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The first Devialet OS board prototype has just landed in our engineers' hands.

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2017, April 11th Update

  • The Devialet OS Board will be internal and will replace both Duet and Wifi boards
  • New powerful  dual-band 2.4/5GHz wifi and Gigabit Ethernet modules
  • The OS board will feature a Linux-based operating system tailored for audio applications and streaming
  • There will be no music storage on Devialet OS board
  • The Devialet OS board will be offered and installed for free to all Expert Pro and Original d'Atelier owners

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More to come soon...

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118 Comments

  • 1
    Avatar
    hifi_swlon

    Just to pick up on a few points above:

    Stevensegal: Devialet should be driven by what their customers want. In leu of any customer survey from Devialet or anywhere else (which based on Devialet's past performance is very unlikely to materialise), where else do they find out what their customers want? The only Devialet-specific forum that exists, and this area of their own website (which was explicitly setup garner feedback on the streamer board) seem like good places to start to me.  I find it hard to understand why anyone would suggest they ignore the feedback.

    What features you would like is your view, and you're absolutely right to voice it.  However, others have their views.  Neither is necessarily better, and hopefully everyones needs can be met. The point I was making is that the only detailed discussion about the streamer board has already been running for many months, and covers users right across the spectrum of Devialet models from the 120 up to the 1000 Pro and OdA - why would they be 'minority users'?

    Per Roon - you didn't like it - that's fair enough too.  However, many people do.  What most like about it is its robust streaming protocol, which allows for advanced multi-room, EQ, and up-sampling, runs on all platforms including Linux, and is leagues above most other options out there.  After two years of trying to get a flaky AIR to work, it was a revelation.  Pretty much all brands in the same league as Devialet have adopted Roon - even Naim have announced it, and they have a very established proprietary player that's leagues ahead of Spark. I had a Spark demo in Devialet's Harrods concession and even they couldn't get it to work properly! The fact is, Roon is the defacto high end player for many people.  It's not for everyone - hence the request for choice for all the systems people want.

    I hardly see many people with an interest in the streamer boards as 'forum fanatics', but answering the question - why should Devialet give out the details?

    Well, firstly, it's not a secret and they're not Apple - they've already announced it as part of the advertising for the Expert Pro series - and therefore many people have already paid for it in advance.  Secondly, because the CEO made a public statement that Devialet would interact with their users better - including discussing their needs and wishes.  Thirdly, because OdA owners have to wait for the streamer board to be released before their units get updated to 1000Pro spec, so timings are quite important to them.

     

    Avram:  Roons RAAT protocol is proprietary, but it's royalty-free and they hand-hold brands through certification. There is no ongoing cost to Devialet or their users (other than a Roon license for those who use it), and is only the cost of coding and testing to become certified.  Small raspberry Pi manufacturers with only one or two staff have done it, so it can't be that onerous for a company like Devialet.  Roon have never made any claim that RAAT 'improves the sound' by some magic - in fact they clearly state their technical goals of bit perfect delivery and clear, open reporting of the entire signal chain.  There's plenty of documentation about RAAT.  But what it does do is robust multi-room streaming from a central source.  TCP/IP may be able to do some or all of this - but what systems are they part of?  A transport alone isnt much use - how do you send your library and playlists to an Expert amp simply over TCP? With streaming its not just the technology, but the user experience.

    Devialet engineers have produced some amazing hardware, but sadly, in my opinion and experience, have been let down by their poor software - leading to a bad user experience.  So they certainly don't inspire respect and confidence, although as you say, they should.

    "We should refrain from criticizing Devialet of being late."

    I'm sorry to say I completely disagree.  Some people are still waiting for the Dialogues they purchased to work with the Expert line years ago, to actually work with the Experts.  Others are still waiting for AIR to work after suffering endless bugs and dropouts that were never fixed over a period of years.  I myself waited two years but at least now it finally works for me (at least at the moment).

    As far as I'm aware, Devialet have already announced 'off the record' to several users and dealers that it won't be ready in Q2, and most likely not in Q3 - more like the end of 2017.

     

     

    Like I say this is just one persons opinion....

     

    What we really want to hear form is Devialet themselves.  And I don't mean simple fluff and marketing speak about the streamer board.  I mean details of specific features it will come with or is planned to haver in the future, and some timescales.  I've paid for my Expert Pro, and now I want to know what the 'more info to come soon' actually is.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Steven Segal

    I must admit that I am entirely in agreement with Avram. I have faith that Devialet employ designers and engineers who care enough about their work and product to come up with OS hardware and software to enhance what is already a superb product, that satisfies most customers most of the time. I would rather they lead than follow the market, using standard or their own proprietary protocols. The current wifi capability is poor, in my case fixed with a €30 access point (WNCE 4004), used only occiasionally. I've never had a problem wit the ethernet connection. They have said wifi connectivity will be fixed. Personally I didn't even know Devialet Air existed until recently because my 250 Pro unit was set up by my dealer and most of my music comes from a streamer attached by usb that has its own wifi connectivity.

    I appreciate hifi-swlon has a vested interest in Roon. According to DevialetChat it is his sole source, a lifetime member and his Roon forum statistics are impressive (visited 633 days, 125 topics created, 1,500 posts made, 40,000 posts read, etc.). If I was in his shoes I too would want the Pro to be a Roon player. As an Aries user, if they just licensed Auralic Lightning and Lightning Server I'd be very happy, I would hope they come up with something even better. 

