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Snoopy8

What have I DONE??? I now have a stereo pair of mutant Stormtrooper helmets with gold bling!

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What have I DONE!???  I now have a stereo pair of mutant Stormtrooper helmets with gold bling!  :shocked: 

 

I moved from a setup with all these components and lots of cables

image.png.cc16095c5b8cea41ac344fec2461b7d0.png

 

to something which resembled a pair of mutant Stormtrooper helmets with gold bling !    

image.png.c2cd7674c1116417fc9279dd2309c81b.png

 

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

  1. Don’t dismiss a system because it looks different. 
  2. Simplicity should be the driver
  3. 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

image.png.71e73ebb99deb9e93d48c44bd8c4bddc.png

image.png.e4679f7ef59a91bdf26e8706d2710605.png

 

Components and cabling replaced

image.png.e1f45cf8f0288b8a519182aad14c9eaf.png

 

Edited by Snoopy8
Typos, fixed link, added photos

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I heard a pair of the entry level whites in stereo at Audio Junction in Newcastle and they blew me away, especially the bass and it wasn’t thump, thump but clear low and precise and this was after a demo on the 10000 Yamaha speakers.

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Congrats Snoop!  Its all a journey and one needs to appreciate it.  Are you keeping System 1 (as in the pic) as a backup?

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Well you did say the change would be a surprise and you were correct. .... :winky:

 

Looking forward to further reviews once you have spent more time with the set up.

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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congrats ! quite a move :) definitely cleared out a lot of gear for them. great that happy with and to a wow level :) 

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44 minutes ago, shogo33 said:

Are you keeping System 1 (as in the pic) as a backup?

Many of those items are in the Classifieds!  No, the old system is going and I will save money once they sell.

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20 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Many of those items are in the Classifieds!  No, the old system is going and I will save money once they sell.

is there a prima luna integrated in there by any chance :D 

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3 minutes ago, betty boop said:

is there a prima luna integrated in there by any chance :D 

Dialogue Premium Preamp, only 3 months old. :shocked:.   Out for evaluation.  

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10 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Dialogue Premium Preamp, only 3 months old. :shocked:.   Out for evaluation.  

good stuff, have been hankering for the integrated for a while now :D so thought id ask just in case.... am sure will move it on soon enough  :) 

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I think a lot of people will be saying wow or what a surprise but I don’t think it’s a surprise once you have heard then, better sound quality with less components, win win.

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21st century sound.

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1 hour ago, powerav said:

I think a lot of people will be saying wow or what a surprise but I don’t think it’s a surprise once you have heard then, better sound quality with less components, win win.

so true.  Epiphany moment when i tried a simple passive preamp in my rig.  It put my $$$$ preamp to shame in terms of transparency and liquidity of the sound.  No lacking of bass there too.

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Nicely played.

 

Maybe you started this thread too soon. I was eyeing your speakers for sale, ...but now I need to look for the stormtrooper helmets....😁

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15 minutes ago, AudioGeek said:

Nicely played.

 

Maybe you started this thread too soon. I was eyeing your speakers for sale, ...but now I need to look for the stormtrooper helmets....😁

I think there is a slight difference in price. 🤔

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Hi, 

it is a surprise. 

So , what is the best connection with those phantoms, a lot of people claim having problems with Wifi? I am guessing CD player can only be connected through optical and there is no USB for PC/laptops. 

5 years from now all those wireless connections and internet services might change beyond any software upgrade. I mean spending $10k for something that 10 years from now might be useless. 

 

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More importantly where do you plug in the turntable?

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Wow, congrats on the phantoms, The Dev gear is certainly set up for ease of use (with a dash of French unpredictability).  Is Roon on the horizon?

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An amazing direction change Snoopy.  But if it means you can just listen to music again, instead of the electronics, isn’t that what it’s all about 

 

Looking forward to so more reviews soon 

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Cool.

 

Where do you plug in the t/table...seriously.

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10 hours ago, AudioGeek said:

Maybe you started this thread too soon. I was eyeing your speakers for sale, ...but now I need to look for the stormtrooper helmets....

Damn!  😂 

4 hours ago, PKay said:

More importantly where do you plug in the turntable?

