BTW, a few weeks ago I was contacting audiostatic with a view to get some info on their ESL speaker as I am looking to upgrade on my MG12. the guy on the other side told me, and I was talking to Mr. Ben Peters - the inventor himself , that they are now finalising R+D on the new model which should be ready for sale quite soon. most likely in January.
Ha, reminds me of that other Dutch ESL, Essence. Mr. Rapaport said they would be available in Belgium in July 2013, then September 2013, and my latest e-mail (2 weeks ago) was not replied to anymore...
I hope Audiostatic does it better.
Well... I'm not really in a hurry yet, not before the house is ready.
Hi, new Devialet 170 owner here.
Although I am more than pleased with the performance, I have a few operational issues.
Hoping someone can give me some useful information or at least commiseration.
The main problem is as follows ...
The Devialet website says that when you play a file from iTunes using Air or Ethernet, the whole file is sent to the amp, reassembled and then played.I really don't think I believe this. First of all I can see my music disk blinking occasionally while the music is playing. Secondly, and annoyingly, If I produce any other sound on the Mac (say playing a music clip on amazon) it plays through the amp at the same time
Perhaps they would say you should have a dedicated PC but I dont
Other issues ...
The iPad/iPhone app seems to be a battery killer.
The Air app on my iMac does NOT start up at boot time despite being set up that way.
Air seems to not work very well. This morning I had the Air link but could not get Ethernet working. In the end I flashed a new configuration and it all worked. Don't want to do that every day.
Probably not Devialet's fault but I could not get my Squeezebox Touch (with Triode's USB output mods) to work at all. Have had to use spdif from the Touch.
Anyone have any help or comments?
The Devialet website says that when you play a file from iTunes using Air or Ethernet, the whole file is sent to the amp, reassembled and then played.I really don't think I believe this. First of all I can see my music disk blinking occasionally while the music is playing.
Hello canyelles, welcome to the forum, and to the Devialet-club!
When using AIR, your Devialet takes control over the computer's clock. It tells the clock when to send the data. So indeed, your computer is still at work when listening to music from it. I'm not sure that's a problem with a Mac (which presumably has a SSD and is quite quiet).
Secondly, and annoyingly, If I produce any other sound on the Mac (say playing a music clip on amazon) it plays through the amp at the same time
AFAIK, when using AIR (wireless or over Ethernet), your computer sees the Devialet as an external soundcard. That is nice, because you can stream everything from your computer to your hifi, be it Spotify, YouTube or your own ripped music. You discovered the drawback indeed, every other sound file goes straight to your amplifier too. Not much you can do about that, I'm afraid. Using USB would give you the same result...
Let's summarize: AIR is not ready yet for use in the real world. I suppose it works excellently in their test facility. But indeed, I just don't use it (yet). Let's hope for a firmware upgrade in the near future to solve the bugs. But for now, I just use my CDP and Sonos:Connect as sources.
Correction: For now, I use a Sonos Play:3 as my main hifi system in the living room. My Devialet went up in smoke last weekend...
Thank you for your reply, some useful information there.
I think you have misunderstood my point about the disk drive working during playback though. I am not complaining about noise or anything like that.
I am simply putting forward the fact that the disk drive containing my music is working intermittently during playback as proof that the devialet does not work as they say it does. i.e. it does not read the whole current music file, transport to the amp and then play it.
In fact it works just as a squeezebox, filling up its buffer when necessary.
I guess you are right about USB, I have only used USB to a dac from a squeezebox. My iMac is too far away to do it directly.
Sorry to hear about your Devialet. Good luck with that.
Last Thursday, I demoed some more speakers with the Devialet 110. My dealer had finally managed to borrow a pair of Audio Note AN-Ks (no AN-Js unfortunately), so I had to hear them before they left again. Also in the line-up: the Acoustic Energy AE1 MkIIISE and the PMC Twenty 22. After that I also had the Opalum Flow.1010 system on the menu (see this thread), so it would be a busy day.
First off were the Audio Notes. They were superbly finished in a gorgeous bird's eye maple veneer. The audition took place in a heavily treated home cinema demo room (the rest of the shop was taken for a big Naim - PMC event), so I had no proper hard wall to place them against. So the dealer allowed me to put a pair of PMC Fact 8s (sideways) behind the ANs, as an ersatz front wall. This worked fine: the bass was markedly deeper, though less tight. The sound was very easy on the ear, natural. Acoustic instruments sounded like the real thing, keeping their timbre. This was most obvious with sax and trumpets. Dynamics were OK, though I had expected better (then again, the AN-K has 'only' a 90 dB sensitivity, while the bigger models do upto 98 dB: might be a different story there). I listened for about 1.5 hours, very focused, and no fatigue at all! That's good!
