DeVore Fidelity Gibbon X loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Thorens TD 124 turntable (reconditioned by Schopper AG); Ortofon RMG-212 (rebuilt), Thomas Schick 12" tonearms; Ortofon 90th Anniversary SPU & Xpression cartridges.
Digital Sources: MacBook Pro computer (early 2015); Intel NUC computer with SSD drive running Roon Optimized Core Kit; PS Audio DirectStream DAC. Ayre CX-7eMP CD player.
Preamplification: Auditorium 23 Standard step-up transformer, EAR 834P phono stage, PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier.
Power Amplifiers: Pass Laboratories XA60.8, PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono (all monoblocks).
Integrated Amplifier: Leben Hi-Fi Stereo CS-600.
Loudspeakers: DeVore Fidelity Gibbon Nine.
Cables: Digital: AudioQuest Carbon & Cinnamon & Coffee, Comprehensive Connectivity DXLRP-DXLRJ-6EXF (all USB). Interconnect: Auditorium 23, Clarus Crimson (RCA, XLR). Speaker: Auditorium 23.
Accessories: PS Audio Power Plant P10 & P20 power conditioners, Oswalds Mill Audio slate plinth (under turntable), Chilton's Durham media console in cherrywood with improvised supports, Auralex ProPanel Fabric-Wrapped Acoustical Absorption Panel (4' by 2' by 2", beveled).—Jim Austin

DeVore Fidelity
63 Flushing Avenue, Unit 259, Building 280, Suite 510
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 855-9999

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Wonder how the 'Spinorama' graphs would look like of this speaker? :-) .......

Axiom05's picture

My guess is that it would not look particularly good.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Some of the info can be gleaned from JA's graphs.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I know ...... It looks somewhat similar to 'speaker C' :-) .........

... or may be, 'weird' frequency response is the proper description :-) .......

RH's picture

Ha! ^^^^ "Nice one centurion. Like it, like it"...;-)

david_I's picture

So the Gibbon Xs are at the same price point as the Monitor Audio Platinum 300 II. As well as some Focal speakers. I'd be curious to read about a comparison.'s picture

A question for Jim Austin: I see that you own a Leben CS-600 integrated amplifier in the Associated Equipment section of the review. Did you try that amp with the Gibbon X? (I know this is one of the amps that Devore has shown the Gibbon with at shows.) If so, what were your impressions and how did it compare with the Pass and the PS Audio?

doak's picture

Is it the “presence region suckout” that makes its sound so appealing?

Long-time listener's picture

God-awful ugly measurements!

(Although, having said that, if everything else measures well, a tasteful presence-region dip is ALWAYS welcome here, after all the over-aggressive sounding speakers I've heard that measure completely flat through that region.)

Jason P Jackson's picture

Lower midrange/Upper bass? You mean the "power range"? BAH! We don't do that these days. It ruins the imaging.

hb72's picture

@ John Atkinson: I am a keen reader of your measurement section, but of course I am well aware, that pleasure taken from listening via certain equipment and measurements of same equipment are not exactly the same thing nor fully correlating, but need to be put into relationship i.e. understood (the hard work!).
Thus I really wonder about the somewhat unusual disparity in the relationship of measurement vs percieved sound quality & joy of these speakers. Any findings/comments here?

tx for comment,


Indydan's picture

I'm obviously not JA, but maybe this article he wrote will answer your question.

Lorton's picture

There is a difference between comparing the sound of 2 well-engineered products, to a speaker like the DeVore, which does not seems to take any engineering into any account. It is hard to imagine why would anyone choose to build such a speaker on purpose.

hb72's picture

have you heard the speakers yourself?

Lorton's picture

Of course I did. All the Devore loudspeakers sound to me like they measure; quite badly. But, there is always going to be someone who would like what they hear, so what?

RH's picture

Lorton wrote: "But, there is always going to be someone who would like what they hear, so what?"

Well, for one thing, you just answered your own previous puzzlement when you wrote:

"It is hard to imagine why would anyone choose to build such a speaker on purpose."

Can you imagine a reason for building such a speaker now? :)

Lorton's picture

Nope, still can’t.
These are two different subjects (from two separate posts). One has to do with objective assessments (JA measurements), the other is subjective.

RH's picture


"Nope, still can’t."

Really? I find that odd, since the answer is pretty obvious.

You talked about comparing "well engineered" speakers to the Devores and concluded: "It is hard to imagine why would anyone choose to build such a speaker on purpose."

