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The Devialet thread

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matt49

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David,

Thanks for the comprehensive report. Your insights into the differences between the 200 and 400 are very interesting. Somewhere down the road I'll get a 200 Slave in for a home demo: maybe that'll be next year's birthday present to myself. You're right, of course, that the extra power of the 400 wouldn't benefit the bottom end of my speakers much. I think with Martin Logans the top end is as much if not more of an issue because of the sharp imperdance drop in the HF.

I guess having heard such clear improvement from the 400 you're now contemplating whether the improvement merits the cost. :?

As for your speakers, they seem to have passed the 100-vote threshold with some ease. What you say about them not being a current model is no doubt an issue for Devialet. As things stand, 4 of the top 7 models in the voting are no longer in production. I wonder whether Devialet considered this before they launched the SAM campaign. One would hope so.

Do stick around and let us know what you decide.

:cheers:

Matt
 

Paul@HiFi-Lounge

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It is certainly a fast moving world when involved with Devialet, I had a chance at Munich to hear the Sam'd 400 with the B&W's but not knowing the speaker that well it was dificult to guage the difference but as the SF Venere 2.5's have been Sam'd I will be able to try that later.

I did get a chance to speak to someone about UPNP streaming and apparently with the hardware as it is then it can't be done, which I find hard to believe to be honest considering how thorough they have been with their hardware design, apparently Devialet are looking at their options which could mean adding an card internally, which sounds like a bit of a pain, or they may add an external card which wouldn't really add to the aesthetics, I guess it depends how many people find this neccessary.

Have to say that the 400 really is the sweet spot in the range now though, shame that I had just bought a 250 for demo as I would have gone with the 200 slave instead, definately be something to add going forward though.
 

Paul@HiFi-Lounge

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I am about to shoot out to go and see Nine Inch Nails at the O2 but I just had to stop for a couple of minutes and post as I have just been playing with SAM on the Venere 2.5's, talk about transform a speaker, it certainly isn't subtle, the Venere's are great speakers but the bottom end has always been a little soft, not anymore, I noticed it as soon as I loaded up my pre-set but wanted to do a few more tests to confirm it but the control and extra punch at the low end is quite astonishing.

I would say that a Sam'd Venere 2.5 would probably out perform a non Sam'd Venere 3.0, can't wait for Devialet to include some more speakers that I have here.
 

James7

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Jun 1, 2011
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Fascinating thread as always. Great review, David, by the way.

i have, like most I imagine, been an admirer of Devialet from a distance for some time. The sleek form factor of the D-Premier allied to its clearly impressive technology ... very nice. And it seems that the new range - the whole of the new range - outperform the original with a sound that has just a touch more warmth while retaining the resolution of the D-Premier: this is something I have read, but can anyone back that up from their son experience?

Reading about the recently unveiled SAM system - both Devialet's claims and early blogs of listeners' experiences - suggests this could be the company's most important innovation to date, not just subtly improving but transforming speakers' sound. I have always felt that more important than any individual component in a system is the synergy, or lack of it, between speakers and room, and speakers and amplifier, and it seems that the latter issue, if not totally overcome by SAM, is at least pretty effectively addressed. I look forward to the findings of DocG and others regarding this.

Having never heard a Devialet in action, my interest has been piqued by this thread - but I think the chance to hear SAM in action means getting along to somewhere I can hear a 120 or 200 in action - not an easy thing to do from where I live - has now jumped up my list of priorities.
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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OK, been trying SAM with my Dev 120 (formerly known as 110) and KEF LS50s for a couple of days now. And I must say: the difference SAM makes is not subtle! In four words: "it is marvelous but..."

I'll start with the marvelous part. The most noticeable difference SAM makes is in the bass dept. (or bass depth if you like). I was already pleasantly surprised by the off-the-shelf LS50 bass performance. But SAM makes the speakers dig much deeper and seems to give them more punch too. Like they're transformed in some medium floor standers. I mean: really! Yesterday I got the 'Best of Kodo' CD. This Japanese drum band taxes your set-up's dynamic capacity, believe me! I cranked the amp up to 0dB and it was great: incredible punch and impact but still as clean as the cleanest thing! Not a hint of distortion here!

