The Hot French Amplifier
"Have you heard the Devialet D-Premier amplifier?" asked UK high-end distributor Riccardo Franassovici when I bumped into him in the Magico room. (We were both there to check out the impressive new Q5 loudspeaker that Jason Serinus writes about elsewhere in this report.
"Huh?" I responded. (It was the end of a very long day at CES.)
Riccardo explained that the Devaliet was a small integrated with a novel new circuit and that it could be heard at CES driving the latest version of the glass-cabinet Crystal Arabesque speakers that had so impressed me at the 2009 Show.
I checked it out: with its mirror finish and the fact that it was supported on a glass shelf in front of a mural of an orchestra, the D-Premier was, as you can see, unphotographable. But what I found intriguing was that it connects a small 5W class-A amplifier directly to the speaker, with then a parallel class-D stage providing the necessary current. If you are thinking that that description is reminiscent of the innovative "current-dumping" circuit developed by Quad in the mid-1980s, that's what I thought too (though the Quad circuit used a class-AB current dumper.) Devialet doesn't yet have US distribution, but this is a company to watch.