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Article: Devialet 200 & 400 Review


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I was over at a friend's house last week listening to his Devialet 200 and it sounded very good indeed with digital material., via both computer and SACD player inputs. However, with vinyl, it's internal phono preamp couldn't compete with a separate one from Sutherland. Operationally, the remote is somewhat problematic because the Devialet's volume display is on the top rather than on a faceplate. However, using an available iPhone app readily gets around that problem.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Nice review- it added to my sternly suppressed desire to hear and purchase one of these! Fortunately I have zillions of ohms of resistance to parting with case. ;)

 

I did not see a C.A.S.H designation for the 200, did it make it to the CASH list?

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I went from a Simaudio 110LP phono preamp to the Devialet 200 and for me it was an extreme upgrade. That said, I basically just needle drop and don't spend too much time listening to vinyl. The Devialet is a needle droppers dream machine!

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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Thanks for another great review. I was tempted to get rid of everything and switched to the Devialet. And then I read your review of the Berkeley Alpha Reference DAC and went to listen to both products and changed my long-term plans again. Thanks for introducing us to these great products.

 

With respect to SAM, I wonder if the lack of difference or questionable improvement is due to how it actually works.

 

https://en.devialet.com/assets/Press...slation_EN.pdf

 

In addition to correcting for phase errors and general speaker bass frequency response issues, it seems that it can extend the TAD to a lower frequency (33.2Hz to 23.2Hz) at lower volumes but at higher volumes, it would not be effective (so as to protect the speakers). Moreover, extending speakers to a lower frequency can be a double-edged sword. If there is a significant say 26Hz dip or peak, what was previously an insignificant frequency response abnormality can become problematic and may require re-positioning the speakers or listening position to re-optimize for a smoother bass frequency response. Obviously, this is all guess work from my part.

 

Once again, a fantastic review. Thanks.

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As a Devialet 250 owner, I can only confirm the excellence of the Devialet.

 

My Wilson Benesch Vector speakers should get SAM support very soon, I'll be able to check in my own environment the value of SAM. ;)

 

Cheers,

Bernard

Room: Gik Acoustics room conditioning | Power: Shunyata Omega XC + Shunyata Everest + Shunyata Sigma NR v2 power cables | Source: Mac mini with LPS running Roon core (Raat) | Ethernet: Sonore OpticalModule + Melco S10 + Shunyata Omega Ethernet | Dac/Pre/Amplification: Devialet D1000 Pro Core Infinity | Speakers: Chord Company Sarum T speaker cables + Wilson Benesch Act One Evolution P1

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Nice review Chris........and very transparent I might add. I found the part about SAM very interesting and in fairness to the product and what SAM does, some speaker systems and environments will have better or 'positive' results. It's VERY hard IMO to top the performance of your TAD system!

 

I was concerned with the choice of a separate remote as an ergonomic disaster with a product at this pricepoint, but as AllanF suggested,there's a functional iDevice App?.............if so, that certainly avoids an otherwise epic fail IMO.

 

Expensive?.......for me.....you bet ya. But compared to the comparison high end product in it's class and it's functionality I'd suggest a very high dollar to performance ratio.

 

Again, I really enjoyed the format of this review Chris. Form and Function meet Hifi!

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Heard Devialet with PMC 26s. Pretty big floorstanders. The Sam helped. I can accept that it makes a bigger difference with smaller speakers - reports in reviews say that it extends the bass much lower by optimizing the woofer excursions (length and timing).

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 have to agree the display on the unit is a pain. Fortunately I have only 3 inputs programmed and I have it to start in Home Theatre mode. Phono is one click away and USB input is 2.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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I have to agree the display on the unit is a pain. Fortunately I have only 3 inputs programmed and I have it to start in Home Theatre mode. Phono is one click away and USB input is 2.

 

Home Theater mode? Does the beastie have HDMI inputs available for it?

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Consider the overwhelming response from Jeff Fritz at Soundstage or Robert Harley at Absolute Sound, the tone of this review could be viewed more in the range of "damning with faint praise"....interesting or is this simply due to the excellence of the new Berkeley and it sitting close by for easy comparision.

Cheers,

wdw

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Home Theater mode? Does the beastie have HDMI inputs available for it?

 

-Paul

 

No, preamp bypass so you can feed it from the preamp outs on your multi channel reciever.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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Consider the overwhelming response from Jeff Fritz at Soundstage or Robert Harley at Absolute Sound, the tone of this review could be viewed more in the range of "damning with faint praise"....interesting or is this simply due to the excellence of the new Berkeley and it sitting close by for easy comparision.

Cheers,

wdw

 

wdw, I really don't think this is about "damning with faint praise". Having listened to the Devialet 200 on a few occasions, at the Devialet 200 price of $9500, I think it would be very difficult to come up with a streamer, DAC, preamp and amp combo with the same power (200W into 6 ohms) for the same price that sounds as good or better. Even at the $17500 price of the Devialet 400 which I had the pleasure to listen to on one occasion, I think it would be challenging to come up with a combo of separates that would sound as good with the same power (400W into 6 ohms). And this is completely ignoring the nice form factor, the space savings and the cost savings for cables.

 

The Berkeley Alpha Reference DAC alone costs $16000 and the BADA USB cost another $1900 so at $17900, I think we are dealing with a completely different grade/level of performance in a completely different price range. Otherwise, there is no way how the BADA Reference DAC can justify its price.

