The Devialet 200 Review. HiFi at its finest.
I have not written a Hi-Fi review in a while, and for good reason. What might be that reason you ask? Well, it is basically because I purchased a new DAC/AMP/PHONO STAGE/CONTROL center and have been so blown away by it I wanted to wait months before I wrote about it because I had to know if it had the stamina to stay with me. Usually, with me, if any kind of audio gear doesn’t cut it for ANY reason, it goes and is sold within 1-3 months. If a piece can stick with me for more than a few months then chances are it is not going anywhere. To reach this status with me, the piece has to be amazing, has to be special and has to be something I never want to part with (for at least a couple of years).
I found such a piece and boy, it is quite special.
I am talking about the revolutionary Devialet 200. When I first saw these in the form of the D-Premier I blew them off as (I assumed) they used class D amps and the class D Wadia Intuition I tried was NOT good at all. Dry, low power, stale, and flat. I figured this was the same, but yep, I was wrong.
So off I went… I searched for this thing that I was hearing such amazing things about and I found a local dealer here in AZ, which was awesome. They let me take one home for a few days so I could test it for myself. That dealer was Esoteric Audio AZ. They had no idea who I was yet I walked in and they handed me a bag with a Devialet 200 in it. They said “take it home and make sure it works before you buy it”. Wow. No drivers license copy, nothing. THAT was trust and I am not sure I would do that if I ran a HiFi business with expensive items. But they trusted me and I took it home to test it out.
First impressions were “WOW, this is GORGEOUS”! It was slim, and had the looks of an expensive item yet it was also simplistic. The remote is hefty, made of metal and has a huge round DIAL which takes me back to the analog days when we had bug round knobs on our audio gear. I immediately thought “This may look beautiful but I have a feeling it is going to sound harsh and sterile”. In any case, I hooked it up to my then Sonus Faber Amati Futura speakers and away I went.
BAM! The speakers took on a new level of control, bass slam and even some detail, and boy was I wrong! This amp is actually a tad WARM sounding and in no way was it COLD sounding. I thought it was going to be Analytical but it was neutral with a touch of warmth. The Sonus Faber speakers are also warm so it could be the speakers but I found there was a good synergy there between the two. As I let it play on and as I tested familiar material I was wowed by this device. The sound bested my Audio Research VSi 75 tube amp and what it offered meant I could sell a DAC, CD player, Phono Stage and some cables to scrape up more cash to make a purchase if I decided to do so. All you need with this Devialet is a digital cable of some sort (USB, COAX, etc) or if you prefer, NO cables as the WiFi implementation is stellar. This piece begs for a wireless digital streaming solution. Simplicity. No big money interconnects or DAC’s or Phono Stages. It’s all here in one beautifully made piece.
The Cost of a Devialet 200, $9,000? WHOA!
When one looks at the Deviant 200 and sees the $9k price tag they assume it is priced way too high. IN fact, now that I have owned one for many months and have used it daily and put over 1000 hours on it I consider the $9k to be a deal. I think it is a tad underpriced for what it offers.
Let me explain this:
1. You can get rid of most analog interconnects here, and some of us own $1500-$5k interconnects. When I bought my Devialet I sold some interconnects and was able to bring in $3200 towards the purchase. I no longer needed the interconnects as the Devialet does best with a simple digital cable or wireless connection.
2. No DAC is needed. No CD player is needed. IN fact, this piece is drop dead amazing with my Mac Mini streaming my files via a Nordost USB Cable. I sold a DAC and CD Player and took in another $10k.
3. No need for a Phono Stage. Over the past 20 years I have tried or owned so many Phono Stages and was never 100% happy with ANY of them. I have tested $100 units and $6000 units. All were lacking in some way. The Devialet has a very special Phono Stage built in that takes your analog signal and converts it to digital but the results is the best I have heard Vinyl sound in my home in 20 years. My search for a superb Phono Stage is over. I sold my existing one for $1400. It woks with ANY type of cartridge. ANY.