As I understand it, SAM ups the amplifiers output in a frequency-dependent way as to compensate for the drop-off in the bass. I suppose with the LS50s, it increases the output at 79 Hz with 3 dB, and probably at 47 Hz with 6 dB, keeping the curve flat. I can't estimate how far the trick is pushed, but the result is remarkable!

The phase correction is far more subtle to assess. Changing the SD card with/without SAM takes like 10 seconds (didn't really time that actually) and then the amp resumes at lower level (-40 dB in my case), which makes it hard to compare. There is a SAM-button on the remote, but that's not an on/off button; it's a 0-100% scale, with 1% steps. And it's not clear to me what is changed here: the bass extension? or the whole 'SAM-trick', including the phase correction? I think I'll drop Devialet a mail to ask for clarification here...

And now the but! Transforming the bookshelves into floorstanders (so-to-speak) makes them fussier to position. Obviously. My speakers are no more than 35 cm off the front wall, so I'm using the (complete) bungs now -- not the half bungs, as KEF suggests here. And even so, the bass stays on the heavy side, so depending on the music, I tend to turn the bass a notch down.

And the biggest but is a little weird to discover: with bass heavy music (I first noticed this with Daft Punk's Get Lucky) SAM drives the amp into clipping at moderate levels! And that was not subtle either! H e a v i l y distorted bass. Made me jump for the RC. And I repeat: this was at moderate volume. Thinking of it, it's not that surprising of course. Boosting the bass (the lower the freq, the more boost) needs power, even more than upping the general volume. The good thing: you can switch SAM of with the remote; problem solved!

So IMO LS50 owners with a modern pop and dance music diet should not go for the 120! It's not up to the job! In this case (and if you want to use SAM, which you probably do want), you'd better look higher up the Devialet ladder!

But for acoustic music and/or low to moderate listening levels (like most of my listening), SAM is a great feature, more so because it's free, of course!

:cheers:

EDIT: added some links.
 

CnoEvil

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@ DocG

I am constantly surprised at the scale these little things can muster.

As Sam can be switched in and out, I would use it like a Sub ie. Activated to fill out anaemic recordings, and deactivated for rich, bass heavy ones.

Have you filled your stands?

In general, are you pleased with the synergy of your system?
 

James7

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Very interesting.

i said above that the two most important aspects of a hifi are the relationships between speaker and amp and speaker and room, and your experience suggests that if SAM is a giant leap forward in addressing issues with the former, the next giant leap would address the latter by having Devialet's engineers visit everyone's listening room to room-match as well as speaker-match! How easy is it for you to do this yourself through the 120's settings?

Perhaps in your specific case the close-to-wall KEFs would respond better to SAM on the end of a more powerful model. Even so, as this is music dependent and SAM can be switched on and off at the flick of a button, it still sounds like a brilliant bit of technology to be able to utilise.

On a separate note, Doc, did you ever audition the Atohm GT1s that Devialet have been demonstrating SAM with - I don't think I had ever even heard of the brand but they look a nice choice for a small listening space.
 

davedotco

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James7 said:
Very interesting.

i said above that the two most important aspects of a hifi are the relationships between speaker and amp and speaker and room, and your experience suggests that if SAM is a giant leap forward in addressing issues with the former, the next giant leap would address the latter by having Devialet's engineers visit everyone's listening room to room-match as well as speaker-match! How easy is it for you to do this yourself through the 120's settings?

Perhaps in your specific case the close-to-wall KEFs would respond better to SAM on the end of a more powerful model. Even so, as this is music dependent and SAM can be switched on and off at the flick of a button, it still sounds like a brilliant bit of technology to be able to utilise.

On a separate note, Doc, did you ever audition the Atohm GT1s that Devialet have been demonstrating SAM with - I don't think I had ever even heard of the brand but they look a nice choice for a small listening space.
Some years ago I sold some speakers to a chap who had the original Tact Millenium.

He was really into it and had the (Tact) microphone and the software running on a laptop. He took multiple measurements, I mean dozens, all around the listening position and the software sorted them all out and applied correction to the amplifier.

