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The Devialet thread

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matt49

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DocG said:
matt49 said:
I have my eye on the amp John Westlake's currently designing. It's a current-dumping model incorporating a valve stage: http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showpost.php?p=2379165&postcount=223. Aside from the current-dumping design, what attracts me to it is that JW will be testing it using Martin Logan ESLs. It should be ideally suited to drive them.
I can't quite grasp the details of his explanation (lacking technical background), but it looks a lot -- to my eyes -- like the Devialet ADH technology. And the price seems relatively reasonable too. But I suppose you must 'jump' without audition?
That's right: it'd be a risk. But he has an excellent reputation and is as honest as the day is long.
 

jaxwired

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Feb 7, 2009
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How about a mini review from the devialet owners on this thread? I would really appreciate it.

I'll be in the club in the next few weeks. Just ordered a 200. It will be paired with PMC fact 8s. Will be getting fact 12s eventually when funds permit. Loving the 8s though.
 

matt49

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jaxwired said:
How about a mini review from the devialet owners on this thread? I would really appreciate it.

I'll be in the club in the next few weeks. Just ordered a 200. It will be paired with PMC fact 8s. Will be getting fact 12s eventually when funds permit. Loving the 8s though.
Jaxwired, I'll give this some thought, and maybe DocG (another regular here) will come up with something. I've had my Dev 200 for a year now. I still only feel confident giving comparative comments -- A sounds better than B, and so on. Everything needs to be considered in the context of what it's being compared with. Of course, there's all sorts of techincal stuff as well which may be of value. It's worth looking up the (unofficial) Devialet chat forum (Google "devialet chat").

Anyway, good to hear you'll be joining us Devialet owners.

I heard the 200 with the Fact 8s in the spring. No doubt the Dev will drive them superbly, but I have to be candid and say I liked the Fact 8s, but they didn't make me squeal with joy. It's a personal thing, of course.

Matt
 

CnoEvil

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matt49 said:
I've had my Dev 200 for a year now. I still only feel confident giving comparative comments -- A sounds better than B, and so on.
You have heard some of the very best amps under £10k, so you have a great comparitive history to draw on.
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
284
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matt49 said:
jaxwired said:
How about a mini review from the devialet owners on this thread? I would really appreciate it.

I'll be in the club in the next few weeks. Just ordered a 200. It will be paired with PMC fact 8s. Will be getting fact 12s eventually when funds permit. Loving the 8s though.
Jaxwired, I'll give this some thought, and maybe DocG (another regular here) will come up with something. I've had my Dev 200 for a year now. I still only feel confident giving comparative comments -- A sounds better than B, and so on. Everything needs to be considered in the context of what it's being compared with. Of course, there's all sorts of techincal stuff as well which may be of value. It's worth looking up the (unofficial) Devialet chat forum (Google "devialet chat").

Anyway, good to hear you'll be joining us Devialet owners.

I heard the 200 with the Fact 8s in the spring. No doubt the Dev will drive them superbly, but I have to be candid and say I liked the Fact 8s, but they didn't make me squeal with joy. It's a personal thing, of course.

Matt
Thanks.

What speakers are you using?
 

matt49

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The speakers are Martin Logan Montis.

They are a b*gger to drive, with the sharp HF impedance drop (1.5 Ohms at 10kHz, 0.5 Ohms at 20kHz). Many people find MLs are rough at the top end. I think it depends on the amplification. I find the Devialet drives the MLs beautifully. Totally clean top end, and the bass is exceptionally tight and deep.

I've also used the Devialet with a pair of (much loved) Sonus faber Cremona Auditor Ms. It was a lovely combo in many ways, deliciously moreish with jazz and classical, but there were issues with bass boom around 40-50Hz. I think this was a room problem.

As Cno says, I went through a lot of amps before buying the Devialet. I mainly focused on Class A amps, e.g. Musical Fidelity AMS35i, Pass Labs INT 30A, Accuphase E560, Luxman L590AX. I also tried models that have a sound similar to Class A from Electrocompaniet, Lavardin, and Croft. It was a very interesting journey. :)

Matt
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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At long last it's actually happening: on Thursday we move house. Cue weeks of chaos, frayed tempers, and not enough bookshelves (unless I bite the bullet and get some cheap IKEA stuff to tide me over).

