Once in a while something very fresh and original came along. Devialet is a newish company based in Paris founded by ex-Nortel Networks engineers.
Digital amplification is not a new concept. Digital switching amps (Class D) were invented decades ago, but only perfected recently by the likes of Bang&Olufsen (with its ICE power modules as used in amps by Bel Canto, Wired4Sound, etc), Nuforce, and others. Direct digital input pulse width modulation (PWM) amps are less common but there are several good examples around (Tact/Lyngdorf, NAD M2). What Devialet came up with, however, is quite unique and combine the best of both worlds.
Devialet calls its amp "Class ADH" where a small Class A amplifier directly coupled to the loudspeaker - tell the speakers how the analog waveform would look like, then another high efficiency Class D provides almost all of the current needed to drive the speakers. The Amp is carved out of solid aluminum and weight 7kg and is designed to be driven digitally. The digital to analog conversion happens very near the output stage and is as pure as it can be. It uses, we 600 watt class D power supply with efficiency ratio of over 85%. Idle power consumption is less than 5 watt. Fully customizable configurations of RCA connectors, by using the website and save the config file on an SD card.
Early reviews from AVguide Absolute Sound, 6Moons, Hifi Choice, and Hifi-News and Record Review are saying the sound is extremely clean, dynamic, quiet and transparent. The cost? $18,000 retail.
- Stereo: 2x240 watt maximum output (programmable)
- Impedance rage: 2-8 ohms
- DAC chip Burr-brown PCM1792 (24/192)
- THD+N: 0.001%
- IMD SMTPE: 0.001%
- Signal to Noise Ratio : 130 dB
- Output impedance < 0.001 ohm
- 2 x Phono inputs MC/MM
- 2 x RCA analog line input (configurable)
- 2 x Toslink digital inputs
- 4 x Coaxial digital inputs
- 1 x AES/EBU
- 1 x HDMI1.3 input and 1 x output
- 1 x RCA Analog or Digital 2.1 output
- 4 x Speakers terminal
- 1 x RS-232 port
- 180 DPI color screen
- 1 x SD card slot for upgrades and configuration