    I also agree that there is no point moaning and complaining. What good will it do? I mentioned above that I know from other manufacturers of the difficulties of software development, resulting of delays of 2 years. One DSP product was demonstrated as a finished unit at Munich in May 2015 and is still not available. Auralic promised DSP built in 3 years ago and have got nowhere yet. If OS is released in 2018 I don't really care, as my family and I enjoy the 250 Pro on a daily basis hassle-free without it. I just hope that it is released with as few bugs as possible.

    Edited by Steven Segal
  • 0
    Avatar
    Avram

    "...how do you send your library and playlists to an Expert amp simply over TCP?"

    Are we sure we are talking about the same device? Devialet Expert range of products are not media players ! Why should we expect it to be?

    Playlist is a term that makes no sense without a front-end software application running on a personal computer.

    Devialet Expert is not a software application. It is, as we all know, high quality D/A converter embedded within even more high quality amp. It allows its owners to use any media player they want, as long as it does not require additional hardware for signal receiving and processing on Expert's side. A criteria that Roon, obviously, does not fulfill. 

    I do not know for sure but knowing about its origin I strongly doubt that Roon incurs no additional cost to Devialet. Devialet would have to have additional chip for receiving and decrypting signal sent by Roon player. Where would Devialet get that chip? From Roon, of course. For free? Certainly not! That would mean that Roon gives their know-how for free. Not in this world!

    A propos RAAT - what exactly "bit perfect transport" means? Marketing buzzword ! TCP/IP have several layers strictly devoted to ensuring absolute error free packet sending and receiving. If it was not the case we would not have Internet as we know it. When Air works without drop-out - and that is most of the time - does it not provide "bit perfect transport"?

    What does "multi-room streaming" means? I have a router in one room and desktops and laptops in every other room. Each and every one of my computers allows me to browse the Internet wirelessly. Is it not "multi-room streaming"? Multi-room streaming does not require Roon. It requires good router, strong signal, and good receiver.

    As all network transport is governed and performed by some of the layers of TCP/IP even Roon must use it. Otherwise no home network router would be able to receive a signal sent by Roon. Obviously, we do not need no additional transport protocol beside TCP/IP.

    Once again, think of it this way: should Devialet strive to support just about any third party company that comes out with its own algorithm for encrypting and packing data? 

     

    As I said, Devialet should give their best to make Air, Spark, Dialog, new OS board all work flawlessly! And I really mean they should maximize all their effort in order to achieve that primary goal.

    Adding Roon capability is not a solution to existing misbehavior. It is adding yet another variable. And we do not need additional complications until the current one are all sorted out.

     

     

     

  • 1
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    Warren Willows

    I think these last few comments are missing the obvious.  I don't believe anyone is demanding that Devialet speed up their implementation or even make commitments to incorporate various streaming protocols.  We are asking for updates in a timely fashion so plans can be made.  If Devialet is moving in a direction not optimal for any Expert Pro owner they can then make plans accordingly.  In my case I have a workable but temporary hard-wired ethernet using Air.  With some sense of where the design of the streamer board is headed and if not to my liking I can than consider the DCS Network bridge or similar.

    It is the absence of any communication and conflicting dates for release that are the concern.  The comparison to Apple is, frankly, absurd.  They maintain a view of secrecy for new items under design development while the streamer board has been purchased and promised for 2017 03.  It is owed to us.

  • 1
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    hifi_swlon

    Thanks for the update on my Roon forum stats Stevensegal - who knew they even existed!  Yes, I am active there and a passionate Roon lifetime member if that wasn't obvious already.  Ironically, this only came about as it was the best thing that I had tried over a number of years of searching for a replacement for AIR, and ultimately provided me with a solid solution with good UI on top.

    "As an Aries user, if they just licensed Auralic Lightning and Lightning Server I'd be very happy, I would hope they come up with something even better. "

    This is a very good point, but one I don't think is realistic. Lighting has evolved over a number of years and has lots of fans, but is propriety in the sense you have to buy an Auralic streamer to use it.  Roon is less hardware-centric, but of cousre you need to buy Roon (or pay yearly) and commuter hardware to run it on - albeit its quite generic.  But hardware aside, just in software development terms, honestly, what are the chances of Devialet creating something that equals or betters either the Lightning software or Roon?  I'd say its slim at best - just look at Spark.  

    Like you say, even Auralic struggled to get DSP into their software.  If you haven't seen Roon in a while I'd definitely recommend a look just out of interest.   You can simultaneously do the following processing on several zones (in fact as many as your server can handle); upsample, convolve (i.e. room correction), procedural EQ, parametric EQ, headroom adjustment, and speaker offset adjustment. Across DSD and PCM, and now up to DSD512!  All while staying in sync.  How long would it take Devialet to be able to do all the above?

    This is just in one of the 1.3 update releases.

    I am biased I know, but my point really is, Roon guys know software development and know what they're doing in the audio streaming world.  So Devialet don't need to use resources trying to better this kind of thing (which I'd say is almost impossible for them) - they can offer their user base access to a RoonReady implementation at minimal cost and have it right now.  

