the ProAc's are classic speakers ... have not heard both but the ProAcs are still very good even by todays standards
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Have your Response 2 had any maintenance? ProAc speakers of that age are all coming due for woofer replacement. For some reason refoaming is not good enough and woofer replacement is recommended at $300 each.
It is my opinion these foam surrounds are not going bad overnight rather they are slowing becoming weaker with age and gradually changing the sound. I have a feeling the aged sound is preferred by most users because it is common to see ProAc speakers with recent woofer replacement for sale. It obviously takes a lot more power to get the same bass with the new tighter surrounds.
Because of woofer foam rot and this potential for ever changing sound I have decided to stay away from speakers using this type of driver.
I will have to disagree that the Response 2 and the Devores are very different-sounding speakers. I owned the Response 2, twice, and even had the woofers replaced at one point due to the deterioration as mentioned above. Later, I owned the Devore 9, which is probably very similar to the 8. And many, many speakers in between (I now have the Devore 0/96). Yes, one is a monitor, one is a floor stander. But they have in common: very quick with great "momentum and flow," they are both very "musical" as opposed to ruthlessly revealing, but can still tell you about your associated components; well-controlled, tuneful bass that goes down just far enough to provide some impact. Both have clarity and image "out of the box" very nicely, although the 8s should have a little more scale and impact. The Response 2 has a bit of a "midbass bump" whereas the Devore 9 (and I believe the 8) was more flat in the bass, so this could result in a difference in how they are perceived. So yes, it may be more of a lateral move, but if you enjoy the Proac 2 "sound," I bet you would also enjoy the Devore "sound." You might want to consider picking up a pair of used 9s, I found them enjoyable in much the same way as the Proac 2, but with greater sense of scale and impact. Also, they both have friendly impedance curves for use with a wide range of amplifiers.