Devore Fidelity Silverback Reference.

I'm now in the final iteration for my system - and thank the pundits in this forum to help me out - i run a 30wpc Class A SS amp which doubles as a 140 Watt per channel class a/b amp - i found this amp after a long and tiring search going through the likes of Naim,Pass Labs,Ayre,Rogue Audio etc.

I am not in the vicinity to try out the devores, and it has to be pretty much a blind buy.

I am very worried, as online reviews can be very misleading - some say, these speakers are tremendously revealing (i listen to a lot of not so cleverly mastered music) plus a lot of modern stuff, and my source is almost always a Mac mini played through Antelope Zodiac DAC, with occasional vinyl here and there, other say that it's 'an open window' to music - since i have no way of going back? can you guys advice or share with me your opinion if you are a silverback owner? my amp has a single tube manifest with geranium and bipolar transistor (more of a solid state amp).

My Current speakers were a pair of Monitor Audio Platinum (which i got rid of last week) i found them bright, a bit unrefined and a bit musically showy, with a lot of listening fatigue, on of the worst speaker i have owned, i also owned Harbeth SLH5 (which was ok, but not great)

I loved my amp with Kharma DB9 (which it drove fantastically well) unfortunately i can't afford this or the DB7 though now i hear Magico's will be releasing their S3, which is more in by budget, but prefer to have the Silverbacks and pocket the extra cash.

The thing is i do not know what kind of technology devore employs, compared to more larger, technologically superior manufacturers, though
the design might stand the test of time, i do not want the trouble of reselling the devotes, and going through the hassle of buying something else.

Please Help! I play everything form Dizzy Gillespie to Michael Jackson to Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
I haven't heard the Silverbacks but have owned both the Devore 8s and Super 8s. After going through probably a dozen well-regarded speakers over the last few decades the DeVores have been the most satisfying, interesting to listen to and all-around best values of any I've owned.

There are a lot of great speakers out there and I haven't listened to nearly all of them but John DeVore makes remarkably good ones at a very reasonable price.
anyone else help please?
What's this secret amp? What is the preamp and source?
I owned Devore Silverbacks for two years and loved them! I used a variety of amps to drive them - a Luxman MQ-88, Nagra PSA, Accuphase P-3000, and a Bedini 25/25. The SBs sounded great with all of those amps. The only reason I sold the SBs was so that I could obtain a rare pair of single driver speakers for use in the room where the SBs were. I do own multiple systems. Believe me, if the SBs would have worked in any other room of our house, I NEVER would have sold them. They were/are that good!
Hi guys, thanks the amp is is an out of production Atec from france, it is heavily modified, you can compare the sound as if Pass Labs on "tube" steroids (but this is solid state) - but has a lovely midrange, a friend of friend sold it to me, as it was still new in box, it is one of the best amps i have heard.

I am not much of a tube-guy (i was) the entire tube-rolling fad, and the terrible hisses you get whilst playing music is not my thing - but the fact that this amp has one single complement tube just for the warmth is all i need, i need feedback form those who had ran this with solid state..amps..your insights are very much appreciated.
My Accuphase and Bedini amps are both solid state. The Bedini is class A. I have read posts in this forum and elsewhere from SB owners who are pleased with their speakers when driven by SS amps. The new owner of my SBs normally used Shindo monoblocks to drive them, but he also told me that he was surprised how good they sound with his (also my former) Mark Levinson 334 amp.
I would not rule out any tube-friendly DeVore speakers from pairing with SS. I've had great success with many amps: tube, SET, Class A, Class AB, Class D. I love my Nines with my XA30.5.

Michael Lavorgna also pairs his Nines with a Pass INT30A:
Thanks a lot 4musica55017 - i guess its a gamble nevertheless , i am taking your point into considerations!
I own the speakers 4musica mentioned he sold. Yes, the Silverbacks are "tremendously revealing" and they are "an open window" to music. The result is poorly recorded (compressed dynamic range, etc.) music becomes unlistenable and well recorded music is stunningly beautiful. For the artists you mentioned, I think you'd be quite pleased.

As for solid state vs. tube. The Silverbacks are terrific in that they can either sip power (they sound wonderful with an 8W Shindo Cortese) or can sound great with a 100W SS amp (like my ML334 4Musica used to own). I must admit though, for my musical tastes, tubes rule and the ML just sits in a closet. 4Musica -any interest in buying it back?

Best of luck to you!
I have had Devore SBR speakers for a few years. At audition, I heard them with a Boulder SS which sounded amazing. I have run them with a VAC 80W integrated, a Shindo 15W integrated, an LM218iA 25W integrated, and now a 25W shindo montrachet. These are just fantastic speakers on so many levels. I find them very open and detailed with tubes, and even though revealing, not so overly harsh on the crappy compressed recordings. I will deviate from what Oldgrey said above in that although they will sound good, I believe you need at least 25W to really make them sing. When I used the 15W apetite, I definitely felt it was a bit underpowered.

