Inside Herr Schenkel's mind. "You mentioned in your intro how some prefer fewer parts in a crossover because they believe it would sound better. Assuming one refers to parts and phase distortion, to me obtaining the correct amplitude response is far more important. In short, amplitude response beats absolute phase response and amplitude response also beats parts quality (drivers and xover parts). For example, in the Twist I could have used a 3rd-order for the tweeter but I used the extra coil to get more damping of the tweeter's resonant frequency and a slightly steeper slope to reduce distortion. Tweeters do not sound good with low-order crossovers.


"The Twist very deliberately has just one Wavecor woofer, not two as is so often seen with the major brands who, I assume, do it to visually impress their customers. The problem with two woofers is that they are mostly run in parallel which leads to a bump below the xover to the tweeter (or to the midrange in a 3-way). Especially 2-way systems with twin woofers can have very wide gain increase between 100-1000Hz which sounds very bad. But also in 3-way systems the bump would be below 300Hz perhaps which is still bad. In the Tulip I do use two woofers and one tweeter but the lower woofer crosses in at only 100Hz. It's a more expensive 2.5-way filter necessary for clean bass." [At right, this terminal plate doubles as L-welded attachment for the plinth.]


"The Twist uses an SB Acoustics aluminium dome tweeter. Fabric domes seem more popular these days but to me the metal domes sound cleaner and more refined. Textile domes can have a nice grain but voices are less defined. Aluminium also plays better at high volume. In general I would say that I belong to the engineering school when it comes to audio. Logic before audio mumbo jumbo. A level on-axis response, smooth room response etc. I joined that school of thought after a lot of listening and developing speakers. It's great that theory and practice work together in sound. It gives a solid base in a fluid field because I have been desperate at times, listening and changing in circles. Nonetheless, the last bit of tuning is never easy. This is still ears only. 1.5 or 1Ω do not do a lot in the measurements but a lot to how a tweeter sounds."


Single-ply cardboard boxes mandated pallet delivery which is exactly how these arrived. Unpacking was a cinch. Compact and easy to carry, their stylish bases fit right into our décor because an absence of spikes, even provisions for them, clearly championed parquet, concrete, tile or low-pile carpet. Placement on plush carpets should be a bit wobbly since there isn't sufficient weight to bed down like a ton of bricks. To get going, the Twist replaced our usual Albedo Audio Aptica in an upstairs system fronted by a Soundaware SD-card transport/DAC into April Music Stello 100 MkII separates, meaning a small 50wpc class A/B Mosfet amp was the designated driver.

Wide-angle distortion obviously factors in this shot to paint the fuller picture.

This quickly determined that vis-à-vis the residents—thrice the price, 1st-order time-aligned transmission lines, themselves overtaken on magnification power by their twice-priced elders of Æquo Audio Stilla—the Danes operated at a clearly lower level of resolution, had less ultimate bass extension but a warmer fleshier voice with more midbass weight. Like their cosmetics, the sound clearly wasn't a chromed glassy glossy affair. Rather, the presentation occupied the generously appointed comfort zone. In culinary terms, think family dining with heaping plates, not exotic I'm-still-hungry molecular cuisine or minimalist bistro fare with the chic hipster crowd. The burly rear-fire ports were well behaved to not trigger common rebound effects with the front corners. Such friendly plunk-down behaviour spoke further to a non-fussy attitude that right off got on swell with the hardware and room at hand. They'd naturally hoof it downstairs into our primary system to report on grown-up style with larger distances, higher SPL and more elite hardware. But undue haste to do so would overlook that many punters don't actually lord it over capacious mansions or dedicated listening rooms; and that nearfield listening in a bedroom as shown is a clever way to maximize a smaller system's performance whilst hearing less of the room. Sticking around longer, what were the twisted highlights of this first encounter?


At this juncture, Paul had read my preview updates until the prior paragraph. "You mention a generously appointed comfort zone. To me this is not the case but most reviewers write this. If I were to reduce the generosity, it might sound more revealing with first-grade Jazz recordings. Which is good. But unfortunately most music has not been recorded with that level of finesse to work with very revealing speakers. So to me, the Twist has a good balance between being interesting with good recordings and still enjoyable with 'normal' recordings. You could almost call it organic sound, just like the design. No sharp corners but beautiful nonetheless." When different but experienced ears in different rooms and with different electronics and tastes all agree on something, how rare is that? Such consensus is indicative. It means that it's really how these speakers sound. But as I was going to write had the preemptive designer not beaten me to the punch, it's not a criticism. It's simply an observation of a deliberate tuning that was done for very good reason. In a subsequent email, Paul added that those reviewer comments were about prior models; that with the Twist, he had gone more analytical. Not having heard any Davone since my 2009 Rithm review, I hadn't tracked said progression. I only heard that 2018's Twist still favoured wood over metal, flesh over bone. More Sonus faber from the Franco Serblin era than under Paolo Tezzon's baton. A fun body-based listen like a Meze 99 Classic headphone, not the spacy diva antics of a Sennheiser HD800. A bassier earthier reading like a Pass Labs XA-30.8, not the lighter more 'spiritualized' version of a FirstWatt F6. More Harbeth than early Mårten. It invoked an old saying: "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken". Indeed. Why clone a generic sound?


To shift this inbuilt lower-midrange-centric perspective would want leaner faster electronics like amps from Audiozen, Bakoon, Crayon or LinnenberG. From my circle of ex flames, Goldmund's Job 225 or Job INT would be the most affordable hence likely perfect entries into their DC-coupled wide-bandwidth company. With our Crayon CFA-1.2 in Austria for a firmware update and the Job 225 mysteriously disappeared during our last move, the Liszt monos from Ivo Linnenberg would be twisty companions in this sonic class. Given how my tastes evolved over the years—long-term readers will remember bouts with various tube amps from Art Audio, Octave, Woo and Yamamoto—I now did want a bit more speed and frisson than our trusty April Music minis could elicit from the Danes. So downstairs it was. Having for that to get physical again, it made for the perfect occasion to speak praise to Paul's workmanship. I couldn't work out exactly how the wooden wings attach without visible fasteners to make so tight a seal against the à-la-carte wrapped baffle cloth. Davone's boss clearly practiced high trade craft. Obviously his cosmetics are the polar opposite to our white-glass Audio Physic. It splits appeal right down the middle. His audience will favour relaxed organic sculptures over high-tech appliances. Think police procedural or military flick. Whenever the superior officer or commish enter, everyone stiffens to ram-rod attention only to be told "as you were" right after. Having just returned from Europe's biggest hifi show in Munich, there were far more saluting examples like Pancin's stacked torpedoes with exhausts than easy as-you-were-sions like Davone's. As Paul Schenkel already put it, with his speakers sonics and cosmetics really do overlay and align.