Devore Gibbon 88 v. PMC Twenty-23

I'm looking to upgrade speakers for a system in a second home and looking for some advice. I have a very small listening area - speakers only 6' apart and 8' from listening chair, can only get them at most 18" from back wall. Have been using inexpensive standmounts but interested in floorstanders with a small footprint (might as well put money into the actual speakers rather than the stands, for the same size footprint). I've auditioned the Gibbon 88s and really like them. Would like to also audition the PMCs but the nearest dealer is over three hours away so not sure if it's worth the trip. I guess I prefer speakers that are fast and detailed, with a decent bottom end, but I'm not really a bass-hog. Listen mostly to acoustic/electric guitar, blues, classic rock, jazz and vocals, in that order. System - Prima Luna Dialogue Premium integrated (KT-120 tubes), Music Hall 9.1 with Ortofon 2M black and Croft RIAA MM phono pre-amp, Audience 24e interconnects, Nordost Purple Flare speaker cables. Also using a Marantz SA8003 SACD player with AQ Sydney cables, although system is mostly for listening to vinyl. Appreciate your thoughts.
How about Vapor Audio Stiff Breeze stand mounts .
You have stands. Close to 4 grand saved for you.
Factory direct, so no way to listen unless you go to a show.
Have done some checking around and they seem very well-reviewed. Anything else about them that you can share with me? How about other models in the Vapor line? Really appreciate the info.
Hi 82,
I own a very nice pair of custom Breeze in burl wood, matching stands and many upgrades.(Amourphous Core Raal, Deauland Resistors,etc.) You may want to poke your head in at AudioCircle to learn more about the models.
His speakers use the Raal tweeter, which many say are the best sounding tweeter in the world.(ribbon) I will say the highs are glorious!! Ryan builds outstading speakers! Bomber cabinets that he inulates with some type of secret stuff makes the cabs very heavy and non resonant. Bass is very fast and tight, liquid lush mids, tonality to die for. Great wide soundstage, and speakers easily dissapear.
I have not even heard the new Breeze model that is time aligned, or the Stiff Breeze. The Vapor Audio website will have you drooling. I think he makes the most beautiful looking speakers ever, and the sound matches. The Breeze speaker line should be pretty fast builds, as they use pre-made cabinets that they heavily modify, builds for the Cirrus and above may take a few months as they are all hand made to order. I would think the Breeze or Stiff breeze would be plenty to put a huge smile on your face while on vacation. Todd
have you considered Merlin?
I haven't heard the Gibbon 88 but I own the Gibbon 9 (no longer made), and I can't say enough good things about them. They are fantastic with tubes or solid state. In one room, I had them only about 18 inches from the back wall and there was no problem, and I am usually very sensitive to room boundary interactions. My understanding is the 88s are designed to work well in smaller rooms. Based on reviews, I would suspect the PMCs might be more of the "fast and detailed" speakers, but I went from the very fast and detailed Verity Parsifals to the Devores and don't miss a thing.
Todd - how did you make the decision to buy the Vapors? Were you able to listen to them somewhere first? I did send an email off to them, gave them all of the above info I posted here, and asked what they thought might be the best fit for me, so I'm very interested to hear their response. Are you familiar at all with any of the speakers I listed and, if so, how would you compare the Breeze with them? I'll admit the Stiff Breeze looks very intriguing, especially with some of the available upgrades. Can you tell me why you opted or didn't opt for the different upgrades available? BTW, many thanks for taking the time to chat with me here; I really appreciate it.

As an aside, I notice they seem to have just recently had an issue with the Raal tweeter.
Ladok - thanks for the input. I was really impressed with the Gibbon 88s, and listened to them close to the back wall and with partitions in place to sort of mirror the size of my listening room. I actually started out that listening session with the KEF LS50s because they've been so highly reviewed, but found them a little slow for my tastes. Switched to the Gibbon 3XLs (standmounts), also very highly reviewed, and found them just a little bright really. Then moved to the 88s, which have the identical tweeter but a larger woofer, and I think that combined with the cabinet size really made things fall into place. They are certainly fast and revealing enough for me, although I could tell they don't go really low. If I end up going with them I could always add a sub, which I already own (one of the smaller RELs). Still intrigued by the PMCs because I think they might have that additional bit of low end but I've never actually listened to a transmission line speaker and haven't found anyone whose heard them. They're really well-reviewed overseas (What Hi-Fi's Best in its price range two years in a row). Thanks again for the input, I really appreciate it.
That's why I went with the 9s, I felt the 8 (which I think was replaced by the 88) would have been a touch lean for my tastes. My understanding is the bass has been extended from the 8 to the 88s. You might want to actually look into finding a pair of used 9s, they would still work well in your room and I doubt if you'd want a subwoofer.
That's not a bad idea, looking for a pair of used 9s. The frequency range for the 88s is improved over the 8s, down to 33Hz, compared with 32Hz for the 9s, but it looks like the bass in the 9s is probably a higher quality due to the additional woofer. May still make the long trek to audition the PMCs; still hoping someone might be able to give me some feedback on those one way or the other, as they're definitely not as sensitive as the 88s.
Well that's another consideration. Not only are the Devores more sensitive, but they have a very benign, 8-ohm impedence and match well with tubes. I also use the Prima Luna Dialogue and it's a wonderful combination. And 33 hz ain't too shabby. Best wishes, let us know if you get to hear the PMCs.
Joseph Pulsar
Would love to hear those, actually, but the closest dealer to me doesn't have any in stock to listen to.
Thanks, Ladok. Didn't realize you were using the PL Dialogue as well. That's a big selling point right there. Are you using the stock EL34s or the KT120s, just out of curiosity?
Actually, I got it with the KT88s. I decided on those because one of my long-time amps, a small Antique Sound Labs, uses 2 KT88s for 15 watts per channel and it sounds fantastic with the Devores. The Dialogue with the KT88s has that same natural, spacious sound, but provides a little more punch. I'm thinking of ordering some KT120s for the Dialogue, because I've never heard them before.
So, interesting development. Met a dealer who recently closed his brick and mortar store, and has quite a bit of inventory he would like to sell off. He has a pair of Nola Contenders, demos, only about 20 hours on them, that he's offered up for $2,000 (retail $3,900). Definitely tube-friendly and great reviews. Also a great match in terms of footprint. With the money saved I could upgrade my TT. Any thoughts?
It sounds like he's close to you. Maybe he would let you audition them in your home for a few days. That would be the best way to see if you like them.
See the Nola thread, a few folks were disappointed , thought them go be lifeless and boring .