DeVore Orangutan O/96

The original Orangutan thread appears to have been deleted, so I'll re-start it. Did anyone hear them at In Living Stereo earlier this month? Any initial thoughts or comparisons you can offer? I'm anxious to hear them myself, but don't plan on being in the NYC area anytime soon...
I heard them at CES driven by the Leben CS600. Amazing is all I can say. Other than the Silbatone room with Vintage Western Electric speakers, the Devore room was the best I heard. It bested the TAD room at a fraction of the price...
Heard the Orangutan in NYC about a month ago with Shindo Masseto, Haut Brion and Well tempered TT. Good robust body to the sound. Weighty and authoritative. Musicians were in the room.
"Heard the Orangutan in NYC about a month ago with Shindo Masseto, Haut Brion and Well tempered TT. Good robust body to the sound. Weighty and authoritative. Musicians were in the room." Jextopro, could you make any comparisons to either
your Audio Notes or for that matter, the Nines/Silverbacks.
The O/96 comes accross as appearing quite big in stature. Are they room dominant do they blend in just fine?

Fjn04 - the system you heard them on is almost my system, except substitude the Well tempered for the Ravin 0.5, I wish I was there!
I missed this year and last year's CES and I don't believe that John has shown up to RMAF for years. I was very anxious to hear the 0/96, but for 12K I've moved on. For that price I would consider a new Horning Aristotle or a used Agathon. Secondly I would have John remove the four post Shindo looking stand, and I would replace them with the custom Sound Anchor stand.

I'm sure it's a killer speaker. I have a pair of speakers with the 8" SEAS drivers and the midrange is blissful. I may cave once I hear them, but for 12K...?
I agree on the price---its direct competitor is the Audio Note right? which are more like 8k?
The AN-E/SPe HE is a great speaker for the right room, and last time I looked they were still under 8K. The AN-E only has an 8" bass driver, and the excitement regarding the Orangutan is that 10" SEAS woofer. John also told me that the Orangutans are less sensitive to placement than the Audio Notes, which is a big deal for me since my system is positioned along a long wall that doesn't have a corner on one side.
Lowens, I have not heard the 0/96's, but I plan on doing so soon. Sorry for the confusion, what you read was me repeating
what Jetrexpro had said.
Amazing how you guys can make judgements on something you have not heard. I heard them at CES, and they were simply wonderful.

Many Audio Note speakers are well over the price of the orangutan, by the way.

Kharl- I'm not sure what offended you by my post and I'm sure they sound great (I actually looked into them before purchasing Zus a year ago). I just think they are pricy for a 2 way. Sorry.
The wide front baffle invites the comparision to audio note ANe and yes they are not about pin point imaging as the ANe are not about that either. That is where the comparison ends. Since I only heard the Orangutans once I cant really draw conclusions. Plus the folks that had them told me they had not settled on this set up or placement.

They seemed to have a bit more body and weight to the sound than either the Nines which I spent considerable time with or my Ane's.

Since the Haut Brion is a robost push-pull, I would be curious what a SET would be like

They are a bit smaller than I thought they would be, and would be nice in a living room~wife approved. When I heard them they were about 3 feet from the back wall and I dont know how close one could put them to a wall. They have 3 large ports on the back of the cabinet.
Putting a price on a specific speaker design type does not make sense and is simply silly. In my years of being an audiophile (since 1955) there have been many designs through the years, that despite being a two way, single driver, or what have you, have cost much more. Audio Note makes speakers that are $100K. Two way designs, mind you. The proof is in the listening. If it floats someones boat, musically, then who is to say they are 'pricey' or not.


Who on this thread made a judgment with regards to how the Orangutans sound? John Devore insinuated that the original Orangutan prototypes would be around 8K. This year's prototype, the 0/96, are now expected to be around 12K. According to the on-line Stereophile 2011 CES review, John has found a new supplier for the SEAS drivers. Why that should increase the price substantially is what some of us are pondering. It's a perfectly legitimate point.

I'm a huge fan of the SEAS midrange and bass drivers. I certainly plan on listening to the Orangutan once they make it to my local DeVore dealer or if John ever shows up at RMAF again.

