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Devialet 130 Pro reviewed by SoundStage Hi-Fi May 2017
#1
Hi all,

I am sharing a great review from SoundStage's Hanz Wetzel. It might be a good read to remind us why we still own devialet experts/pros, and to realize that they still hold their grounds distanced from the rest of competition. 

Thought I would share a few remarks: 

"
Comparison with Devialet 120 & 200:
And to my ears, the Expert 200 sounded almost identical to the Expert 130 Pro -- it was every bit as transparent and resolving, and its power and precision through the bass equaled the new amp’s. Further, the sensational soundstaging and imaging that I remember from reviewing the 120, and that were continued in the 130 Pro, were equally present in the sound of my well-traveled Expert 200.

The only difference -- a subtle one -- was that the 200 seemed to have a touch of upper-midrange/lower-treble prominence that the 130 Pro did not. I heard this most easily in high-pitched women’s voices, as in the opening few minutes of “Mer Girl,” from Madonna’s Ray of Light (16/44.1 FLAC, Warner Bros.). Through the Expert 200, the Material Girl’s closely miked, highly articulate singing included lispier sibilants and a modest emphasis of her highest notes, demonstrating the Expert 200’s lighter, airier interpretation of the track. Through the Expert 130 Pro, by contrast, Madonna’s voice had slightly more weight and heartiness through the diaphragm, with a bit less of that airy quality. I think that the Expert 130 Pro’s timbral balance was slightly more accurate, but otherwise, the two Devialets sounded the same.

Comparison with Hegel H360:
Through the H360, Madonna in “Mer Girl” sounded a bit farther forward on the soundstage, and her voice had a sparkling quality that made her sound more vibrant and exciting. The H360’s soundstage couldn’t quite match the Expert 130 Pro in width or depth, and the sporadic bass synth wasn’t as taut or impactful. Moreover, the image of Madonna’s voice wasn’t quite as well defined or holographic. By most every metric, the Devialet’s sound was more accurate. Throw in SAM, AIR, RAM, a killer remote control, and upgradability via future firmware updates (via the SD card slot), and, despite its power deficit, the Devialet is a flaming bargain. And yet, with many tracks, I preferred the sound of the Hegel. With its lively midrange and ability to “pop,” it excited me more -- despite my “knowing” that it was the inferior tool for the job. Maybe, deep down, we all like to be lied to a little. But rest assured -- if I ever left the House of Hegel, my next stop would be the Domicile of Devialet.


Conclusion
With the Expert 130 Pro, Devialet has continued to build on the most excellent foundation of past successes like the 120 and Expert 200. Despite my apathy for such monikers as ADH and Magic Wire, their clever circuits continue to set the bar for audio realism. The Expert 130 Pro’s bass reproduction is preposterously good, and its nonexistent noise floor and extraordinary transparency permit deep inspection of the nooks and crannies of my music. Although $7690 isn’t cheap, I know of many well-respected brands that charge far more and deliver a lot less. My intermittent volume-control problem and questions about wireless AIR functionality remain, but they’re the only blemishes on the record of this otherwise state-of-the-art DAC-integrated amplifier."


Link: 
http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/...-amplifier
System: Macbook Pro Touch 2016 (on battery) ----> Apple's USB adapter ---> Audioquest Diamond USB ---> Devialet Expert 250 (Burmester PC) ---> AudioQuest Flat Rock Meteor 3m (banana-spades) ---> Focal Aria 936 /// Power: Isotek Performance Series - EVO3 Aquarius (2 high current + 4 conditioned ports) : - Devialet Expert 250 (on high current port) - Apple Airport Extreme (on conditioned port) - LaCie Porsche Design 5TB (on conditioned port)
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#2
And yet, somehow the reviewer would go for the Hegel H360 he states...
Sonus Faber Olympica II -> Chord Signature -> Devialet 200 / Anthem MRX 710 / HD-Plex H1.S based silent HiFi PC -> Roon -> HD-Plex Linear Power Supply / Pro-Ject RPM 5.1 -> Dynavector 10X5 / B&W MT-60D
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#3
A friend of mine who owns a D800 preferred devialet sound to the H360.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
System: Macbook Pro Touch 2016 (on battery) ----> Apple's USB adapter ---> Audioquest Diamond USB ---> Devialet Expert 250 (Burmester PC) ---> AudioQuest Flat Rock Meteor 3m (banana-spades) ---> Focal Aria 936 /// Power: Isotek Performance Series - EVO3 Aquarius (2 high current + 4 conditioned ports) : - Devialet Expert 250 (on high current port) - Apple Airport Extreme (on conditioned port) - LaCie Porsche Design 5TB (on conditioned port)
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#4
(17-May-2017, 08:39)Bartype Wrote: And yet, somehow the reviewer would go for the Hegel H360 he states...

