The Devialet thread

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
OK, no Devialet again in this report, but this is, I sincerely hope, my last Devialet-less demo.

On Friday 13th I headed down to Infidelity in Hampton.

It’s becoming a theme in my speaker demos that something in the set-up isn’t right and one of the speakers disappoints. In this case the thing that didn’t work was the Linn Akurate system that was meant to be driving the speakers. For some reason the dealer chappy wasn’t able to get the Akurate DS to play the files I’d brought along. So after 30 mins of faffing, we switched to an all Naim system (which was perfectly happy to play my files). So the system was ALAC files via USB into Naim NDX + NAC 252 + NAP 250 + Supercap.

First up …

Kudos Cardea Super 20

These sell for £4250. They’re a 2-way floorstanding design, bottom ported onto a black plinth. As such boxes go, these are attractive in their light oak veneer and very nicely finished.

On the plus side, I enjoyed their good dynamics and punchy, cohesive presentation. The soundstage was wide and precise. Plenty of atmosphere too. Nice fast response. The bass was sufficiently extended for my tastes, but also tuneful and tight. Very nice speakers.

On the minus side, I found a touch of muddiness in the top end, and some voices could sound slightly artificial and thin.

Next up the rather overwhelming …

Focal 1038be

These I found to be a mess of contradictions. On the one hand, they convey massive scale. The sound is as huge as the speakers themselves. Great soundstage and phenomenal dynamics.

BUT … all of this, impressive as it was, felt as if it were contained within a weirdly boxy stage. It was a bit like sitting at the back of the theatre watching some grippingly dramatic action on a distant rectangular proscenium arch stage. Great in a way, but unrealistic and uninvolving, because you’re separated from the action both by distance and by the stage’s ‘fourth wall’.

Well, I couldn’t listen to them for long. Not my thing at all.

Next up, a rematch with the Vivid V1s plus some Benesch-Wilson action – this time with a Devialet 170

:cheers:

Matt.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Thanks again Matt for your vivid impressions of these speakers.

I heard some stand mount Kudos myself a couple of years ago and quite liked them, very musical and easy on the ear.

Interesting what you say about the Focals, they are supposed to be a good match for Accuphase, but from what you describe, they wouldn't be to my taste.

Mac
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
matt49 said:
Focal 1038be

These I found to be a mess of contradictions. On the one hand, they convey massive scale. The sound is as huge as the speakers themselves. Great soundstage and phenomenal dynamics.

BUT … all of this, impressive as it was, felt as if it were contained within a weirdly boxy stage. It was a bit like sitting at the back of the theatre watching some grippingly dramatic action on a distant rectangular proscenium arch stage. Great in a way, but unrealistic and uninvolving, because you’re separated from the action both by distance and by the stage’s ‘fourth wall’.

Well, I couldn’t listen to them for long. Not my thing at all.
This was pretty much what I heard when Naim and Focal were mixed, as reported on my Belfast Show thread.

FWIW. I'm not sure how much you can learn from the other dem either, as Naim is totally different from Devialet........at least Linn would have been closer (being a form of Class D), so shame it wouldn't work.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
Macspur said:
Interesting what you say about the Focals, they are supposed to be a good match for Accuphase, but from what you describe, they wouldn't be to my taste.
I don't think you'd like them at all, Mac. Shouty speakers.

CnoEvil said:
FWIW. I'm not sure how much you can learn from the other dem either, as Naim is totally different from Devialet........
The Kudos made the Naim system sound very good; that's something of an achievement in my book, ergo they must be good speakers and are worth a demo with the Dev.

CnoEvil said:
.....at least Linn would have been closer (being a form of Class D), so shame it wouldn't work.
Yes, it was a shame the Linn system couldn't run (though it makes you wonder, when a Linn dealer can't get their own streaming system to operate ...). However, I don't think it would have been "closer" in any meaningful way. Devialet isn't Class D, it's Class A, both in sound and technology. The signal is produced by a pure Class A amp, and the extra power output from the Class D module is 100% slaved to the Class A signal. It really sounds nothing like Linn at all, at least in my experience.

