Joseph Audio RM-33LE vs DeVore Gibbon 8, my experience.


As some will know by now I do have a habit of changing my equipment fairly regularly, sometimes buying an item and then selling it very quickly. This is usually because to me I just did not like the SQ, and I am not of the belief that give it time it will grow on me, that is more likely just being accustomed to it, not actually growing to love it! My mindset is that if I do not like it right away well I am likely NEVER going to like it period.

With that being said here goes with two sets of speakers I own.

First, and the longest owned, the Gibbons.
Nothing really much to fault with these stunning 2 way compact floorstanders. Obviously they do not go super low on bass but do run down to 40hz or so in usable output and as I listen to mostly rock and acoustic rock where the low E on the bass guitar is about 40hz I am not lacking in much. Saying that I did augment them with a small 10" sub just to fill in that bottom octave which it did very well indeed.
Their best attributes imho are their absolutely clear and neutral presentation of vocals and female vocals especially. Acoustic guitar and piano are also portrayed very vividly, not in your face but distinct, clear and easily picked out of any mix. They are non fatiguing in any way and I listen to them for hours on end.

So why look elsewhere, well grass is always greener on the other side!

Enter the Josephs.
Obviously these win hands down in bass output as well they should, not bloated in any way just solid tight fast punchy bass all round.
But to me they did not quite have what it takes in the mids to rival the vocal presentation or acoustic instruments of the Gibbons, not bad but not quite as drawn into the music as with the Gibbons. And they may have the tweeter from the Pearl but cymbal splash was very noticeable and slightly tizzy compared to the Gibbons.

So is this is case of David beating up Goliath?

Not quite, read on.

The above was reviewed at levels of 78 to 82 db on average, once I cranked up the juice to higher spl around high 80,s to low 90,s db then Mr Hyde crawled out of the Josephs and grabbed the music in a deathgrip and would not ease up!

Now the bass was truly visceral, feel it in your gut quality, not bowel inducing but much more palpable all round.
The mids took on a new quality and vocals and acoustic instruments shone like they should ( for my tastes), soundstage and the feeling of being with the music took over and I listened in a near dream state for a LONG time.

Does this make the Gibbons bad? Heck no but at the elevated spl the Gibbons did not really change nature much which is actually a very good thing and probably more a reflection of their ability to sing at lower spl rather than a failing at higher spl.

This makes it a very tough decision as both have outstanding qualities and if I really want to rock then the Josephs win out, but for more mellow sessions I prefer the Gibbons as they just do everything right seemingly no matter what the spl or subject material.

For now I am keeping both sets as it is too close to call right now.

Just some thoughts......
6db47fb2 f8db 415d a4f7 49a7b6ed12b0Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz
Uberwaltz,  Don't you hate it when that happens?  You bring something in for an audition and you end up keeping both, because both are really good at what they do, and what each piece uniquely does is something you can't bring yourself to do without.  I've heard the Josephs, but not the Gibbons.  The Josephs are fine speakers and I can understand you not finding it easy to give them up.  I've never auditioned a DeVore speaker, but doing so is on my audio bucket list. 
Nice review uberwaltz.

Personally I wouldn't be keeping a speaker that had to be played that loud (Josephs) to sound good to me, as I generally don't listen that loud. 
But if you do listen that loud, then, I guess they fit the bill.

(I like the Joseph Perspectives/Pulsars, which do appreciate a bit of goosing of the volume, but not that much necessary).

I get stuck all the time between speakers that do different things that I love. Hence, I end up keeping multiple speakers.   I auditioned the Joseph Perspectives in my home and loved what they did great, but also loved what the speakers I owned did great, so I couldn't let go of my speakers and thought I'd save up and add the Josephs.

It's a curse.
Guys, it’s more than a curse, it’s a sick addiction ... Lol.

Maybe I was a bit over critical of the Joseph’s lower spl performance. I think if I did not have the Gibbons here to compare I may not have been as struck by it.

Listening right now to the Joseph’s on my next adventure... A vintage Denon DD table cw Infinity Black Widow arm and dl103d cart... It literally arrived 1 hour ago, got to love FedEx sat delivery!

Impression here is that now the vocals are more pronounced and bass has receded a little, slightly better balance .
But I feel the dl103d is a poor match on this arm( it came with it) and a good vintage mm cart will do better still.