The results were quite startling, the 'correction' could be switched in and out at the touch of a button and it was amazing just how 'right' the corrected signal sounded compared to the 'normal' output of some pretty expensive speakers.

I only heard them during the course of one evening but was so impressed I thought we should bring some into the country, sadly never heard them again.
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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CnoEvil said:
@ DocG

I am constantly surprised at the scale these little things can muster.

As Sam can be switched in and out, I would use it like a Sub ie. Activated to fill out anaemic recordings, and deactivated for rich, bass heavy ones.

Have you filled your stands?

In general, are you pleased with the synergy of your system?
Hi Cno,

The LS50 is featured in KEF's flagship range. And rightly so (IMO)! Though SAM is a great concept, it cannot correct for every flaw in a speaker. And I think the LS50s match the Devialet SAM concept very well; they add some important ingredients of their own, like the Uni-Q driver array, and the inert, dead cabinet. These qualities (single point source, lack of cabinet coloration) are just more prominent with SAM's help. And indeed, scale and imaging are hard to believe until you hear them playing!

The SAM-switch comes in handy indeed. For my personal needs, I keep SAM on most of the time, as most of my diet consists of acoustic music and I hardly ever play my music loud. But at this moment, I'm listening to Morphine - The Night, and the bass does need some tempering to keep things pleasant.

I've been fiddling with the toe-in and the port bungs these days and ended up with the full bungs and the speakers toed in sharply (like 30° or so), to reduce side-wall reflections. Not much room to move them around, unfortunately. They could do with some more space... Well, that will be better in the new house... Today my Blutac arrived (air-mail from the UK -- not to be found at acceptable prices in Belgium...), so that'll be next on my list. Had no time for filling the stands so far. I'll ask for some tips in due time!

All in all, I'm a happy man with the current combo. The 5/1 price ratio between amp and speakers looks odd at first, but I think it's a very balanced combination. These KEFs are a real bargain! I feel like nothing's gonna change here soon!
 

James7

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Jun 1, 2011
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davedotco said:
James7 said:
Very interesting.

i said above that the two most important aspects of a hifi are the relationships between speaker and amp and speaker and room, and your experience suggests that if SAM is a giant leap forward in addressing issues with the former, the next giant leap would address the latter by having Devialet's engineers visit everyone's listening room to room-match as well as speaker-match! How easy is it for you to do this yourself through the 120's settings?

Perhaps in your specific case the close-to-wall KEFs would respond better to SAM on the end of a more powerful model. Even so, as this is music dependent and SAM can be switched on and off at the flick of a button, it still sounds like a brilliant bit of technology to be able to utilise.

On a separate note, Doc, did you ever audition the Atohm GT1s that Devialet have been demonstrating SAM with - I don't think I had ever even heard of the brand but they look a nice choice for a small listening space.
Some years ago I sold some speakers to a chap who had the original Tact Millenium.

He was really into it and had the (Tact) microphone and the software running on a laptop. He took multiple measurements, I mean dozens, all around the listening position and the software sorted them all out and applied correction to the amplifier.

The results were quite startling, the 'correction' could be switched in and out at the touch of a button and it was amazing just how 'right' the corrected signal sounded compared to the 'normal' output of some pretty expensive speakers.

I only heard them during the course of one evening but was so impressed I thought we should bring some into the country, sadly never heard them again.
Fascinating. I was not unaware of the possibilities of such amp and room matching, but I cannot help feeling that what Devialet might achieve with SAM is to bring such an approach into the mainstream. Watch this space for other companies offering SAM equivalent systems over the next few years.
 

matt49

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Interesting times, Doc!

I get the impression from your report that full-fat SAM is just asking the LS50s to do too much. It also sounds a bit like the problem I was having with my Cremonas: the bass driver is being overdriven.

I have a couple of suggestions. It might be interesting to engage the subsonic bass control (with SAM on) to see if that helps. No reason in particular why it should, just worth playing with.

