Visit to KeithR

May 30, 2010
15,195
554
113
Portugal
#41
I am with you even though I spent over $100k on my wires...The thought of trying something else and taking it in the "you know where again" no longer appeals to me. Once is enough...maybe too much ;)
Do you still own Nordost Odin's?
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,239
786
113
E. England
#43
Hey, he’s spent $100k on them, give the guy a break.
 
May 30, 2010
15,195
554
113
Portugal
#45

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,239
786
113
E. England
#46
Hmm, the cable designer who gets full WAF on a loom is the equivalent of Jesus turning water into wine.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,211
1,248
113
London
#47
Hi I heard the devore orangutan, whatever the latest model is. Heard it with silver core 833c 20w amps with the silvercore pre, with the jadis da88s signature integrated, with the New audio frontiers 2a3 8w integrated amp, and with a German app called Rike or something that was 20w with 550 tubes. Also with Riveira hybrids, an Italian 50w amp. The pre for all separates was silvercore.

The source was a 35k Rio Borges with the Fuuga cart, and a phono from that Rike. The TT reminded me of a brinkmann balance in terms of its full, bodied, linear through Midbass sound.

Really liked the speakers. They sounded best with the NAF 2a3. Clean, flowing, agile, detailed, transparent. I can see their limitations but they quickly make you forget it and get into the music. I thought they would be like AN E but they are much better imo. Actually in the same room I heard the 65k Lansche and the 20k one. I preferred the devore. The big Lansche was very good but it maintained a constant stage that did not change with recordings. The smaller one was better on amplified but the classical tone was a bit artificial. I think devore is a good choice for someone who wants to be happy with a nice budget and space compromise. They might also do very well with Berning quads and tenor 75 OTL.

The dealer actually prefers the two way to the three way
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,590
486
83
Marina del Rey, CA
#48
Thanks for the Devore comments, Kedar. OTLs would indeed be a good match for the Orangutans.

Funny you mention NAF...I've been considering picking up the other Italian Viva Solista for fun. A long-term itch even though I'm not sure its a good match for the Gibbon X.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,211
1,248
113
London
#49
He had the basic viva integrated but didn't recommend it. They are also very differently voiced. I am going to change my big horns back up strategy to stats or a devore orangutan (in case I don't end up with space for a big horn, or in case I do, till I muster up the budget)

Put the money in recordings
 
Aug 10, 2018
94
36
18
Southern California
#50
Whoa, does the AR 75se get enough ventilation in that cabinet space? I'm thinking fire hazard, or increased thermal stress on the amp itself. That would be the case if I housed my BAT VK150se amps that way.
 
May 30, 2010
15,195
554
113
Portugal
#51
Ron, saying you prefer Keith’s Devores to my Zus. I’m a wreck.
I could not read any hyperpolic statement in the post, you can not complain! :)
 
May 30, 2010
15,195
554
113
Portugal
#52
I enjoyed yesterday another wonderful afternoon of music and audio talk with KeithR! This time I brought some new (old) LPs. (...) Yes, microstrip, I know this is a digital recording (JeffT told me this) but I love the song. So this track, also, gets a digital "pass." (...)
Yes, I have noticed that you seem to enjoy too much your digital sins ... I see a MSB Select II in your future ... :)
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,211
1,248
113
London
#53
Yesterday I visited KeithR at his apartment in Marina Del Rey, California.

I was all set to apologize to Keith for not being in the right frame of mind to write a friend’s audio system visit report, but Keith’s system was so good and so carefully put together and yet relatively simple, that I knew when I departed that I wanted to write something.


View attachment 34817


Keith used to have Zu speakers. After extensively auditioning speakers in the under $30,000 price range, Keith replaced the Zus with DeVore Fidelity Gibbon Xs. Keith also diligently compared amplifiers in his system at home and decided to replace his darTZeel CTH-8550 integrated amp with the impressive-looking Audio Research Reference 75 SE. Keith mentioned that within the first few moments of auditioning the 75 SE he realized it was the amp for his system. (Keith and I discovered that, historically, neither of us has ever cared for the slightly illuminated, “white-ish” sound of many ARC amplifiers. But Keith feels the 75 SE takes the ARC “house” sound in a new and in a more natural direction.)


View attachment 34818


View attachment 34821


The front-end is a Brinkmann Bardo with a 47 Labs MC Bee cartridge. The turntable sits on Wave Kinetics A10-U8 footers.


View attachment 34819


The phono stage is an Octave Phono EQ.2. That feeds a beautifully-fabricated passive attenuator box made by Music First Audio, whose transformers maintain constant output impedance as the attenuation setting changes (unlike the old Mod Squad Line Drive on which output impedance varied with attenuator position). Every powered component is plugged into a Torus Power AVY15 isolation transformer box.