4. The Devialet runs in Class A until a certain volume is reached, then it kicks in to class D. I have found over any volume range from low to high the sound is MY perfect sound. Rich, detailed, a tad warm and fat, nice soundstage, good air and never ever analytical, even with analytical speakers. It will also drive just about anything I have thrown at it.
5. This Devialet sounds better than my old AR VSi 75 which was a $9000 tube amp. It plays my files from my Mac Mini better than my $13k Audio Research CD9 did. IN MY SYSTEM and ROOM of course but think about that. With this system you get an all in one that sounds like a $50k set of separates in many cases, as long as there is Synergy with your speakers.
Yes, $9,000 is a deal. It also cleans up your audio rack or space. I now have my Devialet 200, Mac Mini and a Rega Turntable. Pretty much the best sound I have had in my room to date. I use Nordost Valhalla speaker cable, a Nordost Heimdall USB and that is it. I no longer own the Sonus Faber speakers (too large for my room – too much of a good thing) but have found a perfect match for the Devialet in Wilson Benesch Vector speakers. This combo is the refined version of what I loved so much about my Line Magnetic/Sonus Faber combo. It is better in all ways, and that is saying a lot. Cleaner, more impact, more dynamic, better vocals and mids, everything.
When one invests into a Hi-Fi system and starts to spend crazy money…well, they want the best for their room and tastes. Some can start to spend $30, 40, 50, 100K on their system and still be unhappy. With a Devialet as the main hub, just add speakers and a source and you are done. It would be easy to create a system coasting a total of $15k that sounds like a $30k system using other componets. I should know, I have done it and tested it.
How does it sound?
Mac Mini Music Server
Rega P6 Turntable with Exact Cartridge
Nordost Valhalla Speaker Cables
Nordost Heimdall USB
Nordost Heimdall Power Cord
Quantum QX4 and Wireworld Power cable for the Deviate itself
Sonos System with Deezer Streaming Service
Wilson Benesch Vector Speakers
The sound coming from this setup is rich, BIG, detailed, coherent, spacious, LARGE, sweet, REAL, and with pinpoint imaging..oh, and EFFORTLESS. Low volume or scary high volume that can get to near concert levels the sound is distortion free and offers all of what I just described. When I listed I like a spacious sound with a scary good midrange for vocals. Putting on Leonard Cohens latest and playing “Show Me The Place” gave me goosebumps. Leonard was IN MY ROOM with the most eery and real vocals I have ever heard being reproduced in my room and sitting in my listening chair. With the lights out it was like an intimate private performance. Chilling. These Wilson Benesche Speakers are fantastic. They offers the warmth of Sonus Faber, the Detail of Magico and an organic bass and rich sound. Not sure how it combined all of that into one design but man, they are beautiful and a perfect match with the Devialet. They can do ANY music with precision, even crappy 80’s Rock songs sound big, rich and full with amazing sonics. I have never heard some of my songs sound so good. What was unlistenable on other systems is flat out INSANE on this one. Nothing sounds bad, nothing sounds artificial.
My speakers came from AZ HiFi in Central Phoenix. 100% Recommended and my fave HiFi store ever.
So the Devialet sound is in no way hard, cold, over detailed or sterile. It is the opposite, and is pretty amazing how they achieved it. It is, for me at least, a tad on the warm rich side of neutral but maybe only 5% to that side of neutral. PERFECT for my tastes as I hate cold and sterile and thin. The Devialet can play at whisper levels or concert levels and still remain composed and yes, it even runs on the cool side, only getting slightly warm.
I have loved Tube Amps forever and I swore I would never go to back to Solid State. Ever.
I was wrong.
No way I can sell this Devialet unless I was getting out of HiFi altogether. Nothing else in this price range will give me what it does and I feel I would have to spend $20k to beat it. There are so many details about this amp but they have been talked about in other reviews. Things like the customizable phono stage that will take ANY cartridge of ANY type. The remote that can be used in other rooms to control the volume. The fact that there are updates on a regular basis to improve the performance. SAM for speaker matching and many other cool features. There has never been anything like this and the Wadia Intuition can not hold a candle to this piece, not even close (I had both in my system). I have tested it and it was awful for me. Cold, harsh, flat and underpowered. The opposite of the Devialet.