Second, I'd be minded to fiddle with the tone controls. It'd be interesting to hear whether with SAM on you can take a bit out of the bass and solve the bass problem you get with some recordings. I know this sounds like giving with pone hand and taking away with the other. But you never know ...

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
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James7 said:
i said above that the two most important aspects of a hifi are the relationships between speaker and amp and speaker and room, and your experience suggests that if SAM is a giant leap forward in addressing issues with the former, the next giant leap would address the latter by having Devialet's engineers visit everyone's listening room to room-match as well as speaker-match! How easy is it for you to do this yourself through the 120's settings?
Well, you can choose at what frequency the bass/treble is cut/boosted and by how much, but that is still a very rudimentary approach.

If you have your room measured by an acoustic engineer and send the data to Devialet, they can provide you with a made-to-measure DSP-setting to match the room. That's what is stated on the website anyway. Not sure how much time they have for this tailored approach, now the SAM-project seems to be quite popular...

Thinking of the DEQX-modules -- that other room correction system, besides TACT/Lyngdorf -- the correction of phase and timing seems to be far more important than the actual room correction. Cutting out the major bass nodes seems the most important room correction action left. Filling the dips is much more difficult, and can ask an awful lot of the amplifier (not unlike what I experienced with my combo, playing Daft Punk)...

James7 said:
On a separate note, Doc, did you ever audition the Atohm GT1s that Devialet have been demonstrating SAM with - I don't think I had ever even heard of the brand but they look a nice choice for a small listening space.
The Belgian Atohm-dealer paid me a visit just yesterday, for a demo of the LEEDH E2 speakers (I'll write down some impressions when I can find the time. In short, these are incredible speakers, but unfortunately rather expensive and demanding). I first asked him to bring the Atohm GT1s too, but cancelled that after I had pulled the trigger on the KEFs. I didn't want to be tempted to change again, just after deciding... :shifty:

But they definitely do look nice. And you don't need to pay extra for the special Devialet edition. The difference with the 'plain' GT1s is purely cosmetic.

:cheers:
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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matt49 said:
Second, I'd be minded to fiddle with the tone controls. It'd be interesting to hear whether with SAM on you can take a bit out of the bass and solve the bass problem you get with some recordings. I know this sounds like giving with pone hand and taking away with the other. But you never know ...
Yes, thought about that too. The trick will be to find the nasty frequency, using some sweep tone or something -- must be out there on the web somewhere. That could maybe take the room boom out of the sound, but it will of course not help much when the amp is completely overdriven by the music content + SAM + general volume combination.
 

CnoEvil

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DocG said:
All in all, I'm a happy man with the current combo. The 5/1 price ratio between amp and speakers looks odd at first, but I think it's a very balanced combination. These KEFs are a real bargain! I feel like nothing's gonna change here soon!
I'm delighted you are happy......filling the stands plus the use of Blu-tak should help tighten things up. I also use Valhalla isolation pads between the speakers and the stands as well.
 

James7

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DocG said:
All in all, I'm a happy man with the current combo. The 5/1 price ratio between amp and speakers looks odd at first, but I think it's a very balanced combination. These KEFs are a real bargain! I feel like nothing's gonna change here soon!
I think the 5/1 budget split makes perfect sense, and goes to show that there is no hard and fast rule about how much should be spent on each component. Of course, in your case, not only do you have speakers that are, as you say, a real bargain, you have an amp that is a kind of source too, given its inbuilt DAC. Perhaps more importantly, though, in terms of why a budget split like that might be particularly appropriate in your case, is the fact that you have a small listening room and were looking for small standmounts, which made it likely that you might end up spending considerably less on the speakers - to get the same quality of sound from a big floorstander in a big listening room you would have to spend considerably more on the speakers, I would suggest, but as large floorstanders are often easier to drive, you wouldn't necessarily need to upgrade your amp. In fact, as you have found, it is perhaps your little KEFs that would benefit more from the extra control of a Dev 200, say, than a pair of large, sensitive floorstanders. Although many would argue that the bulk of your budget should be directed at the speakers, I think there is a lot to be said, especially when building a system around small standmounts, for going for an amplifier-heavy budget split.