Besides the price, the only issue for me is the cabinet legs.
I don't want to weigh in here on value or comparisons, but I'd like to address the price of the O/96 Orangutans vs. the price of last year's O/93 prototypes. When I switched manufacturers for the Orangutan woofers, we nearly had to start from scratch as much of the development with the previous company was not directly transferable. That said, the combination of my long relationship with SEAS and their exceptional work helped things moved along very quickly.

The O/93 model is still in progress and will still come out near $8k/pair, it's just that the drivers for the O/96 model came together first, and the deadline of CES isn't flexible. The difference between the O/93 and O/96 is sensitivity (93dB vs 96dB, as implied by the names) and size, with the O/93 being somewhat smaller than the higher-sensitivity model. The two models do use different drivers, and the less-expensive model will not have the elaborate cabinet of the O/96. The Orangutan has always been conceived as a series of speakers, not a single model.

John DeVore

Thank you for taking the time to explain the Orangutan variations to this thread. I have talked to you several times and I've read every Orangutan tidbit I can find; this is the first I've heard of a Orangutan series (exciting!). I look forward to hearing them at the next audio show or at Matt Rotunda's studio.

Hi Dpe--Matt will have one of the very first production pairs, I hope by the end of April.

Thanks John for the clarification---very helpful indeed. Love the cabinet work on the new speaker.
Thanks John. Could you comment on positioning? Specifically, how close to the wall behind the speakers is optimal or acceptable?
Any reports from those that may have heard the 0/96 in Montreal this past weekend?
I 2nd Doclamb's request! Some might say it is irrational, but I am so excited about John's new speaker that if my dealer does not get a pair to audition soon, I fear I will just order a pair of the O/96 even without auditioning them.
I listened to the Orangutans at Montreal this weekend. The Montreal show, for those who are unaware, tends to be dealer-driven, which means that it's not so much a "DeVore" room, as a Devore/Leben room with a Brinkmann turntable. For several years now, the local dealer Coup de Foudre has been host to this room, and every year it has been one of the best in the show.

IMHO, a big part of the reason is that they play real music, from a stack of records of all types. So many rooms play audiophile show-off music (I never heard so much flamenco in my life as this past weekend!), but the Devore/Leben room can always be counted on for some good, interesting music that just happens to be well-recorded.

The system this year was a Brinkmann turntable that I don't know that well, a Graham Phantom tonearm and an EMT cartridge as the source, the Leben phono stage and CS300 integrated amp (12 watts). The sound was much like in past years - warm, detailed, and highly listenable. That was both the good news and the bad news me, the Orangutans sounded pretty much the same as the 9's did last year (and when I auditioned them at Coup de Foudre a few months ago).

It could be that the ~$3K Leben integrated was already at the edge of its performance capabilities with the 9's and was insufficient to show what the $12K Orangutan can do. The presenter in that room (Danny from Coup de Foudre) mentioned that the Shindo integrated that his shop carries does a better job with the Orangutans. could be that the Orangutans' biggest advantage over the 9's is simply their efficiency rating...which would only make them a good choice in very particular circumstances.

One thing about these speakers...they looked exactly like a "finished" version of the Audio Note speakers. The driver is a bit bigger on the Orangutans, but man do those speakers look the same!
Could be a bit of truth that the 12watt Leban is a bit outclassed by the O/96's, however at 96db the little Leban should have no problem at all driving the O/96 to high volume levels. If you are going to spend $12k on the O/96's then a Shindo Haut Brion is likely a better match, especially in a large room. It surprises me that you thought the O/96's sounded so similar to the 9's, as they appear to be dramatically different designs.
"It surprises me that you thought the O/96's sounded so similar to the 9's, as they appear to be dramatically different designs."
Lowens I agree. I would expect a house sound between Johns speakers but I thought that the 0/96 might go lower with more impact while still retaining the virtues of the Nines.
I heard The 0/96 with Haut Brion and they didnt sound like the Nines to me. The O's seemed to have more body/richness and weight.

I should add that when listening to the Nines, they where being driven by a Massetto/Montrachet during one listening session and a Massetto/Cortese in an other listening session and a Pathos TT in yet another session.

