Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Thinking About a System

One entertaining activity to engage in while walking the halls of an audio show is imagining how certain components might sound together in my room. In a way -- on a global and simply massive scale -- that's the heart of what the SoundStage! Network's TWBAS 2012 is all about. But at RMAF 2011 I found myself wondering not how some crazy-priced setup might sound, but how a smaller-scale system might perform in my Music Vault listening room. I put this virtual system together and in my mind's eye it seems to hold some real promise. Now I just have to see if I can get these components together to see how they really sound in my room.

Devore 88

The heart of the system would be the new DeVore Fidelity Gibbon 88s. These speakers are visually very attractive with their glossy black front baffles and bamboo cabinetry. The new 7" midrange-woofer looks like a great driver if the photos in the company's RMAF 2011 literature are any indication. The simple two-way speaker design is large enough to provide satisfying bass extension, yet it's simple enough not to need huge power and complex setup. Although I didn't get an ideal listening session with the Gibbon 88s because of everything else that goes on in these demo rooms, what I heard was promising. At an estimated $5000 for a pair of 88s, the price seems right for all you get.

Wyred 4 Sound m-Int

I'd like to hook these speakers up to the new Wyred 4 Sound m-Int integrated amplifier, which is priced at a very reasonable $1499. The m-Int is rated to deliver 100Wpc into 8 ohms, which should be plenty for the DeVores -- designer John DeVore seems to value higher efficiency in his speaker designs, meaning that they usually need less power. One other neat aspect of the m-Int is that it has a built-in DAC, so I could connect my Apple MacBook through the USB input and I'd be all set. Simple, elegant, and a real-world price tag.

For a reasonable sum of money this system might just be pretty doggone good. I'm gonna try to find out if my hunch is right.

Jeff Fritz
Editor-in-Chief, The SoundStage! Network