Next in line were the PMC Twenty 22s. Very different! It took me some time to settle down. Once I got used to their presentation, I really liked what I heard. The tonal balance was very neutral. The bass was there, not as prominent as with the ANs (though on specs the PMCs go deeper), but better defined, better textured (Christian McBride's double bass!) and fast! They just squeezed more information out of the recording; a bluray vs. DVD analogy came to mind. The stereo image was also sharper that the ANs'. In conclusion: the ANs were good... but the 22s are better, or rather: more to my taste.
The AE1 only got a short listen. They are not for me. The lack of bass is just too prominent for me to like them. Maybe when properly blended with a good sub, but on their own they didn't do it for me.
I already mentioned the Naim - PMC event taking place in the shop. They were building several set-ups. The entry-level set was a UnitiQute + Twenty21s and Wafer 2s. The Wafers were not properly set up yet; they still stood on the floor, leaning against the wall, but the sound the Qute pulled out of them was already remarkable. I definitely want to hear them properly set up, driven by my Devialet. But that's for later...
And then there was my first acquintance with the Opalum system, but that's another story...
All in all, I didn't get that much wiser. I can bar the AN-Ks, but maybe the AN-J could be more to my liking... And I should hear the two PMCs side by side, with the same Dev.
Though I have a hunch that I didn't hear my dream speakers yet. I think it's got to do with the boxes. Having heard Maggies and Quad ESLs, it's hard to go back. But a panel bookshelf? I've still got the Vivids on my list, and the Gurus. Or maybe I'll just buy a pair of AG Stradas blind after all...
Very interesting report on the ANs. I've always assumed they'd be good for valve amps but not so exciting for SS amps, and that there are more exciting solutions for the Dev.
I passed through Belgium on Thursday and didn't see you. You need to wear a bigger hat or something!
What classical music are you listening to?
That is an interesting review on AN.
My upgrade path has Vivid Audio in BOLD! So, IMO, till the time you listen to Vivid 1.5 or V1S, whichever works, I would suggest you to put a hold on any blind purchases except that there is a great deal and in worst case the damages are minimal.
I have a feeling that Vivid will tick all the boxes
Oh man! I was on the look-out all Friday!
One virtue of the Devialet is that it’s (fairly) portable. Today I packed it up and took it on its first outing. (You’ll notice that unlike Doc’s female Devialet, mine is still resolutely neuter in gender.) So off to Walrus Systems in Marylebone to try out the obscure but well regarded Marshall Choong speakers.
The marketing spiel is that the designer of these boxes has tried to emulate the “walk-in” realism of the Quad ESL63’s mid-range, but with the advantages of a box’s bass extension. The review of the FS1 on Hifi Pig here seems to fall for this “Quad-ESL-in-a-box” shtick. I’m not so sure, as you’ll see.
The Devialet was fed by a Pure Sound A8000 CDP via SPDIF.
Marshall Choong FS1
These are two-way floorstanders, about 1m tall, with a bass port about half way up the rear panel. They’re very well finished in oak veneer. They retail for £2400.
The first impression is of a subtle and pleasantly airy, but slightly boxy presentation. Certainly the sound was very fast and vividly present in the room. Piano was nice and sharp, violin was pure, airy, and delicate. That was combined with well extended but nicely controlled bass. Altogether plenty of impact but also control. Dynamics were excellent. I was also impressed by the integration of the drivers: the crossover seemed pretty well invisible.
Now for the downside. I was unhappy with the boxiness. It affected voices especially, which sounded a tad nasal and strangled. Also the top end, though it had good presence, was a bit aggressive and,yes, even distorted.
Having said that, for their price these are extremely respectable speakers. But I’d rather have my Sonus fabers, which just sound more natural.
Marshall Choong CM3
Now the next rung up the ladder, and a different format. The CM3s are a BBC-style, sealed-box design, of the same format and size as the Harbeth SHL5s. An interesting comparison, though at £3400 they’re a bit pricier. And there are some differences in design. Both are three-way designs, but whereas the SHL5s’ “third driver” is a 20mm supertweeter, in the CM3s it’s a 150mm mid-woofer. Also the bass drivers are of different materials: Harbeth uses its proprietary RADIAL™ stuff; the Marshall Choongs use aluminium.
Initially the presentation seems quite similar to the Harbies: airy, musical, natural. The texture on piano is very revealing, but at the same time the top end is much less edgy than the FS1s: better controlled, more civilised, purer, and also it seems to reach higher. I guess it’s just a better tweeter than the one used in the FS1s.
I was impressed by the extremely precise imaging. On one of my demo opera tracks, two voices that in most systems seem to come from the same place, were clearly standing right next to one another: close but separate.
Again, like the Harbeths, the CM3s did very fine discrimination between instrumental timbres. Acoustic guitars were particularly lovely. Arguably bass was less deep and rich than with the FS1s. And all in all I felt there was something a bit restrained or reined in. Big choral stuff just didn't have as much scale as it should, even though the music was spread nicely across the stage. Sure, the CM3s went nice and loud without distortion. But there was still a bit of boxiness that I don’t get with my Sonus fabers.
So a bit of a mixed bag. Of their type and at their price point, these are very good speakers. The CM3s are markedly better than the FS1s: side-by-side comparison with the Harbeth SHL5s would be interesting (though the Harbeths would surely win). But both the Marshall Choong models have a slight boxiness and are more forward and less natural-sounding than my Sonus fabers.
I went to the opera last night. My Sonus fabers, small though they are, do a great job of reproducing the experience of live opera. I'm not sure that the Marshall Choongs do.
Excellent right up as per usual Matt, thank you.
Although by the sounds of it, not for you, certainly seems like a speaker that could easily be on someones short list and good that you've given it some exposure.
What's up next?
Accuphase E350 amp, Electrocompaniet EMC1UP CDP, Siltech 25th Classic anniversary 330I XLR Harbeth Super HL5 on Sound Anchor Quod ELS63 stands, Chord Odessey2 speaker cable. Grado SR60 headphones.
Maybe I was a bit harsh on the Marshall Choongs, but they're just not as natural as the Sonus fabers.
As for my next speaker demo: I plan to hear some Audiovectors, and I'd like to hear the new "curved" ATC SCM40s. But they'll have to wait until January. I also have my eye on Devore and Triangle.
As things stand my shortlist consists of the Sonus faber Olympica IIs and the Vivid 1.5s. I'd like it to be a longer list ...
The final decision will probably be made next summer. Gulp!
You’ll notice that unlike Doc’s female Devialet, mine is still resolutely neuter in gender.
Yes, Debby has been very ill. She was treated in Paris and all is well now, so I've been told. In fact, she already travelled to Antwerp again. I'll try and bring her home next weekend. So normally, we could go out next week to find her some fine speakers! She says the Vivids are ugly, but I told her that real beauty is more than skindeep! And we might even be introduced to Anthony Gallo's cute little Stradas!
Nice writing again, Matt! I think I for one am going "out of the box" now, with the Vivids and Stradas, and also these Belgian designs! It's in Mr. Vaessen's place, that I'll probably be able to hear the Stradas. He has them in for a couple of days before he'll install them in a project in Ostend. If all goes well, that's for next week...
Whilst not wanting to pry into confidential medical details, could you give us a sense of what was wrong? (I'm a bit surprised by "Debby" -- my money would have been on something more French: Colette or Genevieve perhaps ...)
Vaessens look interesting. The Aquarius/Galaxy models have a bit of the Vivid about them. Are the Orb monitors as small as they look?
SFs are also "out of the box" in a way, as they use curved enclosures to break up internal resonances.
Whilst not wanting to pry into confidential medical details, could you give us a sense of what was wrong?
Matt, as we are close friends, Debby and I have no secrets for you:
Regarding your problem : this was the electronic circuit that allows to turn the LED on the rear of the unit showing that the main is powered that had a problem. Don't be worried, this circuit is not used for audio reproduction. Of course the electronic card of the lamp has been changed.
(I'm a bit surprised by "Debby" -- my money would have been on something more French: Colette or Genevieve perhaps ...)
Oooh, Genevieve... Sounds more like a 170 to me! Debby's last name sounds more French: Allez.
They remind me of Vivid indeed. And so does their price ticket, somewhere between 18.000 and 25.000 EUR per pair.
The Orb is "cheaper", at 5.000 or 7.500 EUR per pair (depending on the tweeter you choose). I asked him for some specs (dimensions, frequency response, ...) but got no answer yet. But they do look tiny indeed.
Well, that's good news: it sounds like a pretty trivial problem.
Now you've got me thinking that my 170 could be Debby's brother; because he now lives in England he's anglicized his name: Dave E. Allez.
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