    But I hope everyone gets what they want - RoonReady or otherwise - or at least some of the features they want.  I'd gladly use Qobuz and other features if available.  Internet radio too.  I'd be ecstatic if they added Room Correction native to the amp too.

    Right now I just dont see why the need for guesswork. I think its fair to know what the streamer board will do.  That way if it doesnt fit my needs, I can move onto a new brand, or consider other streamer hardware.  But I dont want to do that and then have to sell it again if the streamer board comes good - I've already lost out once buying and selling kit to circumvent AIR.  I'm sure I'm not unique in this position.

    I'll await further comment from Devialet.  Nice to meet some new users here anyway.

    Edited by hifi_swlon
  • 0
    Avatar
    Steven Segal

    I don't think the obvious is being missed. For those of us who use streaming services and/or network stored music files, we simply want those services to be accessible by onboard hardware/software rather than sitting on external devices (streaming devices, mac mini etc.). We also want high definition data to be streamed without breaks, pops or crackles. 

    The only thing I plan to do when OS comes out is sell my streamer (also acts as a network bridge) and get rid of two more boxes, the streamer and its external PSU. I certainly wouldn't be planning to buy another product like the dCS.  

  • 2
    Avatar
    hifi_swlon

    >"I do not know for sure but knowing about its origin I strongly doubt that Roon incurs no additional cost to Devialet. Devialet would have to have additional chip for receiving and decrypting signal sent by Roon player. Where would Devialet get that chip? From Roon, of course. For free? Certainly not! That would mean that Roon gives their know-how for free. Not in this world!"

    Sorry Avram, I don't believe you fully understand the technology, and you don't seem very familiar with Roon.

    RAAT is free.  RoonReady certification is free. These are publicly available facts direct from the developers. There is no 'receiver chip' needed, it's Linux code (and in fact I've no idea if its encrypted). Roon don't give away their IP because they don't give away their source code. What they get out of it is a bigger user base, which of course earns them money from licenses as more brands that have the capability to easily use Roon, the more user licenses of Roon I'm sure they sell.

    >"A propos RAAT - what exactly "bit perfect transport" means? Marketing buzzword ! TCP/IP have several layers strictly devoted to ensuring absolute error free packet sending and receiving. If it was not the case we would not have Internet as we know it. When Air works without drop-out - and that is most of the time - does it not provide "bit perfect transport"?"

    I think a 'bit perfect transport' is a fairly readily accepted and understood concept. It really has nothing to do with TCP/IP - well, at least it doesnt have to.  AIR never worked at all for me without dropout for two years, but I'm glad it worked most of the time for you. As far as I'm aware - when  it works - AIR does provide bit-perfect transport, yes.  As ana side I believe RAAT uses a mix of UDP and TCP but that's not really that relevant.

    >"What does "multi-room streaming" means? I have a router in one room and desktops and laptops in every other room. Each and every one of my computers allows me to browse the Internet wirelessly. Is it not "multi-room streaming"? Multi-room streaming does not require Roon. It requires good router, strong signal, and good receiver."

    No not really.  This is just computers connected to the internet over a wifi network.

    Multi-room streaming in this sense means controlling music in every room of your house (for example), from one interface - either playing separate streams, or all grouped together playing the same stream in sync. Perhaps the downstairs zones are grouped playing one album, and upstairs another.  Maybe the kids room has something else.

    >"Once again, think of it this way: should Devialet strive to support just about any third party company that comes out with its own algorithm for encrypting and packing data?"

    No, just the one that's regarded as the best(!), and aligns with Devialet in the sense that it's nice to look at too. Like I say, I've no idea about encryption algorithms, that's not what its about - that's more MQA.

    Edited by hifi_swlon
  • 2
    Avatar
    Warren Willows

    Stevensegal.

    We share a similar outlook on this....I sold my Auralic Aries some time ago when discovering how superior AIR via ethernet was.   I am hoping the board will also be an additional improvement but alternates may be required if the implementation is less than desired.  On going news of the design intent would assist in this selection

    The dCS is a ROON endpoint and certainly has the bona fides as a premier software/hardware developer and may be superior to Devialet's implementation.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Steven Segal

    hifi_swlon: :"You can simultaneously do the following processing on several zones (in fact as many as your server can handle); upsample, convolve (i.e. room correction), procedural EQ, parametric EQ, headroom adjustment, and speaker offset adjustment. Across DSD and PSM, and now up to DSD512!  All while staying in sync.  How long would it take Devialet to be able to do all the above?"

    Actually, I don't think I want any of those, but I can't be sure as I don't know what they mean. I suspect that for most users, all they would want the OS card to do is get music from an online streaming service, usb or NAS drive. 

    I fully appreciate your predicament as, unless OS has Roon onboard, it will offer you nothing other than a more reliable wifi connection. 

    I actually tried Roon twice. The first time I gave up because it requires the host computer to be on, but my audio system does not have a dedicated computer, it is contolled from an ipad. I then tried Roon Server, but had problems getting it to work properly. I just want to play files as ripped, downloaded or streamed. (p.s. Qobuz are about to go to 24/96 streaming, purchases can already be streamed at that rate.)

  • 0
    Avatar
    Steven Segal

    wdw: dCS (Vivaldi) is the best digital system I've ever heard - by a long stretch - so respect, but doesn't host Qobuz!

