive.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

mrplankton2u's picture

I intentionally used the words "acoustic power" and "should" for a reason. But you apparently weren't perceptive enough to notice the intent to draw a distinction. Sensitivity in scientific pursuits typically involves a stimulus and measurement of response to stimulus. Applied force is considered the stimulus and reaction forces are considered the response. The laws of conservation of force and momentum govern.  Efficiency in scientific pursuits typically involves a process undertaken over time that measures total energy input to establish a given process versus the actual amount of energy consumed in the process itself over a specific period of time. There, the laws for conservation of energy govern.

This is why I used the term acoustic power because the important distinctions between the two concepts could be more easily illustrated. Your attempt to correct me actually points up your lack of understanding between these concepts. Sound pressure vs. wattage relates force to power and thus energy in a steady state system. Sound pressure to voltage relates force to force. As for your concern about the propriety of using the term acoustic power - that only points up your lack of familiarity with the subject since acoustic power is readily converted from sound pressure in free space - they are two sides of the same coin. Based on the above background in common scientific methods, the proper definition for sensitivity is applied force or voltage to sensed force or sound pressure. The power consumed (force acting through a distance) versus sound pressure (force) is thus not the appropriate definition for sensitivity - at least where proper sceintific method is concerned. Not everyone who reads the drivel of Stereophile is a novice or was born the day before yesterday. It's about time you recognize that fact and accord potential readers with the respect they deserve.

John Atkinson's picture

mrplankton2u wrote:
I intentionally used the words "acoustic power" and "should" for a reason. But you apparently weren't perceptive enough to notice the intent to draw a distinction.

It looks as if you didn't read the linked article. I was discussing "efficency," in terms of acoustic power output (in watts) for electrical power input (in watts); and "sensitivity," in terms of a sound pressure level at a specific place in space, conventionally expressed in dB against a  reference level, and input voltage. If you mix these up, as you are doing, wanting to specify sensitivity in output power against input voltage, you are committing what my physics professor used to call a "dimensional error": ie, there is a mismatch between the units on either side of the statement.

mrplankton2u wrote:
As for your concern about the propriety of using the term acoustic power - that only points up your lack of familiarity with the subject since acoustic power is readily converted from sound pressure in free space - they are two sides of the same coin.

Yes they are two sides of the coin but that doesn't mean that they are "readily converted." You seem to be disregarding the fact that a loudspeaker is not an omnidirectional radiator at all frequencies but instead has a directivity that varies with frequency. You can't, therefore, assess a loudspeaker's acoustic output power by looking at what happens at just one point in space.

Look, there are four measurements you can make: input voltage; input power; output sound pressure level at a specific place in space; sound power output. Examining output power against input power gives you the efficiency; examining output spl for input voltage gives you the sensivitivity. Three of these parameters are readily measurable: input voltage and power, and spl. One, output sound power is not. To measure output power, you have to integrate the spl readings over the entire solid angle into which the speaker is radiating, which means making a large number of measurements over the surface of that solid angle in an anechoic chamber. Or you use a true maximally reverberant room, which is rare and expensive.

So if you are truly interested in efficiency, you have a long and complicated task ahead of you. But efficiency is not what anyone apart from you is interested in. The underlying question is: How loud does this speaker play for a given input voltage? And the voltage sensitivity, which is straightforward to measure, gives you an answer to that question.

And you keep referring to the DeVore's problematic dispersion, without grasping the point that what John DeVore appears to have done is to balance the anomalies in the O/96's on-axis response against those in the dispersion, the result being that the power response conforms to one of Floyd Toole's criteria for good sound quality, that it be smooth and gently sloping down with frequency. You get an idea of this from the spatially averaged in-room responses published in this review. Above the region dominated by boundary effects and low-frequency room modes, the DeVore O/96's in-room response is commendably smooth and even and gently slopes down with increasing frequency.

I suggest you actually listen to these speakers before passing further comment on their sound quality.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

JohnnyR's picture

"I suggest you actually listen to these speakers before passing further comment on their sound quality."

So much for measurements meaning anything or should I say the "interpretation" of the measurements? If every speaker is just going to be praised left and right and the flaws ignored then lets just STOP with the measurements and pile on the praise!  Glory Hallelujah!!! Gets out ur rekorddds and tube amps and full range 15 inch speaker in a huge box and let ur ears have a blast!!!!!!

Glotz's picture

You have no idea whether it's worth $12k or not.

Lots of offensive, shitty attitudes coming from multiple people who wish they owned their own magazine.

