DEVIALET D-Premier

TR09.08.2012

Digital sources

The square-shaped D-Premier (40x40cm) looks - with its thickness of only 50mm - like a modern bathroom scale, not like an audio device. And on closer inspection it proves that it  really is different from what we consider to be todays standard.

Function and form

100%
Ease of use
78%
Sound
100%
Appearance

Devialet tries to combine in one chassis two seemingly incompatible principles - a class A amplifier, that is considered to be the highest fidelity standard, and a class D amplifier, that is considered to be a future standard. The D amps have to tackle HF noise induced by switching - Devialet solves this through its own ADH topology (an acronym for Analogue-Digital-Hybrid). In principle the D-Premier converts all the signals on its input into digital zeros and ones and processes them only in the digital domain until they reach speaker binding posts. The processing means amplification and DSP. The D-Premier is (depending how you configure it) a preamplifier, phono preamplifier (including accurate RIAA correction), integrated amplifier, DAC or Wi-Fi streamer. The D-Premier also features an asynchronic mode AIR router to reach iTunes and it also flawlessly works with AIFF, WAV, ALAC, FLAC, AAC and MP3 files.

All the necessary settings and configurations are done through PC or MAC and transferable between two Devialet devices on a 2GB SD card. The control software is upgradeable online so if there arise a need for a new codec the device downloads it (no screwdriver needed).

Bass management

Weight
84
Slam
84
Articulation
83

As an integrated amplifier the Devialet D-Premier's output is 2x240W that should be suffiicient for all but the most demanding applications. The beauty of D-class is that when I turned it up to maximum achievable volume in my room it did not get warmer than a tablet. Still, when no signal is detected, the D-Premier automatically gets in a stand-by mode and its power consumption drops at the level of LED light.

The stunning minimalistic design combines a chromed metal chassis and a round display that is the central communication point of the device. The D-Premier allows to be hung on a wall like a picture - which else amplifier does? What I liked the most was the remote unit that is machined from a block of aluminum and looks and works like a real nerve center of the amplifier. Surfaces of both the amp and the remote are quite sensitive to fingerprints and that is perhaps why Devialet adds a microfiber cloth in the D-Premier box.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
90
Air
85
Transparency
90

I was not prepared for such a deep and controlled bass. The control (should I say articulation?) was better than with most other amps I  had heard and the absence of bass smear caused the sound to be transparent and less 'dense'. Seemingly the amp was thin unless a recording called for real depth - then the amp could shattered my room like a volcano. For example, the dramatic score of Princ of Persia soundtrack made cups on a desk in other room rattle. Whatever the D-Premier is it is not definitely bass-shy.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
83
Dynamics
85
Temporal resolution
85

Alike Danish Lyngdorf Millennium that is another excellent D-class DSP-powered amplifier (without DAC and streamer capabilities)  the D-Premiere's sound is crystal clear, fantastically focused and lightning fast. It illuminates the darkest corners of recordings and the finest details are brought to light in a very natural manner. 

The clarity of sound is like fresh mountain air and is really intoxicating. Only then you realize that the reason for such transparency lies in the absence of background 'noise' whatever it means. It is as if the D-Premier was saying look, I know that you thought that the noises in background were on the recording but they were not. Does really the conventional circuits of our amplfiers add so much background noise?

Spatial resolution

Holography
86
Soundstage width
88
Soundstage depth
88

The Devialet D-Premier is a unique all-in-one solution. The way it approaches the audio is futuristic and the way it replays the music is enticing. If your mind is open then it rewards you with beautiful sound. Considering the possibility of endless future upgrades it may be also the only audio device you'll ever need.

Price as reviewed:300 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

 BIS Audio, Zvolen, tel. +421 455 400 703

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