Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1 & H1, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi Formula, Fore Audio DAISy 1
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Wyred4Sound STP-SE MkII, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC module), COS Engineering D1
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6, F7; Bakoon AMP-12R; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics One SE Up NC500MB monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence; Zu Druid VI [on review]; Qln Signature 3 [on review]
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver; Allnic Audio ZL Cable loom [on review]
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, Titan Audio Eros cords on conditioners and amp/s
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: €3'300/pr Classic, €3'700/pr Select [preselection of two-colour thread cloth from the Danish Kvadrat Metric series]

Come on everybody clap your hands / now you're looking good / I'm gonna sing my song and you won't take long / we gotta do the twist and it goes like this:
Come on let's twist again like we did last summer / yeah let's twist again like we did last year...

Luis Dimas didn't have Davone's latest speaker in mind but it is called the Twist and it does make music. So there. Being Danish, the twisty bits have to do with its thermo-formed 7-layer Beech + veneer cheeks and baffle. From their signature Poang chair, Ikea shoppers know well this Scandinavian penchant for bending Ply into wavy shapes. Of course that's a low-cost very high-volume piece of furniture which only parks your behind whilst having a bit of flex like a minimum rocker. The Twist is a rather higher-cost far lower-volume piece of classy furniture which you won't ever sit on and which makes zero concessions to flex. But it sings to you very sweetly; or growls at you if that's the type singer you cue up. But that would make it a growler not singer, wouldn't it? The furniture link is no writerly liberty to make a smooth entry. It's very real. It strategically leaves its two drivers exposed so they go on not behind the usual grill cloth. "Say what?" Give it a quick think. Now the cloth needn't be acoustically transparent. "Isn't that really backward?" Not if it now can be anything you fancy, including matching the exact fabric texture and colour of your favourite couch. As in sending the actual fabric over to Denmark for that custom upholstery job if need be and want wants. You finally get it: "Okay, that's actually quite clever!" Bravo. Now you and the Twist are on the same page. Twister incoming! If you do prefer a solid black grill in front of the drivers, the €400 lesser Classic version has your name on it. Otherwise you're a Select customer with some choices to make.

28 different cloth options for the Select version prior to going completely custom.

Discontinued Riva: front-ported 3-way with full-baffle grill.

Twisted. Actually... invoking Ikea was a bit backwards. I got carried away. The Eames lounger at left would have been more like it. The only thing backward about the Twist is its rearfiring port. That gives the 7" fiber-blend mid/woofer added support down low to properly counterbalance the reach of the 1" anodized aluminium tweeter on top. By going with a steep 4th-order 24dB/oct. filter, designer Paul Schenkel meant to drive down the crossover point "which gives a very clear and open upper midrange without ever becoming aggressive". And as a two-way, the all-important midrange suffers no second filter as our average 3-way does. That must separate its central driver from the dedicated bass unit with a so-called high-pass. Most agree that fewer filters are better. The Twist's lower driver only has a low-pass on it to run wide open at the bottom.

If you've been hip to the stylish Davone catalogue already, you'll want to know that this new model replaces the older Riva. If you hadn't heard of Davone before—they've been making speakers since 2007 and I reviewed their maiden Rithm in April 2009—that tells you little. So let's move right along. Davone boss Paul Schenkel is "an aeronautical engineer with a masters degree in physics, a background in acoustics and a deep passion for great industrial design". Better than anything else, just the mention of these four disciplines explains all important design influences which have pooled into the Twist. For the rest, we must lend our ears. As Davone promise, their speakers sound as good as they look. Where old-timey audiophiles reading small-format paper magazines claimed immunity to looks which landed them in the basement man cave and turned audio into a lone-wolf pursuit, to modern buyers appearance is part of the performance equation. If it looks bad, that's a discipline where it just doesn't perform. Why settle for half-assed if other options give you the full package? To get twisty should likely mean that you've outgrown the Ikea phase and are prepared to allocate greater funds to individual purchases; even if it means saving longer. The price of beauty and all that.

Davone Solo model overlaid on their raw bent Ash panels.

If this Davone caught your eye, you've already grown tired also of the ubiquitous box speakers with their sharp corners, flat panels and 90° lack of imagination. What's so perfect for that hulking refrigerator in the kitchen isn't what you want x 2 in the living room. And why bother with automotive lacquers if those really belong in the garage or parked out on the street? In the living room, the Twist calls for wood and fabric. Like its form factor, that's more organic than hi-tech. This becomes a 96cm compact filter to sift out the target audience.

To dredge up that line from Brother Where Art Thou: is you is or is you ain't my constituency? If you is, you get claimed 38Hz to 38'000Hz bandwidth, a 4Ω nominal impedance with a 3.7Ω/350Hz minimum, 88dB sensitivity, a 2.4kHz filter hinge and 15.5kg/ea. mass in the modest dimensions at right.

A collection of Davone speakers in a Belgian barn turned demo facility.