They may cause splendor, but the name of the British company is Spendor. I own a pair. And a pair of DeVore O/93's. I switch one pair out for the other every six months since they each bring a markedly different set of strengths to the table.
At $6,800 list, I think you are not going to get more than 75% of the speakers' potential with a remaining budget of say $4,000 (even if you get an amazing deal on the speakers) for everything else.
Imho, you need a budget of $15,000-20,000.
Your question is way too broad anyway.
Just some random tips;
The D7.2's need to be placed on their spikes and they need to be placed in the precise best spot for your room to deliver their magic. That means if you have carpet, you are in for a lot of tough maneuvering. I have hardwood and so have the spikes sitting on small steel discs made for this purpose. That made sliding the speakers tiny increments on the floor much easier. I was getting good sound the other day and on a whim moved the toe-in on my left speaker maybe two to three degrees further towards my listening position. Everything became halographic. Sound started coming at me-recording dependent-from the extreme sides and back and the soundstage was deep.
With my tubed amp the four ohm taps were better than the eight.
My $8,000 speaker cable got bested by a $800 SC for the Spendors.
I normally use Cardas Clear Beyond. But I had a used pair of Auditorium 23 that list for $1100 but can be bought new for under $900 and I bought mine used for $600 and they tamed the slightly bright treble and brought everything into life-like natural tone-focus (yes, I just made up the noun "tone-focus"-if any reviewer steals it I will immediately issue a Cease and Desist on legal letterhead).
The D7.2's probably need at least 50W of solid state and 30W of tubed to sound at their potential but more power will mean more authoritative bass and quicker dynamics. You will be best off matching them with a slightly warm amp imho. Again, they can sound a bit bright if not mated to proper wire and placed in the exact best location for your given room.
What are you’re tastes and preferences in terms of sound reproduction characteristics? What’s most important to you?
Thanks for the thoughtful comments auto spell check can be brutal!
I have a pair of Totem signature 2 along with a matching centre chanel and a Totem sub, w/ MIT interconnects. They are powered off a Arcam AVR 350 receiver from a previous home theatre set-up and I have always felt the sound was a bit cold, the soundstage is limited as I have never been able to keep them a good meter from an adjacent wall due to practical space limitations.
I am planning the new stereo system in my condo open living/dining/kitchen room that measures about 20’ square. I am after a warmer more captivating sound image, and if need to spend a bit more within reason that is possible if the rewards to the sound are considerable.
@fsonicsmith Just curious how you would describe the sound of the D7's vs the O/93's. I have the D7's and agree with everything you said about them, including how to maximum the listening experience. I've been curious about the Devores too.
i had the D7s for a while and they sounded excellent being driven with the refined, powerful output of a Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II. The latest version III just came out and people love them.
I have the larger Spendor D9s but agree with all that has been stated above as it also applied in my situation. The positioning is critical and takes a little patience and effort, but will be richly rewarded. My system consists of a tube preamp (VAC) and a solid state power amp (Ayer). Every small change in the correct direction, be it cables, power, source, room setup, is clearly noticeable and leads to great enjoyment.
I am after a warmer more captivating sound image, and if need to spend a bit more within reason that is possible if the rewards to the sound are considerable.
I’d just order Don Sach’s tube pre and KT88 amp and call it a day. I think you can return them after 14 days, but good luck with that. Best of luck in whatever you end up choosing.
If I had $10K to spend, I'd snap up the used pair of Spendor SP 1/2E's for sale on US Audiomart for only $1,290. I'd pair that with a used Leben or Line Magnetic integrated and used Luxman DA-06 DAC, fed by your CDP (as a transport) and a Bluesound Vault 2i for streaming.
I have MF M6si and absolutely love it!
I was considering Spendor 7.2 but auditioned them and was disappointed with underwhelming bass performance compared to my KEFs. So I am back to my KEFs 104/2 and I am loving them again. However, from that auditioning trip I remember Klipsch Cornwall IV as the speaker that really impressed me.
I am mostly streaming too, with RME ADI-2 DAC -- highly recommended. Balanced XLR from DAC to amp.
@fsonicsmith Just curious how you would describe the sound of the D7’s vs the O/93’s. I have the D7’s and agree with everything you said about them, including how to maximum the listening experience. I’ve been curious about the Devores too
Just to be precise, I have the newer D7.2’s. I bought them as new demo’s from an AD, one of the most respected in this Country, the gentleman from San Antonio (they were on the floor for two months). I bought my DeVore O/93’s new too, from an AD in Cleveland who then had them shipped directly from DeVore in Brooklyn, not that any of this detail matters much.