On the hi-fi front, the plan is to have the main system in the big living room downstairs (blessings upon Mrs49 for proposing this *kiss3*). Ultimately I plan to try out some other amps with the Martin Logans: not that the Devialet is in any way deficient, it's just that I'll have two systems (MLs in the living room and SF Cremonas in my den) and will need a new amp for one of them. The Cremonas are SAM-ready, and the Dev + SF combo is bewitching. So one option is to use the Dev with the SFs and rethink the ML system.

The general view is that the MLs work best when driven with at least 500W per channel. We'll see.

*drinks*

Matt
 

Macspur

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May 3, 2010
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Great news Matt, good luck... another amp hey! so here goes another journey... looking forward to it already.

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

CnoEvil

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matt49 said:
The Cremonas are SAM-ready, and the Dev + SF combo is bewitching. So one option is to use the Dev with the SFs and rethink the ML system.
I'm saying nothing! *smile*
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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Macspur said:
Great news Matt, good luck... another amp hey! so here goes another journey... looking forward to it already.

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
Cheers, Mac!

It's going to be a tricky one. ESLs are capacitors and thrive on high voltage amps, whereas dynamic speakers like lots of juicy current. I'm trying to get my head around which amps deliver the massive amounts of voltage that will cope with the demands of the Martin Logans. The standard answer is that you should go for huge solid-state amps. But these are usually horribly expensive. I have my eye on the Musical Fidelity M8-700 monoblocs, which deliver 700W per channel. There are also the Sanders ESL monoblocs at 1000W per channel; these were designed (by Roger Sanders no less) specifically to drive ESL speakers. Another option is the new amp that John Westlake's working on. It's a variation on the Quad current-dumping model, and though it doesn't tick the high voltage box, John Westlake is testing the amp on his own Martin Logans.

CnoEvil said:
I'm saying nothing! *smile*
I can't wait to get the Cremonas out of storage and try them with SAM. Maybe in a week or so. Watchy spacy!

Matt
 

James7

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Jun 1, 2011
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Good luck with the house move, Matt. I look forward to that Dev/SF/SAM report. If it works as well as I would expect from reports on SAM, I can well imagine that proving a keeper.

If you do end up hunting for a new amp for the MLs I really think you should check out some valve-based technology - something I don't remember you fully investigating first time round. I take your point about the MLs' demanding load, and very low powered SE valve amps are unlikely to provide a synergistic match, but there are some powerful valve amps out there. The other option - does the new John Westlake design incorporate this? I haven't checked out your link yet - is to go the valve pre-amp / solid stage power amp route. Given your suggestion of Musical Fidelity monoblocs, their new-ish NuVista 800 integrated might be worth considering - not 700W admittedly but a lot of power on tap. If after all of that it's clear high power solid state is the way to go, try to audition Karan Audio.

Hope I am not pre-empting too much but the truth is since the new website rolled out I tend to visit much less frequently - I find the whole experience too frustrating - so best to chuck in my thoughts now!
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
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After some wrangling I was able to get devialet to create SAM processing for PMC speakers. Twenty 23, 24, & 26 are now available. Fact 8s are coming soon. : )

My new devialet 200 arrives tomorrow!!!!!
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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jaxwired said:
After some wrangling I was able to get devialet to create SAM processing for PMC speakers. Twenty 23, 24, & 26 are now available. Fact 8s are coming soon. : )

My new devialet 200 arrives tomorrow!!!!!
Nice work! Looking forward to hearing your report.
 

ID.

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Feb 22, 2010
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matt49 said:
jaxwired said:
After some wrangling I was able to get devialet to create SAM processing for PMC speakers. Twenty 23, 24, & 26 are now available. Fact 8s are coming soon. : )

My new devialet 200 arrives tomorrow!!!!!
Nice work! Looking forward to hearing your report.
Very jealous. I too look forward to your report.
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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The latest news (from a session hosted by Guildford Audio over the weekend and attended by Devialet's Thierry Massoubre) is that Devialet is working on some kind of additional streaming functionality, probably to appear in 2015.

