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docvale gets devialet-ed
Hi Guys,

Second thread and recent Devialet owner here.
Just before Christmas I gifted myself with a used Expert 120, which became the center of a system that is completely new for me, with the exception of the analog front end.

This system is composed of:
- Large music library of files in lossless format, placed in a HDD cabled to an Apple Airport Extreme
- Bluesound Node 2i, hardwired to the Airport, used only as streamer and controlled through its (very intuitive and effective) app for iPhone
- Devialet Expert 120, hooked to the Node via SPDIF coaxial
- Focal Aria 936, using the dedicated SAM profile of the Devialet (I played with it very quickly, so I haven't tested the actual impact of SAM on the sound)
- Pro-Ject RPM 1.3, using the custom profile of the Dev phono stage for the Sumiko Pearl and sitting on a new Ground It E isolating platform with sorbothane pads under the spikes.

The system is in a relatively large room, with ample communications with other environments of my home's first floor and with an asymmetrical cathedral ceiling. Technically, far from perfect, but the best solution for me to have the system in a non-isolation pod.

Coming from a system based on Focal Chorus 705V bookshelf speakers in a small apartment, I basically switched from an almost near field listening experience to a more compelling and challenging one. At first, it seemed the Devialet did not have the strength to play loud, at least at the default setting.
Even if the speakers were used too, I cannot hide it seems they went through a break-in process, coming out as more authoritative after some hours of drive by the Dev.
I consider myself happy with the system! 
I know the analog front end is its weakest part, and, maybe, I'll upgrade the cartridge to a better MM (from Ortofon, I assume) or to a high output MC. Let's see...

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
Classic and beautiful looking system, Docvale.
Hope you are enjoying your Devialet / HiFi journey Smile
Kind regards,
Currently: MacMini with Tidal, Qobuz Roon via RAAT / Cat7 Ethernet cable / Devialet 1000 Expert Pro CI (the BIG dogs!)/ Analysis Plus Oval 9 cable / Hyperion Audio 968 / Cheap cable to homemade, 12 inch powered subwoofers.
The summer brought some updates to my system.

Regarding the Devialet itself:
Following the hype regarding the sensitivity of the device to the power cord, I purchased the well-spoken Audioquest NRG-Z3. The cable looks gorgeous in its thick and luxurious jacket, yet, I must admit, I failed to feel benefits over the standard, unbranded and thin power cord supplied with my amp.  Someone might advocate for a break in time to wait to feel the benefits, but, at this point, I am not very optimistic. I will keep the cable anyway, since it's purchase did not break the bank and, somehow, it feels good to own such a good looking cable (I know, that's shallow, but whatever).
Also, I added some footers from Nobsound for the Devialet. They are based on a spike plus isolation pad, and, matching my expectations, did not add any sound benefit. They serve, though, two purposes. I like that raised profile they give to the amplifier and, in my opinion, might help for the heat dissipation management.

Regarding the turntable:
After getting an isolation platform, already shown in my opening message, I finally managed to find a Speed Box S2. These small device works as pace regenerator for the Pro-Ject motor and allows the following: change speed with a button instead of switching the position of the belt on the pulley (so a commodity), maintaining a tad more accurate rotation speed (my table was already doing well) and compensating from the stylus drag (the speed does not change even if I apply pressure with a brush on a rotating disc). Also, it eliminated a hum from the Pro-Ject motor that was audible when pushing the volume very high. I cannot talk otherwise about definitive sonic improvements, yet I'd buy it again for the reasons I mentioned.
I replaced the cork mat with a black acrylic one. Honestly, my main driver was a cosmetic improvement, which I achieved.
Finally, and this is news from today, I installed my first LO-MC. I purchased a Hana SL (second hand with few hours of use). The installation caused few sweats, as it took me a while to get that the mounting screws are designed to be installed upside-down. I then spent the afternoon running some tests.
Compared to my old Sumiko Pearl, I observed a remarkable opening in the high frequencies, with increase in details. Somehow I have to get used to it, as being used to the euphonic attitude of the Pearl I feel some aggressive trait in the Hana.  The soundstage shows a better focus, despite with the records I span I could not detect an increase in soundstage width. Not sure about my stand on the rendering of the vocals, which seem to move a tad back.  I initially tried some impedance adapters with RCA splitters to bring the loading down to 470 ohm, but I could not tell the difference with the wide open phono input so, for the rest of the day, the adapter stayed off to minimize the signal path complication. Tomorrow I'll try it again
The obvious drawback of this installation is the noise. Not tragic, and negligible during the playback, but it is definitely more hissy than with the Pearl. The higher gain of the phono setting makes the surface noise more prominent, despite this is obvious only during very quiet passages.
Definitely, the consideration to add a step up and squeeze the most of the Hana is browsing my mind.
Tomorrow, I'll also work more on the setup to see if there's areas that I can improve.

P.S.: for whatever reason, it does not allow me to post the pictures...

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