This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
27" iMac with 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB 1.333MHz RAM, 2TB hard disc, 256GB SSD drive, ADM Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, OSX 10.8.2, PureMusic 1.89g in hybrid memory play with pre-allocated RAM and AIFF files up to 24/352.8; Audirvana 1.5.10 in direct/integer mode 1, Metrum Acoustic Hex, AURALiC Vega
Preamp/Integrated: Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, Bent Audio Tap-X,
TruLife Audio Athena, Bakoon AMP-11R
: First Watt SIT1, SIT2, F5 & F6, Job 225, Crayon Audio CFA-1.2
soundkaos Wave 40, Boenicke Audio B-10, AudioSolutions Rhapsody 200, Zu Submission, German Physiks HRS-120
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Audio Event, KingRex uArt and Light Harmonic LightSpeed USB cable, Tombo Trøn S/PDIF cable, VdH Pro 110
Ω AES/EBU cable
Artesania Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with TT glass shelf, Rajasthani solid hardwood console for amps
Powerline conditioning: GigaWatt PF2
+ Vibex Two 1R DC filter on amps, GigaWatt PC-3 SE Evo on front-end components

Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Room size: 5m x 11.5m W x D, 2.6m ceiling with exposed wooden cross beams every 60cm, plaster over brick walls, suspended wood floor with Tatami-type throw rugs. The listening space opens into the second storey via a staircase and the kitchen/dining room are behind the main listening chair. The latter is thus positioned in the middle of this open floor plan without the usual nearby back wall.
Review components retail in Europe: €6.500/pr

The emailer was April Music's Simon Lee.
"As you may know, I was searching for the right speakers—good price, musicality and quality build—for our Stello and Aura products. At Munich HighEnd this year I found Davis Acoustics. The funny thing is, their sound didn't impress me. Until this year. Now I was at their booth and found the sound very easy and uncompressed. Davis manufactures most their drivers whilst buying cabinets from China. The cabinetry is okay but to my ears the drivers are excellent. Olivier Visan of Davis Acoustics of France wanted me to introduce 6moons to him. His pricing is very fascinating relative to musicality and dynamics. I am using the Dufy HD model with our Aura Note Premier and the Olympus One for our Eximus DP1/S1 set. These would be my first easy tips for a quick review."

Olivier Visan's introductory email was next. "Since 1986 we've been a French manufacturer of speaker drive units and complete hifi speakers. You will most certainly have already heard our drivers because we are the OEM driver supplier for certain famous brands like Avantgarde Acoustics and MBL from Germany, Goldmund from Switzerland and Rey Audio Kinoshita from Japan. We have also produced turnkey loudspeakers for Thorens and Jadis in the past. Today we make a wide range of speaker models from €199 to €18.000/pr. We recently increased distribution to many countries around the world and my distributors asked for more English reviews. We are located in the Champaign region of Troyes and could easily send something."

If it was good enough for April Music, Avantgarde, MBL and Goldmund, I thought it worthwhile pursuing without any prior exposure. But which model? In my 5.5 x 12m room, Simon's handpicked monitors would require a subwoofer. After consulting with Olivier, his MV One looked choice. It's the partnering entry to his top Karla model in what he calls his Dream range. However quite unlike the 142kg/ea. swooping Watt/Puppy two-box Karla below which I'd never get up my stairs, the MV One was an easy 28kg. Not only that, it was a single-driver widebander of stated 40-20.000Hz response and 94dB sensitivity. There were two color options of gloss black—fingerprint magnet sans pareil and reflective devil of the 7th hell—and a glossy reddish wood which in our décor would stick out like a sore thumb. I was far keener on the modern white in which the Karla and certain other models arrive like the €4.700/pr Monitor 1. That's a 97dB 12-inch two-way with horn tweeter. I asked for time to consider my options whilst ruminating what our readers might find most interesting.

A week later Olivier came back with "a friend of mine can paint the speakers in any conceivable color. He proposes to paint an MV One in white." That clinched the deal. The 1-meter tall 27 x 50cm footprint widebander was it. That particular speaker breed has limited choices. Of those many run twin-cone drivers from AER, Eminence, Lowther and Voxativ we've encountered before whilst the non-whizzer brigade often shops the Fostex, PHY and Supravox catalogues.

With the graphite-coned 20De8 of 182mm Ø or a skoch above 7", Davis now rolls their very own after a solid year in R&D. Powered by Alnico 6, its resonant frequency is an impressively low 33.38Hz, its nominal impedance is 6.51 ohm. Qms, Qes and Qts are 1.83, 0.41 and 0.33 respectively. BL force is 5.64. As concept the MV One is pure vintage. As realization it's about modern materials, hi-tech test gear and current production techniques. And its 94dB rating made it a natural mate for my low-power 10-watt SIT-1 monos from FirstWatt. Admittedly a non-mainstream selection, that's what we often focus on because of how solidly mainstream publications already cover mainstream products.

With perhaps its front slot at first looking a bit like John Blue Audio Art's JB8 widebander I'd reviewed years ago, the MV One's is actually a rectangular port. The Taiwanese widebander's had been a rear-horn mouth. Porting a widebander is a very different solution and as such far less common than its ubiquity with regular speakers. In this genre it seems to have been primarily Louis Chochos of Omega who has pursued port loading a single driver though we've also seen Polish mini versions from Ancient Audio and Eryk S. Concept.

Thanks to our Frenchman speaking good English, learning why he champions ports over transmission lines or rear horns and more about his very own driver was merely an email away. About the 20De8 I was particularly curious how the appeal of high sensitivity had been balanced by the demand for extended bandwidth; what had led to Olivier's particular choices of diaphragm and motor materials; and why he favored a central dome of dissimilar material over the traditional whizzer. His dome suggested a form of material decoupling to act as a nearly discrete tweeter similar to how Ted Jordan's all-aluminium JX-92S driver operates.