The Devialet thread

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DocG

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May 1, 2012
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matt49 said:
Cheers, Doc, they sound really interesting. Fast and clean sounds good. I'm definitely with you on the advantages of non-cuboid enclosures.

Any idea when these might go into production?
Well, he only produces to order, so you can choose the tweeter + cross-over combo, the colour, the orientation, the mounting (which dictates where the speaker-cables leave the cabinet) etc. But he's ready to start production now.

In case you're curious: there's a pair of his larger Galaxy speakers in a 'Boys Toys Exhibition' in the Ideaworks Experience Centre, 206 Great Portland Street, London, W1W5QJ. That's near Regent's Park, if I'm well informed. The expo ends Jan 25th. Of course, you can't audition there. But Koen does home demos, even in the UK...

matt49 said:
What were they sitting on?
The red pair is mounted on a stand, which incorporates the speaker terminals. As you can see on the picture: this stand was not properly finished yet. The edges must be smoothened and it will get the same lacquer finish as the cabinet.

The white pair was just resting on 3 rubber blocks, with the speaker cable coming out of the baffle, as to leave all options open for mounting. Prototypes, as I said...

Apart from the sound, it's also the direct contact with the builder and the possibility to customize and taylor that appeal to me. And his design comes pretty close to my perfect speaker (dimensions, sound, positioning, ease to drive, ...). At first I thought I was after a non-existing speaker, but now it looks like I have two options already, with the Vivids still on the menu!
 

matt49

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DocG said:
matt49 said:
What were they sitting on?
The red pair is mounted on a stand, which incorporates the speaker terminals. As you can see on the picture: this stand was not properly finished yet. The edges must be smoothened and it will get the same lacquer finish as the cabinet.
Sorry, I know you'd kind of answered that question already in your stream-of-consciousness post, but the pic of them on their stands doesn't seem to be showing.

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
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matt49 said:
DocG said:
matt49 said:
What were they sitting on?
The red pair is mounted on a stand, which incorporates the speaker terminals. As you can see on the picture: this stand was not properly finished yet. The edges must be smoothened and it will get the same lacquer finish as the cabinet.
Sorry, I know you'd kind of answered that question already in your stream-of-consciousness post, but the pic of them on their stands doesn't seem to be showing.
I guess 'stand' is not the right term, maybe 'base' is a better word (EDIT: think Focal Dome). I mean the matte grey disk you see under the red speaker. This disk can then be placed on a cupboard, or mounted on a pedestal (and is to be finished in the same lacquer as the cabinet). He can also (even in a later stage) integrate it into a bass cabinet, as to transform it into a three way floorstander, non unlike these. I'll ask Koen for some new pictures as soon as they are properly finished.

:cheers:
 

matt49

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I’ve done quite a lot of listening at home this week – at least once my ears recovered from the descent into Gatwick on Monday morning. I’m battling to make a publishing deadline for the end of Jan, and music provides both a backdrop to and a periodic relief from concentrating on words.

I’m currently listening to this clicky, and as I mentioned on that thread, the recording is splendid, with phenomenal dynamics. If I turn it up so that the quiet passages are at a moderate listening volume, the loud passages make me jump out of my seat. When Alagna lets rip, it feels like a force of nature. The Devialet sure can do dynamics.

Which brings me to the subject of speakers. Next week, in the footsteps of the good Doc, I’m off to demo the Audiovector Si3 Avantgarde Arretés, but in advance of the demo I’m having very mixed feelings.

The point is the Cremonas are just so good — well, good within their zone of competence at least. There’s still an issue with the bass port, though none of the frequencies in my standard diet of classical listening are low enough to give rise to problems. And if I listened to much electronic music, I might miss a bit of bite. But otherwise there’s just this profound sense of naturalness and sweetness. I know I’ve banged on about this before, but the Cremonas give voices and acoustic instruments their proper tone and timbre.

So the mixed feelings are as follows: can I really bring myself to move the Cremonas on? They were initially intended as a stopgap. But I’ve fallen head over heels in love with them, and I’m worried that I’ll miss them terribly once they’re gone. Plus, I haven’t heard many speakers that I could conclusively say were an improvement. The Vivids are faster, more articulate. The new SF Olympica IIs have more scale and bite, but in the long term they might prove a bit too bright for me.

So I wonder: might it be worth experimenting with an active sub? I could set the crossover between the Cremonas and the sub high enough to avoid bass wobble. The Cremonas would retain that delicious sweetness through the rest of their frequency range, and of course the brilliant dynamics. The sub would add a touch of scale and atmosphere. Any thoughts?

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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Hi Matt,

I think much will depend on where in the spectrum your bass bump is. If it would necessitate a XO around (or above) 100 Hz, you'll have directionality issues that demand a second sub...

Then there is the issue of matching the sub (volume, phase) with the Cremonas. I don't know how well the Dev helps you blend it in (the 110 lacks this feature, as you know).

Maybe you could just EQ the bass peak out with the Dev's DSP - if you know where and how high and wide the peak is, at least. So maybe you could start with some pink noise and a spectrum analyser (if you can lay your hands on one).

And yes, I agree that you should be very reluctant to change the speakers you like for something different but not necessarily better in the long run. A problem I'm far less likely to encounter with my little Missions :).

:cheers:
 

oldric_naubhoff

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Mar 11, 2011
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matt49 said:
So I wonder: might it be worth experimenting with an active sub? I could set the crossover between the Cremonas and the sub high enough to avoid bass wobble. The Cremonas would retain that delicious sweetness through the rest of their frequency range, and of course the brilliant dynamics. The sub would add a touch of scale and atmosphere. Any thoughts?

:cheers:

Matt
sounds like a good idea to me. I really find the feature to set up low and high pass xover point for subwoofer and mains like a thing that should be included on default in every hi-fi amp. way to go Devialet.

having said that I'm sure you'll find that it's not so easy task to find a proper sub for your needs. a subwoofer is not just pumping out bass. hometheatershack.com and avtalk.co.uk and other HT oriented websites provide independent performance measurements (just for the fun of it compare review on WFH with measurements on hometheatershack.com for B&W PV1. you'll be amused). look out for the lowest possible distortion (possibly below 3% down to at least 40Hz @ at least 95dB, this IMO is a standard of competent performance for music replay these days) and short decay time. also I'd be looking at sealed designs as those don't suffer from excessive group delay issues at low frequencies.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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matt49 said:
Which brings me to the subject of speakers. Next week, in the footsteps of the good Doc, I’m off to demo the Audiovector Si3 Avantgarde Arretés, but in advance of the demo I’m having very mixed feelings.

The point is the Cremonas are just so good — well, good within their zone of competence at least. There’s still an issue with the bass port, though none of the frequencies in my standard diet of classical listening are low enough to give rise to problems. And if I listened to much electronic music, I might miss a bit of bite. But otherwise there’s just this profound sense of naturalness and sweetness. I know I’ve banged on about this before, but the Cremonas give voices and acoustic instruments their proper tone and timbre.

So the mixed feelings are as follows: can I really bring myself to move the Cremonas on? They were initially intended as a stopgap. But I’ve fallen head over heels in love with them, and I’m worried that I’ll miss them terribly once they’re gone. Plus, I haven’t heard many speakers that I could conclusively say were an improvement. The Vivids are faster, more articulate. The new SF Olympica IIs have more scale and bite, but in the long term they might prove a bit too bright for me.

So I wonder: might it be worth experimenting with an active sub? I could set the crossover between the Cremonas and the sub high enough to avoid bass wobble. The Cremonas would retain that delicious sweetness through the rest of their frequency range, and of course the brilliant dynamics. The sub would add a touch of scale and atmosphere. Any thoughts?

:cheers:

Matt
I can only tell you what I'd do.

You have hit on a magic combination that does so many things right, that any change will be expensive, as it has to improve all areas, or it will be a partial sideways move.

IMO. Your final solution should not include a sub, but the right pair of speakers for the job (room)......probably some expensive SFs.

If you need to have the bass filled out while searching, get an inexpensive, but good sub from BK, to tide you over.

Do this once, and do it right......you will know the right speakers when you hear them, so don't get impatient and compromise.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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CnoEvil said:
matt49 said:
Which brings me to the subject of speakers. Next week, in the footsteps of the good Doc, I’m off to demo the Audiovector Si3 Avantgarde Arretés, but in advance of the demo I’m having very mixed feelings.

