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Devialet Expert 200 Amplifier, DAC and Streamer Review

TimF

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#42
So like sawing the magician's assistant in half, there really wasn't any magic. The old elixirs utilized alcohol or cocaine or some such tomfoolery and snappy marketing. Still, I found the magician's assistant comely.
 

Tks

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#46
Okay, so the recent iFi didn't wow me with the performance, but I thought overall for the price and time of release, and it's looks make up for it pretty well to the degree it grew on me pretty well.

This device is going the opposite way. The more I look at it, the more I think someone over there was inspired by the aesthetic of body weight scales.. Sure as heck feels like the best way to operate the thing would be to hover over it to get a look at the display..

 
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#47
a lot of people in France like me don't have any sympathy for this brand ....their marketing, their very high opinion of themselves, their patent policy (most of the time buy back or royalty free) they pretend to reinvent the wheel every month ....


https://www.lesechos.fr/thema/articles/devialet-un-mix-entre-brevets-et-secrets-133348
"To protect his technology, there are four aspects: patent, secret, speed and brand," introduces Quentin Sannié, co-founder of Devialet. His company, created in 2007 with Pierre-Emmanuel Calmel, Mathias Moronvalle and Emmanuel Nardin, has established itself as one of the world leaders in high-end sound systems. With nearly 108 patents registered in ten years for all its technologies and a new registration every month, Devialet has set up a well-functioning intellectual property strategy. "It is necessary to develop quickly and deliver the technology to the market as quickly as possible. It's an ongoing race," summarizes Quentin Sannié.
Culture of secrecy

To do so, the company benefits from the sound advice of Lavoix, a firm specializing in intellectual property, but also from in-house expertise. Electronics, acoustics, signal processing, mechanics, each element can be protected. "We tend to patent major functional principles," summarizes Quentin Sannié.

For the rest, the company imposes secrecy on itself, particularly in terms of execution. The important thing is to find the right balance. "Instead of revealing, we hide, we don't explain. It's the black box, and the majority of what we do," explains the entrepreneur. The company plays a subtle double game, with a few areas of transparency to reassure investors and not leave customers completely in the dark.

As far as the patent is concerned, Quentin Sannié readily admits that it is above all "a deterrent device". Even if the competition is almost nil and Devialet has thus, more or less, never had to assert its rights.
A technology impossible to copy

The Phantom loudspeaker alone has 80 patents. The integrated computer embeds algorithms that will adapt the signal to the characteristics of the loudspeaker according to the music. To secure these algorithms, Devialet first protects the device. There is software everywhere and it is always linked to other patentable aspects," explains the entrepreneur. Our software drives a mechanical device, there's no point in using it alone. »

"The person who applies our patent is not going to be able to apply our technology," says Quentin Sannié. Clearly, a patent alone is useless without Devialet's know-how. "The complexity of what we do lies in the fact that software is linked to mechanical devices," says the co-founder. But paradoxically, Quentin Sannié says that his company may well not patent anything because the technology he claims is almost impossible to copy.

I fully agree with you and thank you very much for this revealing excerpt!

I read from different sources that their Phantom speakers don't have a flat, high-fidelity FR, but a "euphonic"one... (but they were highly praised by "Darko"...) .

It is interesting that they are financed by billionaires like Bernard Arnault (one of the richest persons of the world) , Xavier Niel (owner of a large part of the French telecom), and I see it as an indication of the kind of people buying their stuff, looking for expensive stuff with a fashionable design. They are more kind of a "fortune" company, easily raising 50 millions when they went into the Chinese market.

On the other hand there are truly great French companies like Focal, whose products I value a lot, and I love what Focal's CEO had to sneak about Devialet in a Stereophile interview...,
enjoy this :

I ask him about his feelings—in the general sense—about fellow audio companies. "We need competitors. For sure, we hate some of them, because they—" he pauses for a moment, choosing his next words carefully, ". . . they push the market in a stupid way. We will not give you a name, but it's easy to say: it's a French company who's spending a bunch of money on marketing and not a lot on their products."
taken from the Stereophile interview "A Visit to Focal in France",
https://www.stereophile.com/content/visit-focal-france
 
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direstraitsfan98

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#48
Oh boy. Now it's time to test the Devialet Phantom. Plenty of people using those in studios these days:



Nigel Godrich (Radiohead) portable setup for a gig in France. (Inside to outside: Yamaha NS-10M, Genelec 1031A, Devialet Gold Phantom.)
I don't think the fact this recording studio has phantoms in it means much. Whoever is mixing and using those is probably just seeing how the music sounds on a high end bluetooth speaker. More people use bluetooth speakers then studio monitors or traditional hifi systems... by many many order of magnitude.
 
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#49
I don't think the fact this recording studio has phantoms in it means much. Whoever is mixing and using those is probably just seeing how the music sounds on a high end bluetooth speaker. More people use bluetooth speakers then studio monitors or traditional hifi systems... by many many order of magnitude.
Definitely, and it helps to know what you're listening to. With this setup I would assume that the Genelecs are for high-end and overall translation, Yamahas are for the midrange, and Devialet are for the bass. Switch between them and you have a nice perspective.
 