I can only imagine what the dual mono version sounds like but I do not need it as the 200 gives me all I need and then some. I have yet to hear it sound bad and I have had it hooked up to several speakers, bookshelf and floor standers.
I will tell everyone now that the combo of the Devialet and Vector speakers is a match made in heaven. 😉
You can see the Devialet web site HERE for more info. You can visit AZ HiFi on Facebook HERE and you can visit Esoteric Audio HERE.
I got my D-Premier on Dec-21, 2010. Yup, not very long after the French founders pushed the first units off their workshop. I was living in Hong Kong back then and had read universal rave reviews about the amp. At the time, I had British Cyrus (of the Mission stable) amps fitted to Infinity speakers and I didn’t know at the time the base notes were not fully delivered by my 12-year old assembly. I took the tested the D-Premier in the dealer’s listening room and fixed the amp up with 4 different brands of standing speakers and found the German brand Canton’s Reference series to my liking. Long story short, the base notes came out like sheets of air, every single layer. None of that “blobby” base delivery of my old set. My niece swore she heard a singer took an inopportune breath in one of her songs. I was so distracted by its beauty that I dragged my heels on registering my set on Devialet’s website. When I finally did so some 3-4 years after my purchase, I’d realised that my dealer had delivered to me their demo unit instead of a production unit. I approached the dealer about this but the sales guy had long left and I wasn’t exactly too outraged seeing as I have had a wonderful 4 years. My only gripe was that my demo unit had a different serial number series and hence I could not register to get online firmware updates. I contacted Paris directly and their best advice was to send the amp back and they would update the innards physically to recalibrate it to what essentially would be a production-unit D-Premier. Seeing as they don’t product the this granddaddy of their amps anymore, and this being a demo unit, there was something to be said about it’s provenance and I easily convinced myself that in another 15 years, my unit would be a rare find – if still working. It’s still working swimmingly and it’s for keeps.
Started working on replacing my 30 year old system two years ago. I briefly considered tubes and vinyl (call it nostalgia) but finely settled on Hi-Res audio files and Devialet 120 (soon to be upgraded to Pro 220). I pickup my Devialet 120 last weekend and currently have it driving my 30 year old B&W Matrix 2 speaks. I have driven these speakers with a few different amp over the years and untill not the best i had ever heard i sound was when driven by a Audio Fidelity A1 amp.
These speakers must be wondering is behind they pushing to new highs. They have never sounded anywhere near this great. I will soon retire them as my Audio-Reno project progress (looking a Magico S1 MKII).
Would not categorize myself as an audiophile, but I have listened to a number of good amps and systems over the years and the Devialet is a class by itself. Can not wait to get it upgraded to the Pro220 as it would appear to a great upgrade on an already great amp.
Congrats on the 120!
The best $10k I’ve ever spent on anything. Bought a D-Premier for $6k and upgraded it to the 250. I have to agree with everything that you have said. My speakers are modest, the Gallo Ref. 3s. With this amp it’s as if the speakers are nowhere to be seen. I have never experienced this before; even in the back room of an audio shops.
I’m wondering what is the cabinet where you have your HiFi set up?
Hi steve i love your review, i bought dev200 2 months ago paired with sonus faber venere 2.5; i m in heaven ,very satisfied with the sound after a years of upgrade . A part from 2 points:1-sometimes with some tracks the sound tends towards boomy
2-i just find out that some smell of smoke came out from the amp, and found out that it is a common problem for dev200 only, and it s coming from the output power filter. The smell is on and off, but it s there! So i need to mail devialet and probably shipped it to france!a part of that the amp is a joy!