We will see because Prof I agree that having to play loud to get the SQ I like is not the way I want to go. The Gibbons may just end up beating out the Joseph’s after all.

To be continued!
Don't you miss a third qualified system for near-field/desk top listening? It's a really enjoyable experience to sit 2-3 feet from the speakers and be able to look deep into the recording in a way you can't with longer listening distances. I will soon try a genelec 8341 for this position. 

Tempted to hear the Gibbons. Read a lot about them. And most seem to agree on them being very good at what they offer. But it is at +90db the real speakers stands out from the rest.....
Agreed that playing loud in order to appreciate the sound from your speakers is asking for a bit much. A great speaker will sound fantastic at low/moderate volumes too - or, at least it should. Based on my quest to find a new set of speakers, I have found that the match with speakers to your amp is crucial. Gibbons are considered to be fairly efficient so they may be more amp friendly than the Josephs here. 
Yes the Gibbons are very efficient.
However my Ayre ax7e although "only" 65wpc should have no difficulty driving the Joseph's too. I wonder what they would have sounded like with my old sadly departed BAT VK600SE monster at 300wpc. That had an iron grip on any speaker.

It's all part of the journey.
I had a pair of DeVore Gibbon 8 speakers for about a year.  I had it paired with a Paradigm 12 inch sub for a pretty seamless presentation.  In my living room, I foiund it quite musical especially with Jazz, but with some of my favorite Rock (Pink Floyd), not so much.
That's because your favorite Rock  is not so much .
@schubert..................................
once again you show your ignorance. Very seldom do you have anything nice to say. You are the one who said that my GE Triton One speakers were “cheap Chinese junk”.  Why such a sourpuss?
Once again I surprise myself by how much  a small change can impact SQ in a disproportionate way.

I have the Joseph's in play right now and whilst looking them over carefully it became apparent that they were tilted back ever so slightly, maybe 1 to 1.5 degrees I would say.

Nothing to lose I adjusted the spikes until by my el cheapo level they were pretty close to dead nuts on.

This had an immediate effect on the vocal presentation being more palpable and fleshed out.

Hmm, remember a pair of Focals that preferred being tilted down at the front slightly so thought I would adjust until I had just a slight rake.

Looks like i hit the jackpot. I am listening right now at about 70db and I feel they are lacking nothing in presence, tonal balance or air. Allison Moyet could be in the room with me.

It's a funny old world!

Cool.
So, uberwaltz, what's your assessment of the Joseph speakers vs the Gibbons at this point?
Prof

I have not put the Gibbons back in the system since the changes made above but plan to do so later today after completing some of the "honeydew" list!

I listened to the Josephs until late last night at fairly low levels, high 60 to low 70db range and felt that everything sounded quite in balance. I think with these being a fair bit taller than the Gibbons, they needed the rake down at the front to get the mids and tweeter dispersion more accurately aligned with my ears in my slumped down listening position on my large squishy sofa.

So today I plan to crank back to my original spl level of 80db on average and play same albums from previous sessions on both and take mental notes.
Stereo5m I have NEVER said anything about GE speakers at any time to anyone .
Nor have I ever bad-mouthed Chinese gear, just the opposite in fact.Nor is it a secret rock sounds how it sounds best on speakers voiced for it .


Post removed 
I tried, I really, really tried honest I did.

But much as I truly wanted to like the Joseph’s they are the loser in this match up.
Biggest two issues for me.

Having to crank the volume before they truly rock out.
But probably larger than that is the sibilance from the tweeters. While the top end is precise it just has too much sizzle for my ears. While a tube amp might tame them down that is not what I am about to do.

So the Gibbons are back in likely for quite some time.

Listening to one of my "test" albums today made the final decision as I know this album is not recorded "hot" but it definitely sounded like it through the Joseph’s and believe it or not the bass seemed less although that is likely just because it appears to sound hot.

Anybody want a pair of Joseph RM33LE?
Good for you!!!  Big JA fan here, but never heard the RM33s so no opinion there.  But you know what?  You did it the RIGHT WAY that most of us don't get the opportunity to do.  It is SO clear you made the right choice.  It even makes ME feel good about the choice you made.  Enjoy the many, many years of fulfilling music your diligent work has rightfully given you.  WELL DONE MAN!!!
@soix 

Thank you
I just sat down to listen to another favourite album, a Wishbone Ash cut and I felt completely relaxed so yes it is the right decision.