Countingbackwards makes in important point in that for SSI, the manufacturers are guests in the Coup de Foudre room. That said, I like the Leben amps very much, and think they make a nice system with my speakers.

I'd also like to comment on the similarity between this year's sound and last year's sound. Both years we were in the same room and the only difference in the two systems was the O/96 speakers this year and a pair of gibbon 3XLs last year. I showed the Nines two years ago at SSI, but that was in a different hotel. Both models are rear-ported, paper-coned two-way speakers, one using a 5.5 inch woofer, one using a 10 inch woofer. Doclamb rightly expects a house sound between my designs--keep in mind that I am responsible for everything in a DeVore Fidelity speaker, from the drive units and crossovers to the cabinets and packaging. It's a good example of how much of a speaker's sound is influenced by the designer, rather than the individual components.

That said, the speakers are quite different, and a side-by-side listen would make that clear. The gibbon series designs are better at disappearing into a room, and throw a deep soundstage with well-defined and realistic images. The Orangutan series designs are more punchy, and put a great deal more energy into a room. They have more projection and "snap."

Most importantly, the room was set-up both years by Jonathan Halpern and me, and the system differed only in the speaker model. It's no surprise to me that they had a similar sound. The room and set-up is a very important element of any good system, and both years it reflected our preferences.

For those in the Montreal area, Coup de Foudre has the O/96 speaker on loan for a couple of weeks, so comparisons can be made between models quite easily.

John DeVore
That's right, last year was the 3XL's, the previous year at the old location (the Sheraton) was the Nines. Both were with a Leben integrated though.

I have to say that Devore speakers sound fantastic every time I hear them. I would presume that my finding them to sound similar to others of your speakers that I've heard (both at SSI and in audition at Coup de Foudre) is largely due to the fact that there is a clear family similarity between the models. When hearing loads of different types of systems at SSI, and then walking into the room with Devore and emotional response is identical each time. I don't really recall which was punchier, which had better soundstaging...tonally, they're similar enough that I know exactly what I'm listening to. I don't doubt for a second that there are differences when listening to the different models side by side, and that I'd certainly have a preference for one over the other.

That said, one day, I hope to have a Leben/Devore setup, and don't doubt that one day I'll wind up going into Coup de Foudre and doing just that. And I plan to head over to Coup de Foudre to compare the different Devore speakers - will they still be there on April 18th?

The O/96s are currently scheduled to be at Coup de Foudre through Sunday the 17th, and ship back to the factory on the 18th.

And I'm glad to hear that your emotional respinse to the speakers is getting in the way of analyzing their component sonic bits. In my opinion, that's the way it should be.

Happy listening,
John DeVore
Anyone heard them lately? Interested in people's thoughts, the rooms they were in and their performance. I have a pair on order.
I heard the Orangutans a couple of months ago at In Living Stereo in NYC, driven by Shindo amps and a Shindo-modded Garrard 301 turntable. I've also heard the same amps and turntable driving the Nines.

Overall, I'd say there is certainly a "house sound" apparent between the Nines and the Orangutans. I've heard Nines driven by all kinds of amps, and with the Shindo they come across as warm, rich and well-balaned. For my tastes, however, the Nines are a bit sluggish and murky when paired with the lower-powered Shindo amps, and I suspect that may be partly because they're a bit less efficient than what's ideal for a 10- or 12-watt amp. Devores also are not artificially tipped-up the way a lot of speakers are, which makes them a particularly good antidote to solid-state amps and tubes of the KT88 and 6550 variety. And in the same way, Shindo amps aren't tipped up at the high end, either. Put together, it may be too much of a good thing to my ears, which prefer Shindo paired with the Veritys or Tonians.

The Orangutans, when paired with the same Shindo amps in that room at ILS, delivered a far more rich, enveloping and lively sound than the Nines - the sound of the Nines in that room was somewhat ordinary by comparison. At the same time, however, I felt like the 10-inch drivers may have been overwhelming the room a bit. As a result, I felt like the Orangutans still lacked the speed and transparency of the Veritys in that same room, although they did have a richer and arguably more involving sound. I was with a friend who still talks about "that room" and how great it was with the Orangutans, but to my tastes the sound could have used a bit more refinement. I suspect that, in a larger room, the sound would probably balance out very nicely indeed.