:cheers:

Matt
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
matt49 said:
However, I don't think it would have been "closer" in any meaningful way. Devialet isn't Class D, it's Class A, both in sound and technology. The signal is produced by a pure Class A amp, and the extra power output from the Class D module is 100% slaved to the Class A signal. It really sounds nothing like Linn at all, at least in my experience.

:cheers:

Matt
I agree with that. I was only meaning that it would have been a better choice than the Naim.

The first time I actually enjoyed a Linn amp was driving the R Series. The second time was bi-amping the Blades. I have yet to hear a recent Naim amp making a sound that I like, which is a very personal thing.

I would love to hear the Devialet.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
CnoEvil said:
I have yet to hear a recent Naim amp making a sound that I like, which is a very personal thing.
Ah, well that's a personal preference that we happen to share, though I can also see why other people like Naim amps. They are really very good at presenting things in a certain way.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
Well, life has bowled me a bit of a googly. A couple of months ago I was sitting in a waiting room with the younger 49 lass who was flicking through the estate agents’ ads in a local glossy magazine and spotted a house round the corner from us she liked the look of. Things have snowballed, and now, decisively, Mrs49 has decreed that we are going to move.

When this will happen is unclear: maybe two months, maybe a year. What is clear is that, whilst I need some new speakers for my Dev, taking the plunge with e.g. a pair of shiny new SF Olympica IIs or Vivid V1s would be unwise. For all I know, the hi-fi room in the new house might be bigger and might bring a new category of speakers into play that I've so far excluded on grounds of size. (Quads?)

So having consulted my guru, I think the logical next step would be to see if I can pick up a pair of ex-dem SF Cremona Auditor Ms for a reasonable sum, which I could later sell on without taking too much of a hit on depreciation.

Does anyone think this is a terminally stupid idea? (I can almost hear davedotco sniggering into his Horlicks as he reads this.)

:cheers:

Matt
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
matt49 said:
So having consulted my guru, I think the logical next step would be to see if I can pick up a pair of ex-dem SF Cremona Auditor Ms for a reasonable sum, which I could later sell on without taking too much of a hit on depreciation.

Does anyone think this is a terminally stupid idea? (I can almost hear davedotco sniggering into his Horlicks as he reads this.)

:cheers:

Matt
It's exactly what I'd do, except the speakers might never leave. :shifty:

The "old" SF sound could be gone forever, so this allows you to nab a (bargain) pair while still available, live with them, and then decide to "stick or twist" later on. They will be one hell of a benchmark.

Just do it.............you only live once!
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
CnoEvil said:
matt49 said:
So having consulted my guru, I think the logical next step would be to see if I can pick up a pair of ex-dem SF Cremona Auditor Ms for a reasonable sum, which I could later sell on without taking too much of a hit on depreciation.

Does anyone think this is a terminally stupid idea? (I can almost hear davedotco sniggering into his Horlicks as he reads this.)

:cheers:

Matt
It's exactly what I'd do, except the speakers might never leave. :shifty:

The "old" SF sound could be gone forever, so this allows you to nab a (bargain) pair while still available, live with them, and then decide to "stick or twist" later on. They will be one hell of a benchmark.

Just do it.............you only live once!
Snigger, snigger........ :silenced:

One thought comes to mind, moving house in your neck of the woods could be very expensive, we sold up in your area about 10 years ago so know the score. Spend as much as you can now before your wife desides she wants another bedroom....... :shame:

Something similar happened to me about 15 months ago, I had a budget of a couple of grand to buy a little system to make our stay in the uk more pleasant but in this case Mrs ddc decided that if we were going to stay in west London she was going to stop paying the rediculous rents and buy a small flat for when we are in London.

Bye, bye hi-fi budget........ :cry:

Cremona M Auditor, mmmmmmmm

Edit for spelling.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
CnoEvil said:
It's exactly what I'd do, except the speakers might never leave. :shifty:

The "old" SF sound could be gone forever, so this allows you to nab a (bargain) pair while still available, live with them, and then decide to "stick or twist" later on. They will be one hell of a benchmark.