JohnnyR's picture

......it's not worth $12,000 simply from reading what drivers are in it and the box construction and layout, then the measureed response and panel vibrations. A flawed design from the beginning with very little thought put into the final result other than the price tag. Minimum effort for maximum profit. Plenty of better speakers out there for less money.

Sorry but I don't want my own magazine , I just want some truth in the ones out here already.

MVBC's picture

Here is a European example with high quality drivers:

http://www.toutlehautparleur.com/enceintes-en-kit-c-153/davis-acoustics-klarence.html

Roughly $2,000 a pair. Have a professional do the enclosure for you and you're done for $3,500 max. $12k for those De Vore is simply outrageous. 

Audio Legend's picture

You did recommend a flawed product. While I do not appreciate the tone of some of the posters, the facts are pretty clear, and actually this conclusion is drawn from your very own words:

"DeVore has accepted the inevitiblility of the promblems caused by the o/96's physical concept...."

Devore does, but should the buyer for the handsome sum of $12,000? What speaker desinger starts with a flawed concept?????

You go on to say:

"Even though I knew about the low treble resonoance and lively enclosure, these problems were considerably less audible than I was expecting."

You did not say INAUDIBLE, but LESS audible.

It really is stunning. I really don't know how it serve the reader to recommend a clearlyflawed product.

JohnnyR's picture

It really is stunning. I really don't know how it serve the reader to recommend a clearlyflawed product.

It DOESN'T !!!! It's all about "reviewing" a FLAWED product in such a way as to not insult the designer ,yet convey to the reader that "Hey, this isn't so bad after all, so just buy it and try it out"  That the reader could buy a MUCH better speaker for FAR less money goes without saying.

mrplankton2u's picture

Yes it is stunning that a product could be designed that violates fundamental best practice design principles resulting in inferior performance - yet still receives a "recommendation" from the reviewing "authority".

Most novices in the speaker design field (read any DIY speaker website) know that you don't operate a loudspeaker transducer outside its effective frequency operating range if you want a good final result. This is so basic that it truly is stunning to think a professional in the speaker building business would knowingly violate such a principle without any apparent or perceived benefit. Operate a sizeable woofer into the low treble and you have a serious reduction in response off axis. You also run a greater risk of producing cone breakup and distortion that IS audible. Run a tweeter too low in frequency and you wind up with a serious increase in distortion due to over excursion with the possibility of overheating and damage at high sound pressure levels. Additionally, you experience an off axis response flare from the beaming woofer to the wide dispersion tweeter. 

In other words - IT'S ALL WRONG. STUNNINGLY WRONG, until of course the writers of Stereophile step in to tell us that it isn't so bad. So what's next on the horizon Stereophile? Are you going to try to convince your readers that the next beautifully stained and clear coated speaker whose enclosure is made of 1/4" pine plywood walls that ring like a siren isn't such a bad idea as long as you put cotton in your ears when listening? Yes folks, this is stunning but sadly, not that unusual for a lot of audio related trade magazines today.

Art Dudley's picture

Mr. Plankton, if the tone of my review strikes you as overly reverential toward the product's maker, that's your right; I could declare, truthfully, that I don't allow those sorts of things to influence the content of my reviews, but I suspect that nothing could change your mind on that point -- you're obviously having too much fun in the sty you've created for yourself here -- so why bother? I will, however, say that the maker of your favorite knob lives and works a few hours from here (I don't know for sure, as I've never been there, nor has Mr. Gibboni ever "taken me out for a drink"), and that I only get to Brooklyn (a 5-hour drive from my home upstate) about once or twice a year. I'm not sure how you explain my fondness for products whose manufacturers and representatives aren't located in New York State, nor my antipathy for some products made and repped by people with whom I *have* socialized -- but, again, you're free to hold and express whatever point of view suits the personna you wish to maintain in this forum.

BTW, the crossover frequency wasn't in the review because the manufacturer doesn't make it public, and I didn't comment on the discrepency between the published sensitivity spec and JA's measurement findings because I never see the latter until weeks after my reviews are written and submitted. And, although you don't seem to enjoy the experience, I'm grateful that you not only read my work in Stereophile but that you appear to follow it so assiduously! 

mrplankton2u's picture

[Gratuitous flame deleted by John Atkinson]

Mr. Dud, there is no other way to characterize it - you gave a product that was obviously defective a "very highly recommended rating". Whether you believe it was an intentional (by design) defect or not, it was in fact a defect. No audio amplifier intended for home or professional use is or even should be considered properly operational when the volume control becomes too hot to the touch during normal operation. Most "normal" reviewing entitites (if they were gracious) would return the product under such circumstances and allow the manufacturer to correct the defect. Other not so gracious reviewing entities would accurately desribe the product under review as having been defective and not award said product with a "very highly recommended" rating. When it comes to the consuming public, just as a singer/songwriter is often considered only as good as his/her latest or sometimes worst recording (in some industries, if the screwup is bad  enough, you don't get a second chance), when a reviewer blows up his credibility with a stupid review, it's very hard to rebuild it. And that is precisely where I place your professional credibility, sir - in the gutter with all the other exploded rubbish.

