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upgrade is back
(09-Aug-2018, 08:28)audio_engr Wrote: I purchased my D400 (200-Master & 200-Companion) in March 2016. I bought them from a dealer in Frankfurt & imported them to Sierra Leone (West Africa) where I was working & living. Unfortunately in West Africa, UPS or FedEx do not function hence I couldn't take the advantage of Devialet's upgrade programs. Since early 2018, I have moved to the US and the upgrade program has once opened up. For my D400 to become 440-PRO, it would cost me $ 7,995. 

My long-term plans regarding source playback would be to have a Roon Nucleus Server, feeding a dCS Network Bridge endpoint via Ethernet with a Mutec REF-10 clock. The dCS Network Bridge would feed the Devialet via AES/EBU digital. 

Question - 1 
Spending $ 8,000 for my D400 to get to 440-PRO and then, spend [Roon Nucleus + dCS network bridge + Mutec REF-10 + cables], in your humble opinion ... is it worth it ?  OR simply get the [Roon Nucleus + dCS Network Bridge + Mutec REF-10 + cables] and forget about the Devialet upgrade ?

Question - 2
To what extent is the D400 to 440-PRO upgrade justifiable and how much of a sonic difference is there ?  I mean does it justify spending $ 8,000 ?

Folks, I am seeking some serious & sincere help as Devialet's $ 8,000 is just driving me nuts. 

Looking fwd to some recommendations ... Thank You !
I too am concerned about the upgrade cost - and I have an 800 - so it’s £6900 (was £4900 in earlier upgrade programme), so don’t think I’ll be going there.  However I added a dCS Network Bridge a little while ago and the difference it makes to sound quality and sound staging is amazing.  Highly recommended.
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I have also struggled with the decision of what to do. Here is my (current) take on the upgrade program:

1. It’s expensive and the difference in sound quality or overall performance is not exactly big. I sometimes regard it as a way for Devialet to sell you the same amplifier twice. Yes, that’s me being a cynic. Sorry...

2. Devialet will probably launch a new Expert line in a few years time. They have done it before and it’s in their nature. The chassi design is so central to the brand so they will probably not change it. If they do and an upgrade is no longer possible for that reason, it’s still possible to sell or trade in your old Devialet to purchase the latest. If they stick to the chassi design an upgrade will likely be available again and the changes in sound will likely be greater. 

3. Devialet have always struggled to maintain both the stability of software upgrades (AIR) and customer services and this will likely continue for some time. That combination will likely prove extremely frustrating for a lot of people when experiencing problems with the Core Infinity Board, ROON compatibility, etc. 

4. The big thing with Devialet is the ADH technology with incredibly low distortion in a small chassi (this goes for both Expert and Phantom). Period. They will probably never be as successful in any other way with any other hardware or software. Don’t upgrade because you feel a need to have streaming capabilities, but because you experience a big change in sound quality. If it’s not here, then don’t upgrade!

Instead, make sure your living/music room is as suitable as possible for audio and your setup placed correctly. This is often the cheapest way of improving the quality of sound. Too many tend to forget this and instead fuss around with expensive cables and tweaks.

Then give your Devialet optimum electrical/digital conditions to perform and you will be surprised what the amp is capable of! Start with a) improving the quality of the electricity using a really good power conditioner (I use the RM15 from Torus and it makes a huge difference in sound), b) a really good digital source (I use the dCS Network Bridge and it’s simply amazing). 

Yes, a good conditioner and a good source costs all lot of money BUT you can use the units for many years to come in a setup with or without Devialet.
Devialet 400 / TAD Evolution One / dCS Network Bridge (with ROON Core on a Sony VAIO laptop) / Marantz SA-11S2 / Torus RM 16 / Acrolink Mexcel 7N-S 9000
Wireworld digital and power cables / Harmonix tuning feet / SMT acoustic treatment
- SWEDEN -
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(13-Aug-2018, 10:27)MightyMart Wrote: I have also struggled with the decision of what to do. Here is my (current) take on the upgrade program:

1. It’s expensive and the difference in sound quality or overall performance is not exactly big. I sometimes regard it as a way for Devialet to sell you the same amplifier twice. Yes, that’s me being a cynic. Sorry...