    I have been trying Air with with $30 WNCE4004, but it is limited to 24/96 speed-wise and is sharing my wifi network. So I bought an ASUS router last week. Even with Oceane's huge patience and advice I failed to get it to work properly as a separate network. The answer is probably to set it up as a wired access point - the 15m Cat7 cable is in an Amazon bag behind me. I plan on running it down the stairs this evening and if I get it to work properly I will run it under the floorboards. 

    I assume that to use Air you still need a computer alive and running something like Audirvana, which can then be run from the Audirvana Remote iOS application. That will require a Mac Mini. 

    I stick with the Aries as - you are aware - it works beautifully and I have an Aries Mini in my second system.

  • 1
    Avatar
    Michael Connelly

    Well now, what we have here is an interesting discussion!   It's pretty clear that we all come at this from somewhat different interests and experience.  Those differences, as often discussed on DevialetChat, offer new ideas about what is possible with the Expert Pro.  And hopefully, we all learn a few things along the way.

    But ... we're not here to tell Devialet specifically what to build nor now to build it. And best I can tell, they really haven't asked for our opinions. BUT, we have come here with the hope to hear more from Devialet about its intentions with this new OS board.  Some of us will undoubtedly be pleased.  Others, perhaps, not so much.  But regardless, whatever it is will impact all current and would-be owners.  

    Wouldn't it be nice to know so that we can make informed decisions and hold informed conversations?  

  • 2
    Avatar
    hifi_swlon

    Stevensegal: "Actually, I don't think I want any of those, but I can't be sure as I don't know what they mean. I suspect that for most users, all they would want the OS card to do is get music from an online streaming service, usb or NAS drive. "

    I don't use them all either - but lots of people seem to like up-sampling and have other EQ needs.  I do find a very slight gain with the latest up sampling, but its not really aimed at the likes of Devialet since it has its own internal processing, and lowish sample rates by modern DAC standards.  But its there if people need it.  Convolution is just a more technical word for room correction - i.e. taking the rooms effects out of the equation by means of adjustment according to measurement.  For those without a dedicated listening room (like me), it has a huge effect on the sound - way better than any hardware upgrade - including the Pro. If you have a decent listening room and balanced sound then its not of so much interest.

    From all comments I've read across the internet, I don't think everyone wants the same thing (although there are similarities) so I think its probably untrue to say most people only want online streaming or NAS playback - although I'm sure many do.  

    I don't use wifi, only wired ethernet, so actually if the streamer board was a lemon in terms of functionality the wifi wouldn't help - but I actually hope it may offer some benefit in other areas by way of the OS.  Separate to the streaming functionality, what I'm hoping for is the removal of the SD card for anything other than firmware updates, and all the configuration  options being directly available via a web browser or iPad interface, so the Expert can be configured 'realtime' from the sofa, without having to swap SD cards in and out.  This would be a big benefit, although still a bit of an anti-climax if the streamer itself wasn't up to much. In fact, this aspect of the card and OS hasn't really been discussed at all, and would be great to find out more info on that side.

    "I actually tried Roon twice. The first time I gave up because it requires the host computer to be on, but my audio system does not have a dedicated computer, it is contolled from an ipad. I then tried Roon Server, but had problems getting it to work properly. I just want to play files as ripped, downloaded or streamed. (p.s. Qobuz are about to go to 24/96 streaming, purchases can already be streamed at that rate.)"

    If you ever want to try Roon again, I'd be happy to help.  It's probably more fiddly than it needs to be in some areas (although its getting better all the time), and realistically you do need a computer left on all the time, but for me it offers a central system for all the rooms I want music in - and other than the Devialet in the lounge, I use inexpensive Raspberry Pi's with add-on DACs, into speakers with a line input, and I'm set for all-room music that sounds decent for about £250 per zone.  Now Sonos is supported I may consider one of those in the future for a bit more 'all in one' ease, but the Pi's have been flawless to date.

    I miss Qobuz, sadly that's a reality of using Roon and I've come to terms with Tidal - it provides me with a way of having my local music, streamed music, and internet radio all under one control. Qobuz is better and has a better library (and is just more to my taste as a company) but they (Qobuz) just don't seem to want it to happen.

     

    @M Connellly: "But ... we're not here to tell Devialet specifically what to build nor now to build it. And best I can tell, they really haven't asked for our opinions"

    Well, I certainly am! :)  And they did add a comments section to the streamer board page, so I feel it's good to say what we want, even if it's ignored.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Steven Segal

    hifi_swlon: We are going a bit off-topic a bit. I was rather sad that Devialet did not invest in Qobuz, but it needed lots of money and has a limited geographical market. Shame, as from the music perspective it is peerless and I like the French tint, especially their jazz offerings (and my wife's first language is French and she's steeped in French culture). They now provide digital booklets, a major development for classical issues. Even if Qobuz was onboard without booklets, I could just get them from the iOS Qobuz app. I'm a bit old-fashioned in that I hate computers (I don't really understand much about them), I tend to queue the music I want and put my ipad away and listen. So Roon is probably over my head and too time-consuming. I measured my room with REW and there are no particular issues with it. Thanks for the Roon offer anyway.

    Having a browser in OS is asking for trouble. The SD card business is fine for me as I've only ever had to change the settings once to add a sub-woofer, and the dealer was here to show me how.

