Frankly, Devialet’s “Next Generation” trio of audio systems is one of the most thoroughly high-end lines of stereo equipment we’ve ever seen. These chromed-out beauties essentially whip an older style of audio component, the integrated amplifier, well into the 21st century by combining a wealth of digital inputs, cutting-edge audio processing and a unique hybrid amplifier under one very sleek roof. Inside are the highest quality parts available – and the specs back that up.
Just because Devialet’s gear is beautiful doesn’t mean it can’t take care of business. From the entry-level Devialet 110 to the ridiculously beefy flagship Devialet 240, the company’s line-up is drool-worthy for both gear-heads and audio nuts alike. But hold on to your wallets folks, excellence like this comes at a price. A big one.
We’ll start with the 240, which serves up two channels at 240 watts each. It can also be configured as a 500-watt monoblock amplifier and — get this — can be daisy-chained together with up to seven additional Devialet 240s … That’s $140,000 worth of amplification, and you’ll still be needing speakers with that.
The 240’s hidden rear panel includes Ethernet, digital S/PDIF, Digital AES/EBU via XLR, HDMI, USB, Toslink, an RS232 trigger, and a set of RCA inputs that can act as a line-level input or phono input (configurable for moving magnet or moving coil, take your pick!) and analog line connections — plus a subwoofer output with a low-pass filter which can be adjusted through an online tool. Actually, all of the inputs can be custom-configured. Want to make a digital input analog instead? No problem, users need only to visit Devialet’s online configurator.
The Devialet 170 is the middle sibling presented as the model balanced between cost and performance at $9,500, and has many of the same features as the 240, but with a little less power – two channels at 170 watts each.
The 110 model, a $6500 model, is essentially the same, but with two 110-watt channels – still more than enough for most consumer-level speakers. The 170 and 110 come with all the same input options found on the 240.
What’s more impressive than those wattage ratings are the insanely low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and class-leading Signal-to-Noise ratios, indications of exemplary performance capabilities, all thanks to a litany of features and proprietary technologies shared by all the models. Each component section and every piece of circuitry has been invented from scratch in France. At the core of all models is Devialet’s patented Analog Digital Hybrid (ADH) tech, which blends a Class-A analog amplifier’s “musicality” with the Class-D digital amplifier’s “renowned power and compact size,” according to the press release. They all include a low-jitter, ultra-high precision clock, an SD card for upgrades, and a remote control, and they can each have their power adjusted down to 50 watts with the aforementioned online configuration tool.
Standard on all models is compatibility with Devialet’s AIR app, which seamlessly and wirelessly streams music via PC or Mac. Using a Wi-Fi connection, the app streams from a computer and is compatible with all player formats, including iTunes, VLC, Windows Media Play, etc., as well as thousands of Internet radio stations and services such as Pandora, Spotify and Deezer. Also included is a second free program, the Devialet Remote App, which adds volume/source control and music file streaming for iOS and Android-based smartphones and tablets.
All three models are constructed in France, milled from single blocks of aluminum and finshed with seriously sexy Black Chrome. Each comes with a solid square remote topped with a luxurious volume dial, also sleekly chromed out. Simply put, Devialet sets the aesthetic standard bar for audio equipment extremely high with this trio of components.
Devialet first unveiled the trio, which replaces the French company’s original “Premier” music system line, in January at CES in Las Vegas. Owners of the Premier box can actually upgrade the their software and transform it into a 240 for a little less than $5,000.
And if one of these isn’t enough for you, pick up the Devialet 500: two units used as mono-blocks to create a complete 240 “master” and 240 “slave” for all the advantages of dual mono.