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Chris, nice to read your D200 review. I am using my D250 (ex D-Premier) with the digital cross over function (adjustable through the configurator) and I experience a significant better sound quality than using it "straight". Of course not many speakers allow to benefit form it except you build your own. This precludes SAM but I guess from your review I am not deprived of to much.

One question is not quite clear to me which input you prefer! I am using now AES for my Cd-transport and it still sound the best. For computer audio I got the best sound through Devialet AIR software and ethernet but after some "upgrades" it became completely dysfunctional. Presently it is Audirvana+ and USB.

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wdw, I really don't think this is about "damning with faint praise". Having listened to the Devialet 200 on a few occasions, at the Devialet 200 price of $9500, I think it would be very difficult to come up with a streamer, DAC, preamp and amp combo with the same power (200W into 6 ohms) for the same price that sounds as good or better. Even at the $17500 price of the Devialet 400 which I had the pleasure to listen to on one occasion, I think it would be challenging to come up with a combo of separates that would sound as good with the same power (400W into 6 ohms). And this is completely ignoring the nice form factor, the space savings and the cost savings for cables.

 

The Berkeley Alpha Reference DAC alone costs $16000 and the BADA USB cost another $1900 so at $17900, I think we are dealing with a completely different grade/level of performance in a completely different price range. Otherwise, there is no way how the BADA Reference DAC can justify its price.

 

For $10K, the big advantage will be the sleek all in one Chassis. If multi boxes is not a problem, then I think an Aries with Hynes/Pardo LPSU, Lampi L4 with DSD and volume contol and a pair of Job 250 monoblocks should take it for SQ and come in at about $10K.

 

Devialet will be sleeker/prettier for sure, but will lack DSD and the ultimate oomph of those Job monos. Also, the possibility of tricking out the Aries is still being looked at (Regen, Digi-lamp, etc), to make it a slam dung better streaming solution than the Devialet Air (and Lightning is the better app).

 

Still, the Devialet is very competitive, but if it was 20% lower, it would be a more "killer" price.

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Still, the Devialet is very competitive, but if it was 20% lower, it would be a more "killer" price.

 

If you don't need to move to the 400 down the road. The 120 model gets you to the 20% lower price point.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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Other than the price and versatility in regards to customizing, what is high end about these two products? I can list off a dozen systems in this price range that offer far better sound fidelity, especially when it comes to resolution. These glowing reviews, at least when it comes to sound quality are unfounded in my opinion and makes me question the integrity of this website which until today, I viewed at a high level. I'm absolutely mystified...

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Other than the price and versatility in regards to customizing, what is high end about these two products? I can list off a dozen systems in this price range that offer far better sound fidelity, especially when it comes to resolution. These glowing reviews, at least when it comes to sound quality are unfounded in my opinion and makes me question the integrity of this website which until today, I viewed at a high level. I'm absolutely mystified...

 

Have you heard them? I have, and believe they give better SQ than separates in their price range. When I heard them there was plenty of low level and detail resolution. Better than many expensive combos I've heard.

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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Have you heard them? I have, and believe they give better SQ than separates in their price range. When I heard them there was plenty of low level and detail resolution. Better than many expensive combos I've heard.

 

Of course. How can someone make a judgement without first hand experience? I had it in my home for a week. The aesthetics and interface are beautiful. I liked the small footprint and the phono connectivity, but the amplifier and phono stage was coarse and lacked low level detail. I'm not good at describing sound, but the 200 was basically fatiguing with none of the associated micro detail. I may not have been so critical if the unit was half the price or if it made bad recordings sound palatable.

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Well Prince you have somehow managed to experience the exact opposite of most everyone else: Course, lacking low level detail, lacking micro detail and fatiguing.

 

I can say one thing from my own experience, the Devialet is so quiet and has such superb SNR that it confused me at first. I thought something was missing. I went back and forth for hours with my Simaudio 600i/QB9 on various tracks and realizing the detail was there it was just missing a hard edge to everything. It dawned on me that the hard edge wasn't actually suppose to be there because I could now pick out the instruments better and there was less of a haze around them with the Devialet.

 

 

.02

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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Prince, I think your observations are fascinating. For most of us, I think we are thinking in terms of using Devialet 200 as a digital streamer/DAC/preamp/amp and most of us are very impressed with the result. From your experience, you are using it as a phono stage/preamp/amp and you have a completely different experience. I can definitely see someone getting a phono stage/preamp/amp combo for less than $9500 and get very satisfactory sound. I am not certain if Devialet actually converts the phono output into digital first. I have never tried the phono input of the Devialet as I have always listened to a digital source.

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Of course. How can someone make a judgement without first hand experience? I had it in my home for a week. The aesthetics and interface are beautiful. I liked the small footprint and the phono connectivity, but the amplifier and phono stage was coarse and lacked low level detail. I'm not good at describing sound, but the 200 was basically fatiguing with none of the associated micro detail. I may not have been so critical if the unit was half the price or if it made bad recordings sound palatable.

 

Prince, what digital source were you supplying to the D200? What speakers were you driving?

 

I replaced a dCS Debussy DAC, SimAudio P-7 pre and W-7 Amp, along with all the cables, footers, etc. and believe I'm hearing noticeably better sound quality with my D200 for less than half the cost. I'm thrilled with it driving my Vandersteen 5A's.

 

Kenreau

Synology NAS> Aurender W20> AQ Wel AES/XLR> Devialet 200> AQ Castle Rock Bi-Wire> Vandersteen 5As.

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