< Frankfurt 2003  -   zurück zur Galerie  -   Las Vegas 2005 >

Friday, January 9 -- Part 1

Duevel loudspeakers are certainly unique -- both in terms of their looks and room-filling sound. US distributor Ted Lindblad (who owns the best Internet domain name -- www.HighEndAudio.com) used the CES to play the Bella Luna Diamante. The speakers delivered sound that was highly enjoyable from any seat in the house. Great stuff.

Jules Coleman on CES 2004:

When my soul needed nourishment, I found myself returning to three rooms at the CES. There was a magic in these rooms, a naturalness of sound, an ease of presentation in which barriers between sound and music, between hearing and feeling, between passively listening and actively experiencing were largely -- and occasionally entirely -- removed. In no particular order (and referring to the rooms by the names of the speakers for simplicity) I touched and was touched by the soul of music in the Audiopax, Duevel and FJ rooms.

If the Audiopax speaker was my outstanding new product introduced at this year's CES, then the Duevel room gets a special nod for introducing two products that have attained fame elsewhere but are nearly unknown here: The Duevel omni-directional, partially horn-loaded loudspeaker and the Pluto turntable. The Duevel loudspeakers have regularly won "Best of Show" awards at European High-End shows, including the prestigious Frankfurt Show where they are often paired with the Klimo Beltaine 300B amplifiers. Ted Lindblad of HighEndAudio.com imports both into the States and thus was able to give Vegas showgoers an ample dose of what it is that has captured the imagination of our European counterparts. On hand were the Bella Luna Diamante, a full-range, omni-directional loudspeaker driven with a mere 5 watts/channel by the superb Klimo Beltaine monoblock. When you think omni-directional, you think mbl. When you think mbl, you do not think 5 watts. You also don't think full-range loudspeakers for 7.5K; and certainly not as beautifully finished as these. When you think Duevel Bella Luna, this, my friend, is exactly how you are encouraged to think. Very liberating, n'est ce pas? Magnifique.

It takes time for some people raised on audiophile-approved loudspeakers to adjust to an omni-directional radiator. Images are stable but less finely delineated in space - in other words, more like live music, less like music reproduction. In the Duevel room, sound was full, spatial cues and effects eerie. What distinguished the room from others was the mixture of tonal correctness and naturalness. Visitors to the room were awash in an enthralling, natural soundscape. It was hard to leave; many apparently never did.

While a scribe at UltraAudio, I reviewed the smaller Duevel Venus. After living with the baby of the Duevel family and hearing the much larger Jupiter (the granddaddy of all Duevels), I did a Goldilocks and purchased a pair of the Bella Luna on display in Vegas. In fact, that very pair was just reviewed by fellow moonie, John Potis. He loved 'em. So do I.

The Audiopax room had a digital front-end to die for. Digital playback in the Duevel room was handled by the new Audio Logic MXL DAC, designed by digital guru Jerry Ozment. The name may not ring a bell for you, but Ozment's designs are at the heart of a good number of SOTA digital playback devices you are familiar with - Altis, for example. For years, Jerry has designed and manufactured a very limited number of digital products under the Audio Logic brand name. Ask around; folks in the know will tell you that everything he touches is special - and this $4K DAC is a marvel. I own one. So does moonman Jeff Day, albeit he was romanced by an earlier version already.

For analogue junkies, the real treat in the Duevel room was the appearance of both the Pluto 1 turntable and its designer, Eddie Driessen. There was simply no better turntable sound at the show. There may well be no better turntable in the world. I spent most of my time in the Duevel room begging Mr. Driessen for an opportunity to review his table. He was polite but pretended not to understand my English. I'm working on it, though. He and I are going to discuss the possibility of a review when he returns to the States in three months' time. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Perhaps his "hearing" will improve?

Down the hall meanwhile was German Grand Central for Duevel and Klimo, with Pluto's mighty 10A turntable from The Netherlands, plus an important smattering of Americana (Audio Logic 24 MXL tube DAC) and Japanese Zen minimalism (47Lab Flatfish transport).


I knew from John's and Jules' respective Duevel speaker reviews that their omnidirectional dispersion pattern would make for a different, less focused presentation than that which direct radiators deliver. Regardless of mental preparations, my ear/brain machine didn't manage to entirely transition into omni land during the admittedly brief 2-track short which wasn't enough to acclimate completely to their more diffuse presentation.

Regardless, there was something supremely airy, spacious and non-electronic about this 7-watt triode-driven room that, for lack of a less overgrazed word, must be dubbed relaxed and very natural. Curiously enough, this very same quality also caused a slightly distanced reaction in me. By comparison, I found the Audiopax/Zanden room more involving. Still, I got enough of an 'omni hit' to want to delve far more deeply into this brand than my pressed-for-time show presence allowed. Incidentally, our own Count Turoczi [or Les-is-more to his friends] is slated to do the honors on Marcus Duevel's top Jupiters once importer Ted can secure a review pair. Jules meanwhile's got the major reviewer Jones for the massive Pluto table and, audio gods willing, may actually get his hands on one for a 2004 write-up. And while greed's ruling, someone here at 6moons oughta do not lunch but Dusan Klimo's Beltane monoblocks. Monsieur Ted?

See how sexist this headline reads? Let's flush it down van der loo and let Marja share her impressions of CES 04 from a different perspective, one that refuses to get mixed up in this type of male-dominated skewed reality. Here goes:

    Another fascinating design, also using wood in a creative manner comes from Duevel in Germany. These speakers are omnidirectional, which means the sound fires in all directions: in this case, the highs and midrange fire down through a wooden horn and are reflected into the room by a radiating surface below the horn, and the woofer fires upward, transmitting the bass via the conical convex bottom of that same wooden radiator. The model on display was the Bella Luna diamante, which created a marvelous soundstage with excellent imaging, meaning that all the instruments were reproduced in the positions they were recorded in from left to right in a very believable fashion, as if they were directly in front of you on an actual stage.

Duevel Bella Luna diamante

Steven R. Rochlin:

The Home Entertainment Show 2004

Pluto Audio's 10A Special includes the tonearm, chromed base, and Jenn Air compressor for the platform that floats on air. One of my fave loudspeakers, Duevel's Bella Luna), radiates sound in a full 360 degrees. See my review of the Bella Luna by clicking here.

 Picture Gallery

When we see a vertical 360-degree speaker with a diffuser, we figure itís German, and thatís the case of the Duevel Bella Luna Diamante. However it doesnít have what we think of as a "German" sound, with prominent upper midrange. With a lovely $60K Pluto turntable from the Netherlands, they sounded gorgeous.

Lorsqu'on se trouve en présence d'une enceinte munie d'un diffuseur de 360 degrés, on prend pour acquis qu'elle est allemande et c'est le cas de la Duevel Bella Luna Diamante. Cependant son son s'éloigne du son allemand avec un une prédominence des fréquences moyennes Ė élevées. Flanquée d'une attrayante table tournante Néerlandaise Pluto de 60 000$, le tout était ...délicieux.


by Dave and Carol Clark

The Duevel and Klimo system from HiEndAudio.com was producing a wide and room filling sound-field that was quite captivating in terms of space and overall musicality.

< Frankfurt 2003  -   zurück zur Galerie  -   Las Vegas 2005 >