Devialet Expert 220 Pro Integrated Amplifier Review

February 3, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“This is an exceptionally quiet amplifier whatever source is selected. Only when using the phono-stage did I ever hear any noise, though that is to be expected. All sources go through a choice of 24bit/96kHz or 24bit/192kHz digital stage, the heart or “intelligence” of the Pro as they refer to it, though at no time in my listening did I even consider this could degrade the sound. First listening was digital via the excellent Krell KPS20i CD player. Vincent Belanger “Pure Cello” is a beautiful CD, produced by Audio Note. This was an engaging performance. The solo cello playing was a positive and forceful performance without being over-powering or tiring. Indeed, all analogue sources I connected into the line input gave a positive performance in terms of accuracy of sound and covering all frequencies with a flat response. Listening to ‘Live at the Citadel’ from my friends The Enid was deep in bass yet top frequencies were equally detailed and clean, with a good sense of being there in the audience. I originally heard the band in the 1970’s and fell in love with the references to Rachmaninov in much of the music as well as the use of synthesiser. The soundstage was large and detailed, without sounding clinical. Listening to sources via USB and SPDif was equally detailed and spacious giving some of the best performances whether FLAC, WAV or DSD. Pat Metheny ‘The Way Up’ and the second track confusingly named “Part One” had a great top end and bass that was relaxed but authoritative. Similarly, Muse Resistance album and “Uprising” has a deep bass at the start which was clean and clinical, though no less enjoyable. Listening to Supertramp ‘Breakfast in America’ on CD the sound was noticeably digitised than when I play my vinyl version of the album. Interestingly, playing it from vinyl, which still goes through a 24/192 ADC, sounded superior. The Devialet performed well in all I played, whether analogue or digital, though vocals and mid-frequencies were more forward in the presentation. Indeed, whilst the Expert 220 Pro worked great with all types of music and instrumentation my only slight concerns as a critical reviewer was a very slight sibilance with some vocals (mainly female), and the sound lacking some warmth in performance.

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