2. Devialet will probably launch a new Expert line in a few years time. They have done it before and it’s in their nature. The chassi design is so central to the brand so they will probably not change it. If they do and an upgrade is no longer possible for that reason, it’s still possible to sell or trade in your old Devialet to purchase the latest. If they stick to the chassi design an upgrade will likely be available again and the changes in sound will likely be greater. 

3. Devialet have always struggled to maintain both the stability of software upgrades (AIR) and customer services and this will likely continue for some time. That combination will likely prove extremely frustrating for a lot of people when experiencing problems with the Core Infinity Board, ROON compatibility, etc. 

4. The big thing with Devialet is the ADH technology with incredibly low distortion in a small chassi (this goes for both Expert and Phantom). Period. They will probably never be as successful in any other way with any other hardware or software. Don’t upgrade because you feel a need to have streaming capabilities, but because you experience a big change in sound quality. If it’s not here, then don’t upgrade!

Instead, make sure your living/music room is as suitable as possible for audio and your setup placed correctly. This is often the cheapest way of improving the quality of sound. Too many tend to forget this and instead fuss around with expensive cables and tweaks.

Then give your Devialet optimum electrical/digital conditions to perform and you will be surprised what the amp is capable of! Start with a) improving the quality of the electricity using a really good power conditioner (I use the RM15 from Torus and it makes a huge difference in sound), b) a really good digital source (I use the dCS Network Bridge and it’s simply amazing). 

Yes, a good conditioner and a good source costs all lot of money BUT you can use the units for many years to come in a setup with or without Devialet.

@MightyMart Good observations.  I probably will stick with my Devialet 200, most importantly because Roon's innovative integration with Devialet finally realized the promise of Devialet AIR.  Plus, the SQ is really good.  I really can't justify the added coin for the upgrade and believe there are other ways to optimize my set up.  Anyway, I've enjoyed the discussion and will continue to read comments on Devialet Chat.
Devialet 200, Vivid Oval V1.5 in oyster finish, ASI LiveLine loom (purchased directly from Franck Tchang when I lived in France), Bluesound Node 2 and Roon lifetime license with Tidal streaming. Shy
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One of my original reasons for upgrading, aside from not being left with an unsupported platform, was the so called "Core infinity" or "Devialet OS".  Which is supposed to be a much more powerful platform to support more new features to come.

The old Devialet Air was highly unreliable with scratchy Roon support, but near the end of the old platform lifecycle they seemed to have improved the Roon support.

But since the new upgrade, I have yet to see them delivering on any "new features" of any significance. In fact, after the new upgrade they seem to have largely forgotten about the expert platform after what would have been a sizable second helping of revenue from their loyal customers.  

I fact, it took them months just to fix the various bugs that made the upgraded machines barely usable.  Frankly it is quite disappointing.

Like some others I have also bought a dCS Network Bridge and was astounded the sound improvement compared to Devialet Air.  I am now even less reliant on the build in upgrades.  Frankly I hae yet to see what the expensive upgrade brought to the table.  At least not yet.
440 Pro, Linn Sondek LP12 Ittok, Phasemation PP-300/T-300, Vivid Pardo V1.5, Squeezebox Touch, Teddy Pardo PS, Mac Mini SSD, Roon

Viard Audio Silver HD S/PDIF cable, Viard Audio HD12 power cable, Supra CAT6 LAN cables, Audioquest Carbon USB cable
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Anyone going from a normal Expert to the ProCI should hopefully restart their 5 year warranty again (that's what happened with the Pro upgrades previously).