I want to emphasize that I consider Devores among the best speakers out there, and thought the Orangutans were certainly remarkable. Not yet sure the Oranguatans represent quite the value that some of the lower-priced models do. Again, I'd be curious to hear them in a larger room.
I'd actually like to amend my previous post - I think the Orangutans came across as a little bass-heavy in that room only on certain recordings. I remember this being the case with a couple of rock albums. But I also remember a Bill Frisell recording sounding quite good, now that I think about it (it's been a couple of months so it took a while to come back to me...). These speakers have an extremely rich and involving sound that fills the room in a big way.

Were the Oragutans being driven by the Haut Brion?


What was the approximate size of the ILS room?
This is a great sentence, possible only in an audio forum, but imagine it spoken by Richard Attenborough in a BBC jungle documentary--the orange-haired primates have just discovered a cache of Premier Cru French wine, and have gone rapturously berserk after drinking it...Sorry, back to the matter at hand....
Been in ILS several times the size is about 20x14??? They have the system set up along the long wall so the listener is 7-10 ft. away from the speakers.

Knott, lol!!

"As a result, I felt like the Orangutans still lacked the speed and transparency of the Veritys in that same room, "
Cfluxa, Great posts and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
The only thing about Verity's is that I don't believe
they are quite as efficient as Gibbon's or Silverback's.
The Verity's are a little more difficult to drive, based on their impedance. Obviously, many of the newer Verity's do have similar or higher efficiency ratings than Gibbons or S/B's. Certainly, while most Verity's and DeVore's are comparable efficiency wise, the 0/96's open up more
Cfluxa, two questions: Do you remember which Verity you were comparing to and which Shindo amps were used?
Hi All,

Back from a bunch of sun, beers and barbecue, let me see if I can answer all your questions.

I do believe 20 x 14 sounds about right as for the size of the room, and the Orangutans were placed along the long wall, fairly close to the wall - about 2 or 3 feet away at the most, I'd guess. I believe the Shindo amps were the Montille, the Cortese, and maybe the Corton-Charlemagne at the higher-powered end of the spectrum. The latter definitely benefited the Nines, which were less than dazzling with the lower-powered amps, IMO.

I'm pretty sure the Verity I had heard in the same room with the same Shindo amps was the Leonore, which retails for something like $16k. So in that regard, maybe not an entirely fair fight versus the Orangutans.

Fjn04 - it's my understanding that the Veritys are in the 93db range versus the Gibbon's and Silverbacks in the 90 to 91 db range, so maybe not a huge difference in efficiency there although I do believe the Veritys have the edge there. Of course, you're right that the Orangutans are more efficient than the Verity line.

With the Leonores, you got a life-size holographic presentation that, to my mind, was easily among the best set-ups I've encountered in my modest audiophile career, if not the best. I think the Veritys do let a certain kind of magic through when paired with Shindo that's basically unlike anything else I've ever heard. I've heard people complain that Verity tweeters can come across as harsh, but with Shindo that certainly wasn't a problem. Just a lot of marvelous refinement, wonderful shimmer and decay - not so much like the musicians were in the room, but they were in a room in a dream where everything was just a little better and more magical than in an everyday room in the waking world. I keep coming back to that word magical.

To be fair, the only thing I believe I heard on that Verity setup was a jazz trio, which should be taken into account. Also, to be fair, I think I heard the Verity's powered by the higher-powered Corton-Charlemagne.

With the Orangutans, I believe I heard some Bill Frisell and some Jimmy Smith, also on the Shindo-modded Garrard 301. Honestly, I'm not sure which Shindo amp was powering it - I'm guessing the Cortese, but at its efficiency rating I'm thinking that's not as big an issue.

In keeping with the rest of the Devore line, the Orangutans deliver exceptional harmonic richness. The Orangutans paired with Shindo are probably the most harmonically rich setup I've ever heard. Of late, I've become increasingly drawn to that presentation. With the Orangutans, I almost asked for a knife and fork to tuck into the incredibly weighty, thick, delicious sound that was filling the room.

