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Devialet: a few questions

Theo

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#1
There is a measurement site which has done some work on the Devialet amps:
Devialet 130 measurement

I have been curious about the Devialet expert system (not speaking of the Phantom here) for a while. I heard them a few times in Hifi fairs but I believe that the dominant factor were then the speakers and the room, not the amp... so that was not a very worthy experience... I have read a lot of positive feedback and the site confirms an exceptionally low THD value. So here are my questions:
Do you think that a Devialet amp (let's say one 140 model) + a pair of good speakers + some room treatment are equivalent to a D&D or Kii solution? I've noticed that some of you have Devialet amps. Do you use the SAM correction for their speakers?
There are a lot of measurements posted on the Soundstage site. They seem legit, although there is a commercial side to it. What do you think?
Has anyone done their own measurement of Devialet amps?
 

Frank Dernie

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#2
I bought a Devialet D-Premier in 2010. I bought a second to make a dual mono a few months later. I had these updated to the model then called the 800, which was probably a waste, since the only real gain was an increase in DSP power to allow SAM to be incorporated whilst the phono stage was perhaps cheapened (its designer told me the phono stage was the most expensive part of the D-Premier to make) and it lost the HDMI input, which I had been using for TV sound. My speakers are sufficiently low production volume to never have a SAM curve generated for them.
I part exchanged the 800 for an Original d'Atelier, mainly because of the colour but also the promise (since made conditional) of free hardware updates for life.
IIRC the first firmware I was using was v3 and it is v12 now, so lots of free software updates of functionality, though not everything other owners want/expect has been implemented, room compensation for example.
I am completely satisfied. I am sure there is no amplifier in production with less colouration, it is a lot more efficient and light than the Krell and Goldmund amps which preceded it.
I appreciate the configurable inputs and particularly the rotary volume control on the remote - probably the thing I like most about it.

However it is still just an amplifier. SAM apart it has no DSP processing of the speaker (yet) so nothing like a Kii or D&D.

I am sticking to conventional speakers myself, and for them I see no better amp (for me) ever being available.
I have thought about trying D&D speakers but don't want to use their interface, however good they sound, and I am very satisfied with the sound I get at home with each of my 2 main systems and listen for hours a day without dissatisfaction or disappointment :)

I am actually listening at the moment to a Pink Floyd "The Wall" on my Tune Audio Anima horns driven by a JOB integrated amp and an Original da Vinci CD playe I bought years ago from Hong Kong because it was cheap and I liked the styling. Not very audiophile of me :)
It sounds great and the electronics were a tiny fraction of the Devialet cost but no rotary volume control :(

1543778149341.png
 

andreasmaaan

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#3
There are a lot of measurements posted on the Soundstage site. They seem legit, although there is a commercial side to it. What do you think?
Has anyone done their own measurement of Devialet amps?
The Soundstage measurements are actually done independently (from the magazine) and are among the most reliable published measurements out there IMHO.

Do you think that a Devialet amp (let's say one 140 model) + a pair of good speakers + some room treatment are equivalent to a D&D or Kii solution?
I think you're right about speakers and room being the dominant factors. If your intention is to use the Devialet 140 as a power amplifier only, there are cheaper options on the market that will do just as good a job (i.e. you could use significantly technically inferior amps and still not have to deal with any audible distortion). However, you can't go wrong with it.

It's hard to say any two setups would be equivalent though. The D&D and Kii speakers have very different polar dispersion patterns to passive speakers. Other setups may well sound equivalently good, but really the way the speakers are interacting with the room will be fundamentally different, and this will create an audible difference in any normal case. Arguably almost all amps and DACs sound the same, but almost no two pairs of speakers do.

Anyway, if I were you, I'd decide first which speakers you want to go with.

Then, if they're passive speakers, think about which amp to buy. If they're active speakers like the D&D or Kii 3, problem solved.

But the amp is the wrong place to start from in terms of system design.
 

Theo

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#4
Thank you both for your feedback.
I agree, first place to start are the speakers... And the easy way out is to get the D&D or Kii, that limits the number of variables. However, I must confess that I like the concept of the Devialet interface, including a nice phono stage (nice to have as I kept my LPs) and flexible configuration. Hence my questions. And, as I like measurements, having the best THD numbers is also tempting.
 

graz_lag

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#5

Soniclife

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#6
Anyway, if I were you, I'd decide first which speakers you want to go with.
This, very much this.

I've got the 440 Pro, I think it fully delivers on the promise of effectively perfect sound quality, but I'm sure there a plenty of other options that can do the same, but probably not as neatly.

