Welcome back to my Monday ramblings, today features another system from a demonstration over the weekend – and what a system it is!
On YouTube, there is currently a phenomena with the “Youth” of watching ASMR videos in order to get the “tinglies”. ASMR, for those not trendy enough to know, is the acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – the tingling sensation that an auditory stimulus can give that starts on your scalp and gently makes its way down your spine. The YouTubers pumping out ASMR content rely upon stroking microphones and tapping glassware to entertain their audiences, I feel they’ve been missing a trick as all they ever needed was a Devialet 1000Pro, dCS Vivaldi Upsampler and Clock and a pair of the Wilson Audio Sasha DAW. Track after track, from Agnes Obel to Wishbone Ash, my scalp swelled, my spine tingled and my hair stood on end.
The Devialet is an unusual beast. Looking like a pair of very premium bathroom scales it wouldn’t seem out of place in a B&O display but this stylish and understated exterior belays the revelation that inside beats the heart of a thoroughbred. The Devialet is somehow capable of delivering 1KW into a 6ohm load with a distortion measurement so low its hardly worth mentioning (I will though, 0.00025% THD at full power). A damping factor of 8000 ensures that it delivers the best bass resolution and slam this side of a 1980’s Krell design and a signal to noise ratio of 133dB gives a transparency and blackness that I’m yet to hear beaten. I’ve never heard a better description of what a Devialet does than from one of our regulars – “It’s as close to a piece of wire with gain as is possible and it shall be the last amplifier that I shall ever need”.
Holding the beautiful rotary remote in my hand I felt obliged, given the recent news, to revisit Fleetwood Mac’s seminal Rumours album. The dCS Vivaldi was responsible for streaming our 24/96 copy and doing it’s magic to deliver this at a transcoded and upsampled DSD resolution. I have found this to be the Devialet’s preferred format over its AES input and the dCS adds an extra layer of space and realism in doing so. When that infamous bass riff in “The Chain” begins, it bursts into the room level of texture, leading edge definition and decay that noone would reasonable expect from a pair of amplifiers with such diminutive dimensions.
Changing gears to a more modern production, Telepathic Teddy Bear’s cover of “Where is my mind” stood out as a great example of what this system is capable of. The combination of the Wilson Sasha’s extraordinary handling of dynamics and timing allowing the Devialet to resolve the tricky drumline effortlessly, the odd sliver of silence in the track highlighting how totally the Devialet was in control of the speaker. I finished my listening session with revisiting the Fugee’s 1996 classic “Ready or Not”, the Devialet demonstrating its ability to conjure up a soundstage far beyond the boundaries of the speakers and position Lauryn Hill hauntingly in the space between. The sheer transparency of the system allowed each track in the recording to be followed with total ease and offered a level of insight into the production of the album that few systems are capable of.
In summary, this system is perfect. Each component working sympathetically with each other to highlight all of their individual strengths – The dCS’s detail and realism, the Devialet’s poise and precision and the Wilson’s dynamic’s and range. To me, this is the epitome of Hi-Fi – faithfulness to source – it’s capable of revealing every microcosm of detail in an acoustic piece, every performer in an orchestra and every ounce of energy in a bassline. Some years ago, Devialet had a marketing tagline of “One day, everyone will own a Devialet” and for the sakes of the YouTube ASMR addicts, I hope that this becomes reality.