Just do it.............you only live once!
Thanks for the reassurance, Cno. That's pretty much what the guru said, only without the funny little faces obviously, him being a guru 'n' all.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
matt49 said:
CnoEvil said:
It's exactly what I'd do, except the speakers might never leave. :shifty:

The "old" SF sound could be gone forever, so this allows you to nab a (bargain) pair while still available, live with them, and then decide to "stick or twist" later on. They will be one hell of a benchmark.

Just do it.............you only live once!
Thanks for the reassurance, Cno. That's pretty much what the guru said, only without the funny little faces obviously, him being a guru 'n' all.


I've got mixed emotions...

Happy that you will have a wonderful set up, but sad not to be reading any more of your experiences.



Mac
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
matt49 said:
CnoEvil said:
It's exactly what I'd do, except the speakers might never leave. :shifty:

The "old" SF sound could be gone forever, so this allows you to nab a (bargain) pair while still available, live with them, and then decide to "stick or twist" later on. They will be one hell of a benchmark.

Just do it.............you only live once!
Thanks for the reassurance, Cno. That's pretty much what the guru said, only without the funny little faces obviously, him being a guru 'n' all.
From him, it's (very) convincing sales patter; from me, it's good advice. :grin:

I will be envious, and I don't say that very often. :read:
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
Well, life has bowled me a bit of a googly. A couple of months ago I was sitting in a waiting room with the younger 49 lass who was flicking through the estate agents’ ads in a local glossy magazine and spotted a house round the corner from us she liked the look of. Things have snowballed, and now, decisively, Mrs49 has decreed that we are going to move.

When this will happen is unclear: maybe two months, maybe a year. What is clear is that, whilst I need some new speakers for my Dev, taking the plunge with e.g. a pair of shiny new SF Olympica IIs or Vivid V1s would be unwise. For all I know, the hi-fi room in the new house might be bigger and might bring a new category of speakers into play that I've so far excluded on grounds of size. (Quads?)

So having consulted my guru, I think the logical next step would be to see if I can pick up a pair of ex-dem SF Cremona Auditor Ms for a reasonable sum, which I could later sell on without taking too much of a hit on depreciation.

Does anyone think this is a terminally stupid idea? (I can almost hear davedotco sniggering into his Horlicks as he reads this.)

:cheers:

Matt
Quad ESLs, that looks like a pleasant prospect!

And I'm sure in the meantime a Dev - Cremona combo will be tolerable too! ;)
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
davedotco said:
Snigger, snigger........ :silenced:

One thought comes to mind, moving house in your neck of the woods could be very expensive, we sold up in your area about 10 years ago so know the score. Spend as much as you can now before your wife desides she wants another bedroom....... :shame:

Something similar happened to me about 15 months ago, I had a budget of a couple of grand to buy a little system to make our stay in the uk more pleasant but in this case Mrs ddc decided that if we were going to stay in west London she was going to stop paying the rediculous rents and buy a small flat for when we are in London.

Bye, bye hi-fi budget........ :cry:

Cremona M Auditor, mmmmmmmm

Edit for spelling.
Interesting, Dave, as always.

The thought of Mrs49 wanting another bedroom is alarming though. What for? Not another little 49? Help! :help:

We'll see how things turn out. If I know Mrs49 at all well (after n years of marriage), she'll indulge me.

Macspur said:
I've got mixed emotions...

Happy that you will have a wonderful set up, but sad not to be reading any more of your experiences.
Mac, you're too kind. I plan to keep on exploring and reporting. So there'll be plenty more of my turgid prose.

CnoEvil said:
From him, it's (very) convincing sales patter; from me, it's good advice. :grin:

I will be envious, and I don't say that very often. :read:
The guru isn't a dealer, if that's what you meant. He's utterly impartial and collects no commission, unlike some people. :silenced:

DocG said:
Quad ESLs, that looks like a pleasant prospect!

And I'm sure in the meantime a Dev - Cremona combo will be tolerable too! ;)
On a serious note, Doc, do you think a Dev-Quad combo would be OK? Just yesterday a dealer (who doesn't sell Quad!!!) tried to persuade me that it'd be a disaster, but my understanding is that the Quad ESLs' impedance doesn't drop below 4 ohms, unlike e.g. Martin Logans. Any thoughts?

