February 04, 2011 by Lisa Montgomery
Leave it to the French to create something as visually stunning as the D-Premier amplifier by Devialet. The piece, which incorporates a preamplifier, stereo amplifier and a DAC (digital-to-analog converter), looks so beautiful … you just might want to hang it on the wall.
In fact, Devialet has made accommodations to do just that. Or, you can always just set it on a shelf. Either way, it’s a huge departure from the traditional rectangle box that’s stuffed inside an equipment rack. Another big difference: No buttons, LEDs or switches on the face of the unit. All the controls can be found on a companion remote, which shares a similar aesthetic as the amp. Cable connections are concealed underneath a removable panel.
Shiny, glossy, modern and sleek, there’s no doubt the D-Premier looks great, but what about performance? It’s no slouch here, either. It incorporates Devialet’s patented amplification technology, called Analogn/Digital Hybrid (ADH), which combines the best of Class A and Class D amplification. You get the sonic refinement of a Class A amp, with the small, cool-running form factor of a Class D amp. Minimizing heat build-up is particularly important for any product that’s mounted to the wall, so Devialet built in an auto-sensing technology that enables the unit to drop into a 5-watt standby mode when no input is sensed.
Connections (10 total) include a combination of optical, coaxial, XLR and HDMI. Plus, in the spring you’ll be able to connect a Wi-Fi module for 24-bit/192kHz audio streaming. Now for the bad news: the product retails for $15,995.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
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