I think these Gibbons are going to be here for quite some time!
Hi, Uber. This is totally unrelated, but don't you just hate driving down Blanding blvd?
Hahah
Blanding, especially anywhere near 295 is worst rd in Jax area!
I always take 17 instead!
What about trying the super 8 or the nines? I now have the nines after moving from gibbon 8 to super 8 then to nines, it will solve your bass issue! I listen to jazz, through a firstwatt F7 amp and it’s wonderful...
@uberwaltz I’m glad I came to your thread a week late as it’s allowed for following the journey, not just the outcomes. Congratulations on settling on a speaker, etc.

If you haven’t already, check out Michael Lavorgna’s system over at Twittering Machines. May give you additional insight into pairings / synergies. He uses the Gibbon X.

https://twitteringmachines.com/michael-lavorgnas-hifi/
I truly think I am enamoured with the Gibbons so it is likely a higher up the food chain model should be the way to go.
However the Joseph's will have to be sold first before ANYTHING else can be considered.
I guess one major deciding factor was that I was just not enjoying listening to music through the Joseph's. No I do not think it is because they are more ruthlessly revealing than the Gibbons.
The upper treble really irritated me and as,most rock music has a lot cymbal action this got tiresome.

The Gibbons are just so naturally open and expansive that they are a joy to listen to and when I switched them back in I almost just breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Now I just need sell them.... Lol

Interesting uberwaltz.

I haven't heard the old Joseph speakers, but of the Pulsars and Perspectives, I have sensitive ears yet I find I can listen to them forever, and get sucked totally in to whatever they are playing. 


Of course, I also love the Devore speakers too.  Basically, JA and Devore are my current favorite two speaker brands (that I don't own that is...Thiel is the third, but I own Thiel).
Prof
From everything I had read I was truly not expecting this at all.
I was thinking these would be my final speakers! Well I could but dream!

Not one review pointed to an excess of treble energy or recessed depth at lower volumes.
But we all know each system is independent and you do not always get the synergy you hoped for or that others achieve.
A real shame because as furniture they are a work of art next to the Gibbons.
Just going to throw this out there and ask for opinions as it went through my mind last night.

As the Joseph’s appear to be displaying symptoms in my system at odds with most reviews I read I looked at possible causes beside just my room, ears etc.

Does anybody think that a change of speaker cable could have a significant impact on taking some of the upper end tizz and tightening everything up at lower spl?

Currently using Nordost Red Dawn and I have read many reports of Nordost being somewhat lean and etched.

Possibly solid copper or high copper mix?

Rather than just give up on these speakers I think it would be wise to investigate all possibilities.

What do you think?
Very wise, indeed. Especially if you have alternate cables on hand....
Very wise, indeed. Especially if you have alternate cables on hand....
 Lol
I do not which is why I was trying to get opinions first BEFORE spending even more money!
Nordost cables are bright even into the Norse line.  Also if you are trying to sell the other speaker maybe don’t say the Devore spanked it in a shootout.  Just stick to its strengths.  FWIWYMMV IM down with OPP.
Cannot help but be honest, nothing to hide here.All this thread really says right now is that in my system to my ears I prefer the sound of the Gibbons.Not quite the same as they "spanked" the Josephs ... lolBut I get your drift.
All I need try next I think is some copper based cables....
I believe Joseph uses Cardas wire in at least some of its speakers.  They would certainly be warmer sounding than Nordost.  Personally I would not use Nordost with JA.  Acoustic Zen, Morrow, or Analysis Plus may be some others worth trying.  Hope you find something that matches better. 
I am starting to think the Nordost may not be ideal.

Going from sublime to excessive.

A friend is loaning me a pair of cables on Sunday to test out the theory.

These are overkill but who am I to say no?

Cable is "Luminous SYNCHESTRA SIGNATURE 
I don't know those cables, but I will say based on this review they seem like a much better fit for JA.  It'll be very interesting to hear your thoughts on this pairing. 

https://positive-feedback.com/Issue14/synchestra.htm
Have not got round to swapping speakers back around but I did fit the Luminous cables in place of the Nordost while the Gibbons are in play.