GXAlan

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#50
https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/i...&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements&Itemid=153

The Devialet Phantoms are only good if you want a high end Spotify or Tidal or Airplay speaker that is easy for everyone to use. It gives a lot of bass for its size. They really took the Harman knowledge to heart (bass performance captures a lot of subjective preference.)

The problem is that the marketing and price points never lived up to the hype and the current 2.0 software is a big drop in performance.

Version 1.0 had some excellent features such as the ability to handle multiple zones with a lot of control. Using their dedicated app, FLACs from your file server would be transferred to the internal memory of the Phantom. You weren’t steaming — it was just copying the file temporarily to internal storage. Bass was great. It didn’t have the output of a Rebel 15” sub, but at musical levels in the 80-90 dB range it was deep and taut.

They dropped that strategy in version 2.0 and it is now purely a streaming device and no longer does multi room properly. EQ and HDMI options never arrived. Bluetooth security was never added.

I think the soundstage measurements are useful. You really do see the bass extension but the midrange dip doesn’t need to be there. The gold differs from the silver/basic with a titanium versus silk dome tweeter.
 

Koeitje

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#53
I spent a lot of time reading reviews on JonnyGuru.com back in the day, and his reviews of what he called "Gutless Wonders", ie. PSU's that were so horrendous you wondered they even powered up, were some of my absolute favourites.
It ended up with JonnyGuru landing a job at Corsair, well deserved in my opinion.
 

Francis Vaughan

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#55
"The person who applies our patent is not going to be able to apply our technology," says Quentin Sannié. Clearly, a patent alone is useless without Devialet's know-how. "The complexity of what we do lies in the fact that software is linked to mechanical devices," says the co-founder. But paradoxically, Quentin Sannié says that his company may well not patent anything because the technology he claims is almost impossible to copy.
Which is an interesting thing for them to say. One of the requirements for a patent is that it contain enough information, and enough clarity, to allow anyone skilled in the art to replicate the invention. Patents get invalidated if they are found not to. Of course you have to have a war-chest brimming with dollars to fight any patent, and given how cashed up they are, they are more likely assuming nobody will go after them for an invalid patent, simply because he can outspend them in court. Which sadly he would have learnt from the US school of patent trolls.
 

renaudrenaud

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#56
I am French and I am so happy this f* s* is now measured and we have the data in our hands. Pure marketing bs, a big shame for our country. This brand is just commercial vomit without any relationship with music. Expansive and visible, brand fetishism, bullshit.
 
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#57
This is a very stable and genius design.
No amplifier made such an impression on Amirm before. Truly the greatest invention since tubes. Amirm doesn't understand zigzags. Everyone says it. The bestest, highest... Price. Very impressive. The bad reviews are just crying poor people. They're scum! I don't know what I had for breakfast... There's a pencil here... I... It's.. You can't beat that.

Oh boy. Now it's time to test the Devialet Phantom. Plenty of people using those in studios these days:



Nigel Godrich (Radiohead) portable setup for a gig in France. (Inside to outside: Yamaha NS-10M, Genelec 1031A, Devialet Gold Phantom.)
It seems like a good setup. The near-field Yamaha is a good reference because it has been around in studios for so long, most experienced mixers will be very familiar with its response. Second, the mid-field Genelec is likely the most linear, accurate monitor that reveals even the smallest flaws.
Both monitors are spectacular for mixing but in no way offer the most enjoyable experience at home. It's likely that Mr. Goodrich uses the Devialet Phantoms at home or he thinks that it's response is a good reference for high end home audio in general.
 

direstraitsfan98

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#58
Before making up your mind about Devialet I think we should give them them the courtesy to make things right somehow. It would be ideal to see them A. Replace the broken/defective unit B. Explain why it broke C. Repair the defective unit or send Amir a new sample to test.

This is all assuming that the amplifier was indeed defective which I would like to give Devialet the benefit of the doubt. The alternative is just... depressing. I would like to imagine that this amplifier isn’t one of the worst things in hifi... I really do not like the idea that Devialet is actually marketing and touting a bull crap design. That would be, like I said, depressing on so many levels. I actually admire(d???) this company so I want to give them a chance.
 

BDWoody

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#59
Before making up your mind about Devialet I think we should give them them the courtesy to make things right somehow. It would be ideal to see them A. Replace the broken/defective unit B. Explain why it broke C. Repair the defective unit or send Amir a new sample to test.
I also wonder how many of these issues they may have figured out themselves, leading to an upgrade to the Expert 220 Pro. I'd be surprised if they even offer to fix these older units, vs just doing the upgrade, especially looking at some of that crazy dancing going on with those graphs.

The poor panther...just...too much to bear.

Hopefully they will join in and we will see.
 
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#60
There's a setting called, I think, DPM, which does some sort of power management. This might be switched on by default in your unit. I understand most owners prefer this setting off. It could be causing weirdies.
 
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