I was hoping someone would ask me this question. I am very happy with my decision. If you were to look at my past posts, I am in the camp that believes that loudspeakers may have the most influence on overall sound character, but that source and electronics and everything leading up to the loudspeakers are more critical for good sound than choice of loudspeaker. My basement system is an example-with the right source and components, you would not believe the SQ I am getting from a pair of Large Advents that I had modded by VanL Speakerworks in Chicago almost ten years ago.
So to your question. You can see my system if you go to my profile. My amp is an ARC 150SE and preamp is a Ref 6. The DeVores have "immediacy". They have more there there. They are vibrant and capture tone and texture. They are fun, dynamic, and outgoing. But despite all of these qualities, they are also very refined. If not for that refinement, the adjectives I just used could be applied just as validly to any number of large baffled efficient loudspeakers. So the DeVore O/93’s are both "in your face" and refined which is what gives them such a rare set of good qualities. I have heard the O/96’s. The O/96’s are more propulsive and powerful but give up a very small amount of the refinement in the O/93’s. That of course is just my humble.
The one thing I do crave at times is the halographic sound I described in my post above. Perhaps there is a theoretical room that would allow the O/93’s to do that too, but I am skeptical and know for sure that my room is not one of them. They put out a big wall of sound but there is almost no depth of stage. On program material that has it (my two go-to examples are Joe Henry’s "Tiny Voices" and the first cut, "This Afternoon" and the old chestnut, Dead Can Dance’s "Into the Labrynth" and it’s first track, "Yulunga") you will not get that hair-raising, startling, "unexpected sound out of nowhere" effect. The Spendor D7.2’s will do that exceedingly well.
One more little quibble I have with the DeVore O/93’s: there is something very slightly awry in the lower-midrange. I believe it was Ken Micallef who first pointed it out. Someone who owns a pair at S’Phile did, and called it a "woody" sound that he attributed to the large ply baffle and paper SEAS cones, iirc. I notice it too but would not call it "woody". I would call it "dry" and "course". It is over a very tiny range of frequency and does call attention to itself on every recording. Male vocals and certain strings mostly. As "prof" on this Board-someone I highly respect if for no other reason than his unusual talent at writing about sound-has pointed out before, once you notice a fault with a loudspeaker-an actual fault rather than a shortcoming or omission-it begins to eat away at you over time.
The beauty of the Spendor’s is that they are demure and sneak up on you over time. When I started law school in ’81, there was a young female in our class who of out fifty or so young women did not attract much attention at first. By the time the first semester ended, half the guys in my class were madly in love with her. Her looks sneaked up on you. She had this demure subtle beauty that simply intensified over time. So when someone up-thread said the D7’s did not have enough bass (for him), I am not surprised. They are not perfect. But if you place them properly in your room and have decent gear upstream, they will sneak up on you and you are likely-at least 50% likely-to fall madly in love with them.
@fsonicsmith What a great review and comparison of these two speakers! Thanks so much for putting the time into your write up. I find the Spendors to be very fast speakers with plenty of bass under the correct amplification (I've tried a couple amps). Your ARC 150SE certainly has enough oomph to drive the bottom end. I use a Pass XA30.8 and get plenty of bass. I do love the holographic 3-D imaging and depth/width of soundstage that the D7's produce. I'm not sure I'd want to compromise those qualities with Devores even if they are a bit more dynamic and in-your-face. My Forte III's in a second system are so much more 2-dimensional in presentation and laid back than the fast D7's but are fun powered by a medium-powered tube integrated.
This is very helpful and actually makes me less inclined to explore the Devores anytime soon although I realize they must sound wonderful as well. It's all about tailoring your sound to the presentation that moves your soul the most. Thanks again.
Can someone tell me the trick to do the @(name) thing? I can't figure it out. I am dumb.
three_easy_payments, you are quite welcome.
The statement I am about to make is purely subjective and it may change over time. That said, if forced to choose between the two, I would keep the DeVores and give up the Spendors. It would not be a terribly tough choice either. Luckily, I don't think I will ever have to make that decision and I intend to keep both. Keep in mind that though I have much different amplification, I have the same two turntables that Art Dudley has and I share his values and listening preferences.
You may notice that I expressed my view of the DeVores' virtues in greater detail than I did either in my first or second post in this thread about the Spendors. Imho, that combination of characteristics is what makes the O/93 such a damned fine loudspeaker.The Spendors imho tend to sound hi-fi-ish and need to be tamed to sound more natural. A digression. The first time I heard someone say "too hifi" I gave him a dirty look. I will never forget it-I had just purchased an Audioprism Mantissa from Progressive Audio in Columbus Ohio and they were not an Audioprism dealer and so they special-ordered it for me. They wanted to listen to it in one of their better systems and I wanted to hear what they thought of it. When I heard that description, I thought it was silly and meaningless. I now have an opinion as to what "too hifi" means. The best analogy is when you see one of the newest OLED tvs in a big box store and everything looks surrealistic and hyper-detailed. A component that sounds too hifi is the aural equivalent.