To ANYBODY out there who is still of the mind that speaker cables do NOT make any difference should come over to my house and LISTEN!
Much deeper tighter bass, vocal definition and presentation much more profound, bigger projected soundstage.

In other words a huge change for the better in SQ. May get round to speaker swap tonight although right now I am just really enjoying the music. But I have a very good feeling so far.

So you mean you swapped cables on the Joseph speakers, and now find the sound more to your liking, is that correct?
Prof.
No I swapped the cables while the Gibbons were still in place and found a huge improvement with them over what I was already very happy with.
Nordost should just scrap that whole line of cheaper cables.  “Nice hat, you buy a hat like that and I bet you get a free bowl of soup.  Oh, it looks good on you though.”

Oh, sorry, you'd been asking about trying different cables with the Josephs...and I missed that you mentioned the Gibbons were in play.

You are playing with two of my top favorite speaker brands!  (As my own long speaker journey thread attests).
No worries Prof, I can confuse myself at times...lol

So I did put the Josephs into play with the new cables and...…

Underwhelmed to say the least.

There may have been a slight improvement but not to the extent I perceived with the Gibbons, very odd indeed.

Do not get me wrong the Josephs are darn good, it is just that the Gibbons are better!
In my system to my ears.

And that is about all one can state...….
Well good job I am a stubborn SOB!
Finally have the Joseph’s sounding like I expected from day one.
Went back to square one on speaker setup and changed them to woofer in. Hardly any toe in now even though EVERY speaker in this room has sounded best with quite a bit of toe in.
And still the real deal changer was speaker cables, you would laugh if you could see what they are hooked up with now.

Home brewed 101. I have lots of cable and wire acquired over the years from my real job in heavy industrial machinery installations.
So I twisted up 2 pairs of 16/14 gauge from wire we use for 460v motor wiring and threw those in just bare ends.
Now that fabled Joseph neutrality is shining through loud and clear.
At last they actually sound better than the Gibbons!
Of course what I am going to do for final speaker cable I have no idea yet but this suggests nearly pure copper is the key.

This is getting hilarious uberwaltz!  But in a fun way.   I'm enjoying reading your roller coaster ride with these speakers.

Never heard those older Joseph RM 33s.  I wonder how they stand against the newer models that I'm so enamored of.

I know that the Pulsar monitors were designed from what Jeff learned doing the bigger Pearl 2 speakers.   And then apparently it was actually designing the Perspectives where Jeff Joseph felt he advanced things there in the crossover etc to where he wanted to incorporate that in the bigger model, hence the Pearl 3s afterwards. 
A shake of crazy, a shake of faith and two shakes persistence got you where you wanted.  Congrats.  Lawn bag ties would have sounded better than the Nordost.  So are you selling the Gibbons? 
Post removed 
Maybe if you quantum tunnel and shake a magic chicken foot at your industrial cables you can get $6,000 for them.
Prof.
Glad you are amused!
 Wish I had been along the journey,more depressed than anything and just that feeling that I must be doing something wrong!
Have been listening solid for couple hours now and do not feel irritated by the top end or out of balance feel that was ever present earlier.

Time to relax and take deep breaths.
Jones.
Seriously?
There is nothing outright wrong with Nordost cables, they just did not work for these speakers from this amp, thats all.
I still have full loom of Nordost Heimdall interconnect in play and they will not be removed anytime soon.
Quantum tunnel?
More like carpal tunnel after all the twisting ... Lol.
But yes maybe a fancy outer sleeve,bit of heat shrink on the ends and some Furutech ends and let the 💵 start rolling in!
😝😝😝

uberwaltz,
My uber-long speaker search/auditioning thread shows I can torment myself with the best of them!
Prof
I did indeed read through it.
Similar journey although I have not documented ALL the previous speaker trials and tribulations..... Take way too long for me.

Looks like I am back to a good start though with both speakers impressing me very much depending on cabling.

So both are still staying for now. 

Now to just try and buy the right cables for the Joseph's first time hopefully.
I think your next step should be to toss a tube amp into the mix.  I’ve had a lot of speakers and different amps and I’ve always found Devore speakers to really sing with tubes.  Never heard the Joseph’s so can compare but I think you will hear a drastic difference in the Devores.