    I would have thought (hoped?) that the software and mobile apps were well underway long before the hardware prototype was completed. I would therefore assume that the software specification was finalised 6 to 12 months ago at the very least. 

  • 0
    Avatar
    Steven Segal

    WDW: Set up a network on an Airport Extreme with the standard Devialet settings and connected an ASUS router to it with a 15m Cat7 cable. The ASUS is sitting about 4m from the Pro. Connected immediately, so total set-up time was about 5 minutes. The wifi connection is very sensitive, falling dramatically when moved 1m and put on a marble tabletop. Only problem was a setting Audirvana. Sound is certainly as good as via Lightning. 

    This set-up can stream 24/96 from the internet (Qobuz purchases can be streamed at the purchased bitrate) and play back without pops and clicks, but there is the occasional pop or click even at lower bitrates. It falls apart trying to download/stream 24/192 or DSD, which is not due to my download speed (41mbps). It can't even play back 24/192 or DSD from a NAS source. 

    There is obviously scope for a lot of improvement in wifi connectivity, and Devialet make it clear that they have addressed that. 

    Edited by Steven Segal
  • 0
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    G51

    Hello, everyone. I agreed Devialet may come out a better streaming solution than what already existed (that's why they invented ADH instead of going the ordinary A, AB or D amp.)But Devialet should let us know more about it. No rush but just inform us. I believe it will be Q4 (year 2017).

     

    After all, it's Devialet which claimed that streaming board is worth Euro 1,500 (or 1,800) and we have paid it in advance when upgrading. And its CEO promised to improve communication.

     

  • 2
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    hifi_swlon

    I said that I'd try and summarise the Devialetchat streamerboard discussion so far, and the features requested, for the benefit of Devialet themselves, and anyone here who's commenting but unfamiliar with the site/topic.

    In the first instance I've pasted below the results so far of the recent Poll titled: 

    The new Streamer Board - What is the 'must have' feature

      Feature                                                                         Votes      %

    Roon RAAT compatible*   36 41%
    UPnP   5 6%
    HQPlayer compatibility   1 1%
    Spotify connect   0 0%
    Apple compatibility, iTunes / Airplay   3 3%
    Self-hosted configuration mechanism to allow changes to the Devialet's configuration on the fly   6 7%
    Support for SPARK, to include Phantom compatibility via PLC   2 2%
    A fully self contained streaming system, i.e. no need for a computer, just add NAS or USB memory with music.   19 22%
    I would accept any kind of functionality if sound quality is clearly superior to AIR   6 7%
    Virtual soundcard, much like AIR but with superior sound quality and stability   9 10%
    Total 87 vote(s) 100%

    'Forum Fanatics' may have been the term used here by some other commenter to describe those that participate in the only forum dedicated to the Devialet user base.  However, as far as I'm aware, no dealer, or owner, has ever been polled by Devialet themselves, and therefore this is the only publicly available information from the Devialet user base about what features they want from the streamer board.  

    As is obvious, Roon features at the top of the list with over 40% of users who participated wanting that feature, with a self-hosted NAS/USB/memory type solution in second place with a shade over half Roons votes at 22%. Spark comes out almost bottom with only 2% of users wanting it for their Experts.

    Devialetchat has nearly 3,000 members, has been active for several years, and is the online resource for Devialet owners - the knowledge and information held at the site must save Devialet millions in support costs alone, and often provides solutions to Devialet problems that Devialet themselves are unable to answer.  

    I have absolutely no affiliation to Devialetchat, it was a site I came across when I had issues with AIR that I couldn't resolve (and where I found lots of others who were suffering AIR woes), and is now to go-to place for Devialet information and discussion.  It covers users across the entire Devialet range, and across the spectrum from users with casual single Phantom systems, right up to users with multiple Experts, including 1000 Pro and Original d'Atelier owners - some of whom are lucky enough to have £100K+ systems that we can all dream about.  And most importantly, everyone shares a passions for music, and getting the best out of their Devialet systems.

    A link to the poll is here: https://devialetchat.com/showthread.php?tid=3943

    And the more detailed streamer board discussion here: https://devialetchat.com/showthread.php?tid=4053

  • 2
    Avatar
    John Yow

    Stevensegal no offence meant but your views show you are out of touch with the state of computer audio.

    Most of the people who opt for Devialet expert series are far from rookies, many of not most have years of experience with the computer audio.

    I for one has started from years of sticking to the Squeezebox's excellent open platform, then different iterations of Mac/iTunes add-ons like Amarra, Pure Music, Audirvana, Bitperdect, JRiver.  Most of which I paid decent money for.  Roon is the only viable interface that is reliable and with an interface that is truly user friendly, and a platform that is truly portable and multi-platform.   What's more they have a team that is so responsive that they fixed a bug I reported within hours of my reporting it with a new release.  The Roon team even took on putting development effort into supporting the Squeezebox platform which Logitech killed, just because we asked.

    One of the key to Roon's is their open nature, They can afford to focus their effort into develop one single interface for multiple devices.  Most of the closed computer audio platforms like those from Naim and Linn I tried are just not good enough.  And it is understandable since this is not their main line of expertise.  Roon being a common platform for multiple devices is like Microsoft developing Windows for compatible devices from various manufacturers.  It just makes sense.  

    Frankly I am quite surprised to hear about the suggestion that a proprietary player makes more sense.     

