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Devialet 120 vs Chord Hugo with Integrated Amp (i.e. Naim SuperNait 2)...


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Hi there,

 

 

I'm currently a Naim SuperUniti owner and thinking of jumping ship to Devialet. The system looks incredible, it appeals to the geek in me, love the upgrades through software etc etc... however, and annoyingly so, I had a chance to borrow a Chord Hugo a few weekends back through both my SuperUniti and a Naim SuperNait and was blown away with the sound quality. Transparency, separation, sound-stage etc etc... all the things that Devialet owners seem to bang on about (and rightly so, I've also auditioned a Devialet 120 and 200). One thing that scares me a touch about the Devialet is that it's based on quite an old DAC chip and this, I believe, won't be upgradable.

 

 

So I'm currently in two minds:

 

 

1. Go for a Devialet (will be via USB from MacMini running JRiver MC)

2. Go for a SuperNait 2 or other Integrated amp with Chord Hugo via USB (MacMini running JRiver MC)

 

 

Thus looking for opinions of anyone who's heard similar / the same setups.

 

 

Another option (albeit a little more expensive) is have the best of both worlds and go for a Devialet 120 (which is the one I can afford!) AND a Chord Hugo and run it in through it's phono input... does anyone here run a separate DAC into their Devialet? how does this compare with the Devialet's internal DAC?

 

 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

Stuart.

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Do you care about DSD playback? The Devialet can't do it as of today - but they told me they would add DSD over DoP capability in the near future. Other than that the chip seems capable of doing pretty much what most DACs on the market do.

 

What you didn't say in your post was which you thought sounded better? I'd let that determine my choice. Getting both seems a bit over the top, unless the financial aspect isn't really an issue. But if you can afford the 120 and the Hugo you are almost to the 200, no?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I'm not too bothered by DSD playback, never actually tried it.

 

I auditioned both options for quite some time on Tuesday and I have to say, by a small margin, the Naim / Hugo combination did sound better. However, there's a beautiful simplicity to the Devialet and, with any hope, they add UPnP, it removes the MacMini / transport for the equation making it even better.

 

I suppose my heart is telling me Naim / Hugo but my head keeps getting in the way with the Devialet option. The idea that a product will evolve in time rather than stay stagnate is fantastic (and certainly the way it should be). And all through software updates. lovely.

 

So I'm torn, as I'm sure you can tell. And sometimes just talking it through, say on a forum, helps!

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As a former Chord product (QBD76) owner and a current Devialet product (Devialet800) owner, I would recommend Devialet. First of all, both sound fantastic although in a different way. Unless you prefer Chord to Devialet by a large margin, I think you can live with either product. Second, Devialet's one-box solution is elegant. With just one click of the remote, you can start listening. Third, the sound of Devialet has been/will be improving with firmware upgrades. Every time there is a firmware upgrade, Devialet gives me excitements. Fourth, if your speaker is "SAM-ready," you would have additional free upgrade of sound. Fifth, you can add Hugo later if you really miss the sound of Chord. Please note, however, that I have never auditioned Naim products.

Umetaro, Tokyo, Japan

Dela(Melco)N1A/2012 i5 Mac Mini with 16GB memory - Audirvana/Pure Music/Amarra/JRMC - Devialet 800 - Wilson Audio Sasha

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I'm not too bothered by DSD playback, never actually tried it.

 

I auditioned both options for quite some time on Tuesday and I have to say, by a small margin, the Naim / Hugo combination did sound better. However, there's a beautiful simplicity to the Devialet and, with any hope, they add UPnP, it removes the MacMini / transport for the equation making it even better.

 

I suppose my heart is telling me Naim / Hugo but my head keeps getting in the way with the Devialet option. The idea that a product will evolve in time rather than stay stagnate is fantastic (and certainly the way it should be). And all through software updates. lovely.

 

So I'm torn, as I'm sure you can tell. And sometimes just talking it through, say on a forum, helps!

 

Similar to Devialet integration and with the added plus of room correction software, you could audition latest Lyngdorf TDAI.

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I am speaking as a long time addict of naim separates and Naim DAC, and a current Devialet 200 owner, the two approaches are diametrically opposed.

 

With Naim you should be prepared to be forever climbing up the upgrade ladder with multiple boxes, and still feel somehow shortchanged glancing up the Naim upgrade hierarchy.

 

With Devialet the general consensus is all three model sound pretty similar except for power outputs. And there is really not much point in adding equipment. At the minimum all you need is a networked computer as source.

 

One of strengths though of the Devialet is of course the ability to add pretty much any source you want, be it a turntable or pretty much any digital or analogue sources

 

In fact adding a Hugo DAC and hook it back up to the Devialet A to D would be kind of a pointless and potentially lossy exercise.

 

Often times I miss the heady days of spending $ to upgrade in the Naim days. But then the Devialet's recent free firmware upgrade kind of quenches the thirst, without adding a cent.

 

To satisfy my upgrade my upgrade urge, I am thinking of adding a DDC like the Audiophilleo or a Weiss INT204. But even those I suspect are just necessary toys.

 

Different strokes for different folks i guess. Sound wise they cannot be more different, both are lots of fun.

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  • 8 months later...

I love the chunky vividness of the Naim sound, but Mac Mini plus Amarra drove me quite crazy over many years. Now I feel I have landed in a happy place with Naim amps, a decent DAC and an Aurender server. The recent addition of Tidal to Aurender (which works perfectly for me) is a big plus, but also with ripped CDs as well as high res downloads it's a big improvement in sound. Amp technology doesn't change very fast, but the updating of digital simply through streamed updates keeps up with the fastest changing components of music reproduction.

Desktop: SonicTranporter i7, Ubiquiti switch, optical, OpticalRendu, Musician Pegasus, Linear Tube MicroZOTL 3, ZMF Verite Open

Main: SonicTransporter i7, Uniquiti switch, optical, EtherRegen, Lumin U1, Bricasti M3, Naim 252/250, DeVore Gibbon Nines

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