Devialet evolution continues with more power while including SAM (Speaker Active Matching)

July 12, 2014 — Article

Devialet’s first product, the D-Premier launched in 2010, created quite a stir in the hi-fi industry by introducing the company’s unique ADH® (Analogue Digital Hybrid) technology. Now the company has announced a major new firmware release (v7.1) which introduces a host of improvements to both performance and functionality while including their SAM (Speaker Active Matching) technology, which is sophisticated digital processing that enables Devialet components to be precisely matched to a particular pair of speakers.

Devailet 120

In terms of the new model names, the entry-level Devialet 110 becomes the Devialet 120 (delivering 120W per channel); the midrange Devialet 170 becomes the Devialet 200 (200W per channel); and the range-topping Devialet 240 becomes the Devialet 250 (250W per channel). Devialet’s proprietary AIR wi-fi streaming technology, with a resolution of up to 192kHz, is now included at no extra cost, while the retail prices will remain the same!

Devailet under the hood view

In addition to the stereo models, two dual monoblock configurations join the range. The flagship Devialet 800 pairs a Devialet 250 with a 250 slave to unleash 800W per channel, this combination replacing the previous Devialet 500. And for the first time, the midrange Devialet 200 can also be paired with a slave to create a dual monoblock configuration, resulting in the 400W per channel Devialet 400.

Devailet 800

View of connectors

There are numerous key improvements brought by firmware v7.1, including enhanced sound quality with an update of the ADH® algorithm as well as other performance upgrades, of which a major addition is SAM (Speaker Active Matching) technology. SAM is sophisticated digital processing that enables the amplifier to adapt the signal to the speakers, which is made possible by the unique internal architecture of Devialet components with their powerful digital ‘brain’. SAM processes in real time the musical signal, ensuring that the sound pressure reproduced by the loudspeakers is an exact replica of the audio signal on the recording.

Devailet SAM technology sound pressure levels ON/OFF

Here are the first speakers SAM READY (see video bottom of the page here)

  • Apertura Edena
  • Atohm GT1
  • B&W 802D
  • B&W 805D
  • B&W CM10
  • Estelon XB
  • Focal Aria 926
  • Focal Diablo Utopia 3
  • KEF LS50
  • KEF R300
  • Magico S1
  • Penaudio Cenya
  • Sonus Faber Venere 2.5
  • Vivid Audio Giya G3
  • Wilson Audio Sophia 3

Devailet SAM and ADH working together

Like their predecessors, the Devialet 120, 200 and 250 form the hub of an ultra high-definition audio system as they combine a pre-amplifier, stereo power amplifier and DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) in a single, slimline case. What makes them unique is a new form of amplification called ADH® (Analogue Digital Hybrid), specially developed by Devialet. It is ADH® technology that enables the Devialet components to be so slim, yet deliver so much power with high-resolution sound.

In a nutshell, ADH® combines Class A operation – long recognised to be the most desirable form of solid-state amplification, in terms of sonic purity and fidelity to the source – with Class D, operating in parallel. Class D amplification is often described as ‘digital’, because it is based on switching technology.

In simple terms, Class D provides the muscle, ensuring efficiency and the ability to drive any speaker on the planet with vice-like grip and control, while Class A delivers exemplary sonic accuracy, expression and refinement.

Although pure Class A amplifiers often sound great, they are extremely inefficient, consume lots of power, run very hot and are usually necessarily large, particularly the ones with relatively high current delivery. Whereas, Class D amplification can deliver copious current from a relatively compact, cool-running box. But while it can sound impressively clean and crisp, Class D lacks the inherent fidelity of class A and is often criticised for sounding somewhat cold and flat.

By combining Class A and Class D in a manner never before achieved, Devialet ADH® combines the best of both worlds offering amplifiers that deliver exception levels of power, yet the quality of sound you hear is Class A.

In addition to ADH® amplification, the Devialet components incorporate a super-advanced ‘_Magic Wire_’ DAC right at their heart. Digital audio data – for example, audio files from a computer, smartphone or tablet, or a digital feed from a CD or multi-format disc player – is converted to analogue and the resultant signal is amplified using ADH® technology, ready to drive the speakers.

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