Well, well, well Steve. I think you failed when you did not give the Phantom system enough time and consideration. I cannot fathom that your new Mc gear betters this system. Phantom plays bigger than real life. I think you have put yourself back into audio hell, most of us have been there, and I would have a mental breakdown if I had to suffer that again. Listen and cherish your music with Phantom, you will never look back. You are listening to components again, you know better.
I tried the Phantom. It’s a great system – the future of high end audio. BUT it did not come close to what I have in my office. So for that reason, I skipped. Side by side, was no contest.
To be honest, your review is full of shit! Please Look back what you write and the wording you used for the Devialet 200, what you say about it…. Now you use exactly same way to describe your new system! its pretty disgusting! All you do just put your most beautiful words into every review and make them eye catching!! You don’t even know HiFi very well… Seriously, don’t put your self into extremely every time you write a review, save some space for your next review/bullshit!
get real and just enjoy the music.
sour grapes, go try it for yourself and be honest, you will be amazed.
i now use 2 LE200’s into a pair of Boenicke W8 speakers.
Go try them and i challenge you not to be impressed.
Hi Steve Thanks for the review. I really enjoyed it. Are you still in love with Devialet / Wilson Benesch? Or did you find something better?
GUess you have not read my latest HiFi reviews 😉 The Devialet lasted 1 1/2 years, until I met the McIntosh MA8000. What I have now will be with me for many years, it is the 1st ever system that I am in no way tiring of or looking to enhance with cables or tricks. I want for nothing in my system. Focal Sopra 2, MA8000, MT5, MT450 and the McIntosh 150 DAC. Nordost Heimdall 2 cables throughout.
oh.. sorry.. just read your new reviews congrats Steve great reviews again unfortunately.. because I wanted to buy the Devialet 200 and the WB or the B&W 804 D3 (what do you think about the 804 D3) in the next couple of weeks. It looks like i’m going to have a meeting with a McIntosh/Focal dealer instead. With 3 kids, the price of this dream is heavy. Since it is my first big hifi equipment i really appreciate your reviews/experience.
It looks like the Sopra 2 need some space. Will they be ok in a small listening room (20 m2)? Thanks again. Chris
1st of all, my Sopra #2’s re in a SMALL 12X12 foot room and they sound heavenly. No issues, no bass boom, nothing. Just sweet, amazing huge sound with a sweetness about it I have not heard elsewhere. As I said – these will be going no where as with each week that goes by, I love them more and more. So my Audio review days may be over 😉 The new B&W’s are nice. My local dealer has them but I have only SEEN them, not heard them yet. At this level (Devialet, McIntosh, Focal, B&W) it’s tough to make a bad choice 😉
Just visiting your reviews….for many years to come….and after a couple of months the Phantom Golds. Enjoy.
You have just discredited every single one of your reviews. Worthless.
Can’t afford the Devialet 200 but I went for a pair of Devialet Phantom speakers. I have never heard such detail coming out from these speakers. I sold my Plinius 9200 and B&W 805S to finance this purchase and I am so thrilled. I wish I could compare this to the Devialet 200 system to hear the difference. No speaker wires, can be placed anywhere in the house and you can control up to 24 speakers from your phone using the Dialog controller. You can put as many music files that your phone can load to play and can connect to Tidal etc thru wifi. As an entry level Devialet system, this can be a game changer in audio as the sound can compete favorably with any system with the same price level.
Ive tried the Phantom speakers for a couple days in my house. Did not like them as much as my Devialet with speakers (now my McIntosh and speakers which cost much much more than the phantoms of course) and therefore they were not for me but they are insanely cool and sound phenomenal for what they are and for what they cost. Beautiful as well. Devialet is doing amazing things. Congrats. One day when I size down I will probably go to a Phantom, whatever version they are on by then.
Hi Steve, have you upgraded to the D400 yet ? I bought a 200 after reading your review and attending an open day here in the uk and boy I was amazed. It has replaced my Krell Evolution power amplifier.
Nope, not yet. One day maybe 😉 Glad you are enjoying it. The Devialet is so unique and GOOD. The fact that it replaced your Krell Evolution says it all!