 

John Atkinson's picture

mrplankton2u wrote:
No audio amplifier intended for home or professional use is or even should be considered properly operational when the volume control becomes too hot to the touch during normal operation.

It appears you are fixated on this Rogers amplifier. The volume knob gets hot because the amplifier's design places the four output tubes close to the chassis metalwork, which over time heats up accordingly and passes that heat to the control knobs. Suboptimal design, but not a serious flaw, in my opinion.

And please note that "too hot to touch" is a projection on your part. Art's actual comment was "its volume control became uncomfortably warm to the touch during listening sessions longer than an hour." As a responsible reviewer, he noted that fact, which is how you found out about it, and moved on to the product's sound quality, which was sufficiently good for the Rogers amplifier to be recommended.

And again I must warn you to refrain from making personal comments. I will continue to delete such contents and if you continue, will delete your user account.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

mrplankton2u's picture

While we're on the subject of "personal comments", perhaps you could refrain from calling posters here "trolls" or uttering abusive,, inflammatory phrases like "STFU".  And perhaps you could curtail writers like Dudley from talking about the "sty I made for myself". Your double standards are obvious and ridiculous for someone trying to appear so proper,objective, and impartial.

My standards of posting/communication etiquette mirror those of other participants in this particular forum or as some Stereophile writers would say, this "clusterfuck" of a forum..Before you cast stones, take a long hard look in the mirror.

smittyman's picture

Actually I was the first one to raise a comment about the volume control.  My point was, and still is, that I don't think the volume control, or any other user control for that matter, on any amplifier should overheat.  The fact that it is a $6K amp that we are talking about makes it even less acceptable.  Please note that I did not resort to hyperbole in my original post on this subject because, as you point out, Art Dudley did not say too hot to touch. 

I think a high priced product should be judged on all facets of its operation, not only the sound.  I seem to recall that Listener ran a couple articles about the importance of basic usability and it also seems to me this amp is right up against that criterion.  You are right that it was responsible reporting to identify the issue but I still don't think an amp that isn't designed well enough to disapate heat away from the controls should get such a 'warm' recommendation. 

John Atkinson's picture

smittyman wrote:
Actually I was the first one to raise a comment about the volume control.

Understood. I was referring to the fact that mrplankton2u took your ball and has now run with it in multiple threads.

smittyman wrote:
I don't think the volume control, or any other user control for that matter, on any amplifier should overheat.

Just to be clear, the control did not overheat, it simply got hot.

smittyman wrote:
I still don't think an amp that isn't designed well enough to disapate heat away from the controls should get such a 'warm' recommendation.

Okay, but I'd better quit now before the discussion gets too heated. :-)

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

JohnnyR's picture

 The crossover frequency COULD have been determined during the measurements but yeah , you know .....EFFORT.

The tweeter is a run of the mill tweeter nothing special regardless of the words used to fill up the report. A plastic cup glued onto the rear of the magnet is pretty much standard fare.

This design is nothing special. The Dynaco A25 used a 10 inch driver with a large tweeter YEARS ago. I hardly see $12,000 worth of parts or engineering in this thing. An unbraced cabinet and off the shelf drivers no doubt (Edit: I see that he "designed" them himself. Anyone with a checkbook can order custom drivers in large quantities). People can do way better building or buying a Zilch design using waveguides on the tweeter to match the off axis frequency response of the mid-woofer and end up with a MUCH better spaker at a MUCH lower price. Please stop saying it's a high sensitivity speaker. For less $12,000 you can buy  a bigger amp to drive a lesser sensitive speaker and still have money left over. This is just a not well thought out design, other than the seller making a LOT of money for not much thought put into the product.

mrplankton2u's picture

Atkinson suggests this speaker has a surprising level of balance for a 10 inch woofer crossed to a 1 inch soft dome. The off axis roller coaster response in the crossover region between these two drivers together with the fussy setup and restricted "good imaging" listening area say otherwise. And I agree, if one is going to try to design a two way with a large beaming woofer, a well designed and robust tweeter/waveguide combination are mandatory. Without a waveguide or horn, running a 1" soft dome low enough to pick up a 10 inch woofer is always going to be problematical. And it doesn't matter what tweeter you use - including Scan Speak's best..The spectral decay plot for this speaker also looks lousy - particularly in the (surprise!) crossover region. The contrasts in response curves and decay plot between this and the KEF speaker reviewed below it are night and day.