I'm very interested in the Kii 3 etc, and intend to listen when I can be bothered, but right now I get stunning sound so am not in a rush to mess things up. The performance with vinyl is oddly one of the things that gives me the most pause, I've rarely been truly satisfied with vinyl sound, convinced something is off, I never get that with the Devialet stage. I'm not saying vinyl is better than CD, just that vinyl sounds perfect for vinyl.
 

watchnerd

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#7
There is a measurement site which has done some work on the Devialet amps:
Devialet 130 measurement

I have been curious about the Devialet expert system (not speaking of the Phantom here) for a while. I heard them a few times in Hifi fairs but I believe that the dominant factor were then the speakers and the room, not the amp... so that was not a very worthy experience... I have read a lot of positive feedback and the site confirms an exceptionally low THD value. So here are my questions:
Do you think that a Devialet amp (let's say one 140 model) + a pair of good speakers + some room treatment are equivalent to a D&D or Kii solution? I've noticed that some of you have Devialet amps. Do you use the SAM correction for their speakers?
There are a lot of measurements posted on the Soundstage site. They seem legit, although there is a commercial side to it. What do you think?
Has anyone done their own measurement of Devialet amps?
I have a Devialet Expert 400 dual mono configuration.

The things I like about it:

1. The Roon integration, for me, worked right out of the box and I love the ability of Roon to turn the Expert on remotely. I can use Roon to implement convolutions on the Expert, which is a work-around for the still-forthcoming convolution features of the expert.

2. The software configurable inputs make it an amazing Swiss Army knife able to be adapted to almost any configuration.

3. The remote is pretty cool. Easy to use once you get the hang of it. The iPhone app isn't bad, either, but I prefer the remote.

4. SAM: Devialet implemented 3 different config files for the Dynaudio Contour 20 (port open, port half open, port closed)! I use it SAM at 50% 'on', using the "open port" config.

5. The phono stage is amazing. Sounds very very good, very quiet, amazing low level detailed, and can be configured on the fly.

6. The amplifier itself is just so solid and clean, with detail on par with the best I've ever heard, while still having grunt and a bit of Class A sweetness.

7. The ability to keep adding more units. If I ever want to go to tri-amp, I can. You can also use the dual mono Expert as a dual stereo setup with crossoverless speakers, like Atohm.

8. The ability of Devialet tech support to make custom config files. They're actually working on a reel-to-reel tape EQ set up for me now.

9. Looks sexy

Things I don't like:

1. Configuring via removable SD card instead of a built-in webserver is jackassery. Supposedly going to be improved with the new Core Infinity board.

2. Lack of XLR inputs, although the RCA jacks are actually balanced (supposedly).

3. No headphone jack, so you have to drive cans from the pre-outs. It works just fine, and actually sounds good, but it's goofy.

4. The dark chrome finish smudges like you wouldn't believe. I might have preferred just a nice stainless steel.


Overall, it's not perfect, but it does almost everything I want in 1 box and allowed me to get rid of a rack full of stuff. If they would just finish making the software to go with the new DSP engine to allow for native RAAT, web config, and convolution, I'd have everything I ever really wanted.
 
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graz_lag

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#8
... Overall, it's not perfect, but it does almost everything I want in 1 box and allowed me to get rid of a rack full of stuff. If they would just finish making the software to go with the new DSP engine to allow for native RAAT, web config, and convolution, I'd have everything I ever really wanted.
Devialet was - and still, a pure hi-tech gem to the point that some years ago - Mr. Bernard Arnault, the richest person in Europe and the fourth richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, has been injecting hundreds of millions into the company to consolidate it and further speed up it's development.
Devialet is today part of the LVMH conglomerate, the world's largest luxury-goods company.
Mr. Bernard Arnault, is the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of LVMH.

As a result, no other company in the Hi-Fi industry can today count on the same leverage as Devialet, technically & commercially-wise.
 

Dialectic

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#9
Devialet was - and still, a pure hi-tech gem to the point that some years ago - Mr. Bernard Arnault, the richest person in Europe and the fourth richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, has been injecting hundreds of millions into the company to consolidate it and further speed up it's development.
Devialet is today part of the LVMH conglomerate, the world's largest luxury-goods company.
Mr. Bernard Arnault, is the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of LVMH.

As a result, no other company in the Hi-Fi industry can today count on the same leverage as Devialet, technically & commercially-wise.
As an owner of a Devialet 120 in my second system, I can tell you that, despite all that money, their customer support still stinks, and the AIR feature did not work in my 120 without occasional ear-bleeding white noise for over a year. I'm still not happy with that purchase.
 

watchnerd

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#10
As an owner of a Devialet 120 in my second system, I can tell you that, despite all that money, their customer support still stinks, and the AIR feature did not work in my 120 without occasional ear-bleeding white noise for over a year. I'm still not happy with that purchase.
For some unknown reason, their software development seems far far weaker than their hardware development.