Actually, this is where I think this was a particularly good review.  The reviewer stated that the Devialet was more accurate 'by most every metric', yet he still preferred the Hegel.  It would appear that he liked the Hegal due to inaccuracies that he found to be euphonic.

I think many of us worry when we see someone saying product x is better than y, when we might think product y is clearly the best.  The point is, we all have our own preferences and some amps, much like speakers but to a lesser degree, do sound a little different.  It is good to see a review that picks up on this point.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#5
(17-May-2017, 16:37)Confused Wrote:
(17-May-2017, 08:39)Bartype Wrote: And yet, somehow the reviewer would go for the Hegel H360 he states...

Actually, this is where I think this was a particularly good review.  The reviewer stated that the Devialet was more accurate 'by most every metric', yet he still preferred the Hegel.  It would appear that he liked the Hegal due to inaccuracies that he found to be euphonic.

I think many of us worry when we see someone saying product x is better than y, when we might think product y is clearly the best.  The point is, we all have are own preferences and some amps, much like speakers but to a lesser degree, do sound a little different.  It is good to see a review that picks up on this point.

I agree. It seems very honest review.
I wonder, what would be conclusion after listening to D220Pro (more close to H360' output power)?

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#6
I've always enjoyed Hanz's reviews. I was surprised by two things; one, that he found the D130 Pro and the D200 Expert to be so close in sound quality, and second, that he found the Hegel preferable for the reasons he stated.

My take on the Expert vs. Pro series is that there is a real and apparent difference in the quality of the presentation that is not just power. Detail, space, etc; all the oddball things we talk about. An Expert 400 and a Pro440 are very similar in power, but by most accounts, they do not sound the same. 

I was also a bit surprised to read about his preference for the Hegel, as it is one of the few other brands I've been able to listen to, attentively, on more than one occasion (in the same dealer space). The Hegels always sound somewhat mechanical, or industrial (?) to me. I'm totally fine with his preference for the Hegel; it just surprises me, as I, and others I know here, feel the same about the Hegel sonic character. My local dealer, who sells both, also feels the Devialet is a better amp in terms of sound quality.

It does also seem odd, or inconsistent, that about a year ago Hanz declared the D120 to be the best amp he'd heard, and the one he would buy if he was selling his Hegel and moving on. But no matter. It is still interesting to read the comments and opinions of others, esp. those who do seem open and honest in their approach to writing reviews.
Damon
W4S Sonos Connect, VPI HW19 mkIII, D220 Pro, Lawrence Audio Violin SE, Analysis Plus Oval 9 speaker cable, Power cords and Coax cables in decorator colors
Vancouver, Canada
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#7
In the early years, Devialet owners were accustomed to reviews where the reviewers said that Devialet is the best value in the market without a doubt. Lately the reviews seem a little less enthusiastic despite the improvements in the Pro series... What do you think happens?
Pro-Ject CD BOX RS--JRiver MC22--Air 3.0.4--Transparent PowerLink Super--Devialet 220 Pro--Chord Epic Twin--Harbeth SHL5--Sumiko S.9 Subwoofers--Sennheiser HD 540 Reference Gold--Soundcare SuperSpikes
Alicante (Spain)


















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