My friend has a pair of the O/96's paired with Shindo gear, a Vosne-Romanee pre and Corton-Charlemagne amp and I was very impressed with the sound when I heard them. Great tone and musical flow, and very good imaging particularly considering the cabinet size and shape. His system is on here username Mcslipp if you want to take a look. That's my only time hearing Devore's of any kind but it certainly put the brand on my shortlist.
I am with Jond, I spent 2 days with the O/96 at the Capital Audio Fest a couple of years ago. Could not pull myself away, the tone and top to bottom coherence was so realistic. I talked to the dealer about buying that pair to save hauling them back and he was more than a little interested!
My amps are high power driving inefficient speakers so I was not confident this would be a good match w/o hearing first or I would have bought that pair. They are on my short list for the future like Jond.
These speakers (0/96) are on my short list as well. Tone, coherent, good all-around, and they will work splendidly with my low-powered amps. I really like them. My brother just bought a pair of the DeVore 0/96 used at a fabulous price...he is moving his Harbeth SHL 5 to his second system replacing DeCapo's. His amplification is Leben. Good luck, Rob
I spent about an hour each, listening to the O/93 and Gibbon X last week, both powered by a Devialet 120 although in different rooms. I'm actually going back to listen to the O/96 next week, I liked the O/93 so much. Few caveats: the Gibbon was not broken in when I listened, and the room it was in may have had more issues. I think they're both very capable speakers, but from what I could tell, voiced differently. The Gibbon struck me as more neutral with a larger soundstage and presence, whereas the O/93 was a bit more intimate, involving, with explosive dynamics. Me personally, I'd much rather live with the latter. But I can see how some would prefer the Gibbon, especially if once broken in it sounds much better (my experience was a bit harsh, brittle, and the room has some bad resonances too, making the sound a bit congested).
I heard both the 0/93 and the 0/96 in John's room in RMAF a couple of years ago. I really like the speakers and the company, but it struck me that the 93 represented a better price to performance proposition than the 96, and I'm always surprised the 93s don't get more love by people contemplating Devores.
If cost is no object, the 96s by all means, but I don't think I'd personally miss much if I bought the 93s and saved the $.
Enjoy, whatever you do! Both are a very significant upgrade over the 9s, IMO.
I'm a little concerned about the physical stability of the 0/96. My room is carpeted with a thin floorboard underneath, and with my Gibbon 9s it takes careful adjustment of the spikes to get the speakers leveled and stable. The 96 has those four wooden legs which can't be adjusted of attached securely to the floor.
An update: I made my decision after having an opportunity to listen to the O/96 at a local dealer, and bought them on the spot. This is indeed a different animal than the Devore 9s. They go louder and are more dynamic with my Shindo gear. The soundstage they present is much more of a an enveloping "wall of sound" than the more delicate, airy presentation of the 9s. The bass is powerful, dynamic, tuneful and detailed, with much more force, presence and slam than the 9s. For those concerned about the "goosebump" factor or PRAT, I can only say you've got to experience them because the music hits you in the gut, both physically and emotionally. Last night I listened to Nick Drake's "Bryter Layter," Rickie Lee Jones' "Traffic From Paradise" and then Heart's "Dog and Butterfly", each one from start to finish. The Dog portion of the Heart CD jumped out of the speakers. I had on a local classical music station (WCPE Raleigh) with my old Yamaha tuner yesterday afternoon, and from the next room, my wife commented on how much more weight there seems to be, and how much more the music seems to fill the entire house compared to the 9s. They have been relatively easy to place in my room and thus far have been a complete joy.
Congratulations! Sounds great and that you're already happy with your speakers and I'm sure they will improve even more with playing and fine tuning of positioning! Have fun!
Congrats ladok, after going back to my dealer for another full day of listening to the O/96 paired with the Line Magnetic 501IA, I've almost come to the same decision. Unfortunately Devore's wait list for a new O/96 is stretching out to almost half a year, eek!
I listened to the O/96 back-to-back with the Magico S1 and S3, same room and amp, and the O/96 felt the more magical to me, more convincing of the instruments and musicians actually being in the room with me, revealing more details that I just didn't hear on the Magico's. It feels very illogical, when you compare the Magico's sealed, completely inert, solid aluminum enclosure to the O/96's half-the-weight MDF ported enclosure... based on every rule in the speaker handbook the Magico should handily win. I suspect much of the Devore's strenghts are due to it's high sensitivity and impedance, and how that interacts with the power amp. In any case, it seems the right trade-off's were made, the end package was simply amazing to my ears, the only other speaker I've heard in the same category is the Raidho D1, and that's over 50% more (and with nowhere near the bass, but it does have some other great qualities with the ribbon tweeter).
I was fortunate in that the 0/96 "demos" I listened to were 2 weeks old and I was able to buy that very pair. The dealer even brought them to my house, help me set them up, and took away my Devore 9s that he accepted in trade. I do remember having to wait about two months when I bought the 9s. I agree that the 0/96 is a very different presentation than many other "audiophile" speakers, and that part of the "magic" comes from a nice integration of tube amp and the benign impedence and the higher sensitivity. I also heard them in demo with a Line Magnetic, the 518, and they mate very nicely with my Shindo 20-watt amp. I would suspect the Magicos are better at focused imaging, "transients" and the like. Even the 9s have a different presentation than the 0/96, which takes some getting used to when you go from one to the other. The 9s floated a more "airy", delicate, focused soundstage but don't create the overall sense of scale and power of the 0/96. And the 0/96 is at a completely higher level when it comes to bass extension, bass slam and detail, midrange detail, and treble detail. I'm having to work a little harder to get them to image the way I want in my room, but I suspect it's because they are much wider, move a lot more air and probably weren't meant to be "imaging" champs anyway. The thing is, when I'm listening, I don't find myself paying much attention to that with these speakers. Rather I find myself enjoying the boogie factor, the myriad of musical details, and the connection with the musicians and their instruments.
Oh, and I've completely gotten over my concern about the physical stability of the O/96, which sit on the stands with four legs. They are very stable and so much easier to move and position without having to mess with spiked feet.