Now you just need to break the budget on that blu-tak and sand!
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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James7 said:
DocG said:
All in all, I'm a happy man with the current combo. The 5/1 price ratio between amp and speakers looks odd at first, but I think it's a very balanced combination. These KEFs are a real bargain! I feel like nothing's gonna change here soon!
I think the 5/1 budget split makes perfect sense, and goes to show that there is no hard and fast rule about how much should be spent on each component. Of course, in your case, not only do you have speakers that are, as you say, a real bargain, you have an amp that is a kind of source too, given its inbuilt DAC. Perhaps more importantly, though, in terms of why a budget split like that might be particularly appropriate in your case, is the fact that you have a small listening room and were looking for small standmounts, which made it likely that you might end up spending considerably less on the speakers - to get the same quality of sound from a big floorstander in a big listening room you would have to spend considerably more on the speakers, I would suggest, but as large floorstanders are often easier to drive, you wouldn't necessarily need to upgrade your amp. In fact, as you have found, it is perhaps your little KEFs that would benefit more from the extra control of a Dev 200, say, than a pair of large, sensitive floorstanders. Although many would argue that the bulk of your budget should be directed at the speakers, I think there is a lot to be said, especially when building a system around small standmounts, for going for an amplifier-heavy budget split.

Now you just need to break the budget on that blu-tak and sand!
But, but, but, we are constantly being told that the speakers are everything and that amplifiers (dacs too) barely make a difference.

Get rid of that overpriced French rubbish and get a nice Audiolab..........!
 

matt49

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I must be one of the few remaining people who haven't heard the LS50s. By all accounts they're very fine speakers and exceptional value for money. On paper the 120 + LS50 combo looks great. I'd love to hear it. Hmmm ...

But since that's unlikely to happen any time soon, can you say more about the system's qualities, Doc?

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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James7 said:
Perhaps more importantly, though, in terms of why a budget split like that might be particularly appropriate in your case, is the fact that you have a small listening room (...)
Well, the room is not that small actually, it's about 8 x 6 m, with an open kitchen attached. It's just that we don't want to sacrifice too much space for the hifi system, hence the speaker position so close to the front wall. After all it's a living room, with a lot more happening than just listening to music!

But I agree with you that smaller speakers often need better amps, certainly when pushed like SAMmed LS50s!

James7 said:
Now you just need to break the budget on that blu-tak and sand!
Yes, at first you think you're all set with an amp and speakers, and now this! :eek:
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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davedotco said:
James7 said:
DocG said:
All in all, I'm a happy man with the current combo. The 5/1 price ratio between amp and speakers looks odd at first, but I think it's a very balanced combination. These KEFs are a real bargain! I feel like nothing's gonna change here soon!
I think the 5/1 budget split makes perfect sense, and goes to show that there is no hard and fast rule about how much should be spent on each component. Of course, in your case, not only do you have speakers that are, as you say, a real bargain, you have an amp that is a kind of source too, given its inbuilt DAC. Perhaps more importantly, though, in terms of why a budget split like that might be particularly appropriate in your case, is the fact that you have a small listening room and were looking for small standmounts, which made it likely that you might end up spending considerably less on the speakers - to get the same quality of sound from a big floorstander in a big listening room you would have to spend considerably more on the speakers, I would suggest, but as large floorstanders are often easier to drive, you wouldn't necessarily need to upgrade your amp. In fact, as you have found, it is perhaps your little KEFs that would benefit more from the extra control of a Dev 200, say, than a pair of large, sensitive floorstanders. Although many would argue that the bulk of your budget should be directed at the speakers, I think there is a lot to be said, especially when building a system around small standmounts, for going for an amplifier-heavy budget split.

Now you just need to break the budget on that blu-tak and sand!
But, but, but, we are constantly being told that the speakers are everything and that amplifiers (dacs too) barely make a difference.