Although AIR works fine for many people, it's the least satisfactory part of the Devialet system. It can be cranky, it's tricky to set up, the streaming functionality of the smartphone/tablet app is embarrassingly limited, and there are some well known glitches, notably the dreaded "white noise over ethernet" problem. As a result, many Devialet owners prefer to use external streamers (Auralic, Aurender, Simaudio Moon, even Sonos).

Most likely the new functionality will be in the form of a software enhancement. It may involve UPnP, though Devialet have always claimed that UPnP is ill-suited to audio.

*yes3*

Matt
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
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18,895
As promised, I am posting back here with my impressions of the Devialet 200... So, about 2 months ago I switched to new speakers, PMC Fact 8s. The PMCs are the most transparent speakers I've ever owned. In fact, they are the most transparent speakers I've ever heard. So, you might think that pairing these speakers with a Devialet which is also known for extreme clarity of sound would be a bad idea. Well there is an element of truth to that but it's definitely not cut and dried by any means. The electronics that the Devialet replaced included a PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium preamp, and a wyred 4 sound DAC and amplifier. I was using Mullards in the PrimaLuna which gave a very rich lush delivery. It was pretty much a perfect pairing with the PMCs. However, the Devialet has added noticeable clarity and transparency to my system which was already producing very satisfying sound. The Devialet / PMC pairing is not strident or hard to listen to. It is, however, immaculate, and jaw droppingly detailed. Voices and instruments are about as real as I've ever heard in my listening room. There are frequent occasions when I mute my system to try and figure out if the subtle noise I just heard was my stereo or my kids. And those moments when you whip your head around to see what just made that sound and you realize it was the song you are playing. The combination does nothing wrong. That's the first and biggest concern. There is no boomy bass or congested mids or strident highs. There is only music exiting from complete blackness. However, with all that said, I do suspect that the Devialet would shine even more with a naturally warmer speaker such as a Harbeth or Dynaudio. System synergy can make a huge difference and warm speakers would probably create a more profound symbiosis with the Devialet. Does that mean I am selling the PMCs or the Devialet? Nope. Because IMO, each represents a pinnacle of it's kind. Which one would I sell? Besides, I am really nit picking here. My system with the Devialet is stunning. Is it a bit on the cool side, yes, no doubt. Do I get regular goosebump moments with this system? For sure. The Devialet (and the PMC Facts for that matter) create music with amazing precision. Every instrument is cleanly and clearly depicted. There is no blurred lines between notes. In fact, I would suspect that when people first hear a Devialet they will be shocked by actually how good some of their recordings are. By the same token, the Devialet will highlight more than most when a recording has been recorded on the hot side of things. Too much energy up top is conveyed. But again, I do not want to give the impression that the Devialet is painful to listen to. It is most definitely not. The Devailet is smooth, it's just shockingly clean and clear. Highs never sound exaggerated, they just sound detailed. A system can be highly detailed and resolving and still sound smooth. In fact, I would argue that is the gold standard. What the Devailet is not, is rich, lush, and euphonic. If you want that, look elsewhere. And I'm not criticizing here at all as there's a lot to be said for rich, lush, and euphonic systems. After all, it's about enjoying the music, not examining it with a microscope. So far, I have not heard the Devialet 200 with SAM (Speaker Active Matching) in the signal as Devialet has not yet released the custom SAM file for my PMC Fact 8 speakers. I will however be trying the Devialet with a warmer speaker next weekend, the Dynaudio Focus 160. Additionally Devialet HAS released SAM for the Dynaudio Focus 160. So it will be interesting to see how that combination sounds. I do not expect it to make me want to throw over my PMCs as I truly love my PMC Fact 8s. Also, Devialet WILL in fact soon be adding SAM for the PMC Fact 8s. So that should add yet another facet to this evaluation. Am I set for life, not a chance. I'm a unrepentant box swapper and I don't see signs of a cure anytime soon. : ) I've also posted a video of this system in action. I know it's no substitute for hearing the real thing, but I find it entertaining none the less. I can't post the link because this forum doesn't seem to allow that anymore. If you search youtube for "devialet 200 jaxwired" you will find it. An my post had paragraph breaks, but they don't show up for some reason...
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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What you have described is roughly what I'd have expected....as a box swapper, it can be interesting to go from lush to detailed (and back again). It stops boredom creeping in.

I suspect that the new Kef Refs + Devialet will hit the right balance between refinement combined with remarkable detail.

