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The Devialet thread

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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The purpose of this new thread is to bring experiences with Devialet together in one place.

Devialet is widely agreed to be one of the most exciting recent arrivals on the hi-fi scene. Aside from the remarkable transparency of its new ADH amplification technology, it offers an innovative one-box package, incorporating phono stage (in the 170 and 240), DSP (with room correction due in a future upgrade), DAC, and amplification, all housed in a stunning box. (Cue gratuitous picture of shiny box ...)



Recently two threads have been running in parallel: DocG's Holy mackerel! Devialet are trickling down and my Speakers for Devialet 170. This new thread is designed to subsume both.

DocG has now pulled the trigger on a Dev 110, and I have a Dev 170 on order. Both are expected to arrive in late September. We both have questions about speaker matching; no doubt other issues -- sources, connectivity etc -- will arise in due course.

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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So indeed, I yesterday ordered my Devialet 110 and expect it to arrive in a couple of weeks. I went for the least expensive model ("cheapest" sounds weird to my ears, when talking a €5000 amp). The €2000 price drop comes with less power, less current, less connectivity than the two other models, but the same sound, same visual aesthetics and the same gorgeous remote. The 110 has enough inputs for me, and I don't need a sub-out or digital out. So it will all come down to matching the right, not too demanding speakers.

I need a pair of standmounters, which will be seated on a cupboard (70 cm high), close to the front wall obviously. Wall-mountable speakers could be a good alternative. Sensitivity will play a role, though I don't want to play them loud ('at realistic levels' as they say), a benign impedance curve will be more important.

My demo wishlist is growing, but it isn't always easy to track down a dealer with a demo pair. This isn't London, after all...

Any one interested can read my impressions in this thread, as and when I get to try something.

PS: Obviously, I would be happy if other Devialet owners popped in to discuss any tricks, issues, do's and don'ts they've encountered with their device.
 

DocG

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CnoEvil said:
:wave: Now I've moved over here......it's nice. :grin:
Hi Cno, glad you found our new happy place! :cheer:

Indeed some input by my compatriots wouldn't have gone amiss, as I don't know any of the Brussels hifi-shops.

Though the distributor doesn't mention any JMR dealers in Belgium, the Interweb pointed me to a shop near Brussels. If their website is up-to-date they have the JMR Bliss on demo, no other JMR standmounters -- too bad -- but it might be an introduction: see if I like the JMR-flavour. I'll try and get some more info as soon as my Dev comes home.
 

alimcd

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Feb 7, 2012
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Congratulations to both of you. I am lucky enough to be able to use the D-prem, 110, 170 or 240 (even the 500 technically...) on a daily basis and it really is hard to find a more transparent and flexible range.

After all the "hoo ha" around here recently about low impedances an the like, I have made a point to try everything from Wilson Sasha (4ish ohm) and Maxx 2, Blades and even some Martin Logan models to try and make the devialets break a sweat. Almost every combination sounded beautiful (Air as a source with a NAS loaded with WAV) although the non-believers are right that when pushed well beyond what I would consider to be a realistic level you can make them soft-clip. This is something that I believe most designs would have resorted to given the levels that the speakers had to be pushed to.

I hope you enjoy your amplifiers. I would like you both to know just how jealous I am.

Finally, how has nobody made mention of the best remote ever? Even better than the Pathos and Unison wooden remotes!
 

DocG

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alimcd said:
I hope you enjoy your amplifiers. I would like you both to know just how jealous I am.
Cheers, mate!

alimcd said:
Finally, how has nobody made mention of the best remote ever? Even better than the Pathos and Unison wooden remotes!
Made mention? We rubbed it in, more than once! :p
 

CnoEvil

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alimcd said:
Finally, how has nobody made mention of the best remote ever? Even better than the Pathos and Unison wooden remotes!
I nominate the one from AMS35i as the worst remote ever (and probably most expensive).......good for knocking out a burglar though.
 