Only a small bonus, but nothing to be sniffed at if Devialet are still renewing the 5 year warranty
1000Pro (Matte Black), Lenehan Audio ML5 Reference's, FoilTek Speaker Cable's, Paradigm Sub1, Entreq Poseidon, Antipodes CX, Roon (Lifetime), Curious Cable USB, Aqvox Switch, Gigawatt PC-3 Evo Se, Mad Scientist Link Cable (RCA/AES), PSC Power Cords

Australia (Perth)
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Rare are the situations where we have an end-user, a retailer, and a manufacturer, of this scale, providing the possibility to extend the life of their products. As the length of this thread shows, this is a rather delicate act, as it can easily frustrate the retailer and/or the end-user.

I do not own a Devialet, but I am considering the purchase, and I have been looking into the second hand market. I also did spent some time talking with my local retailer in April 2018, who expressed complains about the competition of the second-hand market/upgrades - see below.

Over the summer we have observed 2 facts: the entry model expert pro has seen a drop in price of 15% (in my local market), and the upgrades have re-opened at a price higher than in the past. I asked myself, what's the point of this move from Devialet perspective? I suspect the move will mostly support their own business and their retailers, while giving a "nice-to-have" possibility to their end-user. Let me explain.
  • Entry level: I guess the new lower the entry price will open new business opportunity without compromising Devialet's super high-end image. That's a win-win for Devialet and their retailers.
  • Upgrade price: Right now the upgrade of a 110/120 to a 140 pro is about 60% of the price of a new pro. Other upgrades from a non-pro to pro CI are also about 40 to 60% of the retail price of the corresponding pro CI. That's a lot. If the upgrade were, say 25%. Then a first-time buyer, like me, would buy an non-pro CI on the second hand market, get the upgrade and end-up with a final price and full warranty as good as new or better. Good for me, good revenue for Devialet, but not good at all for the local retailers, because the second-hand market and Devialet (via the upgrade program) enter in direct competition with their retailers. In essence that is what my local retailer expressed a few months back. And I do understand his position.
    By maintaining the price of the upgrade high, and I do find them very hard to argue, Devialet avoid this "internal" competition, while offering the possibility to the end-user to maintain their system up to date, which creates revenue for Devialet without arm for their retailers. The difficulty for Devialet, as we can read in this thread, is to maintain the offer of the upgrade at a high value for the end-user, versus the price of the upgrade. They put more pressure of themselves by doing so i think, hence maybe the communication even in July.
So where does this leave me? I am a first time buyer, and I am attracted by the devialet offer because it is a) an amplifier that works on different principles than the traditional A/B class amp and that sound really nice and b) because it is an integrated amp/DAC/streamer which allows me to have only one box. So I want to enter the Devialet family with a pro model. So either I find a very cheap non Pro and upgrade it (won't happen, too expensive compared to new), or I find a pro CI second hand (rare), or a I buy a new one. There you go, well done Devialet.
DIY Leach amp (running for 20 years), JBL 4412A
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Hello here the expiration of my purchase.
11/2016 / Buy Le120 - 4990€ less 15% action by Devialet - 4240€
12/2016 / From the Pro Upgrade back - 3500€
01/2018 / Upgrade CI - 0 €
Overall, cost me now the 220Pro CI 7740€, today the Pro 220 costs 7990€ (saving: 250€).
I can not complain at all (my last McIntosh cost a lot more), but I am very satisfied with the 220 Pro. Rolleyes
Devialet 220Pro-CI, B&W 802 D3, (Focal Sopra 3), Linn Klimax DS/Katalyst, Burmester 089 CD, Melco N1ZS/2A + D100, Cable Audioquest (NRG-10,Diamond,K2,Yukon,Coffee etc.), iPad-Pro, KECES P8 Dual, Tidal HiFi
IsoTek: 2 x EVO3 Genesis One, EVO3 Titan One, EVO3 Syncro.                                                                                                                                                                Germany / Bavaria
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