  • 0
    Avatar
    John Yow

    By they way I also think the forum users are a not too harsh on Devialet's speed of development.

    However, i think they deserve some of the flaks about their refusal to give any info on the streamer board.  The Devialet OS and the streamer board are something they announced and to some of us was the killer app that enticed us to pay good money to upgrade.  

    By the way, one dealer is selling a demo 400 at less than the price I paid for my upgrade.

    My total cost of ownership upgrading from 200 to 400 is about 4X of what they were selling the 400 for. 

    SO yes I think we deserve better.  The streamer board is far from a clandestine project, it is something they pre-announced to sell upgrades.

  • 3
    Avatar
    Antoine

    "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford.

    Unfortunately "fanatic forum users" seems to be used to denigrate a certain type of people. Yet I surely hope Devialet listens to those people more than they do to people who need to call their dealer for every simple change in their system.

    In general it's the people who are active on forums who are passionate about these type of subjects. They keep each other apprised of what else is out there and thus possible today and in the near future. Listening to the group of people Ford referenced to would be a waste. These people lack vision and only care to use what they know or already use.

    Of course the people that do know what else is out there are more demanding. They have higher standards and thus bigger wishes and needs. If Devialet wants to excel like they did with ADH offering uPnP/DLNA is not going to cut it, it's rather going back in time 10 years. In a way Devialet was ahead of their time with AIR, though poorly executed, their thinking was right there where a large portion of the market is now going using advanced ethernet streaming protocols like Ravenna, AES67, Dante, Roon's RAAT, HQPlayer's NAA etc. etc.

    To be honest I don't think Devialet is going to succeed in meeting the wishes of their more vocal and demanding users. Personally I'd wish they would partner up with specialist companies who have been developping software solutions for the type of hardware solution Devialet is developing, e.g. a company like Roon or companies that develop both the hardware solution and the software fully tailored to it (like e.g. a dCS did). If they don't do that and keep insisting on developing everything themselves they will always be behind on the rest of the market and we, their customers, will become permanent beta test users for even the most basic functionalities.

    Right now I too would like to see Devialet improving their communication and interaction with their own customers. If they don't want to be such a customer centric company then at least I don't want to be a customer of theirs.

    If they don't want improve here they perhaps should consider to become just the technology company they seem to want to become. A company who OEM's their tech to the automotive sector etc. No more pesky end users to deal with then. :-) Right now I feel like someone who's using an expensive piece of tech of theirs made to just build their brand name and as a showcase for the tech they developed.

  • 0
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    Steven Segal

    So much to respond to from the Roon advocates! 

    Firstly, the "survey". 87 responses from 3,000 members implies epic response bias. Having an academic background is sampling surveys, time is too short to critique it, other that to say it was not circulated. I am a DevialetChat member (one post, asked a question, no replies) and was unaware of the "survey".

    John Yow: No offence taken, more a compliment. I hate computers and computer audio. To me they are a barrier to listening to music. I listen mostly to live music roughly 50/50 recitals and ballet/dance without about 5 operas annually. I have a sizeable CD and vinyl collection, but streaming has changed everything. My streaming history is Linn Accurate DS, AVA Zara Premium (a Naim UnitiServe clone but better) and Auralic Aries. All closed systems, almost faultless (plug-n-play and hassle free) and idiot-proof. I have two audio systems, Devialet and Audiolab (both single-unit systems), both with Auralic streamers, so both controlled from the same iOS app.

    My experience of Devialet users is different to yours. I have two friends with Expert, one uses mostly vinyl, the other mostly CD and I use mostly streaming and some vinyl. Our systems are all used by other family members. My wife and elder son love it.

    "Most of the closed computer audio platforms like those from Naim and Linn I tried are just not good enough.  And it is understandable since this is not their main line of expertise." They were fine for me, and before Audiolab my second system used the hugely popular Naim UnitiQute. More to the point, streaming is core to both Linn and Naim, probably the UK's two most successful high-end brands. Linn was about to go bust and only survived by abandoning CD and developing a range of streamers.

    I have looked into Roon. See:

    https://roonlabs.com/index.html

    https://roonlabs.com/howroonworks.html

    https://roonlabs.com/partners.html

    Basically, it describes itself as a "Core" to collect music from physical storage or online, adds its own metadata, and distributes it to multiple devices. Very nice, but Expert is a high quality 2-channel audio system. Why is it so important essential to make Expert a platform for other devices?

    It is interesting that the index page decries that digital audio has resulted in the loss of the physical media of LPs and CDs. Not true. Digital booklets are available in my streaming service, Qobuz. I checked that the "booklet" for Savall's "Guerre et Paix" that runs to almost 400 pages and cost extra for a physical copy, is available in full on Qobuz. Is it available on Roon?

    Likewise, MQA was launched in 2014 based on being able to pack and unpack high bitrate music, now tied to Tidal. I can stream purchases as 24/192 from Qobuz and at DSD from Highresaudio (both are about to launch subscription high-res streaming), so why should Devialet license a proprietary decoder that was always technically questionable and is now effectively redundant?

    Roon's partners are a small group of small high-end audio manufacturers and some DIY suppliers like Hifiberry. There are no big brands like TEAC, Onkyo, Yamaha, Panasonic, etc. So however much some people like Roon, it seems a very niche product that has not been adopted by the vast majority of the mainstream or hi-end audio industry.

