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What have I DONE!??? I now have a stereo pair of mutant Stormtrooper helmets with gold bling! I moved from a setup with all these components and lots of cables to something which resembled a pair of mutant Stormtrooper helmets with gold bling ! Otherwise known as Devialet Phantom Gold, they provided superb audio quality expected of a high end hifi system in a pair of components, each slightly larger than a soccer ball ! What convinced me? It started with a post from @andrewhollo (thank you Andrew!) who moved from the same brand active speakers to the Phantom Golds and I had a discussion with him. The reviews of the Phantom Gold often praised the audio quality, particularly the bass but gave a thumbs down for the pricing. However, most reviews were for a single speaker targeted at the wireless market. However, this article changed things: Steve Huff is well known in the photography world but has a passion for hifi. He swapped over to the Phantom Golds with improved AQ. Steve mentioned that getting the phantoms on stands and positioning the speakers were critical. It was backed up by Andrew’s description of a night and day difference between a single Gold and a stereo pair. The audition at Klapp AV, as a single speaker (& typical of most retailers), confirmed the ability to deliver detail and bass. Despite the impressive bass, I still had some concerns about the whether it could deliver good enough bass in my difficult room. Had to rely on reviews, and Andrew, for their feedback on stereo performance. So How Do They Sound? The Phantom Golds provide a superb musical sound stage with detail. Sound stage is open and airy, much better than previously. Resolution of individual instruments has improved. Details are all there. Regarding the bass, there was no doubt that the Golds are better than old setup without subs. The room is an open plan family room with no bass traps. The Golds lose to the highly optimised dual sub setup but that is not a surprise. It took a long time to get to that state with a target curve that boosts bass by 4 dB, but tails off below 30 Hz. However, the Golds matched the setup optimised with dual subs without a target curve. Impressive indeed! 👍 Potentially, bass could be improved further by playing with the positioning within the room; this flexibility was not available in the previous setup. WOW! I was losing almost nothing with the bass and gained a better musical sound stage with the helmets! Apps are not perfect Not too sure about the Spark App which is not as good as BluOS. Am using BubbleUpnp app on to access the music on the NAS and that is working reasonably well. Please note that BubbleUpnp app is extremely sensitive to wifi dropouts and not recommended for rooms with poor wifi. A move to Roon may be the next step. Lessons learnt Don’t dismiss a system because it looks different. Simplicity should be the driver Enjoy the music not the journey/thrill of upgrading and adding components which leads to increased complexity; see lesson 2 Conclusion A stereo pair of Devialet Phantom Golds on stands delivers audio quality that can at least match many high end audio systems costing a lot more. It may be a challenge to audition them as a stereo pair on stands, but until you do, do not dismiss them. A stereo pair of Phantom Golds is a seriously good setup. Can now spend more time listening, which is what this game should be about… ------------- Before and after Components and cabling replaced
Devialet Expert Pro Integrated Amp, Phantom Gold and PMC Speakers 8pm Wednesday 16th August, visitors welcome. Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading Melway Map 48 Ref G9 Contact: 9437 1249 In 2009, a French manufacturer Devialet, set the audio world on its ear with the introduction of the D-Premier DAC-Integrated Amplifier. This unique component, housed in a slim shiny case the size of a laptop, featured a host of customizations that had never before been incorporated into an audio component. A digital preamplifier section that could accept digital as well as line and phono-level analogue signals; a high-powered digital signal processor (DSP) that could perform real-time processing of the music signals for equalization and room correction; and an innovative amplifier topology Analogue Digital Hybrid (ADH), which set Devialet apart from other Hi-Fi manufacturers. The current line up of amplifiers called Expert Pro, start off with their entry level model Expert 130 Pro which delivers 130Wpc into 6 ohms and goes up to their most powerful model, the Expert 1000 Pro. Leigh Fischer from INTERDYN will be demonstrating the many features of the Devialet amplifier with a pair of PMC fact.12 speakers. With new technology called Speaker Active Matching (SAM) the amplifiers output signal can be optimized for your particular speaker. A testament to the pace of Devialets technical evolution is incorporated in the Phantom speaker. Their active loudspeaker backed with R&D and out-of-the-box thinking sets a path for the future. By design, the Phantom goes against and beyond the existing establishment. Egg like in shape and white only in colour, the technology contained within the Phantom speaker is very impressive. The Gold Phantom will also be demonstrated at the club. Its novel combination of 'Class A' and 'Class D' amplification, 4500W at 108db, and their 'Bass Implosion' technology measuring ruler flat from 20Hz, is the absolute demonstration of Devialets design and engineering. Devialet has firmly cemented its name in the audiophile world. Their integrated amplifiers and Phantom speakers, play host to the most exciting and innovative technologies available in sound reproduction. The future in Hi-Fidelity has arrived. Nick Karayanis Program Co-ordinator Ken Tripp Wise and Wonderful Webmaster Melbourne Audio Club, Inc. http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au