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
The guru isn't a dealer, if that's what you meant. He's utterly impartial and collects no commission, unlike some people. :silenced:
I think I found myself a guru too! I plan to meet him next month!

matt49 said:
DocG said:
Quad ESLs, that looks like a pleasant prospect!

And I'm sure in the meantime a Dev - Cremona combo will be tolerable too! ;)
On a serious note, Doc, do you think a Dev-Quad combo would be OK? Just yesterday a dealer (who doesn't sell Quad!!!) tried to persuade me that it'd be a disaster, but my understanding is that the Quad ESLs' impedance doesn't drop below 4 ohms, unlike e.g. Martin Logans. Any thoughts?

:cheers:

Matt
It is my understanding indeed: they don't behave like your average ESL. Actually there is a Devialet - Quad owner on the forum (whose name escapes me; he has a D1 and 2905s), who is over the moon with this combo.

I never heard them work together, but it must be spellbinding!
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
"Interesting, Dave, as always.

The thought of Mrs49 wanting another bedroom is alarming though. What for? Not another little 49? Help! help, I`m sinking

We'll see how things turn out. If I know Mrs49 at all well (after n years of marriage), she'll indulge me."

Studio or sewing room Matt.....

Wives expand to fill the space available, one of the immutable laws of the universe. Ie, we have a five door wardrobe, I get one!

Regarding the possibility of another little 49, the solution is simple.
Give Mrs 49 a single asprin tablet at bedtime, works every time.
 

James7

New member
Jun 1, 2011
7
0
0
Seems a very sensible solution, especially if you can get the Cremonas at a good price. Gives you lots of time to really get to know your Dev, make the move, audition other speakers. Whether any will provide a significant step-up from the SFs to warrant replacing them I wonder though - though of course if you end up in a much larger listening room that may force your hand. I look forward to that Devialet-Quad review with anticipation :)
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
DocG said:
It is my understanding indeed: they don't behave like your average ESL. Actually there is a Devialet - Quad owner on the forum (whose name escapes me; he has a D1 and 2905s), who is over the moon with this combo.

I never heard them work together, but it must be spellbinding!
Yes, that was my thinking too. K J WestOne in central London stocks both, but I wouldn't demo the combo if I wasn't sure I could accommodate the Quads. No point in spending the rest of my life haunted by the sound of a speaker I can't have.

Matt
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
DocG said:
It is my understanding indeed: they don't behave like your average ESL. Actually there is a Devialet - Quad owner on the forum (whose name escapes me; he has a D1 and 2905s), who is over the moon with this combo.

I never heard them work together, but it must be spellbinding!
Yes, that was my thinking too. K J WestOne in central London stocks both, but I wouldn't demo the combo if I wasn't sure I could accommodate the Quads. No point in spending the rest of my life haunted by the sound of a speaker I can't have.

Matt
That is the mistake I made, indeed... :doh: It wears off, but very slowly... :cry:
 

Neuphonix

New member
Apr 20, 2012
9
0
0
[/quote]

The guru isn't a dealer, if that's what you meant. He's utterly impartial and collects no commission, unlike some people. :silenced:

DocG said:
:rofl: OMG, priceless, I wonder who on earth you could mean?!! :?

I've been reading your thread with interest Matt, sounds like you've reached a fairly reasonable outcome.

I'm betting however that if you're new place has a larger room, that you'll be getting a suggestion to give the Ref 205s a go!!! BTW have you heard a Linn DS hooked up to that new amp yet? ;) :p
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
The guru isn't a dealer, if that's what you meant. He's utterly impartial and collects no commission, unlike some people. :silenced:

DocG said:
:rofl: OMG, priceless, I wonder who on earth you could mean?!! :?

I've been reading your thread with interest Matt, sounds like you've reached a fairly reasonable outcome.

I'm betting however that if you're new place has a larger room, that you'll be getting a suggestion to give the Ref 205s a go!!! BTW have you heard a Linn DS hooked up to that new amp yet? ;) :p
:p
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
Cheers, Neuphonix!