The point is the Cremonas are just so good — well, good within their zone of competence at least. There’s still an issue with the bass port, though none of the frequencies in my standard diet of classical listening are low enough to give rise to problems. And if I listened to much electronic music, I might miss a bit of bite. But otherwise there’s just this profound sense of naturalness and sweetness. I know I’ve banged on about this before, but the Cremonas give voices and acoustic instruments their proper tone and timbre.

So the mixed feelings are as follows: can I really bring myself to move the Cremonas on? They were initially intended as a stopgap. But I’ve fallen head over heels in love with them, and I’m worried that I’ll miss them terribly once they’re gone. Plus, I haven’t heard many speakers that I could conclusively say were an improvement. The Vivids are faster, more articulate. The new SF Olympica IIs have more scale and bite, but in the long term they might prove a bit too bright for me.

So I wonder: might it be worth experimenting with an active sub? I could set the crossover between the Cremonas and the sub high enough to avoid bass wobble. The Cremonas would retain that delicious sweetness through the rest of their frequency range, and of course the brilliant dynamics. The sub would add a touch of scale and atmosphere. Any thoughts?

:cheers:

Matt
I can only tell you what I'd do.

You have hit on a magic combination that does so many things right, that any change will be expensive, as it has to improve all areas, or it will be a partial sideways move.

IMO. Your final solution should not include a sub, but the right pair of speakers for the job (room)......probably some expensive SFs.

If you need to have the bass filled out while searching, get an inexpensive, but good sub from BK, to tide you over.

Do this once, and do it right......you will know the right speakers when you hear them, so don't get impatient and compromise.
Very sensible cno, a course of action that I would normally endorse enthusiastically.

There is a problem though, the Cremona Auditor M are, in a way, one of the last of what I would call the 'old style' Sonus Fabers. Modern Fabers, from the Venere to the Olympicas sound different, more explicit and a bit more focussed, in the modern style. Were I in the market for speakers at this level I would probably make my choice between this model and the Luito Tower. Both are no longer in production but I believe there are some new stock still to be found.

There are better Fabers, the Guarnari, Stradivari and Amati models for example, but the prices are on a different level.

I also endorse your suggestion for the BK sup, the XXLS400 is good value. However, if I may be so bold, the AVI sub is reputably quite a beast, thogh not actually that large, slightly smaller than the BK I believe.
 

CnoEvil

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davedotco said:
Very sensible cno, a course of action that I would normally endorse enthusiastically.

There is a problem though, the Cremona Auditor M are, in a way, one of the last of what I would call the 'old style' Sonus Fabers. Modern Fabers, from the Venere to the Olympicas sound different, more explicit and a bit more focussed, in the modern style. Were I in the market for speakers at this level I would probably make my choice between this model and the Luito Tower. Both are no longer in production but I believe there are some new stock still to be found.

There are better Fabers, the Guarnari, Stradivari and Amati models for example, but the prices are on a different level.

I also endorse your suggestion for the BK sup, the XXLS400 is good value. However, if I may be so bold, the AVI sub is reputably quite a beast, thogh not actually that large, slightly smaller than the BK I believe.
It was something along those lines I was hinting at (possibly ex-dem Guarneri Mementos)......slowly, slowly, catchy monkey. :shifty:

@Matt

http://www.absolutesounds.com/pdf/main/press/SF%20Guar.%20Memen%20HFC%20Coll%2006%20for%20web.pdf
 

davedotco

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CnoEvil said:
davedotco said:
Very sensible cno, a course of action that I would normally endorse enthusiastically.

There is a problem though, the Cremona Auditor M are, in a way, one of the last of what I would call the 'old style' Sonus Fabers. Modern Fabers, from the Venere to the Olympicas sound different, more explicit and a bit more focussed, in the modern style. Were I in the market for speakers at this level I would probably make my choice between this model and the Luito Tower. Both are no longer in production but I believe there are some new stock still to be found.

There are better Fabers, the Guarnari, Stradivari and Amati models for example, but the prices are on a different level.