Ok, I guess you could use some help in the imagination department.

You admitted that some people will like the sound of the Devore speakers, right?

That's obviously a reason someone would choose to build such a speaker!

If you are selling speakers, and you come up with a design that some significant number of customers will like...however it measures...THAT'S OBVIOUSLY a rational reason to build such a speaker.

In fact, most speaker designers build the type of speaker THEY LIKE to begin with. John Devore has explained before that he plays a wide range of his favorite music on any of his designs, and they have to pass his own "I like it" test before he considers the job finished. So if a speaker designer likes a certain sound, is aiming for that sound, achieves that sound, and finds a paying audience for that sound...all those amount to good reasons someone would deliberately design such a loudspeaker.


Maybe *you* wouldn't design a speaker that way, because you have different goals and criteria. But you weren't asking about you; you were wondering why anyone ELSE would design such a speaker. If someone else has different taste, different criteria and goals, then it's entirely explicable and rational they would design to meet those goals.

Is that clear enough I hope?

(Some people seem to have trouble thinking beyond their own goals; if "I" wouldn't do doesn't make sense anyone else has reasons to do it...")

Lorton's picture

Designing a good speaker, one that will cost $15K, should require a basic understanding of the science involved (and it is not philosophy). For example; what can possibly be the point of using multiple drivers that cancel each other at the output (due to poor XO implementation)??
If you don’t want to hear the full output of your speakers, in the Devore case is anything between 100Hz-500Hz, and 2KHz-4KHz, then just don’t have any drivers playing at these ranges (I bet you some will like that as well). Will be cheaper, and will, at least, look like you meant to do that ;)

RH's picture

I dunno; must be that it achieved the sound he liked. Check the manufacturer's comment and you'll see he's aware of the way his speakers would measure, could have addressed it, but gave his reason why he didn't bother.

Another manufacturer may not have used drivers and crossovers the same way, and hence ended up with a more textbook response like the one that apparently you'd like to see. However, that would change the sound of the speaker, and it clearly wasn't what JD was going for. So it seems more deliberate design choices vs lack of knowledge.

michaelavorgna's picture

I'll agree with JA's findings:

A couple of years ago, DeVore Fidelity's John DeVore gave me a ride from Brooklyn, where we both live, to Michael Lavorgna's place, in New Jersey. John was delivering a preproduction pair of his Gibbon X loudspeakers for Michael to set up in his then-new listening room, and I'd tagged along to give them a listen (footnote 1). Michael's room and system sounded superb, and I made a mental note that when the Gibbon X went into production, we should review it.

Seems to me that "superb" sounding is a design goal for every manufacturer of hifi gear and John DeVore has clearly hit the mark with the X.

Happy Listening,

Michael Lavorgna

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be you (ML) could review the new Elac Navis active, self-powered floor-standers, $4,000/pair, and compare them to Gibbon X? ......... Elac Navis don't need any power-amp(s) :-)...........

michaelavorgna's picture were to include a number of different amplifiers for the DeVore's since the speakers on their own don't sound like anything ;-)


Michael Lavorgna

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Ok ....... Don't compare Navis to DeVores ........ You (ML) could just review the Navis floor-standers and tell us what you think :-) .........

michaelavorgna's picture

...of reviewing 4 pair of active speakers and one all-in-one. This will keep me busy for a while.


Michael Lavorgna

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Great ...... Active speakers, with or without external EQ/DSP is the future ..... Some active, self-powered subwoofers are already doing it :-) .........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

We may have to wait for a while for A.I enabled loudspeakers :-) ........

michaelavorgna's picture

...most intelligence is artificial.


Bogolu Haranath's picture

Siri, Alexa and Cortana are not sure about Socrates saying that :-) ..........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

"A.I will be the best or worst thing for humanity" ......... Elon Musk :-) .........

hb72's picture

tx, Indydan!!!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

If we didn't have all these measurements, we would not know about all these deliberate design choices. Thank you again JA :-) .........

dial's picture

Almost 16 000 $ for a pair of loudspeakers. Almost same price as the Coincident. Many firms seem to be attracted by woodworking.

Bertie Bucket's picture

Yeah, yeah, measures crap and sound great? You want some oil with those fries?

Rothwea's picture

I spent 2 years hunting for a speaker that sounded great with tube amps. That search ended with the Gibbon X. The most engaging listen in my room, on my system and with my music. Audio magic when paired with an Audio Research REF 75SE. Measurements are useful but hearing is believing.