CES & THE Show 2013 Best of Show
John Devore has been very busy over the past year, if the array of speakers he had at CES was anything to go by. Both the Gibbon 8 and 9 floorstanders have been replaced. The Gibbon 8 is now the Gibbon 88, and the Gibbon 9 has become the Gibbon X or 10. It was this $11,000-per-pair floorstander that was part of a fairly modest system. The change from 9 to X has brought in full three-way operation, an extra woofer and a brand-new tweeter. The midrange also has hybrid transmission-line loading. The system behind the Gibbon X consisted of a Well Tempered Versalex turntable and tonearm ($4400) with a van den Hul Frog Gold cartridge ($3650). An Acoustic Plan Phono Master phono stage ($4495) and Naim Nait XS integrated amp ($2795) with FlatCap XS power supply ($1445) completed the electronics.
Given the highly sensitive nature of Devore speakers, the Naim Nait XS was a surprising amp choice, but it worked remarkably well, timing being spot on and tone in almost the same league. We expected the former, but Naim is not renowned for its tonal depth, so the latter was quite a surprise. With ZZ Top's Tres Hombres on the turntable, this system was cooking -- close to if not the best we heard on the first day of the show.
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