John Atkinson's picture

Quote:
Without a waveguide or horn, running a 1" soft dome low enough to pick up a 10 inch woofer is always going to be problematical.

If you look at the photos of the DeVore speaker, you can see that the tweeter is indeed acoustically loaded with a short waveguide.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

mrplankton2u's picture

Low frequency gain from that? Surely you jest. 

For a soft dome to reach down into the 1.5 khz range where one would need to cross over to a 10 inch woofer, you'd need a minimum of a 6 inch diameter waveguide. The low frequency gain afforded by the  "waveguide" used by DeVore isn't worth talking about. But the peak off axis and cancellation on axis at 3200hz attributable to this "waveguide" probably is worth talking about. Predictably, you didn't talk about it.

JohnnyR's picture

..............correct. I suggest you get up to date on speaker design by reading more in other forums where people actually build their own and have advanced the art of design way beyond what some manufacturers think is correct.

Regadude's picture

Hey Johnny and Plankton, how many speakers have you guys designed and sold? You two sound like the guy who drinks 6 beers watching a football game, and then states he could do better thatn the team's coach...

[Edit by JA} What is your expertise, your accomplishments in speaker design?

JohnnyR's picture

......want to go there?  Really?  Last chance. Lets just say I have designed quite a few well regarded speaker systems over the YEARS and I have put in the man hours of study and research REQUIRED to know what I am talking about. Lets see how much info you have supplied when it comes to telling us what is right or wrong with this design so far..........ZERO. Come back when you have something that is on TOPIC. Reading your insults and mindless banter is tiresome. Can you keep up or even suggest anything technical? So far I've seen NOTHING from you.

Regadude's picture

I do want to go there Johnny. You talk a good game, so lets get your credentials. Let's see if the talk and the walk match.

To answer your question: I would never buy these speakers. They are way overpriced. Although I have never heard them, I don't expect they would sound very good; certainly not 12000$ worth. The materials used are very ordinary. A plain rectangular MDF box is ok for a 500$ speaker. One can get real wood veneers in a much sturdier and nicer looking, sculpted cabinet for a lot less money. I don't like the looks of these speakers either. 

Having said that, I would not disparage someone for buying them. It's a free country, and people can spend their money on what pleases them. I would not act rudely towards the designer/seller of the equipment either. I won't get into techno babble with you, because I am not trying to prove to the world that these speakers aren't any good. I have my personal opinion about these speakers. I just don't see the point of repeating it ad nauseum, and trying to convince everyone that my opinion is a sacred thruth that should be shared by everyone else. 

JohnnyR's picture

"I won't get into techno babble with you....."

Anything resembling technical becomes "techno babble" in your mind. Why bother trying to explain to some one that thinks this way?  You WANT.........WAHHHHHH  cry somehwere else what you WANT. I can't be bothered satisfying your demands when all you do is cry and insult.Like I stated earlier, I have shown my competency by bringing up well thought out technical details about the speaker in question. I know what I am talking about unlike you who doesn't bother to learn anything other than what Stereophile spoon feeds you.,By the way the $ sign goes BEFORE the numbers NOT after them *sigh* Have a nice day Mr Ragahead.

Regadude's picture

Exactly what I thought! Johnny is a big talker and nothing else. You hide behind your insults and and arrogance to cover up your inadequacies. Johnny is a fraidy cat (I would have used the word that starts with a P, but it would have been deleted). But of course, Johnny is a legend IN HIS OWN MIND. 

You seem to have anger problems. Anger and frustration. Maybe its been a while since you have touched a hot knob... Don't let plankton have all the fun.

As for the $, I am not american and it goes after the numbers where I come from. If you don't like it, that's your problem. 

JohnnyR's picture

I have already pointed out various defects in the speaker design and why they are so. What have YOU contributed? NOTHING. All you ever do is insult and hide behind inuendo.

"Maybe it has been a while since you touched a hot knob"

Just how much more childish can a person get? If anyone is frustrated it's YOU Ragahead.Grow up.

