what’s a devialet Phantom ?

A question has played on the minds of all savvy audiophiles – why has Devialet, darlings of the French hi-fi set, been acquiring tens of millions of Euros in investment while mopping up the cream of hardware and software engineers (35 and counting)? One week before the rest of the world’s press were invited, the €1690 Devialet Phantom or ‘implosive sound centre’.

The devialet Phantom Techical Specification

This all-in-one, verynearly- portable (it weighs 10.5kg) solution was made possible through a further miniaturisation of Devialet’s core streaming and ADH amplifi cation technologies coupled with some impressive mechanical engineering. Inputs include dual-band Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n 2.4GHz & 5GHz), Ethernet on RJ-45 (10/100/1000MHz) and Toslink optical for use with legacy digital sources. Devialet is also introducing its Dialog peripheral that enables a fully wireless high-res audio system throughout your home, and can control and synchronise up to 24 Phantoms. NUTS AND BOLTS The outside of this smooth, low diffraction enclosure – an ABS shell with polycarbonate chassis – reveals a dual-concentric midrange ‘ring’ and inset treble dome, both fabricated from aluminium. The pair of custom bass drivers are gasket-sealed into the enclosure by a force of 1.2 tons while their ±13mm throw gives the impression they will pop from the cabinet at any moment! The drivers are powered by four ADH amplifiers, including 2x300W modules for the bass. This in itself is a feat of engineering – what requires 200cm2 of PCB space and 1000 surface-mount components in Devialet’s high-end amplifi ers is reduced to a single 1cm2 ASIC in the Phantom.


Devialet Phantom with awesome bass

SAM (Speaker Active Matching) has been described by Devialet as its ‘second technical revolution’ following the ADH concept at the heart of its amplifiers [HFN June ’14]. Mapping the characteristics of bass drive units and their acoustic load has allowed Devialet to equalise the audio signal in DSP before it hits the speaker, ensuring the driver’s performance is idealised. Over the last ten months we’ve seen this software developed to accommodate over 150 different loudspeaker models, but this was never its primary mission. In fact, SAM was conceived to tackle a very specific problem posed by the Phantom – just how do you get a truly extended and palpable low frequency response from two opposing 6in alloy drivers working into an impossibly small, sealed, cabinet volume (just 2x3litres)? Thanks to SAM, and the physical robustness of its highefficiency bass units, Devialet claims to have exceeded the bass extension of a typical 120 litre floorstanding loudspeaker, specifying a response of 20Hz-20kHz (±0.5dB) and a maximum output of 105dB SPL (Silver Phantom). Is Devialet on the cusp of sparking (another) revolution in hi-fi ? It certainly thinks so…