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Classic Phantom pair - No low-mids, shoebox sound
#1
Question 
Hello all,

I'd like to share and ask your thoughts about 2 Classic Phantoms I installed yesterday at my home.

Installation was very straight forward, thanks to the quick and intuitive setup from the Android app.
Quick configuration is:
  • Spotify Connect over 5 GHz Wi-Fi network
  • DOS 2.10.0
  • listening room 4m large / 5m deep
Unfortunately I was immediately disappointed at the first tunes I sent to them. What I was very unpleasantly surprised with was:
  • low-medium almost absent
  • bass very weak
I can describe the sound as muffled, coming from a shoebox or a low-quality 80's plastic boombox. Singers seem have their nose pinched. Pianos seem to have a pillow on their cords. I cannot tell anything but that's very bad !

I have compared extensively, with Spotify Connect and same musics with my other systems:
  • Google Home Max stereo pair: far better presence, low mids and bass - sure very low frequency extension and highs clarity on the Phantoms are better.... but not that much...
  • Bang & Olufsen setup with BeoLab 1s and BeoLab 2: blows away the Phantoms
Once again I am very surprised with that tiny, poor sound quality. My listenings in store + reviews I have read are far for describing this result.

I have made following tests:
  • check each driver: all are operating
  • move the Phantoms to the same place were my Google Home Max's and B&O setup are: same bad results
  • mono listening of each Phantom to search for phase issues or one of them's malfunction: same
  • Bluetooth listening (mono / stereo): same
Therefore my room is not the problem, neither my sources.

I am sad because I love the principles and aesthetics of the Phantoms Sad I am waiting for an advice from the Devialet support.

Did you experience this ? Is there any setting I may have missed ?

Thanks for your thoughts,
Emmanuel

PS: serial numbers of the Phantoms are following + these are reconditionned units from Devialet with makes me think I am not the first disappointed customer with these.
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#2
Have you tried using speaker stands and placed them in an equilateral triangle with listening position?
A pair of Devialet Phantom Golds, system described here.
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#3
Reads to me like they're broken but two units with the exact same problem is rare. This being classics, do you run a Dialog with them? Could it be he Dialog is the culprit? Can you run them without a Dialog, one by one?
                                                    Lifetime Roon, Mac mini, int. SSD, ext. HDD, tv as monitor, key board and track pad on bean bag as remote,Devialet 200, Od'A #097, Blue jeans speaker cable,                                     
                                                                                                                                                                            Dynaudio C1 MkII.
                                                                                                                                                                              Jim Smith's GBS.
                                                                                                                                                                        Northern NSW Australia.
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#4
(21-May-2020, 00:27)Snoopy8 Wrote: Have you tried using speaker stands and placed them in an equilateral triangle with listening position?

I don't see the point in doing this, since my other speakers work perfectly at the same place. I have listened at an equilateral triangle (no speaker stands) with same results.
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#5
(21-May-2020, 02:57)Pim Wrote: Reads to me like they're broken but two units with the exact same problem is rare. This being classics, do you run a Dialog with them? Could it be he Dialog is the culprit? Can you run them without a Dialog, one by one?
Same here. But serial numbers are following: N09xxxx4P307 and N09xxxx5P307, xxxx being the same number (BTW: N = build year 2020 I guess, week 9). Maybe these Phantoms did not pass a deep quality control ? (if some samples in the product factory do)

I have no Dialog. Playing them in stereo and one by one sounds identical.

It seems internal settings in the preamp section are not at the appropriate values or something.

Huh
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#6
(21-May-2020, 20:40)EmmanuelG Wrote:
(21-May-2020, 00:27)Snoopy8 Wrote: Have you tried using speaker stands and placed them in an equilateral triangle with listening position?

I don't see the point in doing this, since my other speakers work perfectly at the same place. I have listened at an equilateral triangle (no speaker stands) with same results.
Phantoms sound much better when on stands and positioned properly as stereo speakers. But it is your choice on how to use them...
A pair of Devialet Phantom Golds, system described here.
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#7
(21-May-2020, 20:49)EmmanuelG Wrote:
(21-May-2020, 02:57)Pim Wrote: Reads to me like they're broken but two units with the exact same problem is rare. This being classics, do you run a Dialog with them? Could it be he Dialog is the culprit? Can you run them without a Dialog, one by one?
Same here. But serial numbers are following: N09xxxx4P307 and N09xxxx5P307, xxxx being the same number (BTW: N = build year 2020 I guess, week 9). Maybe these Phantoms did not pass a deep quality control ? (if some samples in the product factory do)

I have no Dialog. Playing them in stereo and one by one sounds identical.

It seems internal settings in the preamp section are not at the appropriate values or something.

Huh
Take them back and see what the dealer thinks of them.
                                                    Lifetime Roon, Mac mini, int. SSD, ext. HDD, tv as monitor, key board and track pad on bean bag as remote,Devialet 200, Od'A #097, Blue jeans speaker cable,                                     
                                                                                                                                                                            Dynaudio C1 MkII.
                                                                                                                                                                              Jim Smith's GBS.
                                                                                                                                                                        Northern NSW Australia.
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#8
(21-May-2020, 22:47)Snoopy8 Wrote:
(21-May-2020, 20:40)EmmanuelG Wrote:
(21-May-2020, 00:27)Snoopy8 Wrote: Have you tried using speaker stands and placed them in an equilateral triangle with listening position?

I don't see the point in doing this, since my other speakers work perfectly at the same place. I have listened at an equilateral triangle (no speaker stands) with same results.
Phantoms sound much better when on stands and positioned properly as stereo speakers. But it is your choice on how to use them...
During my tests I placed them totally free and at 60 cm height. As they are slightly upwards their tweeters go straight to my head when sitting on the couch.

But honestly the sound is so unbalanced that makes no difference looking for a perfect position. In and off axis they sound 98% the same. When those 2% will be the main issue I'll happily take care of it Smile
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#9
(22-May-2020, 02:41)Pim Wrote:
(21-May-2020, 20:49)EmmanuelG Wrote:
(21-May-2020, 02:57)Pim Wrote: Reads to me like they're broken but two units with the exact same problem is rare. This being classics, do you run a Dialog with them? Could it be he Dialog is the culprit? Can you run them without a Dialog, one by one?
Same here. But serial numbers are following: N09xxxx4P307 and N09xxxx5P307, xxxx being the same number (BTW: N = build year 2020 I guess, week 9). Maybe these Phantoms did not pass a deep quality control ? (if some samples in the product factory do)

I have no Dialog. Playing them in stereo and one by one sounds identical.

It seems internal settings in the preamp section are not at the appropriate values or something.

Huh
Take them back and see what the dealer thinks of them.

I'm waiting from Devialet's support's answer, and will do that if no solution is found.
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#10
(20-May-2020, 13:24)EmmanuelG Wrote: Hello all,

I can describe the sound as muffled....

Once again I am very surprised with that tiny, poor sound quality. My listenings in store + reviews I have read are far for describing this result.

That’s a very strange situation.

I know it is obvious and probably it cannot be done, but as you say you performed listenings in the store, and if this still comfy for you, I would drive with your Premiers to the store again and ask for a comparison listening btw your models and the ones in the shop. This could be the very last test to see if you have been provided with faulty hardware.
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