Which model of krell evo are you using? I am using a krell evo402e and I am thinking of upgrading it. How is the devialet 200 compared to krell evo’s sound? Thanks!
Thank you for doing such an excellent review! I’ve been trying to find a solution like this for some time. You worked through my exact frustrations. I’ve settled on the le120 and am waiting for it to arrive. My system will be the Rega RP40, and Harbeth C7ES3 speakers. I’m going to keep this review open for my wife to read when it arrives…
Ahhhh! Nice speakers and table! YOU WILL love the Devialet.
Saw your review on the Yamaha as3000 and I ordered the amp. Now I see you are in love with Devialet 200. Is it much better than the Yamaha as3000 integrated amp?
Yamaha 3000 is awesome, when it worked. Mine was just a fluke though I am sure. The Devialet is a completely different beast. Both are stellar pieces of Audio gear.
Thanks for the review, Steve. I’m in Scottsdale and have been using four TacT S2150 amps to drive Nola Grand Reference speakers via DSP crossovers, without any upstream D/A conversion. They are phenomenal, and were designed by a genius well ahead of his time, but the Devialet amplifiers are on most definitely on the radar when I decide to upgrade and/or the TacT amps fail as they are no longer in business sadly.
Thanks for the review Steve!
Im looking at purchasing the Wilson Vectors. Are you still enjoying them?
I am planning on looking at a Devialet later on so if the synergy is great it will definitely make my decision easier.
Great synergy. Best I have heard in my room was the Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolutions, then Vectors. Different sound signatures with the Vectors being more neutral and the SF’s being more huge and bigger sounding, better soundstage and imaging, etc. But they are nearly 2X the cost. But yes, the Devialet is amazing and has freak synergy with the Vectors.
I’ve had my Devialet 200 for a couple months and am also blown away. My Rockport Altair speakers have never sounded so good and lifelike in my system with my previous amps (VAC Phi 300 tube , Pass Labs XA 100.5 monoblocks). People tell me I could probably use another Devi 200 to make it a true 400 watt monoblock setup but quite frankly it sounds so amazing that I can’t imagine the sound would improve that much and I have more SPL than I’ve had with any amp.
Like Steve I was able to replace thousands of $$ in DAC, a phono stage and cabling. It’s quite astonishing if you knew the DAC, Upsampler, & Clock that the Devialet bested. I also recently replaced my Mac Mini as a music server with an Aurender N100H streamer and that took the system to the next level. Highly recommended.
Is anyone following Meridian’s new MQA technology? I just read about it here, http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/beyond-high-resolution/?utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-398.
Steve good afternoon , I have learnt so much about photos on your website , and i hope than in return you can listen to an audio expert. Unless you are into a monochromatic sound, the Devialet 200 does not play music and their Phantom series is an insult to Bose and Sonos.
Please take my advice before your credibility in audio fades out, there is a world our there of speakers and amplifiers that can stream or play music from $2500.00
It is an old story a lot of audiophiles have already upgraded their Devialet system
Check this out http://forum.hificritic.com/yaf_postst3977findunread_Devialet-Review-in-HIFICRITIC.aspx#post26388
You have no clue then as I have listened to over 1 million worth of hifi in my home – from “to die for tube amps and pre amps” to something like this, and I have never had better sound than what I get from the Devialet 200. Has soul, magic, air, depth, holographic imaging, and all I need and want. Pair it up correctly and you will never want anything else. You may want the “illusion” of something with bug tunes and fancy dials, but it will not sound any better. I am an audio expert as well. 20 years.
I am amused by your reply, is the picture of the system above yours? I can list a multitude of things that are wrong with this, as i said if you like a chrome color sound, this is fine.
I owned a 170 for 2 weeks and could not wait to get my refund, which I got with some difficulty. I spend a lot of time in recording studios so, when at home i like good honest playback.
I too chucked my fancy amp, DAC, preamp and phono stage for the D200. The Devialet is a paradigm shifter! What it has achieved sonically and technologically is revolutionary. It’s quite tricky to set up to achieve optimum sound. You have to have the right firmware (7.1.3) and precise configuration. For example; turn off all unused inputs, turn off DPM, turn off AIR if not being used and ensure you have clean and unrestrained power. Isolating the unit from vibrations (Stillpoints) significantly improves transparency and purity. Follow these basic rules and tweaks and you will be rewarded with a sound that transcends electronics and hi-fi! With Devialet, you subconsciously stop listening to the equipment; because you’re too mesmerized by the beauty of music! I’m running out of socks. They keep being blown off by Devialet!
Bruce you cast a lot of stones with your blanket statements. You talk loudly and carry a small stick from my perspective.
After lots of soul-searching, I have decided to go lower power tube/valve … DECware Zen amp, to be specific, accompanied by high efficiency speakers. It’s ridiculously cheap compared to the silly money for the Devialet and similar. And, after all, all music is ANALOG!
Have you guys checked out the aurender music servers? The n10 is supposed to be the bomb (when it comes out in June). …. http://www.aurender.com/page/audiophile
I recently purchased the Aurender N100H (2TB of internal disk) to hook up to my Devialet 200. Easily beats the sound of my Mac Mini/Pure Music combo. You’ll need to purchase an iPad or iPad mini as your remote control which you can pick up from Apple refurb for under $200. It’s well worth it as the Aurender remote interface on the iPad is robust and intuitive to use.
If you’re not already using the Tidal music subscription service, take advantage of the free 30-day trial to give it a try after you get your Aurender. The integration of Tidal with the Aurender streamers is remarkable, Not to mention you can listen to your Tidal playlists anywhere you have Internet access (car, business trips, vacation, etc.). If you have a good system, opt for the Tidal HiFi (Lossless) option. A little more money but the sound quality is Redbook CD level. Hoping Tidal offers hi-rez in the future.
Thank you for your helpful review.
Like you i am a tube person (Primaluna Dialogue II coupled with Living Voice IBX-RW), happy with the sound i am getting.
I am seriously considering buying the Devialet 120 (or the 200), auditioned them at the dealer showroom (and really liked them), but not at home.
Wonder if you could elaborate a little more on the transition to the Devialet 200, from your great AR vsi 75. Do you get the warm mid-range? What sounds better now? Are there any things you miss ?
Devialet all the way. Best piece of HIFi I have ever owned, used or tested.
I spend money after visiting your reviews. I am building a hifi system. I’m new to the game as far as “big boy” hifi stuff. Thank you for opening my eyes to a lot of things including the Devialet 200 (and the A7S, lenses too many to count, and a sweet leather bag with purple velvet interior). My intentions are to build a system very similar to yours…Mac Mini with hi res files, vinyl, and stream when the mood is right.
I’m curious about a couple of things:
What cables do you run from the turntable to the Devialet?
Do you use a AC power source like a Furman (or something similar)?
Is the manual to the Devialet user friendly? It appears there are many ways to configure it.
My Rega has built in interconnects, so I use those. I use a Nordost QB8 and QX4 for my power needs and love them. The Devialet is as easy as counting to 10.
Hi Steve, me again…
I am curious as to how you choose to play your hi res files from your Mac Mini. Do you us iTunes or something else?
Hi Steve, Me again…
I am curious as to what you choose to use to listen to your hi res files from your Mac Mini. iTunes or something else?
I tried 4-5 different software programs and at the end of the day the Devialet worked best with iTunes.
Thanks. Sorry about the redundant messages.
It seems my comment didn’t go through.
Can you please verify how loud is the amp when in standby mode?
I have heard it is quite loud, and I wonder what’s the point of having low output noise when you get one from the device itself?
Well at long last I managed to hear a 200 and compared it to the naim gear I mentioned in an earlier post.Liked what I heard.All the detail of the naim but not so in your face and a lot less shelf space so I’ve got a 200 on order.Another plus point is my speakers aren’t samed but the newer version of them is and apparently it’s only the cabinet shape that’s different so I should be able to use the newer speakers Sam settings on mine.