    Commercially, Roon, Tidal and MQA are all closely associated to Meridian, so I can understand Devialet not getting too involved in a competitor's proprietary platforms.

    Finally, as Brownnose says on the "survey" thread, you can implement Roon on Devialet by attaching a £35 Pi device, a fraction of the license fee.

  • 0
    Avatar
    John Yow

    I am quite sure that Meridian and Roon and no longer related after the Sooloos sale.  

    http://www.cepro.com/article/meridian_explains_amicable_split_with_roon_founders

    By the way, I owned both dCS and Naim gears prior to jumping to Devialet.  I was a long time Naim user and used and very satisfied with dCS Debussy,  dCS is a class act.  I was seriously considering the dCS' network streamer with full Roon support, but pending the Devialet streamer card.  I believe Naim is developing Roon support as well?

     

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Steven Segal

    John Yow: I agree, I don't spend time listening to other audio systems, but dCS Puccini and Vivaldi had a transparency that I recall was even better than Devialet. They are of course a lot more expensive and need lots of space and boxes.

    Naim adopted Spotify and then Tidal, but not Qobuz. If they'd put Qobuz onboard I'd probably still have the UnitiQute.  I think it's on now.

    Qobuz and Tidal have far more partners than Roon, including many mainstream audio companies, and they are purely software on standard platforms. They are both in Spark, along with something called Deezer, and radio. With good connectivity, I'm expecting OS to replace my Auralic streamer. I'll live without Roon.

    Someone suggested I might be someone who "calls their dealer for every simple change in their system". Actually, my dealer set up my Devialet before delivering it and reconfigured it when he came round to deliver a subwoofer. The only other change I've made is to the wifi settings, which I did myself with Oceane's help (the problem being the configurator does not work in OSX Safari). For me the Expert is a plug-in-and-forget system, and I'm only typing on this thread as I'm watching the IPL (a double-header today, but off for a walk with the wife, so that's it for me today).

  • 0
    Avatar
    Petri Kosonen

    I hope that the OS board would support Roon. HQPlayer NAA support would be a great addition. Roon basically gives everything that I need:

    1) Fantastic usability on all devices that I have (iPad/iPhone/Android/Windows/etc).

    2) Access to ripped files and Tidal.

    3) Possibility to upsample all music to 24/192 or DSD64. It just sounds better when doing upsampling either in Roon or in HQPlayer in my opinion. HQPlayer may sound a bit better of these two so support for HQPlayer NAA would be great.

    4) Possibility to do a room correction by applying convolution filters. Parametric eq is also nice.

    5) Great support and community site whenever I need some help.

     

    Edited by Petri Kosonen
  • 3
    Avatar
    hifi_swlon

    @Stevensegal, I had thought I'd understood your point of view but I'm honestly a bit confused now....

    You claim to not really want very much from the streamer board yourself and will accept whatever Devialet give you, but at the same time appear to be heavily invested in trying to somehow pitch yourself and Devialet against anyone that actually wants something from it, and try and discredit any attempt at justifying the desire for Roon's RAAT, HQPlayer's NAA, or any other popular systems people use and want to integrate tightly with their shiny boxes.  

    The discussion is about what other features people would like, and to try and extract some information from Devialet so we don't go off and buy hardware like, say, streamers, only to find out afterwards Devialet are releasing a board that includes the same features.  

    My guess is Spark would most likely be included by Devialet in any event since they've already written it - and it would be free to use for anyone that wanted it.  I'm sure there would be a few people for who it was 'good enough' for a piece of free software for occasional use, and would allow control of the Expert and any Phantoms.  So if you're happy to use it to replace your Auralic  streamer and Lightning software with it, that's great and you'll most likely be well catered for. Devialet software engineers adopting RAAT would take up minuscule resources compared to developing future versions of Spark so it would have a very low impact for you personally.

    Anyway, getting to some points.

    "Firstly, the "survey". 87 responses from 3,000 members implies epic response bias. Having an academic background is sampling surveys, time is too short to critique it, other that to say it was not circulated. I am a DevialetChat member (one post, asked a question, no replies) and was unaware of the "survey"."

    I posted quite clearly that this was a forum Poll, in leu of any other stats from anywhere else. Devialetchat forum Polls aren't circulated - which you probably wouldn't be aware of if you've only ever posted there once and don't visit frequently.  It's not an academic study, it's simply some data that's available.  Perhaps you'd care to survey the entire Devialet user base about their opinions in a more scientific manner if you're really interested in getting some better data? Im not sure why you repeatedly refer to it as a "survey" - you are the only one calling it that. If you want to be made aware of any future Polls, perhaps post your contact details here or get in touch with the DC owners and they can call you whenever a new Poll is posted to make you aware of it :)

    I don't see the relevance of MQA here - its another topic unrelated to Roon or the streamer board, and we all assume Devialet will not incorporate MQA anyway.

    But I will pick up on this:

    "Roon's partners are a small group of small high-end audio manufacturers and some DIY suppliers like Hifiberry. There are no big brands like TEAC, Onkyo, Yamaha, Panasonic, etc. So however much some people like Roon, it seems a very niche product that has not been adopted by the vast majority of the mainstream or hi-end audio industry."