matt49

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alimcd said:
After all the "hoo ha" around here recently about low impedances an the like, I have made a point to try everything from Wilson Sasha (4ish ohm) and Maxx 2, Blades and even some Martin Logan models to try and make the devialets break a sweat. Almost every combination sounded beautiful (Air as a source with a NAS loaded with WAV) although the non-believers are right that when pushed well beyond what I would consider to be a realistic level you can make them soft-clip. This is something that I believe most designs would have resorted to given the levels that the speakers had to be pushed to.
That's very interesting indeed and confirms what I've heard elsewhere. I expect that at the levels I listen at the 170 won't come remotely near clipping.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Matt
 

Neuphonix

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CnoEvil said:
alimcd said:
Finally, how has nobody made mention of the best remote ever? Even better than the Pathos and Unison wooden remotes!
I nominate the one from AMS35i as the worst remote ever (and probably most expensive).......good for knocking out a burglar though.
I would like to second this nomination, hard to work out why a company can produce such a good amplifer & such an utterly useless remote :?

The Dev remote is stunning, does it learn?
 

matt49

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Neuphonix said:
The Dev remote is stunning, does it learn?
Not sure if it learns exactly (why would it need to as it knows everything already? ;) ) but it can be programmed within the Configurator, I think.

Matt
 

alimcd

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The configurator can assign a function to the furthest right-hand button. This can be Phase/Mute/Balance but is not exactly learning as such.

I find myself using the app on my iPhone to see volume level I'm at and what available sources there are (as well as play directly, which although not "Hi-Fi" is a great addition). The remote control is always sat by me though, so that I can whip the volume up to get my feet tapping!

One function that I am curious to try ( I may well buy a 110 after I have bought my first house, my Fiance keeps reminding me that we have priorities...) is the unity gain feature as I would like to still have access to multi-channel. Has this been a priority on anyone else's list?

Ali
 

matt49

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alimcd said:
One function that I am curious to try ( I may well buy a 110 after I have bought my first house, my Fiance keeps reminding me that we have priorities...) is the unity gain feature as I would like to still have access to multi-channel. Has this been a priority on anyone else's list? Ali
Excuse my utter dimness, but what does unity gain do exactly?

Matt
 

alimcd

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The unity gain bypasses the amplifier's own volume control and allows you to use it (effectively) as a 2 channel power amplifier if you we're to connect the preouts of a compatible AVR to one of the analogue inputs.

You can set the level in the configurator.
 

matt49

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alimcd said:
The unity gain bypasses the amplifier's own volume control and allows you to use it (effectively) as a 2 channel power amplifier if you we're to connect the preouts of a compatible AVR to one of the analogue inputs.

You can set the level in the configurator.
Thanks, Ali. That sounds most useful (though I'm strictly an audio person).

Matt
 

alimcd

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I'm heading back that way myself to be honest. Multichannel seemed to have a five year boom and has given way to soundbars now. Myself, I've been stocking up on lp's recently and remembering how to appreciate some cracking albums. What's first on your list when your 170 arrives? (I know you must have a first album lined up)

Two channel definitely seems to be a more rewarding hobby.

Also, apologies for my grammar in that last post. I've been struggling away typing on my iPhone.
 

matt49

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alimcd said:
What's first on your list when your 170 arrives? (I know you must have a first album lined up)
Ah, now I have a bit of a fetish for Janacek. So first up I'll be loading Act 1 of 'From the House of the Dead' at full throttle. Probably followed by some solo piano (Haydn, Beethoven), electronic stuff (Yello), jazz (Stan Getz in samba mode), and inevitably some live Springsteen. Eclectic? Confused? Downright bonkers? Take your pick ...

Matt
 

matt49

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Continuing my search for speakers to work with my Dev 170, today was Neat day. As a Neat owner (Iotas wall-mounted in my dining room), for a while I’ve had my eye on the Neat Ultimatum XLs standmounts. A comparison with the Ultimatum Xli floorstanders seemed to make sense.

As my Dev hasn’t arrived yet, I was demoing with other amplification. The system was: ALAC files on a USB memory stick streamed by a Naim NDX into a Rega Osiris integrated. Not ideal, but not entirely unworthy either. My hunch is that most of the negatives in the demo were the fault of the amp, and the positives were to the credit of the speakers … which might be wrong …

The Xli and XLs are peas in a pod. Same drivers, same configuration, only the XLis are in a floorstandy box. So why buy the floorstanders? That’s one issue. The second is: these are plain-looking speakers, but the money has been spent on the drivers, five of them: a tweeter, two woofers in 'isobaric' configuration and a pair of supertweeters mounted on the top of the box.