Although they will sound very good with SS, it really is a shame to not run these speakers with some good tubes.
"Although they will sound very good with SS, it really is a shame to not run these speakers with some good tubes."

As it should be with all speakers. If they can't shine with tubes, I'm not interested.

Truemaineiac, how was the silverback with the lm218ia? I have a 518, and was considering eventually between the O/93 O/96 or the LM755's. I never really considered the silverbacks, but may add them to the list.
Guys thanks a lot, yes indeed i listen to some poorly recorded/mastered albums - mostly digital via the dac and you know the entire dac thing is quite limited now, it sound only second to a very good/expensive cd player, but i am not keen on a cd player,if its too revealing and makes music unlistenable..then i guess i would have a big "big" problem..with the speakers..although an open window is indeed a big word..
+ 1 on what Shakey just said. Cheers -Don
Shakeydeal - thanks a lot somewhere down the road i may get a tube amp - but not anywhere in the near future, even if i do it will only be for a second system..i have very little time to listen to music..and i find the tube hisses..clicks and pops..robs me of my musical experience..even if the midrange is to die current amp is a hybrid..Solid State CLASS A with Two Tubes in the input section..
dchang, the lm218ia worked fine with the silverbacks, plenty of drive, a very good sound. I ran across a used shindo montrachet and auriges and couldn't pass it up, would have been happy with LM and the silverbacks.
I don't know what tube amplifiers you've been using but something's amiss if you had hissing, pops and clicks. I've used/ owned numerous tube amps and that was never an issue under any circumstances.
My current SET amp is one of the quietest amplifiers I've ever experienced, tube or transistor. Bst of luck with your amplifier search.
Amplifier power ratings can be misleading. Oldgrey's 8 watt Shindo Cortese llikely has better transformers and stiffer power supply than the 15 watt Shindo Apetite and thus more grunt and drive for speaker loads.
For example my 8 watt SET out drives a 30 watt el34 push pull amp on the same speakers I own. The 8 watt SET is heavier with bigger transformers.
Without any kind of doubt Silverbacks are the best speakers John Devore has manufactured.

Rich, powerful, dynamic and BIG/small (chamaleonic) sound. The bad new is this is an old model and probably will be replaced in few time.

You can buy them without doubts.
Without any kind of doubt Silverbacks are the best speakers John Devore has manufactured.

You have obviously heard a well set up pair of Orangutan's to make such a decisive statement. Thanks for sharing what the universal opinion should be.
I've heard/ read fine comments about both the Silverback and Orangutan models and a direct comparison would be much fun. Choice could be determined by the particular amplifier match.
Frankly i am not looking for an amp - to me i've already found my perfect amp - i was merely commenting on posts of others who seem to lean on tubes compared to SS as a match to silverback, this is quite evident when you google about silverbacks and their partnering equipment - for now i am very happy with my 30W Class A (with heavily built dual mono power supply 140W Class AB) it also has a double tube on the input channel, so i do get a little bit of tube warmth, i am just quite concerned about the word "revealing" that has been thrown around, mind you in a Vinyl based setup good sound is somewhat easily attainable as compared to a digital based system, mine is a digital based system this how i listen to my music - some of the transfers from the 80's are not so good (regardless of the dac) and i've had very bad experience with Paradigm Speakers/Monitor Audio Platinum/Harbeth (the least trouble, also the most dry, Paradigm being the most bright) - the amp partnered well with Kharmas,Magico S1 (Even the S5),Totem etc - but somewhat i need something that sits well between those mentioned secondy, yet one that retains the old world charm - my sound is quite modern, but timeless, i have YG Carmel partnering my Hegel Integrated Amp (H300) in the living room and this a super combination, this system i also use for movies with the addition of subwoofer,media player etc - it never fails to amaze i want to achieve something more upscale in the main listening room which is my study/writing room (I'm a writer!)..i am just fearful of the silverback's brightness..(if revealing/open-window concept is synonym to the speakers being bright)..
I hear that The Silverbacks have been updated for 2013, any model prior to 2012 can be updated to the current spec - what are the updates i haven't a clue - but i do know that its a small to midsize company which might not be technically superior to other manufacturers who employ far more superior technology (softwares,testing equipment etc) - but i have also seen bigger companies fall flat on their face like in the case of Monitor Audio and their Platinum Series, although its nice on paper to say things like our sound-testing alone room cost USD1 Million to built - if its not met the objective than i don't care how much this spend on their supporting gear, like i said, i live far away and i have never heard any Devore speakers..besides reading from the internet about its glory..
The Silverbacks have been updated for 2013,i can't tell if this is going to be an outgoing model, or there might be a bigger model that is not going to interest me - in my country, the one dealer who is about to carry the devore, it seems has just signed them on and probably theres going to be only one pair first - which i can get somewhat a good deal as a Demo Pair i need to make a decision fast - before someone takes the sip of the wine..
Wow, well I suggest you give John Devore a call and perhaps purchase a plane ticket. This to me seems to be the only manner in which your many concerns can be responded to adequately. This is a small company and when I have had questions in the past John has been very accessible which tends to be the case with small companies.
Hi, I have no interest or motivation in persuading you toward using a tube amplifier. You've decided that SS amplification works best for you and that's a major step to reaching your goal. My comment was only regarding your experience with undesirable noise in your tube amplifiers(hiss, pops and crackles). This is a problem I've never had with tube amplifiers, so we've had very different outcomes. Good luck with your speaker search.
Fjn04, I obviously did direct comparations between the new Orangutan and Silverbacks. They sound totally different and follow different sound ways.
At this point I must admit that you can get the best sound from O/96 with less power than the Silverbacks...