I also endorse your suggestion for the BK sup, the XXLS400 is good value. However, if I may be so bold, the AVI sub is reputably quite a beast, thogh not actually that large, slightly smaller than the BK I believe.
It was something along those lines I was hinting at (possibly ex-dem Guarneri Mementos)......slowly, slowly, catchy monkey. :shifty:

@Matt

http://www.absolutesounds.com/pdf/main/press/SF%20Guar.%20Memen%20HFC%20Coll%2006%20for%20web.pdf
Nice, but I was thinking of some of the bigger floorstanders if we are going to avoid complicating the issue with a subwoofer.
 

CnoEvil

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davedotco said:
Nice, but I was thinking of some of the bigger floorstanders if we are going to avoid complicating the issue with a subwoofer.
I was thinking they might work OK in a room that's not too big.......they should sound a lot bigger than the Cremonas.

Acalex, a member on here that hasn't posted recently, bought some, and was very impressed with the scale they could deliver......but they would need tried in situ.
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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Thanks for all your responses. Good to see we're well staffed on the evening shift today. I'll try to respond in an organized way, but this post might get a bit complicated. I'll deal with the technical, sub-related ideas first, and then get on to Cno's and Dave's attempts to spend my money.

DocG said:
I think much will depend on where in the spectrum your bass bump is. If it would necessitate a XO around (or above) 100 Hz, you'll have directionality issues that demand a second sub...

Then there is the issue of matching the sub (volume, phase) with the Cremonas. I don't know how well the Dev helps you blend it in (the 110 lacks this feature, as you know).

Maybe you could just EQ the bass peak out with the Dev's DSP - if you know where and how high and wide the peak is, at least. So maybe you could start with some pink noise and a spectrum analyser (if you can lay your hands on one).
I like your thinking. I was thinking of a slightly different and rather low-tech approach to establishing where the bass problem is. Strictly speaking it's not a bump, it's an area where the Dev overdrives the Cremonas' woofers and produces very flappy, farty bass, i.e. it's bass quality as much as quantity, and it's dead easy to hear. I know which pieces of music it affects badly. So instead of getting a spectrum analyser, I thought I'd set the Dev's hi- and lo-pass filters close together (e.g. 10Hz apart) and then gradually move them in sync up through the frequency range until I find where the farty bass notes kick in. Shouldn't take more than an hour or so to identify exactly where the problem is.

DocG said:
And yes, I agree that you should be very reluctant to change the speakers you like for something different but not necessarily better in the long run. A problem I'm far less likely to encounter with my little Missions :).

:
This is indeed the predicament.

oldric_naubhoff said:
sounds like a good idea to me. I really find the feature to set up low and high pass xover point for subwoofer and mains like a thing that should be included on default in every hi-fi amp. way to go Devialet.

having said that I'm sure you'll find that it's not so easy task to find a proper sub for your needs. a subwoofer is not just pumping out bass. hometheatershack.com and avtalk.co.uk and other HT oriented websites provide independent performance measurements (just for the fun of it compare review on WFH with measurements on hometheatershack.com for B&W PV1. you'll be amused). look out for the lowest possible distortion (possibly below 3% down to at least 40Hz @ at least 95dB, this IMO is a standard of competent performance for music replay these days) and short decay time. also I'd be looking at sealed designs as those don't suffer from excessive group delay issues at low frequencies.
Very helpful, Oldric, and duly noted.

CnoEvil said:
IMO. Your final solution should not include a sub, but the right pair of speakers for the job (room)......probably some expensive SFs.

If you need to have the bass filled out while searching, get an inexpensive, but good sub from BK, to tide you over.

Do this once, and do it right......you will know the right speakers when you hear them, so don't get impatient and compromise.
I agree entirely that a sub would be a compromise, and it's not the route I'd rather take, but ... In the first instance I might borrow a sub from my local dealer.

Other comments appreciated and duly noted.

davedotco said:
Very sensible cno, a course of action that I would normally endorse enthusiastically.

There is a problem though, the Cremona Auditor M are, in a way, one of the last of what I would call the 'old style' Sonus Fabers. Modern Fabers, from the Venere to the Olympicas sound different, more explicit and a bit more focussed, in the modern style. Were I in the market for speakers at this level I would probably make my choice between this model and the Luito Tower. Both are no longer in production but I believe there are some new stock still to be found.

There are better Fabers, the Guarnari, Stradivari and Amati models for example, but the prices are on a different level.

