CES 2017 video: DeVore Fidelity to unleash $20,000+ flagship Orangutan loudspeaker

I got lucky in Vegas.

No, no… not the way you think.

I got lucky with news from John DeVore of DeVore Fidelity.

He’s working on his new flagship Orangutan-series loudspeaker. A lot of time, and effort is being focused on making this a truly worthy stablemate to the king of the DeVore speaker jungle, and DeVore said that while the price most likely will be north of $20,000 USD for the new model, he is not building to a price point. He’s building it to be the best he is capable of, which is testament to his desire to push his speaker-design limits.  Those who’ve heard them are familiar with what DeVore’s transducers are capable of when it comes to playback of the flesh-and-bone variety. His Orangutan line are culpable in the art of sonic seduction: Ditto for his Gibbon X, and 3XL, The Nines… the list goes on. Having had my living room graced with a pair of O/96s for a number of months summer before last, I’m intimately familiar with what these waveform translators are capable of.

PDX-Hifi DeVore's beauties
DeVore O/96 (left), and O/93. Naming convention is based on efficiency… could we see an O/98?

But let’s skip ahead a bit in this report. It was at RMAF in October that I first got wind DeVore was monkeying around with larger bass drivers, bigger enclosures, and bronze tweeter horns in an effort to push the limits of his O-series designs. I spoke with him about it then, but getting the whole story has proven to take longer than I initially anticipated. Patience has paid off because when I caught up with him at CES in Las Vegas, and asked what he had going on in his Brooklyn Naval Shipyard production studio/factory, I was rewarded with confirmation that he was indeed hunkered-down with a new tweeter, mid/bass Alnico-magnet prototype drivers, and research into a number of new enclosure materials, and shapes for a sibling to the O/96. He said he’d always envisioned the Orangutan series as a three-speaker lineup. The O/93s followed the 96s in short order as the entry-level model, but it’s taken longer to refine, and expand on the design of the 96 to the point where DeVore is ready to announce another incarnation.

CES 2017 coverage brought to you by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.
The prodigal son returns with Sugden at CES in Las Vegas earlier this January. DeVore looks on at right.

While he’s still hesitant about a firm launch date for a prototype version, have no doubt that this is happening. It could be late 2017, or early 2018 but the O/96 will find itself a middle child at last, sandwiched between the O/93, and its yet unnamed big brother. Watch the video at the drop for the full story.

I apologize for the poor quality of the video, my camera was suffering technical issues that day. Thanks again to John DeVore for his patience in making this happen.

–Rafe Arnott