Glotz's picture

It is obvious that JA has answered every issue either of these micreants posited, and neither have basic respect towards anyone that disagrees with them (especially when it is extended to them unconditionally).

I, for one, am (really) glad JA finally acts assertively to end these types of devolving conversations when it's pointless to continue.  Keep it in the other forums, or just leave.

I am equally glad that AD has shown Mr. Plank's character in its true light. 

This speaker could be their favorite speaker of all time, and they would never know it- 'cause they haven't heard it. 

They apparently don't listen through their equipment, they measure it.  Sounds like fun...

for an engineer.

JohnnyR's picture

Had you nice little rant and feel better now? No one cares.

pi's picture

Quote: Lets just say I have designed quite a few well regarded speaker systems over the YEARS... 

In all fairness, just as for Mr. Plankton, common courtesy for any forum particpation requires that any commercial affiliation and interests should be disclosed.

PI - What goes around comes around

JohnnyR's picture

........it's the forum police trying to be all manly. Who cares what you WANT? Have I tried to sell anything on here? You show up making demands. Go fly a kite.

John Atkinson's picture

JohnnyR wrote:
Lets just say I have designed quite a few well regarded speaker systems over the YEARS and I have put in the man hours of study and research REQUIRED to know what I am talking about.

If you are actively involved in the audio business, our policy does require that you include your affiliation at the foot of every post, as I do. It doesn't matter if you try to sell something or not. This is to prevent employees of one company flaming another company's products under a cloak of anonymity.

So please, if you are actively involved in designing speaker systems for sale, you must include your affiliiation as requested. You cannot remain anonymous.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

JohnnyR's picture

........is NOT a company. I design and build as a hobby, hence it is not a company business. Maybe I give my speakers away. Stop tying to be a bully Atkinson it demeans your aleady shakey status as  fair and trust worthy. If you keep insisting on an affiliation I will make one up because I DON"T HAVE ONE. Get it?

John Atkinson's picture

Johnny wrote:
My hobby is NOT a company. I design and build as a hobby, hence it is not a company business.

Thank you for the admission. Until your speaker designs have been acknowledged by end users in the competitive marketplace, I don't think you can claim any particular authority as a speaker engineer.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

JohnnyR's picture

How funny Atkinson. You just defamed hundreds of audio hobbyists on several DIY forums by that statement. Not only can we design and build WAY better speakers than the so called "experts" that make FLAWED speakers but we ALSO know the technical aspects and what is NEEDED to do so.

This just shows your mentality when it comes to the DIY field and how dated your pathetic outlook is and  that perhaps just perhaps you aren't as smart as you think By your own logic YOU certainly can't call yourself an expert since you haven't even designed or built one yourself.So please stop commenting on the speakers you test here

Regadude's picture

HA! I knew it. Johnny has no credentials in speaker design. He builds speakers in his basement as a HOBBY, and he thinks he is an expert. He thinks he knows better than people who actually manage to sell their speakers. But of course, he also knows more than industry pros.

You're just like that guy who drinks beer while watching NFL football, and who tells people he could do a better job than the actual coach of the team. Sure you can... Have another beer.

A sham and a big talker. Expert, an EMPHATIC NO!

I play the piano as a hobby. I guess I am the next Bill Evans! Yup, no one will ever hear me play, but trust me, I am even better than he was... cheeky

JohnnyR's picture

A "professional" who sells speakers is also a hobbyist. Where do you think they learned HOW to design an make speakers? They just didn't pull it out of their ass............well MOST well designed not FLAWED speakers are at least.

Ragahead, at least I have put in the years of research and study, what have you put into your education other than how to taunt and belittle others? Can you tell me how to go about designing a speaker that will stand up to the "best" on the market? Can you show ONE little iota of technical knowledge in the field of speaker design? Then I kindly ask you to STFU.