Neuphonix said:
I wonder who on earth you could mean?!! :?
If I were to expose his identity on this forum, the magic would be gone.

Neuphonix said:
I've been reading your thread with interest Matt, sounds like you've reached a fairly reasonable outcome.

I'm betting however that if you're new place has a larger room, that you'll be getting a suggestion to give the Ref 205s a go!!! BTW have you heard a Linn DS hooked up to that new amp yet? ;) :p
Thanks. I followed your recent experiences: a great result! But for a while you had dear old Cno pretty worried.

I did hear some KEF Ref 203s while back and didn't like them, but that was with Primare amplification. The Dev would be a different proposition altogether. So, yes, if space allows the big KEFs may well get a look in.

:cheers:

Matt
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
matt49 said:
I did hear some KEF Ref 203s while back and didn't like them, but that was with Primare amplification. The Dev would be a different proposition altogether. So, yes, if space allows the big KEFs may well get a look in.
I have only really liked the Refs on the end of Class A or very specific AB......IME. The R Series are much more "amp versatile."
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
Despite my decision to go for the SF Cremona Auditors, I’m still doing the odd speaker demo. On Monday it was the Vivid V1.5s (again) up against the Wilson-Benesch Vertex standmounts. We know what the Vivids look like; here are the Vertexes (Vertices?)



Actually there are some significant similarities between the two models. Both use carbon fibre-based monocoque shells. The enclosures of both are rounded, so as to reduce internal reflections. And both are bonded to integrated pedestals. A well-matched demo then. Except for one thing: about £2K difference in price.

The system was: laptop playing ALAC files into Devialet 170 via USB. Ah, back on home turf!

Wilson-Benesch Vertex

This is a really smart-looking modern design. The modern look and materials made me think the sound would be analytical or harsh, but not at all. A very natural tone with a surprising hint of warmth. With acoustic instruments the presentation seemed tonally true.

But the really surprising thing was how well these speakers imaged. I can’t recall hearing any speaker place instruments so precisely, for instance in the Takacs Decca recording of the Beethoven Rasumovsky quartets. The soundstage was utterly persuasive.

Added to that, the W-Bs produced tuneful and rhythmic bass. Overall the rhythmical structure of the music was pretty compelling.

One not-so-slight blot on the copybook, however. I found something slightly recessed or veiled in the sound. Somehow, although the musicians were clearly all out there, each on his own little chair, they weren’t in the room with me. And that’s a bit of a downer.

Vivid V1.5

There’s no way you could say that about the Vivids. They have much more punch and presence, especially at top end. There might perhaps be a feint ringing on the higher notes of a piano, but that’s the only (slight) negative I can find in these speakers. Oh, and maybe the imaging isn’t quite up there with the W-Bs.

But overall these are tremendously musical speakers. Very fast and very dramatic. Close your eyes and the Takacs lads could really be in the room with you; same for voices. There’s just so much atmosphere. And the Vivids see deeper into the structure of the music than the W-Bs.

These are seriously good speakers. The looks may be weird but there’s nothing gimmicky about the sound at all.
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
Vivid V1.5

There’s no way you could say that about the Vivids. They have much more punch and presence, especially at top end. There might perhaps be a feint ringing on the higher notes of a piano, but that’s the only (slight) negative I can find in these speakers. Oh, and maybe the imaging isn’t quite up there with the W-Bs.

But overall these are tremendously musical speakers. Very fast and very dramatic. Close your eyes and the Takacs lads could really be in the room with you; same for voices. There’s just so much atmosphere. And the Vivids see deeper into the structure of the music than the W-Bs.

These are seriously good speakers. The looks may be weird but there’s nothing gimmicky about the sound at all.
I really should try the Vivids myself, once the Dev arrives. As I'll place my speakers close to the backwall (on a cupboard), that would be the V1h or V1w for me.



I used to think these smaller V1s were derived from the V1.5, but it appears to be the other way round. The V1h/w/s were first; with customers asking for a freestanding V1, Vivid developed the V1.5, with its larger enclosure to compensate for the wall reinforcement it lacks... So maybe the V1h/s/w are not that compromised after all (being close to the wall and all). :?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts