Devialet 200...my impressions.
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  1. #1
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    Devialet 200...my impressions.

    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. : )

    Here is a video of the Devialet 200 and the PMCs in action. This video was recorded with a high quality stereo microphone. This mic does tend to roll off low frequency a bit. I realize a video no replacement for hearing in person, but I do find it entertaining. There are 2 songs on the video. Enjoy!

    Aurender N100H Music Server => Devialet 400 => PMC Fact 12 => Nordost Cables => Torus Power

  2. #2
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Sounds great on my end. Im sure listening though a computer doesnt convey what its really like, but I can get a Idea.....lots of air and transparency.



















  3. #3
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Jax,

    Glad to hear that you like your Devialet 200.

    In my case, I have been trying a Devialet 200 in place of a Aesthetix Pandora Signature/ARC REF 75 combo powering my WA Sophia 3s. Digital sources are a networked Auraliti PK 90 with linear PSU and PS Audio PWT. I've also tried Devialet Air, but prefer the other two sources.

    I agree that "the Devailet is not, is rich, lush, and euphonic." It improved after 300+ hours, removing my networked speaker cables and running a heavy duty power cable directly to the wall outlet.

    Engaging SAM improves the lower mid-range/upper bass, but the deep bass sounds the same to me.

    Have fun.
    Dan

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  4. #4
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Thanks Dan.

    and I guess I should have mentioned in the original post that I am running an all digital system. I stream music from my music server via USB to the devialet.

    And you remind me of another point. The devialet has gotten a lot of over the top press. I do not think the devialet is a no brainer head and shoulders over the competition giant killer. I do think it's competitive with other top tier electronics. Just a matter of preference. It does sound superb but there are certainly many other choices that are extremely appealing. It might be the best in terms of cost to performance ratio though. It would certainly be very hard to beat with 3 separate components for the same price.
    Aurender N100H Music Server => Devialet 400 => PMC Fact 12 => Nordost Cables => Torus Power

  5. #5
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Congrats Jax. Sounds like a fun piece. I think my review and conclusions on the Devialet still holds true.


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  6. #6
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Tom, that's awesome ! When do I get to come over and listen ??
    Mark

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  7. #7
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Congrats Jax. Sounds like a fun piece. I think my review and conclusions on the Devialet still holds true.


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    Mike,

    All I could find was your thread about the Devialet 170, have you listened to a 200, 250, 400 or 800 with a SAM enabled speaker in your listening room?
    Dan

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  8. #8
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Thanks for sharing that Jax. A wonderful write up and neat video - dancing whites socks and all.

    While I've not auditioned a SAM enabled Devialet system - the Devialet's I've heard have been too tonally cool for my liking and I found that fatiguing, particularly on older CD recordings which tend to be spotlit / bright in the treble. Further, my experience driving Raidho speakers has always oddly left me with the perception that the Devialet's are under-powered. One other observation in closing. I've found Devialets to be extremely sensitive to power cord changes, which does afford the opportunity to redress the character.
    Borresen Acoustics ApS Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    Thanks for sharing that Jax. A wonderful write up and neat video - dancing whites socks and all.

    While I've not auditioned a SAM enabled Devialet system - the Devialet's I've heard have been too tonally cool for my liking and I found that fatiguing, particularly on older CD recordings which tend to be spotlit / bright in the treble. Further, my experience driving Raidho speakers has always oddly left me with the perception that the Devialet's are under-powered. One other observation in closing. I've found Devialets to be extremely sensitive to power cord changes, which does afford the opportunity to redress the character.
    I suggest you listen to a 400 or 800 with a SAM enabled speaker.

    The stock power cords are fine when plugged directly into a quality wall outlet.
    Dan

    Definition of a committee: The unwilling selected from the unfit to do the unnecessary for the ungrateful.


  10. #10
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    Re: Devialet 200...my impressions.

    I'm going to delete my comments- on second thought, its just too hard to judge from a YouTube video.
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