Anyway it's only an opinion. Both products sound amazing ;-D
Hi , I have the updated SB and the update was done at the factory by mr Devore . I think that it clearly was a big change for my room as I was able to get more mid bass and for what people have been saying that they are bright amazes me as they use a silk dome tweeter that is as smooth as any speaker out there. They are on the sweet side I think when comparing them to other speakers . In my eyes they are a classic , great desighn by john as he has proved they don t need a constant update . I think it will be a great purchase ' I use them with shindo gear another classic desighn in the sense Mr Shindo is not sitting at his desk trying to keep up with just making a series one then in 2 years come out with a updated product to call it series 2 and so on . You can t worry about that stuff , shindo equipment has 3 people working at his company and I wouldn't call him a technical operation or spending 1 mill on r&d but I truly believe he probably makes some of the best pre amps in the industry . what we listen to is art and some of the guys out there are artist in my eyes Mr Devore is one of them. If you call john he will tell that he changed out the crossover. Good luck and by the way it's just a guys opinion who has been around the merry go round when it come to stereo gear and as I get older I like sticking with classics .
Charles, you are an intelligent and sophisticated listener who is satified with his system and you have learned what you know through actual listening and experience as opposed to rumor and reviews. In short, you have very little of value to contribute to this forum as it presently exists. If you get my drift. IMO of course.
Thanks for your flattering comments and I always appreciate your insightful contributions on this site. I attempt to be helpful if I may possibly have something to offer someone else. Many on audiogon have been kind and helpful to me.
Charles1dad, I agree, tube amps have their moments but I too have never been subjected to hiss, pops, ticks, etc. My current tube set-up for both pre and amp is very quiet.
I bet your Devore -Shindo based system sounds marvelous and very involving( as well as quiet).
Some excellent advice above for the OP. I find John to be very helpful, although he is a small operation. My guess is if you tell him what amp/preamp you use, he will give you some insight. I believe he has experience with solid state, and perhaps he can sort it out a bit for you. Certainly listen for yourself though. My guess is O's will sound better in some rooms, with certain amps, for certain tastes. Then of course, the same could hold true for the Silverback's.
Rugby1 thanks a lot buddy i am definitely in favor of the SB after reading your for
Charles1dad..I was not pinpointing or scrutinizing your thoughts
I was merely communicating and your thoughts are always welcomed..
As for
Chayro, I should say less as this is the case in most forums there's always a misfit or "smarter-than-thou" lurking around..anyway thx for adding color to the forum.

Please do no deviate from the OPost, as many others
Who may be in similar situation, as for buying a plane ticket
How can someone be simple-minded in considering such a first degree thought! Ha!
I believe the Silver back speakers will enhance your system and serve you
well. Just curious, have you ever considered the Acoustic Zen Crescendo ?
It's another highly regarded speaker of similar size, price and load
efficiency of drive.
Dear Charles1dad,
Thanks a lot i will check this out too! - but i am quite convinced with all the replies here that silverback will be a good choice especially after the update.
I totally agree
Thegoodarcher, Did you make a speaker choice?
I heard the Silverbacks briefly the other day. My first time. I could not believe my ears. So much energy musicality and intensity coming from these speakers but totally under control. Definitely a moving experience for me.
Hi Jet,
Well the Silverbacks made a favorable impression on you, they must be quite special. Jules Coleman(former reviewer for 6 Moons) loved this speaker with his Shindo W.E. 300b SET a few years ago.
Are you considering these Devores for your system ? Have you also heard their Orangutan models as well?
The Silverbacks would be too big for our listening room but if we moved to a
larger space where these speakers would work, they would be a serious
consideration. As you made reference 8-10 watts should work well for them. I
heard them being driven by big McIntosh SS amps the dynamics punch and low
end left me with my jaw hanging open. I would love to hear them with 8 to 30
tube watts to see what they were like.

I have heard the Orangutans with Shindo gear in a totally different room. Very
different speakers from the Silverbacks but I don't think I can comfortably
render any real comparisons since the rooms and electronics were so different.
With Shindo gear the O/96s are extremely rich deep tactile sounding speakers.
With Mac SS gear the Silverbacks were dynamic and lightning fast with
believable depth and gravitas. Its clear they go way down toward 20hz.