    Er, sorry, so Devialet Experts are to be compared to Onkyo and Panasonic devices? The small high-end audio manufacturers (you mean like Devialet?) you mention include:

    Auralic (a brand you apparently own!), Ayre, Bel Canto, Bluesound, Brinkman, Bryston, Creek, dCS, DEQX, Exasound, Krell, Lumin, Meitner, Merging, NAD, Nativ, PS Audio, Sonore, SOTM, totalDac, and Trinnov. Naim have also announced they're working on it.

    Who else exactly would you want on that list before it was deemed adopted by high-end audio?  I doubt it will ever be mainstream but that's not it's market (nor is it the Devialet Experts market).

    And yes, you can add a Roon zone with a £35 raspberry Pi - it works very well and I have several around the house for secondary zones - just one of the fantastic benefits of Roon.  What's more they're rock solid and reliable, unlike AIR. But is it the best sounding solution there is?  No, probably not.  What most of us want is the best of both worlds. The streamer board could easily provide it - but right now none of us know.....

     

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    G51

    Hello, everyone. I am not very good at computer but jumped from tube preamplifier + active speakers to Devialet and now using 440pro. I am not familiar with what you guys are talking about and mainly listen to vinyl and ripped 16/44.1 music files stored in my iPad and Macbook (iTunes and ethernet hardwired).

    As an ordinary non-tech-Devialet-user, I hope what Devialet should take big steps forward in -

    a. improving its sound quality (it is what audiophiles wanted in the first place;

    b. improving communication (everyone understands its importance); and

    c. providing support (or to make response) to its users as soon and as far as possible.

    These could make everyone happy even Devialet can not support all those playback and streaming softwares/formats.

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Avram

     

    "Multi-room streaming in this sense means controlling music in every room of your house (for example), from one interface - either playing separate streams, or all grouped together playing the same stream in sync. Perhaps the downstairs zones are grouped playing one album, and upstairs another.  Maybe the kids room has something else."

    Yet again - we are mixing apples and oranges.

    Devialet is a hardware company. The above cited paragraph is asking for software application ! Not just simple media player but complex software application that acts as a router for various sources and signals and their destinations. That is completely beyond Expert PRO domain. And I do not think any additional hardware from Devialet will fulfill that function.

     

     

  • 1
    Avatar
    hifi_swlon

    Sorry Avram, not meaning to be confrontational, but your post is simply incorrect. 

    The paragraph you quote isn't asking any more of Devialet than providing a gateway into a piece if software that already does everything listed. It's not asking them to write the software themselves - which frankly would be impossible for them at this point in time - and as you say isn't their skillset or expertise. 

    The work required to incorporate RAAT is small - there are 'one man band' companies that gave successfully done it with good results. A streamerboard with an Ethernet port and running a Linux variant is all that's needed, and that is what Devialet have already said they're producing.

    But this is all moot really, Devialet will already have done the work or be in the process of organising their code for the new board so that it makes the process simpler for them when they start adding the extra protocols like RAAT that their customers want, and that they'd need to stay level with the competition. The question we really want answered is when? Only Devialet can provide this info. 

  • 2
    Avatar
    Antoine

    Hifi_swlon is right. The Devialet, if they'd opt to become Roon Ready (which I'd applaud) would become an 'endpoint' in this case. Roon calls it an 'output'. The functionality to distribute streams to endpoints is built in to what Roon calls the Roon Core. It runs on a Mac or PC (or 3rd party music server) and is the central 'brain' in the Roon architecture.

    I think it's good to mention that the functionality required to be a Roon Ready endpoint and other functionality like Spark, DLNA or whatever Devialet is working on, isn't mutually exclusive. These functionalities can easily co-exist. The RAAT daemon runs on Linux and is I believe a mere 200kB of code. It uses it's own, non overlapping with other software, TCP and UDP ports.

    So there's no need for anyone here to 'fight' or 'resist' the wish of others who'd like to see the Devialet Expert to become Roon Ready. We just need to "fight" Devialet to try to move them to do the little work required to meet this wish of many (or at least a significant and growing number) of their customers.

    NB. Devialet is of course both a hardware and software company. Most of their hardware requires software (be it firmware, drivers or client-server software) to run/be operated.

    Edited by Antoine
  • 1
    Avatar
    Sven

    Thank Hifi_swlon for your usefull information on the architecture of Roon. Hopefully Devialet will give us more information on the streamer board roadmap and their plans with Roon. 

  • 0
    Avatar
    D Payne

    I have already expressed, in a previous Post on this Thread, my own personal wish for ROON to be incorporated on this OS Streaming Board, but I would like to express my thanks to both hifi_swlon, and Antoine, for their clarification on what seems to be required of Devialet to make the OS Board ROON "ready".

    Antoine's point: "I think it's good to mention that the functionality required to be a Roon Ready endpoint and other functionality like Spark, DLNA or whatever Devialet is working on, isn't mutually exclusive. These functionalities can easily co-exist. The RAAT daemon runs on Linux and is I believe a mere 200kB of code. It uses it's own, non overlapping with other software, TCP and UDP ports." is particularly relevant and shows that the new Board can, with some thought, satisfy a wide range of user needs, including access to Tidal, Qobuz (probably through SPARK) and ROON. 

    All it now needs is for Devialet to make it happen, and to continue communicating with us which, on past form, seems to be more difficult than actually getting on with the job!  

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