I absolutely HATE this kind of writing! Now do I not only have to save up for some new power, but have to figure out a way to get it past the CFO! 🙂
A bit of background … I’m a recovered professional photographer; when I got started I shot Olympus OM, Rollei SL66 with Zeiss glass, Leica M3 with 21SA, 50DR and 90 Summicron. I eventually acquired a Toyo 45A with three Fujinon lenses. When I left the business (I just wasn’t good at the business end of things,) I sold the Leica and Rollei gear, sticking with Olympus (I’ve since acquired some Oly rangefinder gear, as well as the odd piece of Konica and Nikon gear just for fun,) and I’ve moved from the relatively heavy Toyo to a Chamonix 45-2N. Now that I just shot for myself, I’m much happier.
All along I’ve had the music and audio bug, just like so many other photographers. Personally, I think as visual people we just need the balance of well reproduced music in our lives.
Right now I’m living with mostly mid-fi gear, the only really nice piece I have are a pair of DCM Time Window 1a speakers, which I bought used for a song. The sources, DAC and power don’t really do them justice, and they serving dual purpose — music and audio for TV/multichannel. To do the speakers and the dual A/V purpose justice, I would have to spend some really serious cash and integrate lots of sources. I don’t have the budget or the patience.
So I was thinking I would need two systems, and that the 2-channel system really needed valves. (In fact I have a Fisher 500C in the basement, so I have analog FM plus an old Pioneer DVD player that spins SACD. It’s not bad, but it’s not really HIGH FI — the downstairs speakers aren’t really a good match.
So now as to this Devialet — it seems like it would solve a lot of issues in the main system. So thank you very much for costing me so much money! 🙂
Lol, well believe me..it is worth it. I am 100% thrilled with it even after many months of daily use. First piece of audio gear I have never gotten the itch to sell off. Pretty amazing in every way IMO.
Have you considered bi wiring or bi amping the Vectors?
Some notes from my experience of Devialet here in the UK.
Firstly, I run Sonus Faber G Evos. I auditioned the D170 (now D200) against an AR LS17/REF75 combo and after two hours concluded that the D170 was indeed better for my tastes in music (jazz, female vocal, etc). A real bargain then? I then compared the D170 with a D240 (now D250). That took 30 seconds! The D240 blew the D170 out of the water on pure sound quality – unbelievably better!! So I bought the D240 that same day.
Now to today.
The D240 is a D250 and I added a D250 slave to make D800 mono-blocks. What an upgrade!!!, and absolutely unbelievable sound. Then Devialet provided SAM for the Sonus Faber G Evos. Blimey, at least another octave in bass! The D800 is seriously the best amp I ever hope to hear. Expensive, yes, but what a system!! 🙂
I happen to own a similar combo with a Devialet 250 and Wilson Benesch Vector, fed by a PS Ausio P10. I have owned this for 2.5 years and I am blown away every single time. I have never heard any system whatever its price, coming close to this level of sound quality. Simply out of this world.
Besides, we will get SAM support for the Vector in a few days, it should get even better!
I will do.I’ll miss my Einstein but due to the heat from the valves and class a power amp stage it tools up a lot of shelf space.
I was looking to upgrade my Einstein absolute tune integrated amp to a naim 282/supercap/250.2 amps but like what you say about the dvla 200 so will get a demo of one.Does it play techno/dance well as I like the way the naim does that type of music?
The 200 is amazing with that type of music. I am listening to mine as I type this and every day I am blown away buy it. This is the 1st piece where I have had it for quite a while where my ears do not get used to the sound. Many times when we own amps over time we start to feel like we want something better or different. Not with this 200. It’s hands down jaw dropping and I am currently saving to add a 2nd to make it a 400 mono block version. May take me a year but this is one amp I will not be getting rid of. It has bested everything I threw at it, including a piece double its cost. The sound coming out of my speakers is heavenly with ALL types of music from horribly master 70s and 80s music to dance, metal, rock, jazz, vocal, ambient, and everything in between. Even trebly punk rock recordings from the 80’s sound good through this. I have been to over a dozen hi fi shops in my time and never have I heard a better sounding setup than what is in my room right now (wilson benesch speakers, nerdiest cables, and devialet). You simply can not go wrong here. I would 100% demo it.