I've seen quicker, better, less buggy feature releases from open source Volumio on Raspberry Pi. Maybe they should just implement it...

As for AIR, I don't use it. Roon on iMac connects to the Expert natively without it.
 

watchnerd

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#11
Devialet was - and still, a pure hi-tech gem to the point that some years ago - Mr. Bernard Arnault, the richest person in Europe and the fourth richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, has been injecting hundreds of millions into the company to consolidate it and further speed up it's development.
Devialet is today part of the LVMH conglomerate, the world's largest luxury-goods company.
Mr. Bernard Arnault, is the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of LVMH.

As a result, no other company in the Hi-Fi industry can today count on the same leverage as Devialet, technically & commercially-wise.
He needs to lean harder on the Expert software team. It's 18 months or more behind schedule.

The new Core Infinity board has all the hardware to do everything Mini DSP does, they just haven't implemented the software yet.
 

graz_lag

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#12
As an owner of a Devialet 120 in my second system, I can tell you that, despite all that money, their customer support still stinks, and the AIR feature did not work in my 120 without occasional ear-bleeding white noise for over a year. I'm still not happy with that purchase.
Did you investigate whether an upgrade might solve the issue ?
The 120 can be upgraded to the 140 Pro or to the 220 Pro ...
 

Dialectic

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#13
That upgrade costs thousands of dollars, more than half the cost of the amp itself. It's kind of a farce. I will not be upgrading.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#14
I have posted this before but why does Devialet insist on doing all their demonstrations at their shops and at shows in such horrible acoustical environments? They never sound good but I cannot separate the contributions of the acoustics from those of the speaker.
 

Frank Dernie

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#15
As a long time Devialet user I am familiar with these.
Devialetchat is a useful source of information but still full of people discussing the SQ effect of firmware updates and complaining that the updates don't include what they want!
I still look at Devialetchat most days but What's best I haven't looked at for months and when I do I find it exasperatingly ridiculous - but that is me.
 

Soniclife

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#16
As an owner of a Devialet 120 in my second system, I can tell you that, despite all that money, their customer support still stinks
My experience is that they are hopeless at software fixes, but they are very good at hardware support.
 

Soniclife

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#17
I have posted this before but why does Devialet insist on doing all their demonstrations at their shops and at shows in such horrible acoustical environments? They never sound good but I cannot separate the contributions of the acoustics from those of the speaker.
Because that's where their marketing division thinks prospective owners live? I don't get it either, seems the best way to minimise sales.
 

Sir Sanders Zingmore

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#18
Thank you both for your feedback.
I agree, first place to start are the speakers... And the easy way out is to get the D&D or Kii, that limits the number of variables. However, I must confess that I like the concept of the Devialet interface, including a nice phono stage (nice to have as I kept my LPs) and flexible configuration. Hence my questions. And, as I like measurements, having the best THD numbers is also tempting.
Just so you know there is a lot of chat on the Devialet forum about the phono stage being noisy with MC cartridges.

I have a Devialet 120 and it’s very nice. As an integrated amp+dac+ phono stage I think it’s pretty good value. The price does go up pretty sharply once you get into the higher models.
I like the form factor too.

The thing that worries me is that there is also a lot of talk on the Devialet forum about their terrible customer service. If something goes wrong I’m concerned about how I would get a pretty complex bit of machinery fixed.

Depending on which model you go for and what speakers you pair it with you will get to the cost of a Kii or D&D setup pretty quickly.
If you like the notion of an all in one system that sounds better (imho) than many far more expensive systems I reckon you should audition the Kiis or D&Ds. They are very good.
 

Dialectic

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#19
I have a Devialet 120 and it’s very nice. As an integrated amp+dac+ phono stage I think it’s pretty good value.
Agreed that it is nice and sounds good. With respect to value, it is good value in the UK and Europe but is much more expensive in the United States and probably in Asia, too.
 

graz_lag

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#20
... With respect to value, it is good value in the UK and Europe but is much more expensive in the United States and probably in Asia, too.
Current prices in France are :
brand new Devialet 120 Expert : 4,500 euros + 800 euros or so for the phono stage
second hand, for machines in excellent cosmetic shape, from 2015 thru 2017 : from 1,500 with no phono stage to 2,600 euros with phono stage

Remember that we have 20% VAT, so you purchase loses the very initial 20% value on the 2nd hand market as soon as you swipe your cc into the POS ...
 

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