I stated above that I was happy with my decision. I meant that by investing in my sources and electronics rather than spending Magico or Wilson-type money on loudspeakers, I can afford to have both sets and swap them out every six months (my plan) in order to enjoy the host set of strengths each offer. Perhaps I should have said "Raidho-money" since my listening room is too small for Magicos or Wilsons anyway. My humble view is that like all other components, no one loudspeaker does everything that I want the way I want it done. Since loudspeakers do influence the sound character (but not quality mind you) more than any other single component, I think I made a good decision for me with those last two words being critical.
The subtle pluck of finger on strings through the DeVores is magical. And oddly enough, John DeVore will tell you that he is most proud of how they handle industrial/techno/synth and though that is not my thing most times, my limited collection of such stuff including LCD Soundsystem (yes, feel free to quibble that LCD Soundsystem is just simple electronica) does sound spectacular through the DeVores.
@fsonicsmith Well thanks for making the deliberation even more difficult now! ha...perhaps O/93s will be somehting I just keep an eye open for on the used market and act opportunistically if the whim catches me. Thanks again for the well-described thoughts.
Just as a very general guideline, the Spendors are more in line with the vast majority of loudspeakers out there from B&W, Joseph Audio, PSB, slim towers with two and half way designs incorporating two 6.5 inch drivers and a tweeter. There are many variations of this same basic design.Sure they all have different flavors but what they do well is shared by all of them-imaging, soundstage, and midrange.
The Orangutan's are a whole different animal, a variation of the old Snell Type A and the Audionote AE line. The Orangutans are going to appeal to the listener who wants something different from the norm. The presentation is different than most other loudspeakers.
Do you order Cabernet with your steak frites or do you look for unknown Poulsard based gems from the Jura? It is kind of like that.
The D7.2 is an incredibly impressive speaker if you drive them with competent electronics. You can find demo units on sale for much less than the asking MSRP.
The conversation has certainly taken a tangent or two! So in an attempt to redirect, it would seem most people (who have responded) seem to prefer tube amps to solid state.
I wanted to focus on solid state options albeit tubes are very interesting and as I understand it typically provide a warmer sound which was my stated intent...however I hoped there may be some solid state options worth noting.
@fsonicsmith Very helpful distinction there! I bought my D7s after feeling that they came extremely close to the Joseph Audio floorstanders but at half the price. The D7s should also be a little easier to drive. I will keep my eyes open opportunistically but no deliberate hunt for Devores yet ;)
You are right Gearhead, sorry.
On your budget an amazing solid state amp value is a used (only way to get one) McCormack DNA.5 that has been upgraded by Steve McCormack. They are ridiculously good for the money is stock form at full list price but to get a used one that has been modded for the $800-$900 prices they seem to go for is an even better deal. I make this recco because I own both a DNA.5 and DNA-1, both modded heavily by Steve. The .5 sounds sweeter but the 1 has more bass ooomph and propulsive-ness. They both "like" a tubed preamp as they have a suitable input impedance. This will sweeten up the tone too and tubed preamps are far less prone to problems than amps (unless you get an Audible Illusions 3A so my advice is don't).
But I will say it again. Your question is just too broad and generally unanswerable. You are going to have to try stuff. Buy used so you can re-sell on this forum if you don't like it and limit your losses.
I acknowledge the question is broad in nature but no different than what one may ask a sales person in a Hi-Fi shop. You guys seem better informed though!I read a review of the McCormack DNA-1 in Stereophile, they concur with you. I also found one for sale recently refurbished for $1400, Seems a bit pricey for an amp that is out of production and was only $2k when new back in 1995...I am buying with CDN $ which converts to $2000 CDN! So much for depreciation. So what tube pre-amp would compliment around $1500 that is also dependable at the risk of being too general again?
Very tough question gearhead. In fact, I disqualify myself from answering it. My tube preamps consisted of the long-discontinued Audioprism Mantissa and the almost current ARC Ref 6.
Do yourself a huge favor and call Galen Carol. He will not steer you in the wrong direction.
A hidden gem is the Schiit tubed preamp though. To me, figuring out the volume control is half the battle with a preamp and the Schiit design does that. But-Galen Carol will say-truthfully-he can not comment on
Schiit since it is sold factory-direct.
I might suggest a used Audio Research DSI200, which can be found in your price range.
It’s what I use to drive my Spendor D7’s.
It’s solid state, class D, but doesn’t use off the shelf modules like most class D today. ARC designed the circuits to sound like their tube amps. Runs cool to the touch and can be left on all the time with min current draw. I am very happy with the combination.