John DeVore has gained a great reputation of late. His company’s simian-infused loudspeaker range has attracted the right sort of attention from a wide range of audio enthusiasts. The Gibbon series, for example, picks up a lot of plaudits from the Rhythm Kings in search of the perfect partner to tidy-sounding Brit-Fi system. Meanwhile, the combination of a wide front baffle, paper-cone bass driver, soft-dome tweeter, and high efficiency has made the DeVore Fidelity Orangutan the perfect choice for Single-Ended Triode users.
The O/93 is the second Orangutan out of the monkey cage, and builds upon the strengths of the O/96 standmount. As the name suggests, the O/93 is slightly less efficient (93dB instead of 96dB) than the O/96, but 93dB isn’t exactly ‘inefficient’ and works well with many low-power SET amps. Strictly, it’s not ‘hi-eff’ because that label kicks in at around 95dB, but given there is nothing crazy going on in its 10 ohm impedance and that it will play well with the sort of products ‘hi-eff’ speakers work with, it’s no big deal.
DeVore isn’t big on audiophile magic beans. This is a sensible wide-baffle two way, rear-ported loudspeaker with stubby little wooden feet to keep the wide and tall box an inch or so off the floor. There is no provision for bi-wiring. The drive units are equally free from hi-fi buff nonsense. The O/93 uses the same horn-loaded twin-magnet 25mm silk dome tweeter, and a variation on the theme of the 250mm paper cone woofer with a phase plug, as found in the O/96 (the woofer is itself derived from the one used in the company’s Silverback reference design). The crossover is, however, hardwired using silver wire, and the caps are all paper-in-oil designs. No magic spells mean a fairly basic “it’s a loudspeaker” description on the website and a ‘feeding guide’ manual supplied in the box. Even the finish is limited to the ‘fiddleback mahogany’, walnut, and maple, with stained maple back and sides, with other finishes made to order, but there’s a simplicity and elegance to this kind of approach.
In truth, we intended to review the Tron Atlantic integrated amplifier before the Orangutan (which we will be reviewing in our upcoming amplifier issue), but the DeVore O/93 is a new and exciting addition in its own right and we decided it deserved being brought forward a few issues. But it’s also worth looking at both side-by-side as the O/93 is a perfect partner for the low-powered Atlantic and they regularly cohabit (Graham Tricker builds Tron and distributes DeVore).