Once again, this wasn't exactly a "live, in the room" kind of sound, but something that one could argue is an improvement on that - an extremely involving presentation that conveys the many delightful colors emanated from the Shindo gear. It's the real deal.

So ultimately, I think it probably boils down to a matter of taste. The Verity presentation struck me as a bit more lively, dynamic, clear, and shimmering with detail that was extremely easy on the ears. The Orangutans were more of a "let's get lost in the music" kind of sound that brought a different aspect of the Shindo sound to the fore.

Maybe the reason I preferred the Verity between those two auditions came down to the tweeter factor - as I believe i said before, Devores have always struck me as being a little laid back - speakers that can make tipped-up amps sound good, whether it's solid-state Luxmans or Audio Research or Mac tube amps driven by 6550s or KT88s. To my ears, the pairing of Devore and Shindo has always struck me as a little too laid back in the treble.

Of course - this should be taken with a huge grain of salt as the Devore-Shindo pairing is obviously a very popular one. I strongly suspect it might be the case that it's simply a matter of what one's ears are used to. Then again, my ears generally do dislike tipped-up treble - even Devores can't quite make Audio Research sound good to my ears.

So anyway, FWIW, YMMV, that was my take, having heard the Orangutans paired with the Shindo a couple of months ago, and the Verity pairing at least a year ago. So caveat emptor, and if somebody came along to say their experience was totally different I wouldn't be too inclined to argue with them. Nevertheless, I felt strongly enough about what I've written to at least write it, so hope it's helpful to some of you folks.
Does anyone know if the Orangutans will be shown at the upcoming Toronto show in September? John? I'd love to hear them.
any idea why the details on the Orang utans are not updated in the devore website ? Has production not started for it yet ?
They are definitely in production as I have a pair being delivered to my home today.

Apparently, unlike the Gibson series no one else but John oversees the construction of the O/96's.
The Orangutans are already available at Devore dealers(Don Better Audio,In Living Stereo to name two). The website is usually way behind the actual store inventory,I find. Webpage updates aren't what they should be..although the speakers are!
Lowens, let us know how they sound.
I'd love to hear them. I think you live close to me. Did you buy them thru the local dealer?

I bought them through Matt at Pitch Perfect Audio in San Fran. The local dealer in Vancouver, who works out of his house was not able to order them in for me. Apparently the O96's are being sold only through "select dealers", much like the Silverbacks.

I only have about 50-60 hours on them but so far they seem very, very nice. The O96's are relaxed, composed, but with great depth, tonal color and detail. The wide front baffle seems to really project the music well, with nice integration of woofer/tweeter.
Too bad they wouldn't let the local dealer carry them. I bought a pair of Super 8's from him a few years ago and he was great to deal with.
I was hoping that I could audition them locally. I think I remember that you have Shindo gear as well. What model amp do you have?
Enjoy your new speakers

I have a Haut Brion, which I have owned for years and have no desire to upgrade, it's really that good. Its a little powerhouse with the O96's in place.

Yes I try to support the local dealers, but sometimes its just not possible. Cost wise the O96's were a bit cheaper sourced from the USA anyway. Matt is also a good guy to deal with.
Right now I have a Monbrison and Montille pairing with Klipsch LaScallas
The LaScallas are incredibly dynamic but require subs which are giving me some noise issues. I'm thinking about the Orangutans or Tannoy Kensingtons, but I think either will require a bit more power than what the Montille has.
I bought my Shindos from Matt as well, he is a great guy to deal with also.
Seems odd that even though Devore has very few dealers, they limit distribution
even more so.
Dirtbag - the Montille will make the Orangutans sing beautifully - I wouldn't worry about that...
Dirtbag - I would not be too worried about the power to drive the O/96. The Montille does works well into much less efficient speakers.

I think you will gain a lot more by also considering moving up the Shindo amplifier line - a Haut Brion or Cortese will give you a lot more resolution, a lot more refinement, much improved bass and drive.
Dirtbag -what type of music to do you listen to?