There are plenty of "professionals" that market their sham products. Just keep reading the Stereophile forums , you will find several that are willing to take money from the gullible. YOU paid dearly for your audiophool cables. BWAHAHAHAHA so much for your "arguement" The more you post the more childish your posts become. My friends that bother to read your drivel have a good laugh at your expense.

mrplankton2u's picture

I've designed and installed dozens of custom home and a few mobile systems over the past 5 years. So who cares? This is not about me or for that matter you or JohnnyR. We are citing technical aspects that are easy to see with, and even without, the benefit of measurements. The magazine's job is to be critical of differences between reviewed products - not apologetic, defensive, equivocating, or otherwise obtuse. Today, the actual audible differences between quality components in the marketplace is nowhere near as great as the vast price differences would seem to suggest. This makes it far more important for a reviewing magazine to conduct critical evaluations as objectively and dispassionately as possible. If flaws are present that are clearly audible, the product shouldn't be on the "recommended" list as there are too many competing products that don't have the obvious flaws that deserve to be on a "recommended" list. You as others could say - "who cares, just go listen to them for yourself".  On the surface, that sentiment might have merit. But beyond the obvious reason that the magazine's job is to help whittle down the vast field for a prospective buyer,  if the "impartial" third party reviewers entrusted with evaluating product aren't subscribing to reasonable standards of honesty, authenticity, and accuracy in what they do - the merit system gets displaced by the hype system. And the hype system means ever increasing effort on advertising and promotion with ever increasing product prices to support the promotional effort at the expense of resources that would otherwise be devoted to improving the products in question. And that is precisely where we find ourselves today with a magazine that considers a $2000 low watt tube amp to be the "low, affordable end" of a "best of" list and endorses a pair of $12,000 stand mount speakers that have serious, yet totally avoidable design flaws and significant associated performance problems. Taking in the entire picture, it is not unreasonable for the average person to conclude that "Houston, we have a problem."

pi's picture

Quote: I've designed and installed dozens of custom home and a few mobile systems over the past 5 years.

In all fairness, common courtesy for any forum particpation requires that any commercial affiliation and interests should be disclosed.

PI - What goes around comes around

mrplankton2u's picture

I'm not in the retail speaker space. I work with a small company that does mostly custom installations. We don't sell free standing speakers per se and if we ever decided to enter that retail market - it probably would be an internet based direct marketing approach that avoided most of the advertising whores and pushy, ignorant, and obnoxious middlemen that make up much of what is left of the "high end" audio business. Anyone who has read my comments on here extensively knows that I don't have an axe to grind against any company. My concern has been the legitimacy and long term survival of the industry overall and what efforts are being taken to keep players in the industry like Stereophile honest. I've readily acknowledged excellent products from brands like Quad, Revel, KEF, Vivid and other well known non speaker brands like Threshold/Pass. And I normally don't comment negatively on a post unless there is a clear indication that Stereophile is not "coming clean" in a particular review. On the other hand, I've positively commented on a few rare occasions when Stereophile got it right with an excellent, insightful review - such as was the case with the recent MBL or Quad reviews. I may sound like a one trick pony from time to time but that is essentially because the circumstances tend to repeat themselves. I prefer not to pick on a manufacturer but they sometimes get caught in the crossfire when they produce a substandard product and Stereophile starts making excuses.

John Atkinson's picture

mrplankton2u wrote:
I've designed and installed dozens of custom home and a few mobile systems over the past 5 years. So who cares?

We do, for the reasons expained in my reply to JohnnyR. If you are professionally involved in the audio industry, you cannot hide under a cloak of anonymity in order to criticize products made by someone else.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

mrplankton2u's picture

There is an important flip side to your weak argument. People who work for a company in the audio business do not necessarily speak for the audio business they work for and are not at liberty to discuss who they work for or what their company's official stance is on any product in the marketplace. My comments stand on their own. I have praised products where praise is due and criticized obvious flaws that are evident in the measurements and the overall design itself ( like pairing a 10 inch woofer to a 1 inch soft dome tweeter).  Anyone with the slightest bit of reading comprehension can see that the thrust of my concerns/arguments have centered around Stereophile's approach to its job - not the competency of the products being reviewed.

 

Furthermore, what do experienced engineers/designers who've retired do? Your argument has enough holes in it to rival swiss cheese.

 

Further, furthermore, a number of salepeople and audio retailer establishment owners have commented in these threads. They actually have a very high level of conflict of interest - advocating products they sell and casting apersions on those they don't or those they compete with. Have you ever requested disclosure of their affiliation before?

The difference between myself, JohnnyR and others that have voiced informed comments and the BS artists pretending to be experts that occasionally sling poo on here is that we focus on that which is incontrovertable - measurements published in black and white and design aspects that are obvious from visual inspection. We don't waste our time with blathering nonsense like "the turntable/cartridge combination effectively sweeps all obvious vinyl surface noise to the side walls of the listening room". That's your job.

John Atkinson's picture

mrplankton2u wrote:
There is an important flip side to your weak argument.