I also endorse your suggestion for the BK sup, the XXLS400 is good value. However, if I may be so bold, the AVI sub is reputably quite a beast, thogh not actually that large, slightly smaller than the BK I believe.
I know where you're coming from and I sort of understand the idea that there's and 'old' and 'new' style of SF, but I think the picture's a bit more complicated. The Veneres aren't at all 'explicit'. I have the small 1.5 standmounts and have heard the 2.5 floorstanders. Both models have a distinctly dark and laid-back presentation. Of course one might say the Venere range aren't really proper SFs: made in China and not out of solid wood.

Also, if one were to locate the change in SF style at the point where Franco Serblin left the company, one would have to say that the speakers he made in his sadly very short post-SF period (the Accordo range) were highly 'explicit and focused', even painfully so. And some people have said that the Olympicas are a return to the 'old' style. Some of the old team were rehired to design them. The acid test will be to listen to the Olympica IIs at home alongside the Cremonas.

Although the older big floorstanders do sometimes come up second hand, they're still pretty pricey, as you suggest.

:cheers:

Matt
 

James7

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Tricky one. Worth trying out a sub and to locate the bass bump before you go any further I think. The problem might in the end prove to be the integration between the rear firing bass port and your room, in which case if a potential house move is definitely off the cards you may need to investigate other speakers, not necessarily floorstanders, but speakers that are either front ported (like the Vivids you liked - did you ever try these at home?) or a sealed box design like the Orb Reference Monitor Doc G was discussing earlier in this thread. The problem, of course, will be finding a speaker that is at least as good as your SFs in all other areas, or you will find yourself continually harking back to what you have now.
 

Macspur

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May 3, 2010
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Personally, I wouldn't entertain the idea of a sub... if any speaker isn't giving you the SQ you want,, then it's not the speaker for you.

However, in view of how happy you seem to be with the SF's, do you really want to go through the lengthy process and possibly fruitless

one of demoing more speakers... save the money for such time you have to change, i.e moving.

I know if I were to change the Harbeths, it would be a change for a different sound, not necessarily better. Although, I will admit to a hankering to hear some SF's with the E350, as the amps prev owner used to have that combo and couldn't speak highly enough of it.

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

matt49

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Thanks for the views, gents, and please keep them coming.

I fully realize I've been experiencing a bout of sentimentality, which I need to put behind me. I'm also aware of the problems associated with subs (integration with main speakers, monophonic presentation, and let's face it sound quality at the cheaper end of the market).

James7 said:
Tricky one. Worth trying out a sub and to locate the bass bump before you go any further I think. The problem might in the end prove to be the integration between the rear firing bass port and your room, in which case if a potential house move is definitely off the cards you may need to investigate other speakers, not necessarily floorstanders, but speakers that are either front ported (like the Vivids you liked - did you ever try these at home?) or a sealed box design like the Orb Reference Monitor Doc G was discussing earlier in this thread. The problem, of course, will be finding a speaker that is at least as good as your SFs in all other areas, or you will find yourself continually harking back to what you have now.
That's definitely on the cards, James.

Macspur said:
Personally, I wouldn't entertain the idea of a sub... if any speaker isn't giving you the SQ you want,, then it's not the speaker for you.

However, in view of how happy you seem to be with the SF's, do you really want to go through the lengthy process and possibly fruitless one of demoing more speakers... save the money for such time you have to change, i.e moving.

I know if I were to change the Harbeths, it would be a change for a different sound, not necessarily better. Although, I will admit to a hankering to hear some SF's with the E350, as the amps prev owner used to have that combo and couldn't speak highly enough of it.

Mac
Mac, I know what you mean about endless and possibly fruitless demoing, but I haven't remotely got to the demo-fatigue stage yet. I'm keen to do more auditions, even if most of the speakers I hear aren't right for me. I want to be confident that I've made an informed choice.

Do you know by chance which SFs the previous owner of your Accuphase was using?

:cheers:

Matt
 

matt49

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Helmut80 said:
If you can, you should try and hear a pair of SF Elipsa SE.
Ooooh.

You have Elipsas, nicht wahr? Did you compare them to the Cremona Auditor Ms?

Are they still in production? And what does the price look like (new and second hand)?

I think I need to call the local SF dealers.