Get rid of that overpriced French rubbish and get a nice Audiolab..........!
I actually got the LS50s at a nice discount, so the actual ratio LS50/Dev is nearly 1/7 :shhh:
 

Paul@HiFi-Lounge

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James7 said:
Reading about the recently unveiled SAM system - both Devialet's claims and early blogs of listeners' experiences - suggests this could be the company's most important innovation to date, not just subtly improving but transforming speakers' sound.
I have to say that having been living with SAM for the last week or so I really can't emphasis how impressive it is, I have been running the 200 on the Venere 2.5's and have done a few demo's now and everyone is quite astonished at the difference, yes the bass definately has more control with more impact but in turn that free's up the mid range which really helps bring it into the room, once you turn SAM off eveything just sounds a little flat and less defined. I don't know if I said it before but a SAM'd Venere 2.5 definately outperforms a non SAM's Venere 3.0 which makes it quite interesting.

If I was a speaker manufactuer I would be knocking down Devialet's door to make sure that my speakers were SAM'd asap as I can really see people who are buying a Devialet with speakers now will only choose SAM'd speakers, its the only decision really. I do wonder what the Venere 2.5 profile will sound like with the 3.0's, I wonder if it can do any damage?

For our Devialet/Sonus Faber open day next weekend we will be running the Venere 2.5's with and without SAM if anyone would like to hear the differences.
 

James7

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Paul@HiFi-Lounge said:
For our Devialet/Sonus Faber open day next weekend we will be running the Venere 2.5's with and without SAM if anyone would like to hear the differences.
it is a really long way from sunny Devon ... But I have just been investigating train tickets nonetheless. May see you there :)
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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Paul@HiFi-Lounge said:
I have to say that having been living with SAM for the last week or so I really can't emphasis how impressive it is, I have been running the 200 on the Venere 2.5's and have done a few demo's now and everyone is quite astonished at the difference, yes the bass definately has more control with more impact but in turn that free's up the mid range which really helps bring it into the room, once you turn SAM off eveything just sounds a little flat and less defined. I don't know if I said it before but a SAM'd Venere 2.5 definately outperforms a non SAM's Venere 3.0 which makes it quite interesting.
Hi Paul, it's pretty amazing, isn't it? And SAM surely does more than just bass extension. I don't think the better mid-range has directly to do with the bass performance though. As I understand it, the DSP anticipates on the phase shifts and timing errors that will be caused by the passive cross-over, thus neutralizing these problems. Hence the lively, fast presentation.

The SAM-effect is impressive anyway, so for the interested customer it may be worth waiting for the SAM-ready range to expand before deciding on the speakers.
 

Paul@HiFi-Lounge

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Hi James, you'll be more than welcome mate, really don't know what to expect regarding numbers to be honest, but one thing is for sure, there is definately a lot of interest in Devialet at the moment, and rightly so.

Hope to see you next weekend :)
 

Paul@HiFi-Lounge

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DocG said:
Hi Paul, it's pretty amazing, isn't it? And SAM surely does more than just bass extension. I don't think the better mid-range has directly to do with the bass performance though. As I understand it, the DSP anticipates on the phase shifts and timing errors that will be caused by the passive cross-over, thus neutralizing these problems. Hence the lively, fast presentation.

The SAM-effect is impressive anyway, so for the interested customer it may be worth waiting for the SAM-ready range to expand before deciding on the speakers.
I have to admit that I'm not that technical so I'm not really 100% sure how SAM achieves what it does but hearing really is believing, on the Venere's it really is like someone has just installed a sub, what really amazes me though is that I had no idea that the Venere 2.5 could perform at that level, so does that mean that any other speaker out there on any other amp really isn't performing at its best, no matter what the power of the amp.

I was speaking to Peter Thomas (PMC Chief Designer) about SAM in Munich last week and he was really curious to know what SAM actually does, if Devialet actually do SAM any of the PMC range I'll have to get him in as I'd love to know what he would think of the outcome, would he think SAM was accurate or doing something artificial? Interesting times in deed.
 

matt49

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DocG said:
As I understand it, the DSP anticipates on the phase shifts and timing errors that will be caused by the passive cross-over, thus neutralizing these problems. Hence the lively, fast presentation.
Yes, that sounds right to me. And more reason to suspect that Devialet won't SAM my speakers, which have no passive crossover.

Matt
 

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