It’s always an early one the Devialet press conference on the first day of High End Munich, but it’s always worth dragging your weary arse out of your comfy bed and making the effort to attend and this year was no exception. Now, we live in la Belle France and so we know that the “breakfast” the French provide will be a not unwelcome cup of coffee and a croissant or pain au chocolat and so we filled our faces at the hotel buffet and then made our way to the event…but then who can resist another tasty mouthful and a cuppa when it’s there…certainly not family Hifi Pig.

Many of the great and good had managed to make it including Alan Sircom, Jason from Stereophile and Stephen Rochlin and his wife Heather from Enjoy The Music (all whom were excellent company). I think the highlight of this year’s Munich High End for Lin was when the aforementioned Jason declared Lin “The best dressed press person he had ever encountered”…I think you have a friend for life there Jason.DEV4

Anyway, breakfast over we made our way to the terraces of the Devialet room and were treated to what this exciting and forward thinking French company had by way of innovation in store for us…and we were not disappointed!

SAM LAB and SAM V2

SAM V2 (Son Of Sam i thought would be a great name) extends the effectiveness and allows it to be used with more speakers. Readers will remember from last year that the company introduced SAM (Speaker Active Matching) and SAM LAB now brings the technolgy to any loudspeaker with a portable little box of tricks that is attached to back of the amp and it carries out all the techy gubbins and produces the neccessary SAM file in less than ten minutes (it used to take three days) and without removing the drivers of the speakers as was previously neccessary. The vision is that every speaker in the world will one day be SAMed.DEV2

RAM
This years biggie from Devialet as far as I’m concerned was RAM (Record Active Matching) which is basically a downloadable frimware phonostage that users of the Devialet amps can download…for free! They are calling it the most advanced phonstage avaialble and the specs are impressive.
RAM is avaialble across the Devialet range and allows remote upgrading of the onboard phonostage and it allows you to fiddle with loads of parameters in real time. These parameters include:
Equalisation curves
Mix mode
Maximum level of the cartridge
Loading of the cartridge
This upgrade also allows users access to 11 equqlisation curves from:
AES
NAB
RCA
Columbia
EMI
L’Oiseau Lyre
Telefunken
Capitol
MGM
Esoteric
We have one of their amps here for review and I’ll certainly be putting this feature through its paces in the coming weeks…stay tuned!

MAT DSD Engine
Devialet Expert software now supports DSD 64 in DoP mode on the USB input, plus optical and coaxial S:PDIF and also AES:EBU inputs. This will allow users to use ;dff ;dsf and iso SACD images with a simple download through Devialet’s Confugurator.

PHANTOM
Phantom is an interesting looking and small (ish) loudspeaker with an onboard amp, DAC and pretty much everything you need to get music into your living space…it’s cool, funky and VERY modern looking. It designed and made in france and uses 88 patented technologies. OK, this styling isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but it would be a foolish person who failed to recognize its importance in the marketplace.
Phantom uses ADH (Analogue Hybrid Technology) which is a Devialet invention combining Class A analogue section with a Class D amp. The other major new tech’ herein is Heart Bass Implosion or HBI (another Devialet patented technology). The concept of HBI the chaps doing the presentation tell us is to allow for very low frequencies to be produced from a small unit. The woofers are, we’re told hermetic and function under very high pressure and go down as low as 16Hz. DEV3.1

It’s a sealed box with a concentric driver on the front and comes in two flavours – Phantom and Phantom Silver. Phantom gives out 750 Watts and Silver a gob smacking 3000 Watts.
The guys doing the presentation were streaming from the bespoke app and again this is an impressive bit of kit. You can stream to one speaker in one room, stream different tunes to a Phantom in another room, have all the Phantoms in the house playing the same music…like I said, it’s impressive. Equally impressive is that it appears (it was on the live “screenshots” from his tablet) that one of the two French chaps doing the presentation has not only the relatively standard dining room, living room and kitchen set up, but also a dungeon – I suppose if you’re going to have a dungeon, you will need to have great tunes playing in it to drown out the screaming.
Joking aside, the Phantom was very good sounding, if a little over-pushed in the less than ideal demonstration space and it will be popular for those who don’t want the hifi to dominate their living space and with its specially made carry case (called Cocoon) you can pack it away and take it on your holidays or wherever you please. It also has a dedicated stand you can put it on and even a wall-mounting doodad. There’s a lot of thought gone into this and they will shift huge numbers of them.

We also got the opportunity to take a listen to the recently SAMed B&W Nautilus on the end of several of the Devialet amplifiers and it was very impressive indeed. DEV1

OK, we know that Devialet is not going top be to everyone’s taste but it cannot be denied that they are innovative and forward thinking in the extreme. Yes, they have a lot of money behind them and some will not like this, but whatever your thoughts, it’s clear they are looking to take over the world so that every day everyone will own Devialet.

Read all our High End 2015 coverage in one place

Stu

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