And now ruining Hi-fi

largeLast week a friend of mine and I went to see the “Devialet Phantom” a new kind of sound system that will totally revolutionise how people with ears behave. It’s suppose to be all things to all people. A compact, beautiful single unit that is an engineering marvel which wives and people who are astheticly inclined will love as well as an Audiophiles wet dream. A system that sounds as good as $20,000 systems that costs a paultry $3,000AUD. It saves space, it makes sweet love to your pets and in the event of a water landing it can act as a folation device.

It’s been getting rave reviews. The kind of reviews that make it hard to ignore. Professional reviewers are having to pay for their units as when they hand them back Devilalet can’t get the drool marks off.

A lot of people reading probably won’t know this but I used to work in high end hi-fi. It was a great job in a lot of ways. I got to play with and hear systems costing over $100,000 and because the store I was at had very few customers I got to sit around watching movies all day. I love hi-fi and I have a lot of opinions about it. And my bat like senses tell me that when something claims to be this amazing: it’s bullshit. But I also love technology and Im ever hopeful so we went and we heard. What did we think?

Well what does it claim? It claims to be blutooth, check, it claimes to be wifi, check, it claims to be revoltuinary….um….not too sure about that one…it claimes to be 3000 watts. WHAT?! I’m  going to go ahead and say “no” to that one. 3000 watts is the kind of power you run through statium speakers, the kind of power that you need serious and massive transformers to just attain. This little unit may be mostly one piece of alumimum and that may add to it’s strenght and durablity but there’s no way that it’s pumping out 3000 watts. It’s just not. This is the kind of hyperbolic bullshit that hi-fi enthisuasts have had to put up with for years. Fudging the ratings for speakers and amps is basically a hobby for most maufacturers. It also claims to have 0 distortion (impossible to tell really) and 0 hum (I didn’t hear one but then we wern’t allowed to turn it up without a signal going thru it but I’d be surprised)

Most people have never heard a system that costs more than $10,000 or spent much time with systems that are over $30,000 but my friend and i had. And not ruin your Chirstmas….. but we were bitterly disapointed. This technological marvel sounded about as good as a Bose system (which having worked for Bose, I dont rate). Maybe a little better.  Yes it’s true that there is an impressive amount of bass produced from such a small unit. But everything else was terrible. A good $20,000 system will blow your head off. Heck a good $3,000 system will make you believe in an interventionist God. A good system will immerse you in the sound, it will make your recordings come alive, it will reveal detail and power that you’ve never heard before. It will make the hair on your arms stand on end. This system did none of that. I’ve been impressed by single units or small speakers before noteably the B&W soundbar which costs half the price of this. Ok so it looks like a Corellian Corvette from Return of the Jedi but other than that I was left totaly cold. If this were less than a grand then I’d think about it. But for $3,000 you can get a pretty good system. Shop around and know what your doing you could get a really, really good system but here’s the kicker. If you want to get the best out of these things you need two of them as technically this is mono… and you also need a dialoge unit to make them work together so your really shelling out $7000AUD and for that kind of money you can get a freaking spectacular system that really will blow your socks off and make this sound like the cheap hyperbole that it is.

*(Whilst we were there we also listened to the Qsound bookshelf speakers that come in around $600 and for my money they blew this thing away, acutally they were so awesome my friend bought a pair)

 

 

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5 thoughts on “And now ruining Hi-fi

  1. I wish I had read this before purchasing my silver phantom. It’s hard/not possible to get a demo of the phantom where I live so I purchased based on the glowing reviews and comments online including one man who has replaced his b&w 802’s with 2 silver phantoms. Essentially the phantom is a huge disappointment, it can put out truly phenomenal bass for its size and also seriously plumb the depths, I think it’s 16hz claims are true. But the rest of the frequency range is poor to frankly awful not just a proper hifi but cheaper would far excel them but also most other wireless speakers. In comparison to my hifi system it’s not even close, in comparison to my harmon kardon go play the bass is much better on the phantom and by some distance to be fair to it but the midrange and treble isn’t even close. The phantom from a technological point of view is impressive but for the moment that’s where it stops

    • Hey! Thanks for reading and I’m sorry your disapointed. To me that Phantom is aimed at the Hipster set who won’t know that whilst yes it’s a technological marval it’s not an audiophile device. I have a pair or Aarons that blow it away and a set of B&O M70’s that absoluetly kill it. Ouch I feel sorry for the guy who gave up his B&W 802’s they are some seriously nice speakers.

      • It’s a pleasure reading your posts. I agree the gentleman who got rid of his b&w’s 802’s must be either very disappointed now or looking for something quite different out of hifi. I’ll stick with my kef reference for the moment but the simplicity of the phantoms I think are a glimpse of the future and devialet’s expert range are amazing pieces of kit.

  2. Concerto’s can be amazing speakers. If you do find a nice pair think about getting upgraded crossovers from falconacoustics makes them come alive, I speak from experience.

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