Keith’s living room is a complicated geometric shape with a flat front wall and an angled rear wall, on which Keith has mounted three GUK panels covered in a fabric on which a photograph has been silk-screened. The three panels look purely like artwork, never giving away their real utility. The right front wall is a closed corner and the left front wall is open to the kitchen.


View attachment 34820


There is also a large flat screen TV between the speakers. This made me nervous -- as I told Keith -- as I am of the “no glass anywhere” school of thought on reflective surfaces in the listening room. But the flat-screen apparently does not manifest any deleterious effect on the sound.

I have listened to Zu speakers twice at audio shows. Each time I found them to be slightly oddly mid-range centric and not terribly transparent. However, I can totally understand that Zus would sound great on, say, classic rock.

Keith played my usual demo tracks:

”The Rose" by Amanda McBroom, Growing Up in Hollywood Town (Sheffield Lab 13)

"Send in the Clowns" by Bill Henderson, Live at the Times (Jazz Planet Records/Classic Records)

"First We Take Manhattan" and "Bird on a Wire" by Jennifer Warnes, Famous Blue Raincoat (Rock the House Records/Classic Records) (I know this is a digital recording.)

”I've Got the Music in Me" by Thelma Houston, I've Got the Music in Me (Sheffield Lab 2)

"Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley, Grace.​

Keith also played “Strong” by London Grammar, If You Wait. I really liked this song!

Keith and I have established over several conversations and from exploring audio show demo rooms together that we have very similar tastes in sound and in equipment, so I was not surprised to discover that the Gibbon Xs sounded very natural and "right" to me. They are very coherent speakers. I appreciate the fact that the side-firing, back-to-back nine inch woofers are high up in the cabinet — just below the midrange and tweeter — rather than mounted towards the bottom of the cabinet. The overall tonal balance of the system sounded very comfortable to me. I was amazed at how much low-frequency power and oomph the speakers produced.

Listening to this relatively simply and very high value-per-dollar system made me ask myself “do we really need thousands of pounds of equipment costing $100,000 or more and occupying many square feet of real estate to get great sound? Do we really need to make things so complicated?”

Keith’s system suggests to me that we do not need to spend zillions of dollars and quarter equipment weighing thousands of pounds. Patient in-home auditioning and careful component matching by Keith, aiming for synergy to achieve his sonic goals, has resulted in a great-sounding and a very satisfying system.

I had never before heard these DeVore Fidelity Gibbon X speakers, but I think they represent great value for the money. I would be very curious to hear them compared to speakers costing three and four times as much money. I really would be curious to hear how they sound compared to, for example, the Wilson Alexia.

Thank you, Keith, for a wonderful and very fun and eye-opening afternoon!
Ron, after listening to the orangutans (not Gibbon X yet), your post makes a lot of sense to me, in fact I told Bill something similar to what you have written from the para "Listening" onwards. Btw the answer to your "vs Alexia" question is pretty easy
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,211
1,248
113
London
#55

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,169
626
113
#56
He had the basic viva integrated but didn't recommend it. They are also very differently voiced. I am going to change my big horns back up strategy to stats or a devore orangutan (in case I don't end up with space for a big horn, or in case I do, till I muster up the budget)

Put the money in recordings
Had the big monkeys at home for a Christmas New Year break back a while.

Sounded reaaally nice with the Line Magnetic 845 integrated (24 watts) on its own.

But put a microzotl in front of the Line Magnetic 805 integrated (50 watts) which for me is the better way to go and you’d have 50 watts SET with a quicksilver fast zOTL in front making those 300B and 805s swing and move even more.

The LM Microzotl combo is playing my Harbeth 40.2s into marvellous places as I txt. I went the big Harbys instead of the Devores but both are good. The 40.2s would also cover you for Led Zep and big classical as well as jazz. I’d give the Harbys the edge in mid magic and breathy vocals. Cello is amazing and piano is super super super nice for a box (piano is an absolute deal breaker for me now on speaker choice after living with the 20.7s).
 
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Likes: bonzo75

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,211
1,248
113
London
#57
Had the big monkeys at home for a Christmas New Year break back a while.

Sounded reaaally nice with the Line Magnetic 845 integrated (24 watts) on its own.

But put a microzotl in front of the Line Magnetic 805 integrated (50 watts) which for me is the better way to go and you’d have 50 watts SET with a quicksilver fast zOTL in front making those 300B and 805s swing and move even more.

The LM Microzotl combo is playing my Harbeth 40.2s into marvellous places as I txt. I went the big Harbys instead of the Devores but both are good. The 40.2s would also cover you for Led Zep and big classical as well as jazz. Piano is super super super nice for a box (piano is an absolute deal breaker for me now on speaker choice after living with the 20.7s).
Will try to listen. Art Dudley in his review said Led Zep and Bonham were "awesome" on the Orangutans.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,169
626
113
#58
The 0/96 monkeys and the harbys are also lovely furniture with waf to the max. The Orangutans are a tad more Zen.
 
Likes: bonzo75

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