:cheers:

Matt
 

James7

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Macspur said:
very thorough review - it sounds the business. Interesting that the reviewer comments comparatively on the 'annoying upper bass bump' of the Cremonas - I wonder if this is what Matt is hearing too. I have to say I do think it is worth trying to locate where in the spectrum the bump is so as to try to reduce it before going any further, but in the long run if this is a characteristic of the SFs that is off-putting then the search for the 'right' speaker might have to begin anew. I am with Mac on this - from a purely selfish perspective, bring on the incisive, insightful reviews. :bounce:
 

matt49

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Macspur said:
Mac,

Thanks for pointing that out; it's a nicely full review, and the chap's obviously very happy with his new speakers!

One comment in the review that chimes with my experience of hearing the Olympica IIs is where he says that the IIIs show no loss of speed or coherence compared to standmounts.

James7 said:
very thorough review - it sounds the business. Interesting that the reviewer comments comparatively on the 'annoying upper bass bump' of the Cremonas - I wonder if this is what Matt is hearing too. I have to say I do think it is worth trying to locate where in the spectrum the bump is so as to try to reduce it before going any further, but in the long run if this is a characteristic of the SFs that is off-putting then the search for the 'right' speaker might have to begin anew. I am with Mac on this - from a purely selfish perspective, bring on the incisive, insightful reviews. :bounce:
James, I see your point about the bass bump. I suspect these are two different phenomena, though. The chap with the Olympica IIIs talk about the 'upper bass bump' in his old Cremonas causing problems with female vocals. My 'flappy' bass issue is much lower down, and it's only really noticeable with electric bass guitars and (rarely) bass drums.

Thanks for your kind words again about my speaker reviews. More reviews to follow in the next couple of months, though it'll be a trickle at first.

:cheers:

Matt
 

James7

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[/quote]

James, I see your point about the bass bump. I suspect these are two different phenomena, though. The chap with the Olympica IIIs talk about the 'upper bass bump' in his old Cremonas causing problems with female vocals. My 'flappy' bass issue is much lower down, and it's only really noticeable with electric bass guitars and (rarely) bass drums.

[/quote]

Yes, it seems he has identified a different issue. Not one you seem to have picked up on the though - different system, different room I imagine.

it will be interesting to see whether you are able to find the 'right' speaker for you. I think that decision to go with the ex-demo SFs will prove a good one as you renew the hunt. They will provide an invaluable benchmark against which to compare .others and if you do eventually find a speaker that notably outperforms them you will be able to buy with confidence.
 

matt49

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James7 said:
Yes, it seems he has identified a different issue. Not one you seem to have picked up on the though - different system, different room I imagine.
My understanding is that he had the Cremona floorstanders, whereas i have the Cremona Auditor standmounts. Having said that, there may well be all sorts of lumps and bumps in the frequency response of my speakers that I just haven't noticed!

James7 said:
it will be interesting to see whether you are able to find the 'right' speaker for you. I think that decision to go with the ex-demo SFs will prove a good one as you renew the hunt. They will provide an invaluable benchmark against which to compare .others and if you do eventually find a speaker that notably outperforms them you will be able to buy with confidence.
One thing that will be really interesting will be to hear the Vivids against the Cremonas in my room. I really liked the Vivids, but they're very different from the Cremonas -- from memory at least. Extremely fast and articulate, perhaps a bit more transparent, and not as warm. But that's all from memory: there's nothing quite like a head-to-head comparison.

When I started out I imagined I'd end up with a shortlist of 2 or 3 favourite standmounts and 2 or 3 favourite floorstanders, and that I'd demo each shortlist at home and then play the winning standmount against the winning floorstander. Of course that's all looking a bit too schemtic now; the reality will be messier.

Next week it's Audiovector!

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
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I'm anxious to hear your opinion on the AudioVectors, Matt (though it's a different model than I heard).

I still have the Vivids on the demo menu and the Rosso Fiorentinos. And then recently NHL drew my attention to the System Audio Pandion 2, which he had liked a lot (driven by a Naim amp, IIRC). The specs look excellent, they are designed for use close up to the wall and they look pretty neat too.

I found a Belgian distributor, who expects the speakers to arrive in a couple of weeks. My shortlist might grow a little longer... :)
 

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