Reviews

Integrated digital amplifier Devialet Expert 140 Pro

As someone who has watched the whole Devialet thing evolve over the last decade, it’s been a great run. The French company, founded by a couple of former Nortel engineers with a smart amplifier circuit, has quickly established itself as perhaps the best example of disruptive technology in today’s audio industry. First with the D-Premier, and now with the Phantom and Expert series, Devialet continues to innovate, develop and grow.

And now, where we once had Devialet Expert, we now have Expert Pro, which brings a whole host of new technologies and innovations to support. And, as has been the case from the beginning, even the owners of the first models can move on to the latest Expert Pro technology. Few other brands treat their existing customers so well.

The big change in the movement of ‘Pro’ is the new Core Infinity motherboard. However, switching to that new board requires a lot of heavy lifting from the expert. This is why owners of original D-Premier models needed to periodically put their devices for updates, so they would not be left off the circuit for future developments.

Core Infinity is, in fact, the biggest move to the Devialet platform since that platform first emerged. It redesigns the basic ADH (Class A/Class D Hybrid) technology to a fairly fundamental level by introducing a new Class A voltage amp, a new 10-bit sensor circuit and a new D-class current amplifier… and redraws the base a/D class algorithm. It’s not a stylistic change… it’s a whole new engine.

There’s more, but let’s focus on this a little earlier. The movement of the current eight- to ten-bit sensor improves the accuracy of the delivery from the current amplifier to the voltage amplifier, and that along with a more efficient and sensitive code that controls the entire ADH circuit means digits of much lower distortion.

The original Magic Wire D/A conversion circuit was also examined in Core Infinity, which in turn brings an improvement of 6 dB in THD and a 2.5 dB drop in noise. This may be back lily, such as the distortion of the expert and the signal-to-noise ratio was already at low levels of world class, but this also represents some of the most significant changes in the base core of the deviation since its launch. All these changes form what Devialet calls ‘ADH Intelligence’.

In fact, many of these developments (especially in the Class D amplifier) have been seen in the strictly limited Original d’Atelier model, but collective changes also eclipse that design. In fact, the Infinity Core board is one of those technologies that would become operational at the time of the original d-Premier’s release, and prohibitively expensive at the launch of the Expert line. AXD is the company’s latest acronym and requires expert Pro amplifiers that are properly equipped to work. As Active X-over Design means, it also requires a speaker that is known to Devialet and is in excellent shape. This would require a couple of speakers that we currently don’t have, and several additional Expert Pro amplifiers that we don’t have to provide either, but this is the next step in the company’s Active Matching Speaker… and we could do that with Wilson Duette II.

DEVIALET 140 EXPERT PRO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Type: Built-in digital amplifier

Connections: 1-Optical Toslink, 1-Combined Optical Jack & RS232 Mini 3.5mm, 1-USB for computer or revolving usb connection, 1-Ethernet RJ45 for LAN connection, 4-S/PDIF digital inputs in RCA (or two analog inputs at line level), 1x Phono input – 1x Phono Input – Adjustable gain and sampling rate (96 or 192KHz, fully configurable, MM or MC, load, sensitivity, 1953 or 1976 RIAA as standard, 13 additional EQUALization curves available with leverage on the fly from the RAM menu), 1 trigger, terminals speaker and subwoofer output. Optional stereo pre-exit

Output power: 2 x 140W in six ohm, adjustable from 50 to 140 via inline configurator

THD-N (harmonic distortion) at full power: 0.0005%

SNR (signal-to-noise ratio): 130 dB not weighted

Bandwidth, 8 to 2 digital inputs or load: DC–87 kHz (-3dB), DC–60kHz (-1dB), DC–30kHz (-0.1 dB); Analog inputs: 0.1 Hz (-3dB)

Dark chrome finish, unique aluminum block box

Size (D-Width-H): 38.3 x 38.3 x 4 cm

Weight: 5.65kg

Price: 4,490 euros

Produced by: Devialet