Anyway, enjoy for the forseeable.
 

audiokid

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Sep 17, 2011
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jaxwired said:
As promised, I am posting back here with my impressions of the Devialet 200... So, about 2 months ago I switched to new speakers, PMC Fact 8s. The PMCs are the most transparent speakers I've ever owned. In fact, they are the most transparent speakers I've ever heard. So, you might think that pairing these speakers with a Devialet which is also known for extreme clarity of sound would be a bad idea. Well there is an element of truth to that but it's definitely not cut and dried by any means. The electronics that the Devialet replaced included a PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium preamp, and a wyred 4 sound DAC and amplifier. I was using Mullards in the PrimaLuna which gave a very rich lush delivery. It was pretty much a perfect pairing with the PMCs. However, the Devialet has added noticeable clarity and transparency to my system which was already producing very satisfying sound. The Devialet / PMC pairing is not strident or hard to listen to. It is, however, immaculate, and jaw droppingly detailed. Voices and instruments are about as real as I've ever heard in my listening room. There are frequent occasions when I mute my system to try and figure out if the subtle noise I just heard was my stereo or my kids. And those moments when you whip your head around to see what just made that sound and you realize it was the song you are playing. The combination does nothing wrong. That's the first and biggest concern. There is no boomy bass or congested mids or strident highs. There is only music exiting from complete blackness. However, with all that said, I do suspect that the Devialet would shine even more with a naturally warmer speaker such as a Harbeth or Dynaudio. System synergy can make a huge difference and warm speakers would probably create a more profound symbiosis with the Devialet. Does that mean I am selling the PMCs or the Devialet? Nope. Because IMO, each represents a pinnacle of it's kind. Which one would I sell? Besides, I am really nit picking here. My system with the Devialet is stunning. Is it a bit on the cool side, yes, no doubt. Do I get regular goosebump moments with this system? For sure. The Devialet (and the PMC Facts for that matter) create music with amazing precision. Every instrument is cleanly and clearly depicted. There is no blurred lines between notes. In fact, I would suspect that when people first hear a Devialet they will be shocked by actually how good some of their recordings are. By the same token, the Devialet will highlight more than most when a recording has been recorded on the hot side of things. Too much energy up top is conveyed. But again, I do not want to give the impression that the Devialet is painful to listen to. It is most definitely not. The Devailet is smooth, it's just shockingly clean and clear. Highs never sound exaggerated, they just sound detailed. A system can be highly detailed and resolving and still sound smooth. In fact, I would argue that is the gold standard. What the Devailet is not, is rich, lush, and euphonic. If you want that, look elsewhere. And I'm not criticizing here at all as there's a lot to be said for rich, lush, and euphonic systems. After all, it's about enjoying the music, not examining it with a microscope. So far, I have not heard the Devialet 200 with SAM (Speaker Active Matching) in the signal as Devialet has not yet released the custom SAM file for my PMC Fact 8 speakers. I will however be trying the Devialet with a warmer speaker next weekend, the Dynaudio Focus 160. Additionally Devialet HAS released SAM for the Dynaudio Focus 160. So it will be interesting to see how that combination sounds. I do not expect it to make me want to throw over my PMCs as I truly love my PMC Fact 8s. Also, Devialet WILL in fact soon be adding SAM for the PMC Fact 8s. So that should add yet another facet to this evaluation. Am I set for life, not a chance. I'm a unrepentant box swapper and I don't see signs of a cure anytime soon. : ) I've also posted a video of this system in action. I know it's no substitute for hearing the real thing, but I find it entertaining none the less. I can't post the link because this forum doesn't seem to allow that anymore. If you search youtube for "devialet 200 jaxwired" you will find it. An my post had paragraph breaks, but they don't show up for some reason...
Thanks for excellent write up. I can confirm that Devialet and Harbeth make a great match - the crystal clear Devialet with the warmish but clear sound of the Harbeth M30.1 works a treat. I once tried the Devialet with Kudos S10 at home but it just wasn't engaging. Hard to say why, as it did nothing wrong but it just wasn't for me. The Harbeths were back on in no time!
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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Nice write up. Transparency, precision and clean clean power: that's Devialet. I suspect SAM may make the Fact 8s sing even sweeter.

Matt
 

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