I was beckoned to the DeVore and The Wand room at High End 2023 by Simon Brown, who I haven’t seen in a few years. Simon Brown is, of course, the designer and builder of The Wand tonearms, and I was his first distributor in the US many years ago. I had DeVore Fidelity on my must-see list anyway–ever since I heard the O/Baby speakers last year in Munich, I’ve been trying to maneuver a second listen. But DeVore and The Wand were, of course, magical together.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
This means, of course, that the analog source in the room consisted of the latest generation of Simon’s ‘table and arm, but I didn’t expect that this would be a completely new rig. The 14.4 turntable has now been joined by The Wand 14.5, which features a carbon fibre mat and plinth top, a battery supply and room for a second arm. I immediately noticed the new flagship Dark-Light tonearm because of its tapered tonearm that melds visually with the counterweight–for a new and even more streamlined look.
The DeVore and The Wand room was the perfect place to hang out, relax and listen to music you probably haven’t heard before. Simon explained to the room that since he’s from New Zealand, we tends to play a lot of New Zealand music. When I was Simon’s distributor, he did the same for me–there’s a lot of gifted singer-songwriters in that part of the world right now.
I did realize something in the DeVore and The Wand room this year–I’ve heard the O/Baby twice now and I think it’s a killer speaker for the reasonable price ($5,700/pr USD), but I still haven’t heard those little Micr/Os that were lurking in the corners of the room. They do look tiny in photos, but these small monitors are gorgeous in person–and they’re just $3,950/pr. If they’re as good at their price point as the O/Baby is at theirs, this might wind up being one of my favorite two-way monitors for under $5K. I need to find out!
If you would like to hear even more coverage from Munich 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
Also don’t forget to check out our latest collaboration – a solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800g of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top which also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.