Now why I bring all this up- heaven forbid I even try to resemble reviewer Sarah Bryn Miller of the Post Dispatch- is that afterwards, back home at the Haven, several of us who had attended the performance sat down to listen to the new DeVore X's, which are now nicely broken in and ready for everyone's audition. Up first was the DGG Beethoven 6 conducted by Karl Bohm. After the first measure everyone at the same time commented on how it sounded just like the orchestral sound we had just experienced. Next up was a favorite, the London Rachmaninoff #2 conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, a wonderful performance and even better recording than the Beethoven. No one wanted it to end.
So naturally, once the system was flying high and fully warmed up, someone had the brilliant idea to play the Adagio from the Mahler 5. I generally don't like direct comparisons to something I've just heard live. I know some exhibitors do it at shows, but still, I always think what's the point. It's never going to be like live music. Five minutes into the Adagio we were all screaming at the top of our lungs how great it was, and had to shush each other so we could finish out the piece.
Like the performance at Powell Hall, the strings shimmered in layers during sustained soft passages, the transparency placed us inside the hall, and when the double basses came in during the big climax it felt like they were going to go through the floor, just like at Powell Hall. I can understand why the Adagio of Mahler has been recorded almost as much as Barber's. When played at full tilt, and by a great orchestra, it suspends time. I tell you, these new X's are an amazing addition to the DeVore line, and quite the speaker in general. They are very easy to place, in either of my two listening rooms they've exhibited absolutely no bass issues. They go deep, and that underpinning of lowest octaves adds so much to any type of music. It's a sound I describe as delicious, and you have to hear it to believe it.
You owe it to yourself to hear this gorgeous sounding speaker. It was a big hit at the recent CES.
Speaking of, they were shown with the new Well Tempered Lab Royale 400, more on that later, and VTL 185 mono amps and 5.5 preamp, all cabled with Auditorium cables. And soon you'll be able to hear that exact system here at the Haven. The Royale was here before the show for testing, and boy, what a stellar grade it got. It will be back shortly. VTL will be coming in mid February, starting with the 2.5 pre and 150 stereo amp. Not to worry, the 5.5 pre and 185 monos will eventually make it as well. Bea Lam and Luke Manley, of VTL, are two of the nicest, hardest working people in the industry, and Stereo Haven couldn't be prouder to represent them to this area.