RMAF 2018: DeVore Fidelity

RMAF 2018 saw the debut of the DeVore Fidelity Orangutan Reference speakers. I’ve had the good fortune of hearing prototype versions of these speakers in-Barn and in John DeVore’s listening room in the Brooklyn Navy Yard prior to RMAF. Here, in the Barn, they transformed this space into one big fat sound machine, moving me and the previously silent loose bits in the barn (light fixtures, barn doors, etc) that announced themselves with rattling glee as the bass notes from Raime’s “Cloak”  off their Tooth record brought them from silent sleep.

Brinkmann Spider turntable ($14,900), SME V-12 tonearm (8,995), additional Brinkmann extended arm base ($2,700), Air Tight Opus-1 moving coil cartridge ($15,000), Air Tight ATH-3 step-up transformer ($3,000) sitting on the Box Furniture W4W rack ($4,800)

I own the DeVore gibbon X speakers and have owned other models so I think I have a fairly firm grip on the house sound. The Orangutan Reference speakers (estimated $85,000/four-piece speaker system) not only embody that house sound but they throw in the summer house, the winter house, and transportation.

Powered by the exceedingly lovely to look at Air Tight ATM-211 mono amplifiers ($22,000/pair), this system checked off all of my must-have music points and added a few I was previously unaware of. Eric Burdon and War’s “Sun/Moon” from their Black Man’s Burdon LP transported me back to ’70s coolness where my mind and spirit frolicked with flowers, peace, and love. A performance plus time machine. Bravo!

the speaker on right is self-powered and extends the system bandwidth to 16Hz.


the Orangutan Reference’s beauty is more than skin deep and include many custom-fabricated parts like this art-worthy bronze basket fabricated by Christopher Hildebrand’s Tektonics Design Group