 

3 hours ago, candyflip said:

Where do you plug in the t/table...seriously.

Via optical, have a read of the link in my post in which Steve Huff uses a pair of helmets, turntable and Sonos Connect. Also same link here.

3 hours ago, frednork said:

Is Roon on the horizon?

Not sure, it is Roon Ready, trying to figure out what it means

Edited by Snoopy8
added link

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I did find that Roon integrates very well with my Le 200 and improves on the overall functionality. I would expect that there would also be a benefit with the Gold but can't say.

 

You do get a free trial period which would be worth a look. In the end I got tired of paying the licence fee and bought a Node2 in the runout sales (consider paying the lifetime if you like the integration).   I use ethernet for my Devialet as I found that on hires music you still get drop outs even if you have a good wifi signal.

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I did hear the Silver series in stereo during a visit to David Jones (Melb CBD) a while ago, was trying to work out what was missing from the sound . . . I mean, how could two small and weird looking eggs deliver great sound? . . .

 

Well, I was about to be given a lesson in not judging a book by its cover, I was blown away by the quality of the sound that came from these speakers.

 

I get the attraction of buying these and being done with the whole hifi ‘tinkering’ thing. Having said that, I’m not there yet.

 

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8 hours ago, candyflip said:

Where do you plug in the t/table...seriously.

It was meant to be tongue in cheek - sadly lost in the interpretation.

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14 minutes ago, PKay said:

It was meant to be tongue in cheek - sadly lost in the interpretation.

You misunderstand.

 

I *really* meant for myself, not your comment, "where does the t/table go"? (which is why I didn't quote your comment)  :) 

'Cause I wouldn't be buying these without that ability, and I hadn't read the link the OP provided at that point.

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14 hours ago, Irek said:

So , what is the best connection with those phantoms, a lot of people claim having problems with Wifi? I am guessing CD player can only be connected through optical and there is no USB for PC/laptops. 

5 years from now all those wireless connections and internet services might change beyond any software upgrade. I mean spending $10k for something that 10 years from now might be useless. 

A single standalone Phantom use wifi but 2 or more uses a connecting device called a Dialogue.   The Dialogue connects using an Ethernet cable and talks using POE (Power Over Ethernet) to each Phantom.  Hence, no wifi issues for the Phantoms but as I posted, BubbleUpnp is wifi sensitive.  Yes, can connect CD player via optical.

 

Should the unthinkable happen and Devialet goes out of business, and no more software updates, you can still use the Phantom for existing services, or use Upnp to access music sources  or use optical input.  Even your bleakest view of spending $10K for 10 years is OK.  I have lost far more than $1K a year through depreciation, swapping, taking wrong a path in my old setup.  I will gladly spend $1K a  year for superb audio quality.

4 hours ago, PKay said:

I did find that Roon integrates very well with my Le 200 and improves on the overall functionality. I would expect that there would also be a benefit with the Gold but can't say.

 

You do get a free trial period which would be worth a look. In the end I got tired of paying the licence fee and bought a Node2 in the runout sales (consider paying the lifetime if you like the integration).   I use ethernet for my Devialet as I found that on hires music you still get drop outs even if you have a good wifi signal.

I am still trying to find out what Roon capabilities it has.  It says Roon readytested, but I suspect the Phantom does not do RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transport) yet (other Devialet products just got RAAT).   I will explore Roon initially to use get a better user experience.  Will post when I learn more..

4 hours ago, barn door said:

I get the attraction of buying these and being done with the whole hifi ‘tinkering’ thing. Having said that, I’m not there yet.

2 months ago, I was still happily doing my tinkering.  My preamp is 3 months old.  I even bought tubes 1 month ago to do tube rolling!  This change happened quickly.

4 hours ago, candyflip said:

You misunderstand.

 

I *really* meant for myself, not your comment, "where does the t/table go"? (which is why I didn't quote your comment)  :) 

'Cause I wouldn't be buying these without that ability, and I hadn't read the link the OP provided at that point.

I knew @PKay was stirring and you were serious.  I chose to answer both of you with the same answer!  😀  I am unlikely to go down the turntable rabbit hole;  cannot say "never" especially since this radical change

Edited by Snoopy8
corrected Roon status

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