I will wrap up this amplifier section with an all-valve design, and not any design, as this is one of the very few audio companies ran by a woman (I believe there is another valve amp company in Eastern Europe which is also ran by a woman).
It is kind of refreshing to find somebody from the so called "sexe faible" in a very politically incorrect way running a very successful business and creating amazing products.
I am certainly not a valve nut, but I do acknowledge the particular interesting properties of such designs and my first amp was indeed a DIY valve contraption (although fed by a transistorised preamp...)
Here is a link to an interview of EveAnna Manley on a French Radio and blog - recorded on my birthday!
Ypsilon electronics & Langsche speakers
A very unusual design, as the front end is valve-based, coupled to the final MOSFET stages via a transformer. The design is based on an older Electro-Voice circuit diagram, it is supposed to have some of the attributes of an all-valve OTL design with more available power in a more compact package, here delivering 220w into 8ohms.
They were driving a pair of Lansche 7 loudspeakers and together produced one of the most stunning demos at the Show, thanks in no small part to the Ion tweeter, said to reach 150KHz!
Very impressive, and expensive indeed...
Two very interesting sources were feeding the system, their own CD player and the Bergman tangential arm turntable - more on these later.
What a statement! A statement of US imperialism almost!
A towering example of good old technology, build in California,
and probably over 2KW of amplification on (static...) display.
It is impressive, beautifully made, and certainly expensive.
They are distributed in Australia by:
Kedcorp. Pty. Ltd. tel: +61.2.9561.0799
They make preamps and speakers as well based on SEAS drivers.
Certainly worth a listen.
Devialet D-Premier Amplifier
Everybody talks about it, even KK who is not a Francohifile, (but certainly Francophile...) - and apologies for the anagram in the title of this post...what a weird name anyway. But nobody chooses their family name, although in this case, this is not the origin of the brand name! mystere, mystere...
It was reviewed in HiFi News in October 2010 by Paul Miller, who talks about French Cheek (other reviewers have mentioned The New French Revolution or even The Art of French Kissing!) and concludes:
"lf I could award Devialet two badges then I would, because the D-Premier is both this Editor's choice and the outstanding amplifier thus far of the new Millennium"
This is my first occasion to have a look and a listen: it is certainly a beautiful object - love the remote as well. And for a Class D, hybrid digital/analog amplifier, it has to do something special, as it made the Focal Utopias it was hooked to sound incredibly good and lively - and that's a challenge!
I guess the versatility of the product as well as its level of performance will be the attraction to people that are geared towards "dematerialised" music sources, as the D-Premier now comes with integral Airplay and an online configuration tool, called the Configurator (but not the Terminator, as all changes are reversible...)
This customization tool will allow you to:
- get extended information about customizing options and default settings
- edit configuration files for your D-Premier
- download the latest software upgrade for your unit.
and also allows you to daisy-chain two amps to go dual mono, increase power to 2x400W AND reduce distortion level to a microscopic 0.00025% THD.
And although it is very well suited to digital music files, it works as well with analogue front-end, like our beloved turntables (both MC and MM cartridges are catered for...).
For a more comprehensive technical description, I will let you go the the Devialet website tech page: http://www.devialet.com/technology.php
And, BTW, this product is another proof that 24/192 well designed DACs give a level of quality and sonic pleasure to match most analog systems.
I wonder if this should, one day, replace my Bryston - unlikely at this stage...
Just a quick detour from Las Vegas and back in Paris, actually in "Cote Paris".
I just got the latest copy of "Cote Paris" - the January issue - obviously, we are on the other side of the Planet (lol...) and to my utter surprise, there is a full page on Elipson, their new Planets ( no, not the ones from Holst..., but certainly of Helmholtz fame!).
And these little beauties have been designed by our good friend Jullien Thaler who just posted a photo on his Facebook page of the very rare "Religieuses" used by the French Radio (ORTF) as monitors for a long time.
And in another twist of fate, I had a long conversation with my ex-HP colleague, Marc Fontaine, who bought Mulidine back in 2005 - more on these speakers in a later post - and happens to be a neighbour and friend of Jullien: The World is Flat (a must-read book by Thomas L. Friedman)
Jadis: the first amp JA80
Jadis has been at it since 1983 - unlike Samsung, they are not a newbie at using valves!
Andre Calmettes, the founder, invented the JA80 at that time (hence the name, I guess...)
Although certainly not looking Danish, this product produced such an extraordinary sound that it became an instant hit.
Perfectionism is certainly a reason for its success:
The valves are tested and paired before being used in production, components are carefully selected and have been improved over time, and the "piece de resistance" (or should I say "no resistance"...) is the output transformer produced in house and capable of withstanding 2500 watts without distortion!
Currently, the most powerful Jadis amp is rated at 350w, so far away from that specification.
Since then, the product range has grown to include phono stages, preamps, amps, DACs, CD players and cables. And the look! well definitely matching the internal beauty - check the wiring: magnfique!
Jadis was one of the few French companies present in Vegas: good on you!
Check the photos below
Samsung valve-based DA-E670 Audio Dock
Ken Kessler will have a heart attack!
The South Korean Electronics giant Samsung turn to valves (and Apple...) to spruce up their audio business. The new iPod/iPhone/iPad ghetto blaster uses a valve-based digital amplifier in this modern-retro combo, complete with integral sub and Apple Airplay!
They have not forgotten their own Android clients, as this product is also compatible with the Galaxy range.
C'est le monde a l'envers!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.