It is not a weak "argument" it is our policy. No exceptions.

mrplankton2u wrote:
People who work for a company in the audio business do not necessarily speak for the audio business they work for and are not at liberty to discuss who they work for or what their company's official stance is on any product in the marketplace. My comments stand on their own.

Nevertheless, if you are professionally involved in audio and do not wish to include your company affiliation, you will no longer be allowed to post to this website.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

mrplankton2u's picture

You apparently do like to make up the rules as you go along. The Online Community Code of Conduct specifies no such thing. As a matter of fact, "your" requirement runs counter to rule 10(d):

 

 

(d)

You will not post or upload User Content that includes personal or identifying information about another person without that person's explicit consent.

John Atkinson's picture

mrplankton2u wrote:
You apparently do like to make up the rules as you go along.

No, this has been our policy since 2005.

mrplankton2u wrote:
You will not post or upload User Content that includes personal or identifying information about another person without that person's explicit consent.

Okay, as you don't appear willing to give that consent, you will no longer be allowed to post to this website. I will ask Ariel Bitran to delete your user account.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

JohnnyR's picture

ANY excuse to delete people that don't agree with your personal outlook is the reason you are doing this Atkinson. Pathetic. You can't stand anyone criticising your precious opinons. So out they go. You are one sad person.

John Atkinson's picture

JohnnyR wrote:
You can't stand anyone criticising your precious opinons. So out they go.

Not at all. You will see that mrplankton2u's comments have not been deleted. However, he had a choice: either stop posting to the site, or, as he is, by his own admission, professionally involved in audio, add his affiliation to his comments and be allowed to present his opinions. He did neither. Instead, he argued that the rules were inappropriate and by extension didn't apply to him, leaving me with no option but to ban him. Arguing with the ref is never a winning strategy, please note.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

JohnnyR's picture

You never liked the guy, never liked that he criticised you and your magazine, never liked that he showed you up as the buffoon you are........shall I go on?  Yeah yeah the rules and you are the "ref" Tell me just how many professionals have you banned over the years due to your "rules"?  Too many sadly, so all you are left with in your precious forums are dullards, morons, halfwits and the gullible. No wonder it's so empty in there. They all left for better places to talk about FACTS instead of magic bowls, cables, rocks and rainbow foil. So it goes. You must be proud of your "great" forum lmao.

King of the Dullards all hail the King!

Regadude's picture

Your argument about JA banning plankton, because he did not like him, is wrong. If JA banned everyone who was a nuisance and caused problems, you would have been gone a long time ago Johnny. 

All hail king troll!

pi's picture

Really don't get your arguments - there is any number of speakers (some of them commonly highly regarded), that measure much worse than this one - none of those has the excuse of being guided by the effort to make it tube friendly. For example:

Vandersteen Quatro $7,000: Significant on axis suckouts at 800Hz (very problematic) and 4000Hz, off axis response is not offsetting like it is for the Devores. In room response shows a major in room depression for the midrange and bass emphasis, which even careful placement does not remove.

Verity Sarastro $40,000: 10dB depression from 100-300Hz, uneven response above 1KHz, off axis dips at 3KHz. In room depression for the critical lower midrange/upper bas and with significant 10dB lower bass emphasis. Midrange driver of the verity is crossed over at a very high 4KHz.

MBL 101E MKII $70,500: Questionable concept (radial transmission), low impedance with significant phase roller coaster down to 3Ohm, so difficult to drive. Several resonance above 10KHz. Again, in room depression for the critical lower midrange/upper bass and with significant 10dB lower bass emphasis. 

In this context, it seem Devore HAS actually taken the effort to carefully balance the design to achieve reasonable measurement (e.g. balance off axis reponse with on-axis response), while providing a speaker that is extremely easy to drive and sufficiently compact to place in small NY style apartment.

So, JA seems spot on with his assessment.

JohnnyR's picture

The above speakers you mentioned obviously are flawed also and poorly designed regardless of them being"highly regarded" There are "reveiwers" that will give a turnip praise on some websites. Just because the OP review is about a speaker that doesn't have the same flaws , doesn't make it a $12,000 speaker nor a well designed one. We can always find something worse than what we are listening too to "compare". Doesn't make it worth buying though,

tmsorosk's picture

 Mr. A, please don't ban or delete mrplankton2u's comment's , he's the Archie Bunker of audio. Haven't had this many laughs in years. 

 

 Hot nobs, LOL.

Glotz's picture

I was really hoping half-way through the posts he would admit his obvious ignorance regarding the neccessity of multiple measuring points for an accurate picture of measurements.

