Twittering Machines 2020 Product of the Year

Sometimes what you’re looking for is right in front of you.

Every Product of the Year, regardless of what kind of product we’re talking about and who’s making the distinction, represents a clear stand-out from the pack. Here in hifi, and here on Twittering Machines, our Product of the Year has the mighty, magical, and selfless task of disappearing so that our music becomes our only concern.

The lead singer in every mighty, magical, and selfless hifi band is the loudspeaker. Standing out front and in-room, more or less, the transducer responsible for turning an electrical signal into sound so that its resulting pressure enters our brains as music is also the most alchemical of the hifi lot. We ask a lot from a speaker and when they deliver what we need, everything can feel right with the World, at least at that very moment.

Twittering Machines 2020 Product of the Year: DeVore Fidelity O/93

The O/93 is part of the shrewdness [footnote 1] of DeVore’s Orangutan series along with the O/96 and O/Reference. The O/93 and O/96 are two-way designs with the O/Reference adding a super-tweeter and outboard subwoofers. I had the great pleasure of hearing a prototype pair of the O/Reference in-Barn and they transformed the joint into a big rattling spaceship of boogie and I’m nearly certain I saw George Clinton dancing on top of one of the subwoofers during Parliament’s funked up classic “Flashlight”.

The O/93s showed up on the scene in 2013 and their driver compliment consists of the same SEAS 1″ silk-dome tweeter as found in the larger O/96, while a 10″ paper-cone woofer, designed by Mr. DeVore and also built by SEAS, completes the front-facing driver picture. DeVore offers the Orangutans in any number of beautiful front baffle finishes. Around back are a pair of rear-firing ports and binding posts. The O/93s present an easy 10 Ohm, 93 dB/W/M (the honest way to present speaker sensitivity) load to any accompanying amplifier so you can drive them, I have, with just a few Watts. As you can see, the O/93 are rather wide at 15″ yet they disappear better than Twiggy in profile and create a sound image whose only constraint is determined by the quality of what you feed them.

“…to those who value the content of a musical message over the ability to hear where in the room that message is coming from, it’s far better stuff than most everyone else is making.” —Art Dudley, Stereophile

“DeVore Fidelity’s Orangutan O/93s always deliver copious amounts of savory musical connectedness.” —Herb Reichert, Stereophile

What the DeVore O/93’s excel at is making music and my friends and hifi-review-writing-mentors agree. When all is said and done and written, I want, need?, to settle down in my Eames red chair and melt into music. I want those sound waves to wash over me like long locks of angel hair and sweep me away to places I’ve never been on wings made of wishes. [footnote 2] The DeVore Fidelity O/93’s not only oblige, they shrewdly instigate.

  1. The collective noun for a group of apes is, in fact, a shrewdness of apes
  2. Lyric from one of my favorite dream songs, “Rainbow Sleeves” which was written by Tom Waits and performed by Rickie Lee Jones

DeVore Fidelity O/93
Price: $8400/pair
Company Website: DeVore Fidelity

Twittering Machines 2020 Product of the Year Runner Ups

totaldac d1-tube DAC/Streamer (7320euro ex VAT)
Line Magnetic Audio LM-845iA Integrated Amplifier ($4895)
Kora Audio TB140 Integrated Amplifier ($5250)
Bluesound Node 2i ($549)

Honorable Mention

Wavelength Audio Junior EL84 Integrated Amplifier