Hello Steve, the Devialet sounds great! I heard it yesterday at an audio dealer. A lot of resolution, like listening to a megapixel audio file!
I have modded my sonos with a new digital clock. The one sonos uses is a commercial one and creates a lot of jitter on the digital out. If you do you have great black backgrounds, a lot of detail and a stable stereo image! This will Mach great with your Devialets resolution! PM for the possibilities in Holland, Germany or the US. Fun part, it won’t set you back a lot of mony.
Have you done any special mods to your Mac Mini? What’s the benefit, if any, of a Mac Mini vs. a MacBook Pro (if both are set-up the same i.e. running Bit perfect, Amarra or some other tools)?? Have you tried the same set-up as Jeff Fritz over at Ultra Audio (streaming to router which is connected to the Devialet via Ethernet?)
Great review Steve, I’m a Devialet 200 owner and agree with your views. An added bonus is that with SAM (Speaker Amplifier Matching) processing applied via the Devialet my speakers (sonus faber Cremona M), benefit from what amounts to a turbo boost. The easy and extra cost-free updatability of the amp, such as the move from 170-200, and the addition of SAM are also a huge benefit.
Great review on the Devialet… then again, I really enjoy all your reviews; you introduce gobs of passion in what you write. Funny thing is that I’m shopping for new gear right now and I was thinking Line Magnetic… then again, I’ve always been interested in the Dev. You’ve described both very nicely… there are many reviews out there on the Dev, but since you and I have similar taste in HIFI, I take what you say very seriously. Are you still as passionate about your purchase decision? I have 96dB speakers and don’t require much connectivity, so the 120 would be perfect for me.
Loving the Devialet more than ever..it is pretty incredible in just about every way. It is lacking in nothing as far as I am concerned and I have never been able to say that about any piece of audio gear 🙂
Can you play a Cd with a computer using AIR and get bit perfect async playback? I have a log of cd’s which I do not wan’t to waste time ripping.
I think air is for streaming iTunes only. Do not think you can play CD’s in this way but I have not tried it as I do not have a CD drive on my Mac Mini. But I am sure it is not designed for this. You can hook up a CD player to the digital input of the Devialet of course.
I have a question that I hope you can answer.
A great review of a wonderful amplifier. I have the dual mono 400 and use it to drive a pair of Wilson-Benesch ACT 1 s – now that is a match made in Heaven! The dual mono adds that bit more control and listening “ease”, especially with the ACT1s. If you have the opportunity, just try an additional 200 and see for yourself!
I am getting the itch to add the other and make it a 400 dual mono. $8k…eek.
Congrats on finding a system you enjoy so much! I too have a Devialet. Mine is the D400 (2 x D200). I started with the D200 and added another one because my speakers are rather inefficient. I love mine as well. I use PMC speakers with mine and am also getting the best results I’ve heard in my home. I love the simplicity. My only source is a dedicated music server PC that feeds the Devialet via a wireworld USB cable.
The Wireworld cables are fantastic, especially the USB.
I love your review. It is spot on describing how the Devialet plays music. There is is one thing that is not quite right though. The “…runs class A until a certain volume….. kicks in to class D…” is actually class A and class D run in parallel all the time and at all levels. Class A defines the sound character and provides voltage while the class D stage deliver current and ‘drive’. As far as I’ve understood, the class A amp also outputs a correction signal (created by the powerful DSP) to cancel the switching noise inherent to most class D. Sorry to be a bit technical, but this how Devialet manages to produce both beautiful and powerful sound
You are correct, and I did know that but for some reason did not write it like that 🙂 Will correct it today. Thank you!