Instead, he did turn into Archie... and showed his true self. 

I just hope he doesn't slap Edith around when he's mad. 

JohnnyR's picture

Multiple measuring points are a good way of getting an overall picture but can't turn a sows ear into a silk purse. $12,000 worth of speaker? Hardly.

 What's with the Archie Bunker reference one fo your heros?

ChrisS's picture

Mother Russia Broadcasting didn't allow you to watch "All In The Family" did they, JRusskie?

ChrisS's picture

Please check your messages, JRusskie. Siberia is calling.

ChrisS's picture

Being obnoxious and annoying = Being on topic?

tunesmith's picture

Wow! I've seen and heard the DeVore Orangutans at the past 2 Rocky Mountain shows and you are crazy if you think they are cheap. The finish is just stunning, easily among the best at the show at any price and the wood on the fronts is amazing. Sonically the DeVore room was definitely in the top three at the show both years, with all-around system prices that were much lower than the other top rooms.

John Atkinson even agrees with the manufacturers comments, and from what I heard at the show with a single 300B amp, I believe it too. The sound was huge, with amazing bass driven by 6 watts. Actually JA comments on the great bass with the same system here:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/capital-audiofest151day-two-early-afternoon

MVBC's picture

$12,000 for that? I have a bridge to sell too...

Dario's picture

A lot of interesting discussion here. The summary of the review would seem to be that this is a somewhat flawed yet surprisingly compelling loudspeaker. I read that it sounds great in spite of some shortcomings.

To those who are complaining about the price and suggesting their cost to build a similar speaker would be about 25% as much: ok. So don't buy this one and do build your own. This attitude shows a lack of business knowledge. I have no doubt somebody could build a similar speaker for less if you just account for the parts. How long did it take to get the knowledge? Where to do you do the work?

A real business needs to pay rent and utilities. And likely pay employees. And that's a retail price, which has to allow for a dealer to make some money. Saying you could make it for 25% of the retail cost is about right for a product that goes through a sales channel (rather than direct). But it's irrelevant - a company can charge whatever it wants for their products. The market decides the value.

I don't work in the industry and don't have formal training in electronics or acoustics. However I am an engineer and I like to see data. I'm also generally critical of Stereophile and other audio publications for praising the differences in equipment that can really make no significant difference (cables in general, power cables in particular). These difference all tend to disappear under measurement or controlled listening test. So what's the point?

I'm critical and skeptical of most audio equipment reviews. Speaker reviews are about the only thing I read. This review has the data, and nobody seems to be challenging it. I think it's fair to say the measurements are good enough to give an idea of how the speakers performs.

To those who are critical of the design, why don't you to listen to the speakers. Rather than sitting back and speculating about how terrible it must sound, maybe (just maybe) you'll have to ask yourself how it can sound as good as it does with that design. Or maybe your suspicions will be confirmed.

I'm impressed with how Stereophile has responded to and managed this discussion. For that you have earned an returning subscription. I'm not in the market for new speakers, but would go listen if there was a dealer near me.

Jceaves's picture

I'm always amazed at how emboldened and rude some people get on forums.

Most of us read this website or have a subscription because we want a perspective on audio products. In my case, I have low powered tube amplifiers and it really helps to read reviews on the few compatible speakers that might work with my system. It would never cross my mind to go all "freaky on yo' ass" (the understood yo', whether publisher or fellow reader), in response to any of the content in this magazine. I'm not here to argue. There are other audio forums for that.

The internet is a wonderful tool for communication, but too many people use it myopically, to vent anger and frustration. However, the individuals here who rant, spew anger, and insult others fully understand how lonely, or black and blue, they'd become if they were bold enough to behave this way face to face - because it's uncivil and extreme. To do it on the internet is just cowardly and sad.

Most of us listen to music for pleasure. It's fun and emotionally moving. That is the end game. The last thing I associate with enjoying music is enduring some bozo on a rant. I don't care how much any of you know about electronics or speaker design or anything at all. You aren't the star here. You aren't even on the playbill. I don't read Stereophile to get a look inside your caustic psyche. If you left, I'd be grateful.

I've heard the O/96's at shows and at Arizona HiFi, and I think that they are great speakers. The finish quality is amazing. I love their aesthetic. Are they worth $12k? That depends on taste, system, and listening room. The people who buy them think so. I'm glad that someone is writing about them because, I'm considering a purchase, and I live far away from a dealer. I hope that Art Dudley keeps the cheeky and fun tone to his thoughtful articles. This is all about pleasure, and he gets that.

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