So back to Devialet amps.I have a question: are they really worth 5000-7000 EUR ($7000-$10000) vs. others a third to half that (e.g. NAD, W4S, etc)? If so, what specifically about them is work the extra coin?
I haven't heard the other amps you mention, so I couldn't comment on how they compare to the Devialet.
When I was researching amps, I heard a range of kit from £1K up to about £8K, e.g. Naim, Linn, Leema, Primare, Musical Fidelity, Luxman, Accuphase, Pass Labs, Electrocompaniet, Krell, Lavardin, Cyrus, Rega, Audiolab, Croft. I'm pretty confident none of these sounded better than the Devialet, and I reckon the Devialet was the most transparent of all of them. It ended up as a shoot-out between the Devialet and a couple of Class A amps around the £5K to £8K range. Compared to these, the Devialet had the obvious advantages of an integral DAC, streaming, basic room correction, and the prospect of more programmable features to come. Oh and a nice remote control. I particularly liked the idea of connecting the Devialet direct to my NAS drive, so obviating the need for a separate streamer, and that's how I'm using it now.
I haven't regretted the decision. The Devialet continues to charm and impress. It has great refinement and awesome power. It drives my speakers very well; in fact I think it will drive pretty much anything within reason.
I hope that helps. If you get a chance for a direct comparison of the Devialet and NAD or W4S boxes, do please post your thoughts on this thread!