If your week is missing some hi-fi porn, here's a generous dose of it. UK high-end audio distributor Absolute Sounds has announced a special distribution collection of high-end kit it believes should be called out for sonic artistry.
The London-based distributor's catalogue already features 21 high-end brands such as Dan D'Agostino, Sonus Faber and Wilson Audio, but this new 'Ten' range – named after the Japanese word '天' (pronounced ‘ten’), which means 'heavenly' – comprises hi-fi made by audio artisans who are perhaps less well-known, more specialised and smaller in scale.
The first in the portfolio, which has been handpicked by Absolute Sounds founder and managing director Ricardo Franassovici, are the O/96 (or 'Orangutan 96') speakers by Brooklyn-based DeVore Fidelity. They will be available in the UK from the start of 2021, priced from £13,500 per pair including stands. Other creations set to join the Ten collection include DeVore Fidelity's O/93 (£8998 per pair) and Gibbon Super Nine (£9998 per pair) speakers, as well as its O/Reference four-piece speaker system (£POA). The range will be completed by a handful more hi-fi gems, to be revealed in 2021.
“If I were to draw an analogy from my music industry background," says Franassovici, "I would describe the main Absolute Sounds catalogue as a ‘major label’ to which many of the world’s most critically acclaimed artists are signed, while Ten is a specialised subsidiary with a more ‘indie’ ethos, shining a light on exceptional creative talent from every corner of the globe.”
The DeVore Fidelity O/96 is named after its high electrical sensitivity of 96dB, which makes them a particularly perfect partner for low-output amplifier designs, such as single-ended triode valve and Class A solid-state amps. Of course, they can be paired with higher-output amp designs too.
The handmade O/96 marries a bespoke 25cm wood fibre mid/bass driver with a 25cm silk-dome tweeter that is built into a concave flange, lending to a subtle horn-loading effect. That's presented in a wood-veneered, polyester-lacquered cabinet, with the baffle veneer coming in either ebony wood, lace walnut, wild cherry and bird’s eye maple. Paint finishes are also available, and specific finishes can be requested.