Separates to Devialet

Feb 6, 2015
I recently overhauled my system.There was nothing wrong with it,just wanted change for change sake.
In fact, I didn't even have a plan when I started selling off my Acoustat 4 panels and servo charge tube amps.When I sold the Manley Steelhead I knew I needed something with a decent phono stage.
Before the Steelhead I had the original Suherland PHD ,before that I mostly relied on the built in stages from Audible illusions,Meitner or Levinson. just to drop some names.Vinyl has always been a mainstay with me over the years.I never sold off my vinyl treasures accumulated over the last fifity years.

So how did I end up where I am?

Has the change been an improvement, or is it a step back?

I needed speakers .I like the sound of stats,used to own stacked 57's,Martin Logan Sequels and CLS 11Z,,Quad 63,and have a Maggie home theatre set up.A friend once had a pair of Spendor SP1,and they seemed to offer a bit of a resemblance to panels,so I found a pair of Spendor SP1/2R2 that were demos'I think they have just broken in,because I wasn't happy for the first two months,not even with the Devialet.

The acquisition of the Devialet was another unplanned move.

I didn't want a bunch of boxes, wires and interconnects, so I started searching for a decent integrated with a decent phono stage.I've always been a tube man.Always paired tubes to stats.
The shift to solid state and cones was like stepping back in time before I had my first panel experience.

Initially I was not impressed.

Where to lay the blame?

The speakers,the amplification,the wires?

Ah, yes, I'll change the wires.So in goes some Cardas Clear reflection biwires, and a nice Crystal Diamond standard Digital cable for the Esoteric.

More time needed for this stuff to come up to speed.

"This is a process ,it takes time,you made a lot of changes,but you have a good foundation to work with".I told myself.The Torus, the dedicated line,the Grand Prix rack,the Symposium Ultras under the rack,the SME 10, V and Kiseki cart, the Furutech headshell wires and Dueland phono cables,the Esoteric player,the full metal jacket of GIK room tuning on walls, floor to ceiling bass traps and GIK ceiling clouds.

I ticked off all the boxes in the audiophile guide book to getting good sound out of a system.

So why does everything sound so small?

Why does it seem like I'm on the outside looking in through a window and not inside up front at the performance?

More time needed I told myself again.

Thankfully the time passed, and either the system's sound improved or my ears have re-adjusted.I could go with either answer,so no need to start a debate about burn in with me.

So I am once more content with my sound.Content not thrilled, not "it's the best I've ever heard"sound, but a very enjoyable, revealing yet not harsh or fatiguing sound.

The sound doesn't fill my large dedicated listening room,or flow over me tsunami - like, the way the old system did.

But I have to say that the Devialet( an upgraded D-Premier to Expert 250) as set up in my room is one smooth operator.

Running the Esoteric from it's digital out to the digital in on the 250 with the Crystal cable is the best digital sound I've had so far.Same with using the phono stage,the best I've heard my LP's and no trace of digititis.
I'm still listening outside,but the window is much clearer now.
The music is still not all enveloping as it was, but what I hear, I hear much clearer and cleaner.

I am a musician,so I always enjoyed my system because it's scale was closer to the sound I hear on stage.

The sound now is more like I'm sitting in the best seat at the concert, and that's not bad.
I can live with that.

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