So lots of drivers, but can they produce a cohesive sound?

Neat Xli

My first impression is that they pack a huge punch. These are proper full-range speakers. The bass goes fantastically deep in orchestral pieces and brings a full, rich tone to male voices that’s simply missing with smaller speakers.

The tone is highly tuneful, as you’d expect from Neat. It’s a pretty natural-sounding speaker.

However, the initially positive impression didn’t last long. The imaging seemed perfectly good but nothing special (maybe the fault of the amp). Throughout the demo I had a problem with the middle and top end. There was just something woolly about it, perhaps veiled. Not only that, it also felt a bit artificial: almost like a small sound that had been stretched to make it sound bigger. Muddled too, and without the drama you get from a fast speaker.

Neat XLs

The standmounts might be different, I thought: faster, more precise. And perhaps they were, but the overwhelming impression was of the same speaker in a standmount format.

Now, getting this much bass extension out of a box of this size is immensely clever. The XLs’s are still proper full range speakers, and quite unlike any standmounts (of this size) I’ve heard before. So credit to Neat for this.

There are some other positives: the supertweeters do provide a bit of ‘air’ which is more evident with the standmounts. They’re capable of real delicacy in quiet passages. The XLs’s have a hint more definition on voices. But like their floorstanding brothers they get clumsy when driven hard. They’re a bit boxy, artificial sounding.

Conclusions

I’d take the standmounts over the floorstanders, no question: there’s a touch more definition in the former (and they’re £2K cheaper, or £1K when you factor in the dull-looking Neat stands).

The design is complicated: lots of drivers and crossovers. Do you buy the bass extension at the cost of definition?

How well would they play on the end of a Dev? No doubt better than on the end of the Osiris. But how much better?
 

Macspur

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Hi Matt,

I've only ever heard one model of Neat, apologies can't remember which one, a stand mount with Croft amp and they didn't do it for me at all.

I suppose it's a little hard for you to make a

proper informed judgement without hearing these speakers without the Devialet... do you think it might be best to wait until yours arrives?

Mac
 

matt49

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Macspur said:
Hi Matt,

I've only ever heard one model of Neat, apologies can't remember which one, a stand mount with Croft amp and they didn't do it for me at all.

I suppose it's a little hard for you to make a

proper informed judgement without hearing these speakers without the Devialet... do you think it might be best to wait until yours arrives?

Mac
Cheers, Mac. I have indeed postponed a bunch of demos, however in this case (and one more later this week) the dealer had already gone ahead and got demo speakers in from the factory for me before it became clear that the Dev was going to be delayed. So I thought I might as well give it a whirl. The dealers are local anyway.

I'm minded to give the XLs a run at home once the Dev arrives, not least because it's just so different from any other standmount I've heard.

:cheers:

Matt
 

Macspur

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matt49 said:
Macspur said:
Hi Matt,

I've only ever heard one model of Neat, apologies can't remember which one, a stand mount with Croft amp and they didn't do it for me at all.

I suppose it's a little hard for you to make a

proper informed judgement without hearing these speakers without the Devialet... do you think it might be best to wait until yours arrives?

Mac
Cheers, Mac. I have indeed postponed a bunch of demos, however in this case (and one more later this week) the dealer had already gone ahead and got demo speakers in from the factory for me before it became clear that the Dev was going to be delayed. So I thought I might as well give it a whirl. The dealers are local anyway.

I'm minded to give the XLs a run at home once the Dev arrives, not least because it's just so different from any other standmount I've heard.

:cheers:

Matt
Ah, I understand... keep the posts coming!

 

DocG

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matt49 said:
The dealers are local anyway.
Oh, I envy you! For me, every demo takes quite some traveling.

Then again, it's my mistake. I shouldn't have been born in Belgium! :doh:

We have some nice beer, though... :cheers:
 

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